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Addison vs Mariano Felix and Balbino Tioco 38 Phil 404

August 1918


The defendants-appellees spouses Maciana Felix and Balbino Tioco purchased from plaintiff-appellant
A.A. Addison four parcels of land to which Felix paid, at the time of the execution of the deed, the sum
of P3,000 on account of the purchase price. She likewise bound herself to the remainder in installments,
the first of P,2000 on July 15, 1914, the second of P5,000 thirty days after the issuance to her of a
certificate of title under the Land Registration Act, and further, within ten years from the date of such
title, P10 for each cocoanut tree in bearing and P5 for each such tree not in bearing that might be
growing on said parcels of land on the date of the issuance of title to her, with the condition that the
total price should not exceed P85,000. It was further stipulated that Felix was to deliver to the Addison
25% of the value of the products that she might obtain from the four parcels "from the moment she
takes possession of them until the Torrens certificate of title be issued in her favor," and that within 1
year from the date of the certificate of title in her favor, Marciana Felix may rescind the contract of
purchase and sale.

In January 1915, Addison , filed suit in the CFI of Manila to compel Felix to pay the first installment of
P2,000, demandable, in accordance with the terms of the contract of sale. The defendants Felix and her
husband Tioco contended that Addison had absolutely failed to deliver the lands that were the subject
matter of the sale, notwithstanding the demands they made upon him for this purpose. The evidence
adduced shows Addison was able to designate only two of the four parcels, and more than two-thirds of
these two were found to be in the possession of one Juan Villafuerte, who claimed to be the owner of
the parts he so occupied. The trial court held the contract of sale to be rescinded and ordered Addison
to return to Felix the P3,000 paid on account of the price, together with interest thereon at the rate of
10% per annum.


Was there a delivery made and, therefore, a transfer of ownership of the thing sold?


The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower court, with modification that the interest thereon
will be at the rate of 6% (instead of 10%) per annum from the date of the filing of the complaint until

The thing is considered to be delivered when it is placed "in the hands and possession of the vendee." It
is true that the same article declares that the execution of a public instrument is equivalent to the
delivery of the thing which is the object of the contract, but, in order that this symbolic delivery may
produce the effect of tradition, it is necessary that the vendor shall have had such control over the thing
sold that, at the moment of the sale, its material delivery could have been made. Symbolic delivery
through the execution of a public instrument is sufficient when there is no impediment whatever to
prevent the thing sold passing into the tenancy of the purchaser by the sole will of the vendor. But if,
notwithstanding the execution of the instrument, the purchaser cannot have the enjoyment and
material tenancy of the thing and make use of it himself or through another in his name, because such
are opposed by a third persons will, then the delivery has not been effected. In the case at bar,
therefore, it is evident, that the mere execution of the instrument was not a fulfillment of the vendor's
obligation to deliver the thing sold, and that from such non-fulfillment arises the purchaser's right to
demand, as she has demanded, the rescission of the sale and the return of the price.