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RELLOSA VS.

GAW CHEE HUN

FACTS: On 1944, Dionisio Rellosa, a Filipino, sold to Gaw Chee Hun, a


Chinese, a parcel of land with a house erected on it, located in Manila.
Both parties entered into a lease contract, whereby Rellosa, the
vendor, occupied the land under the condition that Gaw Chee obtain
the approval of the sale by the Japanese Administration. Gaw Chee did
not obtain such approval. Rellosa now seeks to annul the sale and the
lease. Gaw Chee, meanwhile, contends that such sale was absolute
and conditional, the same not being contrary to law, morals and public
order. He further states that Rellosa is estopped from asserting his
ownership over the land, after having leased the same from Gaw Chee,
and thus, recognizing Gaw Chee’s title over the property.

ISSUES: WON Rellosa can have the sale declared null and void and
recover the property considering the effect of the law governing
rescission of contracts.

HELD: The sale in question is null and void, but plaintiff is barred from
taking the present action under the principle of pari delicto.

RATIO: A party to an illegal contract cannot come into court to have


his illegal objects carried out. This is the doctrine of In Pari Delicto.
Rellosa’s sale of the land to Gaw Chee, an alien is against the
Constitution and is thus illegal. The Commonwealth Act provided that
such sale is not only unlawful but also null and void ab initio, that such
will effect the annulling and cancelling of the title originally issued, and
reverting the property and its improvements to the State.