[Answer / discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Remedial Law Instructions; 2014 Remedial Law essay and multiple choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
Co Batong, a Taipan, filed a civil action for damages with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Parañaque City against Jose Penduko, a news reporter of the Philippine Times, a newspaper of general circulation printed and published in Parañaque City. The complaint alleged, among others, that Jose Penduko wrote malicious and defamatory imputations against Co Batong; that Co Batong’s business address is in Makati City; and that the libelous article was first printed and published in Parañaque City. The complaint prayed that Jose Penduko be held liable to pay P200,000.00, as moral damages; P150,000.00, as exemplary damages; and P50,000.00, as attorney’s fees.
Jose Penduko filed a Motion to Dismiss on the following grounds:
1. The RTC is without jurisdiction because under the Totality Rule, the claim for damages in the amount of P350,000.00 fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Parañaque City.
2. The venue is improperly laid because what the complaint alleged is Co Batong’s business address and not his residence address.
Are the grounds invoked in the Motion to Dismiss proper? (4%)