G.R. No. 126712, 14 April 1999


Quinto was convicted of the crime estafa, the case started when Quinto asked Cariaga to allow her to have the jewelries for some prospective buyer. They made an agreement that after 5 days if Quinto have not sell the jewelries it will be return to the owner. After 5 days Quinto failed to deliver back the jewelries and asked for extension that results for almost six months. After Cariaga send demand letters to Quinto for the return of the jewelries in which Cariaga failed to do again the former then filed a case of estafa against the latter.
In the Quinto’s defense she narrated that the solo ring was sold by certain Mrs. Camacho, the buyer paid in check on half amount only and the remaining half was paid by installments directly to Cariaga. Quinto also transacted with Mrs. Camacho the marques and the ring, Mrs. Camacho then failed to pay the full amount. Quinto brought Cariaga to Mrs. Camacho and both of them agreed that the payment will be in installments. Quinto was also able to sell the diamond ring to Mrs. Ramos, unfortunately she was unable to pay the whole amount again Quinto brought Cariago to Mrs. Ramos and they talked about the terms of payment. In the first payment Mrs. Ramos gave Quinto a ring, in the next payment was P5,000. Quinto herself paid the P2,000.


Whether or not there was a novation when the private complainant consented to receive payment on installments directly to the buyer.


The extinguishment of the old obligation by the new one is a necessary element of novation which may be effected either expressly or impliedly. The term “expressly” means that the contracting parties incontrovertibly disclose that their object in executing the new contract is to extinguish the old one. Upon the other hand, no specific form is required for an implied novation, and all that is prescribed by law would be an incompatibility between the two contracts. While there is really no hard and fast rule to determine what might constitute to be a sufficient change that can bring about novation, the touchstone for contrariety, however, would be an irreconcilable incompatibility between the old and the new obligations.
The changes alluded to by petitioner consists only in the manner of payment. There was really no substitution of debtors since private complainant merely acquiesced to the payment but did not give her consent to enter into a new contract.
It is thus easy to see why Cariaga’s acceptance of Ramos and Camacho’s payment on installment basis cannot be construed as a case of either expromision or delegacion sufficient to justify the attendance of extinctive novation. Not too uncommon is when a stranger to a contract agrees to assume an obligation; and while this may have the effect of adding to the number of persons liable, it does not necessarily imply the extinguishment of the liability of the first debtor. Neither would the fact alone that the creditor receives guaranty or accepts payments from a third person who has agreed to assume the obligation, constitute an extinctive novation absent an agreement that the first debtor shall be released from responsibility.

 * Case digest by Aileen B. Buenafe, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018