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Exercise Assignment:

In Bough v. Cantiveros (G.R. No. 13300, September 29, 1919), Justice Malcolm declared:

Counsel relies on the provisions of article 1218 of the Civil Code, which provides that "Public
instruments are evidence, even against a third person, of the fact which gave rise to their
execution and of the date of the latter." The effect of this article has been announced in
numerous decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain and of this Court. (See Hijos de I. de la
Rama vs. Robles and Robles [1907], 8 Phil., 712.) But in conjunction with article 1218 of the
Civil Code, there should always be read section 285 of the Code of Civil Procedure which
provides that:
When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing by the parties, it is to be
considered as containing all those terms, and therefore there can be, between the parties and
their representatives or successors in interest, no evidence of the terms of agreement other than
contents of the writing, except in the following cases:
1. Where a mistake or imperfection of the writing, or its failure to express the true intent and
agreement of the parties, is put in issue by the pleadings;
2. Where the validity of the agreement is the fact in dispute. But this section does not exclude
other evidence of the circumstances under which the agreement was made, or to which it
relates, or to explain an intrinsic ambiguity, or to establish its illegality or fraud. The term
`agreement' includes deeds and intruments conveying real estate, and wills as well as contracts
between parties.
While thus as the law well says "public instruments are evidence of the fact which gave rise to
their execution" and are to be considered as containing all the terms of the agreement, yet, if the
validity of the agreement is the issue, parole evidence may be introduced to establish illegality
or fraud. Evidence to establish illegality or fraud, is expressly permitted under section 285 of
the Code of Civil Procedure, and may be proved by circumstantial evidence, aided by legitimate
inferences from the direct facts. (Camacho vs. Municipality of Baliuag [1914], 28 Phil., 466;
Maulini vs. Serrano [1914], 28 Phil., 640; Union Mut. Life Insurance Co. vs. Wilkinson [1872],
13 Wall, 222; Maxon vs. Llewelyn [1898], 122 Cal., 195, construing section 1856 of the Code
of Civil Procedrue of California, identical with section 285 of the Code of Civil Procedure of
the Philippines.)
We hold that parole evidence was properly admitted to show the illegality of the contract of sale
introduced as Exhibit A.

Comment.