Nov 23, 2009

Civil Law 2- ObliCon- Pichel vs. Alonzo

This case is with reference to Art 1157 of the New Civil Code- Sources of Contracts

Case of Luis Pichel vs. Prudencio Alonzo
G.R.No. L- 36902 30January1982

That Prudencio Alonzo (VENDOR) executed a deed of sale for the coconut fruits of his land in Balactasan Plantation in Lamitan, Basilan, in favor of Luis Pichel (VENDEE). The land from which the subject coconut fruits are derived from was subjected to a cancellation of the award in 1965, due to the reason of violation of the law that disallows alienation of land (the vendor’s rights to the land were reinstated in 1972)
The vendor and his wife sold to the vendee the fruits of the coconut trees from 1968 to 1976 for consideration of 4,200. Even during the date of sale, the land was still leased to one Ramon Sua, and it was part of the agreement of the sale that the sum of 3,650.00 was to be paid by the vendor to Ramon Sua as to release the land.
The RTC decided in favor of the vendor, due to the fact that the deed of sale that was executed was invalid, due to its supposed violation of RA No. 477, in which they equated the deed of sale executed by the parties as a contract of lease.


Was the Deed of Sale valid?

- Yes, The RTC erred in constructing the deed of sale as a contract of lease.
- There was no need on the part of the RTC to interpret the contract, since there was no ambiguity, it merely contracts the sale of the fruits of the land, not the land itself.
- The S.C. relied upon ART 1370 of the Civil Code, regarding the rule on interpreting contracts.
- Its interpretation in express form is the preferred. Construction shall be employed when such literal interpretation is impossible.
- The possession of the coconut fruits for 7 years is different from possession of the land, since the coconut fruits are mere accessories and the land is the principal- a transfer of accessories does not necessarily mean a transfer of principal, it is the other way around.
- The vendor after having received the consideration for the sale of his coconut fruits cannot be allowed to impugn the validity of the contracts he entered into, to the prejudice of petitioner who contracted in good faith and consideration

The Judgment of the lower court has been set aside, and another one entered in its place, dismissing the complaint.

Obligations and Contracts Terms:

• Difference between a contract of sale and a lease of things: that the delivery of the thing sold transfers ownership, while in a lease no such transfer of ownership results as the rights of the lessee are limited to the use and enjoyment of the thing leased.
• Contract of Lease- defined as giving or the concession of the enjoyment or use of a thing for a specified time and fixed price.

I hope this helps.

Jeff David

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