Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1976 > June 1976 Decisions > G.R. No. L-31095 June 18, 1976 - JOSE M. HERNANDEZ v. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-31095. June 18, 1976.]

JOSE M. HERNANDEZ, Petitioner, v. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES and COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BATANGAS, LIPA CITY BRANCH, Respondents.

Tomas Yumol, for Petitioners.

Graciano V. Sebastian for respondent Development Bank of the Philippines.

SYNOPSIS


In August 1964, private respondent awarded to its employee, petitioner herein, a lot and house in Quezon City. Petitioner retired in February, 1966. In August, 1968, petitioner paid by check the purchase price of the lot and house, but private respondent returned the check, informing petitioner that the award had been cancelled. Petitioner sued private respondent in the Court of First Instance of Batangas. On motion of private respondent, the respondent Court dismissed the complaint on the ground of improper venue.

On review, the Supreme Court held that petitioner’s action to declare null and void the cancellation of the award and to restore him to his right is not real but a personal action which may be properly brought by petitioner in his residence.


SYLLABUS


1. CIVIL PROCEDURE; ACTIONS; VENUE; TEST TO DETERMINE VENUE. — The venue of actions depends to a great extent on to nature of the action to be filed, whether it is real or personal. A real action is brought for the specific recovery of land, tenements or hereditaments. A personal action is one brought for the recovery of personal property, of the enforcement of some contract or recovery of damages for the commission of an injury the person or property. Under Section 2, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, "Actions affecting title to, or for recovery of possession, or for partition, or condemnation of, or foreclosure of mortgage on real property, shall be commenced and tried in the province where the property or any part thereof lies. All other actions may be commenced and tried where the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides at the election of the plaintiff."cralaw virtua1aw library

2. ID.; ID.; ID; ACTION TO ANNUL THE CANCELLATION OF AWARD OF LOT IS A PERSONAL ACTION. — Plaintiff’s action to declare null and void the cancellation of the award of a lot and house originally given in his favor does not involve title and ownership over said properties, for it merely seeks to compel defendant to recognize that the award is valid and subsisting one which defendant cannot unilaterally cancel. Such an action is not a real but a personal action which may be properly brought by plaintiff in his residence.


D E C I S I O N


MARTIN, J.:


This is a case which involves the question of proper venue in a real action.

Petitioner Jose M. Hernandez was an employee of private respondent Development Bank of the Philippines in its Legal Department for twenty-one (21) years until his retirement on February 28, 1966 due to illness. On August 12, 1964, in due recognition of his unqualified service as Assistant Attorney in its Legal Department, the private respondent awarded to the petitioner a lot, identified as Lot No. 15, Block No. W-21, in the private respondent’s Housing Project at No. 1 West Avenue, Quezon City, containing an area of 810 square meters with a Type E house. On August 31, 1968, after the petitioner received from the private respondent’s Housing Project Committee a statement of account of the purchase price of the said lot and house in the total amount of P21,034.56, payable on a monthly amortization of P153,32 for a term of fifteen (15) years, he sent to the said Committee a Cashier’s Check No. 77089 CC, dated October 21, 1968, issued by the Philippine Banking Corporation in the name of his wife in the sum of P21,500.00 to cover the cash and full payment of the purchase price of the lot and house awarded to him. However, more than a week thereafter, or on October 29, 1968, the Chief Accountant and Comptroller of the private respondent returned to the petitioner the aforementioned check, informing him that the private respondent, through its Committee on Organization, Personnel and Facilities, had cancelled the award of the lot and house previously awarded to him on the following grounds: (1) that he has already retired; (2) that he has only an option to purchase said house and lot; (3) that there are a big number of employees who have no houses or lots; (4) that he has been given his retirement gratuity; and (5) that the awarding of the aforementioned house and lot to an employee of the private respondent would better subserve the objective of its Housing Project. Petitioner protested against the cancellation of the award of the house and lot in his favor and demanded from private respondent the restoration of all his rights to said award. However, private respondent refused.

On May 15, 1969 the petitioner filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Batangas against the private respondent seeking the annulment of the cancellation of the award of the lot and house in his favor and the restoration of all his rights thereto. He contends that the cancellation of said award was unwarranted and illegal for he has already become the owner of said house and lot by virtue of said award on August 12, 1964 and has acquired a vested right thereto, which cannot be unilaterally cancelled without his consent; that he had requested the private respondent to restore to him all his rights to said award but the latter refused and failed and still refuses and fails to comply with said request.

Private respondent filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground of improper venue, contending that since the petitioner’s action affects the title to a house and lot situated in Quezon City, the same should have been commenced in the Court of First Instance of Quezon City where the real property is located and not in the Court of First Instance of Batangas where petitioner resides. On July 24, 1969, the respondent Court sustained the motion to dismiss filed by private respondent on the ground of improper venue.

Hence, the instant petition to review the order of respondent Court.

The only issue in this petition is whether the action of the petitioner was properly filed in the Court of First Instance of Batangas. It is a well settled rule that venue of actions or, more appropriately, the county where the action is triable 1 depends to a great extent on the nature of the action to be filed, whether it is real or personal. 2 A real action is one brought for the specific recovery of land, tenements, or hereditaments. 3 A personal action is one brought for the recovery of personal property, for the enforcement of some contract or recovery of damages for its breach, or for the recovery of damages for the commission of an injury to the person or property. 4 Under Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, "actions affecting title to, or for recovery of possession, or for partition, or condemnation of, or foreclosure of mortgage on real property, shall be commenced and tried in the province where the property or any part thereof lies. All other actions may be commenced and tried where the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election plaintiff."

A close scrutiny of the essence of the petitioner’s complaint the court a quo would readily show that he seeks the annulment of the cancellation of the award of the Quezon City lot and house in his favor originally given him by respondent DBP in recognition of his twenty-one years of service in its Legal Department, in pursuance of his contention that he had acquired a vested right to the award which cannot be unilaterally cancelled by respondent without his consent.

The Court agrees that petitioner’s action is not a real but a personal action. As correctly insisted by petitioner, his action is one to declare null and void the cancellation of the lot and house in his favor which does not involve title and ownership over said properties but seeks to compel respondent to recognize that the award is a valid and subsisting one which it cannot arbitrarily and unilaterally cancel and accordingly to accept the proffered payment in full which it had rejected and returned to petitioner.

Such an action is a personal action which may be properly brought by petitioner in his residence, as held in the case of Adamos v. J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. 5 where this Court through former Chief Justice Querube C. Makalintal distinguished the case from an earlier line of J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. cases involving lot purchasers from the Deudors 6 follows:chanrobles virtualawlibrary chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph

". . . All the allegations as well as the prayer in the complaint show that this is not a real but a personal action — to compel the defendants to execute the corresponding purchase contracts in favor of the plaintiffs and to pay damages. The plaintiffs do not claim ownership of the lots in question: they recognize the title of the defendant J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. They do not ask that possession be delivered to them, for they allege to be in possession. The case cited by the defendants (Abao, Et. Al. v. J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. G.R. No. L-16796, Jan. 30, 1962) is therefore not in point. In that case, as stated by this Court in its decision, the ‘plaintiffs’ action is predicated on the theory that they are ‘occupants, landholders,’ and ‘most’ of them ‘owners by purchase’ of the residential lots in question; that, in consequence of the compromise agreement adverted to above, between the Deudors and defendant corporations, the latter had acknowledged the right and title of the Deudors in and to said lots; and hence, the right and title of the plaintiffs, as successors-in-interest of the Deudors; that, by entering into said agreement, defendant corporations had, also, waived their right to invoke the indefeasibility of the Torrens title in favor of J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc.; and that defendants have no right, therefore, to oust plaintiffs from the lots respectively occupied by them and which they claim to be entitled to hold. Obviously, the action affects, therefore, not only the possession of real property, but, also, the title thereto. Accordingly, it should have been instituted in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Rizal in which said property is situated (Section 3, Rule 5 of the Rules of Court)."cralaw virtua1aw library

WHEREFORE, the order of dismissal appealed from is set aside and the case is remanded for further proceedings and disposition on the merits. No costs.

Teehankee (Chairman), Makasiar, Esguerra and Muñoz Palma, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. 56 Am. Jur. 4.

2. Gavierez v. Sanchez, Et Al., 94 Phil. 760.

3. Linscott v. Fuller. 57 Mo. 406; 1 C.J. 933.

4. 31 C.J. 932.

5. 25 SCRA 529, 534 (Oct. 14, 1968).

6. See Ruiz v. J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc., 7 SCRA 202 (Jan. 31, 1963); Torres v. J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc., 12 SCRA 174.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





June-1976 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-27037 June 3, 1976 - EUSEBIO MERCADER v. URBANO GABAS

  • G.R. No. L-39326 June 3, 1976 - ANTONIO K. GO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • A.C. No. 598-MJ June 10, 1976 - MELCHOR TABANGIN v. EUFROCINO T. TAGAYUNA

  • A.C. No. 1085 June 10, 1976 - DALTON WOODROW WORTHINGTON v. FELIPE FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. Nos. L-23587-88 June 10, 1976 - LUCAS RAMIREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. L-34397-99 June 10, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO LIM

  • G.R. No. L-42257 June 14, 1976 - ILDEFONSO LACHENAL v. EMILIO V. SALAS

  • G.R. No. L-41750 June 16, 1976 - FRANCISCO R. SOTTO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-28397 June 17, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAIME JOSE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-26651 June 18, 1976 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LINO GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. L-31095 June 18, 1976 - JOSE M. HERNANDEZ v. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-33007 June 18, 1976 - VICENTE MIRANDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-34038 June 18, 1976 - COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS v. ONOFRE A. VILLALUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35545 June 18, 1976 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. AMADO B. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35767 June 18, 1976 - RAYMUNDO A. CRYSTAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36610 June 18, 1976 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. AMADO B. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36929 June 18, 1976 - CHINESE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOC. OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. VICTOR CHING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38482 June 18, 1976 - BATANGAS LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41334 June 18, 1976 - LUCIANO M. DAVID v. BIENVENIDO EJERCITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41715 June 18, 1976 - ROSALIO BONILLA, ET AL. v. LEON BARCENA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 343-MJ June 22, 1976 - CORAZON NEGRE v. FELIX A. RIVERA

  • G.R. No. L-28383 June 22, 1976 - C.M. HOSKINS & CO., INC. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • A.M. No. 69-MJ June 29, 1976 - HUSING LAO v. ESTEBAN T. BUMANGLAG

  • G.R. No. L-40948 June 29, 1976 - GREGORIO ESTRADA v. FRANCISCO CONSOLACION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 672-CJ June 30, 1976 - MAXIMA ROSALES v. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS

  • A.M. No. 1150-MJ June 30, 1976 - AMPARO REDONDO v. RODOLFO B. DIMAANO

  • G.R. No. L-24545 June 30, 1976 - NATIONAL BREWERY, ET AL. v. SAN MIGUEL BREWERY, INC.

  • G.R. No. L-28357 June 30, 1976 - ELECTION REGISTRATION BOARD OF AGOO, LA UNION, ET AL. v. SANTIAGO RANADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30336 June 30, 1976 - FORTUNATO BANAYOS, ET AL. v. SUSANA REALTY, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30340 June 30, 1976 - CONSUELO AMUNATEGUE VDA. DE GENTUGAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-34100 June 30, 1976 - IN RE: CHAN YEN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-34828-31 June 30, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO TESORERO

  • G.R. No. L-37148 June 30, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO SARILE

  • G.R. No. L-40527 June 30, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMOGENES MARIANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-40658 June 30, 1976 - CRISOSTOMO ARANZANSO v. EUGENIO I. SAGNIT

  • G.R. No. L-40999 June 30, 1976 - BERNARDINA CANOY PONGASI, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41518 June 30, 1976 - GUERRERO’S TRANSPORT SERVICES, INC. v. BLAYLOCK TRANS. SERVICES EMP. ASSO.-KILUSAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41612 June 30, 1976 - ROLANDO FLORES v. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-42510 June 30, 1976 - LILIA D. SIMON v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43108 June 30, 1976 - PRAXEDES R. REYNALDO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43469 June 30, 1976 - LUZON STEVEDORING CORP. v. JOSE REYES