Legaspi v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. L-45510, 27 May 1986, 142 SCRA 82

FACTS:

On February 8, 197 1,the plaintiff now petitioner filed a complaint with the Court of First Instance of Cavite, docketed as Civil Case No. N-1595 for reconveyance to enforce his right to repurchase two parcels of land, Lots Nos. 3962 and 3963 of the Imus Estate covered by TCT Nos. T-4388 and T-4389, respectively, which he sold to the defendant, now private respondent, pursuant to a sale with pacto de retro as evidenced by a Deed of Sale with the Right to Repurchase dated October 15, 1965 and marked as Exhibit “A”.

The complaint alleged, among others, that Bernardo B. Legaspi is the registered owner of the aforementioned two parcels of land which he sold to his son-in-law, Leonardo B. Salcedo, on October 15, 1965 for the sum of P25,000.00 with the right to repurchase the same within five years from the execution of the deed of sale; that before the expiry date of the repurchase period which was on October 15, 1970, Legaspi offered and tendered to Salcedo the sum of P25,000.00 for the repurchase of the two parcels of land; that the tender of payment was refused by Salcedo without justifiable or legal cause; that Salcedo refused to convey the properties to Legaspi as requested by the latter; that on October 15, 1970, Legaspi deposited in the Office of the Clerk of Court of First Instance of Cavite City the amount of P25,125.00 as evidenced by Official Receipt No. 2698797-k marked as Exhibit “B”; that despite earnest efforts towards a compromise after consignation of the repurchase money had been made, Salcedo refused to reconvey the properties in question. Salcedo claimed that Legaspi’s subsequent acts denied him the right to repurchase.

ISSUE:

Whether it was correct for the respondent court to disturb the findings of fact made by the trial court in its conclusion that there was tender of payment within the redemption period.

RULING:

Tender of payment is the manifestation made by the debtor to the creditor of his desire to comply with his obligation, with the offer of immediate performance. (Tolentino, Civil Code of the Phil….ippines, Vol. IV [1985]). Generally, it is an act preparatory to consignation as an attempt to make a private settlement before proceeding to the solemnities of consignation. (8 Manresa 325). Consignation is the act of depositing the thing due with the court or judicial authorities whenever the creditor cannot accept or refuses to accept payment and it generally requires a prior tender of payment. (Limkako v. Teodoro, 74 Phil….. 313). In instances where no debt is due and owing, consignation is not proper. (Asturias Sugar Central vs. Pure Cane Molasses Co., 60 Phil….. 255) We have early held that:

Consignation is not required to preserve the right of repurchase as a mere tender of payment is enough if made on time as a basis for an action to compel the vendee a retro to resell the property. (Villegas vs. Capistrano, 9 Phil….. 416; Resales vs. Reyes, et al. 25 Phil….. 495; Paez, et al., vs. Magno, 46 O.G. p. 5425).

Since the case at bar involves the exercise of the right to repurchase, a showing that petitioner made a valid tender of payment is sufficient. It is enough that a sincere or genuine tender of payment and not a mock or deceptive one was made. The fact that he deposited the amount of the repurchase money with the Clerk of Court was simply an additional security for the petitioner. It was not an essential act that had to be performed after tender of payment was refused by the private respondent although it may serve to indicate the veracity of the desire to comply with the obligation.

*Case digest by Claudette Anne G. Sayson, JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020

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