G.R. No. 203678, 17 February 2016
Concorde Condominium, Inc., by itself and comprising the Unit Owners of Concorde Condominium Building, filed with the RTC of Makati a Petition for Injunction against respondents. It seeks (1) to enjoin Baculio and New PPI Corporation from misrepresenting to the public that they are the owners of the disputed lots and Concorde Condominium Building, and from pursuing for the demolition of the building which they do not even own; (2) to prevent Asian Security and Investigation Agency from deploying its security guards within the perimeter of the said building; and (3) to restrain Engr. Morales, Supt. Perdigon and F/C Supt. Laguna from responding to and acting upon the letters being sent by Baculio who is a mere impostor and has no legal personality on matters concerning the revocation of building and occupancy permits and on the fire safety issues of the same building. The petition was raffled to Branch 149 which was designated as a Special Commercial Court.
Respondents then filed a motion to dismiss stating that the case is beyond the jurisdiction of Branch 149 as a Special Commercial Court. The petition seeks to restrain or compel individuals and government officials to stop doing particular acts and that there is no showing that the case involves a matter embraced in Section 5 of PD No. 902-A which enumerates the cases over which the SEC [now the RTC acting as Special Commercial Court pursuant to RA No. 8799] exercises exclusive jurisdiction. Petitioner also failed to exhaust administrative remedies which is a condition precedent.
The RTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. By petitioner’s own allegations and admissions, Baculio and New PPI Corporation are not owners of the subject lots and the building. Due to the absence of intra-corporate relations between the parties, it ruled that the case does not involve an intra-corporate controversy cognizable by it sitting as a Special Commercial Court.
Whether the allegations in the complaint constitutes an intra-corporate controversy that falls within the jurisdiction of a special commercial court.
No. The petition filed before the RTC is an action for injunction as can be gleaned from the allegations made and reliefs sought by petitioner. Applying the relationship test and the nature of the controversy test in determining whether a dispute constitutes an intra-corporate controversy, as enunciated in Medical Plaza Makati Condominium Corporation v. Cullen, the Court agrees with Branch 149 that the present case is an ordinary civil case and not an intra-corporate controversy.
No intra-corporate relations exists between the opposing parties. Moreover, the petition deals with the conflicting claims of ownership over the lots where Concorde Condominium Building and the parking lot for unit owners stand as well as the purported violations of the National Building Code. Considering the foregoing, as the suit between petitioner and respondents neither arises from an intra-corporate relationship nor does it pertain to the enforcement of their correlative rights and obligations under the Corporation Code and the internal and intra-corporate regulatory rules of the corporation, Branch 149 correctly found that the subject matter of the petition is in the nature of an ordinary civil action.
*Case Digest by Rezeile S. Morandarte, Refresher, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020