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Tagatac v.

Jimenez car, when he filed a petition to dissolve Tagatacs search


warrant which had as its subject the car in question.
TRINIDAD TAGATAC v. LIBERATO JIMENEZ
1957 / Ocampo / Appeal from CFI judgment Re: Tagatacs allegation that the lower court ignored the
judgment convicting Feist of estafa, and that it erred in
Trinidad Tagatac bought a car for $4,500 in the US, and not declaring that restitution of the swindled property
seven months later, she brought the car to the must follow, SHE IS WRONG! The lower court noted
Philippines. When her friend Joseph Lee came to see that Feist was accused of estafa because of the check and
her, he was with one Warner Feist who posed as a NOT because of the delivery of the car.
wealthy man. Seeing that Tagatac seemed to believe Her legal basis for the restitution of thing is RPC 104-51
him, he offered to buy her car for P15,000, and Tagatac . Now the question is WON she has beenunlawfully
was amenable to the idea. The deed of sale was made, deprived of her car. It seems like though, but it does not
Feist paid by means of a postdated check, and the car fall under the scope of NCC 599. 2In this case, there is a
was delivered to Feist. When Tagatac tried to encash the valid transmission of ownership from true owner
check, PNB refused to honor it and told her that Feist [Tagatac] to the swindler [Feist], considering that they
had no account in said bank. Tagatac notified the law had a contract of sale.
enforcement agencies of the estafa committed on her by As long as no action is taken by the entitled party
Feist, but he was not apprehended and the car [annulment / ratification], the contract of sale remains
disappeared. valid and binding. Feist acquired defective and voidable
Meanwhile, Feist managed to have the private deed of title, but when he sold it to Sanchez, he conferred a good
sale notarized, so he succeeded in having the cars title on the latter. Jimenez bought the car from Sanchez
registration certificate [RC] transferred in his name. He in good faith, for value, and without notice of any defect
sold the car to Sanchez, who was able to transfer the RC in Sanchez title, so he acquired a good title to the car.
to his name. He offered to sell the car to defendant Good title means an indefeasible title to the car, even as
Liberato Jimenez, who bought the car for P10,000 after against original owner Tagatac. As between two
investigating in the Motor Vehicles Office. Jimenez innocent parties, the one whose acts made possible the
delivered the car to the California Car Exchange so that injury must shoulder the consequences thereof.
it may be displayed for sale. Masalonga offered to sell -------------------------
the car for Jimenez, so the car was transferred to the
former, but when Masalonga failed to sell it right away, 1 Civil liability of person who is criminally liable
he transferred it to Villanueva so he could sell it for includes restitution of thing even though it is with a third
Jimenez. Tagatac discovered that the car was in person who acquired it legally
California Car Exchanges possession, so she demanded 2 Although possession of movable property acquired in
from the manager for the delivery of the car, but the good faith is equivalent to a title, one who has lost any
latter refused. The RC was retransferred to Jimenez. movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof may
Tagatac filed a suit for the recovery of the cars recover it from the person who possesses it.
possession, and the sheriff, pursuant to a warrant of
seizure that Tagatac obtained, seized and impounded the Tagatac Vs. Jimenez
car, but it was delivered back to Jimenez upon his filing
of a counter-bond. The lower court held that Jimenez Facts:
had the right of ownership and possession over the car. Trinidad Tagatac bought a car for $4,500 in the US. After
7 months, she brought the car to the Philippines.
JIMENEZ IS A PURCHASER IN GOOD FAITH;
Warner Feist, who pretended to be a wealthy man,
TAGATAC NOT ENTITLED TO POSSESSION
offered to buy Trinidads car for P15,000, and Tagatac
RATIO was amenable to the idea. Hnece, a deed of sale was
The disputable presumption that a person found in exceuted.
possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent Feist paid by means of a postdated check, and the car
wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act was delivered to Feist. However, PNB refused to honor
does NOT apply in this case because the car was not the checks and told her that Feist had no account in said
stolen from Tagatac, and Jimenez came into possession bank.
of the car two months after Feist swindled Tagatac. In Tagatac notified the law enforcement agencies of the
addition, when Jimenez acquired the car, he had no estafa committed by Feist, but the latter was not
knowledge of any flaw in the title of the person from apprehended and the car disappeared.
whom he acquired it. It was only later that he became Meanwhile, Feist managed succeeded in having the
fully aware that there were some questions regarding the cars registration certificate (RC) transferred in his

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name. He sold the car to Sanchez, who was able to . . . The fraud and deceit practiced by Warner L. Feist
transfer the registration certificate to his name. earmarks this sale as a voidable contract (Article 1390
Sanchez then offered to sell the car to defendant N.C.C.). Being a voidable contract, it is susceptible of
Liberato Jimenez, who bought the car for P10,000 after either ratification or annulment.
investigating in the Motor Vehicles Office. (
Tagatac discovered that the car was in California Car If the contract is ratified, the action to annul it is
Exchanges (place where Jimenez displayed the car for extinguished (Article 1392, N.C.C.) and the contract is
sale), so she demanded from the manager for the cleansed from all its defects (Article 1396, N.C.C.); if the
delivery of the car, but the latter refused. contract is annulled, the contracting parties are
Tagatac filed a suit for the recovery of the cars restored to their respective situations before the
possession, and the sheriff, pursuant to a warrant of contract and mutual restitution follows as a
seizure that Tagatac obtained, seized and impounded consequence (Article 1398, N.C.C.).
the car, but it was delivered back to Jimenez upon his
filing of a counter-bond. Being a voidable contract, it remains valid and binding
The lower court held that Jimenez had the right of until annulled
ownership and possession over the car. However, as long as no action is taken by the party
entitled, either that of annulment or of ratification, the
contract of sale remains valid and binding. When
plaintiff-appellant Trinidad C. Tagatac delivered the car
Issue: WON Jimenez was a purchaser in good faith and to Feist by virtue of said voidable contract of sale, the
thus entitled to the ownership and possession of the title to the car passed to Feist. Of course, the title that
car. YES Feist acquired was defective and voidable.

Held: Nevertheless, at the time he sold the car to Felix


Sanchez, his title thereto had not been avoided and he
It must be noted that Tagactac was not unlawfully therefore conferred a good title on the latter, provided
deprived of his car he bought the car in good faith, for value and without
In this case, there is a valid transmission of ownership notice of the defect in Feist's title (Article 1506, N.C.C.).
from true owner [Tagatac] to the swindler [Feist], There being no proof on record that Felix Sanchez acted
considering that they had a contract of sale (note: but in bad faith, it is safe to assume that he acted in good
such sale is voidable for the fraud and deceit by Feist). faith.

The disputable presumption that a person found in Reference:


possession of a thing taken in the doing of a recent TRINIDAD TAGATAC v. LIBERATO JIMENEZ
wrongful act is the taker and the doer of the whole act 53 OG 3792
does NOT apply in this case because the car was not
stolen from Tagatac, and Jimenez came into possession
of the car two months after Feist swindled Tagatac.

Jimenez was a purchaser in good faith for he was not


aware of any flaw invalidating the title from the seller of
the car
In addition, when Jimenez acquired the car, he had no
knowledge of any flaw in the title of the person from
whom he acquired it. It was only later that he became
fully aware that there were some questions regarding
the car, when he filed a petition to dissolve Tagatacs
search warrant which had as its subject the car in
question.

The contract between Feist and Tagactac was a voidable


contract, it can be annulled or ratified