Uy Soo Lim v. Tan Unchuan

G.R. No. 12605, 7 September 1918

FACTS:

Santiago Pastrano Uy Toco, a Chinese, came to the Philippines and married Candida Vivares, a Filipina. They had two daughters, Francisca and Concepcion. At the time of this marriage, Santiago Pastrano possessed very little property — a tienda worth about P2,000. However, when he died, his wealth amassed to a large estate that he acquired with Candida.

Santiago stayed in China for less than a year and had an affair with Chan Quieng, who later claimed that what they did in China was equivalent to a marriage in Chinese law and customs.

Santiago and Quieng never saw each other again but she wrote him letters that she bore him a son, plaintiff Uy Soo Lim. Believing this, Santiago allegedly dedicated to Uy Soo Lim a large amount in his will — 7/9.

Uy  Soo   Lim, while still a minor, thereafter, executed a deed of sale to Francisa, concomitantly, relinquishing all his right, title, and interest in the estate. Chan Quieng gave her consent to the sale. Francisca was then declared as the sole owner of all the properties of Uy Soo Lim. The latter then spent all the money.

Thereafter, when he was of age, Uy Soo Lim sought to rescind and annul the contract by which he has sold and transferred to Francisca all his interest in the estate alleging that undue influence was exercised upon him, taking advantage of his youth.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Uy Soo Lim can file for the annulment of the contract.

RULING:

No. Positive statutory law, no less than uniform court decisions, require, as a condition precedent to rescission of a contract on account of minority that the consideration received be refunded. We cite and quote as follows:

ART. 1295 (Civil Code). Rescission obliges the return of the things which were the objects of the contract, with their fruits and the sum with interest; therefore it can only be carried into effect when the person who may have claimed it can return that which, on his part, he is bound to do.

ART. 1304 (Civil Code). When the nullity arises from the incapacity of one of the contracting parties, the incapacitated person is not obliged to make restitution, except to the extent he has profited by the thing or by the sum he may have received.

ART. 1308 (Civil Code). While one of the contracting parties does not return that which he is obliged to deliver by virtue of the declaration of nullity, the other cannot be compelled to fulfill, on his part, what is incumbent on him.

Knowing his legal rights, therefore, plaintiff should have been prompt to disaffirm his contract upon reaching majority. This was not done. Instead, he deliberately permitted defendants to continue making payments thereunder, and then, on May 25, 1914, when the last cent upon such contract was collected, sought to avail himself of this ground of rescission. This was almost eight months after he had attained his majority.

 * Case digest by  Immanuel Y. Granada, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018

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