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Art. 22.

Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other

means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter
without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Art. 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another's property was not
due to the fault or negligence of the defendant, the latter shall be liable for
indemnity if through the act or event he was benefited.

Uy v. Public Estate Authority

G.R. Nos. 147925-26
July 7, 2010
Motion for Partial Reconsideration filed by petitioner Elpidio S. Uy (Uy), doing
business under the name and style of Edison Development & Construction (EDC)
From its previous case, the Court of Appeals in previous cases concerning the same
respondent and petitioner on the same subject matter are AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATIONS. As such, Respondent Public Estates Authority is ordered to pay Uy
P55,680,492.38 for equipment rentals on standby; P2,275,721.00 for the cost of
idle manpower; and P6,050,165.05 for the construction of the nursery shade net
area, and other payments.
Uy seeks partial reconsideration of the decision to the factor rate used in the
computation of the award for standby equipment costs. He points out that there
had been unjust enrichment because the actual number of equipment deployed and
which remained on standby, occasioned by the delay in delivery of work areas, has
not been considered in the computation.
WoN Uy can claim unjust enrichment in the computation of the equipment deployed
Uys Motion for Partial Reconsideration is PARTLY GRANTED.
Uys argument on this point is meritorious; and the Court is swayed to modify the
formula used in the computation of the award.
However, the court cannot simply accept in full Uys claim that he is entitled to
P71,009,557.95 as standby equipment cost. The records show that not all of the
equipment were operational; several were under repair.
The court cannot sustain that this claim is premised mainly on the principle of
unjust enrichment. It stressed that the principle of unjust enrichment cannot be
validly invoked by a party who, through his own act or omission, took the risk of
Costan. Inok. Nalla. Tacder. Yanong- JMC. PFR.

being denied payment for additional costs by not giving the other party prior notice
of such costs and/or by not securing their written consent thereto, as required by
law and their contract. The court finds no cogent reason to lift the injunction issued
Uys argument that the claims are different from his previous appeal because the
facts remain the same.
G.R. No. 158253
March 2, 2007
The District Engineer of Pampanga, issued and duly published an invitation to bid,
where Lacap was awarded as the lowest bidder. Accordingly, the latter undertook
the works, made advances for the purchase of materials and payment for labor
On October 29, 1992 the office of the DE issued Certification of Final Inspection and
Acceptance for 100% completion of project in accordance with specifications.
The respondent sought to collect payment but Department of Public Works and
Highways withheld payment after the District Auditor of Commission on Audit
disapproved final release of funds on the ground that contractors license had
Opinion of the DPWH Legal Department was sought by the District Engineer. The
former then responded that RA No. 4566 does not provide that a contract entered
into after the license has expired is void and that there is no law which expressly
prohibits such a contract void. Furthermore, Cesar D. Mejia, Director III of the
Legal Department in a First Indorsement, recommended the payment should be
made to Carwin Construction. However, no payment was made.
On July 3, 1995, respondent filed the complaint through Office of the Solicitor
General for Specific Performance and Damages against petitioner before the RTC.
Petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on September 14, 1995 on the
grounds that complaint states no cause of action and RTC had no jurisdiction since
respondent did not appeal to COA. RTC denied the Motion to Dismiss.
The OSG filed a Motion for Reconsideration but was likewise denied by RTC, in its
order on May 23, 1996. On August 5, 1996, the OSG filed its Answer invoking
defense of non-exhaustion of administrative remedies and doctrine of non-suability
of the State.
Following the trial, the RTC rendered on February 19, 1997 its decision ordering the
DPWH to pay the contract price plus interest at 12% from demand until fully paid
and the costs of the suit.
Issue: Whether or not a contractor with an expired license at the time of execution
Costan. Inok. Nalla. Tacder. Yanong- JMC. PFR.

of its contract is entitled to be paid for completed projects?

Yes. The petitioner must be required to pay the contract price since it has accepted
the completed project and enjoyed the benefits thereof. To allow petitioner to
acquire the finished project at no cost would undoubtedly constitute unjust
enrichment for the petitioner to the prejudice of respondent. Such unjust
enrichment is not allowed by law.
The wordings of R.A. No. 4566 are clear. It does not declare, expressly or impliedly,
as void contracts entered into by a contractor whose license had already expired.
Nonetheless, such contractor is liable for payment of the fine prescribed therein.
Thus, respondent should be paid for the projects he completed. Such payment,
however, is without prejudice to the payment of the fine prescribed under the law.
Besides, Article 22 of the Civil Code which embodies the maxim Nemo ex alterius
incommode debet lecupletari (no man ought to be made rich out of anothers
injury) states:
Art. 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other
means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter
without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
This article is part of the chapter of the Civil Code on Human Relations, the
provisions of which were formulated as "basic principles to be observed for the
rightful relationship between human beings and for the stability of the social order,
x x x designed to indicate certain norms that spring from the fountain of good
conscience, x x x guides human conduct [that] should run as golden threads
through society to the end that law may approach its supreme ideal which is the
sway and dominance of justice." The rules thereon apply equally well to the
Government. Since respondent had rendered services to the full satisfaction and
acceptance by petitioner, then the former should be compensated for them. To
allow petitioner to acquire the finished project at no cost would undoubtedly
constitute unjust enrichment for the petitioner to the prejudice of respondent. Such
unjust enrichment is not allowed by law.

Costan. Inok. Nalla. Tacder. Yanong- JMC. PFR.


A.C. No. 7815
July 23, 2009
Complainant availed respondents legal services in connection with the case of her
son, with an agreement that the respondent will handle the case for P30,000 as
Attorneys Fees. The complainant paid the amount after three installments but
respondent did not issue any receipt for any of the installments.
Aside from this, respondent also received P18,000 from complainant as a bond to
secure the provisional liberty of her (complainants) son. Again, respondent did not
issue any receipt. However, she later found out that respondent did not remit the
amount to the court.
Complainant then demanded the return of the P18,000 from respondent on several
occasions but the latter ignored her. Moreover, respondent failed to act on the case
of complainants son and complainant was forced to avail of the services of the
Public Attorneys Office for her sons defense. Hence, the disbarment case.
Whether or not the respondent is guilty of unjust enrichment and must therefore be
Respondent Atty. Alan S. Macasa was found GUILTY not only of dishonesty but also
of professional misconduct. He grossly neglected the cause of complainants son
after accepting the criminal case against latter and receiving his attorneys fees by
doing nothing that could be considered as effective and efficient legal assistance.
Indeed, on account of respondents continued inaction, it did not only prejudice
complainants son, it also deprived him of his constitutional right to counsel.
Further, respondent also failed to return the money of the complainant despite
several demands. His failure to return the money upon demand gave rise to the
presumption that he has misappropriated it for his own use to the prejudice of and
in violation of the trust reposed in him by complainant.
A lawyer who accepts professional employment from a client undertakes to serve
his client with competence and diligence. He must conscientiously perform his duty
arising from such relationship. He must bear in mind that by accepting a retainer,
he impliedly makes the following representations: that he possesses the requisite
degree of learning, skill and ability other lawyers similarly situated possess; that he
will exert his best judgment in the prosecution or defense of the litigation entrusted
to him; that he will exercise reasonable care and diligence in the use of his skill and
in the application of his knowledge to his clients cause; and that he will take all
steps necessary to adequately safeguard his clients interest.
A lawyers negligence in the discharge of his obligations arising from the relationship
of counsel and client may cause delay in the administration of justice and prejudice
the rights of a litigant, particularly his client. Thus, from the perspective of the
ethics of the legal profession, a lawyers lethargy in carrying out his duties to his
client is both unprofessional and unethical.
Costan. Inok. Nalla. Tacder. Yanong- JMC. PFR.

When a lawyer collects or receives money from his client for a particular purpose
(such as for filing fees, registration fees, transportation and office expenses), he
should promptly account to the client how the money was spent. If he does not use
the money for its intended purpose, he must immediately return it to the client. His
failure either to render an accounting or to return the money (if the intended
purpose of the money does not materialize) constitutes a blatant disregard of Rule
16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Respondent is hereby ORDERED to return to complainant Dolores C. Belleza the
amounts of P30,000 and P18,000 with interest at 12% per annum from the date of
promulgation of this decision until full payment. Respondent is further DIRECTED to
submit to the Court proof of payment of the amount within ten days from payment.
Failure to do so will subject him to criminal prosecution.
In view of the foregoing, the Court ordered that he be DISBARRED from the
practice of law and to return to complainant the amounts of P30,000 and P18,000
with interests.

Costan. Inok. Nalla. Tacder. Yanong- JMC. PFR.