Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1988 > September 1988 Decisions > G.R. No. L-80380 September 28, 1988 - CARLOS BELL RAYMOND, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-80380. September 28, 1988.]

CARLOS BELL RAYMOND and AGUSTIN ALBA, Petitioners, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. RICARDO M. ILARDE, etc., and SANTIAGO BITERA, Respondents.

Lenin R. Victoriano, for Petitioners.

Cirilo T. Ganzon for Respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. REMEDIAL LAW; CIVIL PROCEDURE; VENUE IN PERSONAL ACTION. — Under Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, personal action "may be commenced and tried where the defendant or any of the defendants resides as 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.; VENUE PROVISION; WORDS "RESIDE OR "RESIDENCE" AS USED THEREIN, CONSTRUED. — it was held in Garcia Fule v. Court of Appeals, 74 SCRA 189, 199 (citing cases) that the doctrinal rule is that the term "resides" connotes Ex Vi Termini "actual residence’ as distinguished from ‘legal residence or domicile." Even where the statute uses the word "domicile," still it construed as meaning residence and not "domicile" in the technical sense. Some cases make a distination between the terms "residence and "domicile," but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous and convey the same meaning as the term "inhabitant." In other words, "resides" should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning, the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode.

3. ID.; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION; CERTIORARI; REFUSAL TO DISMISS ACTION DESPITE PATENT IMPROPER LAYING VENUE; A REVERSIBLE ERROR. — Reversible error was committed when both the trial court and the Court of Appeals did not dismiss the action despite the seasonable motion to dismiss filed by the defendant on the ground that the plaintiff’s residence is not the place where the action was filed, the improper venue being clearly established by the affidavit appended to the complaint.


D E C I S I O N


NARVASA, J.:


The petition for review on certiorari filed with this Court by the petitioners Raymond and Alba seeks reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals which dismissed for lack of merit their petition for certiorari and prohibition; that petition, in turn, had assailed the refusal of the respondent Judge to dismiss the action filed against petitioners by private respondent Santiago Bitera on the ground of improper venue. By Resolution dated February 1, 1988, this Court required the respondents to comment on the petition within a ten-day period which expired on February 29, 1988. Upon motions timely filed by private respondent, said period was extended by a total of thirty (30) days. This notwithstanding, no word has been received from private respondent on whom is reposed, by established rule, the function of sustaining the challenged action of the respondent Courts. Be this as it may, since the relevant facts are not and cannot be disputed, and only one legal issue is raised, the Court has resolved to give due course to the petition and decide that issue on the merits.chanrobles law library : red

A complaint for damages was filed with the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo by Santiago Bitera against Carlos Bell Raymond and Agustin Alba. The latter moved to dismiss the action on the ground of improper venue. They argued that although Bitera’s complaint gives his address as 240-C Jalandoni Street, Iloilo City, he is, and for many years has been actually residing at the so-called UPSUMCO Compound, Bais City, he being the officer-in-charge of the business firm known as UPSUMCO, which has offices at Bais and Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, and that, indeed, his affidavit, appended to his complaint, contains his affirmation that he is "a resident of the UPSUMCO Compound, City of Bais," and shows (in the jurat) that his residence certificate had been issued at Manjuyod, Negros Oriental. The Trial Court however denied their motion to dismiss. They then filed a special civil action of certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals. But, as above stated, they fared no better in that court. It dismissed their petition, saying:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Why Bitera chose to file this action for damages in Iloilo City instead of in Dumaguete City is beyond this Court, even as the pleadings show that plaintiff is actually residing at UPSUMCO, the defendants are both residents of UPSUMCO, the cause of damages arose out of a controversy in the UPSUMCO and because of plaintiffs and defendant’s positions as officer and board members of UPSUMCO.

"While it would seem the height of inequity were We to allow plaintiff to bring suit in Iloilo City instead of in Dumaguete City on the basis of his allegation that his permanent place of abode is in Iloilo City and he only temporarily resides in Bais City, Dumaguete City, it is, however, the plaintiff who is given the right to elect where to bring his action. As plaintiff chose his legal domicile or residence, We cannot compel him to bring suit in the place where he has his temporary residence." 1

According to Section 2, Rule 4 of the Rules of Court, personal actions, such as Bitera’s, "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." The term, where a person "resides," or "residence," may be understood as synonymous with domicile: as referring to a person’s "permanent home, the place to which, whenever absent for business or pleasure, one intends to return," and it has been held that "a man can have but one domicile at a time." 2 The term may also be taken in another sense, and it is this which is germane to the determination of venue, as meaning a person’s actual residence, different and distinct from his permanent one, or domicile, where he was born and rested, and e.g., where he usually casts his vote during elections. Thus this Court has held that venue was improperly laid in a case where the complaint was filed in the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Norte by the plaintiff who was born and reared in that province, but whose actual residence at time of suit was admittedly at Quezon City. 3 In another case, where the plaintiffs instituted a personal action 4 in the Court of First Instance at Lipa City, claiming that their domicile was San Juan, Batangas, the Court declared the venue to be erroneously selected in view of the fact that the plaintiffs’ place of abode, where they actually reside, was at Quezon City. 5

Garcia Fule v. Court of Appeals 6 definitively explained and settled the meaning to be put to the words "reside" or "residence" as used in the venue provisions:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"2. But, the far-ranging question is this: What does the term ‘resides’ mean? Does it refer to the actual residence or domicile of the decedent at the time of his death? We lay down the doctrinal rule that the term ‘resides’ connotes ex vi termini ‘actual residence’ as distinguished from ‘legal residence or domicile.’ This term ‘resides,’ like the terms ‘residing’ and ‘residence,’ is elastic and should be interpreted in the light of the object or purpose of the statute or rule in which it is employed. In the application of venue statutes and rules — Section 1, Rule 73 of the Revised Rules of Court is of such nature - residence rather than domicile is the significant factor. Even where the statute uses the word ‘domicile’ still it is construed as meaning residence and not ‘domicile’ in the technical sense. Some cases make a distinction between the terms ‘residence’ and ‘domicile’ but as generally used in statutes fixing venue, the terms are synonymous, and convey the same meaning as the term ‘inhabitant.’ In other words, ‘resides’ should be viewed or understood in its popular sense, meaning the personal, actual or physical habitation of a person, actual residence or place of abode. It signifies physical presence in a place and actual stay thereat. In this popular sense, the term means merely residence, that is, personal residence, not legal residence or domicile. Residence simply requires bodily presence as an inhabitant in a given place, while domicile requires bodily presence in that place and also an intention to make it one’s domicile . . ." 7

It therefore clearly appears that both the respondent Judge and the Court of Appeals, the former in the first instance and the latter on review, committed reversible legal error, if not grave abuse of discretion, in not dismissing Bitera’s action despite the fact that its venue had clearly been improperly laid, and had been seasonably objected to on that ground by petitioners in a motion to dismiss. 8

WHEREFORE, the questioned Order of the respondent Judge denying petitioner’s motion to dismiss and the Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming said order are REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. Civil Case No. 17354 of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City, Branch XXVI, is hereby DISMISSED on the ground that venue has been improperly laid. No pronouncement as to costs.cralawnad

SO ORDERED.

Cruz, Gancayco, Griño-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. Rollo, pp. 15-16.

2. See Feria, J., Civil Procedure, 1969 ed., p. 175, citing Evangelista v. Santos, 86 Phil. 387, 393, which in turn cites 61 C.J., pp. 123-124, Alcantara v. Secretary of Interior, 61 Phil. 459 and Moran’s Comments, Vol. 1, p. 104; reference being also made to Corre v. Corre, Nov. 13, 1956, 53 O.G. 642.

3. Koh v. C.A., 70 SCRA 298.

4. To compel their mortgagee to accept payment of the redemption price.

5. Hernandez v. Rural Bank of Lucena, 81 SCRA 75.

6. 74 SCRA 189, 199, citing McGrath v. Stevenson, 77 P2d 608; In re Jones, 19 A 2d 280; 77 C.J.S. 286; 92 C.J.S. 813-814; Cuenco v. Court of Appeals, 53 SCRA 377.

7. Emphasis supplied.

8. Sec. 4, Rule 4, and Sec. 1 (c) Rule 16, Rules of Court.




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





September-1988 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 76001 September 5, 1988 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-31600 September 12, 1988 - PRUDENTIAL BANK & TRUST CO. v. COMMUNITY BUILDERS CO., INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-48762 September 12, 1988 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SEGUNDO M. ZOSA

  • G.R. No. 76768 September 12, 1988 - CARLOS KENG SENG v. LORENZO DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 80228 September 12, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. L-57519 September 13, 1988 - DELFIN ORODIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-46881 September 15, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO CASTAÑEDA, JR.

  • G.R. No. L-47821 September 15, 1988 - BENITO ROSALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 77090 September 16, 1988 - DIOSDADO ESPADERA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-29320 September 19, 1988 - FELIPE SEGURA, ET AL. v. NICOLAS SEGURA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-44264 September 19, 1988 - HEDY Y. GAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-45388 September 19, 1988 - TACIANA B. ESPEJO v. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-47646 September 19, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR R. MARAVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-48728-29 September 19, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO RAMOS

  • G.R. No. L-60764 September 19, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO BARDON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 71142 September 19, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LOPE MARALIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 73794 September 19, 1988 - ETERNAL GARDENS MEMORIAL PARKS CORPORATION v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 74711 September 19, 1988 - NATIONAL STEEL CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 75395 September 19, 1988 - ESTELITO BAGADIONG, ET AL. v. PLACIDA VDA. DE ABUNDO

  • G.R. No. 77210 September 19, 1988 - MARCOPPER MINING CORPORATION v. LIWANAG PARAS BRIONES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 78535-36 September 19, 1988 - MANUEL DY v. MATILDE SACAY

  • G.R. No. L-32684 September 20, 1988 - RAMON TUMBAGAHAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-59097 September 20, 1988 - PEOPLE OF PHIL. v. ARSENIO D. TOLENTINO

  • G.R. No. 73418 September 20, 1988 - PELICULA SABIDO, ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 80006 September 21, 1988 - APOLONIA BAUTISTA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 80294-95 September 21, 1988 - CATHOLIC VICAR APOSTOLIC OF THE MOUNTAIN PROVINCE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 80992 September 21, 1988 - EDWIN REANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36413 September 26, 1988 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CO., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-39910 September 26, 1988 - CECILIA TEODORO DAYRIT, ET AL. v. FERNANDO A CRUZ

  • G.R. Nos. L-49762-64 September 26, 1988 - RANULFO PAMPARO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-68357 September 26, 1988 - SAMAHAN NG MGA NANGUNGUPAHAN SA AZCARRAGA TEXTILE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-68992 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FAUSTINO PACNIS

  • G.R. No. L-68993 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-69205-06 September 26, 1988 - NUWHRAIN-BONANZA RESTAURANT CHAPTER v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-69934 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANITO INTINO

  • G.R. No. 73488 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORO BALARES

  • G.R. No. 73859 September 26, 1988 - JUAN DE CASTRO, ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 73876 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAURO G. CARIÑO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 74123-24 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONILO L. PINLAC

  • G.R. No. 75816 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAVINO AGUINALDO

  • G.R. No. 75877 September 26, 1988 - SANTOS BERNARDO, ET AL. v. BALTAZAR R. DIZON

  • G.R. No. 76132 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO CLAVO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 76711 September 26, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARVIN H. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 77201 September 26, 1988 - AVENTINO C. SASAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 77290 September 26, 1988 - DIVINA JABALLAS v. CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 77951 September 26, 1988 - COOPERATIVE RURAL BANK OF DAVAO CITY, INC. v. PURA FERRER-CALLEJA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 78606 September 26, 1988 - GELACIO V. SAMULDE v. RAMON M. SALVANI, JR.

  • G.R. No. 79891 September 26, 1988 - AURELIO M. DE VERA v. C. F. SHARP & CO., INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-80383 September 26, 1988 - EMMANUEL LABAJO v. PUREZA V. ALEJANDRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 81163 September 26, 1988 - EDUARDO S. BARANDA, ET AL. v. TITO GUSTILO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 81969 September 26, 1988 - JOCELYN RULONA-AL AWADHI v. ABDULMAJID J. ASTIH

  • G.R. No. 82833 September 26, 1988 - 3M PHILIPPINES, INC. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. L-52034 September 27, 1988 - SALVADOR LACORTE v. AMADO G. INCIONG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-60935 September 27, 1988 - ANTONIO GARCIA, JR. v. SANTIAGO RANADA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-75880 September 27, 1988 - BERNARDO M. CORDIAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-45447 September 28, 1988 - CARLITO V. SEMBRANO v. PEDRO A. RAMIREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-54287 September 2, 1988 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. CONRADO M. MOLINA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-75569 September 28, 1988 - BOARD OF LIQUIDATORS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-80380 September 28, 1988 - CARLOS BELL RAYMOND, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-82173 September 28, 1988 - EDGAR S. ASUNCION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-37079 September 29, 1988 - HEIRS OF ZOILO LLIDO v. PAULINO S. MARQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41322 September 29, 1988 - MUNICIPALITY OF KAPALONG, ET AL. v. FELIX L. MOYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-44347 September 29, 1988 - VICENTE TAN v. CITY OF DAVAO

  • G.R. No. L-49731 September 29, 1988 - ALFREDO SERING v. RESTITUTO PLAZO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-70987 September 29, 1988 - GREGORIO Y. LIMPIN, ET AL. v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-75736 September 29, 1988 - ASSOCIATED LABOR UNIONS (ALU-TUCP), ET AL. v. ANTONIO V. BORROMEO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-80457 September 29, 1988 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CASIANO ROSE, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-80737 September 29, 1988 - PHILIPPINE GRAPHIC ARTS, INC., ET AL. v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-81760 September 29, 1988 - EDGARDO L. STO. DOMINGO v. SEDFREY A. ORDOÑEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-82542 September 29, 1988 - BARRY JOHN PRICE, ET AL. v. UNITED LABORATORIES

  • G.R. No. L-40218 September 30, 1988 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO E. SEBASTIAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-50168 September 30, 1988 - HEIRS OF GAVINO SABANAL v. BENJAMIN K. GOROSPE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-65935 September 30, 1988 - FILINVEST CREDIT CORPORATION v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-69136 September 30, 1988 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. MEGA GENERAL MERCHANDISING CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-74610-11 September 30, 1988 - ALGA MOHER INTERNATIONAL PLACEMENT SERVICES v. DIEGO P. ATIENZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-74811 September 30, 1988 - CHUA YEK HONG v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-77032 September 30, 1988 - EXCEL AGRO-INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION v. JUAN T. GOCHANGCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-79488 September 30, 1988 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-80040 September 30, 1988 - ISMAEL AMORGANDA, ET AL. v. COURT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-81381 September 30, 1988 - EFIGENIO S. DAMASCO v. HILARIO L. LAQUI, ET AL.