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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
SECOND DIVISION
G.R. No. 152411 September 29, 2004
UNIVERSITY OF TE PI!IPPINES, petitioner,
vs.
PI!"# IN$USTRIES, INC., respondent.
D E C I S I O N
C"!!E%O, SR., J.&
efore the Court is a petition for revie! on certiorari of the Decision
"
of the Court of
#ppeals in C#$%.R. CV No. &&'(), as !ell as its Resolution
'
den*in+ the
petitioner,s -otion for the reconsideration thereof. .he
-o" -o'
Court of #ppeals set
aside the Decision
/
of ranch "0( of the Re+ional .rial Court 1R.C2 of Ma3ati Cit*,
!hich dis-issed the co-plaint of the respondent a+ainst the petitioner for su- of
-one* and da-a+es.
.he 4acts of the Case
So-eti-e in ")5), the 6niversit* of the Philippines 16P2 decided to construct an
inte+rated s*ste- of research or+ani7ation 3no!n as the Research Co-ple8. #s part
of the pro9ect, laborator* e:uip-ent and furniture !ere purchased for the National
Institute of iotechnolo+* and #pplied Microbiolo+* 1IO.EC;2 at the 6P <os
a=os. Providentiall*, the 4erdinand E. Marcos 4oundation 14EM42 ca-e for!ard
and a+reed to fund the ac:uisition of the laborator* furniture, includin+ the
fabrication thereof.
Renato E. <irio, the E8ecutive #ssistant of the 4EM4, +ave the +o$si+nal to
IO.EC; to contact a corporation to acco-plish the pro9ect. On >ul* '/, ")?', Dr.
@illia- Padolina, the E8ecutive Deput* Director of IO.EC;, arran+ed for
Philippine <aborator* Industries, Inc. 1P;I<#2, to fabricate the laborator* furniture
and deliver the sa-e to IO.EC; for the IO.EC; uildin+ Pro9ect, for the
account of the 4EM4. <irio directed Padolina to +ive the +o$si+nal to P;I<# to
proceed !ith the fabrication of the laborator* furniture, and re:uested Padolina to
for!ard the contract of the pro9ect to 4EM4 for its approval.
On >ul* "/, ")?', Padolina !rote <irio and re:uested for the issuance of the purchase
order and do!npa*-ent for the office and laborator* furniture for the pro9ect, thusA
". Suppl* and Installation of <aborator* furniture for the IO.EC; uildin+
Pro9ect
#-ount A P',)/&,(B?.)(
Supplier A Philippine <aborator* 4urniture Co.,
Colle+e, <a+una
#ttention A Mr. ;ector C. Navasero
President
Do!npa*-ent A &(C or P","5/,B'5.0B
'. 4abrication and Suppl* of office furniture for the IO.EC; uildin+ Pro9ect
#-ount A P05/,/50.((
Supplier A .rans$Oriental @ood!or3s, Inc.
"st #venue, a+u-ba*an .an*a+, .a+ui+, Metro Manila
Do!npa*-ent A 0(C or P'?B,B?5.0(
&
Padolina assured <irio that the contract !ould be prepared as soon as possible before
the issuance of the purchase orders and the do!npa*-ent for the +oods, and !ould
be trans-itted to the 4EM4 as soon as possible.
In a <etter dated >ul* '/, ")?', Padolina infor-ed ;ector Navasero, the President of
P;I<#, to proceed !ith the fabrication of the laborator* furniture, per the directive
of 4EM4 E8ecutive #ssistant <irio. Padolina also re:uested for copies of the shop
dra!in+s and a sa-ple contract
0
for the pro9ect, and that such contract and dra!in+s
had to be finali7ed before the do!n pa*-ent could be re-itted to the P;I<# the
follo!in+ !ee3. ;o!ever, P;I<# failed to for!ard an* sa-ple contract.
Subse:uentl*, P;I<# -ade partial deliveries of office and laborator* furniture to
IO.EC; after havin+ been dul* inspected b* their representatives and 4EM4
E8ecutive #ssistant <irio.
On #u+ust '&, ")?', 4EM4 re-itted PB((,((( to P;I<# as do!npa*-ent for the
laborator* furniture for the IO.EC; pro9ect, for !hich P;I<# issued Official
Receipt No. '0/ to 4EM4. On October '', ")?', 4EM4 -ade another partial
pa*-ent of P?((,((( to P;I<#, for !hich the latter issued Official Receipt No.
'0B to 4EM4. .he re-ittances !ere in the for- of chec3s dra!n b* 4EM4 and
delivered to P;I<#, throu+h Padolina.
On October "B, ")?', 6P, throu+h E-il D. >avier, the Chancellor of 6P <os a=os
and 4EM4, represented b* its E8ecutive Officer, Rolando %apud, e8ecuted a
Me-orandu- of #+ree-ent 1MO#2 in !hich 4EM4 a+reed to +rant financial
support and donate su-s of -one* to 6P for the construction of buildin+s,
installation of laborator* and other capitali7ation for the pro9ect, not to e8ceed
P'),(((,(((.((. .he obli+ations of 4EM4 under the MO# are the follo!in+A
#R.IC<E II
O<I%#.IONS O4 .;E 4O6ND#.ION
'.". .he 4O6ND#.ION, in carr*in+ out its principal ob9ectives of
pro-otin+ philantrophic and scientific pro9ects throu+h financial support to
such pro9ects that !ill contribute to the countr*,s econo-ic develop-ent,
shall +rant such financial support and donate such su-s of -one* to the
RESE#RC; COMP<EE as -a* be necessar* for the construction of
buildin+s, installation of laboratories, settin+ up of offices and ph*sical
plants and facilities and other capital invest-ent of the RESE#RC;
COMP<EE andFor an* of its co-ponent Research Institutes not to e8ceed
P') Million. 4or this purpose, the 4O6ND#.ION shallA
1a2 #c:uire and donate to the 6NIVERSI.G the site for the
RESE#RC; COMP<EEH and
1b2 Donate or cause to be donated to the 6NIVERSI.G the su- of
.@EN.G$NINE MI<<ION PESOS 1P'),(((,(((.((2 for the
construction of the buildin+s of the National Institutes of
iotechnolo+* and #pplied Microbiolo+* 1IO.EC;2 and the
installation of their laboratories and their ph*sical plants and other
facilities to enable the- to co--ence operations.
'.'. In addition, the 4O6ND#.ION shall, sub9ect to the approval of the
oard of .rustees of the 4O6ND#.ION, continue to support the activities of
the RESE#RC; COMP<EE b* !a* of recurrent additional +rants and
donations for specific research and develop-ent pro9ects !hich -a* be
-utuall* a+reed upon and, fro- ti-e to ti-e, additional +rants and donations
of such a-ounts as -a* be necessar* to provide the RESE#RC;
COMP<EE andFor an* of its Research Institutes !ith operational fle8ibilit*
especiall* !ith re+ard to incentives to staff purchase of e:uip-entFfacilities,
travel abroad, recruit-ent of local and e8patriate staff and such other
activities and inputs !hich are difficult to obtain under usual +overn-ent
rules and re+ulations.
B
.he oard of Re+ents of the 6P approved the MO# on Nove-ber '0, ")?'.
5

In the -eanti-e, Navasero pro-ised to sub-it the contract for the installation of
laborator* furniture to IO.EC;, b* >anuar* "', ")?/. ;o!ever, Navasero failed to
do so. In a <etter dated 4ebruar* ", ")?/, IO.EC; re-inded Navasero of the need
to sub-it the contract so that it could be sub-itted to 4EM4 for its evaluation and
approval.
?
Instead of sub-ittin+ the said contract, P;I<# sub-itted to IO.EC;
an acco-plish-ent report on the pro9ect as of 4ebruar* '?, ")?/, and re:uested
pa*-ent thereon.
)
* Ma* ")?/, P;I<# had co-pleted 5?C of the pro9ect,
a-ountin+ to P','??,05/.5& out of the total cost of P',)/&,(B?.)(. .he 4EM4 had
alread* paid fort* percent 1&(C2 of the total cost of the pro9ect. On Ma* "', ")?/,
Padolina !rote <irio and furnished hi- the pro+ress billin+ fro- P;I<#.
"(
On
#u+ust "", ")?/, the 4EM4 -ade another partial pa*-ent of P?/B,"").0'
representin+ the alread* delivered laborator* and office furniture after the re:uisite
inspection and verification thereof b* representatives fro- the IO.EC;, 4EM4,
and P;I<#. .he pa*-ent !as -ade in the for- of a chec3, for !hich P;I<#
issued Official Receipt No. '(' to 4EM4 throu+h Padolina.
""
On >ul* ", ")?&, P;I<# sub-itted to IO.EC; Invoice No. ("B&/ in the a-ount
of P5(',)/).&( for the final pa*-ent of laborator* furniture. Representatives fro-
IO.EC;, P;I<#, and <irio for the 4EM4, conducted a verification of the
acco-plish-ent of the !or3 and confir-ed the sa-e. IO.EC; for!arded the
invoice to <irio on Dece-ber "?, ")?& for its pa*-ent.
"'
<irio, in turn, for!arded the
invoice to %apud, presu-abl* so-eti-e in the earl* part of ")?0. ;o!ever, the
4EM4 failed to pa* the bill. P;I<# reiterated its re:uest for pa*-ent throu+h a
letter on Ma* ), ")?0.
"/
IO.EC; a+ain !rote <irio on March '", ")?0, re:uestin+
the pa*-ent of P;I<#,s bill.
"&
It sent another letter to %apud, on Nove-ber '',
")?0, a+ain appealin+ for the pa*-ent of P;I<#,s bill.
"0
In a <etter to IO.EC;
dated Dece-ber 0, ")?0, P;I<# re:uested pa*-ent of P5(',)/).&( plus interest
thereon of P''&,)&(.B".
"B
.here !as, ho!ever, no response fro- the 4EM4. On
4ebruar* '&, ")?B, P;I<# !rote IO.EC;, appealin+ for the pa*-ent of its bill
even on install-ent basis.
"5
President Marcos !as ousted fro- office durin+ the 4ebruar* ")?B EDS#
Revolution. On March 'B, ")?B, Navasero !rote IO.EC; re:uestin+ for its -uch$
needed assistance for the pa*-ent of the balance alread* due plus interest of
P')0,'/&.00 for its fabrication and suppl* of laborator* furniture.
"?
On #pril '', ")?B, P;I<# !rote President Cora7on C. #:uino as3in+ her help to
secure the pa*-ent of the a-ount due fro- the 4EM4.
")
.he letter !as referred to
then ud+et Minister #lberto Ro-ulo, !ho referred the letter to then 6P President
Ed+ardo #n+ara on >une ), ")?B. On Septe-ber /(, ")?B, Raul P. de %u7-an, the
Chancellor of 6P <os a=os, !rote then Chair-an of the Presidential Co--ission
on %ood %overn-ent 1PC%%2 >ovito Salon+a, sub-ittin+ P;I<#,s clai- to be
officiall* entered as Iaccounts pa*ableI as soon as the assets of 4EM4 !ere
li:uidated b* the PC%%.
'(
In the -eanti-e, the PC%% !rote 6P re:uestin+ for a cop* of the relevant contract
and the MO# for its perusal.
'"
Chancellor De %u7-an !rote Navasero re:uestin+ for a cop* of the contract
e8ecuted bet!een P;I<# and 4EM4. In a <etter dated October '(, ")?5, Navasero
infor-ed De %u7-an that P;I<# and 4EM4 did not e8ecute an* contract
re+ardin+ the fabrication and deliver* of laborator* furniture to IO.EC;.
E8asperated, P;I<# filed a co-plaint for su- of -one* and da-a+es a+ainst 6P.
In the co-plaint, P;I<# pra*ed that it be paid the follo!in+A
1"2 PESOSA SEVEN ;6NDRED .@O .;O6S#ND NINE ;6NDRED
.;IR.G NINE J &(F"(( 1P5(',)/).&(2 plus an additional a-ount 1as shall
be deter-ined durin+ the hearin+2 to cover the actual cost of -one* !hich at
the ti-e of transaction the value of the peso !as eleven to a dollar
1P"".((AK"2 and t!ent* seven 1'5C2 percent interest on the total a-ount
fro- #u+ust ")?' until full* paidH
1'2 PESOSA ONE ;6NDRED .;O6S#ND 1P"((,(((.((2 e8e-plar*
da-a+esH
1/2 4I4.G .;O6S#ND LPESOSM 1P0(,(((.((2 as and for attorne*,s feesH
and
1&2 Cost of suit.
''
P;I<# alle+ed, inter alia, thatA
/. So-eti-e in #u+ust ")?', defendant, throu+h its officials, particularl*
MR. @I<<I#M P#DO<IN#, Director, as3ed plaintiff to suppl* and install
several laborator* furnitures and e:uip-ent at IO.EC;, a research
laborator* of herein defendant located at its ca-pus in Colle+e, <a+una, for a
total contract price of PESOSA .@O MI<<ION NINE ;6NDRED .;IR.G$
NINE .;O6S#ND 4I4.G$EI%;. J )(F"(( 1P',)/),(0?.)(2H
&. #fter the co-pletion of the deliver* and installation of said laborator*
furnitures and e:uip-ent at defendant,s IO.EC; <aborator*, defendant
paid three 1/2 ti-es on install-ent basisA
a2 PB((,(((.(( as per Official Receipt No. '0/ dated #u+ust '&,
")?'H
b2 P?((,(((.(( as per Official Receipt No. '0B dated October '',
")?'H
c2 P?/B,"").0' as per Official Receipt No. '(' dated #u+ust "",
")?/H
thus leavin+ a balance of PESOSA SEVEN ;6NDRED .@O .;O6S#ND
NINE ;6NDRED .;IR.G$NINE J &(F"(( 1P5(',)/).&(2.
0. .hat not!ithstandin+ repeated de-ands for the past ei+ht *ears, defendant
arro+antl* and -aliciousl* -ade plaintiff believe that it !as +oin+ to pa* the
balance aforestated, that !as !h* plaintiff,s President and %eneral Mana+er
hi-self, ;EC.OR C. N#V#SERO, personall* !ent to and fro- 6P <os
a=os to tal3 !ith defendant,s responsible officers in the hope of e8pectin+
pa*-ent, !hen, in truth and in fact, defendant had no intention to pa*
!hatsoever ri+ht fro- the start on a -isplaced +round of technicalities. So-e
of plaintiff,s de-and letters since *ear ")?/ up to the present are hereto
attached as #nne8es #, , C, D, E, 4, %, and ; hereofH
B. .hat b* reason of defendant,s -alicious, evil and unnecessar*
-isrepresentations that it !as +oin+ to pa* its obli+ation and as3in+ plaintiff
so -an* red tapes and re:uire-ents to sub-it, co-pliance of all of !hich
too3 plaintiff al-ost ei+ht 1?2 *ears to finish, !hen, in truth and in fact,
defendant had no intention to pa*, defendant should be ordered to pa*
plaintiff no less than PESOSA ONE ;6NDRED .;O6S#ND 1P"((,(((.((2
e8e-plar* da-a+es, so that other +overn-ent institutions -a* be !arned
that the* -ust not un9ustl* enrich the-selves at the e8pense of the people
the* serve.
'/
In its ans!er, 6P denied liabilit* and alle+ed that P;I<# had no cause of action
a+ainst it because it !as -erel* the doneeFbeneficiar* of the laborator* furniture in
the IO.EC;H and that the 4EM4, !hich funded the pro9ect, !as liable to the
P;I<# for the purchase price of the laborator* furniture. 6P specificall* denied
obli+in+ itself to pa* for the laborator* furniture supplied b* P;I<#.
#fter due proceedin+s, the trial court rendered 9ud+-ent dis-issin+ the co-plaint
!ithout pre9udice to P;I<#,s recourse a+ainst the 4EM4. .he fallo of the decision
readsA
@;ERE4ORE, this case is hereb* DISMISSED for lac3 of -erit !ithout
pre9udice to plaintiffNs recourse to the assets of the Marcos 4oundation for the
unpaid balance of P5)',)/).&).
SO ORDERED.
'&
6ndaunted, P;I<# appealed to the Court of #ppeals 1C#2 alle+in+ that the trial
court erred in findin+ thatA
". the contract for the suppl* and installation of sub9ect laborator* furniture
and e:uip-ent !as bet!een P;I<# and the Marcos 4oundationH and,
'. the Marcos 4oundation, not the 6niversit* of the Philippines, is liable to
pa* the respondent the balance of the purchase price.
'0
.he C# reversed and set aside the decision of the R.C and held that there !as never
a contract bet!een 4EM4 and P;I<#. Conse:uentl*, P;I<# could not be bound
b* the MO# bet!een the 4EM4 and 6P since it !as never a part* thereto. .he
appellate court ruled that, althou+h 6P did not bind itself to pa* for the laborator*
furnitureH nevertheless, it is liable to P;I<# under the -a8i-A INo one should
un9ustl* enrich hi-self at the e8pense of another.I
T'e Pre(e)t Pet*t*o)
6pon the denial of its -otion for reconsideration of the appellate court,s decision,
6P, no! the petitioner, filed its petition for revie! contendin+ thatA
I. .;E CO6R. O4 #PPE#<S ERRED @;EN I. 4#I<ED .O #PP<G .;E
<#@ ON CON.R#C.S E.@EEN P;I<# #ND .;E M#RCOS
4O6ND#.ION.
II. .;E CO6R. O4 #PPE#<S ERRED IN #PP<GIN% .;E <E%#<
PRINCIP<E O4 6N>6S. ENRIC;MEN. @;EN I. ;E<D .;#. .;E
6NIVERSI.G, #ND NO. .;E M#RCOS 4O6ND#.ION, IS <I#<E .O
P;I<#.
'B
Prefatoril*, the doctrinal rule is that pure :uestions of facts -a* not be the sub9ect of
appeal b* certiorari under Rule &0 of the "))5 Rules of Civil Procedure, as this -ode
of appeal is +enerall* restricted to :uestions of la!.
'5
;o!ever, this rule is not
absolute. .he Court -a* revie! the factual findin+s of the C# should the* be
contrar* to those of the trial court.
'?
Correspondin+l*, this Court -a* revie! findin+s
of facts !hen the 9ud+-ent of the C# is pre-ised on a -isapprehension of facts.
')
On the first assi+ned error, the petitioner ar+ues that the C# overloo3ed the
evidentiar* effect and substance of the correspondin+ letters and co--unications
!hich support the state-ents of the !itnesses sho!in+ affir-ativel* that an i-plied
contract of sale e8isted bet!een P;I<# and the 4EM4. .he petitioner further-ore
asserts that no contract e8isted bet!een it and the respondent as it could not have
entered into an* a+ree-ent !ithout the re:uisite public biddin+ and a for-al !ritten
contract.
.he respondent, on the other hand, sub-its that the C# did not err in not appl*in+ the
la! on contracts bet!een the respondent and the 4EM4. It, li3e!ise, attests that it
!as never priv* to the MO# entered into bet!een the petitioner and the 4EM4. .he
respondent adds that !hat the 4EM4 donated !as a su- of -one* e:uivalent to
P'),(((,(((, and not the laborator* e:uip-ent supplied b* it to the petitioner. .he
respondent sub-its that the petitioner, bein+ the recipient of the laborator* furniture,
should not enrich itself at the e8pense of the respondent.
.he petition is -eritorious.
It bears stressin+ that the respondent,s cause of action is one for su- of -one*
predicated on the alle+ed pro-ise of the petitioner to pa* for the purchase price of the
furniture, !hich, despite de-ands, the petitioner failed to do. ;o!ever, the
respondent failed to prove that the petitioner ever obli+ed itself to pa* for the
laborator* furniture supplied b* it. ;ence, the respondent is not entitled to its clai-
a+ainst the petitioner.
.here is no dispute that the respondent is not priv* to the MO# e8ecuted b* the
petitioner and 4EM4H hence, it is not bound b* the said a+ree-ent. Contracts ta3e
effect onl* bet!een the parties and their assi+ns.
/(
# contract cannot be bindin+ upon
and cannot be enforced a+ainst one !ho is not a part* to it, even if he is a!are of
such contract and has acted !ith 3no!led+e thereof.
/"
<i3e!ise ad-itted b* the
parties, is the fact that there !as no !ritten contract e8ecuted b* the petitioner, the
respondent and 4EM4 relatin+ to the fabrication and deliver* of office and laborator*
furniture to the IO.EC;. Even the C# failed to specificall* declare that the
petitioner and the respondent entered into a contract of sale over the said laborator*
furniture. .he parties are in accord that the 4EM4 had re-itted to the respondent
partial pa*-ents via chec3s dra!n and issued b* the 4EM4 to the respondent,
throu+h Padolina, in the total a-ount of P','??,05/.5& out of the total cost of the
pro9ect of P',)/&,(B?.)( and that the respondent received the said chec3s and issued
receipts therefor to the 4EM4. .here is also no controvers* that the petitioner did not
pa* a sin+le centavo for the said furniture delivered b* the respondent that the
petitioner had been usin+ ever since.
@e a+ree !ith the petitioner that, based on the records, an i-plied$in$fact contract of
sale !as entered into bet!een the respondent and 4EM4. # contract i-plied in fact is
one i-plied fro- facts and circu-stances sho!in+ a -utual intention to contract. It
arises !here the intention of the parties is not e8pressed, but an a+ree-ent in fact
creatin+ an obli+ation. It is a contract, the e8istence and ter-s of !hich are
-anifested b* conduct and not b* direct or e8plicit !ords bet!een parties but is to be
deduced fro- conduct of the parties, lan+ua+e used, or thin+s done b* the-, or other
pertinent circu-stances attendin+ the transaction. .o create contracts i-plied in fact,
circu-stances -ust !arrant inference that one e8pected co-pensation and the other
to pa*.
/'
#n i-plied$in$fact contract re:uires the parties, intent to enter into a
contractH it is a true contract.
//
.he conduct of the parties is to be vie!ed as a
reasonable -an !ould vie! it, to deter-ine the e8istence or not of an i-plied$in$fact
contract.
/&
.he totalit* of the actsFconducts of the parties -ust be considered to
deter-ine their intention. #n i-plied$in$fact contract !ill not arise unless the
-eetin+ of -inds is indicated b* so-e intelli+ent conduct, act or si+n.
/0
In this case, the respondent !as a!are, fro- the ti-e Padolina contacted it for the
fabrication and suppl* of the laborator* furniture until the +o$si+nal !as +iven to it to
fabricate and deliver the furniture to IO.EC; as beneficiar*, that the 4EM4 !as to
pa* for the sa-e. Indeed, Padolina as3ed the respondent to prepare the draft of the
contract to be received b* the 4EM4 prior to the e8ecution of the parties 1the
respondent and 4EM42, but so-eho!, the respondent failed to prepare one. .he
respondent 3ne! that the petitioner !as -erel* the donee$beneficiar* of the
laborator* furniture and not the bu*erH nor !as it liable for the pa*-ent of the
purchase price thereof. 4ro- the inception, the 4EM4 paid for the bills and state-ent
of accounts of the respondent, for !hich the latter unconditionall* issued receipts to
and under the na-e of the 4EM4. Indeed, !itness <irio testifiedA
DA No!, did *ou 3no!, Mr. @itness, if P;I<# Industries !as a!are that it
!as the Marcos 4oundation !ho !ould be pa*in+ for this particular
transaction for the co-pletion of this particular transactionO
#A I thin3 the* are full* a!are.
DA @hat is *our basis for sa*in+ soO
#A 4irst, I thin3 the* !ere appraised b* Dr. Padolina. Secondl*, there !ere
occasions durin+ our inspection in <os a=os, at the installation site, there
!ere occasions, t!o or three occasions, !hen !e -et !ith Mr. Navasero !ho
is the President, I thin3, or -ana+er of P;I<#, and !e appraised hi- that it
!as reall* bet!een the foundation and hi- to !hich includes 1sic2 the
construction co-pan* constructin+ the buildin+. ;e is full* a!are that it is
the foundation !ho 1sic2 en+a+ed the- and issued the pa*-ents.
/B
.he respondent, in its <etter dated March 'B, ")?B, infor-ed the petitioner and
sou+ht its assistance for the collection of the a-ount due fro- the 4EM4A
Dear Dr. PadolinaA
Ma* !e re:uest for *our -uch$needed assistance in the pa*-ent of the
balance still due us on the laborator* furniture !e supplied and installed t!o
*ears a+oO
usiness is still slo! and !e !ill appreciate havin+ these funds as soon as
possible to 3eep up our operations.
@e loo3 for!ard to hearin+ fro- *ou re+ardin+ this -atter.
Ver* trul* *ours,
P;I<# IND6S.RIES, INC.
/5
.he respondent even !rote for-er President #:uino see3in+ her assistance for the
pa*-ent of the a-ount due, in !hich the respondent ad-itted it tried to collect fro-
her predecessor, na-el*, the for-er President 4erdinand E. MarcosA
GO6R EECE<<ENCGA
#t the instance of the national +overn-ent, sub9ect laborator* furnitures !ere
supplied b* our co-pan* to the National Institute of iotechnolo+* J
#pplied Microbiolo+* 1IO.EC;2, 6niversit* of the Philippines, <os
a=os, <a+una, in ")?&.
Out of the total contract price of PESOSA .@O MI<<ION NINE
;6NDRED .;IR.G$NINE .;O6S#ND 4I4.G$EI%;. J )(F"((
1P',)/),(0?.)(2, the previous ad-inistration had so far paid us the su- of
P','/B,"").0' thus leavin+ a balance of PESOSA ONE MI<<ION 4O6R
;6NDRED .@E<VE .;O6S#ND SEVEN ;6NDRED 4OR.G$EI%;.
J B"F"(( 1P",&"'.5&?.B"2 inclusive of interest of '&C per annu- and /(C
e8chan+e rate ad9ust-ent.
On several occasions, !e have tried to collect this a-ount fro- *our
predecessor, the latest of !hich !as sub9ect invoice 1("B&/2 !e sub-itted to
DR. @. P#DO<IN#, deput* director of IO.EC;. ut this,
not!ithstandin+, our clai- has re-ained unacted upon up to no!. Cop* of
said invoice is hereto attached for eas* reference.
No! that *our e8cellenc* is the head of our +overn-ent, !e sincerel* hope
that pa*-ent of this obli+ation !ill soon be -ade as this is one pro9ect the
Republic of the Philippines has use of and derives benefit fro-.
/?
#d-ittedl*, the respondent sent to the petitioner its bills and state-ents of accounts
for the pa*-ents of the laborator* furniture it delivered to the petitioner !hich the
petitioner, throu+h Padolina, trans-itted to the 4EM4 for its pa*-ent. ;o!ever, the
4EM4 failed to pa* the last state-ent of account of the respondent because of the
onset of the EDS# upheaval. It !as onl* !hen the respondent lost all hope of
collectin+ its clai- fro- the +overn-ent andFor the PC%% did it file the co-plaint
a+ainst the petitioner for the collection of the pa*-ent of its last deliver* of
laborator* furniture.
@e re9ect the rulin+ of the C# holdin+ the petitioner liable for the clai- of the
respondent based on the -a8i- that no one should enrich itself at the e8pense of
another.
6n9ust enrich-ent clai-s do not lie si-pl* because one part* benefits fro- the
efforts or obli+ations of others, but instead it -ust be sho!n that a part* !as un9ustl*
enriched in the sense that the ter- un9ustl* could -ean ille+all* or unla!full*.
/)
Moreover, to substantiate a clai- for un9ust enrich-ent, the clai-ant -ust
une:uivocall* prove that another part* 3no!in+l* received so-ethin+ of value to
!hich he !as not entitled and that the state of affairs are such that it !ould be un9ust
for the person to 3eep the benefit.
&(
6n9ust enrich-ent is a ter- used to depict result
or effect of failure to -a3e re-uneration of or for propert* or benefits received under
circu-stances that +ive rise to le+al or e:uitable obli+ation to account for the-H to be
entitled to re-uneration, one -ust confer benefit b* -ista3e, fraud, coercion, or
re:uest.
&"
6n9ust enrich-ent is not itself a theor* of reconve*. Rather, it is a
prere:uisite for the enforce-ent of the doctrine of restitution.
&'
#rticle '' of the Ne! Civil Code readsA
Ever* person !ho, throu+h an act of perfor-ance b* another, or an* other
-eans, ac:uires or co-es into possession of so-ethin+ at the e8pense of the
latter !ithout 9ust or le+al +round, shall return the sa-e to hi-. 1oldface
supplied2
In order that accion in re- verso -a* prosper, the essential ele-ents -ust be presentA
1"2 that the defendant has been enriched, 1'2 that the plaintiff has suffered a loss, 1/2
that the enrich-ent of the defendant is !ithout 9ust or le+al +round, and 1&2 that the
plaintiff has no other action based on contract, :uasi$contract, cri-e or :uasi$delict.
&/
#n accion in rem verso is considered -erel* an au8iliar* action, available onl* !hen
there is no other re-ed* on contract, :uasi$contract, cri-e, and :uasi$delict. If there
is an obtainable action under an* other institution of positive la!, that action -ust be
resorted to, and the principle of accion in rem verso !ill not lie.
&&
.he essential re:uisites for the application of #rticle '' of the Ne! Civil Code do not
obtain in this case. .he respondent had a re-ed* a+ainst the 4EM4 via an action
based on an i-plied$in$fact contract !ith the 4EM4 for the pa*-ent of its clai-. .he
petitioner le+all* ac:uired the laborator* furniture under the MO# !ith 4EM4H
hence, it is entitled to 3eep the laborator* furniture.
IN !IGT OF "!! TE FOREGOING, the petition is GR"NTE$. .he assailed
Decision of the Court of #ppeals is REVERSE$ "N$ SET "SI$E. .he Decision
of the Re+ional .rial Court, Ma3ati Cit*, ranch "0(, is REINST"TE$. No costs.
SO OR$ERE$.
Puno, Austria-Martinez, Tinga, and Chico-Nazario
*
, JJ., concur.