G.R. No. 146807, May 9, 2002, 382 SCRA 222
Petitioner Padcom Condominium Corporation owns and manage the Padilla Office Condominium Building (PADCOM BUILDING). The land on which the building stands was originally acquired from the Ortigas & Company, Limited Partnership, by Tierra Development Corporation (TDC) under a Deed of Sale with a condition that the transferee and its successor-in-interest must become members of an association for realty owners and long-term lessees in the area later known as the Ortigas Center. Subsequently, the said lot, together with the improvements thereon, was conveyed by TDC in favor of PADCOM in a Deed of Transfer. Respondent Ortigas Center Association, Inc. was organized to advance the interests and promote the general welfare of the real estate owners and long-term lessees of the lots in the Ortigas Center and sought the collection of membership dues from PADCOM. PADCOM’S refusal to pay its arrears in monthly dues prompted the Association to file a complaint for collection of sum of money before the trial court, but the same was dismissed. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the trial court’s dismissal.
Whether or not PADCOM is unjustly enriched by the improvements made by the Association, thus requiring the former to pay dues to the latter.
Yes. The Supreme Court held that as resident and lot owner in the Ortigas area, PADCOM was definitely benefited by the Association’s acts and activities to promote the interests and welfare of those who acquire property therein or benefit from the acts or activities of the Association. Generally, it may be said that a quasi-contract is based on the presumed will or intent of the obligor dictated by equity and by the principles of absolute justice. Examples of these principles are: (1) it is presumed that a person agrees to that which will benefit him; (2) nobody wants to enrich himself unjustly at the expense of another; or (3) one must do unto others what he would want others to do unto him under the same circumstances.
Finally, PADCOM’s argument that the collection of monthly dues has no basis since there was no board resolution defining how much fees are to be imposed deserves scant consideration. Suffice it is to say that PADCOM never protested upon receipt of the earlier demands for payment of membership dues. In fact, by proposing a scheme to pay its obligation, PADCOM cannot belatedly question the Association’s authority to assess and collect the fees in accordance with the total land area owned or occupied by the members, which finds support in a resolution dated 6 November 1982 of the Association’s incorporating directors and Section 2 of its By-laws.
* Case digest by Cherrie Mae Aguila-Granada, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018