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ALEJANDRO NG WEE vs. MANUEL TANKIANSEE G.R. No. 171124 February 13, 2008 NACHURA, J.

: FACTS: Petitioner Alejandro Ng Wee, a valued client of Westmont Bank (now United Overseas Bank), made several money placements totaling P210,595,991.62 with the bank's affiliate, Westmont Investment Corporation (Wincorp), a domestic entity engaged in the business of an investment house with the authority and license to extend credit.3 Sometime in February 2000, petitioner received disturbing news on Wincorp's financial condition prompting him to inquire about and investigate the company's operations and transactions with its borrowers. He then discovered that the company extended a loan equal to his total money placement to a corporation [Power Merge] with a subscribed capital of only P37.5M. This credit facility originated from another loan of about P1.5B extended by Wincorp to another corporation [Hottick Holdings]. When the latter defaulted in its obligation, Wincorp instituted a case against it and its surety. Settlement was, however, reached in which Hottick's president, Luis Juan L. Virata (Virata), assumed the obligation of the surety.4 Under the scheme agreed upon by Wincorp and Hottick's president, petitioner's money placements were transferred without his knowledge and consent to the loan account of Power Merge through an agreement that virtually freed the latter of any liability. Allegedly, through the false representations of Wincorp and its officers and directors, petitioner was enticed to roll over his placements so that Wincorp could loan the same to Virata/Power Merge.5 Finding that Virata purportedly used Power Merge as a conduit and connived with Wincorp's officers and directors to fraudulently obtain for his benefit without any intention of paying the said placements, petitioner instituted, on October 19, 2000, Civil Case No. 00-99006 for damages with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila.6 One of the defendants impleaded in the complaint is herein respondent Manuel Tankiansee, Vice-Chairman and Director of Wincorp.7 On October 26, 2000, on the basis of the allegations in the complaint and the October 12, 2000 Affidavit 8 of petitioner, the trial court ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment against the properties not exempt from execution of all the defendants in the civil case subject, among others, to petitioner's filing of a P50M-bond.9The writ was, consequently, issued on November 6, 2000.10 Arguing that the writ was improperly issued and that the bond furnished was grossly insufficient, respondent, on December 22, 2000, moved for the discharge of the attachment.11 The other defendants likewise filed similar motions.12 On October 23, 2001, the RTC, in an Omnibus Order,13 denied all the motions for the discharge of the attachment. The defendants, including respondent herein, filed their respective motions for reconsideration 14 but the trial court denied the same on October 14, 2002.15 Incidentally, while respondent opted not to question anymore the said orders, his co-defendants, Virata and UEM-MARA Philippines Corporation (UEM-MARA), assailed the same via certiorari under Rule 65 before the CA [docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 74610]. The appellate court, however, denied the certiorari petition on August 21, 2003,16 and the motion for reconsideration thereof on March 16, 2004.17 In a petition for review on certioraribefore this Court, in G.R. No. 162928, we denied the petition and affirmed the CA rulings on May 19, 2004 for Virata's and UEM-MARA's failure to sufficiently show that the appellate court committed any reversible error.18 We subsequently denied the petition with finality on August 23, 2004.19 On September 30, 2004, respondent filed before the trial court another Motion to Discharge Attachment, 20 re-pleading the grounds he raised in his first motion but raising the following additional grounds: (1) that he was not present in Wincorp's board meetings approving the questionable transactions;21 and (2) that he could not have connived with Wincorp and the other defendants because he and Pearlbank Securities, Inc., in which he is a major stockholder, filed cases against the company as they were also victimized by its fraudulent schemes.22 Ruling that the grounds raised were already passed upon by it in the previous orders affirmed by the CA and this Court, and that the additional grounds were respondent's affirmative defenses that properly pertained to the merits of the case, the trial court denied the motion in its January 6, 2005 Order.23 With the denial of its motion for reconsideration,24 respondent filed a certiorari petition before the CA docketed as CAG.R. SP No. 90130. On September 14, 2005, the appellate court rendered the assailed Decision25 reversing and setting aside the aforementioned orders of the trial court and lifting the November 6, 2000 Writ of Preliminary Attachment26 to

the extent that it concerned respondent's properties. Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the said ruling, but the CA denied the same in its January 6, 2006 Resolution.27 Thus, petitioner filed the instant petition ISSUE: WON THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED SERIOUS LEGAL ERROR IN RESOLVING FAVORABLY THE GROUNDS ALLEGED BY RESPONDENT IN HIS PETITION AND (SIC) LIFTING THE WRIT OF PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT, SINCE THESE GROUNDS ALREADY RELATE TO THE MERITS OF CIVIL CASE NO. 00-99006 WHICH, UNDER PREVAILING JURISPRUDENCE, CANNOT BE USED AS BASIS (SIC) FOR DISCHARGING A WRIT OF PRELIMINARY ATTACHMENT. HELD: In the case at bench, the basis of petitioner's application for the issuance of the writ of preliminary attachment against the properties of respondent is Section 1(d) of Rule 57 of the Rules of Court which pertinently reads: Section 1. Grounds upon which attachment may issue.-At the commencement of the action or at any time before entry of judgment, a plaintiff or any proper party may have the property of the adverse party attached as security for the satisfaction of any judgment that may be recovered in the following cases: x xxx (d) In an action against a party who has been guilty of a fraud in contracting the debt or incurring the obligation upon which the action is brought, or in the performance thereof. For a writ of attachment to issue under this rule, the applicant must sufficiently show the factual circumstances of the alleged fraud because fraudulent intent cannot be inferred from the debtor's mere non-payment of the debt or failure to comply with his obligation.30 The applicant must then be able to demonstrate that the debtor has intended to defraud the creditor.31 In the instant case, petitioner's October 12, 2000 Affidavit34 is bereft of any factual statement that respondent committed a fraud. The affidavit narrated only the alleged fraudulent transaction between Wincorp and Virata and/or Power Merge, which, by the way, explains why this Court, in G.R. No. 162928, affirmed the writ of attachment issued against the latter. The affidavit, being the foundation of the writ,35 must contain such particulars as to how the fraud imputed to respondent was committed for the court to decide whether or not to issue the writ.36 Absent any statement of other factual circumstances to show that respondent, at the time of contracting the obligation, had a preconceived plan or intention not to pay, or without any showing of how respondent committed the alleged fraud, the general averment in the affidavit that respondent is an officer and director of Wincorp who allegedly connived with the other defendants to commit a fraud, is insufficient to support the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment. 37 In the application for the writ under the said ground, compelling is the need to give a hint about what constituted the fraud and how it was perpetrated38 because established is the rule that fraud is never presumed.39 Verily, the mere fact that respondent is an officer and director of the company does not necessarily give rise to the inference that he committed a fraud or that he connived with the other defendants to commit a fraud. While under certain circumstances, courts may treat a corporation as a mere aggroupment of persons, to whom liability will directly attach, this is only done when the wrongdoing has been clearly and convincingly established.40 Let it be stressed that the provisional remedy of preliminary attachment is harsh and rigorous for it exposes the debtor to humiliation and annoyance.41 The rules governing its issuance are, therefore, strictly construed against the applicant,42 such that if the requisites for its grant are not shown to be all present, the court shall refrain from issuing it, for, otherwise, the court which issues it acts in excess of its jurisdiction.43 Likewise, the writ should not be abused to cause unnecessary prejudice. If it is wrongfully issued on the basis of false or insufficient allegations, it should at once be corrected.44 Considering, therefore, that, in this case, petitioner has not fully satisfied the legal obligation to show the specific acts constitutive of the alleged fraud committed by respondent, the trial court acted in excess of its jurisdiction when it issued the writ of preliminary attachment against the properties of respondent.

WACKWACK GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, INC. vs. LEE E. WON alias RAMON LEE and BIENVENIDO A. TAN
G.R. No. L-23851 March 26, 1976 CASTRO, C.J.: FACTS: In its amended and supplemental complaint of October 23, 1963, the WackWack Golf & Country Club, Inc., a non-stock, civic and athletic corporation duly organized under the laws of the Philippines, with principal office in Mandaluyong, Rizal (hereinafter referred to as the Corporation), alleged, for its first cause of action, that the defendant Lee E. Won claims ownership of its membership fee certificate 201, by virtue of the decision rendered in civil case 26044 of the CFI of Manila, entitled "Lee E. Won alias Ramon Lee vs. WackWack Golf & Country Club, Inc." and also by virtue of membership fee certificate 201-serial no. 1478 issued on October 17, 1963 by Ponciano B. Jacinto, deputy clerk of court of the said CFI of Manila, for and in behalf of the president and the secretary of the Corporation and of the People's Bank & Trust Company as transfer agent of the said Corporation, pursuant to the order of September 23, 1963 in the said case; that the defendant Bienvenido A. Tan, on the other hand, claims to be lawful owner of its aforesaid membership fee certificate 201 by virtue of membership fee certificate 201-serial no. 1199 issued to him on July 24, 1950 pursuant to an assignment made in his favor by "Swan, Culbertson and Fritz," the original owner and holder of membership fee certificate 201; that under its articles of incorporation and by-laws the Corporation is authorized to issue a maximum of 400 membership fee certificates to persons duly elected or admitted to proprietary membership, all of which have been issued as early as December 1939; that it claims no interest whatsoever in the said membership fee certificate 201; that it has no means of determining who of the two defendants is the lawful owner thereof; that it is without power to issue two separate certificates for the same membership fee certificate 201, or to issue another membership fee certificate to the defendant Lee, without violating its articles of incorporation and by-laws; and that the membership fee certificate 201serial no. 1199 held by the defendant Tan and the membership fee certificate 201-serial No. 1478 issued to the defendant Lee proceed from the same membership fee certificate 201, originally issued in the name of "Swan, Culbertson and Fritz". For its second cause of action. it alleged that the membership fee certificate 201-serial no. 1478 issued by the deputy clerk of court of court of the CFI of Manila in behalf of the Corporation is null and void because issued in violation of its by-laws, which require the surrender and cancellation of the outstanding membership fee certificate 201 before issuance may be made to the transferee of a new certificate duly signed by its president and secretary, aside from the fact that the decision of the CFI of Manila in civil case 26044 is not binding upon the defendant Tan, holder of membership fee certificate 201-serial no. 1199; that Tan is made a party because of his refusal to join it in this action or bring a separate action to protect his rights despite the fact that he has a legal and beneficial interest in the subject matter of this litigation; and that he is made a part so that complete relief may be accorded herein. The Corporation prayed that (a) an order be issued requiring Lee and Tan to interplead and litigate their conflicting claims; and (b) judgment. be rendered, after hearing, declaring who of the two is the lawful owner of membership fee certificate 201, and ordering the surrender and cancellation of membership fee certificate 201-serial no. 1478 issued in the name of Lee. In separate motions the defendants moved to dismiss the complaint upon the grounds of res judicata, failure of the complaint to state a cause of action, and bar by prescription. 1 These motions were duly opposed by the Corporation. Finding the grounds of bar by prior judgment and failure to state a cause of action well taken, the trial court dismissed the complaint, with costs against the Corporation. ISSUE: WON there is propriety and timeliness in the filing of the remedy of interpleader. HELD: A stakeholder 6 should use reasonable diligence to hale the contending claimants to court. 7 He need not await actual institution of independent suits against him before filing a bill of interpleader. 8 He should file an action of interpleader within a reasonable time after a dispute has arisen without waiting to be sued by either of the contending claimants. 9 Otherwise, he may be barred by laches 10 or undue delay. 11 But where he acts with reasonable diligence in view of the environmental circumstances, the remedy is not barred. 12 It has been held that a stakeholder's action of interpleader is too late when filed after judgment has been rendered against him in favor of one of the contending claimants, 13 especially where he had notice of the conflicting claims prior to the rendition of the judgment and neglected the opportunity to implead the adverse claimants in the suit where judgment was entered. This must be so, because once judgment is obtained against him by one claimant he becomes liable to the latter.

The Corporation has not shown any justifiable reason why it did not file an application for interpleader in civil case 26044 to compel the appellees herein to litigate between themselves their conflicting claims of ownership. It was only after adverse final judgment was rendered against it that the remedy of interpleader was invoked by it. By then it was too late, because tohe entitled to this remedy the applicant must be able to show that lie has not been made independently liable to any of the claimants. And since the Corporation is already liable to Lee under a final judgment, the present interpleader suit is clearly improper and unavailing. In fine, the instant interpleader suit cannot prosper because the Corporation had already been made independently liable in civil case 26044 and, therefore, its present application for interpleader would in effect be a collateral attack upon the final judgment in the said civil case; the appellee Lee had already established his rights to membership fee certificate 201 in the aforesaid civil case and, therefore, this interpleader suit would compel him to establish his rights anew, and thereby increase instead of diminish litigations, which is one of the purposes of an interpleader suit, with the possiblity that the benefits of the final judgment in the said civil case might eventually be taken away from him; and because the Corporation allowed itself to be sued to final judgment in the said case, its action of interpleader was filed inexcusably late, for which reason it is barred by laches or unreasonable delay.

HILARION M. HENARES et al vs. LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD and DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS G.R. No. 158290 October 23, 2006 QUISUMBING, J.: FACTS: Citing statistics from the Metro Manila Transportation and Traffic Situation Study of 1996,1 the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of the National Capital Region,2 a study of the Asian Development Bank,3 the Manila Observatory4 and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources5 (DENR) on the high growth and low turnover in vehicle ownership in the Philippines, including diesel-powered vehicles, two-stroke engine powered motorcycles and their concomitant emission of air pollutants, petitioners attempt to present a compelling case for judicial action against the bane of air pollution and related environmental hazards. Petitioners allege that the particulate matters (PM) complex mixtures of dust, dirt, smoke, and liquid droplets, varying in sizes and compositions emitted into the air from various engine combustions have caused detrimental effects on health, productivity, infrastructure and the overall quality of life. Petitioners particularly cite the effects of certain fuel emissions from engine combustion when these react to other pollutants. For instance, petitioners aver, with hydrocarbons, oxide of nitrogen (NOx) creates smog; with sulfur dioxide, it creates acid rain; and with ammonia, moisture and other compounds, it reacts to form nitric acid and harmful nitrates. Fuel emissions also cause retardation and leaf bleaching in plants. According to petitioner, another emission, carbon monoxide (CO), when not completely burned but emitted into the atmosphere and then inhaled can disrupt the necessary oxygen in blood. With prolonged exposure, CO affects the nervous system and can be lethal to people with weak hearts.6 Petitioners add that although much of the new power generated in the country will use natural gas while a number of oil and coal-fired fuel stations are being phased-out, still with the projected doubling of power generation over the next 10 years, and with the continuing high demand for motor vehicles, the energy and transport sectors are likely to remain the major sources of harmful emissions. To counter the aforementioned detrimental effects of emissions from PUVs, petitioners propose the use of CNG. According to petitioners, CNG is a natural gas comprised mostly of methane which although containing small amounts of propane and butane,10 is colorless and odorless and considered the cleanest fossil fuel because it produces much less pollutants than coal and petroleum; produces up to 90 percent less CO compared to gasoline and diesel fuel; reduces NOx emissions by 50 percent and cuts hydrocarbon emissions by half; emits 60 percent less PMs; and releases virtually no sulfur dioxide. Although, according to petitioners, the only drawback of CNG is that it produces more methane, one of the gases blamed for global warming.11 Asserting their right to clean air, petitioners contend that the bases for their petition for a writ of mandamus to order the LTFRB to require PUVs to use CNG as an alternative fuel, lie in Section 16,12 Article II of the 1987 Constitution, our ruling in Oposa v. Factoran, Jr.,13 and Section 414 of Republic Act No. 8749 otherwise known as the "Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999." ISSUES: (1)WON petitioners have legal personality to bring this petition before us. (2)WON mandamus may be issued against respondents to compel PUVs to use CNG as alternative fuel. HELD: (1)There is no dispute that petitioners have standing to bring their case before this Court. Even respondents do not question their standing. This petition focuses on one fundamental legal right of petitioners, their right to clean air. Moreover, as held previously, a party's standing before this Court is a procedural technicality which may, in the exercise of the Court's discretion, be set aside in view of the importance of the issue raised. We brush aside this issue of technicality under the principle of the transcendental importance to the public, especially so if these cases demand that they be settled promptly. Undeniably, the right to clean air not only is an issue of paramount importance to petitioners for it concerns the air they breathe, but it is also impressed with public interest. The consequences of the counter-productive and retrogressive effects of a neglected environment due to emissions of motor vehicles immeasurably affect the well-being of petitioners. On these considerations, the legal standing of the petitioners deserves recognition.

(2)Under Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, mandamus lies under any of the following cases: (1) against any tribunal which unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty; (2) in case any corporation, board or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station; and (3) in case any tribunal, corporation, board or person unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is legally entitled; and there is no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. In this petition the legal right which is sought to be recognized and enforced hinges on a constitutional and a statutory policy already articulated in operational terms, e.g. in Rep. Act No. 8749, the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999. Paragraph (a), Section 21 of the Act specifically provides that when PUVs are concerned, the responsibility of implementing the policy falls on respondent DOTC. There is no dispute that under the Clean Air Act it is the DENR that is tasked to set the emission standards for fuel use and the task of developing an action plan. As far as motor vehicles are concerned, it devolves upon the DOTC and the line agency whose mandate is to oversee that motor vehicles prepare an action plan and implement the emission standards for motor vehicles, namely the LTFRB. However, the plain, speedy and adequate remedy herein sought by petitioners, i.e., a writ of mandamus commanding the respondents to require PUVs to use CNG, is unavailing. Mandamus is available only to compel the doing of an act specifically enjoined by law as a duty. Here, there is no law that mandates the respondents LTFRB and the DOTC to order owners of motor vehicles to use CNG. At most the LTFRB has been tasked by E.O. No. 290 in par. 4.5 (ii), Section 4 "to grant preferential and exclusive Certificates of Public Convenience (CPC) or franchises to operators of NGVs based on the results of the DOTC surveys." Further, mandamus will not generally lie from one branch of government to a coordinate branch, for the obvious reason that neither is inferior to the other.27 The need for future changes in both legislation and its implementation cannot be preempted by orders from this Court, especially when what is prayed for is procedurally infirm. Besides, comity with and courtesy to a coequal branch dictate that we give sufficient time and leeway for the coequal branches to address by themselves the environmental problems raised in this petition.