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Digest Author: Name The case was eventually dismissed for being moot and academic as

SYQUIA v. ALMEDA-LOPEZ (1949) the US Army had left the apartments and paid the accrued rental
Petitioner: Pedro Syquia, Gonzalo Syquia, and Leopoldo Syquia fees due.
Respondent: Natividad Almeda Lopez, Judge of Municipal Court of Manila, A private citizen claiming possession of a certain property may, to
Conrado V. Sanchez, Judge of CFI-Manila, George Moore, et. al. recover possession of said property, sue as individuals, officers and
Ponencia: Montemayor, J. agents of the Government who are said to be illegally withholding the
same from him.
DOCTRINE: Immunity from Suit Government Officers Where the judgment in such a case would result not only in the
Inasmuch as plaintiffs are bringing an action against officers and agents (in recovery of possession of the property in favor of a private citizen,
this case, that of the military) of the US Government, a judgment in these but also in a charge against or financial liability to the Government,
proceedings may become a charge against the US Treasury. With this, the then the suit should be regarded as one against the government
present suit then must be regarded as one against the US Government itself, itself, and, consequently, it cannot prosper or be validly entertained
which cannot be suit without its consent, especially by citizens of another by the courts except with the consent of said Government.
country. In this case, the real party in interest is the United States of America.
Moore and Tillman, soldiers of USA, cant be held individually
FACTS: responsible for the payments of rentals or damages in relation to the
1. Plaintiffs Syquia are the undivided joint owners of 3 apartment occupancy of the apartment houses in question.
buildings in Manila. They executed 3 lease contracts, one for each of As to the 64 army officers who actually occupied the apartments
the apartments, in favor of USA, with a term of duration of the war involved, there is even less reason to hold them personally liable for
and six (6) months thereafter, unless sooner terminated. The rentals. These army officers do not have a choice of their dwellings.
apartment buildings were used for billeting and quartering officers of They were merely assigned quarters in the apartment buildings in
the US Armed Forces stationed in Manila. question. All those officers did was to obey orders and occupy rooms
2. Under the theory that said leases terminated six (6) months after assigned to them.
September 2, 1945, when Japan surrendered, plaintiffs approached The present action must be considered as one against the US
defendants Moore and Tillman and requested to return the Government. It is clear that the courts of the Philippines, including
apartments to them, but were advised that the US Army wanted to the Municipal Court of Manila, have no jurisdiction over the present
continue occupying the premises. case for unlawful detainer. The US Government has not given its
3. This happened several more times, prompting them to eventually consent to the filing of this suit, which is essentially against her,
demand cancellation of leases, increase rental fees, and execute though not in name. Moreover, this is not only a case of a citizen
new leases among others, but to no avail. With that, plaintiffs filed filing a suit against his own Government without the latters consent,
the present action in the Municipal Trial Court of Manila in the form of which renders more obvious lack of jurisdiction.
an action for unlawful detainer against Moore and Tillman and the 64
persons occupying apartments in the 3 buildings for the purpose of DISPOSITION: Petition dismissed.
having them vacate the apartments.
4. Municipal trial court dismissed it on the ground that it has no
jurisdiction over the matter, and the real party in interest was the US
government, which is not allowed to be sued without its consent.

WON the US Government and not the private individual soldiers are the real
party in interest;

PROVISION: Section 3, Art. XVI of the 1987 Constitution