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G.R. No.

L-24968 April 27, 1972


SAURA IMPORT and EXPORT CO., INC., plaintiff-appellee,
vs.
DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, defendant-appellant.
Mabanag, Eliger and Associates and Saura, Magno and Associates for plaintiff-appellee.
Jesus A. Avanceña and Hilario G. Orsolino for defendant-appellant.

MAKALINTAL, J.:p
In Civil Case No. 55908 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, judgment was rendered on June 28, 1965 sentencing defendant Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to pay actual and consequential damages to
plaintiff Saura Import and Export Co., Inc. in the amount of P383,343.68, plus interest at the legal rate from the date the complaint was filed and attorney's fees in the amount of P5,000.00. The present appeal is from
that judgment.
In July 1953 the plaintiff (hereinafter referred to as Saura, Inc.) applied to the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation (RFC), before its conversion into DBP, for
an industrial loan of P500,000.00, to be used as follows: P250,000.00 for the construction of a factory building (for the manufacture of jute sacks); P240,900.00
to pay the balance of the purchase price of the jute mill machinery and equipment; and P9,100.00 as additional working capital.
Parenthetically, it may be mentioned that the jute mill machinery had already been purchased by Saura on the strength of a letter of credit extended by the
Prudential Bank and Trust Co., and arrived in Davao City in July 1953; and that to secure its release without first paying the draft, Saura, Inc. executed a
trust receipt in favor of the said bank.
On January 7, 1954 RFC passed Resolution No. 145 approving the loan application for P500,000.00, to be secured by a first mortgage on the factory building
to be constructed, the land site thereof, and the machinery and equipment to be installed. Among the other terms spelled out in the resolution were the
following:
1. That the proceeds of the loan shall be utilized exclusively for the following purposes:
For construction of factory building P250,000.00
For payment of the balance of purchase
price of machinery and equipment 240,900.00
For working capital 9,100.00
T O T A L P500,000.00
4. That Mr. & Mrs. Ramon E. Saura, Inocencia Arellano, Aniceto Caolboy and Gregoria Estabillo and China Engineers, Ltd. shall sign the promissory notes
jointly with the borrower-corporation;
5. That release shall be made at the discretion of the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation, subject to availability of funds, and as the construction of the factory
buildings progresses, to be certified to by an appraiser of this Corporation;"
Saura, Inc. was officially notified of the resolution on January 9, 1954. The day before, however, evidently having otherwise been informed of its approval,
Saura, Inc. wrote a letter to RFC, requesting a modification of the terms laid down by it, namely: that in lieu of having China Engineers, Ltd. (which was willing
to assume liability only to the extent of its stock subscription with Saura, Inc.) sign as co-maker on the corresponding promissory notes, Saura, Inc. would
put up a bond for P123,500.00, an amount equivalent to such subscription; and that Maria S. Roca would be substituted for Inocencia Arellano as one of the
other co-makers, having acquired the latter's shares in Saura, Inc.
In view of such request RFC approved Resolution No. 736 on February 4, 1954, designating of the members of its Board of Governors, for certain reasons
stated in the resolution, "to reexamine all the aspects of this approved loan ... with special reference as to the advisability of financing this particular project
based on present conditions obtaining in the operations of jute mills, and to submit his findings thereon at the next meeting of the Board."
On March 24, 1954 Saura, Inc. wrote RFC that China Engineers, Ltd. had again agreed to act as co-signer for the loan, and asked that the necessary
documents be prepared in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in Resolution No. 145. In connection with the reexamination of the project to
be financed with the loan applied for, as stated in Resolution No. 736, the parties named their respective committees of engineers and technical men to meet
with each other and undertake the necessary studies, although in appointing its own committee Saura, Inc. made the observation that the same "should not
be taken as an acquiescence on (its) part to novate, or accept new conditions to, the agreement already) entered into," referring to its acceptance of the
terms and conditions mentioned in Resolution No. 145.
On April 13, 1954 the loan documents were executed: the promissory note, with F.R. Halling, representing China Engineers, Ltd., as one of the co-signers;
and the corresponding deed of mortgage, which was duly registered on the following April 17.
It appears, however, that despite the formal execution of the loan agreement the reexamination contemplated in Resolution No. 736 proceeded. In a meeting
of the RFC Board of Governors on June 10, 1954, at which Ramon Saura, President of Saura, Inc., was present, it was decided to reduce the loan from
P500,000.00 to P300,000.00. Resolution No. 3989 was approved as follows:
RESOLUTION No. 3989. Reducing the Loan Granted Saura Import & Export Co., Inc. under Resolution No. 145, C.S., from P500,000.00 to P300,000.00.
Pursuant to Bd. Res. No. 736, c.s., authorizing the re-examination of all the various aspects of the loan granted the Saura Import & Export Co. under
Resolution No. 145, c.s., for the purpose of financing the manufacture of jute sacks in Davao, with special reference as to the advisability of financing this
particular project based on present conditions obtaining in the operation of jute mills, and after having heard Ramon E. Saura and after extensive discussion
on the subject the Board, upon recommendation of the Chairman, RESOLVED that the loan granted the Saura Import & Export Co. be REDUCED from
P500,000 to P300,000 and that releases up to P100,000 may be authorized as may be necessary from time to time to place the factory in actual operation:
PROVIDED that all terms and conditions of Resolution No. 145, c.s., not inconsistent herewith, shall remain in full force and effect."
On June 19, 1954 another hitch developed. F.R. Halling, who had signed the promissory note for China Engineers Ltd. jointly and severally with the other
RFC that his company no longer to of the loan and therefore considered the same as cancelled as far as it was concerned. A follow-up letter dated July 2
requested RFC that the registration of the mortgage be withdrawn.
In the meantime Saura, Inc. had written RFC requesting that the loan of P500,000.00 be granted. The request was denied by RFC, which added in its letter-
reply that it was "constrained to consider as cancelled the loan of P300,000.00 ... in view of a notification ... from the China Engineers Ltd., expressing their
desire to consider the loan insofar as they are concerned."
On July 24, 1954 Saura, Inc. took exception to the cancellation of the loan and informed RFC that China Engineers, Ltd. "will at any time reinstate their
signature as co-signer of the note if RFC releases to us the P500,000.00 originally approved by you.".
On December 17, 1954 RFC passed Resolution No. 9083, restoring the loan to the original amount of P500,000.00, "it appearing that China Engineers, Ltd.
is now willing to sign the promissory notes jointly with the borrower-corporation," but with the following proviso:
That in view of observations made of the shortage and high cost of imported raw materials, the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources
shall certify to the following:
1. That the raw materials needed by the borrower-corporation to carry out its operation are available in the immediate vicinity; and
2. That there is prospect of increased production thereof to provide adequately for the requirements of the factory."
The action thus taken was communicated to Saura, Inc. in a letter of RFC dated December 22, 1954, wherein it was explained that the certification by the
Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources was required "as the intention of the original approval (of the loan) is to develop the manufacture of sacks
on the basis of locally available raw materials." This point is important, and sheds light on the subsequent actuations of the parties. Saura, Inc. does not deny
that the factory he was building in Davao was for the manufacture of bags from local raw materials. The cover page of its brochure (Exh. M) describes the
project as a "Joint venture by and between the Mindanao Industry Corporation and the Saura Import and Export Co., Inc. to finance, manage and operate a
Kenaf mill plant, to manufacture copra and corn bags, runners, floor mattings, carpets, draperies; out of 100% local raw materials, principal kenaf." The
explanatory note on page 1 of the same brochure states that, the venture "is the first serious attempt in this country to use 100% locally grown raw materials
notably kenaf which is presently grown commercially in theIsland of Mindanao where the proposed jutemill is located ..."
This fact, according to defendant DBP, is what moved RFC to approve the loan application in the first place, and to require, in its Resolution No. 9083, a
certification from the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources as to the availability of local raw materials to provide adequately for the requirements
of the factory. Saura, Inc. itself confirmed the defendant's stand impliedly in its letter of January 21, 1955: (1) stating that according to a special study made
by the Bureau of Forestry "kenaf will not be available in sufficient quantity this year or probably even next year;" (2) requesting "assurances (from RFC) that
my company and associates will be able to bring in sufficient jute materials as may be necessary for the full operation of the jute mill;" and (3) asking that
releases of the loan be made as follows:
a) For the payment of the receipt for jute mill
machineries with the Prudential Bank &
Trust Company P250,000.00
(For immediate release)
b) For the purchase of materials and equip-
ment per attached list to enable the jute
mill to operate 182,413.91
c) For raw materials and labor 67,586.09
1) P25,000.00 to be released on the open-
ing of the letter of credit for raw jute
for $25,000.00.
2) P25,000.00 to be released upon arrival
of raw jute.
3) P17,586.09 to be released as soon as the
mill is ready to operate.
On January 25, 1955 RFC sent to Saura, Inc. the following reply:
Dear Sirs:
This is with reference to your letter of January 21, 1955, regarding the release of your loan under consideration of P500,000. As stated in our
letter of December 22, 1954, the releases of the loan, if revived, are proposed to be made from time to time, subject to availability of funds
towards the end that the sack factory shall be placed in actual operating status. We shall be able to act on your request for revised purpose
and manner of releases upon re-appraisal of the securities offered for the loan.
With respect to our requirement that the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources certify that the raw materials needed are available in the immediate
vicinity and that there is prospect of increased production thereof to provide adequately the requirements of the factory, we wish to reiterate that the basis of
the original approval is to develop the manufacture of sacks on the basis of the locally available raw materials. Your statement that you will have to rely on
the importation of jute and your request that we give you assurance that your company will be able to bring in sufficient jute materials as may be necessary
for the operation of your factory, would not be in line with our principle in approving the loan.
With the foregoing letter the negotiations came to a standstill. Saura, Inc. did not pursue the matter further. Instead, it requested RFC to cancel the mortgage,
and so, on June 17, 1955 RFC executed the corresponding deed of cancellation and delivered it to Ramon F. Saura himself as president of Saura, Inc.
It appears that the cancellation was requested to make way for the registration of a mortgage contract, executed on August 6, 1954, over the same property
in favor of the Prudential Bank and Trust Co., under which contract Saura, Inc. had up to December 31 of the same year within which to pay its obligation on
the trust receipt heretofore mentioned. It appears further that for failure to pay the said obligation the Prudential Bank and Trust Co. sued Saura, Inc. on May
15, 1955.
On January 9, 1964, ahnost 9 years after the mortgage in favor of RFC was cancelled at the request of Saura, Inc., the latter commenced the present suit
for damages, alleging failure of RFC (as predecessor of the defendant DBP) to comply with its obligation to release the proceeds of the loan applied for and
approved, thereby preventing the plaintiff from completing or paying contractual commitments it had entered into, in connection with its jute mill project.
The trial court rendered judgment for the plaintiff, ruling that there was a perfected contract between the parties and that the defendant was guilty of breach
thereof. The defendant pleaded below, and reiterates in this appeal: (1) that the plaintiff's cause of action had prescribed, or that its claim had been waived
or abandoned; (2) that there was no perfected contract; and (3) that assuming there was, the plaintiff itself did not comply with the terms thereof.
We hold that there was indeed a perfected consensual contract, as recognized in Article 1934 of the Civil Code, which provides:
ART. 1954. An accepted promise to deliver something, by way of commodatum or simple loan is binding upon the parties, but the commodatum or
simple loan itself shall not be perferted until the delivery of the object of the contract.
There was undoubtedly offer and acceptance in this case: the application of Saura, Inc. for a loan of P500,000.00 was approved by resolution of the defendant,
and the corresponding mortgage was executed and registered. But this fact alone falls short of resolving the basic claim that the defendant failed to fulfill its
obligation and the plaintiff is therefore entitled to recover damages.
It should be noted that RFC entertained the loan application of Saura, Inc. on the assumption that the factory to be constructed would utilize locally grown
raw materials, principally kenaf. There is no serious dispute about this. It was in line with such assumption that when RFC, by Resolution No. 9083 approved
on December 17, 1954, restored the loan to the original amount of P500,000.00. it imposed two conditions, to wit: "(1) that the raw materials needed by the
borrower-corporation to carry out its operation are available in the immediate vicinity; and (2) that there is prospect of increased production thereof to provide
adequately for the requirements of the factory." The imposition of those conditions was by no means a deviation from the terms of the agreement, but rather
a step in its implementation. There was nothing in said conditions that contradicted the terms laid down in RFC Resolution No. 145, passed on January 7,
1954, namely — "that the proceeds of the loan shall be utilized exclusively for the following purposes: for construction of factory building — P250,000.00; for
payment of the balance of purchase price of machinery and equipment — P240,900.00; for working capital — P9,100.00." Evidently Saura, Inc. realized that
it could not meet the conditions required by RFC, and so wrote its letter of January 21, 1955, stating that local jute "will not be able in sufficient quantity this
year or probably next year," and asking that out of the loan agreed upon the sum of P67,586.09 be released "for raw materials and labor." This was a
deviation from the terms laid down in Resolution No. 145 and embodied in the mortgage contract, implying as it did a diversion of part of the proceeds of the
loan to purposes other than those agreed upon.
When RFC turned down the request in its letter of January 25, 1955 the negotiations which had been going on for the implementation of the agreement
reached an impasse. Saura, Inc. obviously was in no position to comply with RFC's conditions. So instead of doing so and insisting that the loan be released
as agreed upon, Saura, Inc. asked that the mortgage be cancelled, which was done on June 15, 1955. The action thus taken by both parties was in the
nature cf mutual desistance — what Manresa terms "mutuo disenso" 1 — which is a mode of extinguishing obligations. It is a concept that derives from the principle that since mutual agreement can create a contract, mutual disagreement by the parties can cause its extinguishment.2

The subsequent conduct of Saura, Inc. confirms this desistance. It did not protest against any alleged breach of contract by RFC, or even point out that the
latter's stand was legally unjustified. Its request for cancellation of the mortgage carried no reservation of whatever rights it believed it might have against
RFC for the latter's non-compliance. In 1962 it even applied with DBP for another loan to finance a rice and corn project, which application was disapproved.
It was only in 1964, nine years after the loan agreement had been cancelled at its own request, that Saura, Inc. brought this action for damages.All these
circumstances demonstrate beyond doubt that the said agreement had been extinguished by mutual desistance — and that on the initiative of the plaintiff-
appellee itself.
With this view we take of the case, we find it unnecessary to consider and resolve the other issues raised in the respective briefs of the parties.
WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is reversed and the complaint dismissed, with costs against the plaintiff-appellee.
Reyes, J.B.L., Actg. C.J., Zaldivar, Castro, Fernando, Teehankee, Barredo and Antonio, JJ., concur.
Makasiar, J., took no part.

G.R. No. L-49101 October 24, 1983


RAOUL S.V. BONNEVIE and HONESTO V. BONNEVIE, petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMERCE, respondents.
Edgardo I. De Leon for petitioners.
Siguion Reyna, Montecillo & Associates for private respondent.

GUERRERO, J:
Petition for review on certiorari seeking the reversal of the decision of the defunct Court of Appeals, now Intermediate Appellate Court, in CA-G.R. No.
61193-R, entitled "Honesto Bonnevie vs. Philippine Bank of Commerce, et al.," promulgated August 11, 1978 1 as well as the Resolution denying the motion for reconsideration.

The complaint filed on January 26, 1971 by petitioner Honesto Bonnevie with the Court of First Instance of Rizal against respondent Philippine Bank of
Commerce sought the annulment of the Deed of Mortgage dated December 6, 1966 executed in favor of the Philippine Bank of Commerce by the spouses
Jose M. Lozano and Josefa P. Lozano as well as the extrajudicial foreclosure made on September 4, 1968. It alleged among others that (a) the Deed of
Mortgage lacks consideration and (b) the mortgage was executed by one who was not the owner of the mortgaged property. It further alleged that the
property in question was foreclosed pursuant to Act No. 3135 as amended, without, however, complying with the condition imposed for a valid foreclosure.
Granting the validity of the mortgage and the extrajudicial foreclosure, it finally alleged that respondent Bank should have accepted petitioner's offer to
redeem the property under the principle of equity said justice.

On the other hand, the answer of defendant Bank, now private respondent herein, specifically denied most of the allegations in the complaint and raised
the following affirmative defenses: (a) that the defendant has not given its consent, much less the requisite written consent, to the sale of the mortgaged
property to plaintiff and the assumption by the latter of the loan secured thereby; (b) that the demand letters and notice of foreclosure were sent to Jose
Lozano at his address; (c) that it was notified for the first time about the alleged sale after it had foreclosed the Lozano mortgage; (d) that the law on
contracts requires defendant's consent before Jose Lozano can be released from his bilateral agreement with the former and doubly so, before plaintiff
may be substituted for Jose Lozano and Alfonso Lim; (e) that the loan of P75,000.00 which was secured by mortgage, after two renewals remain unpaid
despite countless reminders and demands; of that the property in question remained registered in the name of Jose M. Lozano in the land records of Rizal
and there was no entry, notation or indication of the alleged sale to plaintiff; (g) that it is an established banking practice that payments against accounts
need not be personally made by the debtor himself; and (h) that it is not true that the mortgage, at the time of its execution and registration, was without
consideration as alleged because the execution and registration of the securing mortgage, the signing and delivery of the promissory note and the
disbursement of the proceeds of the loan are mere implementation of the basic consensual contract of loan.

After petitioner Honesto V. Bonnevie had rested his case, petitioner Raoul SV Bonnevie filed a motion for intervention. The intervention was premised on
the Deed of Assignment executed by petitioner Honesto Bonnevie in favor of petitioner Raoul SV Bonnevie covering the rights and interests of petitioner
Honesto Bonnevie over the subject property. The intervention was ultimately granted in order that all issues be resolved in one proceeding to avoid
multiplicity of suits.

On March 29, 1976, the lower court rendered its decision, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, all the foregoing premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing the complaint with costs against the plaintiff and the
intervenor.

After the motion for reconsideration of the lower court's decision was denied, petitioners appealed to respondent Court of Appeals assigning the following
errors:

1. The lower court erred in not finding that the real estate mortgage executed by Jose Lozano was null and void;
2. The lower court erred in not finding that the auction sale decide on August 19, 1968 was null and void;
3. The lower court erred in not allowing the plaintiff and the intervenor to redeem the property;
4. The lower court erred in not finding that the defendant acted in bad faith; and

5. The lower court erred in dismissing the complaint.


On August 11, 1978, the respondent court promulgated its decision affirming the decision of the lower court, and on October 3. 1978 denied the motion for
reconsideration. Hence, the present petition for review.
The factual findings of respondent Court of Appeals being conclusive upon this Court, We hereby adopt the facts found the trial court and found by the
Court of Appeals to be consistent with the evidence adduced during trial, to wit:
It is not disputed that spouses Jose M. Lozano and Josefa P. Lozano were the owners of the property which they mortgaged on December 6, 1966,
to secure the payment of the loan in the principal amount of P75,000.00 they were about to obtain from defendant-appellee Philippine Bank of
Commerce; that on December 8, 1966, executed in favor of plaintiff-appellant the Deed of Sale with Mortgage ,, for and in consideration of the sum
of P100,000.00, P25,000.00 of which amount being payable to the Lozano spouses upon the execution of the document, and the balance of
P75,000.00 being payable to defendant- appellee; that on December 6, 1966, when the mortgage was executed by the Lozano spouses in favor of
defendant-appellee, the loan of P75,000.00 was not yet received them, as it was on December 12, 1966 when they and their co-maker Alfonso Lim
signed the promissory note for that amount; that from April 28, 1967 to July 12, 1968, plaintiff-appellant made payments to defendant-appellee on
the mortgage in the total amount of P18,944.22; that on May 4, 1968, plaintiff-appellant assigned all his rights under the Deed of Sale with
Assumption of Mortgage to his brother, intervenor Raoul Bonnevie; that on June 10, 1968, defendant-appellee applied for the foreclosure of the
mortgage, and notice of sale was published in the Luzon Weekly Courier on June 30, July 7, and July 14, 1968; that auction sale was conducted on
August 19, 1968, and the property was sold to defendant-appellee for P84,387.00; and that offers from plaintiff-appellant to repurchase the
property failed, and on October 9, 1969, he caused an adverse claim to be annotated on the title of the property. (Decision of the Court of Appeals,
p. 5).
Presented for resolution in this review are the following issues:
I
Whether the real estate mortgage executed by the spouses Lozano in favor of respondent bank was validly and legally executed.

II
Whether the extrajudicial foreclosure of the said mortgage was validly and legally effected.
III
Whether petitioners had a right to redeem the foreclosed property.

IV
Granting that petitioners had such a right, whether respondent was justified in refusing their offers to repurchase the property.
As clearly seen from the foregoing issues raised, petitioners' course of action is three-fold. They primarily attack the validity of the mortgage executed by
the Lozano spouses in favor of respondent Bank. Next, they attack the validity of the extrajudicial foreclosure and finally, appeal to justice and equity. In
attacking the validity of the deed of mortgage, they contended that when it was executed on December 6, 1966, there was yet no principal obligation to
secure as the loan of P75,000.00 was not received by the Lozano spouses "So much so that in the absence of a principal obligation, there is want of
consideration in the accessory contract, which consequently impairs its validity and fatally affects its very existence." (Petitioners' Brief, par. 1, p. 7).

This contention is patently devoid of merit. From the recitals of the mortgage deed itself, it is clearly seen that the mortgage deed was executed for and on
condition of the loan granted to the Lozano spouses. The fact that the latter did not collect from the respondent Bank the consideration of the mortgage on
the date it was executed is immaterial. A contract of loan being a consensual contract, the herein contract of loan was perfected at the same time the
contract of mortgage was executed. The promissory note executed on December 12, 1966 is only an evidence of indebtedness and does not indicate lack
of consideration of the mortgage at the time of its execution.
Petitioners also argued that granting the validity of the mortgage, the subsequent renewals of the original loan, using as security the same property which
the Lozano spouses had already sold to petitioners, rendered the mortgage null and void,
This argument failed to consider the provision 2 of the contract of mortgage which prohibits the sale, disposition of, mortgage and encumbrance of the
mortgaged properties, without the written consent of the mortgagee, as well as the additional proviso that if in spite of said stipulation, the mortgaged
property is sold, the vendee shall assume the mortgage in the terms and conditions under which it is constituted. These provisions are expressly made part
and parcel of the Deed of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage.
Petitioners admit that they did not secure the consent of respondent Bank to the sale with assumption of mortgage. Coupled with the fact that the
sale/assignment was not registered so that the title remained in the name of the Lozano spouses, insofar as respondent Bank was concerned, the Lozano
spouses could rightfully and validly mortgage the property. Respondent Bank had every right to rely on the certificate of title. It was not bound to go behind
the same to look for flaws in the mortgagor's title, the doctrine of innocent purchaser for value being applicable to an innocent mortgagee for value. (Roxas
vs. Dinglasan, 28 SCRA 430; Mallorca vs. De Ocampo, 32 SCRA 48). Another argument for the respondent Bank is that a mortgage follows the property
whoever the possessor may be and subjects the fulfillment of the obligation for whose security it was constituted. Finally, it can also be said that petitioners
voluntarily assumed the mortgage when they entered into the Deed of Sale with Assumption of Mortgage. They are, therefore, estopped from impugning its
validity whether on the original loan or renewals thereof.

Petitioners next assail the validity and legality of the extrajudicial foreclosure on the following grounds:
a) petitioners were never notified of the foreclosure sale.
b) The notice of auction sale was not posted for the period required by law.
c) publication of the notice of auction sale in the Luzon Weekly Courier was not in accordance with law.

The lack of notice of the foreclosure sale on petitioners is a flimsy ground. Respondent Bank not being a party to the Deed of Sale with Assumption of
Mortgage, it can validly claim that it was not aware of the same and hence, it may not be obliged to notify petitioners. Secondly, petitioner Honesto
Bonnevie was not entitled to any notice because as of May 14, 1968, he had transferred and assigned all his rights and interests over the property in favor
of intervenor Raoul Bonnevie and respondent Bank not likewise informed of the same. For the same reason, Raoul Bonnevie is not entitled to notice. Most
importantly, Act No. 3135 does not require personal notice on the mortgagor. The requirement on notice is that:
Section 3. Notice shall be given by posting notices of the sale for not less than twenty days in at least three public places of the municipality or city
where the property is situated, and if such property is worth more than four hundred pesos, such notice shall also be published once a week for at
least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality or city

In the case at bar, the notice of sale was published in the Luzon Courier on June 30, July 7 and July 14, 1968 and notices of the sale were posted for not
less than twenty days in at least three (3) public places in the Municipality where the property is located. Petitioners were thus placed on constructive
notice.
The case of Santiago vs. Dionisio, 92 Phil. 495, cited by petitioners is inapplicable because said case involved a judicial foreclosure and the sale to the
vendee of the mortgaged property was duly registered making the mortgaged privy to the sale.
As regards the claim that the period of publication of the notice of auction sale was not in accordance with law, namely: once a week for at least three
consecutive weeks, the Court of Appeals ruled that the publication of notice on June 30, July 7 and July 14, 1968 satisfies the publication requirement
under Act No. 3135 notwithstanding the fact that June 30 to July 14 is only 14 days. We agree. Act No. 3135 merely requires that such notice shall be
published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks." Such phrase, as interpreted by this Court in Basa vs. Mercado, 61 Phil. 632, does not mean
that notice should be published for three full weeks.
The argument that the publication of the notice in the "Luzon Weekly Courier" was not in accordance with law as said newspaper is not of general
circulation must likewise be disregarded. The affidavit of publication, executed by the Publisher, business/advertising manager of the Luzon Weekly
Courier, stares that it is "a newspaper of general circulation in ... Rizal, and that the Notice of Sheriff's sale was published in said paper on June 30, July 7
and July 14, 1968. This constitutes prima facie evidence of compliance with the requisite publication. Sadang vs. GSIS, 18 SCRA 491).

To be a newspaper of general circulation, it is enough that "it is published for the dissemination of local news and general information; that it has a bona
fide subscription list of paying subscribers; that it is published at regular intervals." (Basa vs. Mercado, 61 Phil. 632). The newspaper need not have the
largest circulation so long as it is of general circulation. Banta vs. Pacheco, 74 Phil. 67). The testimony of three witnesses that they do read the Luzon
Weekly Courier is no proof that said newspaper is not a newspaper of general circulation in the province of Rizal.

Whether or not the notice of auction sale was posted for the period required by law is a question of fact. It can no longer be entertained by this Court. (see
Reyes, et al. vs. CA, et al., 107 SCRA 126). Nevertheless, the records show that copies of said notice were posted in three conspicuous places in the
municipality of Pasig, Rizal namely: the Hall of Justice, the Pasig Municipal Market and Pasig Municipal Hall. In the same manner, copies of said notice
were also posted in the place where the property was located, namely: the Municipal Building of San Juan, Rizal; the Municipal Market and on Benitez
Street. The following statement of Atty. Santiago Pastor, head of the legal department of respondent bank, namely:
Q How many days were the notices posted in these two places, if you know?
A We posted them only once in one day. (TSN, p. 45, July 25, 1973)

is not a sufficient countervailing evidence to prove that there was no compliance with the posting requirement in the absence of proof or even of allegation
that the notices were removed before the expiration of the twenty- day period. A single act of posting (which may even extend beyond the period required
by law) satisfies the requirement of law. The burden of proving that the posting requirement was not complied with is now shifted to the one who alleges
non-compliance.

On the question of whether or not the petitioners had a right to redeem the property, We hold that the Court of Appeals did not err in ruling that they had no
right to redeem. No consent having been secured from respondent Bank to the sale with assumption of mortgage by petitioners, the latter were not validly
substituted as debtors. In fact, their rights were never recorded and hence, respondent Bank is charged with the obligation to recognize the right of
redemption only of the Lozano spouses. But even granting that as purchaser or assignee of the property, as the case may be, the petitioners had acquired
a right to redeem the property, petitioners failed to exercise said right within the period granted by law. Thru certificate of sale in favor of appellee was
registered on September 2, 1968 and the one year redemption period expired on September 3, 1969. It was not until September 29, 1969 that petitioner
Honesto Bonnevie first wrote respondent and offered to redeem the property. Moreover, on September 29, 1969, Honesto had at that time already
transferred his rights to intervenor Raoul Bonnevie.
On the question of whether or not respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding that respondent Bank did not act in bad faith, petitioners rely on Exhibit "B"
which is the letter of lose Lozano to respondent Bank dated December 8, 1966 advising the latter that Honesto Bonnevie was authorized to make
payments for the amount secured by the mortgage on the subject property, to receive acknowledgment of payments, obtain the Release of the Mortgage
after full payment of the obligation and to take delivery of the title of said property. On the assumption that the letter was received by respondent Bank, a
careful reading of the same shows that the plaintiff was merely authorized to do acts mentioned therein and does not mention that petitioner is the new
owner of the property nor request that all correspondence and notice should be sent to him.
The claim of appellants that the collection of interests on the loan up to July 12, 1968 extends the maturity of said loan up to said date and accordingly on
June 10, 1968 when defendant applied for the foreclosure of the mortgage, the loan was not yet due and demandable, is totally incorrect and misleading.
The undeniable fact is that the loan matured on December 26, 1967. On June 10, 1968, when respondent Bank applied for foreclosure, the loan was
already six months overdue. Petitioners' payment of interest on July 12, 1968 does not thereby make the earlier act of respondent Bank inequitous nor
does it ipso facto result in the renewal of the loan. In order that a renewal of a loan may be effected, not only the payment of the accrued interest is
necessary but also the payment of interest for the proposed period of renewal as well. Besides, whether or not a loan may be renewed does not solely
depend on the debtor but more so on the discretion of the bank. Respondent Bank may not be, therefore, charged of bad faith.

WHEREFORE, the appeal being devoid of merit, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.
SO ORDERED.
Aquino, J., concur.
Makasiar (Chairman), Abad Santos and Escolin, JJ., concurs in the result.

Concepcion J J., took no part.


De Castro, J., is on leave.
BPI INVESTMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ALS MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
respondents.
DECISION
QUISUMBING, J.:
This petition for certiorari assails the decision dated February 28, 1997, of the Court of Appeals and its resolution dated April 21, 1998, in CA-G.R. CV No.
38887. The appellate court affirmed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 151, in (a) Civil Case No. 11831, for foreclosure of
mortgage by petitioner BPI Investment Corporation (BPIIC for brevity) against private respondents ALS Management and Development Corporation and
Antonio K. Litonjua,[1] consolidated with (b) Civil Case No. 52093, for damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction by the private respondents against said petitioner.
The trial court had held that private respondents were not in default in the payment of their monthly amortization, hence, the extrajudicial foreclosure
conducted by BPIIC was premature and made in bad faith. It awarded private respondents the amount of P300,000 for moral damages, P50,000 for exemplary
damages, and P50,000 for attorneys fees and expenses for litigation. It likewise dismissed the foreclosure suit for being premature.

The facts are as follows:


Frank Roa obtained a loan at an interest rate of 16 1/4% per annum from Ayala Investment and Development Corporation (AIDC), the predecessor of
petitioner BPIIC, for the construction of a house on his lot in New Alabang Village, Muntinlupa. Said house and lot were mortgaged to AIDC to secure the
loan. Sometime in 1980, Roa sold the house and lot to private respondents ALS and Antonio Litonjua for P850,000. They paid P350,000 in cash and assumed
the P500,000 balance of Roas indebtedness with AIDC. The latter, however, was not willing to extend the old interest rate to private respondents and
proposed to grant them a new loan of P500,000 to be applied to Roas debt and secured by the same property, at an interest rate of 20% per annum and
service fee of 1% per annum on the outstanding principal balance payable within ten years in equal monthly amortization of P9,996.58 and penalty interest
at the rate of 21% per annum per day from the date the amortization became due and payable.

Consequently, in March 1981, private respondents executed a mortgage deed containing the above stipulations with the provision that payment of the
monthly amortization shall commence on May 1, 1981.

On August 13, 1982, ALS and Litonjua updated Roas arrearages by paying BPIIC the sum of P190,601.35. This reduced Roas principal balance to
P457,204.90 which, in turn, was liquidated when BPIIC applied thereto the proceeds of private respondents loan of P500,000.
On September 13, 1982, BPIIC released to private respondents P7,146.87, purporting to be what was left of their loan after full payment of Roas loan.

In June 1984, BPIIC instituted foreclosure proceedings against private respondents on the ground that they failed to pay the mortgage indebtedness which
from May 1, 1981 to June 30, 1984, amounted to Four Hundred Seventy Five Thousand Five Hundred Eighty Five and 31/100 Pesos (P475,585.31). A notice
of sheriffs sale was published on August 13, 1984.
On February 28, 1985, ALS and Litonjua filed Civil Case No. 52093 against BPIIC. They alleged, among others, that they were not in arrears in their payment,
but in fact made an overpayment as of June 30, 1984. They maintained that they should not be made to pay amortization before the actual release of the
P500,000 loan in August and September 1982. Further, out of the P500,000 loan, only the total amount of P464,351.77 was released to private respondents.
Hence, applying the effects of legal compensation, the balance of P35,648.23 should be applied to the initial monthly amortization for the loan.
On August 31, 1988, the trial court rendered its judgment in Civil Case Nos. 11831 and 52093, thus:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of ALS Management and Development Corporation and Antonio K. Litonjua and against BPI Investment
Corporation, holding that the amount of loan granted by BPI to ALS and Litonjua was only in the principal sum of P464,351.77, with interest at 20% plus
service charge of 1% per annum, payable on equal monthly and successive amortizations at P9,283.83 for ten (10) years or one hundred twenty (120)
months. The amortization schedule attached as Annex A to the Deed of Mortgage is correspondingly reformed as aforestated.
The Court further finds that ALS and Litonjua suffered compensable damages when BPI caused their publication in a newspaper of general circulation as
defaulting debtors, and therefore orders BPI to pay ALS and Litonjua the following sums:
a) P300,000.00 for and as moral damages;
b) P50,000.00 as and for exemplary damages;
c) P50,000.00 as and for attorneys fees and expenses of litigation.

The foreclosure suit (Civil Case No. 11831) is hereby DISMISSED for being premature.
Costs against BPI.
SO ORDERED.[2]
Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals. However, private respondents appeal was dismissed for non-payment of docket fees.

On February 28, 1997, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision, the dispositive portion reads:
WHEREFORE, finding no error in the appealed decision the same is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
SO ORDERED.[3]
In its decision, the Court of Appeals reasoned that a simple loan is perfected only upon the delivery of the object of the contract. The contract of loan between
BPIIC and ALS& Litonjua was perfected only on September 13, 1982, the date when BPIIC released the purported balance of the P500,000 loan after
deducting therefrom the value of Roas indebtedness. Thus, payment of the monthly amortization should commence only a month after the said date, as can
be inferred from the stipulations in the contract. This, despite the express agreement of the parties that payment shall commence on May 1, 1981. From
October 1982 to June 1984, the total amortization due was only P194,960.43. Evidence showed that private respondents had an overpayment, because as
of June 1984, they already paid a total amount of P201,791.96. Therefore, there was no basis for BPIIC to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgage and cause
the publication in newspapers concerning private respondents delinquency in the payment of their loan. This fact constituted sufficient ground for moral
damages in favor of private respondents.

The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner BPIIC was likewise denied, hence this petition, where BPIIC submits for resolution the following issues:
I. WHETHER OR NOT A CONTRACT OF LOAN IS A CONSENSUAL CONTRACT IN THE LIGHT OF THE RULE LAID DOWN IN BONNEVIE VS. COURT
OF APPEALS, 125 SCRA 122.
II. WHETHER OR NOT BPI SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEYS FEES IN THE FACE OF
IRREGULAR PAYMENTS MADE BY ALS AND OPPOSED TO THE RULE LAID DOWN IN SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 120
SCRA 707.
On the first issue, petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that because a simple loan is perfected upon the delivery of the object of the
contract, the loan contract in this case was perfected only on September 13, 1982. Petitioner claims that a contract of loan is a consensual contract, and a
loan contract is perfected at the time the contract of mortgage is executed conformably with our ruling in Bonnevie v. Court of Appeals, 125 SCRA 122. In
the present case, the loan contract was perfected on March 31, 1981, the date when the mortgage deed was executed, hence, the amortization and interests
on the loan should be computed from said date.
Petitioner also argues that while the documents showed that the loan was released only on August 1982, the loan was actually released on March 31, 1981,
when BPIIC issued a cancellation of mortgage of Frank Roas loan. This finds support in the registration on March 31, 1981 of the Deed of Absolute Sale
executed by Roa in favor of ALS, transferring the title of the property to ALS, and ALS executing the Mortgage Deed in favor of BPIIC. Moreover, petitioner
claims, the delay in the release of the loan should be attributed to private respondents. As BPIIC only agreed to extend a P500,000 loan, private respondents
were required to reduce Frank Roas loan below said amount. According to petitioner, private respondents were only able to do so in August 1982.
In their comment, private respondents assert that based on Article 1934 of the Civil Code, [4] a simple loan is perfected upon the delivery of the object of the contract, hence a
real contract. In this case, even though the loan contract was signed on March 31, 1981, it was perfected only on September 13, 1982, when the full loan was released to private respondents. They submit
Bonnevie. To give meaning to Article 1934, according to private respondents, Bonnevie must be construed to mean that the contract to
that petitioner misread
extend the loan was perfected on March 31, 1981 but the contract of loan itself was only perfected upon the delivery of the full loan to private respondents
on September 13, 1982.
Private respondents further maintain that even granting, arguendo, that the loan contract was perfected on March 31, 1981, and their payment did not start
a month thereafter, still no default took place. According to private respondents, a perfected loan agreement imposes reciprocal obligations, where the
obligation or promise of each party is the consideration of the other party. In this case, the consideration for BPIIC in entering into the loan contract is the
promise of private respondents to pay the monthly amortization. For the latter, it is the promise of BPIIC to deliver the money. In reciprocal obligations, neither
party incurs in delay if the other does not comply or is not ready to comply in a proper manner with what is incumbent upon him. Therefore, private respondents
conclude, they did not incur in delay when they did not commence paying the monthly amortization on May 1, 1981, as it was only on September 13, 1982
when petitioner fully complied with its obligation under the loan contract.

We agree with private respondents. A loan contract is not a consensual contract but a real contract. It is perfected only upon the delivery of the object of the
contract.[5] Petitioner misapplied Bonnevie. The contract in Bonnevie declared by this Court as a perfected consensual contract falls under the first clause of Article
1934, Civil Code. It is an accepted promise to deliver something by way of simple loan.
In Saura Import and Export Co. Inc. vs. Development Bank of the Philippines, 44 SCRA 445, petitioner applied for a loan of P500,000 with respondent bank.
The latter approved the application through a board resolution. Thereafter, the corresponding mortgage was executed and registered. However, because of
acts attributable to petitioner, the loan was not released. Later, petitioner instituted an action for damages. We recognized in this case, a perfected consensual
contract which under normal circumstances could have made the bank liable for not releasing the loan. However, since the fault was attributable to petitioner
therein, the court did not award it damages.

A perfected consensual contract, as shown above, can give rise to an action for damages. However, said contract does not constitute the real contract of
loan which requires the delivery of the object of the contract for its perfection and which gives rise to obligations only on the part of the borrower.[6]
In the present case, the loan contract between BPI, on the one hand, and ALS and Litonjua, on the other, was perfected only on September 13, 1982, the
date of the second release of the loan. Following the intentions of the parties on the commencement of the monthly amortization, as found by the Court of
Appeals, private respondents obligation to pay commenced only on October 13, 1982, a month after the perfection of the contract.[7]
We also agree with private respondents that a contract of loan involves a reciprocal obligation, wherein the obligation or promise of each party is the
consideration for that of the other.[8] As averred by private respondents, the promise of BPIIC to extend and deliver the loan is upon the consideration that ALS and Litonjua shall pay the monthly
amortization commencing on May 1, 1981, one month after the supposed release of the loan. It is a basic principle in reciprocal obligations that neither party incurs in delay, if the other does not comply or
is not ready to comply in a proper manner with what is incumbent upon him.[9] Only when a party has performed his part of the contract can he demand that the other party also fulfills his own obligation
and if the latter fails, default sets in. Consequently, petitioner could only demand for the payment of the monthly amortization after September 13, 1982 for it was only then when it complied with its obligation
under the loan contract. Therefore, in computing the amount due as of the date when BPIIC extrajudicially caused the foreclosure of the mortgage, the starting date is October 13, 1982 and not May 1, 1981.

Other points raised by petitioner in connection with the first issue, such as the date of actual release of the loan and whether private respondents were the
cause of the delay in the release of the loan, are factual. Since petitioner has not shown that the instant case is one of the exceptions to the basic rule that
only questions of law can be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court,[10] factual matters need not tarry us now. On these points we are bound by the
findings of the appellate and trial courts.

On the second issue, petitioner claims that it should not be held liable for moral and exemplary damages for it did not act maliciously when it initiated the
foreclosure proceedings. It merely exercised its right under the mortgage contract because private respondents were irregular in their monthly amortization.
It invoked our ruling in Social Security System vs. Court of Appeals, 120 SCRA 707, where we said:
Nor can the SSS be held liable for moral and temperate damages. As concluded by the Court of Appeals the negligence of the appellant is not so gross as
to warrant moral and temperate damages, except that, said Court reduced those damages by only P5,000.00 instead of eliminating them. Neither can we
agree with the findings of both the Trial Court and respondent Court that the SSS had acted maliciously or in bad faith. The SSS was of the belief that it was
acting in the legitimate exercise of its right under the mortgage contract in the face of irregular payments made by private respondents and placed reliance
on the automatic acceleration clause in the contract. The filing alone of the foreclosure application should not be a ground for an award of moral damages in
the same way that a clearly unfounded civil action is not among the grounds for moral damages.
Private respondents counter that BPIIC was guilty of bad faith and should be liable for said damages because it insisted on the payment of amortization on
the loan even before it was released. Further, it did not make the corresponding deduction in the monthly amortization to conform to the actual amount of
loan released, and it immediately initiated foreclosure proceedings when private respondents failed to make timely payment.
But as admitted by private respondents themselves, they were irregular in their payment of monthly amortization. Conformably with our ruling in SSS, we
can not properly declare BPIIC in bad faith. Consequently, we should rule out the award of moral and exemplary damages.[11]
However, in our view, BPIIC was negligent in relying merely on the entries found in the deed of mortgage, without checking and correspondingly adjusting
its records on the amount actually released to private respondents and the date when it was released. Such negligence resulted in damage to private
respondents, for which an award of nominal damages should be given in recognition of their rights which were violated by BPIIC.[12] For this purpose, the amount
of P25,000 is sufficient.

Lastly, as in SSS where we awarded attorneys fees because private respondents were compelled to litigate, we sustain the award of P50,000 in favor of
private respondents as attorneys fees.

WHEREFORE, the decision dated February 28, 1997, of the Court of Appeals and its resolution dated April 21, 1998, are AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION
as to the award of damages. The award of moral and exemplary damages in favor of private respondents is DELETED, but the award to them of attorneys
fees in the amount of P50,000 is UPHELD. Additionally, petitioner is ORDERED to pay private respondents P25,000 as nominal damages. Costs against
petitioner.

SO ORDERED.
Bellosillo, (Chairman), Mendoza, Buena, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
COMMODATUM

G.R. No. L-8321 October 14, 1913


ALEJANDRA MINA, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
RUPERTA PASCUAL, ET AL., defendants-appellees.
N. Segundo for appellants.
Iñigo Bitanga for appellees.

ARELLANO, C.J.:

Francisco Fontanilla and Andres Fontanilla were brothers. Francisco Fontanilla acquired during his lifetime, on March 12, 1874, a lot in the center of the town
of Laoag, the capital of the Province of Ilocos Norte, the property having been awarded to him through its purchase at a public auction held by the alcalde
mayor of that province. The lot has a frontage of 120 meters and a depth of 15.
Andres Fontanilla, with the consent of his brother Francisco, erected a warehouse on a part of the said lot, embracing 14 meters of its frontage by 11 meters
of its depth.
Francisco Fontanilla, the former owner of the lot, being dead, the herein plaintiffs, Alejandro Mina, et al., were recognized without discussion as his heirs.
Andres Fontanilla, the former owner of the warehouse, also having died, the children of Ruperta Pascual were recognized likes without discussion, though it
is not said how, and consequently are entitled to the said building, or rather, as Ruperta Pascual herself stated, to only six-sevenths of one-half of it, the
other half belonging, as it appears, to the plaintiffs themselves, and the remaining one-seventh of the first one-half to the children of one of the plaintiffs,
Elena de Villanueva. The fact is that the plaintiffs and the defendants are virtually, to all appearance, the owners of the warehouse; while the plaintiffs are
undoubtedly, the owners of the part of the lot occupied by that building, as well as of the remainder thereof.
This was the state of affairs, when, on May 6, 1909, Ruperta Pascual, as the guardian of her minor children, the herein defendants, petitioned the Curt of
First Instance of Ilocos Norte for authorization to sell "the six-sevenths of the one-half of the warehouse, of 14 by 11 meters, together with its lot." The plaintiffs
— that is Alejandra Mina, et al. — opposed the petition of Ruperta Pascual for the reason that the latter had included therein the lot occupied by the
warehouse, which they claimed was their exclusive property. All this action was taken in a special proceeding in re guardianship.
The plaintiffs did more than oppose Pascual's petition; they requested the court, through motion, to decide the question of the ownership of the lot before it
pass upon the petition for the sale of the warehouse. But the court before determining the matter of the ownership of the lot occupied by the warehouse,
ordered the sale of this building, saying:
While the trial continues with respect to the ownership of the lot, the court orders the sale at public auction of the said warehouse and of the lot on which it
is built, with the present boundaries of the land and condition of the building, at a price of not less than P2,890 Philippine currency . . . .
So, the warehouse, together with the lot on which it stands, was sold to Cu Joco, the other defendant in this case, for the price mentioned.
The plaintiffs insisted upon a decision of the question of the ownership of the lot, and the court decided it by holding that this land belonged to the owner of
the warehouse which had been built thereon thirty years before.
The plaintiffs appealed and this court reversed the judgment of the lower court and held that the appellants were the owners of the lot in question. 1

When the judgment became final and executory, a writ of execution issued and the plaintiffs were given possession of the lot; but soon thereafter the trial
court annulled this possession for the reason that it affected Cu Joco, who had not been a party to the suit in which that writ was served.
It was then that the plaintiffs commenced the present action for the purpose of having the sale of the said lot declared null and void and of no force and
effect.
An agreement was had ad to the facts, the ninth paragraph of which is as follows:
9. That the herein plaintiffs excepted to the judgment and appealed therefrom to the Supreme Court which found for them by holding that they are the owners
of the lot in question, although there existed and still exists a commodatum by virtue of which the guardianship (meaning the defendants) had and has the
use, and the plaintiffs the ownership, of the property, with no finding concerning the decree of the lower court that ordered the sale.
The obvious purport of the cause "although there existed and still exists a commodatum," etc., appears to be that it is a part of the decision of the Supreme
Court and that, while finding the plaintiffs to be the owners of the lot, we recognized in principle the existence of a commodatum under which the defendants
held the lot. Nothing could be more inexact. Possibly, also, the meaning of that clause is that, notwithstanding the finding made by the Supreme Court that
the plaintiffs were the owners, these former and the defendants agree that there existed, and still exists, a commodatum, etc. But such an agreement would
not affect the truth of the contents of the decision of this court, and the opinions held by the litigants in regard to this point could have no bearing whatever
on the present decision.
Nor did the decree of the lower court that ordered the sale have the least influence in our previous decision to require our making any finding in regard
thereto, for, with or without that decree, the Supreme Court had to decide the ownership of the lot consistently with its titles and not in accordance with the
judicial acts or proceedings had prior to the setting up of the issue in respect to the ownership of the property that was the subject of the judicial decree.
What is essentially pertinent to the case is the fact that the defendant agree that the plaintiffs have the ownership, and they themselves only the use, of the
said lot.
On this premise, the nullity of the sale of the lot is in all respects quite evident, whatsoever be the manner in which the sale was effected, whether judicially
or extrajudicially.
He who has only the use of a thing cannot validly sell the thing itself. The effect of the sale being a transfer of the ownership of the thing, it is evident that he
who has only the mere use of the thing cannot transfer its ownership. The sale of a thing effected by one who is not its owner is null and void. The defendants
never were the owners of the lot sold. The sale of it by them is necessarily null and void. On cannot convey to another what he has never had himself.
The returns of the auction contain the following statements:
I, Ruperta Pascual, the guardian of the minors, etc., by virtue of the authorization conferred upon me on the 31st of July, 1909, by the Court of First Instance
of Ilocos Norte, proceeded with the sale at public auction of the six-sevenths part of the one-half of the warehouse constructed of rubble stone, etc.
Whereas I, Ruperta Pascual, the guardian of the minors, etc., sold at public auction all the land and all the rights title, interest, and ownership in the said
property to Cu Joco, who was the highest bidder, etc.
Therefore, . . . I cede and deliver forever to the said purchaser, Cu Joco, his heirs and assigns, all the interest, ownership and inheritance rights and others
that, as the guardian of the said minors, I have and may have in the said property, etc.
The purchaser could not acquire anything more than the interest that might be held by a person to whom realty in possession of the vendor might be sold,
for at a judicial auction nothing else is disposed of. What the minor children of Ruperta Pascual had in their possession was the ownership of the six-sevenths
part of one-half of the warehouse and the use of the lot occupied by his building. This, and nothing more, could the Chinaman Cu Joco acquire at that sale:
not the ownership of the lot; neither the other half, nor the remaining one-seventh of the said first half, of the warehouse. Consequently, the sale made to
him of this one-seventh of one-half and the entire other half of the building was null and void, and likewise with still more reason the sale of the lot the building
occupies.
The purchaser could and should have known what it was that was offered for sale and what it was that he purchased. There is nothing that can justify the
acquisition by the purchaser of the warehouse of the ownership of the lot that this building occupies, since the minors represented by Ruperta Pascual never
were the owners of the said lot, nor were they ever considered to be such.
The trial court, in the judgment rendered, held that there were no grounds for the requested annulment of the sale, and that the plaintiffs were entitled to the
P600 deposited with the clerk of the court as the value of the lot in question. The defendants, Ruperta Pascual and the Chinaman Cu Joco, were absolved
from the complaint, without express finding as to costs.

The plaintiffs cannot be obliged to acquiesce in or allow the sale made and be compelled to accept the price set on the lot by expert appraisers, not even
though the plaintiffs be considered as coowner of the warehouse. It would be much indeed that, on the ground of coownership, they should have to abide by
and tolerate the sale of the said building, which point this court does not decide as it is not a question submitted to us for decision, but, as regards the sale
of the lot, it is in all respects impossible to hold that the plaintiffs must abide by it and tolerate, it, and this conclusion is based on the fact that they did not
give their consent (art. 1261, Civil Code), and only the contracting parties who have given it are obliged to comply (art. 1091, idem).
The sole purpose of the action in the beginning was to obtain an annulment of the sale of the lot; but subsequently the plaintiffs, through motion, asked for
an amendment by their complaint in the sense that the action should be deemed to be one for the recovery of possession of a lot and for the annulment of
its sale. The plaintiff's petition was opposed by the defendant's attorney, but was allowed by the court; therefore the complaint seeks, after the judicial
annulment of the sale of the lot, to have the defendants sentenced immediately to deliver the same to the plaintiffs.
Such a finding appears to be in harmony with the decision rendered by the Supreme Court in previous suit, wherein it was held that the ownership of the lot
lay in the plaintiffs, and for this reason steps were taken to give possession thereof to the defendants; but, as the purchaser Cu Joco was not a party to that
suit, the present action is strictly one for recover against Cu Joco to compel him, once the sale has been annulled, to deliver the lot to its lawful owners, the
plaintiffs.
As respects this action for recovery, this Supreme Court finds:
1. That it is a fact admitted by the litigating parties, both in this and in the previous suit, that Andres Fontanilla, the defendants' predecessor in interest,
erected the warehouse on the lot, some thirty years ago, with the explicit consent of his brother Francisco Fontanilla, the plaintiff's predecessor in interest.
2. That it also appears to be an admitted fact that the plaintiffs and the defendants are the coowners of the warehouse.
3. That it is a fact explicitly admitted in the agreement, that neither Andres Fontanilla nor his successors paid any consideration or price whatever for the use
of the lot occupied by the said building; whence it is, perhaps, that both parties have denominated that use a commodatum.
Upon the premise of these facts, or even merely upon that of the first of them, the sentencing of the defendants to deliver the lot to the plaintiffs does not
follow as a necessary corollary of the judicial declaration of ownership made in the previous suit, nor of that of the nullity of the sale of the lot, made in the
present case.
The defendants do not hold lawful possession of the lot in question.1awphil.net

But, although both litigating parties may have agreed in their idea of the commodatum, on account of its not being, as indeed it is not, a question of fact but
of law, yet that denomination given by them to the use of the lot granted by Francisco Fontanilla to his brother, Andres Fontanilla, is not acceptable. Contracts
are not to be interpreted in conformity with the name that the parties thereto agree to give them, but must be construed, duly considering their constitutive
elements, as they are defined and denominated by law.

By the contract of loan, one of the parties delivers to the other, either anything not perishable, in order that the latter may use it during the certain period and
return it to the former, in which case it is called commodatum . . . (art. 1740, Civil Code).
It is, therefore, an essential feature of the commodatum that the use of the thing belonging to another shall for a certain period. Francisco Fontanilla did not
fix any definite period or time during which Andres Fontanilla could have the use of the lot whereon the latter was to erect a stone warehouse of considerable
value, and so it is that for the past thirty years of the lot has been used by both Andres and his successors in interest. The present contention of the plaintiffs
that Cu Joco, now in possession of the lot, should pay rent for it at the rate of P5 a month, would destroy the theory of the commodatum sustained by them,
since, according to the second paragraph of the aforecited article 1740, "commodatum is essentially gratuitous," and, if what the plaintiffs themselves aver
on page 7 of their brief is to be believed, it never entered Francisco's mind to limit the period during which his brother Andres was to have the use of the lot,
because he expected that the warehouse would eventually fall into the hands of his son, Fructuoso Fontanilla, called the adopted son of Andres, which did
not come to pass for the reason that Fructuoso died before his uncle Andres. With that expectation in view, it appears more likely that Francisco intended to
allow his brother Andres a surface right; but this right supposes the payment of an annual rent, and Andres had the gratuitous use of the lot.
Hence, as the facts aforestated only show that a building was erected on another's ground, the question should be decided in accordance with the statutes
that, thirty years ago, governed accessions to real estate, and which were Laws 41 and 42, title 28, of the third Partida, nearly identical with the provisions
of articles 361 and 362 of the Civil Code. So, then, pursuant to article 361, the owner of the land on which a building is erected in good faith has a right to
appropriate such edifice to himself, after payment of the indemnity prescribed in articles 453 and 454, or to oblige the builder to pay him the value of the land.
Such, and no other, is the right to which the plaintiff are entitled.
For the foregoing reasons, it is only necessary to annul the sale of the said lot which was made by Ruperta Pascual, in representation of her minor children,
to Cu Joco, and to maintain the latter in the use of the lot until the plaintiffs shall choose one or the other of the two rights granted them by article 361 of the
Civil Code.1awphil.net
The judgment appealed from is reversed and the sale of the lot in question is held to be null and void and of no force or effect. No special finding is made as
to the costs of both instances.
Torres, Johnson, Carson, Moreland and Trent, JJ., concur.

G.R. No. L-46240 November 3, 1939

MARGARITA QUINTOS and ANGEL A. ANSALDO, plaintiffs-appellants,


vs.
BECK, defendant-appellee.
Mauricio Carlos for appellants.
Felipe Buencamino, Jr. for appellee.

IMPERIAL, J.:
The plaintiff brought this action to compel the defendant to return her certain furniture which she lent him for his use. She appealed from the judgment of the
Court of First Instance of Manila which ordered that the defendant return to her the three has heaters and the four electric lamps found in the possession of
the Sheriff of said city, that she call for the other furniture from the said sheriff of Manila at her own expense, and that the fees which the Sheriff may charge
for the deposit of the furniture be paid pro rata by both parties, without pronouncement as to the costs.
The defendant was a tenant of the plaintiff and as such occupied the latter's house on M. H. del Pilar street, No. 1175. On January 14, 1936, upon the
novation of the contract of lease between the plaintiff and the defendant, the former gratuitously granted to the latter the use of the furniture described in the
third paragraph of the stipulation of facts, subject to the condition that the defendant would return them to the plaintiff upon the latter's demand. The plaintiff
sold the property to Maria Lopez and Rosario Lopez and on September 14, 1936, these three notified the defendant of the conveyance, giving him sixty days
to vacate the premises under one of the clauses of the contract of lease. There after the plaintiff required the defendant to return all the furniture transferred
to him for them in the house where they were found. On November 5, 1936, the defendant, through another person, wrote to the plaintiff reiterating
that she may call for the furniture in the ground floor of the house. On the 7th of the same month, the defendant wrote another letter to the plaintiff informing
her that he could not give up the three gas heaters and the four electric lamps because he would use them until the 15th of the same month when the lease
in due to expire. The plaintiff refused to get the furniture in view of the fact that the defendant had declined to make delivery of all of them. On November
15th, before vacating the house, the defendant deposited with the Sheriff all the furniture belonging to the plaintiff and they are now on deposit in the
warehouse situated at No. 1521, Rizal Avenue, in the custody of the said sheriff.
In their seven assigned errors the plaintiffs contend that the trial court incorrectly applied the law: in holding that they violated the contract by not calling for
all the furniture on November 5, 1936, when the defendant placed them at their disposal; in not ordering the defendant to pay them the value of the furniture
in case they are not delivered; in holding that they should get all the furniture from the Sheriff at their expenses; in ordering them to pay-half of the expenses
claimed by the Sheriff for the deposit of the furniture; in ruling that both parties should pay their respective legal expenses or the costs; and in denying pay
their respective legal expenses or the costs; and in denying the motions for reconsideration and new trial. To dispose of the case, it is only necessary to
decide whether the defendant complied with his obligation to return the furniture upon the plaintiff's demand; whether the latter is bound to bear the deposit
fees thereof, and whether she is entitled to the costs of litigation.lawphi1.net
The contract entered into between the parties is one of commadatum, because under it the plaintiff gratuitously granted the use of the furniture to the
defendant, reserving for herself the ownership thereof; by this contract the defendant bound himself to return the furniture to the plaintiff, upon the latters
demand (clause 7 of the contract, Exhibit A; articles 1740, paragraph 1, and 1741 of the Civil Code). The obligation voluntarily assumed by the defendant to
return the furniture upon the plaintiff's demand, means that he should return all of them to the plaintiff at the latter's residence or house. The defendant did
not comply with this obligation when he merely placed them at the disposal of the plaintiff, retaining for his benefit the three gas heaters and the four eletric
lamps. The provisions of article 1169 of the Civil Code cited by counsel for the parties are not squarely applicable. The trial court, therefore, erred when it
came to the legal conclusion that the plaintiff failed to comply with her obligation to get the furniture when they were offered to her.

As the defendant had voluntarily undertaken to return all the furniture to the plaintiff, upon the latter's demand, the Court could not legally compel her to bear
the expenses occasioned by the deposit of the furniture at the defendant's behest. The latter, as bailee, was not entitled to place the furniture on deposit; nor
was the plaintiff under a duty to accept the offer to return the furniture, because the defendant wanted to retain the three gas heaters and the four electric
lamps.
As to the value of the furniture, we do not believe that the plaintiff is entitled to the payment thereof by the defendant in case of his inability to return some of
the furniture because under paragraph 6 of the stipulation of facts, the defendant has neither agreed to nor admitted the correctness of the said value. Should
the defendant fail to deliver some of the furniture, the value thereof should be latter determined by the trial Court through evidence which the parties may
desire to present.

The costs in both instances should be borne by the defendant because the plaintiff is the prevailing party (section 487 of the Code of Civil Procedure). The
defendant was the one who breached the contract of commodatum, and without any reason he refused to return and deliver all the furniture upon the plaintiff's
demand. In these circumstances, it is just and equitable that he pay the legal expenses and other judicial costs which the plaintiff would not have otherwise
defrayed.

The appealed judgment is modified and the defendant is ordered to return and deliver to the plaintiff, in the residence to return and deliver to the plaintiff, in
the residence or house of the latter, all the furniture described in paragraph 3 of the stipulation of facts Exhibit A. The expenses which may be occasioned
by the delivery to and deposit of the furniture with the Sheriff shall be for the account of the defendant. the defendant shall pay the costs in both instances.
So ordered.

Avanceña, C.J., Villa-Real, Laurel, Concepcion and Moran, JJ., concur.