Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 101538 June 23, 1992
AUGUSTO BENEDICTO SANTOS III, represented by his father and legal guardian, Augusto Benedicto Santos, petitioner,
NORTHWEST ORIENT AIRLINES and COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.
This case involves the Proper interpretation of Article 28(1) of the Warsaw Convention, reading as follows:
Art. 28. (1) An action for damage must be brought at the option of the plaintiff, in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, either before the court of the domicile of the carrier or of his principal place of business, or where he has a place of business through which the contract has been made, or before the court at the place of destination.
The petitioner is a minor and a resident of the Philippines. Private respondent Northwest Orient Airlines (NOA) is a foreign corporation with principal office in Minnesota, U.S.A. and licensed to do business and maintain a branch office in the Philippines.
On October 21, 1986, the petitioner purchased from NOA a round-trip ticket in San Francisco. U.S.A., for his flight from San Francisco to Manila via Tokyo and back. The scheduled departure date from Tokyo was December 20, 1986. No date was specified for his return to San Francisco. 1
On December 19, 1986, the petitioner checked in at the NOA counter in the San Francisco airport for his scheduled departure to Manila. Despite a previous confirmation and re-confirmation, he was informed that he had no reservation for his flight from Tokyo to Manila. He therefore had to be wait-listed.
On March 12, 1987, the petitioner sued NOA for damages in the Regional Trial Court of Makati. On April 13, 1987, NOA moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction. Citing the above-quoted article, it contended that the complaint could be instituted only in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, before: