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October-1949 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-1451 October 6, 1949 - TAN TUAN ET AL. v. LUCENA FOOD CONTROL BOARD, ET AL.

    084 Phil 687

  • G.R. No. L-3215 October 6, 1949 - ALONZO A. BAGTAS v. DIRECTOR OF PRISONS

    084 Phil 692

  • G.R. No. L-743 October 11, 1949 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. POLICARPIO DUMAPIT

    084 Phil 698

  • G.R. No. L-1610 October 12, 1949 - DOROTEA DE LA CRUZ v. DEOGRACIAS MARCELINO

    084 Phil 709

  • G.R. No. L-1355 October 12, 1949 - LUCIO PALANCA CHILIANCHIN v. EUSEBIO COQUINCO

    084 Phil 714

  • G.R. No. L-1567 October 13, 1949 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR SALICO

    084 Phil 722

  • G.R. No. L-2822 October 13, 1949 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEOFILO D. MARI

    084 Phil 738

  • G.R. No. L-3081 October 14, 1949 - ANTONIO LACSON v. HONORIO ROMERO, ET AL.

    084 Phil 740

  • G.R. No. L-3050 October 17, 1949 - ALBERTO A. VILLAVERT v. TOBIAS FORNIER

    084 Phil 756

  • G.R. No. L-2190 October 19, 1949 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO ABALOS

    084 Phil 771

  • G.R. No. L-833 October 20, 1949 - CARLOS PIÑERO v. MARCELO ENRIQUEZ, ET AL.

    084 Phil 774

  • Adm. Case No. 25 October 25, 1949 - AMBROSIA SUMAÑGIL, ET AL. v. MARIANO STA. ROMANA

    084 Phil 777

  • G.R. No. L-1553 October 25, 1949 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO CONCEPCION

    084 Phil 787

  • G.R. No. L-1560 October 25, 1949 - DEMETRIA ESTRADA v. ULDARICO CASEDA

    084 Phil 791

  • G.R. No. L-1849 October 25, 1949 - LAUREANA GABIN v. MARIA MELLIZA, ET AL.

    084 Phil 794

  • G.R. No. L-1776 October 27, 1949 - PAZ M. CEA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

    084 Phil 798

  • G.R. No. L-2413 October 27, 1949 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS, ET AL. v. EMILIO GARCIA, ET AL.

    084 Phil 802

  • G.R. No. L-2057 October 29, 1949 - ESPERANZA F. DE GONZALEZ v. ERNESTO GONZALEZ

    084 Phil 806

  • G.R. No. L-594 October 31, 1949 - LEON O. MANZANILLO v. JOSE G. JARAMILLA

    084 Phil 809

  • G.R. No. L-1454 October 31, 1949 - EMILIO RUMBAOA, ET AL. v. IGNACIO ARZAGA, ET AL.

    084 Phil 812

  • G.R. No. L-1507 October 31, 1949 - HOSPITAL SAN JUAN DE DIOS v. HOSPITAL SAN JUAN DE DIOS, ET AL.

    084 Phil 820

  • G.R. No. L-1551 October 31, 1949 - NICANOR TAN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

    084 Phil 829

  • G.R. No. L-1554 October 31, 1949 - JULIAN CABRERA v. PEDRO V. LOPEZ, ET AL.

    084 Phil 834

  • G.R. No. L-1873 October 31, 1949 - LUIS SAN JOSE, ET AL. v. EUSEBIO CASTILLO

    084 Phil 839

  • G.R. No. L-1949 October 31, 1949 - REALTY INVESTMENTS, INC., ET AL. v. MARIANO VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

    084 Phil 842

  • G.R. No. L-2089 October 31, 1949 - JUSTA G. GUIDO v. RURAL PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION

    084 Phil 847

  • G.R. No. L-2116 October 31, 1949 - JOSEFA FABIE v. NGO BOO SOO, ET AL.

    084 Phil 857

  • G.R. No. L-2168 October 31, 1949 - CELSO ICASIANO v. BIENVENIDO TAN, ET AL.

    084 Phil 860

  • G.R. No. L-3311 October 31, 1949 - M. MARGOLARI v. TIBURCIO TANCINCO, ET AL.

    084 Phil 865

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. L-1949   October 31, 1949 - REALTY INVESTMENTS, INC., ET AL. v. MARIANO VILLANUEVA, ET AL. <br /><br />084 Phil 842

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [G.R. No. L-1949. October 31, 1949.]

    REALTY INVESTMENTS, INC. and PEOPLES BANK & TRUST COMPANY, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. MARIANO VILLANUEVA ET AL., Defendants. MARIA PASTRANA and PRUDENCIO CASTRENCE, Appellees.

    Gibbs, Gibbs, Chuidian & Quasha for Appellants.

    Vicente J. Francisco for Appellees.

    SYLLABUS


    1. PLEADING AND PRACTICE; MOTION TO DISMISS; MORATORIUM LAW WHEN NOT APPLICABLE AS GROUND FOR DISMISSAL. — If the primary object of the action is to obtain a determination of the validity of the payments made by the defendants to the Japanese Alien Property Custodian, and of the title issued in pursuance of those payments and the money judgment prayed for is not even an accessory or subsidiary to the main action but is only an alternative remedy contingent upon the defendant’s unwillingness or inability to permit the cancellation of the title issued to them and to surrender the land, such action cannot be deemed included in the provisions of the Moratorium Law and the dismissal of the case by the court by virtue thereof will be improper.

    2. MORATORIUM LAW; PURPOSE; STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION; MORATORIUM AS IN DEROGATION OF PROTECTION AGAINST IMPAIRMENT OF OBLIGATIONS; IT SHOULD BE STRICTLY CONSTRUED. — The moratorium orders were conceived exclusively for the benefit of debtors in the strict sense of the term; i. e., for the suspension of payments in money during the time of financial distress occasioned by the late war. They were not intended to suspend other rights of action. And, as moratorium is in derogation of the protection against the impairment of the obligations of contract and other constitutional guarantees, justified only as an emergency measure, Executive Orders Nos. 25 and 32 are rigidly to be confined to cases which embrace only matters falling within the scope of their express purpose.


    D E C I S I O N


    TUASON, J.:


    This is an appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Rizal City Branch, dismissing the above entitled case as to Maria D. Pastrana and her husband, Prudencio Castrence, with costs, upon motion of these defendants. The other defendants did not file any motion to dismiss.

    The defendants are several, majority of whom bought lots from the plaintiff, the rest being subsequent purchasers. The plaintiff’s causes of action against them are separate and distinct from one another save for the fact that the lots involved are in the same subdivision belonging to the plaintiff and the issues are identical in their essential features. In this decision we shall state only the facts as they relate to Maria D. Pastrana and her husband.

    According to the amended complaint, plaintiff Realty Investments, Inc. is the registered owner of the Valhalla Gardens Subdivision situated in Rizal City and mortgaged to the Peoples Bank & Trust Company. On May 8, 1941, Maria D. Pastrana bought from the plaintiff one lot known as 262-VV, with a house of strong materials erected thereon, for P7,200, and paid P700 on account of the purchase price upon the execution of the deed of sale. The deed provided that the purchaser should pay to the vendor at its principal office in Manila the balance of P6,500, together with interest thereon at 10 per cent per annum, a monthly installment of not less than P85.93, beginning with the 31st of that month until she should have completed payment of the purchase price. It was further provided, among other conditions, that should the purchaser fail to make any of the payments due under the contract within 30 days after due date, all the unpaid balances would automatically become due and demandable in their entirety and the owner could, at its option, "either (a) consider this contract as rescinded, in which case the owner shall be at liberty to dispose of the property to any other person in the same manner as if this contract had never been made, and all sums of money paid hereunder shall be considered and treated as rents for use of the said property, the purchaser hereby waiving all right to ask for or demand the return thereof and agreeing to peaceably vacate the said property, or (b) repossess and sell the property at public or private sale and recover the balance of the purchase price and other amounts due after applying thereto the proceeds of such sale, together with reasonable attorney’s fees."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Defendant Maria D. Pastrana had paid eight installments totalling P687.44 (of which P426.10 was applied to interest and P261.34 to principal, leaving a balance on her contract of the sum of P6,238.14), when the war between the United States and Japan broke out. On account of the war payments were interrupted, the plaintiff’s office having been closed and its officers, being American citizens, interned.

    In 1944, Maria D. Pastrana paid to the Enemy Property Custodian, Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines, the remaining unpaid installments, after which, on the 21st of October of that year, the register of deeds of then Greater Manila, defendant Mariano Villanueva, cancelled the plaintiff’s title with respect to lot 262-VV and issued to this defendant transfer certificate of title No. 75513.

    The complaint, after setting forth the above facts, and others not essential for the determination of this appeal, prays the Court to declare as due and payable on account of the purchase price the sum of P6,238.14; to declare null and void the purported sale executed by the Japanese Military authorities; to declare that plaintiff is the legal owner of lot 262-VV; and to order the register of deeds to reinstate plaintiff’s title to said lot, "or in the alternative, order payment to the Realty Investments, Inc. . . . by defendant Maria D. Pastrana of the sum of P6,238.14 for lot 262-VV with the stipulated interest from April 1, 1945." It is also prayed that in the event of default in such payment, plaintiff Realty Investments, Inc. be adjudged entitled to the restoration of the premises as well as to reasonable rentals for the period during which defendants were in possession thereof.

    The motion to dismiss is premised on the moratorium proclaimed in Executive Order No. 25 as amended by Executive Order No. 32. Judge Bienvenido A. Tan in granting the motion relied on Luis General v. Hon. Jose de Venecia, 78 Phil., 780, cited by the defendants in support of their motion.

    In Ricardo Medina v. Ambrosio Santos, 78 Phil., 464, it was held that a case for the recovery of a truck with prayer for payment of its value in case the truck was not returned, could proceed notwithstanding the moratorium law. The Court observed that the indemnity sought was a subsidiary liability and would not come into being unless and until decision was rendered against the defendants for such payment. In Moya v. Barton, 79 Phil., 14, the Court said that when the cause of action was in part covered by the moratorium and in part not, it was not unjust to render judgment for the payment of the entire obligation with the understanding that execution with respect to the amounts that fell due before March 10, 1945, would be stayed. And in Alejo v. Gomez, L-1969, May 30, 1949 1 , the Court ruled that suit for unlawful detainer and rents in arrears was not affected by the moratorium, the recovery of the unpaid rentals, it was said, being accessory to the main action.

    A close examination of plaintiff’s allegations and prayer will disclose that the primary object of the action is to obtain a determination of the validity of the payments made by the defendants to the Japanese Alien Property Custodian, and of the title issued in pursuance of those payments. The case was improperly dismissed.

    In the case at bar, the money judgment prayed for is not even an accessory or subsidiary to the main action. It is an alternative remedy and as such is contingent upon the defendants’ unwillingness or inability to permit the cancellation of the title issued to them and to surrender the land. Whereas in an unlawful detainer suit, the defendant has no escape from the payment of the back rentals if he loses, the payment of money in the instant case rests on defendants’ own choice between the two remedies demanded by the plaintiffs.

    The case of De Venecia v. General, ante, is easily distinguishable from this, in that the former was an action on a promissory note stripped of all other objectives, principal, accessory, subsidiary or alternative. Maao Sugar Central Co. v. Conrado Barrios, 79 Phil., 666, is also unavailing to the defendants. That action, like General v. De Venecia, had for its sole object the enforcement of a monetary obligation.

    As a final word, let it be noted that the moratorium orders were conceived exclusively for the benefit of debtors in the strict sense of the term; i. e., for the suspension of payments in money during the time of financial distress occasioned by the late war. They were not intended to suspend other rights of action. And, as moratorium is in derogation of the protection against the impairment of the obligations of contract and other constitutional guarantees, justified only as an emergency measure, Executive Orders Nos. 25 and 32 are rigidly to be confined to cases which embrace only matters falling within the scope of their express purpose.

    The appealed order is reversed and the respondent judge is ordered to proceed with the trial of the case on the merits, with costs of this appeal against the appellees.

    Moran, C.J., Ozaeta, Paras, Bengzon, Padilla, Reyes and Torres, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. 83 Phil., p. 969.

    G.R. No. L-1949   October 31, 1949 - REALTY INVESTMENTS, INC., ET AL. v. MARIANO VILLANUEVA, ET AL. <br /><br />084 Phil 842


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