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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
 

 
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October-2015 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 182395, October 05, 2015 - MARITO T. BERNALES, Petitioner, v. NORTHWEST AIRLINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193990, October 14, 2015 - EASTERN SHIPPING LINES, INC., AND/OR CONGRESSMAN ERWIN L. CHIONGBIAN, Petitioners, v. JULIO C. CANJA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 191031, October 05, 2015 - DOLORES L. HACBANG AND BERNARDO J. HACBANG, Petitioners, v. ATTY. BASILIO H. ALO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193271, October 05, 2015 - LOLITA M. SANTIAGO, Petitioner, v. SILVESTRE H. BELLO IV, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194767, October 14, 2015 - EDGAR T. BARROSO, Petitioner, v. HON. JUDGE GEORGE E. OMELIO, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 14, DAVAO CITY AND TRAVELLERS INSURANCE & SURETY CORPORATION, ANTONIO V. BATAO, REGIONAL MANAGER, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 171897, October 14, 2015 - PHILIPPINE TRUST COMPANY, Petitioner, v. FLORO ROXAS AND EUFEMIA ROXAS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 186114, October 07, 2015 - CHEVRON (PHILS.), INC., Petitioner, v. VITALIANO C GALIT, SJS AND SONS CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION AND MR. REYNALDO SALOMON, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 191526, October 05, 2015 - SPOUSES FLORENTINO AND CONSOLACION TABALNO, Petitioners, v. PAULINO T. DINGAL, SR. AND JUANITA GALOLA VDA. DE DINGAL, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 211145, October 14, 2015 - SAMAHAN NG MANGGAGAWA SA HANJIN SHIPYARD REP. BY ITS PRESIDENT, ALFIE ALIPIO, Petitioner, v. BUREAU OF LABOR RELATIONS, HANJIN HEAVY INDUSTRIES AND CONSTRUCTION CO., LTD. (HHIC-PHIL.), Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 213197, October 21, 2015 - REMEGIO A. CHING, Petitioner, v. SAN PEDRO COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 203969, October 21, 2015 - ERNESTO OPPEN, INC., Petitioner, v. ALBERTO COMPAS, SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS NAMELY, CLIFFORD M. COMPAS AND JOAN M. COMPAS, AND PHILIPPINE MERCHANT MARINE SCHOOL, INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 214057, October 19, 2015 - FLORENTINA BAUTISTA-SPILLE REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MANUEL B. FLORES, JR., Petitioner, v. NICORP MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, BENJAMIN G. BAUTISTA AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHAN BANK, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 210841, October 14, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. ENRICO MIRONDO Y IZON, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 211638, October 07, 2015 - MARK ANTHONY SASO, Petitioner, v. 88 ACES MARITIME SERVICE, INC. AND/OR CARMENCITA A. SARREAL AND LIN WEN YU, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 175483, October 14, 2015 - VALENTINA S. CLEMENTE, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, ANNIE SHOTWELL JALANDOON, ET AL., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 182210, October 05, 2015 - PAZ T. BERNARDO, SUBSTITUTED BY HEIRS, MAPALAD G. BERNARDO, EMILIE B. KO, MARILOU B. VALDEZ, EDWIN T. BERNARDO AND GERVY B. SANTOS, Petitioners, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194969, October 07, 2015 - CONVOY MARKETING CORPORATION AND/OR ARNOLD LAAB, Petitioners, v. OLIVER B. ALBIA, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 182208, October 14, 2015 - ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., Petitioner, v. ALLIED GUARANTEE INSURANCE, CO., INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194410, October 14, 2015 - OCEAN EAST AGENCY, CORPORATION, ENGR. ARTURO D. CARMEN, AND CAPT. NICOLAS SKINITIS, Petitioners, v. ALLAN I. LOPEZ, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 204105, October 14, 2015 - GERONIMO S. ROSAS, Petitioner, v. DILAUSAN MONTOR AND IMRA-ALI M. SABDULLAH, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 169457, October 19, 2015 - THE CONSOLIDATED BANK AND TRUST CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, UNITED PACIFIC LEASING AND FINANCE CORPORATION, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 201535, October 05, 2015 - NEC SYSTEM INTEGRATED CONSTRUCTION (NESIC) PHILS., INC., Petitioner, v. RALPH T. CRISOLOGO, Respondent.

  • G.R. Nos. 153745-46, October 14, 2015 - NEMENCIO C. PULUMBARIT, SR., Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS (17th Division Composed of JUSTICE BIENVENIDO L. REYES, PONENTE; JUSTICE ROBERTO A. BARRIOS, Chairman; AND JUSTICE EDGARDO F. SUNDIAM, Acting Third Member), LOURDES S. PASCUAL, LEONILA F. ACASIO, AND SAN JUAN MACIAS MEMORIAL PARK, INC., Respondents.; G.R. No. 166573 - LOURDES S. PASCUAL, LEONILA F. ACASIO AND SAN JUAN MACIAS MEMORIAL PARK, INC., Petitioners, v. NEMENCIO C. PULUMBARIT, SR., Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-14-3209, October 20, 2015 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. FREDELITO R. BALTAZAR, CLERK OF COURT II, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, ALLACAPAN-LASAM, CAGAYAN, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215313, October 21, 2015 - OLIMPIO O. OLIDANA, Petitioner, v. JEBSENS MARITIME, INC., Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 213014, October 14, 2015 - MAYBANK PHILIPPINES, INC. (FORMERLY PNB-REPUBLIC BANK), Petitioner, v. SPOUSES OSCAR AND NENITA TARROSA, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 205039, October 21, 2015 - SPOUSES ROZELLE RAYMOND MARTIN AND CLAUDINE MARGARET SANTIAGO, Petitioners, v. RAFFY TULFO, BEN TULFO, AND ERWIN TULFO, Respondents.

  • G.R. Nos. 204481-82, October 14, 2015 - ALBERT G. AMBAGAN, JR., Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 193420, October 14, 2015 - 7107 ISLANDS PUBLISHING, INC., Petitioner, v. THE HOUSE PRINTERS CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 191176, October 14, 2015 - DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (DILG), Petitioner, v. RAUL V. GATUZ, Respondent.

  • A.C. No. 10783, October 14, 2015 - ATTY. BENIGNO T. BARTOLOME, Complainant, v. ATTY. CHRISTOPHER A. BASILIO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197058, October 14, 2015 - GREGORY BALUYO Y GAMORA, FOR AND IN BEHALF OF EMMANUEL GAMORA BALUYO, Petitioner, v. SPOUSES JOAQUIN AND REBECCA DE LA CRUZ, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 208802, October 14, 2015 - G.V. FLORIDA TRANSPORT, INC., Petitioner, v. HEIRS OF ROMEO L. BATTUNG, JR., REPRESENTED BY ROMEO BATTUNG, SR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 212096, October 14, 2015 - NIGHTOWL WATCHMAN & SECURITY AGENCY, INC., Petitioner, v. NESTOR LUMAHAN, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. P-15-3321 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-2966-P), October 21, 2015 - GUIAWAN REGINA BALANZA, Complainant, v. ARSENIO P. CRISTE, CLERK III, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 21, VIGAN CITY, ILOCOS SUR, Respondent.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-08-2102 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2762-RTJ), October 14, 2015 - SUGNI REALTY HOLDINGS AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN/PRESIDENT, CYNTHIA CRUZ KHEMANI, Complainant, v. JUDGE BERNADETTE S. PAREDES-ENCINAREAL, [THEN IN HER CAPACITY AS ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 10, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, IN DIPOLOG CITY], PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 12, OROQUIETA CITY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 196597, October 21, 2015 - MODESTO W. RIVERA, Petitioner, v. ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION, CORA D. CORPUS AND ANTONIO H. SANTOS, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 169442, October 14, 2015 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OFFICE (PMO), Petitioner, v. ANTONIO V. BAŅEZ, LUISITA BAŅEZ VALERA, NENA BAŅEZ HOJILLA, AND EDGARDO B. HOJILLA, JR., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 199270, October 21, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. VERGEL ANCAJAS AND ALLAIN ANCAJAS, Accused-Appellants.

  • G.R. No. 206910, October 14, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. JULIET PANCHO, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 208015, October 14, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. RONWALDO LAFARAN Y ACLAN, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 184076, October 21, 2015 - ST. RAPHAEL MONTESSORI SCHOOL, INC., REPRESENTED BY TERESITA G. BADIOLA, Petitioner, v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 215319, October 21, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. APOLONIO BABOR @ "JULITO", Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 181284, October 20, 2015 - LOLOY UNDURAN, BARANGAY CAPTAIN ROMEO PACANA, NESTOR MACAPAYAG, RUPERTO DOGIA, JIMMY TALINO, ERMELITO ANGEL, PETOY BESTO, VICTORINO ANGEL, RUEL BOLING, JERMY ANGEL, BERTING SULOD, RIO BESTO, BENDIJO SIMBALAN, AND MARK BRAZIL, Petitioners, v. RAMON ABERASTURI, CRISTINA C. LOPEZ, CESAR LOPEZ JR., DIONISIO A. LOPEZ, MERCEDES L. GASTON, AGNES H. LOPEZ, EUSEBIO S. LOPEZ, JOSE MARIA S. LOPEZ, ANTON B. ABERASTURI, MA. RAISSA A. VELEZ, ZOILO ANTONIO A. VELEZ, CRISTINA ABERASTURI, EDUARDO LOPEZ JR., ROSARIO S. LOPEZ, JUAN S. LOPEZ, CESAR ANTHONY R. LOPEZ, VENANCIO L. GASTON, ROSEMARIE S. LOPEZ, JAY A. ASUNCION, NICOLO ABERASTURI, LISA A. ASUNCION, INEZ A. VERAY, HERNAN A. ASUNCION, ASUNCION LOPEZ, THOMAS A. VELEZ, LUIS ENRIQUE VELEZ, ANTONIO H. LOPEZ, CHARLES H. LOPEZ, ANA L. ZAYCO, PILAR L. QUIROS, CRISTINA L. PICAZO, RENATO SANTOS, GERALDINE AGUIRRE, MARIA CARMENCITA T. LOPEZ, and as represented by attorney-in-fact RAMON ABERASTURI, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 206513, October 20, 2015 - MUSTAPHA DIMAKUTA Y MARUHOM, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194159, October 21, 2015 - PRESIDENTIAL COMMISSION ON GOOD GOVERNMENT, Petitioner, v. MA. MERCEDITAS NAVARRO-GUTIERREZ (AS THEN OMBUDSMAN), DON M. FERRY, JOSE R. TENGCO, JR., ROLANDO M. ZOSA, CESAR C. ZALAMEA, OFELIA I. CASTELL, AND RAFAEL A. SISON, PUBLIC RESPONDENTS, RODOLFO M. CUENCA, MANUEL I. TINIO, AND ANTONIO R. ROQUE, PRIVATE, Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 214506, October 19, 2015 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. OSCAR PARBA Y SOLON, Accused-Appellant.

  • G.R. No. 181683, October 07, 2015 - LORENZO SHIPPING CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Respondent.; G.R. No. 184568 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. LORENZO SHIPPING CORPORATION, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 197852, October 19, 2015 - PASIG AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT AND INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY CORPORATION AND CELESTINO E. DAMIAN, Petitioners, v. WILSON NIEVAREZ, ALBERTO HALINA, GLORY VIC NUEVO, RICKY TORRES AND CORNELIO BALLE, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 177600, October 19, 2015 - MAYOR ANWAR BERUA BALINDONG, LT. COL. JALANDONI COTA, MAYOR AMER ODEN BALINDONG, AND ALI BALINDONG, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS, STATE PROSECUTOR LEAH ARMAMENTO, OFFICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL AND ZENAIDA LIMBONA, Respondents.; G.R. No. 178684 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA, Petitioner, v. HON. JUDGE ALEXANDER S. BALUT OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 76, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 176394, October 21, 2015 - COL. ORLANDO E. DE LEON, PN (M), Petitioner, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., (AFP), AND SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; COL. ARMANDO V. BAŅEZ, PN (M), Petitioner-Intervenor.; LTC ACHILLES S. SEGUMALIAN, PN (M), Petitioner-Intervenor.; G.R. No. 177033 - MAJOR LEOMAR JOSE M. DOCTOLERO O-10124 (INFANTRY) PHILIPPINE ARMY AND CAPTAIN WILLIAM VICTORINO F. UPANO O-11876 (INFANTRY) PHILIPPINE ARMY, Petitioners, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177304 - MAJOR JASON L. AQUINO (INF) PA, Petitioner, v. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., AS CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND APPOINTING AND REVIEWING AUTHORITY OF THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2 (SIC), AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177470 - 1ST LIEUTENANT ERVIN C. DIVINAGRACIA O-12742 (INF), PHILIPPINE ARMY, Petitioner, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondents.; G.R. No. 177471 - CAPTAIN JOEY T FONTIVEROS O-11713 (INFANTRY) PHILIPPINE ARMY, Petitioner, v. LT. GEN. HERMOGENES C. ESPERON, JR., CHIEF OF STAFF, ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES AND THE SPECIAL GENERAL COURT MARTIAL NO. 2, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 172902, October 21, 2015 - RAMON IKE V. SEŅERES, Petitioner, v. DELFIN JAY M. SABIDO IX, VICTORIA P. GARCHITORENA, WALDO Q. FLORES, AND ESTRELLA F. ALABASTRO, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 171953, October 21, 2015 - NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, Petitioner, v. ERNESTO ROXAS, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 194814, October 21, 2015 - ROSARIO ENRIQUEZ VDA. DE SANTIAGO, Petitioner, v. ATTY. JOSE A. SUING, Respondent.; G.R. NO. 194825 - JAIME C. VISTAR, Petitioner, v. ATTY. JOSE A. SUING, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 166391, October 21, 2015 - MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. ROLANDO D. MANANSALA AND/OR MEL MANANSALA, DOING BUSINESS AS DATAMAN TRADING COMPANY AND/OR COMIC ALLEY, Respondent.

  • G.R. No. 161006, October 14, 2015 - ROGELIO BARONDA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AND HIDECO SUGAR MILLING CO., INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 161006, October 14, 2015 - ROGELIO BARONDA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AND HIDECO SUGAR MILLING CO., INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 161006, October 14, 2015 - ROGELIO BARONDA, Petitioner, v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AND HIDECO SUGAR MILLING CO., INC., Respondents.

  • G.R. No. 212861, October 14, 2015 - MELVIN P. MALLO, Petitioner, v. SOUTHEAST ASIAN COLLEGE, INC. AND EDITA ENATSU, Respondents.

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    G.R. No. 214057, October 19, 2015 - FLORENTINA BAUTISTA-SPILLE REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MANUEL B. FLORES, JR., Petitioner, v. NICORP MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, BENJAMIN G. BAUTISTA AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHAN BANK, Respondents.

      G.R. No. 214057, October 19, 2015 - FLORENTINA BAUTISTA-SPILLE REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MANUEL B. FLORES, JR., Petitioner, v. NICORP MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, BENJAMIN G. BAUTISTA AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHAN BANK, Respondents.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    G.R. No. 214057, October 19, 2015

    FLORENTINA BAUTISTA-SPILLE REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MANUEL B. FLORES, JR., Petitioner, v. NICORP MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, BENJAMIN G. BAUTISTA AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHAN BANK, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N

    MENDOZA, J.:

    Before the Court is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the March 19, 2014 Decision1 and the August 18, 2014 Resolution2 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 97682, which reversed and set Regional Trial Court, Branch aside the May 24, 2010 Decision3 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, Dasmariņas, Cavite (RTC), in Civil Case No. 0321-04, declaring a contract to sell null and void.

    The Facts:

    Petitioner Florentina Bautista-Spille (petitioner) is the registered owner of a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-197, located in Imus City, Cavite, with an area of more or less 33,052 square meters (subject property).

    On June 20, 1996, petitioner and her spouse, Harold E. Spille, executed a document denominated as General Power of Attorney4 in favor of her brother, respondent Benjamin Bautista (Benjamin), authorizing the latter to administer all her businesses and properties in the Philippines. The said document was notarized before the Consulate General of the Philippines, New York, United States of America.

    On August 13, 2004, Benjamin and NICORP Management and Development Corporation (NICORP) entered into a contract to sell5 which pertained to the parcel of land covered by TCT No. T-197 for the agreed amount of P15,000,000.00. In the said contract, NICORP agreed to give a down payment equivalent to 20% of the purchase price and pay the remaining balance in eight (8) months. It was also agreed that upon receipt of the down payment, the TCT of the subject property would be deposited with the International Exchange Bank (IE Bank) and placed in escrow. It would only be released upon full payment of the agreed amount. Furthermore, Benjamin was required to submit a special power of attorney (SPA) covering the sale transaction, otherwise, the payment of the balance would be suspended and a penalty of P150,000.00 every month would be imposed.

    Pursuant thereto, an Escrow Agreement,6 dated October 13, 2004, was executed designating IE Bank as the Escrow Agent, obliging the latter to hold and take custody of TCT No. T-197, and to release the said title to NICORP upon full payment of the subject property.

    On October 14, 2004, NICORP issued a check in the amount of P2,250,000.00, representing the down payment of the subject property.7 Thereafter, the TCT was deposited with IE Bank and placed in escrow.

    When petitioner discovered the sale, her lawyer immediately sent demand letters8 to NICORP and Benjamin, both dated October 27, 2004, and to IE pank, dated October 28, 2004, informing them that she was opposing the sale of the subject property and that Benjamin was not clothed with authority to enter into a contract to sell and demanding the return of the owner's copy of the certificate of title to her true and lawful attorney-in-fact, Manujel B. Flores, Jr. (Flores). NICORP, Benjamin and IE Bank, however, failed and refused to return the title of the subject property.

    Consequently, petitioner filed a complaint9 before the RTC against Benjamin, NICORP and IE Bank for declaration of nullity of the contract to sell, pjunction, recovery of possession and damages with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction because NICORP was starting the development of the subject property into a residential subdivision and was planning to sell the lots to prospective buyers. Petitioner denied receiving the down payment for the subject property.

    The RTC granted the writ of preliminary injunction in its Order,10 dated January 24, 2005, enjoining NICORP and all persons acting on its behalf from making or introducing improvements, subdividing and selling any subdivided lot of the subject property.

    In its Answer,11 NICORP asked for the dismissal of the case for lack of a cause of action and averred that Benjamin was empowered to enter into a contract to sell by virtue of the general power of attorney; that the said authority was valid and subsisting as there was no specific instrument that specifically revoked his authority; that assuming Bautista exceeded his authority when he executed the contract to sell, the agreement was still valid and enforceable as the agency was already "coupled with interest" because of the partial payment in the amount of P3,000,000.00; and that the contract could not just be revoked without NICORP being reimbursed of its down payment and the costs for the initial development it had incurred in developing the subject property into a residential subdivision.

    For its part, IE Bank denied any liability and alleged that petitioner had no cause of action against it. IE Bank asserted that, at the time of its constitution as an escrow agent, Benjamin possessed the necessary authority from petitioner; that because the contract to sell remained valid, it was duty-bound to observe its duties and obligations under the Escrow Agreement; and that in the absence of any order from the court, it was proper for the bank not to comply with petitioner's demand for the surrender of the certificate of title.12

    Benjamin, on the other hand, did not file any responsive pleading. Hence, he was declared in default in the RTC Order,13 dated August 25, 2005.

    On May 24, 2010, the RTC rendered its judgment, declaring the contract to sell null and void.14 It explained that the general power of authority only pertained to acts of administration over petitioner's businesses and properties in the Philippines and did not include authority to sell the subject property. It pointed out that NICORP was well aware of Benjamin's lack of authority to sell the subject property as gleaned from the contract to sell which required the latter to procure the SPA from petitioner and even imposed a penalty of P150,000.00 per month if he would be delayed in securing the SPA. The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads:

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants, declaring the Contract to Sell, dated October 13, 2004 between the defendant Bautista and NICORP to be null and void, and the writ of preliminary injunction is now made permanent, and further ordering the defendants NICORP and International Exchange Bank as follows -

    (a)
    To return to the plaintiff the peaceful possession of the subject property covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-197 of the Register of Deeds of the Province of Cavite;
    (b)
    To return to the plaintiff the Original Owner's Duplicate of Title No. T-197 of the Register of Deeds of the Province of Cavite;
    (c)
    To pay to the plaintiff the amount of Php250,000.00 by way of attorney's fees; and
    (d)
    The Costs of suit.

    SO ORDERED.15
    Aggrieved, NICORP appealed before the CA.

    In the assailed decision, the CA reversed the RTC decision, explaining that the general power of attorney executed by petitioner in favor of Benjamin authorized the latter not only to perform acts of administration over her properties but also to perform acts of dominion which included, among others, the power to dispose the subject property.

    Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but it was denied in the assailed CA Resolution, dated August 18, 2014.

    Hence, this petition anchored on the following
    GROUNDS
    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ERROR IN HOLDING THAT THE GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY EXECUTED BY PETITIONER AUTHORIZED BENJAMIN BAUTISTA TO ENTER INTO THE CONTRACT TO SELL WITH RESPONDENT IN CONTRAVENTION OF THE ESTABLISHED PRONOUNCEMENT OF THE SUPREME COURT IN THE CASE OF LILLIAN N. MERCADO ET AL. VS. ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION (G.R. NO. 171460, 24 JULY 2007.

    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ERROR IN APPLYING THE CASE OF ESTATE OF LINO OLAGUER VS. ONGJOCO (G.R. NO. 173312, 26 AUGUST 2008) TO THE INSTANT CASE CONSIDERING THAT THE ESTABLISHED FACTS HEREIN ARE NOT IN ALL FOURS WITH THE FACTS SURROUNDING THE DECISION IN THE OLAGUER VS. ONGJOCO CASE.

    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DISREGARDING (I) RESPONDENT'S JUDICIAL ADMISSION AS TO BENJAMIN BAUTISTA'S LACK OF AUTHORITY TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT TO SELL THE SUBJECT PROPERTY, AND (II) RESPONDENT'S KNOWLEDGE OF THE INSUFFICIENCY OF THE GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY, INDICATING BAD FAITH OF THE RESPONDENT.

    THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DECLARING THE CONTRACT TO SELL NULL AND VOID.16
    Petitioner argues that the general power of attorney did not clothe Benjamin with the authority to enter into a contract to sell the subject property. She contends that the general power of attorney pertained to the power to buy, sell, negotiate and contract over the business and personal property but did not specifically authorize the sale of the subject property.

    Petitioner asserts that the CA erred when it disregarded the stipulation made by NICORP during the pre-trial proceedings as stated in the pre-trial order that Benjamin "acted beyond the scope of his authority when he failed to inform plaintiff personally as to his dealing or negotiation with NICORP and when he signed the Contract to Sell xxx."17 According to petitioner, such an admission was an indication that NICORP did not consider the general power of authority as an SPA which would have authorized Benjamin to enter into the contract to sell.

    NICORP counters that the general power of attorney sufficiently conferred authority on Benjamin to enter into the contract to sell. It asserts that the written authority, while denominated as a general power of attorney, expressly authorized him to sell the subject property. NICORP insists that it was a buyer in good faith and was never negligent in ascertaining the extent of his authority to sell the property. It explains that though the general power of attorney sufficiently clothed Bautista with authority to sell the subject property, it nonetheless required him to submit the SPA in order to comply with the requirements of the Register of Deeds and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

    The issue for resolution is whether or not Benjamin was authorized to sell the subject property.

    The Court's Ruling

    The Court finds the petition meritorious.

    In petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, only questions of law may be raised by the parties and passed upon by this Court. It is not a function of this Court to analyze and weigh the evidence presented by the parties all over again.18 This rule, however, has several well-recognized exceptions, such as when the factual findings of the CA and the trial court are conflicting or contradictory.19

    The well-established rule is when a sale of a parcel of land or any interest therein is through an agent, the authority of the latter shall be in writing, otherwise the sale shall be void. Articles 1874 and 1878 of the Civil Code explicitly provide:
    Art. 1874. When a sale of a piece of land or any interest therein is through an agent, the authority of the latter shall be in writing; otherwise, the sale shall be void.

    Art. 1878. Special powers of attorney are necessary in the following cases:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    (1) x xx

    (5) To enter into any contract by which the ownership of an immovable is transmitted or acquired either gratuitously or for a valuable consideration;

    xxx. [Emphasis Supplied]
    From the foregoing, it is clear that an SPA in the conveyance of real rights over immovable property is necessary.20 In Cosmic Lumber Corporation v. Court of Appeals,21 the Court enunciated,
    When the sale of a piece of land or any interest thereon is through an agent, the authority of the latter shall be in writing; otherwise, the sale shall be void. Thus, the authority of an agent to execute a contract for the sale of real estate must be conferred in writing and must give him specific authority, either to conduct the general business of the principal or to execute a binding contract containing terms and conditions which are in the contract he did execute. A special power of attorney is necessary to enter into any contract by which the ownership of an immovable is transmitted or acquired either gratuitously or for a valuable consideration. The express mandate required by law to enable an appointee of an agency (couched) in general terms to sell must be one that expressly mentions a sale or that includes a sale as a necessary ingredient of the act mentioned. For the principal to confer the right upon an agent to sell real estate, a power of attorney must so express the powers of the agent in clear and unmistakable language. When there is any reasonable doubt that the language so used conveys such power, no such construction shall be given the document.22

    [Emphases Supplied]
    To reiterate, such authority must be conferred in writing and must express the powers of the agent in clear and unmistakable language in order for the principal to confer the right upon an agent to sell the real property.23 It is a general rule that a power of attorney must be strictly construed, and courts will not infer or presume broad powers from deeds which do not sufficiently include property or subject under which the agent is to deal.24 Thus, when the authority is couched in general terms, without mentioning any specific power to sell or mortgage or to do other specific acts of strict dominion, then only acts of administration are deemed conferred.25cralawred

    In the case at bench, the only evidence adduced by NICORP to prove Benjamin's authority to sell petitioner's property was the document denominated as General Power of Attorney, dated June 20, 1996. The pertinent portions of the said document reads:
    KNOW ALL MEN BY THESE PRESENTS:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary

    THAT I/WE FLORENTINA B. SPILLE, of legal age, single/married to HAROLD E. SPILLE and residents of x x x do hereby appoint, name and constitute BENJAMIN G. BAUTISTA resident(s) of x x x to be my/our true and lawful attorney(s), to administer and conduct all my/our affairs and for that purpose in my/our name(s) and on my/our behalf, to do and execute any or all of the following acts, deeds and things to wit:
    1. To exercise administration, general control and supervision over my/our business and property in the Philippines, and to act as my/our general representative(s) and agent(s) with full authority to buy, sell, negotiate and contract for me/us and my/our behalf;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

    2. To ask, demand, sue for, recover and receive all sums of money, debts, dues, goods, wares, merchandise, chattels, effects and thing of whatsoever nature or description, which now or hereafter shall be or become due, owing, payable or belonging to me/us in or by any right, title, ways or means howsoever, and upon receipt thereof or any part thereof, to make, sign, execute and deliver such receipts, releases or other discharges;ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary

      xxx26
    Doubtless, there was no perfected contract to sell between petitioner and NICORP. Nowhere in the General Power of Attorney was Benjamin granted, expressly or impliedly, any power to sell the subject property or a portion thereof. The authority expressed in the General Power of Attorney was couched in very broad terms covering petitioner's businesses and properties. Time and again, this Court has stressed that the power of administration does not include acts of disposition, which are acts of strict ownership. As such, an authority to dispose cannot proceed from an authority to administer, and vice versa, for the two powers may only be exercised by an agent by following the provisions on agency of the Civil Code.27

    In the same vein, NICORP cannot be considered a purchaser in good faith. The well-settled rule is that a person dealing with an assumed agent is bound to ascertain not only the fact of agency but also the nature and extent of the agent's authority.28 The law requires a higher degree of prudence from one who buys from a person who is not the registered owner. He is expected to examine all factual circumstances necessary for him to determine if there are any flaws in the title of the transferor, or in his capacity to transfer the land.29 In ascertaining good faith, or the lack of it, which is a question of intention, courts are necessarily controlled by the evidence as to the conduct and outward acts by which alone the inward motive may, with safety, be determined. Good faith, or want of it, is not a visible, tangible fact that can be seen or touched, but rather a state or condition of mind which can only be judged by actual or fancied token or signs.30

    Here, the Court agrees with the RTC that NICORP was fully aware that Benjamin was not properly authorized to enter into any transaction regarding the sale of petitioner's property. In fact, in the contract to sell, NICORP required Benjamin to secure the SPA from petitioner within ninety (90) days from the execution of the contract and even imposed a substantial amount of penalty in the amount of P150,000.00 a month in case of non-compliance plus suspension of payment of the balance of the contract price.

    Petitioner's explanation that it obliged Benjamin to secure the SPA in order to comply with the requirements of the Register of Deeds and the Bureau of Internal Revenue is bereft of merit. NICORP is a real estate company which is familiar with the intricacies of the realty business. Moreover, there was no evidence that petitioner ratified Benjamin's act of selling the subject property. On the contrary, immediately after the execution of the contract to sell, petitioner wrote NICORP, IE Bank and Benjamin to inform them of her opposition to the sale of the subject property and of his lack of authority to sell it and demand the return of the certificate of title. Clearly, NICORP was negligent in its dealings with Bautista.

    In sum, the Court agrees with the findings and conclusion of the RTC. The consent of petitioner in the contract to sell was not obtained, hence, not enforceable. Furthermore, because NICORP is considered a builder in bad faith, it has no right to be refunded the value of whatever improvements it introduced on the subject property.31chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The March 19, 2014 Decision and the August 18, 2014 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 97682 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The May 24, 2010 Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 90, Dasmariņas, Cavite, is REINSTATED.

    SO ORDERED.

    Leonardo-De Castro,*Brion,**(Acting Chairperson), Peralta,*** and Leonen, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:


    * Per Special Order No. 2250, dated October 14, 2015.

    ** Per Special Order No. 2222, dated September 29, 2015.

    ** Per Special Order No. 2223, dated September 29, 2015.

    1Rollo, pp. 41-50. Penned by Associate Justice Elihu A. Ybanez with Associate Justices Japar B. Dimaampao and Melchor Q.C. Sadang, concirring.

    2 Id. at 52-53. Penned by Associate Justice Elihu A. Ybanez with Associate Justices Japar B. Dimaampao and Melchor Q.C. Sadang, concurring.

    3 Id. at 297-308. Penned by Judge Perla V. Gabrera-Faller.

    4 Id. at 80-81.

    5 Id. at 82-85.

    6 Id. at 124-128.

    7 Annex of the Complaint, records, p. 25.

    8Rollo, pp. 86-91.

    9 Id. at 99-110.

    10 Records, pp. 158-162.

    11 Id. at 136-145.

    12 Id. at 130-135.

    13 Id. at 210.

    14 Id. at 641-652.

    15 Id. at 652.

    16Rollo,p. 17.

    17 As quoted in the petition, id. at 26.

    18Dehesa-lnamarga v. Alano, 595 Phil. 294, 300 (2008).

    19Chua v. Soriano, 549 Phil. 578, 588-589 (2007).

    20Woodchild Holdings, Inc. v. Roxas Electric and Construction Company, Inc., 479 Phil. 896, 912 (2004).

    21 332 Phil. 948 (1996).

    22 Id. at 957-958.

    23Yoshizaki v. Joy Training Center of Aurora, Inc., G.R. No. 174978, July 31, 2013, 702 SCRA, 631, 642.

    24Woodchild Holdings, Inc. v. Roxas Electric and Construction Company, Inc., supra note 20, at 913.

    25Veloso v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 398, 405 (1996).

    26Rollo, p. 80.

    27Aggabao v. Parulan, 644 Phil. 26, 37 (2010).

    28Lintonjua v. Fernandez, 471 Phil. 440, 458 (2004).

    29Abad v. Guimba, 503 Phil. 321, 331-332 (2005).

    30Philippine National Bank v. Militar, 526 Phil. 788, 798 (2006).

    31 Arts. 449 and 546, Civil Code.

    G.R. No. 214057, October 19, 2015 - FLORENTINA BAUTISTA-SPILLE REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, MANUEL B. FLORES, JR., Petitioner, v. NICORP MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, BENJAMIN G. BAUTISTA AND INTERNATIONAL EXCHAN BANK, Respondents.


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