G.R. No. 73913, 31 January 1989, 169 SCRA 777
Jerry Moles (petitioner) bought from Mariano Diolosa owner of Diolosa Publishing House a linotype printing machine (secondhand machine). Moles promised Diolosa that he will pay the full amount after the loan from DBP worth P50,000.00 will be released. Private respondent on return issued a certification wherein he warranted that the machine was in A-1 condition, together with other express warranties. After the release of the money from DBP, Petitioner required the Respondent to accomplish some of the requirements. On which the dependant complied the requirements on the same day.
On November 29, 1977, petitioner wrote private respondent that the machine was not functioning properly. The petitioner found out that the said machine was not in good condition as experts advised and it was worth lesser than the purchase price. After several telephone calls regarding the defects in the machine, private respondent sent two technicians to make necessary repairs but they failed to put the machine in running condition and since then the petitioner wan unable to use the machine anymore.
1. Whether or not there is an implied warranty of its quality or fitness.
2. Whether the hidden defects in the machine is sufficient to warrant a rescission of the contract between the parties.
1. It is generally held that in the sale of a designated and specific article sold as secondhand, there is no implied warranty as to its quality or fitness for the purpose intended, at least where it is subject to inspection at the time of the sale. On the other hand, there is also authority to the effect that in a sale of secondhand articles there may be, under some circumstances, an implied warranty of fitness for the ordinary purpose of the article sold or for the particular purpose of the buyer.
Said general rule, however, is not without exceptions. Article 1562 of our Civil Code, which was taken from the Uniform Sales Act, provides:
“Art. 1562. In a sale of goods, there is an implied warranty or condition as to the quality or fitness of the goods, as follows:(1) Where the buyer, expressly or by implication, makes known to the seller the particular purpose for which the goods are acquired, and it appears that the buyer relies on the seller’s skill or judgment (whether he be the grower or manufacturer or not), there is an implied warranty that the goods shall be reasonably fit for such purpose;”
2. We have to consider the rule on redhibitory defects contemplated in Article 1561 of the Civil Code. A redhibitory defect must be an imperfection or defect of such nature as to engender a certain degree of importance. An imperfection or defect of little consequence does not come within the category of being redhibitory.
As already narrated, an expert witness for the petitioner categorically established that the machine required major repairs before it could be used. This, plus the fact that petitioner never made appropriate use of the machine from the time of purchase until an action was filed, attest to the major defects in said machine, by reason of which the rescission of the contract of sale is sought. The factual finding, therefore, of the trial court that the machine is not reasonably fit for the particular purpose for which it was intended must be upheld, there being ample evidence to sustain the same.
At a belated stage of this appeal, private respondent came up for the first time with the contention that the action for rescission is barred by prescription. While it is true that Article 1571 of the Civil Code provides for a prescriptive period of six months for a redhibitory action a cursory reading of the ten preceding articles to which it refers will reveal that said rule may be applied only in case of implied warranties. The present case involves one with and express warranty. Consequently, the general rule on rescission of contract, which is four years shall apply. Considering that the original case for rescission was filed only one year after the delivery of the subject machine, the same is well within the prescriptive period. This is aside from the doctrinal rule that the defense of prescription is waived and cannot be considered on appeal if not raised in the trial court, and this case does not have the features for an exception to said rule.
*Case digest by Krishianne Louise C. Labiano, JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020