Abella v. Francisco

55 Phil. 447 (1931)

FACTS:

Defendant Guillermo B. Francisco purchased from the Government on installments, lots 937 to 945 of the Tala Estate in Novaliches, Caloocan, Rizal. He was in arrears for some of these installments. On the 31st of October, 1928, he signed a document acknowledging payment of P500 and the balance to be paid on or before December 15, 1928, extendible fifteen days thereafter. On December 27th of the same year, the defendant, being in the Province of Cebu, wrote to Roman Mabanta of this City of Manila, attaching a power of attorney authorizing him to sign in behalf of the defendant all the documents required by the Bureau of Lands for the transfer of the lots to the plaintiff. Mabanta, as attorney-in-fact, did what was instructed to him. The plaintiff, asked for an extension until January 9, 1929. However, Mabanta, only extended it until January 5, 1929. When Abella was not able to pay of the said date, Mabanta refused to accept the full payment on January 9, 1929 and already considered the contract rescinded. On the same day, Mabanta returned by check the sum of P915.31 which the plaintiff had paid.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the defendant be compelled to accept the payment and the plaintiff be judicially declared as owner of the land.

RULING:

The court relied on the fact that the plaintiff had failed to pay the price of the lots within the stipulated time; and that since the contract between plaintiff and defendant was an option for the purchase of the lots,’ time was an essential element in it. It is to be noted that in the document signed by the defendant, the 15th of December was fixed as the date, extendible for fifteen days, for the payment by the plaintiff of the balance of the selling price. It has been admitted that the plaintiff did not offer to complete the payment until January 9, 1929. He contends that Mabanta, as attorney-in-fact for the defendant in this transaction, granted him an extension of time until the 9th of January. But Mabanta has stated that he only extended the time until the 5th of that month. Mabanta’s testimony on this point is corroborated by that of Paz Vicente and by the plaintiff’s own admission to Narciso Javier that his option to purchase those lots expired on January 5, 1929. The defendant wanted to sell those lots to the plaintiff in order to pay off certain obligations which fell due in the month of December, 1928. The time fixed for the payment of the price was therefore essential for the defendant, and this view is borne out by his letter to his representative Mabanta instructing him to consider the contract rescinded if the price was not completed in time. In accordance with article 1124 of the Civil Code, the defendant is entitled to resolve the contract for failure to pay the price within the time specified.

 * Case digest by Jason Olasiman, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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