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G.R. No. L-1337, Lo Ching and So Yun Chong Co v. CA and Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, 81 Phil.

601,
46 Off. Gaz. 399


The facts, according to the Court, are as follows: On August 30, 1940, the Archbishop of Manila by the
Bank of the Philippine Islands in lease ceded Lo and So Yun Ching Chong Co. farm with Nos. 1095 to 1101
R. Hidalgo Street, Manila, under a monthly income of P500 for the term of three years from the first of
September 1940, extendable to two years (two years upon agreement of the parties). The tenant
occupied the property establishing therein an hotel. In February 1942, the Japanese army burst into the
farm tenants handing the German Otto Schulze who occupied until the month of January 1945, the
arrival of the army of liberation. In the first days of February 1945, reoccupied the farm tenants, paying
the appropriate monthly rent. Before the end of the month of August of the same year, he required
landlord to tenants to vacate the property, and they refused. Therefore, the lessor September 8, 1945
presented the eviction action in the Municipal Court of Manila, which on October 8, 1945, condemned
the tenants to vacate the property and pay rent monthly P625 from the first September 1945, more
damages in the amount of P500 and court costs. On appeal, the Court of First Instance of Manila dictate
condemning judgment to vacate the property, pay their rent of P625 per month from the first of
September 1945 until the evicted without ruling on costs. The Court of Appeals in its decision of January
30, 1947, confirmed this judgment with costs.

Tenants, appellants in this acting, by certiorari, appeal this decision to the Court, alleging that the Court
of Appeals he committed five errors, two of which, the third and fourth, raise questions of law.
In addition to the allegations made by the appellants and appealed, lawyers Mr. Dewitt, Perkins and
Ponce Enrile, as amici curiae, submitted its memorandum on October 21, 1947, and attorneys Messrs.
Sese Nabong and also as amici curiae, the in his March 18, 1948.

The review of judgments and decrees of the Court of Appeals is limited only to cases in which it is not
more than of errors or questions of law. (Rule 46, Art. 2 in connection with Art. 2 Title VIII of the
Constitution of the Republic.) (Against Matthew and Court of Customs Appeals, 63 Phil., 500.) The
jurisdiction of the Court Supreme is limited to review and examine the errors of law that may be
incurred by the Court of Appeals. (Guico against Mayuga and others, 63 Jur Fil, 352;. Mamuyac vs Abena,
[[1]] 38 Off Gaz, 84,... Meneses against the Commonwealth of the Philippines, [[2]] 40 Off Gaz.. (7th
Supp.) 41; Onglengco vs Ozaeta [[3]], 40 Off Gaz (7th Supp.), 186,... Hernandez vs. Manila Electric Co.,
[[4]] 40 Off Gaz 10th Supp... ), 35; Gerio against Gerio, [[5]] 40 Off. Gaz. (10th Supp.), 53; Garcia Ramos
against Yatco, [[6]] 40 Off. Gaz. (10th Supp.), 124; Zubiri vs. Quijano, [[7]] 2 Off. Gaz, 389.; People vs.
Benitez, [[8]] 1 Off. Gaz, 880.; De las Alas against The People of the Philippines, RGR No. 49212.)

Only try therefore errors III and IV that raise issues of legal hermeneutics.

A paragraph of the lease signed by the parties is as follows:

1. The party of the second part Shall Have and hold the said premises for the full term of three years to
be reckoned from September 1, 1940, but May said period be extended to another two years upon
agreement of the parties. (Record on Appeal, p. 22.)

Regarding the first three years, the terms of the contract are so precise and so clear that no doubt
result. As for the second term of two years, declare that this extension of the contract two additional
years is optional for lessees may continue to occupy the property without the landlord give his consent
again because it has already given at the time of granting Contract Exhibit "C"; but are not required to
occupy, if not for them. . Similar in subject, with Alberto Cruz, 39 Jur Fil, 1015, this Court said:

We believe that the court a quo was in a whole correct in his interpretation of the contract in question;
and, even if it could be accepted that the interpretation makes superfluous the words "agreed by both
parties," however, this does not give any power to the significance of the whole sentence. If true the
interpretation that the appellant wishes to adopt, all relative to the extension of the term would be
superfluous clause, because if the extension would have to only take place under a new agreement that
the parties give the expiry of the original term, to say anything about extending? Those who are free to
grant a lease, you are certainly also to provide a new one when the previous one has expired, without
having to remind them of their power to do the same by the insertion of a clause of this kind in the first
lease . This would not only be superfluous, but devoid of meaning. Must the clause relating to the
extension of the lease, if possible, in the sense of attributing some force.

As we interpret the contracts before us, the parties proposed expressar that had already agreed that
there could be an extension of the lease, and they had agreed as to the duration of this, thus giving the
defendant the right to option to continue the lease for a further period, or not to continue the contract
on expiry of the original term.

On account of lease that expired in August 31, 1945, the tenants stopped having the right to continue
occupying the property. This contract has the force of law between the parties (Article 1091, Civil Code).
"If the lease is made for a fixed period, concludes the preset day without request." (Article 1565, Civil
Code.) The decision, therefore, the Court of Appeals ordering the tenants to vacate the property and pay
rent of P625 monthly as from the first of September 1945 until the vacate this match law. (Article 1569,
Civil Code.)

The appellants contend that they are entitled to occupy the property for three full years; your
occupation must be effective, continuous material; they should not be deprived of the use and
enjoyment of the property; that the appellants are entitled to deduct from that period of three years, all
the time they have left to enjoy the lease disposition of the Japanese army.

Clearly perfectisimo tenants have the right to occupy the property for all time and not just lease for
three years but for five, according to the two agreed deadlines, and indeed the landlord received it and
established a business of hotel, and had the full use and enjoyment of the property before being driven
out by the Japanese. Even more, the landlord is obligated to keep the tenants in the peaceful enjoyment
of the lease for the entire time of the contract (Article 1554, paragraph 3 Civil Code). But this obligation
does not extend to the end to defend the tenants from the depredations of the invading hordes. This
item is out of power and the legal obligation of the lessor. Assuming, for a moment, before the outbreak
of war, had a cool smuggled in a hotel room of the appellants and that despite requests not dislodge
wanted, was it forced the landlord to take the farm to possessor? That intruder was no holder of the
property or holder of the property but the possession of the tenant peaceful enjoyment. No pretensions
occupied the room with domain: illegal or just wanted to fill the room for free. Tenants debian direct
their action against the possessor who invaded his right of possession, which the owner had nothing to
answer.

Only if the owner responds that disturbs possession alegal title to the property. If a third party claiming
to have purchased the property of the landlord, the tenants want to take, they may require the landlord
to defend them. The obligation of the landlord to ensure the peaceful enjoyment is not in all cases:
those in which only the title of the property has something to do with the disturbance, when it comes to
disturbance of law. When a person by judicial action you want to deprive them of possession of the
property to tenants, the landlord is obligated to defend them. So has the 1560 article of the Civil Code:
"The landlord is not required to respond to the perturbation of a third fact merno wounds the use of the
leased property, but the tenant will take direct action against the disturbing fact there is no disturbance.
when the third party, whether the Administration, as an individual, he has worked under a law that suits
you. "

Manresa, commenting on this provision says:

What do we mean by mere perturbation?, What by disturbance of law?

The French Code, in its art. 1,725, says the landlord is not required to ensure the tenant for any
inconvenience caused by third parties who are not entitled to the thing leased, without prejudice to any
claim which the tenant can do on their own behalf; Article 1,726 and that if, on the contrary, the tenant
or lessee has been disturbed in his enjoyment result of an action on the ownership of the property, is
entitled to a proportional reduction in the price of the lease, having reported that nuisance the owner.

It appears from these provisions that the disturbance caused by a person not entitled to the thing leased
(although it can hold over different things to keep her relationship), estimate as mere fact, and that
other consisting of the exercise of an action affecting the ownership of the property, it must be
considered as law.

Laurent, explaining these precepts, he says, that what characterizes the disturbance of law, is that the
third party attempts or affirm that the leased property does not belong to the landlord. However, he
adds, it is possible that a third party exercising a right that applies to you, disturb the enjoyment of the
tenant: the third party does not intend to have any rights on the leased property, and in this sense there
is no disturbance of law; the law under which the lessor has leased not attacked, and yet the enjoyment
of the lessee is disturbed. To clarify if the latter course the landlord should the tenant respondar
disturbance, said according to author distinguishes disruptive acts come from the Administration or an
individual.

If from the Administration, we will have to distinguish again if this has worked within the circle of his
powers, and exceeded or if the act is illegal, if it happened last, the answer is not doubtful for Laurent;
an illegal act is a way of fact, and the ways of practice are to be held accountable to the landlord.

Otherwise, that is, the Administration has acted within its powers, the right of the tenant to go against
the landlord and his lack of action against the Administration, are obvious.

If the disruptive acts come from individuals, Laurent makes the same distinction when coming from the
Administration, if an individual has acted in the exercise of a right that belongs, or has overstepped on:
the solutions proposed are identical and under the same grounds. From this it follows that there was no
great need to distinguish between acts of the Administration and individual acts, to reach such a result.

Later the same Laurent welcomes the following distinctions Pothier: no disturbance when in fact the
third made are not intended to have any rights in the premises, or with relation to the property, for
example, if they graze their flocks in the leased property, although without stating who are authorized
to do so: it is legal disturbance, which was the result of a lawsuit brought before the courts; Judicial
disturbance is also, by way of exception, which takes place when the chase arrendatarioa authors of a
disturbance in fact, they oppose having a right in the thing leased.

Pacifici Mazzoni announces the difference between fact and disturbance of law, saying that the first
occurs when materially prevents or reduces the enjoyment of the lessee, without the disturbing claims
about the thing or right on your enjoyment, and second, if has the same aim, along with judicial,
extrajudicial acts well with the tenant's right to the enjoyment answered claiming legal claims on the
thing.

Ricci says two requirements to discomfort in fact to be borne by the tenant: first, that the cause does
not hold any rights to the leased property, and second, that neither is entitled to that where the
nuisance or disturbance is ; missing any of these two requirements is disturbance of law.

Our Goyena, commenting on art. 1491 Project 1851, says that in any contract there liability for acts of
God, and such must be deemed the perturbation of mere fact, like flocks of others are introduced into
the meadow that I have for rent, or I can snatch night fruit , or violently expelled me from the house I
occupy. Later he adds, that while the attack is not directed against the same property of the thing and
judicially, the tenant is only attacked and defend the mere touch. (10 Manresa 511-513).

The appellants argue that reoccupied the farm in February 1945 and only resumed business hotel in
June because it had to take 400 refugees; repaired the destroyed parts of the building by spending at
least P5, 000, to put it in condition for the hotel business; the landlord allowed them to do all these
things. For such circumstances - the appellants argue - the landlord has made them believe that they
could occupy the farm for more than seven months and operate the hotel business for more than 2
months to recover your investment, and if there was no express, at least , there was a tacit
authorization. They conclude. Was the landlord estoppel to claim the completion of the new lease that
began in 1945 Februaro This theory is untenable. If the landlord did not object to the reoccupation by
the tenants of the property in February 1945 and received rent for, has done nothing but respect the
right that had tenants occupy the property because according to the second additional period, had
option undisputed occupy the property until August 31, 1945. consented If therefore the landlord that
tenants reoccupy the property, was not under the understanding that the new occupied under tacit
agreement but under the agreement and agreed by the Exhibit "C". If tenants have made investments
that have not been recovered until August 31, 1945, no one but themselves to blame should lie. Debian
was aware that the contract law between the parties and debian end on August 31 of that year. There is
no such estoppel.

Nor is meritorious the claim of the appellants that the reoccupation by them from the farm in February
1945 for having the landlord received rent and for having allowed them to make repairs on the building,
there arose a new legal relationship of lease for a period of over two months and ask the Court
determined that the circumstances attending. In support cited Article 1128 of the Civil Code which
provides that "If no such indication term obligation, but its nature and circumstances it is apparent that
he wanted granted to the debtor, the court will determine the length of that."

As already mentioned, the reoccupation of the property in February was but the continuation of the
lease ending in August 31, 1943, consistent with the second additional period of two years.

Article 1128 of the Civil Code refers to the obligations in general and does not refer to deadlines on
leasing this class because there is already a contract and special provision is Article 1565 which reads: "If
the lease has been made by given time, the day concludes default without request. "

In this case, term fixed by the parties - Three years from the first of September 1940 until August 31,
1943, and an additional two-year period ending on August 31, 1945 If there were. been a further period
of two years, the reoccupation by tenants in February 1945 had been a new lease for automatic
renewal; but as the payment of rent per month was to be understood that the contract ended at the
end of the month. Article 1581 of the Civil Code expressly provides that "If it had not fixed term lease
means done for years when it has set an annual rent for months when monthly, monthly for days when,
for days when daily. In any case ceases lease without special requirement, fulfilled the term. "

The launch of the tenants of the estate by the invading army, putting in place the German Otto Schulze,
few words are enough. The Hague Convention of 1907 does not authorize an occupying army to seize
private property in the invaded territory. On the contrary, provides that. "Family honor and rights, the
lives of persons, and private property, as well as religious convictions and practice, must be respected
Private property can not be confiscated." (Article 46.) And even the farm was used as army barracks, and
there are indications that it seized by military necessity, it can be deduced that the Japanese soldiers
placed the farm, not in the legitimate exercise the authority of an occupying army, but spurred on by
excessive and uncontrollable desire to seize other people. Tenants therefore should have directed his
claim against the German Otto Schulze and the soldiers gave him possession of the property. If the
occupation of Otto Schulze was a simple case of detainer for possession, what right have the tenants of
the lease term discount it? Is not this shifting the liability Otto Schulze and Japanese soldiers, who are
the true bearers in the landlord? Nor is there anything in the record to show that the soldiers occupied
the farm with pretensions domain. If the Japanese told the German Otto Schulze income should pay the
owner of the property, it proves to who had not wanted to hurt you; the action was directed to the
tenant, the owner of the possession, use and enjoyment of the lease. The deprivation of possession of
tenants by Japanese soldiers was a simple perturbation and the mere fact that the landlord does not
respond, according express provision of Article 1560 of the Civil Code. Under no conceptio should be
reduced, therefore, the period of illegal occupation of Otto Schulze, the lease term agreed by the
parties.

The appellants argue that the invasion of the Japanese can not be regarded as a mere disturbance in
fact, that did not affect only the leased property but also to other properties in the Philippines. That is
true; but is no legal reason for tenants not suffer a corresponding share of the depredations caused by
pjaponeses hordes; is no reason for tenants to move weight will damage them shoulder the lessor.

In support of the theory that the court may extend the term of the occupancy of the property by the
tenant to a period of time equal to the time they were deprived of possession by the Japanese army, the
appellants rely on the Act No. 720 Commonwealth that provides for extension of time within which you
can make, perform or comply with any term, condition or stipulation expressed in the mineral, forest
and public land concessions. Without this law, any extension of the term would be illegal: the terms of
the grant are inflexible and must be met. In this case, the law between the parties is the lease Exhibito C.
If the landlord fails to grant paves a third term, by tacit agreement or expressly, the eviction of the
appellants is forced.

The appellants contend that in this case, the Court is to grant additional time dbe accordance with
Article 1124 of the Civil Code. This contention is erroneous. The Court is not the landlord or agent of the
landlord; therefore can not extend the lease term in contravention of the precise terms of the Exhibito
C. The lessor or the Archbishop of Manila, as the government in the matter of mineral, forest and
mineral concessions, which may be granted is another term and not the Court.

The judgment appealed from is affirmed. Paid recurring costs in all instances....