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50. Rustan Pulp & Paper Mills Inc. vs. IAC

G.R. No. 70789 October 19, 1992
When Rustan Pulp & Paper Mills (D) started operations Romeo Lluch (P)
offered to supply raw materials. Rustan Pulp (D) proposed a non-exclusive
contract to buy wood pulp from Lluch (P). However, a condition in the
contract gave Rustan Pulp (D) the right to stop accepting deliveries when the
supply became sufficient until such time the raw materials are needed.
During the test run of the pulp mill, major defects on the machinery were
discovered prompting the Japanese supplier of the machinery to recommend
the stoppage of the deliveries. The suppliers were informed to stop
deliveries, but were not informed as to the reasons for the stoppage.
Lluch (P) sought to clarify the tenor of the notice as to whether stoppage of
delivery or termination of the contract of sale was intended, but Rustan Pulp
(D) failed to reply. This alleged ambiguity notwithstanding, Lluch (P) and the
other suppliers resumed deliveries after a series of talks between Lluch (P)
and Romeo Vergara, the manager of Rustan Pulp (D).
Later, Lluch (P) filed a complaint for breach of contract. The case was
dismissed, but at the same time, the court enjoined Rustan Pulp (D) to honor
the contract. On appeal, the court ruled that Rustan Pulp's (D) suspension of
deliveries was not in the lawful exercise of its rights under the contract of
Whether or not the suspension of deliveries by Rustan (D) a proper exercise
of its rights under the contract of sale?
There is basis for the apprehension on the illusory resumption of deliveries at
Rustan Pulp (D) because the prerogative suggests a condition solely
dependent upon its exclusive will. The literal import of contested condition is
that Rustan Pulp (D) can stop delivery of pulp wood from Lluch (P) if the
supply at the plant is sufficient as ascertained by Rustan Pulp (D), subject to
re-delivery when the need arises as determined likewise by Rustan Pulp (D).
A purely potestative imposition of this character must be obliterated from the
face of the contract without affecting the rest of the stipulations considering
that the condition relates to the fulfillment of an already existing obligation

and not to its inception (Civil Code Annotated, by Padilla, 1987 Edition,
Volume 4, Page 160).
A condition which is both potestative (or facultative) and resolutory may be
valid, even though the saving clause is left to the will of the obligor as this
Court ruled in Taylor vs. Uy Tieng Piao (43 Phil. 873). But the Taylor case,
which allowed a condition for unilateral cancellation dependent on the arrival
of factory machinery, cannot be applied because the facts relate to the birth
of the undertaking and not to the fulfillment of an existing obligation.