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SPOUSES OMAR & MOSHIERA LATIP v.

ROSALIE CHUA The entire lease rentals for the 2 cubicles for 6 years had already been paid in the
amount of P2M+.
FACTS: Rosalie is the owner of Roferxane Building in Baclaran. Spouses Latip
entered into a lease contract with Rosalie. RTC shot down Rosalie’s claim that the P2M+ was simply goodwill payment by by
prospective lessees to their lessor, and not payment for the purchase of lease
A year after the commencement of the lease, Rosalie, through counsel, sent the rights. The court said that apart from her bare allegations, Rosalie did not adduce
spouses a letter demanding payment of back rentals and should they fail to do so evidence to substantiate this claim.
to vacate the leased cubicles.
CA’s Ruling:
When spouses did not heed Rosalie’s demand, she filed a complaint for unlawful
detainer + damages against them. She attached to the complaint a contract of Reversed RTC’s decision and reinstated METC’s decision.
lease over 2 cubicles in Roferxane Bldg.
The alleged defects in the contract of lease did not render the contract ineffective.
Spouses Latip argues that he lease of the 2 cubicles had already been paid in full
as evidenced by receipts showing payment to Rosalie of the total amount of On the issue of whether the amount of P2M+ merely constituted payment of
P2,570,000. There were 3 receipts in Rosalie’s handwriting. goodwill money, the CA took judicial notice of this common practice in the area of
1. P2M Baclaran, especially around the Redemptorist Church. According to CA, this
2. P500K judicial notice was bolstered by the Joint Sworn Declaration of the stallholders at
3. P70K Roferxane Bldg. that they all had paid goodwill money to Rosalie prior to
occupying the stalls thereat.
Spouses also averred that sometime in October 1999, Rosalie offered for sale
lease rights over 2 cubicles. Having in mind the brisk sale of goods during the Spouses Latip appealed.
Christmas season, they readily accepted Rosalie’s offer to purchase lease rights.
The immediate payment of P2M+ would be used to finish construction of the ISSUE: Whether the payment of 2M can be considered as judicial notice
building giving them first priority in the occupation of the finished cubicles. And as constituting goodwill money?
soon as the 2 cubicles were finished, Spouses occupied them.
SC DECISION:
Spouses averred that the contract of lease they signed had been novated by their
purchase of lease rights of the subject cubicles. Thus, they were surprised to NO. Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 129 of the Rules of Court declare when the taking of
receive a demand letter from Rosalie’s counsel. judicial notice is mandatory or discretionary on the courts, thus State Prosecutors
v. Muro is instructive.
METC’s Ruling:
The power to take judicial notice is to be exercised by courts with caution; care
In favor of Rosalie. It ordered the spouses to vacate and pay rent arrearages, must be taken that the requisite notoriety exists; and every reasonable doubt on
10% increase in the rent, atty’s fees and cost of suit. the subject should be promptly resolved in the negative.

RTC’s Ruling: Generally speaking, matters of judicial notice have three material requisites:
(1) the matter must be one of common and general knowledge;
Reversed MTC’s ruling. Spouses Latio could not be ejected until the expiration of (2) it must be well and authoritatively settled and not doubtful or uncertain;
the lease period. and
(3) it must be known to be within the limits of the jurisdiction of the court.
It did not give credence to the contract of lease since it was not notarized and
incomplete, lacking: The principal guide in determining what facts may be assumed to be judicially
1. Signature of Ferdinand, Rosalie’s husband known is that of notoriety.
2. Signatures of Spouses Latip on the 1st page
3. Specific dates for the term of the contract The matter which the CA judicial notice of does not meet the requisite of
4. Exact date of execution of the document notoriety. Only CA took judicial notice of this supposed practice to pay goodwill
5. Provision for payment of deposit or advance rental which is supposedly money to the lessor in the Baclaran area. Rosalie, apart from her bare allegation,
uncommon in big commercial lease contracts adduced no evidence to prove her claim that the amount of P2M+ simply
constituted the payment of goodwill money. Subsequently, Rosalie attached an
annex to her petition for review before the CA, containing a joint declaration under This right, as put by Mr. Justice Holmes in Holt vs. United States, 26 ". . . is a
oath by other stallholders in Roferxane Bldg. that they had paid goodwill money to prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion, to extort communications
Rosalie as their lessor. from him . . ." It is simply a prohibition against legal process to extract from
the [accused]'s own lips, against his will, admission of his guilt. 27
The reason why our rules on evidence provide for matters that need not be
proved under Rule 129, specifically on judicial notice, is to dispense with the Thus, the wallet is admissible to establish the fact that it was the very wallet taken
taking of the usual form of evidence on a certain matter so notoriously known, it from Malaki on the night of the robbery. The identification card, residence
will not be disputed by the parties. certificate and keys found inside the wallet, on the other hand, are admissible to
prove that the wallet really belongs to Malaki. Furthermore, even assuming
However, in this case, the requisite of notoriety is belied by the necessity of arguendo that these pieces of evidence are inadmissible, the same will not detract
attaching documentary evidence, i.e., Joint Affidavit of the stallholders. In short, from appellant's culpability considering the existence of other evidence and
the alleged practice still had to be proven by Rosalie; contravening the title itself of circumstances establishing appellant's identity and guilt as perpetrator of the
Rule 129 of the Rules of Court—What need not be proved. crime charged.

In the end, the court ruled that the amount of P2,570,000 shall be considered as
advance rentals. National Irrigation Administration vs Gamit

Facts: Estanislao Gamit filed a complaint against the defendant National


People v Malimit
Irrigation Administration for reformation of contract, recovery of possession and
damages. Gamit alleges that in the contract of lease entered into, the real
FACTS:
agreement or intention of the parties was only for the lease of the twenty five
 Onofre Malaki (victim) was attending to his store. Malaki's houseboy Edilberto (25,000) thousand square meters by defendant at the rate of P0.10 centavos per
Batin, was busy cooking supper at the kitchen located at the back of the store. square meter, for a period of ten (10) years from date of execution with the right of
 He proceeded directly to the store to ask Malaki if supper is to be prepared. defendant to purchase the area upon the termination of the lease, on a price to
As Batin stepped inside the store, he saw accused Encarnacion “Manolo” be negotiated and agreed upon, by and between the parties after the lapse of the
Malimit coming out of the store with a bloodied bolo while his boss, bathed in ten (10) year period.
his own blood, was sprawled on the floor.
 He also noticed that the store's drawer was opened and ransacked and the Gamit alleges that there was a mistake in its part and that NIA fraudulently
wallet of Malaki was missing from his pocket inserted in the contract the provision that after 10 years of lease, the rentals paid
forms part of the purchase price which shall not exceed P25,000.00.
Malimit was then captured. He pointed to the police officers where he hid
the wallet. He was subsequently convicted of the special complex crime of National Irrigation argues that there was no fraud in the agreement which was
robbery with homicide. signed by Gamit and his wife and it clearly stated that after 10 years of lease, the
rentals paid forms part of the purchase price which shall not exceed P25,000.00.
He argues that the wallet of Malimit should not be admitted as evidence since it
violates his right against self-incrimination. RTC did not order the reformation of the instrument since it is only a question of
law and not a question of fact. It then interpreted the contract as contract of lease
ISSUE: with right to purchase. CA affirmed.
WON the wallet may be admitted as evidence?
Issue:
HELD: Whether or not the court of appeals has properly interpreted the contract.

YES. The wallet is considered as Object Evidence and NOT AN INCRIMINATING Held: NO. As a general rule, parol evidence is not admissible for the purpose of
STATEMENT. varying the terms of a contract. However, when the issue that a contract does not
express the intention of the parties, the court should hear the evidence for the
The right against self-incrimination guaranteed under our fundamental law finds purpose of ascertaining the true intention of the parties.
no application in this case. The evidence (Wallet) sought to be excluded is not an
incriminating statement but an object evidence. A perusal of the complaint at bar and the relief prayed for therein shows
that this is clearly a case for reformation of instrument.
As a general rule, when the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, The act complained of as constituting the crime of Falsification of Public
it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, Document is the forgery by the accused of his wife's signature in a deed of sale,
between the parties and their successors in interest, no evidence of such terms thereby making it appear therein that said wife consented to the sale of a house
other than the contents of the written agreement, EXCEPT when it fails to express and lot belonging to their conjugal partnership when in fact and in truth she did
the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto, in which case, one of the not. It must be noted that had the sale of the said house and lot, and the signing
parties may bring an action for the reformation of the instrument to the end that of the wife's name by her husband in the deed of sale, been made with the
such true intention may be expressed. consent of the wife, no crime could have been charged against said husband
Clearly, therefore, it is the husband's breach of his wife's confidence which gave
The lower court erred in not conducting a trial for the purpose of determining the rise to the offense charged. And it is this same breach of trust which prompted the
true intention of the parties. It failed to appreciate the distinction between wife to make the necessary complaint with the Office of the Provincial Fiscal
interpretation and reformation of contracts. While the aim in interpretation of which, accordingly, filed the aforesaid criminal case. To rule, therefore, that such
contracts is to ascertain the true intention of the parties, interpretation is not, criminal case is not one for a crime committed by one spouse against the other is
however, equivalent to reformation of contracts. Since the complaint in the case at to advance a conclusion which completely disregards the factual antecedents of
bar raises the issue that the contract of lease does not express the true intention the instant case.
or agreement of the parties due to mistake on the part of the plaintiff (private
respondent) and fraud on the part of the defendant (petitioner), the court a quo It is undeniable that the act complained of had the effect of directly and vitally
should have conducted a trial and received the evidence of the parties for the impairing the conjugal relation. This is apparent not only in the act of the wife in
purpose of ascertaining the true intention of the parties when they executed the personally lodging her complaint with the Office of the Provincial Fiscal, but also in
instrument in question. her insistent efforts in connection with the instant petition, which seeks to set
aside the order disqualified her from testifying against her husband. Taken
collectively, the actuations of the witness-wife underscore the fact that the martial
People vs Castaneda and domestic relations between her and the accused-husband have become so
strained that there is no more harmony to be preserved said nor peace and
Facts: Victoria filed a complaint for Falsification of Public Document against her tranquility which may be disturbed. In such a case, the "identity of interests
husband, Benjamin. Victoria alleged that Benjamin falsified her signature in a disappears and the consequent danger of perjury based on that identity is
deed of sale of a house belonging to the conjugal partnership, making it appear nonexistent. Likewise, in such a situation, the security and confidence of private
that she gave her marital consent to said sale. At the trial, the prosecution called life which the law aims at protecting will be nothing but Ideals which, through their
to the witness stand Victoria, but the defense moved to disqualify her as a absence, merely leave a void in the unhappy home. Thus, there is no reason to
witness, invoking the rule that a spouse cannot be examined without the consent apply the martial disqualification rule.
of the other spouse, except in a civil case by one against the other or in a criminal
case for a crime committed by one against another. The prosecution opposed the
motion on the ground that the case falls under the exception, contending that it is
a criminal case committed by one against the other. The trial court granted the
motion, disqualifying Victoria from testifying against Benjamin. Their motion for
reconsideration denied, the prosecution elevated the case to the Supreme Court
on pure question of law

Issue:

Whether or not the criminal case for Falsification of Public Document may be
considered as a criminal case for a crime committed by a husband against his
wife and, therefore, an exception to the rule on marital disqualification.

Held:

Yes. The case is an exception to the marital disqualification rule, as a criminal


case for a crime committed by the accused-husband against the witness-wife.