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Eunis Flamme S.

L-130147, 3F
Legal Counselling
August 2, 2016

Clients Legal Problem

The client named John, 26 years of age and a call center agent, is
indebted to a man named Raul who is in the business of lending money. John
and Raul entered into a contract wherein Raul will lend 18,000 pesos to John
and it shall be payable in six monthly installments, and if John fails to pay at
least three monthly installments the entire debt shall be collectible
immediately. Unfortunately, John was not able to pay three monthly
installments of 3,000 pesos, which rendered the whole amount he owed
collectible as agreed upon. The creditor, a few days after, barged into his
house and commenced to forcibly take his appliances and furniture as
payment for the money he owed him. John now asks if the action of this man
is legal.
Legal Advice and Legal Basis
I would tell John that in the given scenario there is no doubt that that
man who lent him the money amounting to 18,000 pesos has the right to
oblige him to pay, bearing in mind that the loan that the creditor extended to
John is already due and demandable. Contractual ties give rise to obligations
on the part of the contracting parties. These obligations arising from
contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties and each
party is bound to comply in good faith (Article 1159, Civil Code). Thus, the
terms and conditions conveyed in the contract becomes the law between the
parties and a source of right to demand performance of the obligation from
the other party. However, there are methods permitted by law on how this
man can collect the loan from John.
One of the ways to claim payment of debt is to demand payment in
person or through a letter. An alternative one is by bringing the problem
before the Katarungang Pambarangay, in case both John and the creditor live
in the same barangay (village), city or municipality given that it is a
compulsory mediation process and almost all civil disputes and many crimes
with potential prison sentences of less than one year or fines less than 5,000
Philippine pesos are subjected to the system. If no settlement has been
reached, then, lastly, the creditor may file a case against John in the regular
judicial system of the Philippines.
On the other hand, the method which the creditor used in collecting the
payment of the debt is not in harmony with our law. In a sense, the creditor
took the law into his own hands i.e. in that he is without authority of law or
has no right to act, and by means of force compelled the debtor to do
something against his will.
In actual fact, what the creditor did is liable to be punished by under the
Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, to wit:
Art. 287. Light coercions. Any person who, by means of violence,
shall seize anything belonging to his debtor for the purpose of applying
the same to the payment of the debt, shall suffer the penalty of arresto
mayor in its minimum period and a fine equivalent to the value of the
thing, but in no case less than 75 pesos.
I will make it essential to mention that this advice is specially based on
the facts that the client has narrated and my appreciation of the same. I will

further express that this legal advice may vary when the facts are to be
changed or elaborated by the client.