G.R. No. L-26295, 14 July 1978, 84 SCRA 51
Respondent executed in favor of petitioner a deed of sale with pacto de retro, with a five-year period of redemption, over a parcel of land situated at Lambunao, Iloilo, with a stated area of 8.8272 hectares more or less, for a specified consideration of P1,400.00. Of the total consideration, the amount of P1,200.00 was paid upon the execution of the deed and the balance of P200.00, covered by a promissory note, was agreed to be payable at a later date.
Subsequently, petitioner found that the area of the land actually delivered to her was only 5.0779 hectares. Thus, on January 22, 1957, she instituted Civil Case No. 2635 against respondent, seeking the recovery of the area allegedly withheld. During the pendency of the case, respondent forcibly took back the possession of the land from petitioner. The period for the repurchase of the land expired, allegedly without respondent having availed himself of his right to repurchase the same. The CFI of Iloilo dismissed the complaint, having found that the parcel of land subject matter of the deed of sale was described by metes and bounds, as shown by Tax Declaration No. 4156, and has an actual area of 5.0779 hectares.
Subsequently, petitioner instituted the present petition for consolidation of title and restoration of possession. The CFI of Iloilo, finding that respondent was not able to effect the repurchase within the period stipulated, rendered judgment declaring title over the land consolidated in the name of petitioner and ordering respondent to deliver the possession of the same to her. CA reversed the decision of the trial court.
1. Whether CA erred in holding that the failure to pay the remaining consideration of P200.00 suspended the running of the period for redemption.
2. Whether or not respondent was able to effect redemption of the property in question within the period stipulated in the contract.
We are unable to find any support for the holding of the Appellate Court that the failure to pay the balance of the purchase price embodied in the agreement in the amount of P200.00 resulted in the suspension of the running of the period for redemption.
The sale was consummated upon the execution of the document and the delivery of the land subject matter thereof to the vendee, petitioner herein. It was a perfectly valid agreement, and the non- payment of the balance of the purchase price could not have the effect of suspending the efficacy of the provisions thereof. Failure to pay part of the consideration of the contract. The sale under consideration was perfected from the moment Legayada consented to sell the land in question and Catangcatang agreed to purchase it for the sum of P1,400.00 and the latter had partially complied with his obligation by paying the sum of P1,200.00 and the former by delivering possession of the land to the vendee. Moreover, there was nothing whatsoever in the deed of sale to indicate that the agreement of the parties was to suspend the running of the period of redemption until full payment of the purchase price. On the contrary, said period was agreed to be five (5) years from the date of the execution of the deed.
The more basic ISSUE is whether or not respondent was able to effect redemption of the property in question within the period stipulated in the contract. Pursuant to Article 1616 of the Civil Code, “the vendor cannot avail himself of the right of repurchase without returning to the vendee the price of the sale, and in addition: (1) the expenses of the contract, and any other legitimate payments made by reason of the sale; (2) the necessary and useful expenses made on the thing sold.”
The records reveal that on May 10, 1957, respondent, without the knowledge of petitioner, took possession of the subject property. It is claimed that on the same date, respondent’s counsel wrote a letter to petitioner, informing her that the redemption money was already in his (counsel’s) possession This letter never reached petitioner, and was allegedly returned to said counsel. The reason given by respondent for the non-delivery of the letter is that petitioner could not be found. This was found by the trial court to be unworthy of credence. Apart from this letter, no further effort to effect redemption was made. Respondent could have deposited the amount for the redemption with the court, but this he did not do. In the exercise of the right to repurchase, it is not sufficient that the vendor a retro manifests his desire to repurchase. This statement of intention must be accompanied with an actual and simultaneous tender of payment which constitutes the legal exercise of the right to repurchase. While consignation of the redemption price is not necessary in order to allow the repurchase within the time provided by law or by contract, a mere tender being enough, said tender does not relieve the vendor from the obligation of paying the price. In case of absence of the vendee a retro, the right of redemption may still be exercised, as a vendor who decides to redeem a property sold with pacto de retro stands as the debtor and the vendee as the creditor of the purchase price. The vendor could and should have exercised his right of redemption against the vendee by filing a suit against him and making a consignation with the court of the amount due for the redemption.
*Case digest by Legine S. Ramayla, JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020