Carlos v. Abelardo

G.R. No. 146504, 4 April 2002

FACTS:

Respondent and his wife Maria Theresa Carlos-Abelardo approached the petitioner requesting the same to advance the amount of US$25,000.00 (P625,000.00) for the purchase of a house and lot. To enable and assist the spouses conduct their married life independently, petitioner issued a Banker’s Trust check in the name of certain Pura Vallejo, seller of the property, who acknowledged its receipt. The amount was in full payment of the property.

When petitioner inquired from the spouses as to the status of the amount loaned to them, the latter acknowledged their obligation but pleaded they were not yet in a position to make a definite settlement of the same. Thereafter, respondent expressed violent resistance to petitioner’s inquiries on the amount to the extent of making various death threats against petitioner. Petitioner, then, made a formal demand for the payment.

Respondent claimed that the said US$25,000.00 was never intended as loan. It was his share of income on contracts obtained by him from H.L. Carlos Construction Inc., a firm owned by petitioner. He further averred that he did not sign the acknowledgment executed and signed by his wife.

ISSUE:

1. Whether or not US$25,000.00 amount to a loan.

2. Whether or not respondent is solidarily liable with his wife despite lack of consent of the former.

RULING:

1. YES. Respondent cannot allege as a defense that the amount of US$25,000.00 was received as his share in the income or profits of the corporation and not as a loan. Firstly, respondent does not appear to be a stockholder nor an employee nor an agent of the corporation, H.L. Carlos Construction, Inc., thus, he has no right to participate in the income of profits thereof nor has he a right to receive any salary or commission therefrom. Secondly, the amount advanced for the purchase of the house and lot came from the personal account of the petitioner, not from the corporation’s. Hence, the US$25,000.00 is a loan.

2. YES. Article 121 of the Family Code explicitly provides that conjugal partnership shall be liable for “debts and obligations contracted by either spouse without the consent of the other to the extent that the family may have been benefited.”

“While respondent did not and refused to sign the acknowledgment executed and signed by his wife, undoubtedly, the loan redounded to the benefit of the family because it was used to purchase the house and lot which became the conjugal home of respondent and his family. Hence, notwithstanding the alleged lack of consent of respondent, he shall be solidarily liable for such loan together with his wife.”

* Case digest by Mary Jade L. Capin, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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