G.R. No. 187456, 2 June 2014
The Complaint alleged that [petitioner] is the developer of Alabang Hills Village and still owns certain parcels of land therein that are yet to be sold, as well as those considered open spaces that have not yet been donated to [the] local government of Muntinlupa City or the Homeowner’s Association. Sometime in September , ADC learned that AHVAI started the construction of a multi-purpose hall and a swimming pool on one of the parcels of land still owned by ADC without the latter’s consent and approval, and that despite demand, AHVAI failed to desist from constructing the said improvements. ADC thus prayed that an injunction be issued enjoining defendants from constructing the multi-purpose hall and the swimming pool at the Alabang Hills Village.
In its Answer With Compulsory Counterclaim, AHVAI denied ADC’s asseverations and claimed that the latter has no legal capacity to sue since its existence as a registered corporate entity was revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 26, 2003; that ADC has no cause of action because by law it is no longer the absolute owner but is merely holding the property in question in trust for the benefit of AHVAI as beneficial owner thereof.
Whether or not the petitioner has a capacity to sue despite revocation of its license by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
With respect to the second assigned error, Section 122 of the Corporation Code provides as follows:
SEC. 122. Corporate liquidation.– Every corporation whose charter expires by its own limitation or is annulled by forfeiture or otherwise, or whose corporate existence for other purposes is terminated in any other manner, shall nevertheless be continued as a body corporate for three (3) years after the time when it would have been so dissolved, for the purpose of prosecuting and defending suits by or against it and enabling it to settle and close its affairs, to dispose of and convey its property and to distribute its assets, but not for the purpose of continuing the business for which it was established.
At any time during said three (3) years, said corporation is authorized and empowered to convey all of its property to trustees for the benefit of stockholders, members, creditors, and other persons in interest. From and after any such conveyance by the corporation of its property in trust for the benefit of its stockholders, members, creditors and others in interest, all interest which the corporation had in the property terminates, the legal interest vests in the trustees, and the beneficial interest in the stockholders, members, creditors or other persons in interest.
Upon winding up of the corporate affairs, any asset distributable to any creditor or stockholder or member who is unknown or cannot be found shall be escheated to the city or municipality where such assets are located.
Except by decrease of capital stock and as otherwise allowed by this Code, no corporation shall distribute any of its assets or property except upon lawful dissolution and after payment of all its debts and liabilities.
This Court has held that:
It is to be noted that the time during which the corporation, through its own officers, may conduct the liquidation of its assets and sue and be sued as a corporation is limited to three years from the time the period of dissolution commences; but there is no time limit within which the trustees must complete a liquidation placed in their hands. It is provided only (Corp. Law, Sec. 78 now Sec. 122]) that the conveyance to the trustees must be made within the three-year period. It may be found impossible to complete the work of liquidation within the three-year period or to reduce disputed claims to judgment. The authorities are to the effect that suits by or against a corporation abate when it ceased to be an entity capable of suing or being sued (7 R.C.L., Corps., par. 750); but trustees to whom the corporate assets have been conveyed pursuant to the authority of Sec. 78 [now Sec. 122] may sue and be sued as such in all matters connected with the liquidation…
In the absence of trustees, this Court ruled, thus:
… Still in the absence of a board of directors or trustees, those having any pecuniary interest in the assets, including not only the shareholders but likewise the creditors of the corporation, acting for and in its behalf, might make proper representations with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which has primary and sufficiently broad jurisdiction in matters of this nature, for working out a final settlement of the corporate concerns.
*Case Digest by Claudette Anne G. Sayson JD IV, S.Y. 2019-2020