The antecedents, as found by the trial court and affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA), are as follows:chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary
"Defendant, . . . (respondent RCBC) is a commercial banking institution, organized under existing laws, doing business through its duly accredited offices in the City of Cebu.
"On 12 July 1983, plaintiff (petitioner) executed a Real Estate Mortgage on a parcel of land, situated in the City of Cebu, under TCT No. 39409, in favor of defendant, RCBC, to secure a credit line in the amount of P45,000.00. Plaintiff availed, from this collateralized credit line, the amount of P25,000.00 only, secured and evidenced by promissory note no. 84/615 in the said sum of P25,000.00, with interest at the rate of 38% per annum, on 23 October 1984.
"Plaintiff, Perfecta Quintanilla, who is engaged in business, under the name and style, Cebu Cane Products, exports rattan products abroad. In connection therewith, she established with defendant, RCBC, advance credit line, for her export bills against Letters of Credit from her customers abroad.
"Also, on an even date, 23 October 1984, plaintiff secured from defendant, RCBC, a loan of P100,000.00, against her advance export credit line, secured by promissory note no. 84/614, on a maturing period, one month from thence.
"Again on November 8, 1984, plaintiff secured another advance credit of P100,000.00 against her advance export credit line, which she again secured by another promissory note no. 84/632, of even date.
"On 20 November 1984, plaintiff shipped stocks of her Cane Products to her buyer in Belgium, upon a Letter of Credit, under Export Bill No. 84/199, in the amount of US $10,638.15. Defendant, RCBC, received the proceeds of this export shipment, in the amount of P208,630.00, from Bank Brussels Lambert-New York.
"The full amount of the proceeds, was therefore credited to plaintiff’s Current Account No. 218 with defendant bank. Defendant RCBC, then debited plaintiff’s current account, in the amount of P125,000.00 as payment for the latter’s loan of P100,000.00 to promissory note no. 84/614 and P25,000.00 to promissory note no. 84/615. The latter amount was what plaintiff secured by the Real Estate Mortgage, Exhibit "A" .
"On November 27, 1984, plaintiff made another shipment from her Cebu Cane Products, under Export Bill No. 84-205 for US $10,083.00. Consequently, RCBC sent the export documents to the issuing bank for collection of this, latter export shipment.
"However, on November 28, 1994, the issuing bank, Brussels Lambert-Belgium, refused payment on Export Bill No. 84-199, and demanded reimbursement from defendant, RCBC, the amount of US $20,721.70, invoking its right for immediate reimbursement, under Art. 16 of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Publication 400 through telex, to which plaintiff was so notified by defendant, RCBC. The latter, subsequently advised plaintiff to communicate and arrange matters with her buyers and customers in Belgium. After persistent demand for reimbursement, from Bank Brussels Lambert-Belgium, defendant, RCBC, returned and reimbursed the total sum of US $20,721.70 to Bank Brussels Lambert-Belgium.
"RCBC, then proceeded to revert the credit and debit entries on plaintiff’s current account, which it supposedly paid to promissory note nos. 84/614 and 84/615 and demanded payments from the plaintiff, the whole amount, including the amount of P25,000.00, it collaterized by the real estate mortgage, Exh.’A’. 1
For failing to comply with the demands, RCBC sought to foreclose the real estate mortgage, not only for the amount of P25,000.00 but also for the amount of P500,994.39 which represents petitioner’s subsequent credit accommodations. RCBC alleged that the latter amount was likewise secured under the mortgage contract.
Rejecting RCBC’s claim, petitioner filed an action for specific performance, damages and attorney’s fees with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction, alleging that the obligation for which the mortgage was executed was only for the maximum amount of P45,000.00 and that petitioner had already paid her other unsecured loans. RCBC filed an answer denying petitioner’s claim and set up a counterclaim for the payment of all her other outstanding loans — totaling P500,694.39.
After trial, the RTC rendered judgment, the dispositive portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"WHEREFORE, the writ of preliminary injunction, issued by this Court is hereby lifted. The defendant, RCBC, and defendants may proceed to foreclose the real estate mortgage for the satisfaction of plaintiff’s obligation of P25,000.00 plus stipulated interests thereon in accordance with the terms thereof, but not to satisfy the other obligation of the plaintiff in excess thereof, which the said mortgage did not secure, therefor. No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED." 2
RCBC appealed to the CA imputing error to the trial court in not granting its counterclaim and in ruling that the foreclosure of the mortgage was limited to the P25,000.00 availed of by petitioner. The CA affirmed the RTC ruling in so far as the foreclosure was limited to the amount of P25,000.00 but modified the same by granting the counterclaim. The dispositive portion of the CA decision provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"Premises considered, We affirm the appealed decision with the modification consisting of ordering the appellee to pay the appellant, on the latter’s counter-claims, the sum of P500,694.39 due as of May 22, 1987 plus interest on the principal sum of P298,097.47 at the rate of 18% per annum from May 23, 1987 and penalty charges of 12% per annum from the same date, until fully paid, and the sum of P8,000.00 as reasonable attorney’s fees plus the costs.
SO ORDERED." 3
Aggrieved, petitioner moved for a partial reconsideration, arguing for the first time that respondent RCBC’s counterclaim is permissive in nature for which the trial court has not acquired jurisdiction due to the non-payment of the docket fees. Petitioner’s motion was denied by the CA, though it amended its earlier decision by ordering respondent RCBC to pay docket fees on the counterclaim. 4 Hence this petition.
The pivotal issue is whether respondent RCBC’s counterclaim is compulsory or permissive in nature, the resolution of which hinges on the interpretation of the following provision in the real estate mortgage which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That for and in consideration of certain loans overdrafts and other credit accommodations obtained from the mortgagee by the same and those that hereafter be obtained, the principal of all of which is hereby fixed at forty-five Thousand Pesos (P45,000.00), Philippine Currency, as well as those that the mortgagee may extend to the mortgagor including interest and expenses of any other obligation owing to the mortgagee, whether direct or indirect, principal or secondary, as appears in the accounts, books and records of the mortgagee, the mortgagor does hereby transfer and convey by way of mortgage unto the mortgagee . . . (Emphasis supplied
We disagree with the CA’s ruling that RCBC’s counterclaim is permissive. In Ajax Marketing & Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, 6 a substantially similar provision appears, to wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That for and in consideration of credit accommodations obtained from the MORTGAGEE (Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company), by the MORTGAGOR and/or AJAX MKTG. & DEV. CORP./AJAX MARKETING COMPANY/YLANG-YLANG MERCHANDISING COMPANY detailed as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Nature Date Granted Due Amount or Line
Loans and/or P600,000.00
Advances in 150,000.00
current account 250,000.00
and to secure the payment of the same and those that may hereafter be obtained including the renewals or extension thereof .
x x x
"the principal of all of which is hereby fixed at (P600,000.00/P150,000.00/P250,000.00). . . as well as those that the MORTGAGEE may have previously extended or may later extend to the MORTGAGOR, including interest and expenses or any other obligation owing to the MORTGAGEE, whether direct or indirect, principal or secondary, as appears in the accounts, books and records of the MORTGAGEE, the MORTGAGOR hereby transfer and convey by way of mortgage unto the MORTGAGEE, . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library
This Court in the "Ajax" case, in upholding the validity of the extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgage which included the loans obtained in excess of the amount fixed in the mortgage contract as expressed in said proviso, ruled that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"An action to foreclose a mortgage is usually limited to the amount mentioned in the mortgage, but where on the four corners of the mortgage contracts, as in this case, the intent of the contracting parties is manifest that the mortgage property shall also answer for future loans or advancements, then the same is not improper as it is valid and binding between the parties." 7 (Emphasis supplied
The amount stated in the mortgage contract between petitioner and RCBC does not limit the amount for which it may stand as security considering that under the terms of that contract, the intent to secure future indebtedness is apparent. It would have been different if the mortgage contract in the case at bar simply provides that it was intended only "to secure the payment of the same and those that may hereafter be obtained the principal of all of which is hereby fixed at P45,000.00. . ." 8 Yet the parties to the mortgage contract further stipulated: ". . . as well as those that the Mortgagee may extend to the Mortgagor." 9 The latter phrase clearly means that the mortgage is not limited to just the fixed amount but also covers other credit accommodations in excess thereof. Thus, the general rule that mortgage must be limited to the amount mentioned in the mortgage cannot be applied herein. Rather by specific provision and agreement of the parties, the mortgage contract was designed to secure even future advancements. 10
Having determined that the mortgage contract extends even to petitioner’s other advances in excess of the P25,000.00, RCBC’s counterclaim for such other advances cannot but be considered as compulsory in nature. Such counterclaim necessarily arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of petitioner’s claim which is to enjoin the foreclosure of the latter’s other credit accommodations in excess of P25,000.00. It thus satisfies the "compelling test of compulsoriness" which requires "a logical relationship between the claim and counterclaim, that is, where conducting separate trials of the respective claims of the parties would entail a substantial duplication of effort and time by the parties and the court." 11 Both claims are merely offshoots of the same basic controversy. 12 Moreover, RCBC’s counterclaim does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties upon whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction and the court has jurisdiction to entertain the claim. 13
RCBC’s counterclaim being compulsory in nature, there is no need to pay docket fees therefor. Nevertheless, RCBC is still bound to pay the docket fees as ordered by the CA in its August 19, 1991 Resolution, having failed to appeal therefrom. The entrenched procedural rule in this jurisdiction is that a party who has not himself appealed cannot obtain from the appellate court any affirmative relief other than those granted in the decision of the lower court. 14
Finally, even granting that RCBC’s counterclaim is permissive where the trial court has no/cannot exercise jurisdiction over said claim unless/until the corresponding docket fees therefor have been paid, petitioner is however barred by estoppel from challenging the trial court’s jurisdiction. We quote with approval the CA’s observation in this matter.
". . . The record clearly shows that never once, during the proceedings below, was the question of docket fees and of jurisdiction raised by the appellee. Not only did appellee not bother to answer counterclaim but she did [not] even hint at it in her memorandum, notwithstanding that the Bank adduced the required evidence to prove the counterclaim which was included in the Bank’s former (sic) offer of evidence (EXG. C, Record, pp; 114-117). Neither was the issue raised in appellee’s brief, again notwithstanding the fact that the counterclaim is the subject of the first and second errors of the brief of the Bank, against which appellee did not raise a single argument. The issue surfaced for the first time in the motion for partial reconsideration filed by the appellee.
"The objection should have been raised more seasonably, before the trial court or at the very least in appellee’s brief. In the circumstances appellee is barred by laches from raising the question of jurisdiction at this very late stage (Vide Maersk v. Court of Appeals, 187 SCRA 646)." 15
In addition, it has been consistently held by this Court that while jurisdiction may be assailed at any stage, a party’s active participation in the proceedings before a court without jurisdiction will estop such party from assailing such lack of it. It is an undesirable practice of a party participating in the proceedings and submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment, only if favorable, and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction, when adverse. 16
WHEREFORE, save for the modification anent the nature of RCBC’s counterclaim and its related incidents, the decision of the Court of Appeals promulgated October 31, 1990 as amended by its Resolution promulgated August 19, 1991 is hereby AFFIRMED in all other respects.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
, Romero, Melo and Panganiban, JJ.
** Under Section 4, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, the court whose decision is being questioned shall no longer be impleaded as a party in the petition.
1. RTC Records, pp. 143-145; CA decision, pp. 1-3; Rollo, pp. 31-33.
2. Decision dated September 5, 1989, penned by Judge Generoso A. Juaban of RTC Branch 7, Cebu City, p. 148.
3. CA Decision promulgated October 31, 1990, p. 9; Rollo, p. 39.
4. CA Resolution promulgated August 19, 1991.
5. CA Rollo, p. 44; Exhibits ‘A’ and ‘1’ — "Real Estate Mortgage" .
6. 248 SCRA 222 (1995).
7. Ibid, p. 230 citing Tay-Yu v. Philippine National Bank, 12 SCRA 19 (1964) and Lim Julian v. Lutero, 49 Phil. 703 (1926).
8. RTC Records, p. 9; Annex "A" of the Complaint.
10. C & C Commercial Corporation v. Philippine National Bank, 175 SCRA 1 (1989); Lim Julian v. Lutero, supra.
11. Meliton v. CA, 216 SCRA 485 (1992); Javier v. CA, 171 SCRA 609.
12. Meliton v. CA, supra.
13. International Container Terminal Services, Inc. v. CA, 214 SCRA 456 (1992).
14. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company of Manila v. CA, 247 SCRA 606 (1995).
15. CA Resolution, p. 3; Rollo, p. 49.
16. Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. NLRC, 241 SCRA 36 citing Tijam v. Sibonghanoy, 23 SCRA 29; Bañaga v. Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems, 181 SCRA 599 (1990).