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CIVIL LAW CASE DIGEST

Tañada vs. Tuvera 136 SCRA 27 (April 24, 1985) 146 SCRA 446 (December 29, 1986)
TAÑADA VS. TUVERA

136 SCRA 27 (April 24, 1985)

FACTS:

Invoking the right of the people to be informed on matters of public concern as well as the principle that laws to be valid and
enforceable must be published in the Official Gazette, petitioners filed for writ of mandamus to compel respondent public officials to
publish and/or cause to publish various presidential decrees, letters of instructions, general orders, proclamations, executive orders,
letters of implementations and administrative orders.

The Solicitor General, representing the respondents, moved for the dismissal of the case, contending that petitioners have no legal
personality to bring the instant petition.

ISSUE:

Whether or not publication in the Official Gazette is required before any law or statute becomes valid and enforceable.

HELD:

Art. 2 of the Civil Code does not preclude the requirement of publication in the Official Gazette, even if the law itself provides for the
date of its effectivity. The clear object of this provision is to give the general public adequate notice of the various laws which are to
regulate their actions and conduct as citizens. Without such notice and publication, there would be no basis for the application of the
maxim ignoratia legis nominem excusat. It would be the height of injustive to punish or otherwise burden a citizen for the
transgression of a law which he had no notice whatsoever, not even a constructive one.

The very first clause of Section 1 of CA 638 reads: there shall be published in the Official Gazette…. The word “shall” therein
imposes upon respondent officials an imperative duty. That duty must be enforced if the constitutional right of the people to be
informed on matter of public concern is to be given substance and validity.

The publication of presidential issuances of public nature or of general applicability is a requirement of due process. It is a rule of
law that before a person may be bound by law, he must first be officially and specifically informed of its contents. The Court declared
that presidential issuances of general application which have not been published have no force and effect.

Fuentes vs. Roca

G.R. No. 178902, [April 21, 2010]

FACTS:

Sabina Tarroza owned a land in Canelar,Zamboanga City and she sold it to her son,
Tarciano T. Roca (Tarciano) under a deed of absolute sale. Six years later in 1988,
Tarciano offered to sell the lot to petitioners Manuel and Leticia Fuentes (the Fuentes
spouses). They met in the office of Atty. Romulo D. Plagata whom they asked to prepare
the documents of sale and signed an agreement to sell that Atty. Plagata prepared. It
expressly stated that the sale was to take effect in six months. Within six months,
Tarciano was to clear the lot of structures and occupants and secure the consent of his
estranged wife, Rosario Gabriel Roca (Rosario), to the sale.
Upon Tarciano’s compliance with these conditions, the Fuentes spouses were to take
possession of the lot and pay him an additional pay besides the downpayment,
depending on whether or not he succeeded in demolishing the house standing on it. If
Tarciano was unable to comply with these conditions, the Fuentes spouses would
become owners of the lot without any further formality and payment.

The parties left their signed agreement with Atty. Plagata who then worked on the
other requirements of the sale. According to the lawyer, he went to see Rosario in one of
his trips to Manila and had her sign an affidavit of consent. After 6 months, a new title
was issued in the name of the spouses who immediately constructed a building on the
lot. Thereafter Tarciano passed away, followed by his wife Rosario who died nine
months afterwards.

Eight years later in 1997, the children of Tarciano and Rosario, namely,
respondents(collectively, the Rocas), filed an action for annulment of sale and re-
conveyance of the land against the Fuentes spouses before the RTC.

The Rocas claimed that the sale to the spouses was void since Tarciano’s wife, Rosario,
did not give her consent to it. Her signature on the affidavit of consent had been forged.
They thus prayed that the property be reconveyed to them upon reimbursement of the
price that the Fuentes spouses paid Tarciano.

The spouses denied the Rocas’ allegations. They presented Atty. Plagata who testified
that he personally saw Rosario sign the affidavit at her residence. He admitted,
however,that he notarized the document in Zamboanga City four months later. All the
same, the Fuentes spouses pointed out that the claim of forgery was personal to
Rosario and she alone could invoke it. Besides, the four-year prescriptive period for
nullifying the sale on ground of fraud had already lapsed.

ISSUES:

1. Whether Rosario’s signature on the document of consent to her husband


Tarciano’s sale of their conjugal land to the Fuentes spouses was forged?

2. Whether the Rocas’ action for the declaration of nullity of that sale to the spouses
already prescribed?

3. Whether or not only Rosario, the wife whose consent was not had, could bring the
action to annul that sale?

HELD:

1. It was forged
2. It did not prescribe
3. The heirs of Rosario may bring an action to annul the sale.

RATIO:
1. The key issue in this case is whether or not Rosario’s signature on the document of
consent had been forged. For, if the signature were genuine, the fact that she gave her
consent to her husband’s sale of the conjugal land would render the other issues merely
academic. The SC agreed with the CA that the signature was forged.

While a defective notarization will merely strip the document of its public character and
reduce it to a private instrument, that falsified jurat, taken together with the marks of
forgery in the signature, dooms such document as proof of Rosario’s consent to
the sale of the land. That the Fuentes spouses honestly relied on the notarized affidavit
as proof of Rosario’s consent does not matter. The sale is still void without an authentic
consent.

2. Contrary to the ruling of the Court of Appeals, the law that applies to this case is the
Family Code, not the Civil Code. Although Tarciano and Rosario got married in 1950,
Tarciano sold the conjugal property to the Fuentes spouses on January 11, 1989, a few
months after the Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988.

When Tarciano married Rosario, the Civil Code put in place the system
of conjugalpartnership of gains on their property relations. While its Article 165 made
Tarciano the sole administrator of the conjugal partnership, Article 166 prohibited him
from selling commonly owned real property without his wife’s consent. Still, if he sold
the same without his wife’s consent, the sale is merely voidable. Article 173 gave Rosario
the right to have the sale annulled during the marriage within ten years from the date of
the sale. Failing in that, she or her heirs may demand, after dissolution of the marriage,
only the value of the property that Tarciano fraudulently sold.

But, as already stated, the Family Code took effect on August 3, 1988. Its Chapter 4
on Conjugal Partnership of Gains expressly superseded Title VI, Book I of the Civil Code
on Property Relations Between Husband and Wife. Further, the Family Code provisions
were also made to apply to already existing conjugal partnerships without prejudice to
vested rights.

Art. 105. x x x The provisions of this Chapter shall also apply to conjugalpartnerships
of gains already established between spouses before the effectivity of this Code,
without prejudice to vested rights already acquired in accordance with the Civil Code
or other laws, as provided in Article 256.

(n)

In contrast to Article 173 of the Civil Code, Article 124 of the Family Code does not
provide a period within which the wife who gave no consent may assail her
husband’s sale of the real property. It simply provides that without the other spouse’s
written consent or a court order allowing the sale, the same would be void.

Under the provisions of the Civil Code governing contracts, a void or inexistent contract
has no force and effect from the very beginning. And this rule applies to contracts that
are declared void by positive provision of law, as in the case of a saleof conjugal property
without the other spouse’s written consent. But, although a void contract has no legal
effects even if no action is taken to set it aside, when any of its terms have been
performed, an action to declare its inexistence is necessary to allow restitution of what
has been given under it. This action, according to Article 1410 of the Civil Code does not
prescribe.

Here, the Rocas filed an action against the Fuentes spouses in 1997 for annulment
of sale and re-conveyance of the real property that Tarciano sold without their mother’s
(his wife’s) written consent. The passage of time did not erode the right to bring such an
action.

4. As stated above, that sale was void from the beginning. Consequently the land
remained the property of Tarciano and Rosario despite that sale. When the two died,
they passed on the ownership of the property to their heirs,

D.M. Consunji vs. CA and Juego


TITLE: D.M. Consunji Inc. v Court of Appeals and Maria J. Juego

CITATION: GR No. 137873, April 20, 2001 | 357 SCRA 249

FACTS:

Around 1:30PM of November 2, 1990, Jose Juergo, a construction worker of D.M. Consunji Inc. fell
14 floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City. He was immediately rushed to Rizal Medical
Center in Pasig City. The attending physician, Dr. Errol de Yzo, pronounce Jose dead on arrival
(DOA) at around 2:15PM.

Jose Juergo, together with Jessie Jaluag and Delso Destajo, performing their work as carpenter at the
elevator core of the 14th floor of Tower D, Renaissance Tower Building were on board a
platform. Jose was crushed to death when the platform fell due to removal or looseness of the pin,
which was merely inserted to the connecting points of the chain block and platform but without a
safety lock. Luckily, Jessie and Delso jumped out of safety.

PO3 Rogelio Villanueva of the Eastern Police District investigated the tragedy and filed report dated
Nov. 25, 1990. Maria Juergo, Jose’s widow filed a complaint on May 9, 1991 for damages in the
RTC and was rendered a favorable decision to receive support from DM Consunji amounting to
P644,000.

DM Consunji seeks reversal of the CA decision.

ISSUE: Whether Maria Juergo can still claim damages with D.M. Consunji apart from the death
benefits she claimed in the State Insurance Fund.

HELD:

The respondent is not precluded from recovering damages under the civil code. Maria Juergo was
unaware of petitioner’s negligence when she filed her claim for death benefits from the State
Insurance Fund. She filed the civil complaint for damages after she received a copy of the police
investigation report and the Prosecutor’s Memorandum dismissing the criminal complaint against
petitioner’s personnel.

Supreme Court remanded to the RTC of Pasig City to determine whether the award decreed in its
decision is more than that of the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC). Should the award
decreed by the trial court be greater than that awarded by the ECC, payments already made to private
respondent pursuant to the Labor Code shall be deducted therefrom.

Kasilag versus Rodriguez Case Digest/ Brief 69


Phil 217
PROCEDURAL FACTS: This is an appeal taken by the defendant-petitioner from the
decision of the Court of Appeals which modified that rendered by the court of First Instance
of Bataan. The said court held: that the contract is entirely null and void and without effect;
that the plaintiffs-respondents, then appellants, are the owners of the disputed land, with its
improvements, in common ownership with their brother Gavino Rodriguez, hence, they are
entitled to the possession thereof; that the defendant-petitioner should yield possession of
the land in their favor, with all the improvements thereon and free from any lien
SUBSTANTIVE FACTS: The parties entered into a contract of loan to which has an
accompanying accessory contract of mortgage. The executed accessory
contract involved the improvements on a piece land, the land having been acquired by
means of homestead. P for his part accepted the contract of mortgage.
Believing that there are no violations to the prohibitions in the alienation of lands P, acting
in good faith took possession of the land. To wit, the P has no knowledge that
the enjoyment of the fruits of the land is an element of the credittransaction of Antichresis.

ISSUE: Whether or not P is deemed to be a possessor in good faith of the land, based upon
Article 3 of the New Civil Code as states “Ignorance of the law excuses no one from
compliance therewith,” the P’s lack of knowledge of the contract of antichresis.

HELD: The accessory contract of mortgage of the improvements of on the land is valid. The
verbal contract of antichresis agreed upon is deemed null and void.

REASONING: Sec 433 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides “Every person who is
unaware of any flaw in his title or in the manner of its acquisition by which it is invalidated
shall be deemed a possessor of good faith.” And in this case, the petitioner acted in good
faith. Good faith maybe a basis of excusable ignorance of the law, the petitioner acted in
good faith in his enjoyment of the fruits of the land to which was done through his apparent
acquisition thereof.

Manzano vs Sanchez
Manzano vs. Sanchez

AM No. MTJ-001329, March 8, 2001

FACTS:

Herminia Borja-Manzano was the lawful wife of the late David Manzano having been married on
May 21, 1966 in San Gabriel Archangel Parish in Caloocan. They had four children. On March 22,
1993, her husband contracted another marriage with Luzviminda Payao before respondent
Judge. The marriage contract clearly stated that both contracting parties were “separated” thus,
respondent Judge ought to know that the marriage was void and bigamous. He claims that when he
officiated the marriage of David and Payao, he knew that the two had been living together as
husband and wife for seven years as manifested in their joint affidavit that they both left their
families and had never cohabit or communicated with their spouses due to constant quarrels.
ISSUE: Whether the solemnization of a marriage between two contracting parties who both have an
existing marriage can contract marriage if they have been cohabitating for 5 years under Article 34 of
Family Code.

HELD:

Among the requisites of Article 34 is that parties must have no legal impediment to marry each
other. Considering that both parties has a subsisting marriage, as indicated in their marriage contract
that they are both “separated” is an impediment that would make their subsequent marriage null and
void. Just like separation, free and voluntary cohabitation with another person for at least 5 years
does not severe the tie of a subsisting previous marriage. Clearly, respondent Judge Sanchez
demonstrated gross ignorance of the law when he solemnized a void and bigamous marriage.