[G.R. No. 150638. May 31, 2004]




Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated MAY 31 2004 .

G.R. No. 150638 (Madrigal Transport, Inc. vs. Trans-Republic Fruits S.A.)

For the Court's resolution is the Manifestation and Compliance filed by petitioner Madrigal Transport, Inc. on April 12, 2004 in relation to the Petition for Review on Certiorari pending before us.

On December 19, 2001, petitioner Madrigal Transport, Inc. filed a Petition for Review of the Decision, [1] cralaw dated May 31, 2001 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 48803 [2] cralaw and its Resolution, dated October 31, 2001, denying petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration for lack of merit.

On February 4, 2002, the Court issued a Resolution requiring respondent Trans-Republic Fruits S.A. to file its Comment. [3] cralaw Respondent's address was indicated therein as "AV Des Baumettes 7-CH-1020, Renes/Lausenne, Switzerland."

On April 3, 2002, the Court issued another Resolution [4] cralaw requiring petitioner to submit within ten (10) days from notice the correct and current address of the respondent since the copy of the February 4, 2002 Resolution intended for respondent was returned unserved.

On May 29, 2002, petitioner filed a Manifestation & Motion [5] cralaw requesting for additional time within which to comply with the Court's April 3, 2002 Resolution since it was encountering difficulty in finding the correct and current address of respondent's resident agent, if any.

Thereafter, on July 9, 2002, petitioner filed a Manifestation and Compliance, [6] cralaw informing the Court that respondent's former counsel, the Del Rosario & Del Rosario Law Offices, explained that it withdrew as respondent's resident agent (and counsel) because respondent was in the process of dissolution. Petitioner also manifested that the Registry Return Card which it attached to its Motion for Extension of Time to File Petition for Review was returned to it with the notation that respondent refused to receive it.

On February 11, 2004, the Court issued a Resolution [7] cralaw requiring petitioner anew to furnish it with the correct and present addresses of respondent and its counsel.

On March 31, 2004, petitioner filed a Motion for Extension of Time [8] cralaw to comply with the Court's February 11, 2004 Resolution.

On April 12, 2004, petitioner filed a Manifestation and Compliance stating that: (1) despite earnest efforts, it failed to obtain information as to the correct and current addresses of respondent and its counsel; (2) as early as 1999, respondent was already in the process of dissolution; hence, it is likely that respondent has been dissolved; (3) should the Court deem it proper to serve respondent with copies of the Petition for Review and the Resolution requiring it to file Comment by publication, petitioner is willing to shoulder the costs thereof, if such action is necessary for the Court to give due course to the instant Petition for Review; and (4) in line with the ruling in Mellon Bank v. Magsino, [9] cralaw petitioner prays that respondent's Comment be dispensed with and that the case be resolved on the basis of the Petition.

Rule 13 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure which governs the filing and service of pleadings, judgments and other papers does not provide for service by publication unlike Rule 14 on summons which permits service of summons by publication if, for justifiable causes, a defendant cannot be served with summons within a reasonable time.

In support of its plea to have the case resolved on the basis of the Petition alone, petitioner cites the case of Mellon Bank v. Magsino [10] cralaw where the Court dispensed with the filing of the Comment by one of several respondents. In that case, the Court explained that the pleadings filed by the petitioner therein, as well as by the other respondents, were sufficient bases for resolving the case. [11] cralaw In this case, there is only one respondent. Moreover, the specific circumstances applicable to respondents Javier in the Mellon case which impelled the Court in dispensing with service of the petition on them are not present in this case.

WHEREFORE, the petitioner's Manifestation and Compliance dated April 12, 2004 is DENIED for lack of merit.

Very truly yours,

Clerk of Court


[1] cralaw Penned by Associate Justice B.A. Adefuin-De la Cruz and concurred in by Associate Justices Andres B. Reyes, Jr. and Josefina Guevarra-Salonga.

[2] cralaw Madrigal Transport, Inc., Petitioner, v. Hon. Urbano C. Victorio, Sr. Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 50, Manila, and Trans-Republic Fruits S.A., Respondents.

[3] cralaw Id. at 246.

[4] cralaw Id. at 254.

[5] cralaw Id. at 258-260.

[6] cralaw Id, at 267-270.

[7] cralaw Id. at 300.

[8] cralaw Id. at 301-304.

[9] cralaw G.R. No. 71479, October 18, 1990, 190 SCRA 636.

[10] cralaw Supra note 9.

[11] cralaw Id. at 645-647.

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