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MERCADO v.

ESPIRITU
G.R. No. L-11872
December 1, 1917
Civil Capacity Restrictions on capacity to act; Contracts; Minority
FACTS:
Margarita Espiritu was the owner of a 48-hectare land. In 1897, she died and
the land was left to her husband, Wenceslao Mercado, and her children,
Domingo Mercado, Josefa Mercado and 3 other siblings.
Apparently however, during the lifetime of Margarita in 1894, she executed
a deed of sale transferring about 71% of her land covering 15 cavanes of seeds
to her brother Luis Espiritu, the father of Jose Espiritu, for P2,000.00. After
her death, Wenceslao had a hard time making ends meet for his family and
so he took out a loan from Luis in the amount of P375.00. The remainder of
the lot secured Theloan. Later, that loan was increased to P600.00.
In May 1910, Luis entered into a notarized agreement with Domingo and
Josefa whereby the two, while purporting to be of legal age, acknowledged the
sale and the loan previously entered into by their parents with Luis. In the
same agreement, the siblings agreed that for and in consideration of the
amount of P400.00, they are transferring the remainder 29% covering 6
cavanes of seeds to Luis.
But later, the siblings contested the said agreement. Luis later died and Jose
substituted him. It is the contention of Domingo et al that the agreement is
void because they were only minors, 19 and 18 years of age respectively,
when the contract was entered into in May 1910.
*21 being the age of minority at that time.
ISSUE:
Whether the deed of sale is valid when the minors presented themselves that
they were of legal age.
HELD:
Yes. In the first place, their minority of Domingo and Josefa was not proven
with certainty because of the loss of official records. The records were said to
have been burned. However, even assuming that they were indeed minors,
they are bound by their declaration in the notarized document where they
presented themselves to be of legal age. Domingo claimed he was 23 years old

in the said document. The Supreme Court declared: the sale of real estate,
made by minors who pretend to be of legal age, when in fact they are not, is
valid, and they will not be permitted to excuse themselves from the
fulfillment of the obligations contracted by them, or to have them annulled in
pursuance of the provisions of Law.
Further, there was no showing that the said notarized document was
attended by any violence, intimidation, fraud, or deceit.