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310. UNIMASTERS CONGLOMERATION, INC. v.

 COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 119657. February 7, 1997

FACTS: KUBOTA and UNIMASTERS entered into “Dealership Agreement for Sales and
Services” of the former’s products in Samar and Leyte Provinces.

UNIMASTERS filed an action in the RTC Tacloban City against KUBOTA, a certain Reynaldo
Go, and METROBANK for damages for breach of contract.

KUBOTA filed a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of improper venue. RTC denied the
motion. The Appellate Court agreed with KUBOTA that -- the stipulation respecting venue in its
Dealership Agreement with UNIMASTERS did in truth limit the venue of all suits arising
thereunder only and exclusively to "the proper courts of Quezon City."

ISSUE: Whether or not the venue was improperly laid.

HELD: NO. Rule 4 of the Rules of Court sets forth the principles generally governing the venue
of actions, whether real or personal, or involving persons who neither reside nor are found in the
Philippines or otherwise. Agreements on venue are explicitly allowed. "By written agreement of
the parties the venue of an action may be changed or transferred from one province to
another." Parties may by stipulation waive the legal venue and such waiver is valid and effective
being merely a personal privilege, which is not contrary to public policy or prejudicial to third
persons. It is a general principle that a person may renounce any right which the law gives
unless such renunciation would be against public policy.

Written stipulations as to venue may be restrictive in the sense that the suit may be filed only in
the place agreed upon, or merely permissive in that the parties may file their suit not only in the
place agreed upon but also in the places fixed by law (Rule 4, specifically). As in any other
agreement, what is essential is the ascertainment of the intention of the parties respecting the
matter.

311. POLYTRADE CORPORATION vs. VICTORIANO BLANCO


G.R. No. L-27033            October 31, 1969

FACTS: Suit before the Court of First Instance of Bulacan on four causes of action to recover
the purchase price of rawhide delivered by plaintiff to defendant. Plaintiff corporation has its
principal office and place of business in Makati, Rizal. Defendant is a resident of Meycauayan,
Bulacan. Defendant moved to dismiss upon the ground of improper venue. He claims that by
contract suit may only be lodged in the courts of Manila. The Bulacan court overruled him.

Defendant appealed.

ISSUE: Whether or not venue wasimproperly laid.

HELD: NO. Venue here was improperly laid.

"The parties agree to sue and be sued in the Courts of Manila," does not preclude the filing of
suits in the residence of plaintiff or defendant. The plain meaning is that the parties merely
consented to be sued in Manila. Qualifying or restrictive words which would indicate that Manila
and Manila alone is the venue are totally absent therefrom. We cannot read into that clause that
plaintiff and defendant bound themselves to file suits with respect to the last two transactions in
question only or exclusively in Manila. For, that agreement did not change or transfer venue. It
simply is permissive. The parties solely agreed to add the courts of Manila as tribunals to which
they may resort. They did not waive their right to pursue remedy in the courts specifically
mentioned in Section 2(b) of Rule.

312. EDUARDO VILLANUEVA vs. JUDGE LORENZO MOSQUEDA


G.R. No. L-58287 August 19, 1982

FACTS: Heirs of Bonifacio filed an ejectment suit against Villanueva in the MTC of Masantol.
Villanueva filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, his contention being
that the venue of the action is Manila where the property is located and that the stipulation that
the action can be filed in Masantol is void for being contrary to section 2(a), Rule 4 of the Rules
of Court. The municipal court denied the motion. Villanueva filed a certiorari petition in the CFI
Bulacan however it was dismissed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the venue was improperly laid.

HELD: NO. The Court held that the suit was properly filed in Pampanga because the agreement
of the parties on the venue of the actions between them was "simply permissive". They did not
waive their right to choose the venue provided for in section 2(b), Rule 4 of the Rules of Court
Capati vs. Ocampo, L-28742, April 30, 1982).

313. NEVILLE Y. LAMIS ENTS vs. HON. ALFREDO J. LAGAMON


G.R. No. L-57250 October 30, 1981

FACTS: Santiago Maningo sued Neville Y. Lamis Enterprises and Neville Lamis for sums of
money. A motion to dismiss was filed on the ground of improper venue, it was alleged that
venue should be Davao City where the plaintiff resides and as stipulated in the promissory note
and in the chattel mortgage.

ISSUE: Whether or not the venue was improperly laid.

HELD: NO. A stipulation as to venue does not preclude the filing of suits in the residence of
plaintiff or defendant under Section 2 (b), Rule 4, Rules of Court, in the absence of qualifying or
restrictive words in the agreement which would indicate that the place named is the only venue
agreed upon by the parties The stipulation did not deprive Maningo of his right to pursue
remedy in the court specifically mentioned in Section 2 (b) of Rule 4, Rules of Court. Renuntiato
non praesumitur. (Polytrade Corporation vs. Blanco, No. L-27033,Oct.31, 1969,30 SCRA187.)

314. SURIGAO CENTURY SAWMILL vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 83889 February 9, 1993.

FACTS: STANDARD leased a barge, LCT "TANTOY" from SURIGAO. The shipment failed
to reach the consignee resulting in damages to STANDARD. However, since the
cargo was insured PHOENIX settled its obligation to STANDARD. Failing to satisfy its
demand from SURIGAO, PHOENIX filed a complaint with the RTC of Manila. SURIGAO filed a
motion to dismiss on the ground of improper venue, citing paragraph 12 of the lease contract of
the barge, which provides:
12. Any disagreement or dispute arising out of the lease shall be settled by the parties in the proper court
in the Province of Surigao del Norte." 

The trial court denied the motion.

ISSUE: Whether the bill of lading should prevail over the lease contract for purposes of venue.

HELD: In determining which document should prevail, we should look into the real intent of the
parties and/or the characteristics of the documents.

A statement in a contract where venue should be laid does not preclude the filing of suits at the
election of the plaintiff. Sec. 3. Rule 4 of the Rules of Court provides an alternative to Sec. 2(b)
of the same rule such that parties may, by written agreement, change or transfer venue of an
action from one province to another. But such written agreement should clearly and explicitly
state the intention of the parties restricting the filing of action to a particular court or to the
exclusion of other courts.

Respondent has the choice of venue of where to file its complaint for a sum of money and
damages against petitioner.