Eligio Herrera, Sr., father of respondent Pastor Herrera, owned two parcels of land consisting of 500 sq. m. and 451 sq. m. located at Cainta, Rizal. The two parcels of land were sold at 1M and 750k to the petitioner.
Pastor, contending that the contract price for the two parcels of land was grossly inadequate tried to negotiate with petitioner to increase the purchase price. When petitioner refused, respondent then filed a complaint for annulment of sale. Pastor alleged that the contract of sale was null and void on the ground that Eligio, Sr., at that time, was already afflicted with senile dementia. Petitioner, on the other hand, contended that respondent had effectively ratified both contracts of sales, by receiving the consideration offered in each transaction.
RTC ruled that the contract of sale is null and void. CA affirmed, hence, this petition.
ISSUE:Whether the assailed contracts of sale void or merely voidable and hence capable of being ratified?
In the present case, vendor Eligio, Sr. entered into an agreement with petitioner, but that the former’s capacity to consent was vitiated by senile dementia. Hence, it was ruled that the assailed contracts are not void or inexistent per se; rather, these are contracts that are valid and binding unless annulled through a proper action filed in court.
An annullable contract may be rendered perfectly valid by ratification, which can be express or implied. Implied ratification may take the form of accepting and retaining the benefits of a contract. As in this case, respondent negotiated for the increase of the purchase price while receiving the installment payments from the petitioner. Clearly, respondent was agreeable to the contract. Further, there is no showing that respondent returned the payments or made an offer to do so. This bolsters the view that indeed there was ratification.
Therefore, the two contracts of sale is declared valid.
* Case digest by Kristine Camille Gahuman, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018