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Arboleda, Anreinne Sabille L.

September 25, 2018


JD Block I Atty. Nashmyleen Marohomsalic
Legal Writing I

TO: Atty. Anpan H. Mhan, Blueberry and Associates


FROM: Atty. Anreinne L. Arboleda, Junior Associate
SUBJECT: Trespassing of ABCD Developer’s Counsel Law Firm
Angelica N. Oolong
DATE: September 25, 2018

ISSUE:
Whether or not the forcible entrance and the act of making an inventory of the
items inside the unit of the buyer, Angelica, done by the ABCD’s legal counsels,
baranggay officials and security guards are considered to trespassing.

BRIEF ANSWER:
Yes, Article 280 of The Revised Penal Code defines trespassing as the event
when a stranger i.e. one who is not an occupant, actually enters the dwelling of
another against the will of the owner or lawful occupant, whether express or implied.
After being issued with Notice of Cancellation on 11 April 2012, the buyer
responded regarding the modifications that can be made on the installment
settlement concerning the property. She also raised queries regarding the breach of
seller’s obligations when she was not issued with official receipts for the unit. The
seller has not answered these queries, but proceeded in issuing a Notice to Vacate to
the buyer. This unfulfilled obligation on the part of the seller must indicate that the
contract still subsists as well as the rights of the buyer towards the unit.

STATEMENT OF FACTS:
On 11 April 2012, ABCD, the seller of a condominium unit and a parking
space at Field Park Residences, Pasig City, issued a Notice of Cancellation/
Rescission dated 3 April 2012 to its buyer, Angelica N. Oolong. On 17 April 2012,
the buyer submitted a reply offering to update the unpaid balances payable within
four months and requested the seller to waive penalties. In this letter, she also
advised them to send subsequent correspondences to her new office address at Unit
406, Verde Condominium, Valle Verde 1, Gate 2, E. Rodriguez, Jr. Avenue, Pasig
City.
On 25 April 2012, the seller approved the four-month installments, however,
they refused to waive the corresponding penalty amounting to Php 456,958.34.
On 14 May 2012, the buyer responded through her counsel, Atty. DU, to the
seller’s decision through a letter in which she cited the reasons on the oversight and
lapses of issuing additional postdated checks and of not addressing its reciprocal
obligations to the Buyer.
After these exchanges, on June 16, 2012, the buyer’s fathers saw a Notice to
Vacate posted on the door of the buyer’s unit. The notice gave the Seller 5 days to
initiate ejectment proceedings and demanded Php 30,000.00 rental fee for the Unit
every month. Apparently, this notice was not sent to the buyer’s new office address.
On June 27, 2012, the following relatives of Buyer arrived at the
Condominium Unit about 4:30pm:
1. Herminia (60 yrs. old, mother of Angelica )
2. Dr. Minerva (aunt of Angelica , youngest sister of her mother
Herminia)
3. Mig Ryan (cousin of Angelica , who just arrived recently
from California, USA for a short vacation, 17 yrs. old son of Dr.
Minerva B. Santos)
4. Adelaida (aunt of Angelica , younger sister of her mother
Herminia)
5. Mervin (helper and driver)

They were unable to enter the unit because it was padlocked. The security
guard informed them that the legal counsels of ABCD padlocked the Unit. Upon
learning from the same security guard that the legal counsels are still in the club
house, Mig Ryan and Mervin proceeded immediately to the club house to inquire
about the padlocked unit. The legal counsels informed them that the unit was
padlocked because of the Buyer’s non-payment. They added that they forcibly
entered the Unit, made an inventory of the items within the unit and, thereafter,
padlocked the place in the presence of ABCD administrative personnel, baranggay
officials and security guards. Herminia informed the buyer about the incident
through a phone call. The latter immediately called the ABCD administrative office
to ask why they padlocked the Unit. The administrative personnel clarified that it is
the ABCD legal representatives who padlocked the Unit and not the administrative
personnel. The administrative personnel then passed the phone to the counsel of
ABCD and accordingly told the Buyer that they were instructed to padlock the unit.
According to the counsel of ABCD, the Notice of Rescission/Cancellation was
enough to padlock the Unit and there is no need for a court order. Upon discussion,
they strongly upheld that there was a Notice and a Demand letter from ABCD to
validate ABCD’s actions.

DISCUSSION:

The acts committed by the legal counsels of ABCD are considered


trespassing. According to Article 280 of the Revised Penal Code, trespassing is the
event when a stranger i.e. one who is not an occupant, actually enters the dwelling
of another against the will of the owner or lawful occupant.

In the current case, it is stated in the contract between the buyer and the seller
that in case the Contract is cancelled or the buyer fails to pay any of the installments
due, the seller shall automatically have full rights and authority over the property. It
is specifically stated in the following excerpt:

6. In addition to the rights granted to the Seller in case the Contract to Sell
is rescinded or cancelled or the failure of the Buyer to perform her obligations
in the Contract to Sell or this Supplement or fails to pay any of the installments
due, the Seller has the following recourse, in cumulative, to wit:
xxxxx
iv. For this purpose, the Buyer automatically constitutes the Seller
as his\her attorney-in-fact to possess the unit and the Seller shall have
all powers and authority to enforce the rights granted in this
Supplement, including the right to automatically repossess and/or
padlock the Unit without judicial proceedings.

This part automatically allows the seller to inhibit the buyer from setting foot
into the unit without judicial proceedings once a cancellation of contract has been
made or in the event that the buyer fails to fulfill her obligations as agreed upon in
the contract. This expressed provision is invoked by the seller when they contend
that the Notice to Vacate and the Demand Letter issued are sufficient to cause them
to act, and a Court Order is not necessary to legitimize their actions.

However, the seller has not provided any proof that the buyer had completely
failed on her obligations in fulfilling the contract nor was there any cancellation. On
11 April 2012, Buyer received a Notice of Cancellation/Rescission from Seller. She
was able to create a response on this on 17 April 2012 offering to update the unpaid
balances payable within four months and requesting the Seller to waive penalties.
She added that subsequent correspondences must be sent to her new office address
at Unit 406, Verde Condominium, Valle Verde 1, Gate 2, E. Rodriguez, Jr. Avenue,
Pasig City. Aside from this, she stated that the seller committed a breach in its
obligations to deliver the CCT on the parking space and the receipt on the
installments paid by Buyer on the Unit.

On 25 April 2012, information states that the seller came up with a


computation approving the four-month installments computed at three percent per
month but refused to waive the corresponding penalty amounting to Php 456,958.34.
Additionally, there was no information included regarding the CCT on the parking
space and the receipt on the installments paid by the buyer.

On 14 May 2012, Buyer through her counsel Atty. DU sent a letter to Seller
citing the reasons on the oversight and lapses of issuing additional postdated checks
and of not addressing its reciprocal obligations to the Buyer. Buyer stated her
deferment to pay until ABCD delivered the CCT of the parking space which she
already paid since 2009. The Buyer also demanded that Seller must likewise pay at
least 1% per month as penalty charges on the purchase price of the parking space
from the date of it was fully paid.

This letter was unanswered and was merely followed by an issuance of a


Notice to Vacate dated 1 June 2012. The seller had evidently failed to fulfill its
obligations by being unable to respond to queries crucial to the justification of the
Notice of Cancellation and Notice to Vacate. The lack of response on the part of the
seller indicates that contract must still be in effect and that the buyer must still have
rights over her property.

Therefore, with her rights over the property still existing during the time when
ABCD’s legal counsels, baranggay officials and security guards forcibly entered the
Unit and made an inventory of the items in the unit, they committed trespassing and
violated the rights of the buyer.