Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1908 > December 1908 Decisions > G.R. No. 4448 December 3, 1908 - ANGEL GUSTILO, ET AL. v. JUAN ARANETA

012 Phil 167:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 4448. December 3, 1908. ]

ANGEL GUSTILO, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. JUAN ARANETA, Defendant-Appellee.

Salvador Laguda, for Appellants.

Vicente Franco, for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. DEBT AND DEBTORS; ATTACHMENT; RECIVER; ACCOUNTING. — A certain hacienda with the crops and farming outfit was attached in 1886, and a receiver appointed and an inventory taken. In 1890-91 part of the land was sold to satisfy indebtedncss to the Government. The present action was brought to recover the alleged profits of the property and 17 hectares of land, the latter not clearly identified. Both parties set up an accounting pending between them involving the same items, in which the Court of First Instance, in 1901, ordered the delivery of the remaining property to the plaintiff and the order was complied with. Afterwards the property was attached by other creditors and sold and finally came into the possession of the defendant. The above proceedings were pleaded as a defense and admitted by the court: Held, That this defense should prevail and that there is no reason why the entire accountability of the receiver could not be established in the pending proceedings, and there is no justification for now modifying the conclusions of the judge in his order of 1901.


D E C I S I O N


TRACEY, J. :


In 1886, Tranquilino Gustilo was the owner of a hacienda in Bago, Occidental Negros, known as "Bagtoc" or "Consorcia," containing 72 hectares which, together with its crops and farming plant was attached at the instance of Alejandro Amechazurra on a debt of 4,033 pesos. Under this attachment, the defendant Juan Araneta was appointed receiver and inventories of the property coming to his hands as such were made by appraisers, two appointed by the plaintiff in the attachment, and two by the defendant. as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

Plaintiffs’ Defendant’s

valuation. valuation.

Bamboo $187.50 $200.00

12 houses, at $48 576.00 576.00

Storehouse with mill 1,500.00 1,060.00

Another storehouse 80.00 80.00

20 carabaos 270.00 376.00

10 carts 152.00 152.00

The land 3,600.00 7,200.00

———— ———

Total 6,365.50 9,694.00

During the first three farming years the creditor, Amechazurra, supplied the receiver with working funds which at the end of each season were paid back to him with interest after an accounting. In 1890 or 1891, 52 hectares were sold under a seizure for nonpayment of monies due the Government, and were the subject of the action No. 4160 decided in this court on March 26, 1908, 1 leaving in the possession of the receiver only 20 hectares, and also a part of the personal property.

The present action is brought to recover what are claimed to have been the profits of the hacienda while in his hands, alleged to amount to 94,620.50 pesos, besides a parcel of 17 hectares of land, whether forming a part of the 72 hectares or in addition thereto, is not very clear.

In regard to this parcel of 17 hectares, we agree with the trial court that the preponderance of proof is m favor of the defendant.

The learned judge who tried this case expresses his dissatisfaction with the evidence presented by both sides. It seems improbable that, even under the ablest management, a hacienda and plant valued by the owners’ own appraisers at 9,694 pesos could have produced net revenues amounting to over 94,000 pesos in these intervening years, particularly when we consider that these included years of insurrection and war, and that since 1891 but a small portion of the property remained unsold.

The defense testifies that, instead of yielding a profit, the business of the hacienda was- in debt to him. It is conceded that the original claim of Amechazurra was never paid and some light appears to be thrown upon the character of the suit by the testimony of this creditor, who testifies that in the event of success the plaintiffs were to pay him one-half the recovery and that he knew that, if they succeeded to the extent of their full claim, he would be entitled to 48,000 pesos.

The pleadings of both parties set up an accounting pending between them involving these same items, in which, in 1901, an order was made by the Court of First Instance requiring the delivery of the remaining property in accordance with the accounts. It further appears from the testimony that thereafter the property was so delivered to the plaintiffs, whereupon it was attached by other creditors and sold at public sale, passing finally into the hands of the defendant. Neither the items of this account nor the order of the Judge of First Instance have been put in evidence, but it is admitted to have covered the subject-matter of the present action. The trial judge stated in his opinion that the pendency of this proceeding was urged as a defense, and we are of the opinion that it should prevail. There was no reason why the entire accountability of the receiver could not be established in that proceeding, nor any justification for modifying in a second action the conclusions reached by the judge in his order of 1901.

The judgment of the Court of First Instance is affirmed with the costs of this instance. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Carson and Willard, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. Gustillo v. Matti (11 Phil. Rep., 611)




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