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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G. R. No. L-4433 May 29, 1953

PATENT HEALTH, plaintiff-respondent,


vs.
ROMAN OMEGA, defendant-appellant.

Messrs. Roman Duterte, Cecilio Gillamac, Antolin Rubillos and Gaudioso Montecillo for
appellant.
Victorino D. C. Teleron in representation of the appeal.

PAUL, J .:

It treats the collection of a promissory note read:

Villaba, Leyte, August 24, 1949.

This is to acknowledge receipt of the sum of One Thousand Six Hundred Pesos (P1,600) from
Health Patent Filipino citizen, of age, single, Also a resident of Villaba, Leyte, like myself, as
my indebtedness to her. I am going to pay debt to her, her heirs, and successors ASSIGNS, in
the Said sum of P1,600 in Philippine currency, as soon as possible or as soon as I have
money.

This debt is not covered by any security Because of the intimate relations of my family to
her.

This sum covers my previous indebtedness to her Which I received from her on May 4, 1947
and previous thereto.

I Hereby certify That I have to pay esta whole indebtedness to her, before I exercise my right
of repurchase of an agricultural land, situated in Tag-alang, Villaba, Leyte, bearing Tax No.
2662, Which I sold to her under a covenant retro sale.

The magistrate issued a ruling ordering the payment of the debt within a period of four
months from the date of its promulgation, with costs.

At the hearing of the case in the Court of First Instance of Leyte, before which such cause
was raised on appeal, both parties had an agreement made as follows:

That, upon the face of the promissory note in question, it is apparent That no definite term is
fixed therein and That STI performance is left to the will of the debtor-defendant. (Rec. On
Appeal p. 9)

That the questions Involved in the present action are Purely questions of Law; viz .:

(a) Whether or not the Justice of the Peace of Villaba, Leyte, Had to take cognizance
jurisdiction of the present case and to fix a definite term for the payment of the
indebtedness in question by the defendant by Applying the Provisions of article 1128 of the
Civil Code;

(b) Whether or not, the Court of First Instance has, consequently, an appellate jurisdiction in
the present action; (Rec. On Appeal, pp. 9-10)

and Judge, stating that the obligation is pure and unconditional, dictate decision in favor of
the plaintiff ordering the payment of the debt with interest and costs.

The demandao appealed directly to this Court.

According to the agreement of facts submitted by the parties, the question to be solved is
the following: if the payment deadline has left will of the debtor, as indeed also means the
condition of payment "as soon as possible or as soon as I Have money, "" is null condition?

Article 1115 of the Civil Code provides that "Where compliance with the condition depends
on the sole will of the debtor, the conditional obligation shall be void." Must be null and any
value because, fulfilled the will of the debtor, it would be impossible collecting the illusory
right of the creditor. Nullified the condition, must also be declared pure and unconditional
obligation? We think not. If, through inadvertence or ignorance, the parties agreed to pay a

condition contrary to law, why to invalidate the condition, is to become the principal
obligation in pure - due immediately - when your original intention was to grant the debtor
deadline for payment? Pure declare the obligation is to impose a completely different
approach than agreed; other period to be determined consistent with the law and the will of
the parties, and it is clear that the new condition should not rely solely on the creditor: let's
so unfair to the exclusive will of the debtor and let the sole discretion of the creditor. A third
party must determine that period, taking into account the cirnstancias under which the loan
was granted. Therefore the article 1128, inspired by a true sense of justice, that "if the
obligation not point run, but its nature and circumstances dedujere who wanted granted to
the debtor, the court shall determine the duration of that. Also fixed the cloth courts
duration of the period when it has been at the will of the debtor. "

Article 1115 is closely related to Article 1128 of the Civil Code, supplying this deficiency
contract, caused by the cancellation of the condition of payment by express provision of
Article 1115. Commenting on the 1128 article, Manresa says:

The course of the first paragraph of this article, although similar, according already
indicated, the limitation, which usually take effective immediate enforceability of pure
obligations, is, however, different: there was no on duty purpose of granting term, since in
that case would not be pure; Here, however, there is such a purpose. So in the first case is
not the enforceability by the creditor is limited, but compliance is facilitated by the debtor;
and in contrast, in the second, as there is a real term that appears limited enforceability.

The second paragraph of this article expresses compared to 1115, the different importance
of the term and condition. This can not be left to the will of the debtor, because efecta the
existence of the same obligation; that if, because their influence does not go that far, and to
avoid that, ultimately, the contracted obligation is ineffective if ever met, fixation is
entrusted to limit judicial discretion.

In support of the theory of appeal that overturned the condition that depends solely on the
will of the debtor, immediate payment is required, the decision cited in Osmea against
Rama, issued on September 9, 1909 under the presentation of Judge Johnson, part of which
reads:

. . . It was stated in the act of hearing of the matter in this Court, that the recognition of the
debt, quoted above, made by the defendant, it had imposed the condition that the
obligation would pay if consequia sell your home. If this demonstration in recognition of the
debt could be considered as a condition, it would depend entirely on your will and was
therefore void. (Art. 1115, Cod. Civ.) Recognition, therefore, was an absolute recognition of
the obligation, and sufficient to prevent the prescription of the action based on the original
contract "(14 Phil. Rep., 99.)

But Eleizegue against Manila Lawn Tennis Club, President Arellano, as rapporteur, said:

Nor is it possible to conclude that must be left entirely at the mercy of the tenant
termination of the contract that has been stipulated duration at will the same.

The Civil Code provided here in every kind of obligations. When dealing with term obligations
generally have filled the vacuum of the previous legislation, regarding "the duration of the
run, when this has been at the will of the debtor," and stipulates that the courts set in this
case. (Art. 1128, paragraph 2.) In any contract as writers feel there is always a creditor is
entitled to require the provision and a debtor who has the obligation to comply with the
provision. In bilateral contracts, contracting parties are mutually creditors and debtors so in
this lease, the lessee is creditor as to the benefits outlined in Article 1554, and liable that
detailed in the 1555 and 1561. The term to fulfill the latter obligation is one that has been at
the will of the debtor. This term is to be fixed by the courts.

The only action posble, according to contract terms, is requiring that the judge determined
that period, (2 Phil. Rep., 325.)

In Levy Brothers against Paterno, under the presentation of Magistrato Map, the Court said:

Having forced the defendant to pay its debt to the plaintiffs gradually according consists in
the worth of cars, it is seen that such obligation is to run, since neither can be enforced
compliance of course, nor depends the existence of the same in the eventual realization of
some event. But to be such obligation term, has yet REFERRED certain day for compliance,
resulting in that it is an indefinite period or whose duration is not fixed by the partner to
conclude the contract. It is also clear that the term is granted the exclusive benefit of
damandado own comfort and the same, since it served the terms of gain nothing plaintiffs
with no immediate enforceability of the obligation. There is not even any intres agreed debt
during the time that could take the defendant to make payment thereof. For this reason and
in whatever way the case is considered, is undoubtedly falls under the prevision of article
1128 of the Civil Code. . .:

Manifestly deficient Car obligation as to the assignment of the length of time that it is
granted without any gender of doubt in favor of the debtor, or the defendant, must be
supplied this deficiency through judicial decision to determine that duration in use of the
power expressly granted to the courts for such purpose by the legal provision that was just
transcribe. Judge Obro therefore entitled under the ajercer that power in this case by setting
the length of time on the basis of having made payment of the debt at the rate of monthly
P200 with. And we certainly see no abuse of discretion in the court marking of such fee,
given the importance of the obligation and the absence of any stipulation of interest in favor
of creditors. (18 Phil. Rep., 357.)

In Seoane against Franco, Judge Moreland being rapporteur, the Court said:

Of these decisions is clear that the document prosecuted the case at hand is one in which
the term of payment the mortgagor will leave. This being the case, I should have initiated
action in order to point out the date on which the obligation was to win and be payable. Until
such action had been promoted cabia not initiate litigation to recover the amount mentioned
in the instrument. It is therefore evident that the action was premature. The document
should have been prosecuted before maturity. Therefore need to rule on the action.

Ordinarily, when an action of this kind the complainant may then promote litigation in order
to fix the date of writing has to overcome it supersedes. . . . (24 Phil. Rep., 320)

In Yu Chin Lim Piao against Tuaco under the presentation of Judge Moreland, was reiterated
for the fourth time the doctrine adopted in previous decisions that "When a lease does not
stipulate any deadline but in its nature and circumstances may plazodel deduced that the
lease is at the discretion of the lessee, or when the power to fix a limit resides only in the
lessee, triubnales fix their duration. "(33 Phil. Rep., 98)

And against De Jose Gonzales, the two promissory notes at issue disponian that the debt
was payable "as soon as possible". Resolving the conflict, the Court, through Judge Imperial,
said:

It is Practically ADMITTED by the parties That the Obligations Arising from the two
promissory notes Should be Governed by Said article (Art. 1128, Civ. Code) inasmuch as it
was the intention of the plaintiff, evidenced by the terms of the Said notes , to grant the
debtor a period Within Which to pay the debts. . . . The defendant contends That art. 1113 of
the Civil Code Should be Applied inasmuch as the Obligations derived from the promisory
notes Were demandable from the time of Their execution,. . . .

We hold that the two promissory notes are Governed by art. Because 1128 under the terms
thereof the plaintiff Intended to grant the defendant a period Within Which to pay His debts.
As the promissory notes do not fix esta period, it is for the court to fix the same. (66 Phil.,
369)

After deternimiento consider the five decisions cited and the Osmena against Rama, we
conclude that when the time for payment of an obligation is left to the sole debtor will be
annulled that condition; but the cancellation does not make the simple and unconditional
obligation; the appeal of the creditor in such a case is going to court to ask for fixing the
term of payment.

The Magistrate of Villaba, Leyte, has jurisdiction over the present case no doubt, as demand
does not claim more than the payment of the amount of P1,600: the Court of First Instance
of Leyte, therefore, jurisdiction has also appealed.

As the applicant seeks payment of the obligation without obtaining court setting a time limit
for payment, the submission of its application is premature. (Seoane against Franco, supra)

Bordering the decision appealed against plaintiff-respondent is revoked.

Tuason, Montemayor, juice and Labrador, JJ., Concur.

Separate Opinions

FAIR, Bengzon and REYES, JJ, concurring..:

We concur in the result. However, we believe That article 1115 of the Civil Code is
inapplicable. The case is Governed by article 1128.