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HERMOSA v.

LONGARA (October 27, 1953)


G.R. No. L-5267
Ponente: Labrador, J.
Action: appeal by way of certiorari against a CA decision
Keywords (Topic): conditional obligations, mixed conditions

SHORT STORY: Longara is a creditor of the late Fernando Hermosa, Sr. and is trying to enforce his claims
against the estate of the latter. CA approved his claims. The heirs of FHS are arguing that the claims were
based on an obligation subject to a potestative condition, therefore the obligation is void. Court held that the
condition is not a potestative one, but a mixed one, and therefore the obligation was still valid, i.e., Longaras
claims are still enforceable.
FACTS:

This is an appeal by way of certiorari against a CA decision approving certain claims presented by Epifanio
Longara against the intestate estate of Fernando Hermosa, Sr.
o Php 2341.41 credit advances to intestate (1932-44)
o Php 12,924.12 credit advances to his son Francisco Hermosa
o Php 3772 credit advances to grandson Fernando Hermosa, Jr. (1945-47, after death of intestate on
December,1944)
Claimant presented evidence that the intestate had asked for the advances for himself and for his family on
condition that payment should be made by Fernando Hermosa, Sr. as soon as he receive funds derived
from the sale of his property in Spain (in other words, payable as soon as FHSs property in Spain was sold
and he received money from the sale).
Appellant contended that the obligation contracted by intestate was subject to a potestative condition (solely
dependent upon the will of the debtor) and therefore null and void, per Art.1115 of the old CC.

ISSUES:
1.) WON the condition in question is a potestative condition.
2.) WON the 3rd group of claims (credits furnished to intestates grandson, AFTER death of intestate should be
allowed.

RULES:
Art. 1182 (formerly Art. 1115). When the fulfillment of the condition depends upon the sole will of the debtor, the
conditional obligation shall be void. If it depends upon chance or upon the will of a third person, the obligation
shall take effect in conformity with the provisions of this Code.
In relation to the dissent: If the obligation is a pre-existing one and therefore does not depend for its existence
upon the fulfillment of the debtor of the potestative condition, only the condition is void leaving unaffected the
obligation itself. Hence, the condition is imposed not on the birth of the obligation but on its fulfillment. (De Leon)

ANALYSIS:
1.) NO. It is a mixed condition. Condition does not depend exclusively upon will of the debtor, but also upon
other circumstances beyond his power or control. It implies that the intestate had already decided to sell his
house, or at least that he made his creditors believe that he had done so, and that all that was left to make his
obligation (to pay debt) demandable is the consummation of the sale and the remittance of the price. The will to
sell on the debtors part was therefore either present in fact, or legally presumed to exist, although the price and
other conditions thereof were still within his discretion.
Therefore, the obligation is not purely a potestative one, but a mixed one, depending partly upon the will of the
debtor (i.e., the intestate), and partly upon chance, i.e., the presence of the buyer of the property.
2.) NO. The obligation to furnish support is a personal one and is extinguished upon the death of the principal.
Therefore the decision approving the third set of claims should be reversed.

CONCLUSION/DISPOSITIVE:

Decision AFFIRMED IN PART and REVERSED IN PART. Claims of P2341 and P12.9K approved, claim of
P3.7K reversed.
PARAS, C.J., CONCURRING and DISSENTING:

Concur insofar as to the reversal of the third set of claims (P3.7K)


Dissent insofar as the approval of the other claims
The condition payable as soon as Fernando Hermosa, Sr.s property in Spain is sold and he receives money
derived from the sale is a potestative condition and is therefore null and void in accordance with Art. 1115 of
the old CC.
The matter of the sale of the house rested upon the sole will of the debtor. The majority even admits that if the
condition were if he decides to sell his house or if he likes to pay the sums advanced, it would be potestative.
There is only a mere play of words here.
In said condition, it is immaterial WON he had already decided to sell his house, since there is no indication in the
agreement that if the conditions happened, he would be bound to proceed with the sale. The terms of the sale are
still subject to the sole judgment if not whims and caprice of FHS. (In the absence of any contract setting the
terms which would be acceptable to the debtor, nobody could legally compel him to make any sale).
[Only the] condition is null and void (see Rule 2 as to why only the condition and not the entire obligation is void);
the debt from the advances made to FHS is either (1) IMMEDIATELY DEMANDABLE or (2) payable within a term
to be fixed by the court. HOWEVER, in both cases the action to ask the court to fix the period has already
prescribed after the lapse of ten years [from the date of the agreement itself]. So only option 1 is available.