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VOL.

32,APRIL30,1970

547

Chaves vs. Gonzales


No.27454,April30,1970.
ROSENDO O. CHAVES, plaintiffappellant,
FRUCTUOSOGONZALES,defendantappellee.

vs.

Civil law; Obligations; Nature and effect of obligations;


Obligation of a person obliged to do something and fails to do
it.UnderArticle1167oftheCivilCode,apersonwhoisobligedto
do something and fails to do it shall be liable for the cost of
executingtheobligationinapropermanner.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Cost of obligation; Case at bar.The
costofexecutionoftheobligationtorepairatypewriteristhecostof
the labor or service expended in the repair of the typewriter. In
addition,theobligor,underArticle1170oftheCode,isliableforthe
costofthemissingpartsbecausein
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82RepublicofthePhilippinesvs.Hernaez,etal.,31SCRA219,225227.

548

548

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Chaves vs. Gonzales

his obligation to repair the typewriter he is bound to return the


typewriterinthesameconditionitwaswhenhereceivedit.
Same; Same; Obligation with period; Where obligation does not
fix a period; When fixing a period is mere formality.Where the
defendant virtually admitted nonperformance by returning the
typewriterhewasobligedtorepairinanonworkingcondition,with
essential parts, missing, he cannot invoke Article 1137 of the Civil
Code.Thetimeforcompliancehavingevidentlyexpired,andthere
beingabreachofcontractbynonperformance,itwasacademicfor
theplaintifftohavefirstpetitionedthecourttofixaperiodforthe
performanceofthecontractbeforefilinghiscomplaintinthiscase.
The fixing of a period would thus be a mere formality and would
servenopurposethantodelay.
Same; Damages; Claims for damages and attorneys fees must
be alleged and proved.Claims for damages and attorneys fees
mustbepleaded,andtheexistenceoftheactualbasisthereofmust
be proved. Where there is no findings of fact on the claims for
damagesandattorneysfeesinthelowercourtsdecision,thereisno

factualbasisuponwhichtomakeanawardtherefor.

DIRECTAPPEALfromadecisionoftheCourtofFirst
InstanceofManila.Vasquez,J.
ThefactsarestatedintheopinionoftheCourt.
Chaves, Elio, Chaves & Associates for plaintiff
appellant.
Sulpicio E. Platonfordefendantappellee.
REYES,J.B.L.,J.:
Thisisadirectappealbythepartywhoprevailedinasuit
forbreachoforalcontractandrecoveryofdamagesbutwas
unsatisfiedwiththedecisionrenderedbytheCourtofFirst
InstanceofManila,initsCivilCaseNo.65138,becauseit
awarded him only P31.10 out of his total claim of P690.00
for actual, temperate and moral damages and attorneys
fees.
The appealed judgment, which is brief, is hereunder
quotedinfull:
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VOL.32,APRIL30,1970

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Chaves vs. Gonzales


In the early part of July, 1963, the plaintiff delivered to the
defendant, who is a typewriter repairer, a portable typewriter for
routinecleaningandservicing.Thedefendantwasnotabletofinish
the job after some time despite repeated reminders made by the
plaintiff. The defendant merely gave assurances, but failed to
complywiththesame.InOctober,1963,thedefendantaskedfrom
theplaintiffthesumofP6.00forthepurchaseofspareparts,which
amount the plaintiff gave to the defendant. On October 26, 1963,
after getting exasperated with the delay of the repair of the
typewriter, the plaintiff went to the house of the defendant and
askedforthereturnofthetypewriter.Thedefendantdeliveredthe
typewriter in a wrapped package. On reaching home, the plaintiff
examined the typewriter returned to him by the defendant and
found out that the same was in shambles, with the interior cover
and some parts and screws missing. On October 29, 1963, the
plaintiff sent a letter to the defendant formally demanding the
returnofthemissingparts,theinteriorcoverandthesumofP6.00
(Exhibit D). The following day, the defendant returned to the
plaintiffsomeofthemissingparts,theinteriorcoverandtheP6.00.
On August 29, 1964, the plaintiff had his typewriter repairfed
byFreixasBusinessMachines,andtherepairjobcosthimatotalof
P89.85,includinglaborandmaterials(ExhibitC).
OnAugust23,1965,theplaintiffcommencedthisactionbefore
the City Court of Manila, demanding from the defendant the
payment of P90.00 as actual and compensatory damages, P100.00
fortemperatedamages,P500.00formoraldamages,andP500.00as
attorneysfees.
Inhisansweraswellasinhistestimonygivenbeforethiscourt,
the defendant made no denials of the facts narrated above, except
the claim of the plaintiff that the typewriter was delivered to the
defendant through a certain Julio Bocalin, which the defendant
denied allegedly because the typewriter was delivered to him

personallybytheplaintiff.
TherepairdoneonthetypewriterbyFreixasBusinessMachines
with the total cost of P89.85 should not, however, be fully
chargeable against the defendant. The repair invoice, Exhibit C,
showsthatthemissingpartshadatotalvalueofonlyP31.10.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the
defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P31.10, and the costs of
suit.
SOORDERED.
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550

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Chaves vs. Gonzales

The error of the court a quo, according to the plaintiff


appellant, Rosendo O. Chaves, is that it awarded only the
valueofthemissingpartsofthetypewriter,insteadofthe
wholecostoflaborandmaterialsthatwentintotherepairof
the machine, as provided for in Article 1167 of the Civil
Code,readingasfollows:
ART. 1167. If a person obliged to do something fails to do it, the
sameshallbeexecutedathiscost.
Thissameruleshallbeobservedifhedoesitincontraventionof
the tenor of the obligation. Furthermore, it may be decreed that
whathasbeenpoorlydonebeundone.

On the other hand, the position of the defendantappellee,


FructuosoGonzales,isthatheisnotliableatall,noteven
for the sum of P31.10, because his contract with plaintiff
appellant did not contain a period, so that plaintiff
appellantshouldhavefirstfiledapetitionforthecourttofix
the period, under Article 1197 of the Civil Code, within
which the defendantappellee was to comply with the
contractbeforesaiddefendantappelleecouldbeheldliable
forbreachofcontract.
Because the plaintiff appealed directly to the Supreme
Court and the appellee did not interpose any appeal, the
facts, as found 1by the trial court, are now conclusive and
nonreviewable.
The appealed judgment states that the plaintiff
delivered to the defendant x x x a portable typewriter for
routinecleaningandservicing;thatthedefendantwasnot
able to finish the job after some time despite repeated
remindersmadebytheplaintiff;thatthedefendantmerely
gave assurances, but failed to comply with the same; and
thataftergettingexasperatedwiththedelayoftherepair
of the typewriter, the plaintiff went to the house of the
defendant and asked for its return, which was done. The
inferencesderivablefromthesefindingsoffactarethatthe
appellantandtheappelleehadaperfectedcontract
________________
1

Perez v. Araneta, L18414. 15 Julv 1968. 24 SCRA 43; Cebu

Portland Cement Co, v. Mun. of Naga, L2411617, 22 August 1968. 24


SCRA708.

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Chaves vs. Gonzales


forcleaningandservicingatypewriter;thattheyintended
that the defendant was to finish it at some future time
although such time was not specified; and that such time
hadpassedwithouttheworkhavingbeenaccomplished,for
the defendant returned the typewriter cannibalized and
unrepaired, which in itself is a breach of his obligation,
without demanding that he should be given more time to
finishthejob,orcompensationfortheworkhehadalready
done. The time for compliance having evidently expired,
andtherebeingabreachofcontractbynonperformance,it
was academic for the plaintiff to have first petitioned the
court to fix a period for the performance of the contract
before filing his complaint in this case. Defendant cannot
invoke Article 1197 of the Civil Code for he virtually
admittednonperformancebyreturningthetypewriterthat
he was obliged to repair in a nonworking condition, with
essentialpartsmissing.Thefixingofaperiodwouldthusbe
amereformalityandwouldservenopurposethantodelay
(cf.Tiglao,etal.v.ManilaRailroadCo.,98Phil.181).
It is clear that the defendantappellee contravened the
tenorofhisobligationbecausehenotonlydidnotrepairthe
typewriter but returned it in shambles, according to the
appealed decision. For such contravention, as appellant
contends,heisliableunderArticle1167oftheCivilCode,
jam quot,forthecostofexecutingtheobligationinaproper
manner. The cost of the execution of the obligation in this
case should be the cost of the labor or service expended in
the repair of the typewriter, which is in the amount of
P58.75.becausetheobligationorcontractwastorepairit.
In addition, the defendantappellee is likewise liable,
under Article 1170 of the Code, for the cost of the missing
parts,intheamountofP31.10,forinhisobligationtorepair
the typewriter he was bound, but failed or neglected, to
returnitinthesameconditionitwaswhenhereceivedit.
Appellantsclaimsformoralandtemperatedamages
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SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Chaves vs. Gonzales

andattorneysfeeswere,however,correctlyrejectedbythe
trial court, for these were not alleged in his complaint
(Record on Appeal, pages 15). Claims for damages and
attorneys fees must be pleaded, and the2 existence of the
actual basis thereof must be proved. The appealed
judgmentthusmadenofindingsontheseclaims,noronthe
fraud or malice charged to the appellee. As no findings of
fact were made on the claims for damages and attorneys
fees,thereisnofactualbasisuponwhichtomakeanaward
therefor.Appellantisboundbysuchjudgmentofthecourt,
a quo, by reason of his having resorted directly to the

SupremeCourtonquestionsoflaw.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING REASONS, the
appealed judgment is hereby modified, by ordering the
defendantappellee to pay, as he is hereby ordered to pay,
the plaintiffappellant the sum of P89.85, with interest at
the legal rate from the filing of the complaint. Costs in all
instancesagainstappelleeFructuosoGonzales.
Concepcion, C.J., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar,
Castro,Fernando, TeehankeeandVillamor, JJ.,concur,
Barredo, J.,didnottakepart.
Judgment modified.
Notes.(a) Liability for negligent performance of
obligation.Under Article 1170 of the Civil Code, those
who in the performance of their obligation are guilty of
fraud, negligence, or delay, and those who in any manner
contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages. And
under Article 1173, the fault or negligence of the obligor
consistsintheomissionofthatdiligencewhichisrequired
by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the
circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place
xxx.Ifthelaworcontractdoesnotstatethediligencewhich
istobeobservedintheperformance,thatwhichisexpected
ofagoodfatherofafamilyshallberequired.
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2 Malonzo v. Galang, L13851. 27 July 1960: Darang v. Belizear, L

22399.31March1967,19SCRA214.
553

VOL.32,APRIL30,1970

553

Vda. De Macabenta vs. Davao Stevedore Terminal


Company
(b)Damages and attorneys fees must be alleged.See the
notes under De la Cruz vs. Cruz, L27759, Aug. 17, 1970,
thisvolume.
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