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Dignos vs. Court of Appeals, and Jabil 158 SCRA 378 February 1988 FACTS: In July 1965, herein petitioners Silvestre T. Dignos and Isabela Lumungsod de Dignos (spouses Dignos) sold their parcel of land in Opon, LapuLapu to herein private respondent Antonio Jabil for the sum of P28,000 payable for two installments, with an assumption of indebtedness with the First Insular Bank of Cebu in the sum of P12,000 and the next installment of P4,000 to be paid in September 1965. In November 1965, the spouses Dignos sold the same parcel of land for P35,000 to defendants Luciano Cabigas and Jovita L. de Cabigas (spouses Cabigas) who were then US citizens, and executed in their favor an Absolute Deed of Sale duly registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds. Upon discovery of the 2nd sale of the subject land, Jabil filed the case at bar in the CFI of Cebu which rendered its Decision in August 1975 declaring the 2nd sale to the spouses Cabigas null and void ab initio and the 1st sale to Jabil not rescinded. The CFI of Cebu also ordered Jabil to pay the remaining P16,000 to the spouses Dignos and to reimburse the spouses Cabigas a reasonable amount corresponding the expenses in the construction of hollow block fences in the said parcel of land. The spouses Dignos were also ordered to return the P35,000 to the spouses Cabigas. Both Jabil and the spouses Dignos appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed in July 1981 the CFI of Cebus Decision except for the part of Jabil paying the expenses of the spouses Cabigas for building a fence. The spouses Dignos contested that the contract between them and Jabil was merely a contract to sell and not a deed of sale. ISSUE: Is the contract between the parties a contract of sale or a contract to sell? COURT RULING: The Supreme Court affirmed the Decision of the Court of Appeals saying stated that all the elements of a valid contract of sale are present in the document and that the spouses Dignos had no right to sell the land in question because an actual delivery of its possession has already been made in favor of Jabil as early as March 1965. It was also found that the spouses Dignos never notified Jabil by notarial act that they were rescinding the contract, and neither did they file a suit in court to rescind the sale. There is no showing that Jabil properly authorized a certain Cipriano Amistad to tell petitioners that he was already waiving his rights to the land in question.
Artates vs. Urbi 37 SCRA 395 January 1971 FACTS: In September 1952, the proper land authorities issued in favor of herein appellant Lino Artates and Manuela Pojas (spouses Artates) a homestead which is covered by Patent No. V-12775 and duly registered in their names (OCT No. P-572). In October 1955, Lino Artates inflicted injuries upon herein defendant Daniel Urbi who then filed Civil Case No. 40 against the former. The Justice of the Peace of Court of the CFI of Camilaniugan, Cagayan, awarded damages in favor of Urbi in the amount of P1,476.35, so in June 1962, the Provincial Sheriff of Cagayan made a public sale of the homestead to satisfy the said judgment. The spouses Artates alleged that the sale of the homestead to satisfy Lino Artates indebtedness accrued in October 1955 violated the provision of the Public Land Law exempting said property from execution for any debt contracted within five years from the date of the issuance of the patent, and that Urbi executed a deed of sale of the same parcel of land in June 1961 for the sum of P2,676.35 to herein defendant Crisanto Soliven, who was a minor, to defraud them. In March 1953, the CFI of Camilaniugan, Cagayan, upheld the execution made by the Provincial Sheriff upon the homestead, and at declared null and void the sale of the land between Urbi and Soliven. ISSUE: Do the appellants spouses Artates possess absolute ownership over the homestead which is covered by a patent? COURT RULING: The Supreme Court reversed the decision appealed from and declared the spouses Artates to be entitled to the return and possession of the subject land without prejudice to their continuing obligation to pay the judgment debt, and expenses connected therewith. Considering the protective policy of the law, the Supreme Court reiterated that the Philippines public land laws, being copied from American legislation, resort to American precedents which held that the exemption from "debts contracted" by a homesteader include freedom from money liabilities, from torts or crimes committed by him, such as from bigamy or slander, breach of contract or other torts.
Heirs of Enrique Zambales vs. Court of Appeals & Nin Bay Mining Corp. 120 SCRA 897 February 1983 FACTS: The spouses Enrique Zambales and Joaquina Zambales (the Zambaleses), who are illiterate, were the homestead patentees of a parcel of land in the Municipality of Del Pilar, Roxas, Palawan, pursuant to Homestead Patent No. V-59502 dated September 6, 1955. They claimed in November 1956 that respondent Nin Bay Mining Corporation (Corporation) had removed silica sand from their land and destroyed the plants and other improvements thereon, to which said Corporation denied to have done so. On October 29, 1959, the Zambaleses, duly assisted by their counsel, Atty. Perfecto de los Reyes, and the Corporation, entered into a Compromise Agreement which state, among others, that the Zambaleses are giving the Corporation full power and authority to sell, transfer and convey on September 10, 1960 or at any time thereafter the whole or any part of herein subject property. On September 10, 1960, the Corporation sold the disputed property to Joaquin B. Preysler for the sum of P8,923.70 fixed in the Compromise Agreement. On December 6, 1969, or ten (10) years after the Trial Court's Decision based on the Compromise Agreement, and nine (9) years after the sale to Preysler, the Zambaleses filed a civil action in the CFI of Palawan for "Annulment of a Deed of Sale with Recovery of Possession and Ownership with Damages, alleging that Atty. de los Reyes and the Corporation induced them through fraud, deceit and manipulation to sign the Compromise Agreement. The trial court declared null and void the deed of sale executed between Preysler and the Corporation, but the Court of Appeals reversed the said decision after finding that the alleged fraud or misrepresentation in the execution of the Compromise Agreement had not been substantiated by evidence. ISSUE: Are the compromise agreement and the subsequent deed of sale valid and legal? COURT RULING: The Supreme Court sustained the finding of the appellate court that fraud and misrepresentation did not vitiate petitioners' consent to the Agreement because the latter were not as ignorant as they themselves tried to show. The Zambaleses were political leaders who speak in the platform during political rallies, and the lawyers they have hired belong to well-established law firms in Manila, which show that although they were illiterate, they are still well-informed. However, while the Compromise Agreement was held to be in violation of the Public Land Act, which prohibits alienation and encumbrance of a homestead lot within five years from the issuance of the patent. Although the issue was not raised in the Courts below, the Supreme Court has the authority to review matters even if they are not assigned as errors in the appeal, if it is found that their consideration is necessary in arriving at a just decision of the case. The bilateral promise to sell between the Zambaleses and the Corporation, and the subsequent deed of sale between Preysler and the latter were declared null and void.
Quiroga vs. Parsons Hardware 38 Phil 501 August 1918 FACTS: On January 24, 1911, plaintiff Andres Quiroga and J. Parsons (to whose rights and obligations the present defendant Parsons Hardware Co. later subrogated itself) entered into a contract, where it was stated among others that Quiroga grants in favor of Parsons the exclusive rights to sell his beds in the Visayan Islands under some conditions. One of the said conditions provided that Mr. Parsons may sell, or establish branches of his agency for the sale of "Quiroga" beds in all the towns of the Archipelago where there are no exclusive agents, and shall immediately report such action to Mr. Quiroga for his approval while another one passed on to Parsons the obligation to order by the dozen and in no other manner the beds from Quiroga. Alleging that the Parsons was his agent for the sale of his beds in Iloilo, Quiroga filed a complaint against the former for violating the following obligations implied in what he contended to be a contract of commercial agency: not to sell the beds at higher prices than those of the invoices; to have an open establishment in Iloilo; itself to conduct the agency; to keep the beds on public exhibition, and to pay for the advertisement expenses for the same; and to order the beds by the dozen and in no other manner. ISSUE: Is the defendant, by reason of the contract, a purchaser or an agent of the plaintiff for the sale of the latters beds in Iloilo? COURT RULING: The Supreme Court declared that the contract by and between the plaintiff and the defendant was one of purchase and sale, and that the obligations the breach of which is alleged as a cause of action are not imposed upon the defendant, either by agreement or by law. In order to classify a contract, due regard must be given to its essential clauses. In the contract in question, what was essential, as constituting its cause and subject matter, is that the plaintiff was to furnish the defendant with the beds which the latter might order, at the price stipulated, and that the defendant was to pay the price in the manner stipulated. There was the obligation on the part of the plaintiff to supply the beds, and, on the part of the defendant, to pay their price. These features exclude the legal conception of an agency or order to sell whereby the ma