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Jun 28, 2008

G.R. No. 94996, January 26, 2001


Alemar’s imported various books, office supplies and equipment from Manchester, England. After the shipment arrived, Alemar’s applied with the BOC for an Import Entry and Permit to Deliver Goods but was denied on the ground that the imported articles subject thereof had been declared abandoned and sold at public auction.

Alemar’s questioned the sale, seeking the nullification of the Notice and Declaration of Abandonment for lack of a written notice to both Alemar’s and RPBank, the consignee.


  • Whether or not the RTC of Manila has jurisdiction over the subject matter to enjoin the auction sale of subject goods imported by petitioners declared by customs authorities as abandoned


It is a basic rule of procedure that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the action is determined by the allegations of the complaint, irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein.

The Supreme Court held that the case falls within the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Customs and the Court of Tax Appeals vis-à-vis the averments in the amended petition, not with the RTC.

If petitioner was not satisfied with the action of the Collector of Customs, it may avail itself of the administrative remedies provided for in the TCC. However, petitioner sought recourse in the trial court. Such recourse was fatal to petitioner’s cause as the proper remedy was to elevate the case to the Commissioner of Customs whose decision was appealable to the CTA. The Regional Trial Courts are precluded from assuming cognizance over such matters even through petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus.


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