G.R. No. 179597, 3 February 2014


Iglesia Filipina Independiente was the owner of a parcel of land described as Lot 3653, containing an area of 31,038 square meters, situated at Ruyu (now Leonarda), Tuguegarao, Cagayan, and covered by Original Certificate of Title No. P-8698. The said lot is subdivided as follows: Lot Nos. 3653-A, 3653-B, 3653-C, and 3653-D. It then sold Lot 3653-D, with an area of 15,000 square meters, to one Bienvenido de Guzman.

Rev. Macario Ga, in his capacity as the Supreme Bishop of the plaintiff-appellee, to the defendant Bernardino Taeza, for the amount of ₱100,000.00, through installment, with mortgage to secure the payment of the balance. Subsequently, the defendant allegedly completed the payments. In 1977, a complaint for the annulment of the February 5, 1976 Deed of Sale with Mortgage was filed by the Parish Council of Tuguegarao, Cagayan, represented by Froilan Calagui and Dante Santos.


Whether then Supreme Bishop Rev. Ga is authorized to enter into a contract of sale in behalf of petitioner.


No. The sale is invalid for not being in conformity with the Canons of the church.

Section 113 of the Corporation Code of the Philippines provides that:

Sec. 113. Acquisition and alienation of property. – Any corporation sole may purchase and hold real estate and personal property for its church, charitable, benevolent or educational purposes, and may receive bequests or gifts for such purposes. Such corporation may mortgage or sell real property held by it upon obtaining an order for that purpose from the Court of First Instance of the province where the property is situated; x x x Provided, That in cases where the rules, regulations and discipline of the religious denomination, sect or church, religious society or order concerned represented by such corporation sole regulate the method of acquiring, holding, selling and mortgaging real estate and personal property, such rules, regulations and discipline shall control, and the intervention of the courts shall not be necessary.

The Court finds it erroneous for the CA to ignore the fact that the laymen’s committee objected to the sale of the lot in question. The Canons require that ALL the church entities listed in Article IV (a) thereof should give its approval to the transaction. Thus, when the Supreme Bishop executed the contract of sale of petitioner’s lot despite the opposition made by the laymen’s committee, he acted beyond his powers.

This case clearly falls under the category of unenforceable contracts mentioned in Article 1403, paragraph (1) of the Civil Code, which provides, thus:

Art. 1403. The following contracts are unenforceable, unless they are ratified:

(1) Those entered into in the name of another person by one who has been given no authority or legal representation, or who has acted beyond his powers;

*Case Digest by Claudette Anne G. Sayson JD IV, S.Y. 2019-2020