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  9/3/2017 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 297http://www.central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/0000015e47a5e8e14cf82f6c003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 1/41  VOL. 297, OCTOBER 8, 1998469 Saudi Arabian Airlines vs. Court of Appeals G.R. No. 122191. October 8, 1998. * SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES, petitioner, vs.  COURT OF APPEALS, MILAGROS P. MORADA and HON. RODOLFO A. ORTIZ, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 89,Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, respondents. Conflict of Laws; Actions; Where the factual antecedentssatisfactorily establish the existence of a foreign element, the problem could present a “conflicts” case.  —Where the factualantecedents satisfactorily establish the existence of a foreignelement, we agree with petitioner that the problem herein couldpresent a “conflicts” case. A factual situation that cuts acrossterritorial lines and is affected by the diverse laws of two or morestates is said to contain a “foreign element.” The presence of aforeign element is inevitable since social and economic affairs of individuals and associations are rarely confined to the geographiclimits of their birth or conception. Same; Same; The forms in which a foreign element mayappear are many, such as the fact that one party is a resident Philippine national, and that the other is a resident foreigncorporation.  —The forms in which this foreign element mayappear are many. The foreign element may simply consist in thefact that one of the parties to a contract is an alien or has aforeign domicile, or that a contract between nationals of one Stateinvolves properties situated in another State. In other cases, theforeign element may assume a complex form. In the instant case,the foreign element consisted in the fact that private respondentMorada is a resident Philippine national, and that petitionerSAUDIA is a resident foreign corporation. Also, by virtue of theemployment of Morada with the petitioner SAUDIA as a flightstewardess, events did transpire during her many occasions of travel across national borders, particularly from Manila,Philippines to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and vice versa, that caused a“conflicts” situation to arise.  9/3/2017 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 297http://www.central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/0000015e47a5e8e14cf82f6c003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 2/41 Same; Same; Damages; While Article 19 of the Civil Codemerely declares a principle of law, Article 21 gives flesh to its provisions; Violations of Articles 19 and 21 are actionable, with judicially enforceable remedies in the municipal forum.  —Although Article 19  ________________  *  FIRST DIVISION. 470 470SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Saudi Arabian Airlines vs. Court of Appeals merely declares a principle of law, Article 21 gives flesh to itsprovisions. Thus, we agree with private respondent’s assertionthat violations of Articles 19 and 21 are actionable, with judiciallyenforceable remedies in the municipal forum. Based on theallegations in the Amended Complaint, read in the light of theRules of Court on jurisdiction we find that the Regional TrialCourt (RTC) of Quezon City possesses jurisdiction over the subjectmatter of the suit. Its authority to try and hear the case isprovided for under Section 1 of Republic Act No. 7691. Same; Same; Forum Non Conveniens; Forum Shopping; Plaintiff may not, by choice of an inconvenient forum, ‘vex,’ ‘harass,’ or ‘oppress’ the defendant, e.g. by inflicting upon himneedless expense or disturbance, but unless the balance is stronglyin favor of the defendant, the plaintiff’s choice of forum shouldrarely be disturbed.  —Pragmatic considerations, including theconvenience of the parties, also weigh heavily in favor of the RTCQuezon City assuming jurisdiction. Paramount is the privateinterest of the litigant. Enforceability of a judgment if one isobtained is quite obvious. Relative advantages and obstacles to afair trial are equally important. Plaintiff may not, by choice of aninconvenient forum, ‘vex,’ ‘harass,’ or ‘oppress’ the defendant, e.g. by inflicting upon him needless expense or disturbance. Butunless the balance is strongly in favor of the defendant, theplaintiff’s choice of forum should rarely be disturbed. Same; Same; Forcing a party to seek remedial action in a place where she no longer maintains substantial connectionswould cause a fundamental unfairness to her.  —Weighing the  9/3/2017 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 297http://www.central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/0000015e47a5e8e14cf82f6c003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 3/41 relative claims of the parties, the court a quo  found it best to hearthe case in the Philippines. Had it refused to take cognizance of the case, it would be forcing plaintiff (private respondent now) toseek remedial action elsewhere, i.e.  in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where she no longer maintains substantial connections.That would have caused a fundamental unfairness to her. Same; Same; A party effectively submits to the trial court’s jurisdiction by praying for the dismissal of the complaint on grounds other than lack of jurisdiction.  —The records show thatpetitioner SAUDIA has filed several motions praying for thedismissal of Morada’s Amended Complaint. SAUDIA also filed an Answer In Ex Abundante Cautelam  dated February 20, 1995.What is very patent and explicit from the motions filed, is thatSAUDIA prayed for other 471  VOL. 297, OCTOBER 8, 1998471 Saudi Arabian Airlines vs. Court of Appeals reliefs under the premises. Undeniably, petitioner SAUDIA haseffectively submitted to the trial court’s jurisdiction by praying forthe dismissal of the Amended Complaint on grounds other thanlack of jurisdiction. Same; Choice-of-law problems seek to answer two importantquestions: (1) What legal system should control a given situationwhere some of the significant facts occurred in two or more states;and (2) to what extent should the chosen legal system regulate thesituation.  —As to the choice of applicable law, we note that choice-of-law problems seek to answer two important questions: (1) Whatlegal system should control a given situation where some of thesignificant facts occurred in two or more states; and (2) to whatextent should the chosen legal system regulate the situation. Same; Although ideally, all choice-of-law theories shouldintrinsically advance both notions of justice and predictability,they do not always do so, in which case the forum is then facedwith the problem of deciding which of these two important valuesshould be stressed.  —Several theories have been propounded inorder to identify the legal system that should ultimately control. Although ideally, all choice-of-law theories should intrinsicallyadvance both notions of justice and predictability, they do notalways do so. The forum is then faced with the problem of deciding which of these two important values should be stressed.  9/3/2017 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED VOLUME 297http://www.central.com.ph/sfsreader/session/0000015e47a5e8e14cf82f6c003600fb002c009e/t/?o=False 4/41 Same; Characterization or Doctrine of Qualification; Wordsand Phrases; Characterization is the “process of deciding whetheror not the facts relate to the kind of question specified in a conflictsrule.”   —Before a choice can be made, it is necessary for us todetermine under what category a certain set of facts or rules fall.This process is known as “characterization,” or the “doctrine of qualification.” It is the “process of deciding whether or not thefacts relate to the kind of question specified in a conflicts rule.”The purpose of “characterization” is to enable the forum to selectthe proper law. Same; Same; An essential element of conflict rules is theindication of a “test” or “connecting factor” or “point of contact.”   — Our starting point of analysis here is not a legal relation, but afactual situation, event, or operative fact. An essential element of conflict rules is the indication of a “test” or “connecting factor” or“point of contact.” Choice-of-law rules invariably consist of afactual relation- 472 472SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Saudi Arabian Airlines vs. Court of Appeals ship (such as property right, contract claim) and a connectingfactor or point of contact, such as the situs  of the res , the place of celebration, the place of performance, or the place of wrongdoing. Same; Same; “Test Factors” or “Points of Contact” or“Connecting Factors.”   —Note that one or more circumstances maybe present to serve as the possible test for the determination of the applicable law. These “test factors” or “points of contact” or“connecting factors” could be any of the following: “(1) thenationality of a person, his domicile, his residence, his place of sojourn, or his srcin; (2) the seat of a legal or juridical person,such as a corporation; (3) the situs of a thing, that is, the placewhere a thing is, or is deemed to be situated. In particular, the lex situs  is decisive when real rights are involved; (4) the place wherean act has been done, the locus actus, such as the place where acontract has been made, a marriage celebrated, a will signed or atort committed. The lex loci actus is particularly important incontracts and torts ; (5) the place where an act is intended to comeinto effect, e.g.,  the place of performance of contractual duties, orthe place where a power of attorney is to be exercised; (6) theintention of the contracting parties as to the law that should
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