G.R. No. 180559, 20 January 2016
Respondent Maria Crisologo V da. De Culig (respondent) is the widow of Alfredo Culig, Sr. (Alfredo). During his lifetime, Alfredo was granted a homestead patent under the Public Land Act (C.A. 141) over a 54,730-square meter parcel of land (the property) in Nuangan, Kidapawan, North Cotabato.1 Alfredo died sometime in 1971, and on October 9, 1974, his heirs, including respondent, executed an extra-judicial settlement of estate with simultaneous sale of the property in favor of spouses Andres Seguritan and Anecita Gregorio (petitioner).
On September 26, 1979, respondent filed a complaint demanding the repurchase of the property under the provisions of the Public Land Act. She alleged that she first approached the spouses personally and offered to pay back the purchase price of ₱25,000.00 but the latter refused. For their part, the spouses Seguritan countered that the respondent had no right to repurchase the property since the latter only wanted to redeem the property to sell it for a greater profit.
Whether or not the respondent can validly exercise the right of redemption.
It is undisputed, in fact, the parties already stipulated, that the complaint for repurchase was filed within the reglementary period of five years. The parties also agreed that there was no consignment of the repurchase price. However, petitioner argues that consignment is necessary to validly exercise the right of redemption.
The argument fails.
In Hulganza v. Court of Appeals, we held that the bona fide tender of the redemption price or its equivalent—consignation of said price in court is not essential or necessary where the filing of the action itself is equivalent to a formal offer to redeem. As explained in the said case,
“The formal offer to redeem, accompanied by a bona fide tender of the redemption price, within the period of redemption prescribed by law, is only essential to preserve the right of redemption for future enforcement beyond such period of redemption and within the period prescribed for the action by the statute of limitations. Where, as in the instant case, the right to redeem is exercised thru the filing of judicial action within the period of redemption prescribed by the law, the formal offer to redeem, accompanied by a bona fide tender of the redemption price, might be proper, but is not essential. The filing of the action itself, within the period of redemption, is equivalent to a formal offer to redeem.
*Case digest by Catherine C. Velasco, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020