Conflicts of Law Jurisprudence
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ZEDAKIAH NOTES CONFLICTS OF LAW I.
G.R. No. L-12105 January 30, 1960 TESTATE ESTATE OF C. O. BOHANAN, deceased. PHILIPPINE TRUST CO. vs. MAGDALENA C. BOHANAN, EDWARD C. BOHANAN, and MARY LYDIA BOHANAN
JURISDICTION 1. TYPES OF JURISDICTION G.R. No. L-18164 January 23, 1967 WILLIAM F. GEMPERLE vs. HELEN SCHENKER and PAUL SCHENKER
1. WHAT LAW GOVERNS; APPROVAL OF PROJECT OF PARTITION. — Article 10 of the old Civil Code (Article 16, new Civil Code) provides that the validity of testamentary dispositions are to be governed by the national law of the person whose succession is in question. In case at bar, the testator was a citizen of the State of Nevada. Since the laws of said state allow the testator to dispose of all his property according to his will, his testamentary dispositions depriving his wife and children of what should be their legitimes under the laws of the Philippines, should be respected and the project of partition made in accordance with his testamentary dispositions should be approved.
1. JURISDICTION OVER A NON-RESIDENT DEFENDANT; SERVICE OF SUMMONS UPON AN ATTORNEY-IN-FACT; EFFECT. — Where a non-resident alien had constituted his wife as his attorney-in-fact had authorized her to sue, and the latter in fact had sued on his behalf, and as a result thereof a suit was brought against him and a service of summons addressed to him on the latter case was served personally on his wife, his attorney-in-fact; the court had acquired jurisdiction over his person, he having empowered her to sue, so that she was also in effect empowered to represent him in suits filed against him.
2. JUDICIAL NOTICE OF FOREIGN LAW IF INTRODUCED IN EVIDENCE. — The pertinent law of the state of the testator may be taken judicial notice of without proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of partition where it appears that said law was admitted by the court as exhibit during the probate of the will; that the same was introduced as evidence of a motion of one of the appellants for withdrawal of a certain sum of money; and that the other appellants do not dispute the said law.
G.R. No. 47517 June 27, 1941 IDONAH SLADE PERKINS vs. MAMERTO ROXAS, ET AL. 1. MEANING OF JURISDICTION OVER SUBJECT MATTER; ADJUDICATION OF TITLE TO CERTAIN SHARES OF STOCK. — By jurisdiction over the the subject matter is meant the nature of the cause of action and of the relief sought, and this is conferred by the sovereign authority which organizes the court, and is to be sought for in the general nature of its power, or in authority specially conferred. The respondent's action calls for the adjudication of title to certain shares of stock of the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company, and the granting of affirmative reliefs, which fall within the general jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Manila.
G.R. No. 120077 October 13, 2000 MANILA HOTEL CORP. ET AL. vs. NLRC, ET AL. I. Forum Non-Conveniens The NLRC was a seriously inconvenient forum. We note that the main aspects of the case transpired in two foreign jurisdictions and the case involves purely foreign elements. The only link that the Philippines has with the case is that respondent Santos is a Filipino citizen. The Palace Hotel and MHICL are foreign corporations. Not all cases involving our citizens can be tried here.
2. CROSS-COMPLAINT. — I. S. P. in her crosscomplaint brought suit against E. A. P. and the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company upon the alleged judgment of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and asked the court below to render judgment enforcing that New York judgment, and to issue execution thereon. This is a form of action recognized by section 309 of the Code of Civil Procedure (now section 47, Rule 39, Rules of Court) and which falls within the general jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance of Manila, to adjudicate, settle and determine. 2.
The employment contract. — Respondent Santos was hired directly by the Palace Hotel, a foreign employer, through correspondence sent to the Sultanate of Oman, where respondent Santos was then employed. He was hired without the intervention of the POEA or any authorized recruitment agency of the government. Under the rule of forum non conveniens, a Philippine court or agency may assume jurisdiction over the case if it chooses to do so provided: (1) that the Philippine court is one to which the parties may conveniently resort to; (2) that the Philippine court is in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts; and (3) that the Philippine court has or is likely to have power to enforce its decision. The conditions are unavailing in the case at bar.
DEALING WITH A CONFLICTS PROBLEM
G.R. No. 32636 March 17, 1930 A.W. FLUEMER vs. ANNIE COUSINS HIX 1. CONFLICT OF LAWS; CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, SECTIONS 300 AND 301, APPLIED. — The laws of a foreign jurisdiction do not prove themselves in our courts. The courts of the Philippine Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the various States of the American Union. Such laws must be proved as facts. The requirements of sections 300 and 301 of the Code of Civil Procedure must be met.
Not Convenient. — We fail to see how the NLRC is a convenient forum given that all the incidents of the case — from the time of recruitment, to employment to dismissal occurred outside the Philippines. The inconvenience is compounded by the fact that the proper defendants, the Palace
ZEDAKIAH NOTES Hotel and MHICL are not nationals of the Philippines. Neither .are they "doing business in the Philippines." Likewise, the main witnesses, Mr. Shmidt and Mr. Henk are non-residents of the Philippines.
(SEC). The jurisdiction of the latter is exclusively over matters enumerated in Section 5, PD 902-A, 21 prior to its latest amendment. If the foreign court did not really have jurisdiction over the case, as petitioner claims, it would have been very easy for him to show this. Since jurisdiction is determined by the allegations in a complaint, he only had to submit a copy of the complaint filed with the foreign court. Clearly, this issue did not warrant trial.
No power to determine applicable law. — Neither can an intelligent decision be made as to the law governing the employment contract as such was perfected in foreign soil. This calls to fore the application of the principle of lex loci contractus (the law of the place where the contract was made).
G.R. No. 120135 March 31, 2003 BANK OF AMERICA NT&SA, ET AL. vs. CA, ET AL
The employment contract was not perfected in the Philippines. Respondent Santos signified his acceptance by writing a letter while he was in the Republic of Oman. This letter was sent to the Palace Hotel in the People's Republic of China.
Should the complaint be dismissed on the ground of forum non-conveniens? No. The doctrine of forum non-conveniens, literally meaning 'the forum is inconvenient', emerged in private international law to deter the practice of global forum shopping, that is to prevent non-resident litigants from choosing the forum or place wherein to bring their suit for malicious reasons, such as to secure procedural advantages, to annoy and harass the defendant, to avoid overcrowded dockets, or to select a more friendly venue. Under this doctrine, a court, in conflicts of law cases, may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it is not the most "convenient" or available forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere.
No power to determine the facts. — Neither can the NLRC determine the facts surrounding the alleged illegal dismissal as all acts complained of took place in Beijing, People's Republic of China. The NLRC was not in a position to determine whether the Tiannamen Square incident truly adversely affected operations of the Palace Hotel as to justify respondent Santos' retrenchment. Principle of effectiveness, no power to execute decision. — Even assuming that a proper decision could be reached by the NLRC, such would not have any binding effect against the employer, the Palace Hotel. The Palace Hotel is a corporation incorporated under the laws of China and was not even served with summons. Jurisdiction over its person was not acquired.
Whether a suit should be entertained or dismissed on the basis of said doctrine depends largely upon the facts of the particular case and is addressed to the sound discretion of the trial court. 44 In the case of Communication Materials and Design, Inc. vs. CA, 45 this Court held that ". . . [a] Philippine Court may assume jurisdiction over the case if it chooses to do so; provided, that the following requisites are met: (1) that the Philippine Court is one to which the parties may conveniently resort to; (2) that the Philippine Court is in a position to make an intelligent decision as to the law and the facts; and, (3) that the Philippine Court has or is likely to have power to enforce its decision." 46 Evidently, all these requisites are present in the instant case.
This is not to say that Philippine courts and agencies have no power to solve controversies involving foreign employers. Neither are we saying that we do not have power over an employment contract executed in a foreign country. If Santos were an "overseas contract worker", a Philippine forum, specifically the POEA, not the NLRC, would protect him. He is not an "overseas contract worker" a fact which he admits with conviction. Even assuming that the NLRC was the proper forum, even on the merits, the NLRC's decision cannot be sustained.
Moreover, this Court enunciated in Philsec. Investment Corporation vs. CA, 47 that the doctrine of forum non conveniens should not be used as a ground for a motion to dismiss because Sec. 1, Rule 16 of the Rules of Court does not include said doctrine as a ground. This Court further ruled that 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; and that the propriety of dismissing a case based on this principle of forum non conveniens requires a factual determination, hence it is more properly considered a matter of defense.
G.R. No. 141536 February 26, 2001 GIL MIGUEL T. PUYAT vs. RON ZABARTE Petitioner alleges that jurisdiction over Case No. C21-00265, which involved partnership interest, was vested in the Securities and Exchange Commission, not in the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa. We disagree. In the absence of proof of California law on the jurisdiction of courts, we presume that such law, if any, is similar to Philippine law. We base this conclusion on the presumption of identity or similarity, also known as processual presumption. The Complaint, which respondent filed with the trial court, was for the enforcement of a foreign judgment. He alleged therein that the action of the foreign court was for the collection of a sum of money, breach of promissory notes, and damages. In our jurisdiction, such a case falls under the jurisdiction of civil courts, not of the Securities and Exchange Commission
ZEDAKIAH NOTES II.
PROOF AND APPLICATION OF FOREIGN LAW 1. PROOF OF FOREIGN LAW
provides that "(a)ll marriages performed outside of the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were performed, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country . . ." And any doubt as to the validity of the matrimonial unity and the extent as to how far the validity of such marriage may be extended to the consequences of the coverture is answered by Art. 220 of the Civil Code in this manner: "In case of doubt, all presumptions favor the solidarity of the family. Thus, every intendment of law or facts leans toward the validity of marriage, the indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of children, the community of property during marriage, the authority of parents over their children, and the validity of defense for any member of the family in case of unlawful aggression." Bearing in mind the "processual presumption" enunciated in Miciano and other cases, he who asserts that the marriage is not valid under our law bears the burden of proof to present the foreign law.
G.R. No. 12767 November 16, 1918 IN RE: EMIL H. JOHNSON 1. AMERICAN CITIZEN RESIDING IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. — The authority expressed in Section 636 of the Code of Civil Procedure for the probate of the will of a citizen of another state or country is applicable to the case of a citizen of a State of the American Union domiciled in the Philippine Islands. 2. CONCLUSIVENESS OF PROBATE; INTRINSIC VALIDITY. — While the probate of a will is conclusive as to compliance with all formal requisites necessary to the lawful execution of the will, such probate does not affect the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will. With respect to the latter the will is governed by the substantive law relative to descent and distribution.
G.R. No. 119602 October 6, 2000 WILDVALLEY SHIPPING CO. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.
3. WILL OF AMERICAN CITIZEN. — The intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will of a citizen of one of the American States, proved under Section 636 of the Code of Civil Procedure, is governed by the laws of the State of which he is a citizen.
Nevertheless, we take note that these written laws were not proven in the manner provided by Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.
4. CITIZENSHIP; AMERICANS RESIDENT IN PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. — When a person who is a citizen of the United States and therefore also a citizen of the State in which he was born or naturalized becomes a resident of the Philippine Islands, he cannot acquire a new citizenship here; and he must be assumed to retain his State citizenship along with his status as a citizen of the United States.
The Reglamento General de la Ley de Pilotaje was published in the Gaceta Oficial Of the Republic of Venezuela. A photocopy of the Gaceta Oficial was presented in evidence as an official publication of the Republic of Venezuela. The Reglamento Para la Zona de Pilotaje No 1 del Orinoco is published in a book issued by the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela. Only a photocopy of the said rules was likewise presented as evidence.
5. JUDICIAL NOTICE. — The courts of the Philippine Islands are not authorized to take judicial notice of the laws of the various States of the American Union, although they may take judicial notice of the laws enacted by Congress. 2.
Both of these documents are considered in Philippine jurisprudence to be public documents for they are the written official acts, or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority, official bodies and tribunals, and public officers of Venezuela.
EFFECT OF FAILURE TO PLEAD AND PROVE FOREIGN LAW
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. The latter requirement is not a mere technicality but is intended to justify the giving of full faith and credit to the genuineness of a document in a foreign country.
G.R. Nos. 95122-23 & 95612-13 May 31, 1991 BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS (CID), ET AL. vs. JOSELITO DELA ROSA, ET AL. 1. FOREIGN LAW PRESUMED THE SAME WITH PHILIPPINE LAW ABSENCE OF PROOF TO THE CONTRARY. — In Miciano vs. Brimo,this Court held that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, foreign laws on a particular subject are presumed to be the same as those of the Philippines. In the case at bar, there being no proof of Chinese law relating to marriage, there arises the presumption that it is the same as that of Philippine law.
It is not enough that the Gaceta Oficial, or a book published by the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela, was presented as evidence with Captain Monzon attesting it. It is also required by Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court that a certificate that Captain Monzon, who attested the documents, is the officer who had legal custody of those records made by a secretary of the embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice consul or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in
2. MARRIAGE; DOCTRINE OF "PROCESSUAL PRESUMPTION" APPLIED IN PHILIPPINE LAW. — Philippine law, following the lex loci celebrationis, adheres to the rule that a marriage formally valid where celebrated is valid everywhere. Referring to marriages contracted abroad, Art. 71 of the Civil Code (now Art. 26 of the Family Code)
ZEDAKIAH NOTES Venezuela, and authenticated by the seal of his office accompanying the copy of the public document. No such certificate could be found in the records of the case. With respect to proof of written laws, parol proof is objectionable, for the written law itself is the best evidence. According to the weight of authority, when a foreign statute is involved, the best evidence rule requires that it be proved by a duly authenticated copy of the statute.
Philippines in between their assigned flights to the Middle East and Europe. All the above contacts point to the Philippine courts and administrative agencies as a proper forum for the resolution of contractual disputes between the parties. Under these circumstances, paragraph 10 of the employment agreement cannot be given effect so as to oust Philippine agencies and courts of the jurisdiction vested upon them by Philippine law. Finally, and in any event, the petitioner PIA did not undertake to plead and prove the contents of Pakistan law on the matter; it must therefore be presumed that the applicable provisions of the law of Pakistan are the same as the applicable provisions of Philippine law.
At this juncture, we have to point out that the Venezuelan law was not pleaded before the lower court. A foreign law is considered to be pleaded if there is an allegation in the pleading about the existence of the foreign law, its import and legal consequence on the event or transaction in issue.
G.R. No. 104776 December 5, 1994 BIENVENIDO M. CADALIN, ET ADMINISTRATOR
A review of the Complaint revealed that it was never alleged or invoked despite the fact that the grounding of the M/V Philippine Roxas occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of Venezuela.
"These money claims (under Article 291 of the Labor Code) refer to those arising from the employer's violation of the employee's right as provided by the Labor Code.
We reiterate that under the rules of private international law, a foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. In the absence of pleading and proof, the laws of a foreign country, or state, will be presumed to be the same as our own local or domestic law and this is known as processual presumption. 3.
NATURE OF CONFLICTS RULES AND PROBLEM OF CHARACTERIZATION
In the instant case, what the respondents violated are not the rights of the workers as provided by the Labor Code, but the provisions of the Amiri Decree No. 23 issued in Bahrain, which ipso facto amended the worker's contracts of employment. Respondents consciously failed to conform to these provisions which specifically provide for the increase of the worker's rate. It was only after June 30, 1983, four months after the brown builders brought a suit against B & R in Bahrain for this same claim, when respondent AIBC's contracts have undergone amendments in Bahrain for the new hires/renewals.
EXCEPTION TO APPLICATION OF FOREIGN LAW
G.R. No. 61594 September 28, 1990 PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES CORPORATION vs. BLAS F. OPLE, ET AL. Petitioner PIA cannot take refuge in paragraph 10 of its employment agreement which specifies, firstly, the law of Pakistan as the applicable law of the agreement and, secondly, lays the venue for settlement of any dispute arising out of or in connection with the agreement "only [in] courts of Karachi, Pakistan". The first clause of paragraph 10 cannot be invoked to prevent the application of Philippine labor laws and regulations to the subject matter of this case, i.e., the employer-employee relationship between petitioner PIA and private respondents. We have already pointed out that relationship is much affected with public interest and that the otherwise applicable Philippine laws and regulations cannot be rendered illusory by the parties agreeing upon some other law to govern their relationship. Neither may petitioner invoke the second clause of paragraph 10, specifying the Karachi courts as the sole venue for the settlement of disputes between the contracting parties. Even a cursory scrutiny of the relevant circumstances of this case will show the multiple and substantive contacts between Philippine law and Philippine courts, on the one hand, and the relationship between the parties, upon the other: the contract was not only executed in the Philippines, it was also performed here, at least partially; private respondents are Philippine citizens and residents, while petitioner, although a foreign corporation, is licensed to do business (and actually doing business) and hence resident in the Philippines; lastly, private respondents were based in the
Hence, premises considered, the applicable law of prescription to this instant case is Article 1144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, which provides: 'Art. 1144. The following actions may be brought within ten years from the time the cause of action accrues: (1) Upon a written contract; (2) Upon an obligation created by law;' Thus, herein money claims of the complainants against the respondents shall prescribe in ten years from August 16, 1976. Inasmuch as all claims were filed within the ten-year prescriptive period, no claim suffered the infirmity of being prescribed". In overruling the POEA Administrator, and holding that the prescriptive period is three years as provided in Article 291 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, the NLRC argued as follows: "The Labor Code provides that 'all money claims arising from employer-employee relations . . . shall be filed within three years from the time the cause of action accrued; otherwise they shall be forever barred' (Art. 291, Labor Code, as amended). This three-year prescriptive period shall be the one applied here and which should be reckoned from the date of repatriation of each individual complainant, considering the fact that the case is having (sic) filed in this country. We do
ZEDAKIAH NOTES not agree with the POEA Administrator that this three-year prescriptive period applies only to money claims specifically recoverable under the Philippine Labor Code. Article 291 gives no such indication. Likewise, We can not consider complainants' cause/s of action to have accrued from a violation of their employment contracts. There was no violation; the claims arise from the benefits of the law of the country where they worked.
Claimants in G.R. Nos. 104911-14 are of the view that Article 291 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, which was applied by NLRC, refers only to claims "arising from the employer's violation of the employee's right as provided by the Labor Code." They assert that their claims are based on the violation of their employment contracts, as amended by the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 and therefore the claims may be brought within ten years as provided by Article 1144 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. To bolster their contention, they cite PALEA v. Philippine Airlines, Inc.
Anent the applicability of the one-year prescriptive period as provided by the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976, NLRC opined that the applicability of said law was one of characterization, i.e., whether to characterize the foreign law on prescription or statute of limitation as "substantive" or "procedural." NLRC cited the decision in Bournias v. Atlantic Maritime Company, where the issue was the applicability of the Panama Labor Code in a case filed in the State of New York for claims arising from said Code. In said case, the claims would have prescribed under the Panamanian Law but not under the Statute of Limitations of New York. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Panamanian Law was procedural as it was not "specifically intended to be substantive," hence, the prescriptive period provided in the law of the forum should apply. The Court observed: ". . . And where, as here, we are dealing with a statute of limitations of a foreign country, and it is not clear on the face of the statute that its purpose was to limit the enforceability, outside as well as within the foreign country concerned, of the substantive rights to which the statute pertains, we think that as a yardstick for determining whether that was the purpose this test is the most satisfactory one. It does not lead American courts into the necessity of examining into the unfamiliar peculiarities and refinements of different foreign legal systems. . ."
AIBC and BRII, insisting that the actions on the claims have prescribed under the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976, argue that there is in force in the Philippines a "borrowing law," which is Section 48 of the Code of Civil Procedure and that where such kind of law exists, it takes precedence over the common-law conflicts rule. First to be determined is whether it is the Bahrain law on prescription of action based on the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 or a Philippine law on prescription that shall be the governing law. Article 156 of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 provides: "A claim arising out of a contract of employment shall not be actionable after the lapse of one year from the date of the expiry of the contract". As a general rule, a foreign procedural law will not be applied in the forum. Procedural matters, such as service of process, joinder of actions, period and requisites for appeal, and so forth, are governed by the laws of the forum. This is true even if the action is based upon a foreign substantive law. A law on prescription of actions is sui generis in Conflict of Laws in the sense that it may be viewed either as procedural or substantive, depending on the characterization given such a law.
The court further noted: xxx xxx xxx "Applying that test here it appears to us that the libelant is entitled to succeed, for the respondents have failed to satisfy us that the Panamanian period of limitation in question was specifically aimed against the particular rights which the libelant seeks to enforce. The Panama Labor Code is a statute having broad objectives, viz: 'The present Code regulates the relations between capital and labor, placing them on a basis of social justice, so that, without injuring any of the parties, there may be guaranteed for labor the necessary conditions for a normal life and to capital an equitable return to its investment.' In pursuance of these objectives the Code gives laborers various rights against their employers. Article 623 establishes the period of limitation for all such rights, except certain ones which are enumerated in Article 621. And there is nothing in the record to indicate that the Panamanian legislature gave special consideration to the impact of Article 623 upon the particular rights sought to be enforced here, as distinguished from the other rights to which that Article is also applicable. Were we confronted with the question of whether the limitation period of Article 621 (which carves out particular rights to be governed by a shorter limitation period) is to be regarded as 'substantive' or 'procedural' under the rule of 'specifity' we might have a different case; but here on the surface of things we appear to be dealing with a 'broad,' and not a 'specific,' statute of limitations".
Thus in Bournias v. Atlantic Maritime Company, supra, the American court applied the statute of limitations of New York, instead of the Panamanian law, after finding that there was no showing that the Panamanian law on prescription was intended to be substantive. Being considered merely a procedural law even in Panama, it has to give way to the law of the forum on prescription of actions. However, the characterization of a statute into a procedural or substantive law becomes irrelevant when the country of the forum has a "borrowing statute." Said statute has the practical effect of treating the foreign statute of limitation as one of substance. A "borrowing statute" directs the state of the forum to apply the foreign statute of limitations to the pending claims based on a foreign law. While there are several kinds of "borrowing statutes," one from provides that an action barred by the laws of the place where it accrued, will not be enforced in the forum even though the local statute has not run against it. Section 48 of our Code of Civil Procedure is of this kind. Said Section provides: "If by the laws of the state or country where the cause of action arose, the action is barred, it is also barred in the Philippines Islands."
ZEDAKIAH NOTES Section 48 has not been repealed or amended by the Civil Code of the Philippines. Article 2270 of said Code repealed only those provisions of the Code of Civil Procedures as to which were inconsistent with it. There is no provision in the Civil Code of the Philippines, which is inconsistent with or contradictory to Section 48 of the Code of Civil Procedure. In the light of the 1987 Constitution, however, Section 48 cannot be enforced ex proprio vigore insofar as it ordains the application in this jurisdiction of Section 156 of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976.
citizens, an internal law for its citizens domiciled in other jurisdiction. Hence, reason demands that the California conflict of law rules should be applied in this jurisdiction in the case at bar. 3. FACTORS CONSIDERED IN DETERMINING ALIEN'S DOMICILE IN THE PHILIPPINES. — An American citizen who was born in New York, migrated to California, resided there for nine years, came to the Philippine in 1913, and very rarely returned to California and only for short visits, and who appears to have never owned or acquired a home or properties in that state, shall be considered to have his domicile in the Philippines.
The courts of the forum will not enforce any foreign claim obnoxious to the forum's public policy. To enforce the oneyear prescriptive period of the Amiri Decree No. 23 of 1976 as regards the claims in question would contravene the public policy on the protection to labor.
4. RULE OF RESORTING TO THE LAW OF THE DOMICILE IN DETERMINING MATTERS WITH FOREIGN ELEMENT INVOLVED. — The rule laid down of resorting to the law of the domicile in the determination of matters with foreign element involved is in accord with the general principle of American law that the domiciliary law should govern in most matters or rights which follow the person of the owner.
In the Declaration of Principles and State Policies, the 1987 Constitution emphasized that: "The state shall promote social justice in all phases of national development" (Sec. 10). "The state affirms labor as a primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare" (Sec. 18). In article XIII on Social Justice and Human Rights, the 1987 Constitution provides: "Sec. 3. The State shall afford full protection to labor, local and overseas, organized and unorganized, and promote full employment and equality of employment opportunities for all." IV.
5. COURT OF DOMICILE BOUND TO APPLY ITS OWN LAW AS DIRECTED IN THE CONFLICT OF LAW RULE OF DECEDENT'S STATE; APPLICATION OF THE RENVOI DOCTRINE. — The conflict of law rule in California, Article 946, Civil Code, refers back the case, when a decedent is not domiciled in California, to the law of his domicile, the Philippines in the case at bar. The court of domicile can not and should refer the case back to California, as such action would leave the issue incapable of determination, because the case will then be tossed back and forth between the two states. If the question has to be decided, the Philippine court must apply its own law as the Philippines was the domicile of the decedent, as directed in the conflict of law rule of the state of the decedent, California, and especially because the internal law of California provides no legitime for natural children, while the Philippine law (Articles 887 (4) and 894, Civil Code of the Philippines) makes natural children legally acknowledged forced heirs of the parent recognizing them.
THE PROBLEM OF RENVOI
G.R. No. L-16749 January 31, 1963 IN RE: EDWARD E. CHRISTENSEN CHRISTENSEN GARCIA
1. PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW; DETERMINATION OF CITIZENSHIP; U.S. CITIZENSHIP NOT LOST BY STAY IN PHILIPPINES BEFORE INDEPENDENCE. — The citizenship that the deceased acquired in California when he resided there from 1904 to 1913 was never lost by his stay in the Philippines, for the latter was a territory of the United States until 1946, and the deceased appears to have considered himself as a citizen of California by the fact that when he executed his will in 1951 he declared that he was a citizen of that State; so that he appears never intended to abandon his California citizenship by acquiring another.
6. PHILIPPINE LAW TO BE APPLIED IN CASE AT BAR. — As the domicile of the deceased, who was a citizen of California, was the Philippines, the validity of the provisions of his will depriving his acknowledge natural child of the latter's legacy, should be governed by the Philippine law, pursuant to Article 946 of the Civil Code of California, not by the law of California.
2. VALIDITY OF TESTAMENTARY PROVISIONS; MEANING OF "NATIONAL LAW" IN ARTICLE 16, CIVIL CODE; CONFLICT OF LAW RULES IN CALIFORNIA TO BE APPLIED IN CASE AT BAR. — The "national law" indicated in Article 16 of the Civil Code cannot possibly apply to any general American law, because there is no such law governing the validity of testamentary provisions in the United States, each state of the union having its own private law applicable to its citizen only and in force only within the state. It can therefore refer to no other than the private law of the state of which the decedent was a citizen. In the case at bar, the State of California, prescribes two sets of laws for its
G.R. No. L-23678 June 6, 1967 MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS, ET AL. vs. EDWARD A. BELLIS, ET AL. In this regard, the parties do not submit the case on, nor even discuss, the doctrine of renvoi, applied by this Court in Aznar vs. Christensen Garcia, L-16749, January 31, 1963. Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country, and a domicile of another. In the present case, it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death. So that
ZEDAKIAH NOTES even assuming Texas has a conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) should govern, the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine law, but would still refer to Texas law. Nonetheless, if Texas has a conflict of law rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei sitae) calling for the application of the law of the place where the properties are situated, renvoi would arise, since the properties here involved are found in the Philippines. In the absence, however, of proof as to the conflict of law rule of Texas, it should not be presumed different from ours. 3 Appellants' position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi. As stated, they never invoked nor even mentioned it in their arguments. Rather, they argue that their case falls under the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Article 17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code.
Two requisites must concur for a person to be considered as such: (1) a person must be a Filipino citizen from birth and (2) he does not have to perform any act to obtain or perfect his Philippine citizenship. Under the 1973 Constitution definition, there were two categories of, Filipino citizens which were not considered natural-born: (1) those who were naturalized and (2) those born before January 17, 1973, 28 of Filipino mothers who, upon reaching the age of majority, elected Philippine citizenship. Those "naturalized citizens" were not considered natural-born obviously because they were not Filipinos at birth and had to perform an act to acquire Philippine citizenship. Those born of Filipino mothers before the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution were likewise not considered natural-born because they also had to perform an act to perfect their Philippine citizenship.
Article 16, par. 2, and Art. 1039 of the Civil Code, render applicable the national law of the decedent, in intestate or testamentary successions, with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession; (b) the amount of successional rights; (c) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will; and (d) the capacity to succeed.
The present Constitution, however, now considers those born of Filipino mothers before the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution and who elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the majority age as natural-born. After defining who are natural-born citizens, Section 2 of Article IV adds a sentence: "Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof shall be deemed natural-born citizens." Consequently, only naturalized Filipinos are considered not natural-born citizens. It is apparent from the enumeration of who are citizens under the present Constitution that there are only two classes of citizens: (1) those who are natural-born and (2) those who are naturalized in accordance with law. A citizen who is not a naturalized Filipino, i.e., did not have to undergo the process of naturalization to obtain Philippine citizenship, necessarily is a natural-born Filipino. Noteworthy is the absence in said enumeration of a separate category for persons who, after losing Philippine citizenship, subsequently reacquire it. The reason therefor is clear: as to such persons, they would either be natural-born or naturalized depending on the reasons for the loss of their citizenship and the mode prescribed by the applicable law for the reacquisition thereof. As respondent Cruz was not required by law to go through naturalization proceedings in order to reacquire his citizenship, he is perforce a natural-born Filipino. As such, he possessed all the necessary qualifications to be elected as member of the House of Representatives.
Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills — one to govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate — arguing from this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. Assuming that such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine will, it would not alter the law, for as this Court ruled in Miciano vs. Brimo, 50 Phil. 867, 870, a provision in a foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law, is illegal and void, for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 — now Article 16 — of the Civil Code states said national law should govern. The parties admit that the decedent, Amos G. Bellis, was a citizen of the State of Texas, U.S.A., and that under the laws of Texas, there are no forced heirs or legitimes. Accordingly, since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law, the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. Bellis. V.
PERSONAL LAW 1. NATIONAL LAW
G.R. Nos. 161434, 161634 & 161824 March 3, 2004 MARIA JEANETTE C. TECSON, ET AL. vs. COMELEC, ET AL.
G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001 ANTONIO BENGSON III vs. HRET, ET AL.
In ascertaining, in G.R. No. 161824, whether grave abuse of discretion has been committed by the COMELEC, it is necessary to take on the matter of whether or not respondent FPJ is a natural-born citizen, which, in turn, depended on whether or not the father of respondent, Allan F. Poe, would have himself been a Filipino citizen and, in the affirmative, whether or not the alleged illegitimacy of respondent prevents him from taking after the Filipino citizenship of his putative father. Any conclusion on the Filipino citizenship of Lorenzo Pou could only be drawn from the presumption that having died in 1954 at 84 years old, Lorenzo would have been born sometime in the year 1870, when the Philippines was under
Petitioner's contention that respondent Cruz is no longer a natural-born citizen since he had to perform an act to regain his citizenship is untenable. As correctly explained by the BET in its decision, the term "natural-born citizen" was first defined in Article III, Section 4 of the 1973 Constitution as follows: SECTION 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 Philippine citizenship.
ZEDAKIAH NOTES Spanish rule, and that San Carlos, Pangasinan, his place of residence upon his death in 1954, in the absence of any other evidence, could have well been his place of residence before death, such that Lorenzo Pou would have benefited from the "en masse Filipinization" that the Philippine bill had effected in 1902. That citizenship (of Lorenzo Pou), if acquired, would thereby extend to his son, Allan F. Poe, father of respondent FPJ. The 1935 Constitution, during which regime respondent FPJ has seen first light, confers citizenship to all persons whose fathers are Filipino citizens regardless of whether such children are legitimate or illegitimate. 2.
the mere absence of an individual from his permanent residence without the intention to abandon it does not result in a loss or change of domicile. The deliberations of the 1987 Constitution on the residence qualification for certain elective positions have placed beyond doubt the principle that when the Constitution speaks of "residence" in election law, it actually means only "domicile." 6. ABSENCE FROM LEGAL RESIDENCE OR DOMICILE OF A TEMPORARY OR SEMI-PERMANENT NATURE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LOSS OF RESIDENCE. — We have stated, many times in the past, that an individual does not lose his domicile even if he has lived and maintained residences in different places. Residence, it bears repeating, implies a factual relationship to a given place for various purposes. The absence from legal residence or domicile to pursue a profession, to study or to do other things of a temporary or semi-permanent nature does not constitute loss of residence. Thus, the assertion by the COMELEC that "she could not have been a resident of Tacloban City since childhood up to the time she filed her certificate of candidacy because she became a resident of many places" flies in the face of settled jurisprudence in which this Court carefully made distinctions between (actual) residence and domicile for election law purposes.
G.R. No. 119976 September 18, 1995 IMELDA ROMUALDEZ-MARCOS vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL. 1. DOMICILE; CONSTRUED. — Article 50 of the Civil Code decrees that "[f]or the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is their place of habitual residence." In Ong vs. Republic this court took the concept of domicile to mean an individual's "permanent home," "a place to which, whenever absent for business or for pleasure, one intends to return, and depends on facts and circumstances in the sense that they disclose intent." Based on the foregoing, domicile includes the twin elements of "the fact of residing or physical presence in a fixed place" and animus manendi, or the intention of returning there permanently.
7. DOMICILE; A MINOR FOLLOWS THE DOMICILE OF HIS PARENTS; CASE AT BENCH. — A minor follows the domicile of his parents. As domicile, once acquired is retained until a new one is gained, it follows that in spite of the fact of petitioner's being born in Manila, Tacloban, Leyte was her domicile of origin by operation of law. This domicile was not established only when her father brought his family back to Leyte contrary to private respondent's averments.
2. RESIDENCE, CONSTRUED. — Residence, in its ordinary conception, implies the factual relationship of an individual to a certain place. It is the physical presence of a person in a given area, community or country.
8. REQUISITES TO EFFECT CHANGE OF DOMICILE. — Domicile of origin is not easily lost. To successfully effect a change of domicile, one must demonstrate: 1. An actual removal or an actual change of domicile; 2. A bona fide intention of abandoning the former place of residence and establishing a new one; and 3. Acts which correspond with the purpose.
3. DIFFERENTIATED FROM RESIDENCE. — The essential distinction between residence and domicile in law is that residence involves the intent to leave when the purpose for which the resident has taken up his abode ends. One may seek a place for purposes such as pleasure, business, or health. If a person's intent be to remain, it becomes his domicile; if his intent is to leave as soon as his purpose is established it is residence. It is thus, quite perfectly normal for an individual to have different residences in various places. However, a person can only have a single domicile, unless, for various reasons, he successfully abandons his domicile in favor of another domicile of choice.
9. CASE AT BENCH. — In the absence of clear and positive proof based on these criteria, the residence of origin should be deemed to continue. Only with evidence showing concurrence of all three requirements can the presumption of continuity or residence be rebutted, for a change of residence requires an actual and deliberate abandonment, and one cannot have two legal residences at the same time. In the case at bench, the evidence adduced by private respondent plainly lacks the degree of persuasiveness required to convince this court that an abandonment of domicile of origin in favor of a domicile of choice indeed occurred. To effect an abandonment requires the voluntary act of relinquishing petitioner's former domicile with an intent to supplant the former domicile with one of her own choosing (domicilium voluntarium).
4. RESIDENCE USED SYNONYMOUSLY WITH DOMICILE. — For political purposes the concepts of residence and domicile are dictated by the peculiar criteria of political laws. As these concepts have evolved in our election law, what has clearly and unequivocally emerged is the fact that residence for election purposes is used synonymously with domicile. 5. ABSENCE FROM PERMANENT RESIDENCE WITHOUT INTENTION TO ABANDON IT DOES NOT RESULT IN LOSS OR CHANGE OF DOMICILE. — So settled is the concept (of domicile) in our election law that in these and other election law cases, this Court has stated that
10. MARRIAGE, NOT A CAUSE FOR LOSS OF DOMICILE. — In this connection, it cannot be correctly argued that petitioner lost her domicile of origin by operation
ZEDAKIAH NOTES of law as a result of her marriage to the, late President Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1954. For there is a clearly established distinction between the Civil Code concepts of "domicile" and "residence." The presumption that the wife automatically gains the husband's domicile by operation of law upon marriage cannot be inferred from the use of the term "residence" in Article 110 of the Civil Code because the Civil Code is one area where the two concepts are well delineated. A survey of jurisprudence relating to Article 110 or to the concepts of domicile or residence as they affect the female spouse upon marriage yields nothing which would suggest that the female spouse automatically loses her domicile of origin in favor of the husband's choice of residence upon marriage. Article 110 is a virtual restatement of Article 58 of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889: La mujer esta obligada a seguir a su marido donde quiera que fije su residencia. Los Tribunales, sin embargo, podran con justa causa eximirla de esta obligacion cuando el marido transende su residencia a ultramar o' a pais extranjero. Note the use of the phrase "donde quiera su fije de residencia" in the aforequoted article, which means wherever (the husband) wishes to establish residence. This part of the article clearly contemplates only actual residence because it refers to a positive act of fixing a family home or residence. Moreover, this interpretation is further strengthened by the phrase "cuando el marido translade su residencia" in the same provision which means, "when the husband shall transfer his residence," referring to another positive act of relocating the family to another home or place of actual residence. The article obviously cannot be understood to refer to domicile which is a fixed, fairly-permanent concept when it plainly connotes the possibility of transferring from one place to another not only once, but as often as the husband may deem fit to move his family, a circumstance more consistent with the concept of actual residence. Very significantly, Article 110 of the Civil Code is found under Title V under the heading: RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE. Immediately preceding Article 110 is Article 109 which obliges the husband and wife to live together. The duty to live together can only be fulfilled if the husband and wife are physically together. This takes into account the situations where the couple has many residences (as in the case of petitioner). If the husband has to stay in or transfer to any one of their residences, the wife should necessarily be with him in order that they may "live together." Hence, it is illogical to conclude that Art. 110 refers to "domicile" and not to "residence." Otherwise, we shall be faced with a situation where the wife is left in the domicile while the husband, for professional or other reasons, stays in one of their (various) residences.
G.R. No. 150477 February 28, 2005 LAZARO C. GAYO vs. VIOLETA G. VERCELES The issue in this case involves one of the essential qualifications for running for public office, that is, the oneyear residency requirement prescribed under Section 39 of the LGC, thus: SECTION 39. Qualifications. — (a) An elective local official must be a citizen of the Philippines; a registered voter in the barangay, municipality, city, or province or, in the case of a member of the sangguniang panlalawigan, sangguniang panlungsod, or sangguniang bayan, the district where he intends to be elected; a resident therein for at least one (1) year immediately preceding the day of the election; and able to read and write Filipino or any local language or dialect. In interpreting this requirement, our ruling in Papandayan, Jr. v. Commission on Elections is instructive, thus: The term "residence," as used in the election law, imports not only an intention to reside in a fixed place but also personal presence in that place, coupled with conduct indicative of such intention. "Domicile" denotes a fixed permanent residence to which when absent for business or pleasure, or for like reasons, one intends to return. . . . More recently in Coquilla v. Commission on Elections, we further clarified the meaning of the term, and held as follows: The term "residence" is to be understood not in its common acceptation as referring to "dwelling" or "habitation," but rather to "domicile" or legal residence, that is, the place where a party actually or constructively has his permanent home, where he, no matter where he may be found at any given time, eventually intends to return and remain (animus manendi). A domicile of origin is acquired by every person at birth. It is usually the place where the child's parents reside and continues (sic) until the same is abandoned by acquisition of new domicile (domicile of choice). In Caasi v. Court of Appeals, we held that a Filipino citizen's immigration to a foreign country constitutes an abandonment of his domicile and residence in the Philippines. In other words, the acquisition of a permanent residency status in a foreign country constitutes a renunciation of the status as a resident of the Philippines. On the other hand, the Court explained in another case that a new domicile is reacquired if the following conditions concur: . . . (1) [R]residence or bodily presence in the new locality; (2) an intention to remain there; and (3) an intention to abandon the old domicile. There must be animus manendi coupled with animus non revertendi. The purpose to remain in or at the domicile of choice must be for an indefinite period of time; the change of residence must be voluntary; and the residence at the place chosen for the new domicile must be actual.
11. TERM RESIDENCE REFERS TO "ACTUAL RESIDENCE." — The term residence may mean one thing in civil law (or under the Civil Code) and quite another thing in political law. What stands clear is that insofar as the Civil Code is concerned — affecting the rights and obligations of husband and wife — the term residence should only be interpreted to mean "actual residence." The inescapable conclusion derived from this unambiguous civil law delineation therefore, is that when petitioner married the former President in 1954, she kept her domicile of origin and merely gained a new home, not a domicilium necessatium.
Applying case law to the present case, it can be said that the respondent effectively abandoned her residency in the Philippines by her acquisition of the status of a permanent U.S. resident. Nonetheless, we find that the respondent reacquired her residency in the Philippines even before the holding of the May 2001 elections. The records show that she surrendered her green card to the Immigration and
ZEDAKIAH NOTES Naturalization Service of the American Embassy way back in 1998. By such act, her intention to abandon her U.S. residency could not have been made clearer. Moreover, when she decided to relocate to the Philippines for good in 1993, she continued living here and only went to the U.S.A. on periodic visits to her children who were residing there. Moreover, she was elected Mayor in the 1998 elections and served as such for the duration of her term. We find such acts sufficient to establish that the respondent intended to stay in the Philippines indefinitely and, ultimately, that she has once again made the Philippines her permanent residence.
has a house for vacation purposes in the City of Baguio, and another house in connection with his business in the City of Manila, he would have residence in all three places so that one[']s legal residence or domicile can also be his actual, personal or physical residence or habitation or place of abode if he stays there with intention to stay there permanently. In the instant case, since plaintiff has a house in Makati City for the purpose of exercising his profession or doing business and also a house in Ichon, Macrohon, Southern Leyte, for doing business and/or for election or political purposes where he also lives or stays physically, personally and actually then he can have residences in these two places. Because it would then be preposterous to acknowledge and recognize plaintiff Aniceto G. Saludo, Jr. as congressman of Southern Leyte without also recognizing him as actually, personally and physically residing thereat, when such residence is required by law.
G.R. No. 159507 April 19, 2006 ANICETO G. SALUDO, JR. vs. AMERICAN EXPRESS INT'L. INC., ET AL. The following ratiocination of the court a quo is apt: Residence in civil law is a material fact, referring to the physical presence of a person in a place. A person can have two or more residences, such as a country residence and a city residence. Residence is acquired by living in a place; on the other hand, domicile can exist without actually living in the place. The important thing for domicile is that, once residence has been established in one place, there be an intention to stay there permanently, even if residence is also established in some other place.
The fact then that petitioner Saludo's community tax certificate was issued at Pasay City is of no moment because granting arguendo that he could be considered a resident therein, the same does not preclude his having a residence in Southern Leyte for purposes of venue. A man can have but one domicile for one and the same purpose at any time, but he may have numerous places of residence.
Thus, if a person lives with his family habitually in Quezon City, he would have his domicile in Quezon City. If he also