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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
May-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 128822 May 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO PASUDAG

  • G.R. No. 147571 May 5, 2001 - SOCIAL WEATHER STATIONS, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129285 May 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO PALABRICA

  • G.R. No. 142840 May 7, 2001 - ANTONIO BENGSON III v. HRET, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 145401 May 7, 2001 - MANUEL L. ONTIVEROS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106028 May 9, 2001 - LILIA Y. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106763 May 9, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109087 May 9, 2001 - RODZSSEN SUPPLY CO. INC. v. FAR EAST BANK & TRUST CO.

  • G.R. No. 110203 May 9, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138556 May 9, 2001 - PIGLAS-KAMAO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139961 May 9, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARSENIO TOLEDO SR.

  • G.R. No. 143616 May 9, 2001 - NEGROS ORIENTAL ELECTRIC COOP. 1 v. SECRETARY OF THE DOLE, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 144261-62 May 9, 2001 - PRUDENTE D. SOLLER, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1400 May 10, 2001 - MANUEL M. ROSALES v. GIL STA. ANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132662 May 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ENRIQUE HINDOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134129 May 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON SALIPDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138235 May 10, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO PALERO

  • G.R. No. 147741 May 10, 2001 - MA. CATALINA L. GO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 147780, 147781, 147799 & 147810 May 10, 2001 - PANFILO LACSON, ET AL. v. HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-5-162-RTC May 11, 2001 - RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE RTC

  • G.R. No. 133997 May 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIXBERTO ABALLE

  • G.R. No. 138451 May 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO REPIROGA

  • G.R. No. 114231 May 18, 2001 - MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY v. NELIA A. BARLIS

  • G.R. No. 119679 May 18, 2001 - ALFREDO AND SUSANA BUOT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 4215 May 21, 2001 - FELICISIMO M. MONTANO v. INTEGRATED BAR of the PHIL., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-95-1056 May 21, 2001 - INOCENCIO C. SIAWAN v. AQUILINO A. INOPIQUEZ

  • G.R. No. 116280 May 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAQUITO DUMAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123547 May 21, 2001 - DANTE MARTINEZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123892 May 21, 2001 - JASMIN SOLER v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130366 May 21, 2001 - LILIA T. AARON v. TEOFILO L. GUADIZ, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132247 May 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALDO F. LOBRIGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134294 May 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDILBERTO VILLALOBOS

  • G.R. No. 136825 May 21, 2001 - CITY GOVERNMENT OF DAVAO v. JULIANA MONTEVERDE-CONSUNJI, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138780 May 22, 2001 - NORBERTO ORCULLO, JR. v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 01-1-01-SC May 23, 2001 - IN RE: SONIA LLAMAS-TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132364 May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO ALVERO

  • G.R. No. 136737 May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BEN LIBO-ON

  • G.R. No. 138983 May 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENER B. AGONCILLO

  • G.R. Nos. 130144 & 130502-03 May 24, 2001 - MELECIA PAÑA, ET AL. v. FLORIPINAS C. BUYSER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137048 May 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CASTRO GERABAN

  • G.R. No. 139552 May 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO REBATO

  • G.R. No. 143389 May 25, 2001 - PFIZER INC. ET AL. v. EDWIN V. GALAN

  • G.R. No. 110131 May 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FRANCISCO DEACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 110340 May 28, 2001 - WESTERN SHIPYARD SERVICES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112990 May 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEMUEL COMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112661 May 30, 2001 - SIMEON DE LEON, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112710 May 30, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137051-52 May 30, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE VALDESANCHO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1563 May 31, 2001 - ROSEMARIE LATORRE v. LEONARDO P. ANSALDO

  • G.R. No. 116488 May 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AARON FLORES

  • G.R. No. 116941 May 31, 2001 - TIRSO ANTIPORDA, JR., ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128466 May 31, 2001 - REMEGIO P. YU, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130627 & 139477-78 May 31, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUEDA T. ALBA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142295 May 31, 2001 - VICENTE DEL ROSARIO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. No. 119679   May 18, 2001 - ALFREDO AND SUSANA BUOT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 119679. May 18, 2001.]

    SPS. ALFREDO AND SUSANA BUOT, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS, ENCARNACION DIAZ VDA. DE RESTON, ET AL., Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    DE LEON, JR., J.:


    This is an appeal from the Decision 1 of the Court of Appeals 2 promulgated on March 9, 1995 setting aside the Amended Decision/Order 3 dated December 5, 1990 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 17, Cebu City, and reinstating the latter’s Decision dated July 30, 1990 4 dismissing petitioners’ action for recovery of property, cancellation of original certificate of title and damages against private respondents, the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston and spouses Mariano Del Rosario and Sotera Dejan.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Plaintiffs-spouses Alfredo and Susana Buot (petitioners herein), alleged in their second amended complaint 5 that on December 6, 1974 defendant Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston (private respondent herein), sold to them the eastern portion of her property covered by Tax Declaration No. 14887 (1967), with an area of 19,042 square meters situated at Tulay (previously known as Tungkop), Minglanilla, Cebu, as evidenced by a Memorandum of Agreement. 6

    The Memorandum of Agreement stated that the purchase price of P19,042.00 shall be paid as follows: (a) the amount of one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) in the concept of earnest money, upon the execution of the said instrument; and (b) the balance thereof, in the amount of eighteen thousand forty-two pesos (P18,042.00), within six (6) months from the date the vendees are notified by the vendor of the fact that the Certificate of Title to the eastern portion of the vendor’s lot is ready for transfer in the names of the vendees. It was also agreed that title to, ownership, possession and enjoyment of the portion sold shall remain with the vendor until the full consideration of the sale shall have been received by her and acknowledged in a document duly executed for said purpose. Expenses for the registration of the lot under the Torrens system, with a view to securing a certificate of title for the same, as well as for the portion sold, shall be borne by the parties share and share alike. However, it shall be the vendor who must initiate the filing of the necessary petition in the proper court. 7

    The Buot spouses, as vendees, paid Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston the earnest money of P1,000.00. From April 1975 to March 1977, Encarnacion asked Alfredo Buot for additional sums of money totalling P2,774.00, duly receipted 8 as part payment of the subject lot. 9 As the land was not titled, Alfredo Buot protected his interest by informing the Provincial Assessor of Cebu in a letter dated October 23, 1974 that he had acquired "certain rights" on said parcel of land covered by Tax Declaration No. 14887 (old) or 004970 (new) and requested that his said rights be annotated on the face of said tax declaration. 10 He also wrote a similar letter dated November 4, 1974 to the Municipal Assessor of Minglanilla, Cebu. 11 The Provincial Assessor annotated his said right on Tax Declaration No. 006847 12 effective in 1975, instead of Tax Declaration No. 004970 as requested, effective in 1974. 13chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On May 18, 1977, Alfredo Buot received a subpoena from the Philippine Constabulary, signed by Lt. Col. Rueb Yap, requiring him to appear on May 20, 1977. On said date, they had a confrontation with Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston. 14

    On June 14, 1977, Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston filed Case No. IX-10474 before the then Court of First Instance of Cebu for the registration of title to land consisting of 29,532 square meters situated in Tulay, Minglanilla, Cebu, including the portion sold to the plaintiffs. 15

    The plaintiffs (petitioners) alleged that on August 5, 1977, Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston maliciously executed a Deed of Absolute Sale for the whole parcel of land (29,532 square meters) described under Tax Declaration No. 14887 (1967), which included the portion (19,042 square meters) already sold to them, to defendants-spouses Mariano Del Rosario and Sotera Dejan, who had previous knowledge of the sale to them. 16 Alfredo Buot said that he met Mariano Del Rosario in April 1977 as he came with Encarnacion and Judge Pedro Godinez to his house. 17

    The plaintiffs also alleged that on December 27, 1977, the spouses Del Rosario, by means of fraud were able to secure a Free Patent Title to the entire property, including the eastern portion previously sold to them. Notwithstanding the separate application by Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston for a free patent on May 26, 1965, the Bureau of Lands accepted the free patent application of the Del Rosario spouses, which was approved on December 27, 1977. They never received a notice of the Free Patent Application of the Del Rosario spouses although they are the adjacent owners of the property applied for, and the previous protestant of Encarnacion’s first application for a free patent. 18

    Plaintiffs prayed for the cancellation of the title of Mariano Del Rosario, the reconveyance of the eastern portion of the property to them, and damages. 19

    In her Answer, defendant (private respondent) Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston stated that in the latter part of 1973, the plaintiffs offered to purchase the land in question. They agreed that the plaintiffs would be given an option to buy the land "if he could furnish amounts in order to have the land registered under the Torrens system." As a result of the negotiation, they executed a Memorandum of Agreement. The amount of P1,000.00 that was given by the plaintiffs was only earnest money for the option to buy the land. It was agreed that any consummated sale of the property would be reflected in another instrument. Plaintiffs knew that at that time she was badly in need of money and that the expenses for registration should initially be shouldered by them, which would thereafter be applied as part payment of the purchase price, in case the sale would be consummated. 20

    Encarnacion said that she exerted effort to register the property. While plaintiffs advanced several amounts on several occasions, they were in small amounts insufficient to pay for the registration expenses. 21chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    It later became apparent that the plaintiffs had no intention to buy the property and were only interested in dealing with other interested buyers to make a profit. 22

    Encarnacion alleged that she pleaded with plaintiffs several times that they purchase the property as there were other interested buyers, and she was badly in need of money. She even sought the help of the Philippine Constabulary so that plaintiffs would exercise their option. 23

    In financial distress, she informed plaintiffs that she could no longer wait for them to exercise the option, and offered to reimburse the amounts which they have advanced, including the earnest money. Plaintiffs refused reimbursement, although they were not willing to consummate the sale. Plaintiffs, therefore, have no cause of action, and their action is barred by laches. 24

    Encarnacion reserved her right to file a cross-claim against her co-defendants spouses Mariano Del Rosario and Sotera Dejan. She asked the trial court for the dismissal of the complaint, and that she be awarded damages.25cralaw:red

    On April 6, 1979, Encarnacion filed a cross-party claim against her co-defendants spouses Mariano Del Rosario and Sotera Dejan and prayed for the annulment of the Deed of Sale dated August 5, 1977 for non-payment of the long overdue balance of P80,000.00, and damages. 26

    Joaquin Reston testified that petitioner Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston was his mother, and that she died on June 2, 1979. He, together with his brothers and sisters, namely, Venancio Reston, Erlinda Reston, Hayde Angeles Reston, Yolanda Reston and Valdemar Reston substituted their mother in this case. He knows Mariano Del Rosario as the vendee of their land, which has not yet been fully paid as shown in the affidavit 27 of Mariano Del Rosario and the contract of sale. 28 The affidavit stated that the correct consideration of the deed of sale was P100,000.00 and of this amount, only P20,000.00 was actually paid. Mariano Del Rosario promised to pay the balance of P80,000.00 in the following manner: P15,000.00 would be paid to Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston upon the first release of any bank loan; P10,000.00 would be paid on the second release; P10,000.00 on the third release; and another P10,000.00 on the fourth release. The balance of P80,000.00, however, remains unpaid. 29

    On the other hand, defendant Mariano Del Rosario testified that Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston mortgaged a parcel of land to him with an area of about 29,532 square meters evidenced by a deed of real estate mortgage executed on May 17, 1977. 30 As mortgagee, he was given an option to purchase the property. About three months later, he purchased the property for P40,000.00 as evidenced by a Deed of Sale dated August 5, 1977. 31 On the same date, an affidavit was also executed by the Del Rosario spouses stating that the correct consideration of the aforementioned Deed of Sale was P100,000.00, and that the Del Rosarios have paid Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston P20,000.00, leaving a balance of P80,000.00. 32chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Mariano Del Rosario averred that before said mortgage and sale, Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston represented to him that she was the absolute owner of the property and showed him her tax declarations and tax receipts. She assured him that the land was to be titled soon as she had filed an application for registration of title to the property with the Court of First Instance, Branch II, Province of Cebu, in the sala of Judge Francisco Burgos. He talked with the Branch Clerk of Court, Atty. Amparo Gomez, who gave him the impression that the application might be disapproved because the property was public land. Thereafter, he approached the Special Attorney of the Solicitor General assigned at the Bureau of Lands and found out that there was an Opposition 33 by the Solicitor General to said application. He showed the Special Attorney the Deed of Sale in his favor and was told that the document was null and void because the property involved was public land. The Special Attorney advised him to apply for a free patent. 34

    Mariano Del Rosario said that he filed an application for free patent to the land in Cebu. He told Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston about the verification he made in Manila, and that they had to help each other. Encarnacion agreed to cooperate and she appeared and manifested during the investigation at the Bureau of Lands that she waived her right over the land in his favor. He was relying on Encarnacion’s right of possession in his application. His application for free patent was approved on December 27, 1977, 35 and thereafter Original Certificate of Title No. 0-15255 was issued in his name. 36

    After acquiring the property by free patent title, Mariano Del Rosario started clearing the property and constructed separate fishponds. He spent about P300,000.00. He developed only 60 to 70 per cent of the property, because he ran short of money. 37

    Mariano Del Rosario declared that at the time he applied for free patent, he did not know of any transaction between Encarnacion and the Buot spouses. At the time he filed his application for free patent, no opposition was filed by the Buot spouses. He first came to know Alfredo Buot at the time the latter filed the instant case against Encarnacion. 38

    He also stated that before he executed the mortgage contract, he did not check whether Encarnacion was the owner of the property mortgaged, but he merely relied on the representation of Encarnacion. Prior to the sale, Encarnacion did not inform him that there was a transaction between her and the Buot spouses. On the basis of the documents presented to him, it did not appear that there was a transaction between Encarnacion and the Buots. He did not check with the Office of the Provincial Assessor whether there was an annotation on the tax declaration of the property owned by Encarnacion. 39

    Mariano Del Rosario prayed for the dismissal of the complaint and damages. 40

    On July 30, 1990, the trial court dismissed the complaint for lack of cause of action and ordered defendant Mariano Del Rosario to pay the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston the sum of eighty thousand (P80,000.00) pesos, representing the balance of the purchase price of the property in question, with interest of twelve (12%) per cent per annum from the time of the filing of the cross-claim. Plaintiffs and cross-claim defendants spouses Mariano Del Rosario and Sotera Dejan were also jointly and severally ordered to pay the costs. 41chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Plaintiffs and defendants-heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston filed their respective motion for reconsideration. On December 5, 1990, the trial court reconsidered and set aside its decision dated July 30, 1990, and modified the dispositive portion, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Declaring plaintiffs Alfredo A. Buot Sr. and Susana Buot the absolute owners of the eastern portion of the property of Encarnacion Vda. de Reston situated at Tungkop, but more known as Tulay, Minglanilla, Cebu described under the Memorandum of Agreement (Exhibit "A") containing an area of Nineteen Thousand Forty Two (19,042) square meters; ordering defendants Mariano Del Rosario and his spouse to convey in favor of the plaintiffs the eastern portion of the aforementioned property, now covered under Free Patent FPA No. F-VII-17483 issued on December 28, 1977 (Exhibit "4" Del Rosario) and described under OCT No. 15255 upon payment by plaintiffs the balance of Fifteen Thousand Two Hundred Sixty-eight (P15, 268.00) pesos to the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston the substituting defendants; ordering defendant Mariano Del Rosario and his spouse to reconvey in favor of the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston the remaining portion of Free Patent No. F-VII-17483 (OCT No. 15255) issued in his name and comply with the provisions of paragraph 5 in his affidavit (Exhibit "1" - Reston); ordering the defendants to jointly and severally pay plaintiffs the sum of Three thousand (P3,000.00) pesos for actual or compensatory damages, Three Thousand (P3,000.00) pesos - for attorney’s fees and costs of this action.

    Should defendant Del Rosario refuse or fail to execute the deeds of conveyance and reconveyance in favor of the plaintiffs and his co-defendants, respectively, the Deputy sheriff of this Court is ordered to execute the same with equal effect or validity as if they were executed by the aforementioned defendants.

    SO ORDERED. 42

    Only defendant Mariano Del Rosario seasonably filed a motion for reconsideration to the amended decision, which was denied in an Order dated March 12, 1991. 43

    Defendants spouses Mariano Del Rosario and the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston appealed to the Court of Appeals. In its Decision promulgated on March 9, 1995, the Court of Appeals found that the Memorandum of Agreement between Encarnacion and the Buot spouses was merely an option to purchase; there was no perfected contract of sale. Moreover, the appellate court found that the allegation that Mariano Del Rosario obtained the free patent title through fraud was not supported by clear and sufficient evidence. The appellate court, thus, rendered judgment, the dispositive portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    THE FOREGOING CONSIDERED, the appealed Decision dated December 5, 1990, is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE; instead, the Decision dated July 30, 1990 is reinstated.

    SO ORDERED. 44

    Hence, this petition for review on certiorari was filed by the Buot spouses.

    The main issue in the case at bar is whether or not petitioners are entitled to recover the property in question which hinges on the resolution of whether or not the Memorandum of Agreement they entered into with Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston is a contract of sale.

    Petitioners submit the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1) That contrary to the holding of the Court of Appeals, the Memorandum of Agreement (Exh. 1-Buot-Annex "D") was not an option to purchase but a valid and partially executed contract of sale;

    2) That as a result of such contract, subject property could not anymore be the valid subject of another sales contract in favor of Mariano regardless of Mariano’s alleged good faith;

    3) That considering that Mariano did not have any right over the land, he was not qualified to apply for a patent; and

    4) That since the land properly belongs to petitioner Alfredo Buot, Mariano should be considered a trustee of the land for the benefit of Alfredo Buot under an implied trust. 45

    Petitioners assert that contrary to the ruling of the Court of Appeals, the Memorandum of Agreement was a contract of sale. The sale was perfected from the moment the parties agreed on the object of the contract and the price. The downpayment of P1,000.00 was proof that the contract had been perfected.

    We disagree. An examination of said Memorandum of Agreement shows that it is neither a contract of sale nor an option to purchase, but it is a contract to sell. An option is a contract granting a privilege to buy or sell at a determined price within an agreed time, 46 the specific length or duration of which is not present in the Memorandum of Agreement. In a contract to sell, the title over the subject property is transferred to the vendee only upon the full payment of the stipulated consideration. 47 Unlike in a contract of sale, the title in a contract to sell does not pass to the vendee upon the execution of the agreement or the Delivery of the thing sold. 48 The Memorandum of Agreement reads in part:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the parties agree as follows: THAT —

    1. For and in consideration of the amount of NINETEEN THOUSAND FORTY TWO PESOS (P19,042.00), Philippine currency, payable in the manner specified hereunder, the VENDOR hereby sells, transfers and conveys all the attributes of her ownership over that eastern portion of the parcel of land aforedescribed, containing an area of NINETEEN THOUSAND FORTY TWO SQUARE METERS, the technical description of which is mention in Annex "A" hereof, together with the improvements included therein, consisting of coconut trees.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    2. The aforesaid purchase price of P19,042.00 shall be paid as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    a. The amount of one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) in concept of earnest money, upon the execution of this instrument; receipt of which amount is hereby acknowledged;

    b. The balance thereof, in the amount of eighteen thousand forty two pesos (P18,042.00), within six months from the date VENDEES are notified by the VENDOR of the fact that the Certificate of Title to the eastern portion of VENDOR’S lot, which eastern portion is herein sold and described in Annex "A" hereof, is ready for transfer to the names of herein VENDEES;

    3. Title to, ownership, possession and enjoyment of that portion herein sold, shall, remain with the VENDOR until the full consideration of the sale thereof shall have been received by VENDOR and duly acknowledged by her in a document duly executed for said purpose. VENDEES may introduce improvements there on subject to the rights of a usufructuary. 49

    From the foregoing, it appears that the agreement was in the nature of a contract to sell as the vendor, Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston, clearly reserved to herself ownership and possession of the property until full payment of the purchase price by the vendees, 50 such payment being a positive suspensive condition, the failure of which is not considered a breach, casual or serious, but simply an event which prevented the obligation from acquiring obligatory force. 51

    Petitioners, however, argue that their obligation to pay the balance of the purchase price had not arisen as the Memorandum of Agreement stipulated that the balance of P18,042.00 was payable within six (6) months from the date the vendor would notify them that the certificate of title of the property could already be transferred in their names. Said argument, however, does not change the nature of the contract they entered into, being a contract to sell, so that there was no actual sale until full payment was made by the vendees, and that on the part of the vendees, no full payment would be made until a certificate of title was ready for transfer in their names. 52 In her Answer, Encarnacion even stated that it was agreed that any consummated sale of the property would be necessarily reflected in another instrument. 53 Thus, petitioners clearly had no right to ask for reconveyance of the property on the ground of fraud as there was no perfected contract of sale between them and the late Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston. The Court of Appeals also correctly stated thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Only the person who has been deprived of his property through fraud, either actual or constructive and who was not at fault, may file a personal action for reconveyance. The pretension that there was fraud when Mariano was able to obtain a Free Patent Title, is not supported by evidence. On the contrary, fraud cannot be presumed and must be established by clear and sufficient evidence (Carreon v. Agcaoili, L-11156, February 23, 1961, 1 SCRA 521; Gutierrez v. Villegas, L-17117, July 31, 1963, 8 SCRA 527; Santos v. Buenaventura, L-22797, September 22, 1966, 18 SCRA 47; Republic v. Ker & Company, Ltd., L-21609, September 29, 1966, 18 SCRA 207; Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Gonzales, L-19495, November 24, 1966, 18 SCRA 757; Heng Tong Textiles Company, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, L-19737, August 26, 1968, 24 SCRA 767). 54chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    However, under the second paragraph of Article 1188 55 of the New Civil Code, even if the Buot spouses did not mistakenly make partial payments, inasmuch as the suspensive condition was not fulfilled, it is only fair and just that the Buot spouses be allowed to recover what they had paid in expectancy that the condition would happen; otherwise, there would be unjust enrichment on the part of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston, now substituted by her heirs. 56 Hence, the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston should return the sum of P3,774.00 received from the Buot spouses with interest at twelve (12) per cent per annum from the time the Regional Trial Court rendered its original decision on June 20, 1977. 57

    On the other hand, private respondent Mariano Del Rosario held a contract of sale evidenced by the Deed of Definite Sale 58 covering the said entire property of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston, and he was given possession of the land. By that contract of sale, Encarnacion transferred to Mariano Del Rosario her rights, interests and participation as claimant of said public land as shown by her application for free patent in 1965 and her application for registration of title to the property under Act 496 in 1977. 59 Such rights could be waived, transferred or alienated. 60 Supported by the contract of sale, Mariano Del Rosario filed an application for free patent to the land, which was approved by the Bureau of Lands on December 27, 1977, 61 and thereafter the corresponding free patent was issued, followed by the issuance of the Original Certificate of Title No. 0-15255 in his name. Confirming the transfer of her rights over the property to Mariano Del Rosario by sale, Encarnacion filed a petition 62 dated March 3, 1978 to withdraw her application for registration of title to the land, which was granted by the Court of First Instance of Cebu, 63 in an Order dated March 15, 1978. 64

    Hence, the Court of Appeals did not err in reinstating the Decision of the Regional Trial Court dated July 30, 1990 thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, judgment is hereby rendered for defendants heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston and against plaintiffs Alfredo A. Buot and Susana L. Buot and third party defendant Mariano Del Rosario for which plaintiffs’ complaint is DISMISSED for lack of cause of action and defendant Mariano Del Rosario is ordered to pay the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston, namely, Joaquin Venancio Reston, Erlinda Reston, Hayde Angeles Reston, Yolanda Reston and Valdemar Reston the sum of Eighty Thousand (P80,000.00) Pesos, representing the balance of the purchase price of the property in question with an interest of twelve (12%) per cent per annum from the time of the filing of the cross-claim. Plaintiff and cross-claim defendants Mariano Del Rosario and Sotera Dejan are jointly and severally ordered to pay the costs. 65

    In their brief, 66 private respondents-heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston prayed for the reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals by awarding the entire property to them, although they did not appeal from said decision. In Quezon Development Bank v. Court of Appeals, 67 we ruled that a party who has not appealed from a decision cannot seek any relief other than what is provided in the judgment appealed from, and cited Lumibao v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 68 thus:chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    It is well-settled in this jurisdiction that whenever an appeal is taken in a civil case, an appellee who has not himself appealed may not obtain from the appellate court any affirmative relief other than the ones granted in the decision of the court below. The appellee can only advance any argument that he may deem necessary to defeat the appellant’s claim or to uphold the decision that is being disputed, and he can assign errors in his brief if such is required to strengthen the views expressed by the court a quo. These assigned errors in turn may be considered by the appellate court solely to maintain the appealed decision on other grounds, but not for the purpose of reversing or modifying the judgment in the appellee’s favor and giving him other reliefs.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is dismissed, and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the heirs of Encarnacion Diaz Vda. de Reston are ordered to return the partial payments in the total amount of P3,774.00 received from petitioners-spouses Alfredo and Susana Buot with interest at twelve (12) per cent per annum from the time the Regional Trial Court rendered its decision on July 30, 1990.

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Quisumbing and Buena, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Associate Justice Bernardo Ll. Salas and concurred in by Associate Justices Jaime M. Lantin and Ma Alicia Austria-Martinez, Rollo, pp. 24-45.

    2. Eighth Division.

    3. Penned by Judge Jose P. Burgos, Records, pp. 529-537.

    4. Records, pp. 463-476.

    5. Records, pp. 348-354.

    6. Records, pp. 7-9.

    7. Records, pp. 8-9.

    8. Exhibits "B-1" to "B-28," Folder of Exhibits, pp. 7-16.

    9. TSN, June 8, 1983, pp. 6-7.

    10. Exh. "C-1" (Buot), Folder of Exhibits, p. 17.

    11. Exh. "C-2," (Buot), Folder of Exhibits, p. 18.

    12. Exhibit "D" (Buot), Folder of Exhibits, p. 19.

    13. TSN, June 8, 1983, p.

    14. TSN, June 8, 1983, p. 29.

    15. Records, p. 349.

    16. Second Amended Complaint, Records, p. 350.

    17. TSN, October 12, 1984, p. 16.

    18. Records, pp. 350-351; CA Decision, p. 5.

    19. Second Amended Complaint, Records, p. 353; CA Decision, p. 5.

    20. Records, p. 23.

    21. Records, pp. 23-24.

    22. Records, p. 24.

    23. Records, p. 24.

    24. Records p. 24.

    25. Records, p. 25.

    26. Records, pp. 64-67.

    27. Exhibit J, Buot, Folder of Exhibits, p. 42.

    28. Exhibit 2, Del Rosario, Folder of Exhibits, p. 65.

    29. RTC Decision dated, July 30, 1990, pp. 6-7; Records, pp. 126-127.

    30. Exhibit 1 (Del Rosario), Folder of Exhibits, p. 64.

    31. Exhibit 2 (Del Rosario), Folder of Exhibits, p. 65.

    32. Exhibit J, Folder of Exhibits, p. 42; TSN, November 13, 1989, p. 20.

    33. Exhibit 3, Del Rosario, Folder of Exhibits, pp. 66-69.

    34. TSN, November 13,1989, pp. 3-8.

    35. Exhibit 4, Del Rosario, Folder of Exhibits, p. 71.

    36. TSN, November 13, 1989, pp. 11-14, 41.

    37. TSN, November 13, 1989, pp. 15-16.

    38. TSN, November 13, 1989, p. 21.

    39. TSN, November 13, 1989, pp. 33-37.

    40. Records, pp. 42-44.

    41. Records, p. 476.

    42. Records, pp. 536-537.

    43. Records, pp. 582-584.

    44. Rollo, p. 45.

    45. Petition, Rollo, pp. 15-16.

    46. Laforteza v. Machuca, G.R. No. 137552, June 16, 2000.

    47. Valarao v. Court of Appeals, 304 SCRA 155, 163 (1999) citing Dawson v. Register of Deeds of Quezon City, GR No. 120600, September 22, 1998; Coronel v. Court of Appeals, 263 SCRA 15, October 7, 1996.

    48. Id.

    49. Folder of Exhibits, p. 2.

    50. Valarao v. Court of appeals, 304 SCRA 155, 164 (1999).

    51. See note no. 46.

    52. Valarao v. Court of Appeals, supra note 48.

    53. Records, p. 23.

    54. CA Decision, p. 20; Rollo, p. 42.

    55. Article 1188. The creditor may, before the fulfillment of the condition, bring the appropriate actions for the preservation of his right. The debtor may recover what during the same time he has paid by mistake in case of a suspensive condition.

    56. Arturo M. Tolentino, Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, 1991, Vol. IV, pp. 168-169.

    57. De Lima v. Laguna Tayabas Co., 160 SCRA 70, 78 (1988).

    58. Folder of Exhibits, p. 65.

    59. Penaco v. Ruaya, 110 SCRA 46, 50-51 (1981).

    60. Id., p. 51.

    61. Exhibit "4", Del Rosario, Folder of Exhibits, p. 71.

    62. Exhibit "13", Reston, Folder of Exhibits, p. 90.

    63. 14th Judicial District, Branch II.

    64. Exhibit F-4, Folder of Exhibits, p. 33.

    65. Records, see note no. 41.

    66. Rollo, pp. 106-117.

    67. 300 SCRA 206, 210 (1998).

    68. 189 SCRA 469, 474-475 (1990).

    G.R. No. 119679   May 18, 2001 - ALFREDO AND SUSANA BUOT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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