G.R. No. 206806, 25 June 2014
Lim works in the business of supplying scrap papers, cartons, and other raw materials, under the name Quality Paper and Plastic Products, Enterprises, to factories engaged in the paper mill business. Lim delivered scrap papers to Arco Pulp and Paper Company, Inc. The parties allegedly agreed that Arco Pulp and Paper would either pay Dan T. Lim the value of the raw materials or deliver to him their finished products of equivalent value. Arco Pulp and Paper and a certain Eric Sy executed a memorandum of agreement where Arco Pulp and Paper bound themselves to deliver their finished products to Megapack Container Corporation, owned by Eric Sy. The liability of Arco Pulp was now transferred to Megapack in paying Lim. Dan T. Lim sent a letter to Arco Pulp and Paper demanding payment but no payment was made to him. Now Lim filed a case against Arco Pulp. The Arco Pulp now contends that their agreement was novated because of the MOA agreed upon Sy and Arco.
Whether or not the obligation between the parties was an alternative obligation
Yes. The rule on alternative obligations is governed by Article 1199 of the Civil Code, which states:
Article 1199. A person alternatively bound by different prestations shall completely perform one of them.
The creditor cannot be compelled to receive part of one and part of the other undertaking.
In an alternative obligation, there is more than one object, and the fulfillment of one is sufficient, determined by the choice of the debtor who generally has the right of election.” The right of election is extinguished when the party who may exercise that option categorically and unequivocally makes his or her choice known.
* Case digest by Lea Caipang, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018