G.R. No. 104114, 4 December 1995
A valuable piece of land located at Meycauyan, Bulacan, with an area of 24,576 sq. m. and covered by OCT No. 0-5290 is disputed by Lee Chuy Realty Corporation and Marc Realty and Development Corp. Such land was originally co-owned by Ruben Jacinto(one-sixth), Dominador, Arsenio, Liwayway all surnamed Bascara and Ernesto jacinto(collectively owned the remaining five-sixths).Ruben Jacinto sold his one-sixth pro-indiviso share to LEE CHUY REALTY which was registered 30 April 1981. On 5 May 1989 the Bascaras and Ernesto Jacinto also sold their share to MARC REALTY which was registered on 16 October 1989.
On 13 November 1989 LEE CHUY REALTY filed a complaint for legal redemption against MARC REALTY and consigned in court a manager’s check for 614,400. MARC REALTY insisted that the complaint be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action there being no allegation of prior valid tender of payment or a prior valid notice of consignation.
On Dec 26, 1990, the trial court ruled in favour of Lee Chuy Realty which stated that there was a valid tender of payment and consignation. The CA reversed the decision of the lower court and ruled that “a prior tender or offer of redemption is a prerequisite or precondition to the filing of an action for legal redemption” and that “there must be tender of the redemption price within the required period because the policy of the law is not to leave the purchaser’s title in uncertainty beyond the established 30-day period.
MARC REALTY contends that prior tender of payment is a condition precedent to the filing of an action in court in order to validly exercise the right of legal redemption. LEE CHUY REALTY however argues that the filing of the action itself is equivalent to a formal offer to redeem, which is a condition precedent to the valid exercise of the right of legal redemption. Lee Chuy filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.
WON a formal offer to redeem accompanied with tender of payment a condition precedent to the filing of an action for the valid exercise of the right of legal redemption; is the filing of the action with consignation equivalent to a formal offer to redeem.
The Court of Appeals erroneously concluded that a prior tender or offer of redemption is a prerequisite or precondition to the filing of the action for legal redemption. To avail of the right of redemption what is essential is to make an offer to redeem within the prescribed period. There is no prescribed form for an offer to redeem to be properly effected. It can either be the formal tender with consignation or the filing of a complaint in court. What is paramount is the availment of the fixed and definite period within which to exercise the right of legal redemption.
The filing of the action itself is equivalent to a formal offer to redeem. What constitutes a condition precedent is either a formal offer to redeem or the filing of an action in court together with the consignation of the redemption price within the reglementary period. 0The decision of respondent Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The decision of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan is REINSTATED.
*Case digest by April Rose B. Tuanda , JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020