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Jun 27, 2008

193 SCRA 132 (1991)

  • Seizure and forfeiture proceedings: requirement of notice


In March 1986, petitioner shipped from Germany to the Philippines two containers, one with used household goods and the other two used automobiles (one Bourgetti and one Mercedes Benz). The first container and the Bourgetti car were released by the BOC, but not the Mercedes Benz, which remained in custody of the Bureau.

Petitioner then received a notice of hearing, informing him that seizure proceedings were being initiated against the said Mercedes Benz. While this case was pending, petitioner received a letter from the District Collector of Customs, informing her that a decision ordering the forfeiture of her Mercedes Benz had been rendered.

Petitioner did not know that the same Mercedes Benz was subject to two different forfeiture proceedings. He only found out later that the Notice of Hearing for the forfeiture proceedings before the District Collector was posted on the bulletin board of the BOC, at Port Area, Manila.


  • Whether or not the posting on the bulletin board of the public respondent was sufficient compliance with proper service of notice and procedural due process
  • Whether or not seizure and forfeiture was proper in the instant case


The Court held that there was no sufficient compliance with requirement of notice and hearing under the due process clause. But notwithstanding the procedural infirmity, the Court ruled that the petition cannot be granted.

The seizure and forfeiture proceedings was based on a violation of B.P. 73, specifically a law that promotes energy conservation and prohibits the importation, manufacture or assembling of gasoline-powered passenger motor cars with engine displacement of over 2,800 cubic centimeters.

The Mercedes Benz subject of this case has an engine displacement of over 2,800 cubic centimeters, which clearly falls within the prohibited importation and as such, is liable for seizure and forfeiture by the public respondents.


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