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CARLOS SANDICO, SR., and TEOPISTO P. TIMBOL vs.

MINERVA PIGUING, Judge of CFI Pampanga, and DESIDERIO PARAS


G.R. No. L-26115 November 29, 1971
CASTRO, J.

FACTS:
Desiderio Paras Sps Sandico and Timbol = Petitioner
 CFI Pampanga, 1960: ruled in favor of Sps Carlos Sandico and Enrica Timbol, and Teopisto Timbol, administrator of the estate of the late
Sixta Paras, who obtained a judgment in their favor against Desiderio Paras in Civil Case 1554, w.c was an action for easement and damages.
 CA: affirmed and modified the judgment as follows: “as a consequence, Paras is ordered to recognize the easement; he is sentenced to pay Sps
Sandico-Timbol the sums of P5,000 actual, P500 exemplary damages, and P500.00 attorney’s fees, plus costs in both instances”
 Upon remand to CFI of civil case, Sps Sandico and Timbol moved for issuance of Writ of Execution to enforce CAs judgment
 CFI then issued a Writ of Execution, w.c the Provincial Sheriff served upon Paras. (ELAM: oblign – pay 6k etc)

 Meanwhile, Sps Sandico and Timbol, and Paras reached settlement, agreeing to reduction of the money judgment from P6k to P4k.
 Thus, Paras paid Sps Sandico and Timbol the sum of P3k, and another P1k as evidenced by receipt issued by Sps Sandico and Timbol's
counsel. (ELAM: oblign’ – pay 4k etc)

 Sps Sandico-Tambol wrote Paras demanding compliance w/ portion of judgment relative to reconstruction/reopening of irrigation canal.
 Upon refusal of Paras to rebuild/reopen irrigation canal, Sps Sandico-Tambol filed motion to declare the Paras in contempt of court
 Paras opposed the motion stating that he had dug a canal in its former place, measuring 1.5 feet deep, for the Sps Sandico-Tambol' use.
 CFI/Judge Piguing: ruled in favor of Paras – not in contempt of Court + quashed WOEs; agreement of the parties "novated" the money
judgment provided for in CA ruling; ruled "it appears from dispositive that Paras was only ordered to recognize easement in w.c he is bound to
pay P5k of actual, P500.00 of exemplary damages; nothing to show that Paras was ordered to reconstruct canal;
 CA: reversed CFIs ruling.
 Sps Sandico-Timbol elevated case with SC thru

ISSUE: WoN there is novation on this case. --NO

RULING:
Sps Sandico-Timbol averred: Paras still has, on top of obligation pay money judgment of 4k (from 6k), to reconstruct/reopen irrig canal
Paras averred/CFI ruled: Paras had no more obligation to reconstruct/reopen irrig canal since obligation to pay money judgment of 6k + irrig canal,
was novated to obligation to pay 4k; that Paras’ payment of 4k extinguished previous obligation
Court ruled (with Sps Sandico-Timbol):
 Receipt evidencing the agreement between the 2 parties provides for redxn of money judgment + reconstruction of irrigation canal. The
stipulation wherein Paras recognizes his obligation to reconstruct the canal is embodied in precise and clear terms in the receipt, and binds Paras
(signatory of receipt). Court ruled ergo that Paras still had obligation to reconstruct and reopen the irrigation canal.
 Court tho noted that Paras exerted effort to reconstruct canal by digging a canal 1.5 feet deep. builty by Paras is too shallow, water overflows.
Court ruled that Paras pursuant to obligation to recognize the easement that the canal be restored to its former condition (deeper, wider as
present is too shallow, water overflows. Present canal is not substantial compliance with obligation to recognize the easement.

Sps Sandico-Timbol averred: There was no novation i.e. Paras still obligation to pay money judgment of 4k (from 6k) + reconstruct/reopen irrig
canal
Paras averred/CFI ruled: There was novation i.e. Paras only has obligation to pay money judgment of 4k since previous obligation to pay money
judgment of 4k (from 6k) + reconstruct/reopen irrig canal was NOVATED; that Paras’s oblign to pay 4k has been extinguished
Court ruled (with Sps Sandico-Timbol): There was no novation, but Paras’ obligation was fully extinguished because of acceptance by Sps
Sandico –Timbol of 4k as “in full satisfaction of the money judgment.”
 The receipt neither expressly nor impliedly declares that the reduction of money judgment was conditioned on Paras' reconstruction and
reopening of irrig canal. The receipt merely shows recognition of obligation re: canal.

 The reduction of money does not amount to novation because the concept of novation is the substitution or change of an obligation by another
and not by reduction.
 Additionally, to sustain novation necessitates that the same be so declared in unequivocal terms — clearly and unmistakably shown by the
express agreement of the parties or by acts of equivalent import — or that there is complete and substantial incompatibility between the two
obligations (ELAM: express and implied novation – not present in this case)
 However, the payment by Paras of the lesser amount of P4,000, accepted by the Sps Sandico-Tambol without any protest or objection and
acknowledged by them as "in full satisfaction of the money judgment", completely extinguished the judgment debt and released the Paras from
his pecuniary liability.

 (With regard to whether Judge Piguing committed GAD) In effect, the payment of the judgment debt by Paras, although in a reduced amount
but accepted by Sps Sandico-Timbol as "in full satisfaction of the money judgment," warrants the quashal of the alias writ.