Sei sulla pagina 1di 126

FRANCISCO BASTIDA, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MENZI & Co., INC., J.M. MENZI and P.C. SCHLOBOHM, defendants.

MENZI & CO., appellant. This is an appeal by Menzi & Co., Inc., one of the defendants, from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila. The case was tried on the amended complaint dated May 26, 1928 and defendants amended answer thereto of September 1, 1928. For the sake of clearness, we shall incorporate herein the principal allegations of the parties. FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION Plaintiff alleged: I That the defendant J.M. Menzi, together with his wife and daughter, owns ninety-nine per cent (99%) of the capital stock of the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., that the plaintiff has been informed and therefore believes that the defendant J.M. Menzi, his wife and daughter, together with the defendant P.C. Schlobohm and one Juan Seiboth, constitute the board of directors of the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc.; II That on April 27, 1922, the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc. through its president and general manager, J.M. Menzi, under the authority of the board of directors, entered into a contract with the plaintiff to engage in the business of exploiting prepared fertilizers, as evidenced by the contract marked Exhibit A, attached to the original complaint as a part thereof, and likewise made a part of the amended complaint, as if it were here copied verbatim; III That in pursuance of said contract, plaintiff and defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., began to manufacture prepared fertilizers, the former superintending

the work of actual preparation, and the latter, through defendants J.M. Menzi and P. C. Schlobohm, managing the business and opening an account entitled FERTILIZERS on the books of the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., where all the accounts of the partnership business were supposed to be kept; the plaintiff had no participation in the making of these entries, which were wholly in the defendants charge, under whose orders every entry was made; IV That according to paragraph 7 of the contract Exhibit A, the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., was obliged to render annual balance sheets to be plaintiff upon the 30th day of June of each year; that the plaintiff had no intervention in the preparation of these yearly balances, nor was he permitted to have any access to the books of account; and when the balance sheets were shown him, he, believing in good faith that they contained the true statement of the partnership business, and relying upon the good faith of the defendants, Menzi & Co., Inc., J.M. Menzi, and P.C. Schlobohm, accepted and signed them, the last balance sheet having been rendered in the year 1926; V That by reason of the foregoing facts and especially those set forth in the preceding paragraph, the plaintiff was kept in ignorance of the defendants acts relating to the management of the partnership funds, and the keeping of accounts, until he was informed and so believes and alleges, that the defendants had conspired to conceal from him the true status of the business, and to his damage and prejudice made false entries in the books of account and in the yearly balance sheets, the exact nature and amount of which it is impossible to ascertain, even after the examination of the books of the business, due to the defendants refusal to furnish all the books and data required for the purpose, and the constant obstacles they have placed in the way of the examination of the books of account and vouchers;

VI That when the plaintiff received the information mentioned in the preceding paragraph, he demanded that the defendants permit him to examine the books and vouchers of the business, which were in their possession, in order to ascertain the truth of the alleged false entries in the books and balance sheets submitted for his approval, but the defendants refused, and did not consent to the examination until after the original complaint was filed in this case; but up to this time they have refused to furnish all the books, data, and vouchers necessary for a complete and accurate examination of all the partnerships accounts; and VII That as a result of the partial examination of the books of account of the business, the plaintiff has, through his accountants, discovered that the defendants, conspiring and confederating together, presented to the plaintiff during the period covered by the partnership contract false and incorrect accounts, (a) For having included therein undue interest; (b) For having entered, as a charge to fertilizers, salaries and wages which should have been paid and were in fact paid by the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc.; (c) For having collected from the partnership the income tax which should have been paid for its own account by Menzi & Co., Inc.; (d) For having collected, to the damage and prejudice of the plaintiff, commissions on the purchase of materials for the manufacture of fertilizers; (e) For having appropriated, to the damage and prejudice of the plaintiff, the profits obtained from the sale of fertilizers belonging to the partnership and bought with its own funds; and

(f) For having appropriated to themselves all rebates for freight insurance, taxes, etc., upon materials for fertilizer bought abroad, no entries of said rebates having been made on the books to the credit of the partnership. Upon the strength of the facts set out in this first cause of action, the plaintiff prays the court: 1. To prohibit the defendants, each and every one of them, from destroying and concealing the books and papers of the partnership constituted between the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., and the plaintiff; 2. To summon each and every defendant to appear and give a true account of all facts relating to the partnership between the plaintiff and the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., and of each and every act and transaction connected with the business of said partnership from the beginning to April 27, 1927, and a true statement of all merchandise of whatever description, purchased for said partnership, and of all the expenditures and sale of every kind, together with the true amount thereof, besides the sums received by the partnership from every source together with their exact nature, and a true and complete account of the vouchers for all sums paid by the partnership, and of the salaries paid to its employees; 3. To declare null and void the yearly balances submitted by the defendants to the plaintiff from 1922 to 1926, both inclusive; 4. To order the defendants to give a true statement of all receipts and disbursements of the partnership during the period of its existence, besides granting the plaintiff any other remedy that the court may deem just and equitable. Defendants denied all the allegations of the amended complaint, except the formal allegations as to the parties, and as a special defense to the first cause of action alleged: 1. That the defendant corporation, Menzi & Co., Inc., has been engaged in the general merchandise business in the Philippine Islands since its

organization in October, 1921, including the importation and sale of all kinds of goods, wares, and merchandise, and especially simple fertilizer and fertilizer ingredients, and as a part of that business, it has been engaged since its organization in the manufacture and sale of prepared fertilizers for agricultural purposes, and has used for that purpose trademarks belonging to it; 2. That on or about November, 1921, the defendant, Menzi & CO., Inc., made and entered into an employment agreement with the plaintiff, who represented that he had had much experience in the mixing of fertilizers, to superintend the mixing of the ingredients in the manufacture of prepared fertilizers in its fertilizer department and to obtain orders for such prepared fertilizers subject to its approval, for a compensation of 50 per cent of the net profits which it might derive from the sale of the fertilizers prepared by him, and that said Francisco Bastida worked under said agreement until April 27, 1922, and received the compensation agreed upon for his services; that on the said 27th of April, 1922, the said Menzi & Co., Inc., and the said Francisco Bastida made and entered into the written agreement, which is marked Exhibit A, and made a part of the amended complaint in this case, whereby they mutually agreed that the employment of the said Francisco Bastida by the said Menzi & Co., Inc., in the capacity stated, should be for a definite period of five years from that date and under the other terms and conditions stated therein, but with the understanding and agreement that the said Francisco Bastida should receive as compensation for his said services only 35 per cent of the net profits derived from the sale of the fertilizers prepared by him during the period of the contract instead of 50 per cent of such profits, as provided in his former agreement; that the said Francisco Bastida was found to be incompetent to do anything in relation to its said fertilizer business with the exception of over-seeing the mixing of the ingredients in the manufacture of the same, and on or about the month of December, 1922, the defendant, Menzi & Inc., in order to make said business successful, was obliged to and actually did assume the full management and direction of said business;

3. That the accounts of the business of the said fertilizer department of Menzi & Co., Inc., were duly kept in the regular books of its general business, in the ordinary course thereof, up to June 30, 1923, and that after that time and during the remainder of the period of said agreement, for the purpose of convenience in determining the amount of compensation due to the plaintiff under his agreement, separate books of account for its said fertilizer business were duly, kept in the name of Menzi & Co., Inc., Fertilizer, and used exclusively for that purpose and it was mutually agreed between the said Francisco Bastida and the said Menzi & Co., Inc., that the yearly balances for the determination of the net profits of said business due to the said plaintiff as compensation for his services under said agreement would be made as of December 31st, instead of June 30th, of each year, during the period of said agreement; that the accounts of the business of its said fertilizer department, as recorded in its said books, and the vouchers and records supporting the same, for each year of said business have been duly audited by Messrs. White, Page & Co., certified public accountants, of Manila, who, shortly after the close of business at the end of each year up to and including the year 1926, have prepared therefrom a manufacturing and profit and loss account and balance sheet, showing the status of said business and the share of the net profits pertaining to the plaintiff as his compensation under said agreement; that after the said manufacturing and profit and the loss account and balance sheet for each year of the business of its said fertilizer department up to and including the year 1926, had been prepared by the said auditors and certified by them, they were shown to and examined by the plaintiff, and duly accepted, and approved by him, with full knowledge of their contents, and as evidence of such approval, he signed his name on each of them, as shown on the copies of said manufacturing and profit and loss account and balance sheet for each year up to and including the year 1926, which are attached to the record of this case, and which are hereby referred to and made a part of this amended answer, and in accordance therewith, the said plaintiff has actually received the portion of the net profits of its said business for those years pertaining to him for his services under said agreement; that

at no time during the course of said fertilizer business and the liquidation thereof has the plaintiff been in any way denied access to the books and records pertaining thereto, but on the contrary, said books and records have been subject to his inspection and examination at any time during business hours, and even since the commencement of this action, the plaintiff and his accountants, Messrs. Haskins & Sells, of Manila, have been going over and examining said books and records for months and the defendant, Menzi & Co. Inc., through its officers, have turned over to said plaintiff and his accountant the books and records of said business and even furnished them suitable accommodations in its own office to examine the same; 4. That prior to the termination of the said agreement, Exhibit A, the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., duly notified the plaintiff that it would not under any conditions renew his said agreement or continue his said employment with it after its expiration, and after the termination of said agreement of April 27, 1927, the said Menzi & Co., Inc., had the certified public accountants, White, Page & Co., audit the accounts of the business of its said fertilizer department for the four months of 1927 covered by plaintiffs agreement and prepare a manufacturing and profit and loss account and balance sheet of said business showing the status of said business at the termination of said agreement, a copy of which was shown to and explained to the plaintiff; that at that time there were accounts receivable to be collected for business covered by said agreement of over P100,000, and there was guano, ashes, fine tobacco and other fertilizer ingredients on hand of over P75,000, which had to be disposed of by Menzi & Co., Inc., or valued by the parties, before the net profits of said business for the period of the agreement could be determined; that Menzi & Co., Inc., offered to take the face value of said accounts and the cost value of the other properties for the purpose of determining the profits of said business for that period, and to pay to the plaintiff at that time his proportion of such profits on that basis, which the plaintiff refused to accept, and being disgruntled because the said Menzi & Co., Inc., would not continue him in its service, the said plaintiff commenced this action, including therein not only Menzi & Co. Inc., but also it managers J.M. Menzi

and P.C. Schlobohm, wherein he knowingly make various false and malicious allegations against the defendants; that since that time the said Menzi & Co., Inc., has been collecting the accounts receivable and disposing of the stocks on hand, and there is still on hand old stock of approximately P25,000, which it has been unable to dispose of up to this time; that as soon as possible a final liquidation and amounting of the net profits of the business covered by said agreement for the last four months thereof will be made and the share thereof appertaining to the plaintiff will be paid to him; that the plaintiff has been informed from time to time as to the status of the disposition of such properties, and he and his auditors have fully examined the books and records of said business in relation thereto. SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION As a second cause of action plaintiff alleged: I. That the plaintiff hereby reproduces paragraphs I, II, III, IV, and V of the first cause of action. II. That the examination made by the plaintiffs auditors of some of the books of the partnership that were furnished by the defendants disclosed the fact that said defendants had charged to purchases of the business, undue interest, the amount of which the plaintiff is unable to determine, as he has never had at his disposal the books and vouchers necessary for that purpose, and especially, owning to the fact that the partnership constituted between the plaintiff and the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., never kept its own cash book, but that its funds were maliciously included in the private funds of the defendant entity, neither was there a separate BANK ACCOUNT of the partnership, such account being included in the defendants bank account. III. That from the examination of the partnership books as aforesaid, the plaintiff estimates that the partnership between himself and the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., has been defrauded by the defendants by

way of interest in an amount of approximately P184,432.51, of which 35 per cent, or P64,551.38, belongs to the plaintiff exclusively. Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the court to render judgment ordering the defendants jointly and severally to pay him the sum of P64,551.38, or any amount which may finally appear to be due and owing from the defendants to the plaintiff upon this ground, with legal interest from the filing of the original complaint until payment. Defendants alleged: 1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the special defense to the first cause of action in this amended answer; 2. That under the contract of employment, Exhibit A, of the amended complaint, the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., only undertook and agreed to facilitate financial aid in carrying on the said fertilizer business, as it had been doing before the plaintiff was employed under the said agreement; that the said defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., in the course of the said business of its fertilizer department, opened letters of credit through the banks of Manila, accepted and paid drafts drawn upon it under said letters of credit, and obtained loans and advances of moneys for the purchase of materials to be used in mixing and manufacturing its fertilizers and in paying the expenses of said business; that such drafts and loans naturally provided for interest at the banking rate from the dates thereof until paid, as is the case in all, such business enterprises, and that such payments of interest as were actually made on such drafts, loans and advances during the period of the said employment agreement constituted legitimate expenses of said business under said agreement. THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION As third cause of action, plaintiff alleged: I. That he hereby reproduces paragraphs I, II, III, IV, and V of the first cause of action.

II. That under the terms of the contract Exhibit A, neither the defendants J.M. Menzi and P.C. Schlobohm, nor the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., had a right to collect for itself or themselves any amount whatsoever by way of salary for services rendered to the partnership between the plaintiff and the defendant, inasmuch as such services were compensated with the 65% of the net profits of the business constituting their share. III. That the plaintiff has, on his on account and with his own money, paid all the employees he has placed in the service of the partnership, having expended for their account, during the period of the contract, over P88,000, without ever having made any claim upon the defendants for this sum because it was included in the compensation of 35 per cent which he was to receive in accordance with the contract Exhibit A. IV. That the defendants J.M. Menzi and P.C. Schlobohm, not satisfied with collecting undue and excessive salaries for themselves, have made the partnership, or the fertilizer business, pay the salaries of a number of the employees of the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc. V. That under this item of undue salaries the defendants have appropriated P43,920 of the partnership funds, of which 35 per cent, or P15,372 belongs exclusively to the plaintiff. Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the court to render judgment ordering the defendants to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiff the amount of P15,372, with legal interest from the date of the filing of the original complaint until the date of payment. Defendants alleged: 1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4 of the special defense the first cause of action in this amended answer; 2. That the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., through its manager, exclusively managed and conducted its said fertilizer business, in which the plaintiff was to receive 35 percent of the net profits as compensation for this

services, as hereinbefore alleged, from on or about January 1, 1923, when its other departments had special experienced Europeans in charge thereof, who received not only salaries but also a percentage of the net profits of such departments; that its said fertilizer business, after its manager took charge of it, became very successful, and owing to the large volume of business transacted, said business required great deal of time and attention, and actually consumed at least one-half of the time of the manager and certain employees of Menzi & Co., Inc., in carrying it on; that the said Menzi & Co., furnished office space, stationery and other incidentals, for said business, and had its employees perform the duties of cashiers, accountants, clerks, messengers, etc., for the same, and for that reason the said Menzi & Co., Inc., charged each year, from and after 1922, as expenses of said business, which pertained to the fertilizer department, as certain amount as salaries and wages to cover the proportional part of the overhead expenses of Menzi & Co., Inc.; that the same method is followed in each of the several departments of the business of Menzi & Co., Inc., that each and every year from and after 1922, a just proportion of said overhead expenses were charged to said fertilizer departments and entered on the books thereof, with the knowledge and consent of the plaintiff, and included in the auditors reports, which were examined, accepted and approved by him, and he is now estopped from saying that such expenses were not legitimate and just expenses of said business. FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION As fourth cause of action, the plaintiff alleged: I. That he hereby reproduces paragraph I, II, III, IV, and V of the first cause of action. II. That the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., through the defendant J. M. Menzi and P. C. Schlobohm, has paid, with the funds of the partnership between the defendant entity and the plaintiff, the income tax due from said defendant entity for the fertilizer business, thereby defrauding the partnership in the amount of P10,361.72 of which 35 per cent belongs exclusively to the plaintiff, amounting to P3,626.60.

III. That the plaintiff has, during the period of the contract, paid with his own money the income tax corresponding to his share which consists in 35 per cent of the profits of the fertilizer business, expending about P5,000 without ever having made any claim for reimbursement against the partnership, inasmuch as it has always been understood among the partners that each of them would pay his own income tax. Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the court to order the defendants jointly and severally to pay the plaintiff the sum of P3,362.60, with legal interest from the date of the filing of the original complaint until its payment. Defendants alleged: 1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the special defense to the first cause of action in this amended answer; 2. That under the Income Tax Law Menzi & Co., Inc., was obliged to and did make return to the Government of the Philippine Islands each year during the period of the agreement, Exhibit A, of the income of its whole business, including its fertilizer department; that the proportional share of such income taxes found to be due on the business of the fertilizer department was charged as a proper and legitimate expense of that department, in the same manner as was done in the other departments of its business; that inasmuch as the agreement with the plaintiff was an employment agreement, he was required to make his own return under the Income Tax Law and to pay his own income taxes, instead of having them paid at the source, as might be done under the law, so that he would be entitled to the personal exemptions allowed by the law; that the income taxes paid by the said Menzi & Co., Inc., pertaining to the business, were duly entered on the books of that department, and included in the auditors reports hereinbefore referred to, which reports were examined, accepted and approved by the plaintiff, with full knowledge of their contents, and he is now estopped from saying that such taxes are not a legitimate expense of said business.

FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION As fifth cause of action, plaintiff alleged: I. That hereby reproduces paragraphs I, II, III, IV, and V of the first cause of action. II. That the plaintiff has discovered that the defendants Menzi & Co., Inc., had been receiving, during the period of the contract Exhibit A, from foreign firms selling fertilizing material, a secret commission equivalent to 5 per cent of the total value of the purchases of fertilizing material made by the partnership constituted between the plaintiff and the defendant Menzi Co., Inc., and that said 5 per cent commission was not entered by the defendants in the books of the business, to the credit and benefit of the partnership constituted between the plaintiff and the defendant, but to the credit of the defendant Menzi Co., Inc., which appropriated it to itself. III. That the exact amount, or even the approximate amount of the fraud thus suffered by the plaintiff cannot be determined, because the entries referring to these items do not appear in the partnership books, although the plaintiff believes and alleges that they do appear in the private books of the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., which the latter has refused to furnish, notwithstanding the demands made therefore by the auditors and the lawyers of the plaintiff. IV. That taking as basis the amount of the purchases of some fertilizing material made by the partnership during the first four years of the contract Exhibit A, the plaintiff estimates that this 5 per cent commission collected by the defendant Menzi Co., Inc., to the damage and prejudice of the plaintiff, amounts to P127,375.77 of which 35 per cent belongs exclusively to the plaintiff. Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the court to order the defendants to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiff the amount of P44,581.52, or the

exact amount owed upon this ground, after both parties have adduced their evidence upon the point. Defendants alleged: 1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraph 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the special defense to the first cause of action in this amended answer; 2. That the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., did have during the period of said agreement, Exhibit A, and has now what is called a Propaganda Agency Agreement which the Deutsches Kalesyndikat, G.M.B., of Berlin, which is a manufacturer of potash, by virtue of which said Menzi & Co., Inc., was to receive for its propaganda work in advertising and bringing about sales of its potash a commission of 5 per cent on all orders of potash received by it from the Philippine Islands; that during the period of said agreement, Exhibit A, orders were sent to said concern for potash, through C. Andre & Co., of Hamburg, as the agent of the said Menzi & Co., Inc., upon which the said Menzi & Co., Inc., received a 5 per cent commission, amounting in all to P2,222.32 for the propaganda work which it did for said firm in the Philippine Islands; that said commissioners were not in any sense discounts on the purchase price of said potash, and have no relation to the fertilizer business of which the plaintiff was to receive a share of the net profits for his services, and consequently were not credited to that department; 3. That in going over the books of Menzi Co., Inc., it has been found that there are only two items of commissions, which were received from the United Supply Co., of San Francisco, in the total of sum $66.51, which through oversight, were not credited on the books of the fertilizer department of Menzi & Co., Inc., but due allowance has now been given to the department for such item. SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION As sixth cause of action, plaintiff alleged:

I. That hereby reproduces paragraphs I, II, III, IV and V, of the first cause of action. II. That the defendant Menzi Co., Inc., in collusion with and through the defendants J.M. Menzi and P.C. Schlobohm and their assistants, has tampered with the books of the business making fictitious transfers in favor of the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., of merchandise belonging to the partnership, purchased with the latters money, and deposited in its warehouses, and then sold by Menzi & Co., Inc., to third persons, thereby appropriating to itself the profits obtained from such resale. III. That it is impossible to ascertain the amount of the fraud suffered by the plaintiff in this respect as the real amount obtained from such sales can only be ascertained from the examination of the private books of the defendant entity, which the latter has refused to permit notwithstanding the demand made for the purpose by the auditors and the lawyers of the plaintiff, and no basis of computation can be established, even approximately, to ascertain the extent of the fraud sustained by the plaintiff in this respect, by merely examining the partnership books. Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the court to order the defendants J.M. Menzi and P.C. Schlobohm, to make a sworn statement as to all the profits received from the sale to third persons of the fertilizers pertaining to the partnership, and the profits they have appropriated, ordering them jointly and severally to pay 35 per cent of the net amount, with legal interest from the filing of the original complaint until the payment thereof. Defendant alleged: 1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the special defense to the first cause of action in this amended answer: 2. That under the express terms of the employment agreement, Exhibit A, the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., had the right to import into the Philippine Islands in the course of its fertilizer business and sell fro its exclusive

account and benefit simple fertilizer ingredients; that the only materials imported by it and sold during the period of said agreement were simple fertilizer ingredients, which had nothing whatever to do with the business of mixed fertilizers, of which the plaintiff was to receive a share of the net profits as a part of his compensation. SEVENTH CAUSE OF ACTION As seventh cause of action, plaintiff alleged: I. That he hereby reproduces paragraphs I, II, III, IV, and V of the first cause of action. II. That during the existence of the contract Exhibit A, the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., for the account of the partnership constituted between itself and the plaintiff, and with the latters money, purchased from a several foreign firms various simple fertilizing material for the use of the partnership. III. That in the paid invoices for such purchases there are charged, besides the cost price of the merchandise, other amounts for freight, insurance, duty, etc., some of which were not entirely thus spent and were later credited by the selling firms to the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc. IV. That said defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., through and in collusion with the defendants J.M. Menzi and P.C. Schlobohm upon receipt of the credit notes remitted by the selling firms of fertilizing material, for rebates upon freight, insurance, duty, etc., charged in the invoice but not all expended, did not enter them upon the books to the credit of the partnership constituted between the defendant and the plaintiff, but entered or had them entered to the credit on Menzi & Co., Inc., thereby defrauding the plaintiff of 35 per cent of the value of such reductions. V. That the total amount, or even the approximate amount of this fraud cannot be ascertained without an examination of the private books of Menzi & Co., Inc., which the latter has refused to permit notwithstanding the demand to this effect made upon them by the auditors and the lawyers of the plaintiff.

Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the court to order the defendants J.M. Menzi and P.C. Schlobohm, to make a sworn statement as to the total amount of such rebates, and to sentence the defendants to pay the plaintiff jointly and severally 35 per cent of the net amount. Defendants alleged: 1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the special defense to the first cause of action in this amended answer: 2. That during the period of said employment agreement, Exhibit A, the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., received from its agent, C. Andre & Co., of Hamburg, certain credits pertaining to the fertilizer business in the profits of which the plaintiff was interested, by way of refunds of German Export Taxes, in the total sum of P1,402.54; that all of department as received, but it has just recently been discovered that through error an additional sum of P216.22 was credited to said department, which does not pertain to said business in the profits of which the plaintiff is interested. EIGHT CAUSE OF ACTION A eighth cause of action, plaintiff alleged: I. That he hereby reproduces paragraphs I, II, III, IV and V of the first cause of action. II. That on or about April 21, 1927, that is, before the expiration of the contract Exhibit A of the complaint, the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., acting as manager of the fertilizer business constituted between said defendant and the plaintiff, entered into a contract with the Compaia General de Tabacos de Filipinas for the sale of said entity of three thousand tons of fertilizers of the trade mark Corona No. 1, at the rate of P111 per ton, f. o. b. Bais, Oriental Negros, to be delivered, as they were delivered, according to information received by the plaintiff, during the months of November and December, 1927, and January, February, March, and April, 1928. III. That both the contract mentioned above and the benefits derived therefrom, which the plaintiff estimates at P90,000, Philippine currency,

belongs to the fertilizer business constituted between the plaintiff and the defendant, of which 35 per cent, or P31,500, belongs to said plaintiff. IV. That notwithstanding the expiration of the partnership contract Exhibit A, on April 27, 1927, the defendants have not rendered a true accounting of the profits obtained by the business during the last four months thereof, as the purposed balance submitted to the plaintiff was incorrect with regard to the inventory of merchandise, transportation equipment, and the value of the trade marks, for which reason such proposed balance did not represent the true status of the business of the partnership on April 30, 1927. V. That the proposed balance submitted to the plaintiff with reference to the partnership operations during the last four months of its existence, was likewise incorrect, inasmuch as it did not include the profit realized or to be realized from the contract entered into with the Compaia General de Tabacos de Filipinas, notwithstanding the fact that this contract was negotiated during the existence of the partnership, and while the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., was the manager thereof. VI. That the defendant entity now contends that the contract entered into with the Compaia General de Tabacos de Filipinas belongs to it exclusively, and refuses to give the plaintiff his share consisting in 35 per cent of the profits produced thereby. Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the honorable court to order the defendants to render a true and detailed account of the business during the last four months of the existence of the partnership, i. e., from January 1, 1927 to April 27, 1927, and to sentence them likewise to pay the plaintiff 35 per cent of the net profits. Defendants alleged: 1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the special defense to the first cause of action in this amended answer; 2. That the said order for 3,000 tons of mixed fertilizer, received by Menzi & Co., Inc., from the Compaia General de Tabacos Filipinas on April 21, 1927, was taken by it in the regular course of its fertilizer business, and

was to be manufactured and delivered in December, 1927, and up to April, 1928; that the employment agreement of the plaintiff expired by its own terms on April 27, 1927, and he has not been in any way in the service of the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., since that time, and he cannot possibly have any interest in the fertilizers manufactured and delivered by the said Menzi & Co., Inc., after the expiration of his contract for any service rendered to it. NINTH CAUSE OF ACTION As ninth cause of action, plaintiff alleged: I. That he hereby reproduces paragraphs I, II, III, IV, and V of the first cause of action. II. That during the period of the contract Exhibit A, the partnership constituted thereby registered in the Bureau of Commerce and Industry the trade marks CORONA NO. 1, CORONA NO. 2, ARADO, and HOZ, the plaintiff and the defendant having by their efforts succeeded in making them favorably known in the market. III. That the plaintiff and the defendant, laboring jointly, have succeeded in making the fertilizing business a prosperous concern to such an extent that the profits obtained from the business during the five years it has existed, amount to approximately P1,000,000, Philippine currency. IV. That the value of the good will and the trade marks of a business of this nature amounts to at least P1,000,000, of which sum 35 per cent belongs to the plaintiff, or, P350,000. V. That at the time of the expiration of the contract Exhibit A, the defendant entity, notwithstanding and in spite of the plaintiffs insistent opposition, has assumed the charge of liquidating the fertilizing business, without having rendered a monthly account of the state of the liquidation, as required by law, thereby causing the plaintiff damages. VI. That the damages sustained by the plaintiff, as well as the amount of his share in the remaining property of the plaintiff, and may only be truly and correctly ascertained by compelling the defendants J. M. Menzi and P. C. Schlobohm to declare under oath and explain to the court in detail the sums obtained from the sale of the remaining merchandise, after the

expiration of the partnership contract. VII. That after the contract Exhibit A had expired, the defendant continued to use for its own benefit the good-will and trade marks belonging to the partnership, as well as its transportation equipment and other machinery, thereby indicating its intention to retain such good-will, trade marks, transportation equipment and machinery, for the manufacture of fertilizers, by virtue of which the defendant is bound to pay the plaintiff 35 per cent of the value of said property. VIII. That the true value of the transportation equipment and machinery employed in the preparation of the fertilizers amounts of P20,000, 35 per cent of which amount to P7,000. IX. That the plaintiff has repeatedly demanded that the defendant entity render a true and detailed account of the state of the liquidation of the partnership business, but said defendants has ignored such demands, so that the plaintiff does not, and this date, know whether the liquidation of the business has been finished, or what the status of it is at present. Wherefore, the plaintiff prays the Honorable Court: 1. To order the defendants J.M. Menzi and P.C. Schlobohm to render a true and detailed account of the status of business in liquidation, that is, from April 28, 1927, until it is finished, ordering all the defendants to pay the plaintiff jointly and severally 35 per cent of the net amount. 2. To order the defendants to pay the plaintiff jointly and severally the amount of P350,000, which is 35 per cent of the value of the goodwill and the trade marks of the fertilizer business; 3. To order the defendants to pay the plaintiff jointly and severally the amount of P7,000 which is 35 per cent of the value of the transportation equipment and machinery of the business; and 4. To order the defendants to pay the costs of this trial, and further, to grant any other remedy that this Honorable Court may deem just and equitable. Defendants alleged:

1. That they repeat and make a part of this special defense paragraphs 1, 2, 3 and 4, of the special defense to the first cause of action in this amended answer; 2. That the good-will, if any, of said fertilizer business of the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., pertains exclusively to it, and the plaintiff can have no interest therein of any nature under his said employment agreement; that the trade-marks mentioned by the plaintiff in his amended complaint, as a part of such good-will, belonged to and have been used by the said Menzi & Co., Inc., in its fertilizer business from and since its organization, and the plaintiff can have no rights to or interest therein under his said employment agreement; that the transportation equipment pertains to the fertilizer department of Menzi & Co., Inc., and whenever it has been used by the said Menzi & Co., Inc., in its own business, due and reasonable compensation for its use has been allowed to said business; that the machinery pertaining to the said fertilizer business was destroyed by fire in October, 1926, and the value thereof in the sum of P20,000 was collected from the Insurance Company, and the plaintiff has been given credit for 35 per cent of that amount; that the present machinery used by Menzi & Co., Inc., was constructed by it, and the costs thereof was not charged to the fertilizer department, and the plaintiff has no right to have it taken into consideration in arriving at the net profits due to him under his said employment agreement. The dispositive part of the decision of the trial court is as follows: Wherefore, let judgment be entered: (a) Holding that the contract entered into by the parties, evidenced by Exhibit A, as a contract of general regular commercial partnership, wherein Menzi & Co., Inc., was the capitalist, and the plaintiff, the industrial partner; (b) Holding the plaintiff, by the mere fact of having signed and approved the balance sheets, Exhibits C to C-8, is not estopped from questioning the statements of the accounts therein contained; (c) Ordering Menzi & Co., Inc., upon the second ground of action, to pay the plaintiff the sum of P 60,385.67 with legal interest from the date of the

filing of the original complaint until paid; (d) Dismissing the third cause of action; (e) Ordering Menzi & Co., Inc., upon the fourth cause of action, to pay the plaintiff the sum of P3,821.41, with legal interest from the date of the filing of the original until paid; (f ) Dismissing the fifth cause of action; (g) Dismissing the sixth cause of action; (h) Dismissing the seventh cause of action; (i) Ordering the defendant Menzi & Co., Inc., upon the eighth cause of action, to pay the plaintiff the sum of P6,578.38 with legal interest from January 1, 1929, the date of the liquidation of the fertilizer business, until paid; (j ) Ordering Menzi & Co., Inc., upon the ninth cause of action to pay the plaintiff the sum of P196,709.20 with legal interest from the date of the filing of the original complaint until paid; (k) Ordering the said defendant corporation, in view of the plaintiffs share of the profits of the business accruing from January 1, 1927 to December 31, 1928, to pay the plaintiff 35 per cent of the net balance shown in Exhibits 51 and 51-A, after deducting the item of P2,410 for income tax, and any other sum charged for interest under the entry Purchases; (l) Ordering the defendant corporation, in connection with the final liquidation set in Exhibit 52 and 52-A, to pay the plaintiff the sum of P17,463.54 with legal interest from January 1, 1929, until fully paid; (m) Dismissing the case with reference to the other defendants, J. M. Menzi and P. C. Schlobohm; and (n) Menzi & Co., Inc., shall pay the costs of the trial. The appellant makes the following assignment of error: I. The trial court erred in finding and holding that the contract Exhibit A constitutes a regular collective commercial copartnership between the defendant corporation, Menzi & Co., Inc., and the plaintiff, Francisco Bastida, and not a contract of employment. II. The trial court erred in finding and holding that the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., had wrongfully charged to the fertilizer business in question the

sum of P10,918.33 as income taxes partners balances, foreign drafts, local drafts, and on other credit balances in the sum of P172,530.49, and that 35 per cent thereof, or the sum of P60,358.67, with legal interest thereon from the date of filing his complaint, corresponds to the plaintiff. III. The trial court erred finding and holding that the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., had wrongfully charged to the fertilizer business in question the sum of P10,918.33 as income taxes for the years 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926, and that the plaintiff is entitled to 35 per cent thereof, or the sum of P3,821.41, with legal interest thereon from the date of filing his complaint, and in disallowing the item of P2,410 charged as income tax in the liquidation in Exhibits 51 and 51 A for the period from January 1 to April 27, 1927. IV. The trial court erred in refusing to find and hold under the evidence in this case that the contract, Exhibit A was daring the whole period thereof considered by the parties and performed by them as a contract of employment in relation to the fertilizer business of the defendant, and that the accounts of said business were kept by the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., on that theory with the knowledge and consent of the plaintiff, and that at the end of each year for five years a balance sheet and profit and loss statement of said business were prepared from the books of account of said business on the same theory and submitted to the plaintiff, and that each year said balance sheet and profit and loss statement were examined, approved and signed by said contract in accordance therewith with full knowledge of the manner in which said business was conducted and the charges for interest and income taxes made against the same and that by reason of such facts, the plaintiff is now estopped from raising any question as to the nature of said contract or the propriety of such charges. V. The trial court erred in finding and holding that the plaintiff, Francisco Bastida, is entitled to 35 per cent of the net profits in the sum of P18,795.38 received by the defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., from its contract with the Compaia General de Tabacos de Filipinas, or the sum of P6.578.38, with legal interest thereon from January 1, 1929, the date upon which the liquidation of said business was terminated.

VI. The trial court erred in finding and holding that the value of the goodwill of the fertilizer business in question was P562,312, and that the plaintiff, Francisco Bastida, was entitled to 35 per cent of such valuation, or the sum of P196,709.20, with legal interest thereon from the date of filing his complaint. VII. The trial court erred in rendering judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against defendant, Menzi & Co., Inc., (a) on the second cause of action, for the sum of P60,385.67, with legal interest thereon from the date of filing the complaint; (b) on the fourth cause of action, for the sum of P3,821.41, with legal interest thereon from the date of filing the complaint; (c) on the eight cause of action, for the sum of P6,578.38, with legal interest thereon from January 1, 1929; and (d) on the ninth cause of action, for the sum of P196,709.20, with legal interest thereon from the date of filing the original complaint; and (e) for the costs of the action, and in not approving the final liquidation of said business, Exhibits 51 and 51-A and 52 and 52-A, as true and correct, and entering judgment against said defendant only for the amounts admitted therein as due the plaintiff with legal interest, with the costs against the plaintiff. VIII. The trial court erred in overruling the defendants motion for a new trial. It appears from the evidence that the defendants corporation was organized in 1921 for purpose of importing and selling general merchandise, including fertilizers and fertilizer ingredients. It appears through John Bordman and the Menzi-Bordman Co. the good-will, trademarks, business, and other assets of the old German firm of Behn, Meyer & Co., Ltd., including its fertilizer business with its stocks and trade-marks. Behn, Meyer & Co., Ltd., had owned and carried on this fertilizer business from 1910 until that firm was taken over the Alien Property Custodian in 1917. Among the trade-marks thus acquired by the appellant were those known as the ARADO, HOZ, and CORONA. They were registered in the Bureau of Commerce and Industry in the name of Menzi & Co. The trade marks ARADO and HOZ had been used by Behn, Meyer & Co., Ltd., in the sale of its mixed fertilizers, and the trade mark CORONA had been used in its other business. The HOZ trade-mark was used by John

Bordman and the Menzi-Bordman Co. in the continuation of the fertilizer business that had belonged to Behn, Meyer & Co., Ltd. The business of Menzi & Co., Inc., was divided into several different departments, each of which was in charge of a manager, who received a fixed salary and a percentage of the profits. The corporation had to borrow money or obtain credits from time to time and to pay interest thereon. The amount paid for interest was charged against the department concerned, and the interest charges were taken into account in determining the net profits of each department. The practice of the corporation was to debit or credit each department with interest at the bank rate on its daily balance. The fertilizer business of Menzi & Co., Inc., was carried on in accordance with this practice under the Sundries Department until July, 1923, and after that as a separate department. In November, 1921, the plaintiff, who had had some experience in mixing and selling fertilizer, went to see Toehl, the manager of the sundries department of Menzi & Co., Inc., and told him that he had a written contract with the Philippine Sugar Centrals Agency for 1,250 tons of mixed fertilizers, and that he could obtain other contracts, including one from the Calamba Sugar Estates for 450 tons, but the he did not have the money to buy the ingredients to fill the order and carry on the on the business. He offered to assign to Menzi & Co., Inc., his contract with the Philippine Sugar Centrals Agency and to supervise the mixing of the fertilizer and to obtain other orders for fifty per cent of the net profits that Menzi & Co., might derive therefrom. J.M. Menzi, the general manager of Menzi & Co., accepted plaintiffs offer. Plaintiff assigned to Menzi & Co., Inc., his contract with the Sugar Centrals Agency, and the defendant corporation proceeded to fill the order. Plaintiff supervised the mixing of the fertilizer. On January 10, 1922 the defendant corporation at plaintiffs request gave him the following letter, Exhibit B: Menzi & Co., Inc., continued to carry on its fertilizer business under this arrangement with the plaintiff. It ordered ingredients from the United States and other countries, and the interest on the drafts for the purchase of these materials was changed to the business as a part of the cost of the materials. The mixed fertilizers were sold by Menzi & Co., Inc., between

January 19 and April 1, 1922 under its CORONA brand. Menzi & Co., Inc., had only one bank account for its whole business. The fertilizer business had no separate capital. A fertilizer account was opened in the general ledger, and interest at the rate charged by the Bank of the Philippine Islands was debited or credited to that account on the daily balances of the fertilizer business. This was in accordance with appellants established practice, to which the plaintiff assented. On or about April 24, 1922 the net profits of the business carried on under the oral agreement were determined by Menzi & Co., Inc., after deducting interest charges, proportional part of warehouse rent and salaries and wages, and the other expenses of said business, and the plaintiff was paid some twenty thousand pesos in full satisfaction of his share of the profits. Pursuant to the aforementioned verbal agreement, confirmed by the letter, Exhibit B, the defendant corporation April 27, 1922 entered a written contract with the plaintiff, marked Exhibit A, which is the basis of the present action. The fertilizer business was carried on by Menzi & Co., Inc., after the execution of Exhibit A in practically the same manner as it was prior thereto. The intervention of the plaintiff was limited to supervising the mixing of the fertilizers in Menzi & Co.s, Inc., bodegas. The trade-marks used in the sale of the fertilizer were registered in the Bureau of Commerce & Industry in the name of Menzi & Co., Inc., and the fees were paid by that company. They were not changed to the fertilizer business, in which the plaintiff was interested. Only the fees for registering the formulas in the Bureau of Science were charged to the fertilizer business, and the total amount thereof was credited to this business in the final liquidation on April 27, 1927. On May 3, 1924 the plaintiff made a contract with Menzi & Co., Inc., to furnish it all the stems and scraps to tobacco that it might need for its fertilizer business either in the Philippine Islands or for export to other countries. This contract is rendered to in the record as the Vastago Contract. Menzi & Co., Inc., advanced the plaintiff, paying the salaries of his employees, and other expenses in performing his contract. White, Page & Co., certified public accountants, audited the books of

Menzi & Co., Inc., every month, and at the end of each year they prepared a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement of the fertilizer business. These statements were delivered to the plaintiff for examination, and after he had had an opportunity of verifying them he approved them without objection and returned them to Menzi & Co., Inc. Plaintiff collected from Menzi Co., Inc., as his share or 35 per cent of the net profits of the fertilizer business the following amounts: 1922 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P1,874.73 1923 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30,212.62 1924 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101,081.56 1925 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35,665.03 1926 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27,649.98 Total . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P196,483.92 To this amount must be added plaintiffs share of the net profits from January 1 to April 27, 1927, amounting to P34,766.87, making a total of P231,250.79. Prior to the expiration of the contract, Exhibit A, the manager of Menzi & Co. Inc., notified the plaintiff that the contract for his services would not be renewed. When plaintiffs contract expired on April 27, 1927, the fertilizer department of Menzi & Co., Inc., had on hand materials and ingredients and two Ford trucks of the book value of approximately P75,000, and accounts receivable amounting to P103,000. There were claims outstanding and bills to pay. Before the net profits could be finally determined, it was necessary to dispose of the materials and equipment, collect the outstanding accounts for Menzi & Co., Inc., prepared a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement for the period from January 1 to April 27, 1927 as a basis of settlement, but the plaintiff refused to accept it, and filed the present action. Menzi & Co., Inc., then proceeded to liquidate fertilizer business in question. In October, 1927 it proposed to the plaintiff that the old and damaged stocks on hand having a book value of P40,000, which the defendant corporation had been unable to dispose of, be sold at public or

private sale, or divided between the parties. The plaintiff refused to agree to this. The defendant corporation then applied to the trial court for an order for the sale of the remaining property at public auction, but apparently the court did not act on the petition. The old stocks were taken over by Menzi & Co., Inc., and the final liquidation of the fertilizer business was completed in December, 1928 and a final balance sheet and a profit and loss statement were submitted to the plaintiff during the trial. During the liquidation the books of Menzi & Co., Inc., for the whole period of the contract in question were reaudited by White, Page & Co.., certain errors of bookkeeping were discovered by them. After making the corrections they found the balance due the plaintiff to be P21,633.20. Plaintiff employed a certified public accountant, Vernon Thompson, to examine the books and vouchers of Menzi & Co. Thompson assumed the plaintiff and Menzi & Co., Inc., to be partners, and that Menzi & Co., Inc., was obliged to furnish free of charge all the capital the partnership should need. He naturally reached very different conclusions from those of the auditors of Menzi Co., Inc. We come now to a consideration of appellants assignment of error. After considering the evidence and the arguments of counsel, we are unanimously of the opinion that under the facts of this case the relationship established between Menzi & Co. and by the plaintiff was to receive 35 per cent of the net profits of the fertilizer business of Menzi & Co., Inc., in compensation for his services of supervising the mixing of the fertilizers. Neither the provisions of the contract nor the conduct of the parties prior or subsequent to its execution justified the finding that it was a contract of copartnership. Exhibit A, as appears from the statement of facts, was in effect a continuation of the verbal agreement between the parties, whereby the plaintiff worked for the defendant corporation for one-half of the net profits derived by the corporation from certain fertilizer contracts. Plaintiff was paid his share of the profits from those transactions after Menzi & Co., Inc., had deducted the same items of expense which he now protests. Plaintiff never made any objection to defendants manner of keeping the accounts or to the charges. The

business was continued in the same manner under the written agreement, Exhibit A, and for four years the plaintiff never made any objection. On the contrary he approved and signed every year the balance sheet and the profit and loss statement. It was only when plaintiffs contract was about to expire and the defendant corporation had notified him that it would not renew it that the plaintiff began to make objections. The trial court relied on article 116 of the Code of Commerce, which provides that articles of association by which two or more persons obligate themselves to place in a common fund any property, industry, or any of these things, in order to obtain profit, shall be commercial, no matter what its class may be, provided it has been established in accordance with the provisions of this Code; but in the case at bar there was no common fund, that is, a fund belonging to the parties as joint owners or partners. The business belonged to Menzi & Co., Inc. The plaintiff was working for Menzi & Co., Inc. Instead of receiving a fixed salary or a fixed salary and a small percentage of the net profits, he was to receive 35 per cent of the net profits as compensation for his services. Menzi & Co., Inc., was to advanced him P300 a month on account of his participation in the profits. It will be noted that no provision was made for reimbursing Menzi & Co., Inc., in case there should be no net profits at the end of the year. It is now well settled that the old rule that sharing profits as profits made one a partner is overthrown. (Mechem, second edition, p. 89.) It is nowhere stated in Exhibit A that the parties were establishing a partnership or intended to become partners. Great stress in laid by the trial judge and plaintiffs attorneys on the fact that in the sixth paragraph of Exhibit A the phrase en sociedad con is used in providing that defendant corporation not engage in the business of prepared fertilizers except in association with the plaintiff (en sociedad con). The fact is that en sociedad con as there used merely means en reunion con or in association with, and does not carry the meaning of in partnership with. The trial judge found that the defendant corporation had not always regarded the contract in question as an employment agreement, because in its answer to the original complaint it stated that before the expiration

of Exhibit A it notified the plaintiff that it would not continue associated with him in said business. The trial judge concluded that the phrase associated with, used by the defendant corporation, indicated that it regarded the contract, Exhibit A, as an agreement of copartnership. In the first place, the complaint and answer having been superseded by the amended complaint and the answer thereto, and the answer to the original complaint not having been presented in evidence as an exhibit, the trial court was not authorized to take it into account. Where amended pleadings have been filed, allegations in the original pleadings are held admissible, but in such case the original pleadings can have no effect, unless formally offered in evidence. (Jones on Evidence, sec. 273; Lucido vs. Calupitan, 27 Phil. 148.) In the second place, although the word associated may be related etymologically to the Spanish word socio, meaning partner, it does not in its common acceptation imply any partnership relation. The 7th, 8th, and 9th paragraphs of Exhibit A, whereby the defendant corporation obligated itself to pay to the plaintiff 35 per cent of the net profits of the fertilizer business, to advance to him P300 a month on account of his share of the profits, and to grant him permission during 1923 to absent himself from the Philippines for not more than one year are utterly incompatible with the claim that it was the intention of the parties to form a copartnership. Various other reasons for holding that the parties were not partners are advanced in appellants brief. We do not deem it necessary to discuss them here. We merely wish to add that in the Vastago contract, Exhibit A, the plaintiff clearly recognized Menzi & Co., Inc., as the owners of the fertilizer business in question. As to the various items of the expense rejected by the trial judge, they were in our opinion proper charges and erroneously disallowed, and this would true even if the parties had been partners. Although Menzi & Co., Inc., agreed to furnish the necessary financial aid for the fertilizer business, it did not obligate itself to contribute any fixed sum as capital or to defray at its own expense the cost of securing the necessary credit. Some of the contentions of the plaintiff and his expert witness Thompson are so obviously without merit as not to merit serious consideration. For

instance, they objected to the interest charges on draft for materials purchased abroad. Their contention is that the corporation should have furnished the money to purchase these materials for cash, overlooking the fact that the interest was added to the cost price, and that the plaintiff was not prejudiced by the practice complained of. It was also urged, and this seems to us the height of absurdity, that the defendant corporation should have furnished free of charge such financial assistance as would have made it unnecessary to discount customers notes, thereby enabling the business to reap the interest. In other words, the defendant corporation should have enabled the fertilizer department to do business on a credit instead of a cash basis. The charges now complained of, as we have already stated, are the same as those made under the verbal agreement, upon the termination of which the parties made a settlement; the charges in question were acquiesced in by the plaintiff for years, and it is now too late for him to contest them. The decision of this court in the case of Kriedt vs. E.C. McCullough & Co. (37 Phil. 474), is in point. A portion of the syllabus of that case reads as follows: 1. CONTRACTS; INTERPRETATION; CONTEMPORANEOUS ACTS OF PARTIES. Acts done by the parties to a contract in the course of its performance are admissible in evidence upon the question of its meaning, as being their own contemporaneous interpretation of its terms. 2. ID, ID; ACTION OF PARTIES UNDER PRIOR CONTRACT. In an action upon a contract containing a provision a doubtful application it appeared that under a similar prior contract the parties had, upon the termination of said contract, adjusted their rights and made a settlement in which the doubtful clause had been given effect in conformity with the interpretation placed thereon by one of the parties. Held: That this action of the parties under the prior contract could properly be considered upon the question of the interpretation of the same clause in the later contract. 3. ID.; ID.; ACQUIESCENCE. Where one of the parties to a contract acquiesces in the interpretation placed by the other upon a provision of doubtful application, the party so acquiescing is bound by such interpretation.

4. ID.; ID.; ILLUSTRATION. One of the parties to a contract, being aware at the time of the execution thereof that the other placed a certain interpretation upon a provision of doubtful application, nevertheless proceeded, without raising any question upon the point, to perform the services which he was bound to render under the contract. Upon the termination of the contract by mutual consent a question was raised as to the proper interpretation of the doubtful provision. Held: That the party raising such question had acquiesced in the interpretation placed upon the contract by the other party and was bound thereby. The trial court held that the plaintiff was entitled to P6,578.38 or 35 per cent of the net profits derived by Menzi & Co., Inc., from its contract for fertilizers with the Tabacalera. This finding in our opinion is not justified by the evidence. This contract was obtained by Menzi & Co., Inc., shortly before plaintiffs contract with the defendant corporation expired. Plaintiff tried to get the Tabacalera contract for himself. When this contract was filled, plaintiff had ceased to work for Menzi & Co., Inc., and he has no right to participate in the profits derived therefrom. Appellants sixth assignment of error is that the trial court erred in finding the value of the good-will of the fertilizer business in question to be P562,312, and that the plaintiff was entitled to 35 per cent thereof or P196,709.20. In reaching this conclusion the trial court unfortunately relied on the opinion of the accountant, Vernon Thompson, who assumed, erroneously as we have seen, that the plaintiff and Menzi & Co., Inc., were partners; but even if they had been partners there would have been no good-will to dispose of. The defendant corporation had a fertilizer business before it entered into any agreement with the plaintiff; plaintiffs agreement was for a fixed period, five years, and during that time the business was carried on in the name of Menzi & Co., Inc., and in Menzi & Co.s warehouses and after the expiration of plaintiffs contract Menzi & Co., Inc., continued its fertilizer business, as it had a perfect right to do. There was really nothing to which any good-will could attach. Plaintiff maintains, however, that the trade-marks used in the fertilizer business during the time that he was connected with it acquired great value, and that they have been appropriated by the appellant to its own use. That

seems to be the only basis of the alleged good-will, to which a fabulous valuation was given. As we have seen, the trade- marks were not new. They had been used by Behn, Meyer & Co. in its business for other goods and one of them for fertilizer. They belonged to Menzi & Co., Inc., and were registered in its name; only the expense of registering the formulas in the Bureau of Science was charged to the business in which the plaintiff was interested. These trade-marks remained the exclusive property of Menzi & Co., and the plaintiff had no interest therein on the expiration of his contract. The balance due the plaintiff, as appears from Exhibit 52, is P21,633.20. We are satisfied by the evidence that said balance is correct. For the foregoing reasons, the decision appealed from is modified and the defendant corporation is sentenced to pay the plaintiff twenty-one thousand, six hundred and thirty-three pesos and twenty centavos (P21,633.20), with legal interest thereon from the date of the filing of the complaint on June 17, 1927, without a special finding as to costs. Street, Villamor, and Villa-Real, JJ., concur. Justice Hull participated in this case, but on account of his absence on leave at the time of the promulgation of the decision he authorized the undersigned to certify that he voted to modify the decision of the trial court as appears in the foregoing decision of this court.

At the trial of the case, a large number of opponents presented themselves but only two of them, P. W. Addison and Adelina Ferrer have appealed. The latter appears for herself and her three children, Vitaliana, Eugenio, and Aureno. The evidence established the following facts: (1) That one Eulalio Belisario acquired the two parcels of land in question through information posesoria proceedings, instituted in accordance with the provisions of articles 19-21 of the Royal Decree of February 13, 1894, and recorded under the provision of the Mortgage Law. The record of the proceedings show that Belisario occupied and began to cultivate the smaller parcel of land in 1880 and the larger one in 1882. According to the somewhat vague testimony of the witness Francisco Ira, Belisario was married to Paula Ira when he took possession of the parcels which therefore probably were community property of the marriage, but this fact does not appear from the record of the informacion posesoria proceedings or from any other document presented in evidence. (2) That on December 20, 1909, Eulalio Belisario conveyed the two parcels mentioned to one Jose Castillo, reserving the right to repurchase the lands for the sum of P550 within the term of five months and two days from the date of the sale. (3) That Paula Ira, the wife of Eulalio Belisario, died on February 13, 1913, leaving as her sole heir their son Maximo Belisario. (4) That after the death of the said Paula Ira, Eulalio and Maximo Belisario occupied and administered the two parcels of land in common. (5) That on August 25, 1913, and upon certain dates subsequent thereto, the lands in question were forfeited to and confiscated by the Government for the non-payment of taxes. (6) That on July 5, 1916, in civil case No. 435 in the court of the justice of the peace of Dagupan, C. H. McClure vs. Maximo Belisario and Eulalio Belisario, an order for attachment was issued against the lands described in certain land tax declarations of which tax Nos. 5437, 5348, and 5351 refer to parts of the land inscribed in the registry of deeds as finca No. 334, and of which tax No. 5352 refers to that land inscribed in the registry of deeds as finca No. 335.

G.R. No. L-18010

June 21, 1922

BASILIO BORJA, petitioner-appellee, vs. P. W. ADDISON, ADELINA FERRER, VITALIANA BELISARIO, EUGENIO BELISARIO, and AURENO BELISARIO,objectors-appellants. This is an appeal from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan ordering the registration, under Act No. 496, of two parcels of land in the name of the petitioner Basilio Borja. The parcels are situated in the barrio of San Francisco, municipality of Umingan, Pangasinan, and contain a total of over 326 hectares.

(7) That on July 31, 1916, the aforesaid order and notice of attachment were served upon Maximo Belisario and Eulalio Belisario; and on August 5, 1916, the deputy provincial sheriff presented the said order and notice of attachment to the register of deeds for record, but no entries appear to have been made in the book of the registry. (8) That on October 14, 1916, pursuant to a writ of execution issued upon final judgment in said civil case No. 435, the attached lands, as specified in paragraph (6) hereof , we sold to the judgment creditor C. H. McClure, represented by Peter W. Addison. The sale was not recorded in the registry of deeds. (9) That on October 14, 1916, pursuant to a writ of execution issued upon final judgment of the court of the justice of the peace of Dagupan, in civil case No. 450, C. H. McClure vs. Felix Belisario and Eulalio Belisario, the statutory right of redemption belonging to Eulalio Belisario, of the land sold under execution in said case No. 435, was sold by the sheriff at public auction to the judgment creditor C. H. McClure, represented by Peter W. Addison. No record of this sale appears to have been made in the registry of deeds. (10) That on September 19, 1916, a writ of execution was issued upon final judgment of the court of the justice of the peace of Dagupan, in civil case No. 454, C. H. McClure vs. Eulalio Belisario, pursuant to which, on November 14, 1916, levy was made upon the undivided half of the two parcels of land in question, belonging to Eulalio Belisario and upon all right, title, and interest which he had or might have therein. (11) That on December 13, 1916, in conformity with a decision of the Supreme Court of the Philippine Islands, in the case of the Castillo vs. Belisario (35 Phil., 89). Jose Castillo executed in favor of Eulalio Belisario a deed of resale of the two parcels of land conveyed in the sale with right to repurchase mentioned in paragraph (2) hereof. (12) That on January 11, 1917, an alias writ of execution was issued in the said civil case No. 454, mentioned in paragraph (10) hereof, pursuant to which on February 10, 1917, the judgment creditor C. H. McClure, represented by P. W. Addison, purchased at execution sale the undivided half of the two parcels of land in question, belonging to the said Eulalio Belisario, and all rights, title, interests, and ownership which the defendant in execution had or might have in and to both of said parcels of

land in their entirely. This sale was duly presented for record in the registry of deed on March 1, 1917, and recorded on the 14th of the same month. (13) That on January 19, 1917, Eulalio Belisario executed in favor of Basilio Borja a deed of sale of the two parcels of land in question for P7,500, reserving the right to repurchase the lands for the same price within the term of eighteen months from the date thereof. (14) That on January 26, 1917, the said deed of sale with right to repurchase was presented for record in the registry of deeds, but inscription was refused and the deed was returned on February 5, 1917, with an official communication from the register of deeds to the effect that it favor of Jose Castillo, mentioned in paragraph (2) hereof, had not been cancelled on the record. (15) That on February 13, 1917, the deed of resale from Jose Castillo to Eulalio Belisario, mentioned in paragraph (11) hereof, was presented for record in the registry of deeds and was recorded on February 26, 1917. (16) That on March 5, 1917, an alias writ of execution was issued in civil case No. 499 of the court of the justice of the peace of Dagupan, C. H. McClure vs. Maximo Belisario and Eulalio Belisario, pursuant to which, levy was made upon all the remaining interest belonging to said defendants, in and to the two parcels of lands in question, as specified in paragraph (19) and that notice of said levy was duly presented for record and entered upon the daybook of the register of deeds on March 7, 1917. (17) That on March 27, 1917, the deed of sale with right to repurchase executed by Eulalio Belisario in favor of Basilio Borja, mentioned in paragraph (13) hereof, was entered upon the day-book of the register of deed for the first time, this entry being cancelled on April 4, 1917. (18) That on March 30, 1917, Peter W. Addison purchased at the sheriff's sale under the execution in civil case No. 499, mentioned in paragraph (16) hereof, the undivided half of the two parcels of land in question, belonging to Maximo Belisario, and all the rights, title, interests and ownership which both of the defendants in execution, Maximo Belisario and Eulalio Belisario, had or might have in and to both of the said parcels of land in their entirely

(19) That on April 4, 1917, Peter W. Addison presented the certificate for the property and interest acquired at execution sale in civil case No. 499, for record in the registry of deed, the document being recorded on April 18, 1917. (20) That on November 12, 1917, in conformity with instructions received from the Judge of the Fourth Sala of the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila, the deed of sale with right to repurchase executed by Eulalio Belisario in favor of Basilio Borja and mentioned in paragraphs (13) and (18) hereof, was reinstated in the day-book and recorded in the registry of deems. (21) That on January 23, 1918, the attorney for Basilio Borja transmitted to the provincial sheriff of Pangasinan the sum of P230 for the redemption of the property and interest sold under execution in civil case No. 454, mentioned in paragraph (12) hereof. (22) That on February 11, 1918, the attorney for Basilio Borja was informed by the said sheriff the redemption mentioned in the preceding paragraph would be allowed only upon the condition that the right of redemption be exercised in the execution sales in civil cases Nos. 435, 499, and 450, mentioned in paragraphs (8), (9), and (18) hereof. (23) That on February 16, 1918, the affidavit of C. H. McClure for the consolidacion de dominio in civil case No. 454 was presented for record in the registry of deeds, and inscribed in the registry on February 19, 1919. (24) That on June 24, 1918, the provincial sheriff of Pangasinan signed final deeds of sale for the property and interest, mentioned in paragraph (12) and (18) hereof, in favor of C. H. McClure and Peter W. Addison, the respective purchasers at execution sales in civil cases Nos. 454 and 499. (25) The on June 25, 1918, possession was delivered by the provincial sheriff of Pangasinan to Peter W. Addison, in his own representation and that of C. H. McClure, of the two parcels of land in question, sold under execution in civil cases Nos. 454 and 499. (26) That on July 3, 1918, the affidavit of Peter W. Addison for the consolidacion de dominio in civil case No. 499 was entered upon the

day-book in the registry of deeds, and recorded in the registry on March 11, 1919. (27) That on July 12, 1918, C. H. McClure executed a quit-claim deed to Peter W. Addison, for all right, title, and interest that he had in the two parcels of land in question. (28) That on July 31, 1918, the deeds of sale executed by the provincial sheriff of Pangasinan, in favor of C. H. McClure in civil cases No. 454, as mentioned in paragraph (25) hereof, and the quit-claim deed executed by C. H. McClure in favor of Peter W. Addison, as mentioned in the preceding paragraph, were entered on the day-book of the registry of deeds, and inscribed in the registry on March 10, 1919. (29) That on January 21, 1919, the Director of Lands authorized Peter W. Addison to repurchase the lands in question, which had been forfeited to an confiscated by the Government, as mentioned in paragraph (5) hereof This repurchase was made under the last proviso of section 19 of Act No. 1791 and was not purchased with the formalities required for the sale of public lands by Act No. 926. (30) That on June 4, 1919, the provincial treasurer of Pangasinan issued a certificate of repurchase to Peter W. Addison, for the confiscated lands mentioned in the preceding paragraph, pursuant to which the said lands were reassessed for taxation in his name. (31) That on March 12, 1919, Eulalio Belisario not having exercised his right of repurchase reserved in the sale of Basilio Borja mentioned in paragraph (13) hereof, the affidavit of Basilio Borja for the consolidacion de dominio was presented for record in the registry of deeds and recorded in the registry on the same date. (32) The Maximo Belisario left a widow, the opponent Adelina Ferrer and three minor children, Vitaliana, Eugenio, and Aureno Belisario as his only heirs. (33) That in the execution and sales thereunder, in which C. H. McClure appears as the judgment creditor, he was represented by the opponent Peter W. Addison, who prepared and had charge of publication of the notices of the various sales and that in none of the sales was the notice published more than twice in a newspaper.

The claims of the opponent-appellant Addison have been very fully and ably argued by his counsel but may, we think, be disposed of in comparatively few words. As will be seen from the foregoing statement of facts, he rest his title (1) on the sales under the executions issued in cases Nos. 435, 450, 454, and 499 of the court of the justice of the peace of Dagupan with the priority of inscription of the last two sales in the registry of deeds, and (2) on a purchase from the Director of Lands after the land in question had been forfeited to the Government for non-payment of taxes under Act No. 1791. The sheriff's sales under the execution mentioned are fatally defective for what of sufficient publication of the notice of sale. Section 454 of the Code of civil Procedure reads in part as follows: SEC. 454. Before the sale of property on execution, notice thereof must be given, as follows: 1. In case of perishable property, by posing written notice of the time and place of the sale in three public places of the municipality or city where the sale is to take place, for such time as may be reasonable, considering the character and condition of the property; 2. * * * * * * * 3. In cases of real property, by posting a similar notice particularly describing the property, for twenty days in three public places of the municipality or city where the property is situated, and also where the property is to be sold, and publishing a copy thereof once a week, for the same period, in some newspaper published or having general circulation in the province, if there be one. If there are newspaper published in the province in both the Spanish and English languages, then a like publication for a like period shall be made in one newspaper published in the Spanish language, and in one published in the English language: Provided, however, That such publication in a newspaper will not be required when the assessed valuation of the property does not exceed four hundred pesos; 4. * * * * * * *

Examining the record, we find that in cases Nos. 435 and 450 the sales took place on October 14, 1916; the notice first published gave the date of the sale as October 15th, but upon discovering that October 15th was a Sunday, the date was changed to October 14th. The correct notice was published twice in a local newspaper, the first publication was made on October 7th and the second and last on October 14th, the date of the sale itself. The newspaper is a weekly periodical published every Saturday afternoon. In case No. 454 there were only two publications of the notice in a newspaper, the first publication being made only fourteen days before the date of the sale. In case No. 499, there were also only two publications, the first of which was made thirteen days before the sale. In the last case the sale was advertised for the hours of from 8:30 in the morning until 4:30 in the afternoon, in violation of section 457 of the Code of Civil Procedure. In cases Nos. 435 and 450 the hours advertised were from 9:00 in the morning until 4.30 in the afternoon. In all of the cases the notices of the sale were prepared by the judgment creditor or his agent, who also took charged of the publication of such notices. In the case of Campomanes vs. Bartolome and Germann & Co. (38 Phil., 808), this court held that if a sheriff sells without the notice prescribe by the Code of Civil Procedure induced thereto by the judgment creditor and the purchaser at the sale is the judgment creditor, the sale is absolutely void and not title passes. This must now be regarded as the settled doctrine in this jurisdiction whatever the rule may be elsewhere. It appears affirmatively from the evidence in the present case that there is a newspaper published in the province where the sale in question took place and that the assessed valuation of the property disposed of at each sale exceeded P400. Comparing the requirements of section 454, supra, with what was actually done, it is self-evident that notices of the sales mentioned were not given as prescribed by the statute and taking into consideration that in connection with these sales the appellant Addison was either the judgment creditor or else occupied a position analogous to that of a judgment creditor, the sales must be held invalid. The conveyance or reconveyance of the land from the Director of Lands is equally invalid. The provisions of Act No. 1791 pertinent to the purchase or repurchase of land confiscated for non-payment of taxes are found in section 19 of the Act and read:

. . . In case such redemption be not made within the time above specified the Government of the Philippine Islands shall have an absolute, indefeasible title to said real property. Upon the expiration of the said ninety days, if redemption be not made, the provincial treasurer shall immediately notify the Director of Lands of the forfeiture and furnish him with a description of the property, and said Director of Lands shall have full control and custody thereof to lease or sell the same or any portion thereof in the same manner as other public lands are leased or sold: Provided, That the original owner, or his legal representative, shall have the right to repurchase the entire amount of his said real property, at any time before a sale or contract of sale has been made by the director of Lands to a third party, by paying therefore the whole sum due thereon at the time of ejectment together with a penalty of ten per centum . . . . The appellant Addison repurchased under the final proviso of the section quoted and was allowed to do so as the successor in interest of the original owner under the execution sale above discussed. As we have seen, he acquired no rights under these sales, was therefore not the successor of the original owner and could only have obtained a valid conveyance of such titles as the Government might have by following the procedure prescribed by the Public Land Act for the sale of public lands. he is entitled to reimbursement for the money paid for the redemption of the land, with interest, but has acquired no title through the redemption. The question of the priority of the record of the sheriff's sales over that of the sale from Belisario to Borja is extensively argued in the briefs, but from our point of view is of no importance; void sheriff's or execution sales cannot be validated through inscription in the Mortgage Law registry. The opposition of Adelina Ferrer must also be overruled. She maintained that the land in question was community property of the marriage of Eulalio Belisario and Paula Ira: that upon the death of Paula Ira in 1913, Maximo Belisario, the only son and heir of the spouses, entered into the joint administration of the property with his father; that this joint administration was equivalent to the formation of a new community of property between father and son and that it succeeded and extinguished the preexisting community of property between the spouses; that the special rights of the surviving husband as liquidator of the community property of the marriage thereupon also terminated; that, therefore, the

surviving husband had not right to sell or otherwise dispose of more than his own undivided share of such community property and that, consequently, the right Maximo Belisario as the sole heir of his mother to one-half of the community property was unaffected by the sale made by his father to the petitioner Borja. This court held in the cases of Nable Jose vs. Nable Jose (41 Phil., 713) and Manuel and Laxamana vs. Losano(41 Phil., 855), that "in the absence of fraud and collusion, sales or mortgages of community property, either real or personal, made by a husband-administrator clothed with the insignia of ownership and in whose name the property is held, after the death of his spouse, are valid and effective. the purchaser being entitled to presume that such sales or mortgages are executed for the purpose of securing money to pay community debts and that the vendor has authority to dispose of the property thus administered by him and held in his name. . . ." Though this rule is, perhaps, not in harmony with the views of various commentators upon the Civil Code, it is the main supported by a line of decisions of the supreme court of Spain and until the pertinent provisions of the Civil Code are amended, will probably not be greatly modified by future decisions of this court. There is no reason in a law why the heirs of the deceased wife may not form a partnership with the surviving husband for the management and control of the community property of the marriage and conceivably such a partnership, or rather community of property, between the heirs and the surviving husband might be formed without a written agreement. But, in the absence of the formalities prescribed by the Code of Commerce or by articles 1667 and 1668 of the Civil Code, knowledge of the existence of the new partnership or community of property must, at least, be brought home to third persons dealing with the surviving husband in regard to community real property in order to bind them by the community agreement. In the present case the land was recorded in the real property register in the name of Eulalio Belisario and there is not a scintilla of evidence to show that the petitioner herein, Basilio Borja, had any notice of the fact that Maximo Belisario participated in the administration of the property or claimed any rights or ownership therein. The case, therefore, falls squarely within the rule laid down in the cases above cited and the deed from Eulalio Belisario to Basilio Borja must be held to have conveyed to the latter the whole fee of the land in question.

The decision appealed from is affirmed without costs. The registration of the land will be made subject to the lien of P. W. Addison for the sums of money expended for the redemption of the land from the forfeiture for nonpayment of taxes. So ordered.

situated in the municipality of Parang, Province of Cotabato, embraced within his homestead application No. 21045 and his purchase application No. 1048, in consideration of the sum of P1, to the Nituan Plantation Company. In this same period, Kiel appears to have tried to secure a settlement from Sabert. At least in a letter dated June 6, 1918, Sabert wrote Kiel that he had offered "to sell all property that I have for P40,000 or take in a partner who is willing to develop the plantation, to take up the K. & S. debt no matter which way I will straiten out with you." But Sabert's death came before any amicable arrangement could be reached and before an action by Kiel against Sabert could be decided. So these proceedings against the estate of Sabert. In this court, the defendant-appellant assigns the following errors: The lower court erred (1) In finding this was an action to establish a resulting trust in land.

ALBERT F. KIEL, plaintiff-appellee, vs. ESTATE OF P. S. SABERT, defendant-appellant. This action relates to the legal right of Albert F. Kiel to secure from the estate of P. S. Sabert the sum of P20,000, on a claim first presented to the commissioners and disallowed, then on appeal to the Court of First Instance allowed, and ultimately the subject-matter of the appeal taken to this court. A skeletonized statement of the case and the facts based on the complaint, the findings of the trial judge, and the record, may be made in the following manner: In 1907, Albert F. Kiel along with William Milfeil commenced to work on certain public lands situated in the municipality of Parang, Province of Cotabato, known as Parang Plantation Company. Kiel subsequently took over the interest of Milfeil. In 1910, Kiel and P. S. Sabert entered into an agreement to develop the Parang Plantation Company. Sabert was to furnish the capital to run the plantation and Kiel was to manage it. They were to share and share alike in the property. It seems that this partnership was formed so that the land could be acquired in the name of Sabert, Kiel being a German citizen and not deemed eligible to acquire public lands in the Philippines. By virtue of the agreement, from 1910 to 1917, Kiel worked upon and developed the plantation. During the World War, he was deported from the Philippines. On August 16, 1919, five persons, including P. S. Sabert, organized the Nituan Plantation Company, with a subscribed capital of P40,000. On April 10, 1922, P. S. Sabert transferred all of his rights in two parcels of land

(2) In finding a resulting trust in land could have been established in public lands in favor of plaintiff herein who was an alien subject at the same time said alleged resulting trust was created. (3) In finding a resulting trust in land had been established by the evidence in the case. (4) In admitting the testimony of the plaintiff herein. (5) In admitting the testimony of William Milfeil, John C. Beyersdorfer, Frank R. Lasage, Oscar C. Butler and Stephen Jurika with reference to alleged statements and declarations of the deceased P. S. Sabert. (6) In finding any copartnership existed between plaintiff and the deceased Sabert. (7) In rendering judgment for the plaintiff herein. Errors 1, 2, and 3, relating to resulting trusts . These three errors discussing the same subject may be resolved together. In effect, as will

soon appear, we reach the conclusion that both parties were in error in devoting so much time to the elaboration of these questions, and that a ruling on the same is not needed. It is conceivable, that the facts in this case could have been so presented to the court by means of allegations in the complaint, as to disclose characteristics of a resulting trust. But the complaint as framed asks for a straight money judgment against an estate. In no part of the complaint did plaintiff allege any interest in land, claim any interest in land, or pretend to establish a resulting trust in land. That the plaintiff did not care to press such an action is demonstrated by the relation of the fact of alienage with the rule, that a trust will not be created when, for the purpose of evading the law prohibiting one from taking or holding real property, he takes a conveyance thereof in the name of a third person. (26 R. C. L., 1214-1222; Leggett vs. Dubois [1835], 5 Paige, N. Y., 114; 28 Am. Dec., 413.) The parties are wrong in assuming that the trial judge found that this was an action to establish a resulting trust in land. In reality, all that the trial judge did was to ground one point of his decision on an authority coming from the Supreme Court of California, which discussed the subject of resulting trusts. Error 4, relating to the admission of testimony of the plaintiff herein . Well taken. The Code of Civil Procedure in section 383, No. 7, names as incompetent witnesses, parties to an action or proceeding against an executor or administrator of a deceased person upon a claim or demand against the estate of such deceased person, who "cannot testify as to any matter of fact occuring before the death of such deceased person." But the trial judge, misled somewhat by the decision of the Supreme Court of California in the city ofMyers vs. Reinstein ([1885], 67 Cal., 89), permitted this testimony to go in, whereas if the decision had been read more carefully, it would have been noted that "the action was not on a claim or demand against the estate of Reinstein." Here this is exactly the situation which confronts us. The case of Maxilom vs. Tabotabo ([1907], 9 Phil., 390), is squarely on all fours with the case at bar. It was there held that "A party to an action against an executor or administrator of a deceased person, upon a claim

against the estate of the latter, is absolutely prohibited by law from giving testimony concerning such claim or demand as to anything that occurred before the death of the person against whose estate the action is prosecuted." Error 5, relating to the testimony of five witnesses with reference to alleged statements and declarations of the deceased P. S. Sabert . Not well taken. By section 282 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the declaration, act, or omission of a deceased person having sufficient knowledge of the subject, against his pecuniary interest, is admissible as evidence to that extent against his successor in interest. By section 298, No. 4, of the same Code, evidence may be given up a trial of the following facts: ". . . the act or declaration of a deceased person, done or made against his interest in respect to his real property." (See Leonardo vs. Santiago [1907], 7 Phil., 401.) The testimony of these witnesses with reference to the acts or declarations of Sabert was, therefore, properly received for whatever they might be worth. Error 6, relating to the existence of a copartnership between Kiel and Sabert. Not well taken. No partnership agreement in writing was entered into by Kiel and Sabert. The question consequently is whether or not the alleged verbal copartnership formed by Kiel and Sabert has been proved, if we eliminate the testimony of Kiel and only consider the relevant testimony of other witnesses. In performing this task, we are not unaware of the rule of partnership that the declarations of one partner, not made in the presence of his copartner, are not competent to prove the existence of a partnership between them as against such other partner, and that the existence of a partnership cannot be established by general reputation, rumor, or hearsay. (Mechem on Partnership, sec. 65; 20 R. C. L., sec. 53; Owensboro Wagon Company vs. Bliss [1901], 132 Ala., 253.) The testimony of the plaintiff's witnesses, together with the documentary evidence, leaves the firm impression with us that Kiel and Sabert did enter into a partnership, and that they were to share equally. Applying the tests as to the existence of partnership, we feel that competent evidence exists establishing the partnership. Even more primary than any of the rules of partnership above announced, is the injunction to seek out the intention

of the parties, as gathered from the facts and as ascertained from their language and conduct, and then to give this intention effect. (Giles vs. Vette [1924], 263 U. S., 553.) Error 7, relating to the judgment rendered for the plaintiff. Well taken in part. The judgment handed down, it will be remembered, permitted the plaintiff to recover from the estate the full amount claimed, presumably on the assumption that Sabert having sold by property to the Nituan Plantation Company for P40,000, Kiel should have one-half of the same, or P20,000. There is, however, extant in the record absolutely no evidence as to the precise amount received by Sabert from the sale of this particular land. If it is true that Sabert sold all his land to the Nituan Plantation Company for P40,000, although this fact was not proven, what part of the P40,000 would correspond to the property which belonged to Kiel and Sabert under their partnership agreement? It impresses us further that Kiel under the facts had no standing in court to ask for any part of the land and in fact he does not do so; his only legal right is to ask for what is in effect an accounting with reference to its improvements and income as of 1917 when Sabert became the trustee of the estate on behalf of Kiel. As we have already intimated, we do not think that Kiel is entitled to any share in the land itself, but we are of the opinion that he has clearly shown his right to one-half of the value of the improvements and personal property on the land as to the date upon which he left the plantation. Such improvements and personal property include buildings, coconut palms, and other plantings, cattle and other animals, implements, fences, and other constructions, as well as outstanding collectible credits, if any, belonging to the partnership. The value of these improvements and of the personal property cannot be ascertained from the record and the case must therefore be remanded for further proceedings. In resume, we disregard errors 1, 2, and 3, we find well taken, errors 4 and 7, and we find not well taken, errors 5 and 6. The judgment appealed from is set aside and the record is returned to the lower court where the plaintiff, if he so desires, may proceed further to prove his claim against the estate of P. S. Sabert. Without costs. So ordered. EUFEMIA EVANGELISTA, MANUELA EVANGELISTA, and FRANCISCA EVANGELISTA, petitioners, vs. THE COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE and THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS, respondents. This is a petition filed by Eufemia Evangelista, Manuela Evangelista and Francisca Evangelista, for review of a decision of the Court of Tax Appeals, the dispositive part of which reads: FOR ALL THE FOREGOING, we hold that the petitioners are liable for the income tax, real estate dealer's tax and the residence tax for the years 1945 to 1949, inclusive, in accordance with the respondent's assessment for the same in the total amount of P6,878.34, which is hereby affirmed and the petition for review filed by petitioner is hereby dismissed with costs against petitioners. It appears from the stipulation submitted by the parties: 1. That the petitioners borrowed from their father the sum of P59,1400.00 which amount together with their personal monies was used by them for the purpose of buying real properties,. 2. That on February 2, 1943, they bought from Mrs. Josefina Florentino a lot with an area of 3,713.40 sq. m. including improvements thereon from the sum of P100,000.00; this property has an assessed value of P57,517.00 as of 1948; 3. That on April 3, 1944 they purchased from Mrs. Josefa Oppus 21 parcels of land with an aggregate area of 3,718.40 sq. m. including improvements thereon for P130,000.00; this property has an assessed value of P82,255.00 as of 1948; 4. That on April 28, 1944 they purchased from the Insular Investments Inc., a lot of 4,353 sq. m. including improvements

thereon for P108,825.00. This property has an assessed value of P4,983.00 as of 1948; 5. That on April 28, 1944 they bought form Mrs. Valentina Afable a lot of 8,371 sq. m. including improvements thereon for P237,234.34. This property has an assessed value of P59,140.00 as of 1948; 6. That in a document dated August 16, 1945, they appointed their brother Simeon Evangelista to 'manage their properties with full power to lease; to collect and receive rents; to issue receipts therefor; in default of such payment, to bring suits against the defaulting tenants; to sign all letters, contracts, etc., for and in their behalf, and to endorse and deposit all notes and checks for them; 7. That after having bought the above-mentioned real properties the petitioners had the same rented or leases to various tenants; 8. That from the month of March, 1945 up to an including December, 1945, the total amount collected as rents on their real properties was P9,599.00 while the expenses amounted to P3,650.00 thereby leaving them a net rental income of P5,948.33; 9. That on 1946, they realized a gross rental income of in the sum of P24,786.30, out of which amount was deducted in the sum of P16,288.27 for expenses thereby leaving them a net rental income of P7,498.13; 10. That in 1948, they realized a gross rental income of P17,453.00 out of the which amount was deducted the sum of P4,837.65 as expenses, thereby leaving them a net rental income of P12,615.35. It further appears that on September 24, 1954 respondent Collector of Internal Revenue demanded the payment of income tax on corporations, real estate dealer's fixed tax and corporation residence tax for the years 1945-1949, computed, according to assessment made by said officer, as follows: INCOME TAXES

1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Total including surcharge and compromise

14.84 1,144.71 10.34 1,912.30 1,575.90 P6,157.0 9

REAL ESTATE DEALER'S FIXED TAX 1946 1947 1948 1949 Total including penalty P37.50 150.00 150.00 150.00 P527.00

RESIDENCE TAXES OF CORPORATION 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 Total including surcharge TOTAL TAXES DUE P38.75 38.75 38.75 38.75 38.75 P193.75 P6,878.3 4.

Said letter of demand and corresponding assessments were delivered to petitioners on December 3, 1954, whereupon they instituted the present

case in the Court of Tax Appeals, with a prayer that "the decision of the respondent contained in his letter of demand dated September 24, 1954" be reversed, and that they be absolved from the payment of the taxes in question, with costs against the respondent. After appropriate proceedings, the Court of Tax Appeals the abovementioned decision for the respondent, and a petition for reconsideration and new trial having been subsequently denied, the case is now before Us for review at the instance of the petitioners. The issue in this case whether petitioners are subject to the tax on corporations provided for in section 24 of Commonwealth Act. No. 466, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code, as well as to the residence tax for corporations and the real estate dealers fixed tax. With respect to the tax on corporations, the issue hinges on the meaning of the terms "corporation" and "partnership," as used in section 24 and 84 of said Code, the pertinent parts of which read: SEC. 24. Rate of tax on corporations.There shall be levied, assessed, collected, and paid annually upon the total net income received in the preceding taxable year from all sources by every corporation organized in, or existing under the laws of the Philippines, no matter how created or organized but not including duly registered general co-partnerships ( compaias colectivas), a tax upon such income equal to the sum of the following: . . . SEC. 84 (b). The term 'corporation' includes partnerships, no matter how created or organized, joint-stock companies, joint accounts (cuentas en participacion), associations or insurance companies, but does not include duly registered general copartnerships. (compaias colectivas). Article 1767 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides: By the contract of partnership two or more persons bind themselves to contribute money, properly, or industry to a common fund, with the intention of dividing the profits among themselves. Pursuant to the article, the essential elements of a partnership are two, namely: (a) an agreement to contribute money, property or industry to a common fund; and (b) intent to divide the profits among the contracting

parties. The first element is undoubtedly present in the case at bar, for, admittedly, petitioners have agreed to, and did, contribute money and property to a common fund. Hence, the issue narrows down to their intent in acting as they did. Upon consideration of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, we are fully satisfied that their purpose was to engage in real estate transactions for monetary gain and then divide the same among themselves, because: 1. Said common fund was not something they found already in existence. It was not property inherited by them pro indiviso. They created it purposely. What is more they jointly borrowed a substantial portion thereof in order to establish said common fund. 2. They invested the same, not merely not merely in one transaction, but in a series of transactions. On February 2, 1943, they bought a lot for P100,000.00. On April 3, 1944, they purchased 21 lots for P18,000.00. This was soon followed on April 23, 1944, by the acquisition of another real estate for P108,825.00. Five (5) days later (April 28, 1944), they got a fourth lot for P237,234.14. The number of lots (24) acquired and transactions undertaken, as well as the brief interregnum between each, particularly the last three purchases, is strongly indicative of a pattern or common design that was not limited to the conservation and preservation of the aforementioned common fund or even of the property acquired by the petitioners in February, 1943. In other words, one cannot but perceive a character of habitually peculiar to business transactions engaged in the purpose of gain. 3. The aforesaid lots were not devoted to residential purposes, or to other personal uses, of petitioners herein. The properties were leased separately to several persons, who, from 1945 to 1948 inclusive, paid the total sum of P70,068.30 by way of rentals. Seemingly, the lots are still being so let, for petitioners do not even suggest that there has been any change in the utilization thereof. 4. Since August, 1945, the properties have been under the management of one person, namely Simeon Evangelista, with full power to lease, to collect rents, to issue receipts, to bring suits, to sign letters and contracts, and to indorse and deposit notes and checks. Thus, the affairs relative to said properties have been

handled as if the same belonged to a corporation or business and enterprise operated for profit. 5. The foregoing conditions have existed for more than ten (10) years, or, to be exact, over fifteen (15) years, since the first property was acquired, and over twelve (12) years, since Simeon Evangelista became the manager. 6. Petitioners have not testified or introduced any evidence, either on their purpose in creating the set up already adverted to, or on the causes for its continued existence. They did not even try to offer an explanation therefor. Although, taken singly, they might not suffice to establish the intent necessary to constitute a partnership, the collective effect of these circumstances is such as to leave no room for doubt on the existence of said intent in petitioners herein. Only one or two of the aforementioned circumstances were present in the cases cited by petitioners herein, and, hence, those cases are not in point. Petitioners insist, however, that they are mere co-owners, not copartners, for, in consequence of the acts performed by them, a legal entity, with a personality independent of that of its members, did not come into existence, and some of the characteristics of partnerships are lacking in the case at bar. This pretense was correctly rejected by the Court of Tax Appeals. To begin with, the tax in question is one imposed upon "corporations", which, strictly speaking, are distinct and different from "partnerships". When our Internal Revenue Code includes "partnerships" among the entities subject to the tax on "corporations", said Code must allude, therefore, to organizations which are not necessarily "partnerships", in the technical sense of the term. Thus, for instance, section 24 of said Code exempts from the aforementioned tax "duly registered general partnerships which constitute precisely one of the most typical forms of partnerships in this jurisdiction. Likewise, as defined in section 84(b) of said Code, "the term corporation includes partnerships, no matter how created or organized." This qualifying expression clearly indicates that a joint venture need not be undertaken in any of the standard forms, or in conformity with the usual requirements of the law on partnerships, in order that one could be deemed constituted for purposes of the tax on

corporations. Again, pursuant to said section 84(b), the term "corporation" includes, among other, joint accounts, (cuentas en participation)" and "associations," none of which has a legal personality of its own, independent of that of its members . Accordingly, the lawmaker could not have regarded that personality as a condition essential to the existence of the partnerships therein referred to. In fact, as above stated, "duly registered general copartnerships" which are possessed of the aforementioned personality have been expressly excluded by law (sections 24 and 84 [b] from the connotation of the term "corporation" It may not be amiss to add that petitioners' allegation to the effect that their liability in connection with the leasing of the lots above referred to, under the management of one person even if true, on which we express no opinion tends to increase the similarity between the nature of their venture and that corporations, and is, therefore, an additional argument in favor of the imposition of said tax on corporations. Under the Internal Revenue Laws of the United States, "corporations" are taxed differently from "partnerships". By specific provisions of said laws, such "corporations" include "associations, joint-stock companies and insurance companies." However, the term "association" is not used in the aforementioned laws. . . . in any narrow or technical sense. It includes any organization, created for the transaction of designed affairs, or the attainment of some object, which like a corporation, continues notwithstanding that its members or participants change, and the affairs of which, like corporate affairs, are conducted by a single individual, a committee, a board, or some other group, acting in a representative capacity. It is immaterial whether such organization is created by an agreement, a declaration of trust, a statute, or otherwise. It includes a voluntary association, a joint-stock corporation or company, a 'business' trusts a 'Massachusetts' trust, a 'common law' trust, and 'investment' trust (whether of the fixed or the management type), an interinsuarance exchange operating through an attorney in fact, a partnership association, and any other type of organization (by whatever name known) which is not, within the meaning of the Code, a trust or an estate, or a partnership. (7A Mertens Law of Federal Income Taxation, p. 788; emphasis supplied.). Similarly, the American Law.

. . . provides its own concept of a partnership, under the term 'partnership 'it includes not only a partnership as known at common law but, as well, a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture or other unincorporated organizations which carries on any business financial operation, or venture, and which is not, within the meaning of the Code, a trust, estate, or a corporation. . . (7A Merten's Law of Federal Income taxation, p. 789; emphasis supplied.) The term 'partnership' includes a syndicate, group, pool, joint venture or other unincorporated organization, through or by means of which any business, financial operation, or venture is carried on , . . .. ( 8 Merten's Law of Federal Income Taxation, p. 562 Note 63; emphasis supplied.) . For purposes of the tax on corporations, our National Internal Revenue Code, includes these partnerships with the exception only of duly registered general copartnerships within the purview of the term "corporation." It is, therefore, clear to our mind that petitioners herein constitute a partnership, insofar as said Code is concerned and are subject to the income tax for corporations. As regards the residence of tax for corporations, section 2 of Commonwealth Act No. 465 provides in part: Entities liable to residence tax.-Every corporation, no matter how created or organized, whether domestic or resident foreign, engaged in or doing business in the Philippines shall pay an annual residence tax of five pesos and an annual additional tax which in no case, shall exceed one thousand pesos, in accordance with the following schedule: . . . The term 'corporation' as used in this Act includes joint-stock company, partnership, joint account (cuentas en participacion), association or insurance company, no matter how created or organized. (emphasis supplied.) Considering that the pertinent part of this provision is analogous to that of section 24 and 84 (b) of our National Internal Revenue Code (commonwealth Act No. 466), and that the latter was approved on June 15, 1939, the day immediately after the approval of said Commonwealth

Act No. 465 (June 14, 1939), it is apparent that the terms "corporation" and "partnership" are used in both statutes with substantially the same meaning. Consequently, petitioners are subject, also, to the residence tax for corporations. Lastly, the records show that petitioners have habitually engaged in leasing the properties above mentioned for a period of over twelve years, and that the yearly gross rentals of said properties from June 1945 to 1948 ranged from P9,599 to P17,453. Thus, they are subject to the tax provided in section 193 (q) of our National Internal Revenue Code, for "real estate dealers," inasmuch as, pursuant to section 194 (s) thereof: 'Real estate dealer' includes any person engaged in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, leasing, or renting property or his own account as principal and holding himself out as a full or part time dealer in real estate or as an owner of rental property or properties rented or offered to rent for an aggregate amount of three thousand pesos or more a year. . . (emphasis supplied.) Wherefore, the appealed decision of the Court of Tax appeals is hereby affirmed with costs against the petitioners herein. It is so ordered.

ROSARIO, BITO, MISA & LOZADA; on 7 June 1977 to BITO, MISA & LOZADA; on 19 December 1980, [Joaquin L. Misa] appellees Jesus B. Bito and Mariano M. Lozada associated themselves together, as senior partners with respondents-appellees Gregorio F. Ortega, Tomas O. del Castillo, Jr., and Benjamin Bacorro, as junior partners. On February 17, 1988, petitioner-appellant wrote the respondentsappellees a letter stating: I am withdrawing and retiring from the firm of Bito, Misa and Lozada, effective at the end of this month. "I trust that the accountants will be instructed to make the proper liquidation of my participation in the firm." On the same day, petitioner-appellant wrote respondents-appellees another letter stating: "Further to my letter to you today, I would like to have a meeting with all of you with regard to the mechanics of liquidation, and more particularly, my interest in the two floors of this building. I would like to have this resolved soon because it has to do with my own plans." On 19 February 1988, petitioner-appellant wrote respondentsappellees another letter stating: "The partnership has ceased to be mutually satisfactory because of the working conditions of our employees including the assistant attorneys. All my efforts to ameliorate the below subsistence level of the pay scale of our employees have been thwarted by the other partners. Not only have they refused to give meaningful increases to the employees, even attorneys, are dressed down publicly in a loud voice in a manner that deprived them of their self-respect. The result of such policies is the formation of the union, including the assistant attorneys."

G.R. No. 109248 July 3, 1995 GREGORIO F. ORTEGA, TOMAS O. DEL CASTILLO, JR., and BENJAMIN T. BACORRO, petitioners, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and JOAQUIN L. MISA,respondents. The instant petition seeks a review of the decision rendered by the Court of Appeals, dated 26 February 1993, in CA-G.R. SP No. 24638 and No. 24648 affirming in toto that of the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") in SEC AC 254. The antecedents of the controversy, summarized by respondent Commission and quoted at length by the appellate court in its decision, are hereunder restated. The law firm of ROSS, LAWRENCE, SELPH and CARRASCOSO was duly registered in the Mercantile Registry on 4 January 1937 and reconstituted with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 4 August 1948. The SEC records show that there were several subsequent amendments to the articles of partnership on 18 September 1958, to change the firm [name] to ROSS, SELPH and CARRASCOSO; on 6 July 1965 . . . to ROSS, SELPH, SALCEDO, DEL ROSARIO, BITO & MISA; on 18 April 1972 to SALCEDO, DEL ROSARIO, BITO, MISA & LOZADA; on 4 December 1972 to SALCEDO, DEL ROSARIO, BITO, MISA & LOZADA; on 11 March 1977 to DEL

On 30 June 1988, petitioner filed with this Commission's Securities Investigation and Clearing Department (SICD) a petition for dissolution and liquidation of partnership, docketed as SEC Case No. 3384 praying that the Commission: "1. Decree the formal dissolution and order the immediate liquidation of (the partnership of) Bito, Misa & Lozada; "2. Order the respondents to deliver or pay for petitioner's share in the partnership assets plus the profits, rent or interest attributable to the use of his right in the assets of the dissolved partnership; "3. Enjoin respondents from using the firm name of Bito, Misa & Lozada in any of their correspondence, checks and pleadings and to pay petitioners damages for the use thereof despite the dissolution of the partnership in the amount of at least P50,000.00; "4. Order respondents jointly and severally to pay petitioner attorney's fees and expense of litigation in such amounts as maybe proven during the trial and which the Commission may deem just and equitable under the premises but in no case less than ten (10%) per cent of the value of the shares of petitioner or P100,000.00; "5. Order the respondents to pay petitioner moral damages with the amount of P500,000.00 and exemplary damages in the amount of P200,000.00. "Petitioner likewise prayed for such other and further reliefs that the Commission may deem just and equitable under the premises." On 13 July 1988, respondents-appellees filed their opposition to the petition. On 13 July 1988, petitioner filed his Reply to the Opposition.

On 31 March 1989, the hearing officer rendered a decision ruling that: "[P]etitioner's withdrawal from the law firm Bito, Misa & Lozada did not dissolve the said law partnership. Accordingly, the petitioner and respondents are hereby enjoined to abide by the provisions of the Agreement relative to the matter governing the liquidation of the shares of any retiring or withdrawing partner in the partnership interest." 1 On appeal, the SEC en banc reversed the decision of the Hearing Officer and held that the withdrawal of Attorney Joaquin L. Misa had dissolved the partnership of "Bito, Misa & Lozada." The Commission ruled that, being a partnership at will, the law firm could be dissolved by any partner at anytime, such as by his withdrawal therefrom, regardless of good faith or bad faith, since no partner can be forced to continue in the partnership against his will. In its decision, dated 17 January 1990, the SEC held: WHEREFORE, premises considered the appealed order of 31 March 1989 is hereby REVERSED insofar as it concludes that the partnership of Bito, Misa & Lozada has not been dissolved. The case is hereby REMANDED to the Hearing Officer for determination of the respective rights and obligations of the parties. 2 The parties sought a reconsideration of the above decision. Attorney Misa, in addition, asked for an appointment of a receiver to take over the assets of the dissolved partnership and to take charge of the winding up of its affairs. On 4 April 1991, respondent SEC issued an order denying reconsideration, as well as rejecting the petition for receivership, and reiterating the remand of the case to the Hearing Officer. The parties filed with the appellate court separate appeals (docketed CAG.R. SP No. 24638 and CA-G.R. SP No. 24648). During the pendency of the case with the Court of Appeals, Attorney Jesus Bito and Attorney Mariano Lozada both died on, respectively, 05 September 1991 and 21 December 1991. The death of the two partners, as well as the admission of new partners, in the law firm prompted Attorney Misa to renew his application for receivership (in CA G.R. SP No.

24648). He expressed concern over the need to preserve and care for the partnership assets. The other partners opposed the prayer. The Court of Appeals, finding no reversible error on the part of respondent Commission, AFFIRMED in toto the SEC decision and order appealed from. In fine, the appellate court held, per its decision of 26 February 1993, (a) that Atty. Misa's withdrawal from the partnership had changed the relation of the parties and inevitably caused the dissolution of the partnership; (b) that such withdrawal was not in bad faith; (c) that the liquidation should be to the extent of Attorney Misa's interest or participation in the partnership which could be computed and paid in the manner stipulated in the partnership agreement; (d) that the case should be remanded to the SEC Hearing Officer for the corresponding determination of the value of Attorney Misa's share in the partnership assets; and (e) that the appointment of a receiver was unnecessary as no sufficient proof had been shown to indicate that the partnership assets were in any such danger of being lost, removed or materially impaired. In this petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, petitioners confine themselves to the following issues: 1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals has erred in holding that the partnership of Bito, Misa & Lozada (now Bito, Lozada, Ortega & Castillo) is a partnership at will; 2. Whether or not the Court of Appeals has erred in holding that the withdrawal of private respondent dissolved the partnership regardless of his good or bad faith; and 3. Whether or not the Court of Appeals has erred in holding that private respondent's demand for the dissolution of the partnership so that he can get a physical partition of partnership was not made in bad faith; to which matters we shall, accordingly, likewise limit ourselves. A partnership that does not fix its term is a partnership at will. That the law firm "Bito, Misa & Lozada," and now "Bito, Lozada, Ortega and Castillo," is indeed such a partnership need not be unduly belabored. We quote, with approval, like did the appellate court, the findings and disquisition of respondent SEC on this matter; viz:

The partnership agreement (amended articles of 19 August 1948) does not provide for a specified period or undertaking. The "DURATION" clause simply states: "5. DURATION. The partnership shall continue so long as mutually satisfactory and upon the death or legal incapacity of one of the partners, shall be continued by the surviving partners." The hearing officer however opined that the partnership is one for a specific undertaking and hence not a partnership at will, citing paragraph 2 of the Amended Articles of Partnership (19 August 1948): "2. Purpose. The purpose for which the partnership is formed, is to act as legal adviser and representative of any individual, firm and corporation engaged in commercial, industrial or other lawful businesses and occupations; to counsel and advise such persons and entities with respect to their legal and other affairs; and to appear for and represent their principals and client in all courts of justice and government departments and offices in the Philippines, and elsewhere when legally authorized to do so." The "purpose" of the partnership is not the specific undertaking referred to in the law. Otherwise, all partnerships, which necessarily must have a purpose, would all be considered as partnerships for a definite undertaking. There would therefore be no need to provide for articles on partnership at will as none would so exist. Apparently what the law contemplates, is a specific undertaking or "project" which has a definite or definable period of completion. 3 The birth and life of a partnership at will is predicated on the mutual desire and consent of the partners. The right to choose with whom a person wishes to associate himself is the very foundation and essence of that partnership. Its continued existence is, in turn, dependent on the constancy of that mutual resolve, along with each partner's capability to give it, and the absence of a cause for dissolution provided by the law itself. Verily, any one of the partners may, at his sole pleasure, dictate a dissolution of the partnership at will. He must, however, act in good faith,

not that the attendance of bad faith can prevent the dissolution of the partnership 4 but that it can result in a liability for damages. 5 In passing, neither would the presence of a period for its specific duration or the statement of a particular purpose for its creation prevent the dissolution of any partnership by an act or will of a partner. 6 Among partners, 7 mutual agency arises and the doctrine of delectus personae allows them to have the power, although not necessarily theright, to dissolve the partnership. An unjustified dissolution by the partner can subject him to a possible action for damages. The dissolution of a partnership is the change in the relation of the parties caused by any partner ceasing to be associated in the carrying on, as might be distinguished from the winding up of, the business. 8 Upon its dissolution, the partnership continues and its legal personality is retained until the complete winding up of its business culminating in its termination. 9 The liquidation of the assets of the partnership following its dissolution is governed by various provisions of the Civil Code; 10 however, an agreement of the partners, like any other contract, is binding among them and normally takes precedence to the extent applicable over the Code's general provisions. We here take note of paragraph 8 of the "Amendment to Articles of Partnership" reading thusly: . . . In the event of the death or retirement of any partner, his interest in the partnership shall be liquidated and paid in accordance with the existing agreements and his partnership participation shall revert to the Senior Partners for allocation as the Senior Partners may determine; provided, however, that with respect to the two (2) floors of office condominium which the partnership is now acquiring, consisting of the 5th and the 6th floors of the Alpap Building, 140 Alfaro Street, Salcedo Village, Makati, Metro Manila, their true value at the time of such death or retirement shall be determined by two (2) independent appraisers, one to be appointed (by the partnership and the other by the) retiring partner or the heirs of a deceased partner, as the case may be. In the event of any disagreement between the said appraisers a third appraiser will be appointed by them whose decision shall be final. The share of the retiring or deceased partner in the aforementioned two (2) floor office condominium shall be

determined upon the basis of the valuation above mentioned which shall be paid monthly within the first ten (10) days of every month in installments of not less than P20,000.00 for the Senior Partners, P10,000.00 in the case of two (2) existing Junior Partners and P5,000.00 in the case of the new Junior Partner. 11 The term "retirement" must have been used in the articles, as we so hold, in a generic sense to mean the dissociation by a partner, inclusive of resignation or withdrawal, from the partnership that thereby dissolves it. On the third and final issue, we accord due respect to the appellate court and respondent Commission on their common factual finding, i.e., that Attorney Misa did not act in bad faith. Public respondents viewed his withdrawal to have been spurred by "interpersonal conflict" among the partners. It would not be right, we agree, to let any of the partners remain in the partnership under such an atmosphere of animosity; certainly, not against their will. 12Indeed, for as long as the reason for withdrawal of a partner is not contrary to the dictates of justice and fairness, nor for the purpose of unduly visiting harm and damage upon the partnership, bad faith cannot be said to characterize the act. Bad faith, in the context here used, is no different from its normal concept of a conscious and intentional design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or moral obliquity. WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. No pronouncement on costs. SO ORDERED G.R. No. 78133 October 18, 1988 MARIANO P. PASCUAL and RENATO P. DRAGON, petitioners, vs. THE COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE and COURT OF TAX APPEALS, respondents. The distinction between co-ownership and an unregistered partnership or joint venture for income tax purposes is the issue in this petition. On June 22, 1965, petitioners bought two (2) parcels of land from Santiago Bernardino, et al. and on May 28, 1966, they bought another three (3)

parcels of land from Juan Roque. The first two parcels of land were sold by petitioners in 1968 toMarenir Development Corporation, while the three parcels of land were sold by petitioners to Erlinda Reyes and Maria Samson on March 19,1970. Petitioners realized a net profit in the sale made in 1968 in the amount of P165,224.70, while they realized a net profit of P60,000.00 in the sale made in 1970. The corresponding capital gains taxes were paid by petitioners in 1973 and 1974 by availing of the tax amnesties granted in the said years. However, in a letter dated March 31, 1979 of then Acting BIR Commissioner Efren I. Plana, petitioners were assessed and required to pay a total amount of P107,101.70 as alleged deficiency corporate income taxes for the years 1968 and 1970. Petitioners protested the said assessment in a letter of June 26, 1979 asserting that they had availed of tax amnesties way back in 1974. In a reply of August 22, 1979, respondent Commissioner informed petitioners that in the years 1968 and 1970, petitioners as co-owners in the real estate transactions formed an unregistered partnership or joint venture taxable as a corporation under Section 20(b) and its income was subject to the taxes prescribed under Section 24, both of the National Internal Revenue Code 1 that the unregistered partnership was subject to corporate income tax as distinguished from profits derived from the partnership by them which is subject to individual income tax; and that the availment of tax amnesty under P.D. No. 23, as amended, by petitioners relieved petitioners of their individual income tax liabilities but did not relieve them from the tax liability of the unregistered partnership. Hence, the petitioners were required to pay the deficiency income tax assessed. Petitioners filed a petition for review with the respondent Court of Tax Appeals docketed as CTA Case No. 3045. In due course, the respondent court by a majority decision of March 30, 1987, 2 affirmed the decision and action taken by respondent commissioner with costs against petitioners. It ruled that on the basis of the principle enunciated in Evangelista 3 an unregistered partnership was in fact formed by petitioners which like a corporation was subject to corporate income tax distinct from that imposed on the partners.

In a separate dissenting opinion, Associate Judge Constante Roaquin stated that considering the circumstances of this case, although there might in fact be a co-ownership between the petitioners, there was no adequate basis for the conclusion that they thereby formed an unregistered partnership which made "hem liable for corporate income tax under the Tax Code. Hence, this petition wherein petitioners invoke as basis thereof the following alleged errors of the respondent court: A. IN HOLDING AS PRESUMPTIVELY CORRECT THE DETERMINATION OF THE RESPONDENT COMMISSIONER, TO THE EFFECT THAT PETITIONERS FORMED AN UNREGISTERED PARTNERSHIP SUBJECT TO CORPORATE INCOME TAX, AND THAT THE BURDEN OF OFFERING EVIDENCE IN OPPOSITION THERETO RESTS UPON THE PETITIONERS. B. IN MAKING A FINDING, SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF ISOLATED SALE TRANSACTIONS, THAT AN UNREGISTERED PARTNERSHIP EXISTED THUS IGNORING THE REQUIREMENTS LAID DOWN BY LAW THAT WOULD WARRANT THE PRESUMPTION/CONCLUSION THAT A PARTNERSHIP EXISTS. C. IN FINDING THAT THE INSTANT CASE IS SIMILAR TO THE EVANGELISTA CASE AND THEREFORE SHOULD BE DECIDED ALONGSIDE THE EVANGELISTA CASE. D. IN RULING THAT THE TAX AMNESTY DID NOT RELIEVE THE PETITIONERS FROM PAYMENT OF OTHER TAXES FOR THE PERIOD COVERED BY SUCH AMNESTY. (pp. 12-13, Rollo.) The petition is meritorious. The basis of the subject decision of the respondent court is the ruling of this Court in Evangelista. 4 In the said case, petitioners borrowed a sum of money from their father which together with their own personal funds they used in buying several real properties. They appointed their brother to manage their properties with full power to lease, collect, rent, issue receipts, etc. They had the real properties rented or leased to various tenants for several years and they

gained net profits from the rental income. Thus, the Collector of Internal Revenue demanded the payment of income tax on a corporation, among others, from them. In resolving the issue, this Court held as follows: The issue in this case is whether petitioners are subject to the tax on corporations provided for in section 24 of Commonwealth Act No. 466, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code, as well as to the residence tax for corporations and the real estate dealers' fixed tax. With respect to the tax on corporations, the issue hinges on the meaning of the terms corporation and partnership as used in sections 24 and 84 of said Code, the pertinent parts of which read: Sec. 24. Rate of the tax on corporations.There shall be levied, assessed, collected, and paid annually upon the total net income received in the preceding taxable year from all sources by every corporation organized in, or existing under the laws of the Philippines, no matter how created or organized but not including duly registered general copartnerships (companies collectives), a tax upon such income equal to the sum of the following: ... Sec. 84(b). The term "corporation" includes partnerships, no matter how created or organized, joint-stock companies, joint accounts (cuentas en participation), associations or insurance companies, but does not include duly registered general co-partnerships (companies colectivas). Article 1767 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides: By the contract of partnership two or more persons bind themselves to contribute money, property, or industry to a common fund, with the intention of dividing the profits among themselves. Pursuant to this article, the essential elements of a partnership are two, namely: (a) an agreement to contribute money, property or industry to a common fund; and (b)

intent to divide the profits among the contracting parties . The first element is undoubtedly present in the case at bar, for, admittedly, petitioners have agreed to, and did, contribute money and property to a common fund. Hence, the issue narrows down to their intent in acting as they did . Upon consideration of all the facts and circumstances surrounding the case, we are fully satisfied that their purpose was to engage in real estate transactions for monetary gain and then divide the same among themselves , because: 1. Said common fund was not something they found already in existence. It was not a property inherited by them pro indiviso. They created it purposely. What is more they jointly borrowed a substantial portion thereof in order to establish said common fund. 2. They invested the same, not merely in one transaction, but in a series of transactions . On February 2, 1943, they bought a lot for P100,000.00. On April 3, 1944, they purchased 21 lots for P18,000.00. This was soon followed, on April 23, 1944, by the acquisition of another real estate for P108,825.00. Five (5) days later (April 28, 1944), they got a fourth lot for P237,234.14. The number of lots (24) acquired and transcations undertaken, as well as the brief interregnum between each, particularly the last three purchases, is strongly indicative of a pattern or common design that was not limited to the conservation and preservation of the aforementioned common fund or even of the property acquired by petitioners in February, 1943. In other words, one cannot but perceive a character of habituality peculiar to business transactions engaged in for purposes of gain. 3. The aforesaid lots were not devoted to residential purposes or to other personal uses, of petitioners herein . The properties were leased separately to several persons, who, from 1945 to 1948 inclusive, paid the total sum of P70,068.30 by way of rentals. Seemingly, the lots are still being so let, for petitioners do not even suggest that there has been any change in the utilization thereof.

4. Since August, 1945, the properties have been under the management of one person, namely, Simeon Evangelists, with full power to lease, to collect rents, to issue receipts, to bring suits, to sign letters and contracts, and to indorse and deposit notes and checks. Thus, the affairs relative to said properties have been handled as if the same belonged to a corporation or business enterprise operated for profit. 5. The foregoing conditions have existed for more than ten (10) years, or, to be exact, over fifteen (15) years, since the first property was acquired, and over twelve (12) years, since Simeon Evangelists became the manager. 6. Petitioners have not testified or introduced any evidence, either on their purpose in creating the set up already adverted to, or on the causes for its continued existence. They did not even try to offer an explanation therefor. Although, taken singly, they might not suffice to establish the intent necessary to constitute a partnership, the collective effect of these circumstances is such as to leave no room for doubt on the existence of said intent in petitioners herein. Only one or two of the aforementioned circumstances were present in the cases cited by petitioners herein, and, hence, those cases are not in point. 5 In the present case, there is no evidence that petitioners entered into an agreement to contribute money, property or industry to a common fund, and that they intended to divide the profits among themselves. Respondent commissioner and/ or his representative just assumed these conditions to be present on the basis of the fact that petitioners purchased certain parcels of land and became co-owners thereof. In Evangelists, there was a series of transactions where petitioners purchased twenty-four (24) lots showing that the purpose was not limited to the conservation or preservation of the common fund or even the properties acquired by them. The character of habituality peculiar to business transactions engaged in for the purpose of gain was present . In the instant case, petitioners bought two (2) parcels of land in 1965. They did not sell the same nor make any improvements thereon. In 1966,

they bought another three (3) parcels of land from one seller. It was only 1968 when they sold the two (2) parcels of land after which they did not make any additional or new purchase. The remaining three (3) parcels were sold by them in 1970. The transactions were isolated. The character of habituality peculiar to business transactions for the purpose of gain was not present. In Evangelista, the properties were leased out to tenants for several years. The business was under the management of one of the partners. Such condition existed for over fifteen (15) years. None of the circumstances are present in the case at bar. The co-ownership started only in 1965 and ended in 1970. Thus, in the concurring opinion of Mr. Justice Angelo Bautista in Evangelista he said: I wish however to make the following observation Article 1769 of the new Civil Code lays down the rule for determining when a transaction should be deemed a partnership or a co-ownership. Said article paragraphs 2 and 3, provides; (2) Co-ownership or co-possession does not itself establish a partnership, whether such co-owners or co-possessors do or do not share any profits made by the use of the property; (3) The sharing of gross returns does not of itself establish a partnership, whether or not the persons sharing them have a joint or common right or interest in any property from which the returns are derived; From the above it appears that the fact that those who agree to form a co- ownership share or do not share any profits made by the use of the property held in common does not convert their venture into a partnership. Or the sharing of the gross returns does not of itself establish a partnership whether or not the persons sharing therein have a joint or common right or interest in the property. This only means that, aside from the circumstance of profit, the presence of other elements constituting partnership is necessary, such as the clear intent to form a partnership, the existence of a

juridical personality different from that of the individual partners, and the freedom to transfer or assign any interest in the property by one with the consent of the others (Padilla, Civil Code of the Philippines Annotated, Vol. I, 1953 ed., pp. 635-636) It is evident that an isolated transaction whereby two or more persons contribute funds to buy certain real estate for profit in the absence of other circumstances showing a contrary intention cannot be considered a partnership. Persons who contribute property or funds for a common enterprise and agree to share the gross returns of that enterprise in proportion to their contribution, but who severally retain the title to their respective contribution, are not thereby rendered partners. They have no common stock or capital, and no community of interest as principal proprietors in the business itself which the proceeds derived. (Elements of the Law of Partnership by Flord D. Mechem 2nd Ed., section 83, p. 74.) A joint purchase of land, by two, does not constitute a copartnership in respect thereto; nor does an agreement to share the profits and losses on the sale of land create a partnership; the parties are only tenants in common. (Clark vs. Sideway, 142 U.S. 682,12 Ct. 327, 35 L. Ed., 1157.) Where plaintiff, his brother, and another agreed to become owners of a single tract of realty, holding as tenants in common, and to divide the profits of disposing of it, the brother and the other not being entitled to share in plaintiffs commission, no partnership existed as between the three parties, whatever their relation may have been as to third parties. (Magee vs. Magee 123 N.E. 673, 233 Mass. 341.) In order to constitute a partnership inter sese there must be: (a) An intent to form the same; (b) generally participating in both profits and losses; (c) and such a community of interest, as far as third persons are concerned as enables each party to make contract, manage the business, and dispose of the

whole property.-Municipal Paving Co. vs. Herring 150 P. 1067, 50 III 470.) The common ownership of property does not itself create a partnership between the owners, though they may use it for the purpose of making gains; and they may, without becoming partners, agree among themselves as to the management, and use of such property and the application of the proceeds therefrom. (Spurlock vs. Wilson, 142 S.W. 363,160 No. App. 14.) 6 The sharing of returns does not in itself establish a partnership whether or not the persons sharing therein have a joint or common right or interest in the property. There must be a clear intent to form a partnership, the existence of a juridical personality different from the individual partners, and the freedom of each party to transfer or assign the whole property. In the present case, there is clear evidence of co-ownership between the petitioners. There is no adequate basis to support the proposition that they thereby formed an unregistered partnership. The two isolated transactions whereby they purchased properties and sold the same a few years thereafter did not thereby make them partners. They shared in the gross profits as co- owners and paid their capital gains taxes on their net profits and availed of the tax amnesty thereby. Under the circumstances, they cannot be considered to have formed an unregistered partnership which is thereby liable for corporate income tax, as the respondent commissioner proposes. And even assuming for the sake of argument that such unregistered partnership appears to have been formed, since there is no such existing unregistered partnership with a distinct personality nor with assets that can be held liable for said deficiency corporate income tax, then petitioners can be held individually liable as partners for this unpaid obligation of the partnership p. 7 However, as petitioners have availed of the benefits of tax amnesty as individual taxpayers in these transactions, they are thereby relieved of any further tax liability arising therefrom. WHEREFROM, the petition is hereby GRANTED and the decision of the respondent Court of Tax Appeals of March 30, 1987 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and another decision is hereby rendered relieving

petitioners of the corporate income tax liability in this case, without pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. G.R. No. L-35469 March 17, 1932 E. S. LYONS, plaintiff-appellant, vs. C. W. ROSENSTOCK, Executor of the Estate of Henry W. Elser, deceased, defendant-appellee. This action was institute in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila, by E. S. Lyons against C. W. Rosenstock, as executor of the estate of H. W. Elser, deceased, consequent upon the taking of an appeal by the executor from the allowance of the claim sued upon by the committee on claims in said estate. The purpose of the action is to recover four hundred forty-six and two thirds shares of the stock of J. K. Pickering & Co., Ltd., together with the sum of about P125,000, representing the dividends which accrued on said stock prior to October 21, 1926, with lawful interest. Upon hearing the cause the trial court absolved the defendant executor from the complaint, and the plaintiff appealed. Prior to his death on June 18, 1923, Henry W. Elser had been a resident of the City of Manila where he was engaged during the years with which we are here concerned in buying, selling, and administering real estate. In several ventures which he had made in buying and selling property of this kind the plaintiff, E. S. Lyons, had joined with him, the profits being shared by the two in equal parts. In April, 1919, Lyons, whose regular vocation was that of a missionary, or missionary agent, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, went on leave to the United States and was gone for nearly a year and a half, returning on September 21, 1920. On the eve of his departure Elser made a written statements showing that Lyons was, at that time, half owner with Elser of three particular pieces of real property. Concurrently with this act Lyons execute in favor of Elser a general power of attorney empowering him to manage and dispose of said properties at will and to represent Lyons fully and amply, to the mutual advantage of both. During the absence of Lyons two of the pieces of property above referred to were sold by Elser, leaving in his hands a single piece of property located at 616-618 Carried Street, in the City of Manila, containing about 282 square meters of land, with the improvements thereon. In the spring of 1920 the attention of Elser was drawn to a piece of land, containing about 1,500,000 square meters, near the City of Manila, and he discerned therein a fine opportunity for the promotion and development of

a suburban improvement. This property, which will be herein referred to as the San Juan Estate, was offered by its owners for P570,000. To afford a little time for maturing his plans, Elser purchased an option on this property for P5,000, and when this option was about to expire without his having been able to raise the necessary funds, he paid P15,000 more for an extension of the option, with the understanding in both cases that, in case the option should be exercised, the amounts thus paid should be credited as part of the first payment. The amounts paid for this option and its extension were supplied by Elser entirely from his own funds. In the end he was able from his own means, and with the assistance which he obtained from others, to acquire said estate. The amount required for the first payment was P150,000, and as Elser had available only about P120,000, including the P20,000 advanced upon the option, it was necessary to raise the remainder by obtaining a loan for P50,000. This amount was finally obtained from a Chinese merchant of the city named Uy Siuliong. This loan was secured through Uy Cho Yee, a son of the lender; and in order to get the money it was necessary for Elser not only to give a personal note signed by himself and his two associates in the projected enterprise, but also by the Fidelity & Surety Company. The money thus raised was delivered to Elser by Uy Siuliong on June 24, 1920. With this money and what he already had in bank Elser purchased the San Juan Estate on or about June 28, 1920. For the purpose of the further development of the property a limited partnership had, about this time, been organized by Elser and three associates, under the name of J. K. Pickering & Company; and when the transfer of the property was effected the deed was made directly to this company. As Elser was the principal capitalist in the enterprise he received by far the greater number of the shares issued, his portion amount in the beginning to 3,290 shares. While these negotiations were coming to a head, Elser contemplated and hoped that Lyons might be induced to come in with him and supply part of the means necessary to carry the enterprise through. In this connection it appears that on May 20, 1920, Elser wrote Lyons a letter, informing him that he had made an offer for a big subdivision and that, if it should be acquired and Lyons would come in, the two would be well fixed. (Exhibit M-5.) On June 3, 1920, eight days before the first option expired, Elser cabled Lyons that he had bought the San Juan Estate and thought it advisable for Lyons to resign (Exhibit M-13), meaning that he should resign his position with the mission board in New York. On the same date he wrote Lyons a letter explaining some details of the purchase, and added "have advised in my cable that you resign and I hope you can do so immediately and will come and join me on the lines we have so often

spoken about. . . . There is plenty of business for us all now and I believe we have started something that will keep us going for some time." In one or more communications prior to this, Elser had sought to impress Lyons with the idea that he should raise all the money he could for the purpose of giving the necessary assistance in future deals in real estate. The enthusiasm of Elser did not communicate itself in any marked degree to Lyons, and found him averse from joining in the purchase of the San Juan Estate. In fact upon this visit of Lyons to the United States a grave doubt had arisen as to whether he would ever return to Manila, and it was only in the summer of 1920 that the board of missions of his church prevailed upon him to return to Manila and resume his position as managing treasurer and one of its trustees. Accordingly, on June 21, 1920, Lyons wrote a letter from New York thanking Elser for his offer to take Lyons into his new project and adding that from the standpoint of making money, he had passed up a good thing. One source of embarrassment which had operated on Lyson to bring him to the resolution to stay out of this venture, was that the board of mission was averse to his engaging in business activities other than those in which the church was concerned; and some of Lyons' missionary associates had apparently been criticizing his independent commercial activities. This fact was dwelt upon in the letter above-mentioned. Upon receipt of this letter Elser was of course informed that it would be out of the question to expect assistance from Lyons in carrying out the San Juan project. No further efforts to this end were therefore made by Elser. When Elser was concluding the transaction for the purchase of the San Juan Estate, his book showed that he was indebted to Lyons to the extent of, possibly, P11,669.72, which had accrued to Lyons from profits and earnings derived from other properties; and when the J. K. Pickering & Company was organized and stock issued, Elser indorsed to Lyons 200 of the shares allocated to himself, as he then believed that Lyons would be one of his associates in the deal. It will be noted that the par value of these 200 shares was more than P8,000 in excess of the amount which Elser in fact owed to Lyons; and when the latter returned to the Philippine Islands, he accepted these shares and sold them for his own benefit. It seems to be supposed in the appellant's brief that the transfer of these shares to Lyons by Elser supplies some sort of basis for the present action, or at least strengthens the considerations involved in a feature of the case to be presently explained. This view is manifestly untenable, since the

ratification of the transaction by Lyons and the appropriation by him of the shares which were issued to him leaves no ground whatever for treating the transaction as a source of further equitable rights in Lyons. We should perhaps add that after Lyons' return to the Philippine Islands he acted for a time as one of the members of the board of directors of the J. K. Pickering & Company, his qualification for this office being derived precisely from the ownership of these shares. We now turn to the incident which supplies the main basis of this action. It will be remembered that, when Elser obtained the loan of P50,000 to complete the amount needed for the first payment on the San Juan Estate, the lender, Uy Siuliong, insisted that he should procure the signature of the Fidelity & Surety Co. on the note to be given for said loan. But before signing the note with Elser and his associates, the Fidelity & Surety Co. insisted upon having security for the liability thus assumed by it. To meet this requirements Elser mortgaged to the Fidelity & Surety Co. the equity of redemption in the property owned by himself and Lyons on Carriedo Street. This mortgage was executed on June 30, 1920, at which time Elser expected that Lyons would come in on the purchase of the San Juan Estate. But when he learned from the letter from Lyons of July 21, 1920, that the latter had determined not to come into this deal, Elser began to cast around for means to relieve the Carriedo property of the encumbrance which he had placed upon it. For this purpose, on September 9, 1920, he addressed a letter to the Fidelity & Surety Co., asking it to permit him to substitute a property owned by himself at 644 M. H. del Pilar Street, Manila, and 1,000 shares of the J. K. Pickering & Company, in lieu of the Carriedo property, as security. The Fidelity & Surety Co. agreed to the proposition; and on September 15, 1920, Elser executed in favor of the Fidelity & Surety Co. a new mortgage on the M. H. del Pillar property and delivered the same, with 1,000 shares of J. K. Pickering & Company, to said company. The latter thereupon in turn executed a cancellation of the mortgage on the Carriedo property and delivered it to Elser. But notwithstanding the fact that these documents were executed and delivered, the new mortgage and the release of the old were never registered; and on September 25, 1920, thereafter, Elser returned the cancellation of the mortgage on the Carriedo property and took back from the Fidelity & Surety Co. the new mortgage on the M. H. del Pilar property, together with the 1,000 shares of the J. K. Pickering & Company which he had delivered to it. The explanation of this change of purpose is undoubtedly to be found in the fact that Lyons had arrived in Manila on September 21, 1920, and

shortly thereafter, in the course of a conversation with Elser told him to let the Carriedo mortgage remain on the property ("Let the Carriedo mortgage ride"). Mrs. Elser testified to the conversation in which Lyons used the words above quoted, and as that conversation supplies the most reasonable explanation of Elser's recession from his purpose of relieving the Carriedo property, the trial court was, in our opinion, well justified in accepting as a proven fact the consent of Lyons for the mortgage to remain on the Carriedo property. This concession was not only reasonable under the circumstances, in view of the abundant solvency of Elser, but in view of the further fact that Elser had given to Lyons 200 shares of the stock of the J. K. Pickering & Co., having a value of nearly P8,000 in excess of the indebtedness which Elser had owed to Lyons upon statement of account. The trial court found in effect that the excess value of these shares over Elser's actual indebtedness was conceded by Elser to Lyons in consideration of the assistance that had been derived from the mortgage placed upon Lyon's interest in the Carriedo property. Whether the agreement was reached exactly upon this precise line of thought is of little moment, but the relations of the parties had been such that it was to be expected that Elser would be generous; and he could scarcely have failed to take account of the use he had made of the joint property of the two. As the development of the San Juan Estate was a success from the start, Elser paid the note of P50,000 to Uy Siuliong on January 18, 1921, although it was not due until more than five months later. It will thus be seen that the mortgaging of the Carriedo property never resulted in damage to Lyons to the extent of a single cent; and although the court refused to allow the defendant to prove the Elser was solvent at this time in an amount much greater than the entire encumbrance placed upon the property, it is evident that the risk imposed upon Lyons was negligible. It is also plain that no money actually deriving from this mortgage was ever applied to the purchase of the San Juan Estate. What really happened was the Elser merely subjected the property to a contingent liability, and no actual liability ever resulted therefrom. The financing of the purchase of the San Juan Estate, apart from the modest financial participation of his three associates in the San Juan deal, was the work of Elser accomplished entirely upon his own account. The case for the plaintiff supposes that, when Elser placed a mortgage for P50,000 upon the equity of redemption in the Carriedo property, Lyons, as half owner of said property, became, as it were, involuntarily the owner of an undivided interest in the property acquired partly by that money; and it

is insisted for him that, in consideration of this fact, he is entitled to the four hundred forty-six and two-thirds shares of J. K. Pickering & Company, with the earnings thereon, as claimed in his complaint. Lyons tells us that he did not know until after Elser's death that the money obtained from Uy Siuliong in the manner already explained had been used to held finance the purchase of the San Juan Estate. He seems to have supposed that the Carried property had been mortgaged to aid in putting through another deal, namely, the purchase of a property referred to in the correspondence as the "Ronquillo property"; and in this connection a letter of Elser of the latter part of May, 1920, can be quoted in which he uses this language: As stated in cablegram I have arranged for P50,000 loan on Carriedo property. Will use part of the money for Ronquillo buy (P60,000) if the owner comes through. Other correspondence shows that Elser had apparently been trying to buy the Ronquillo property, and Lyons leads us to infer that he thought that the money obtained by mortgaging the Carriedo property had been used in the purchase of this property. It doubtedless appeared so to him in the retrospect, but certain consideration show that he was inattentive to the contents of the quotation from the letter above given. He had already been informed that, although Elser was angling for the Ronquillo property, its price had gone up, thus introducing a doubt as to whether he could get it; and the quotation above given shows that the intended use of the money obtained by mortgaging the Carriedo property was that only part of the P50,000 thus obtained would be used in this way, if the deal went through. Naturally, upon the arrival of Lyons in September, 1920, one of his first inquiries would have been, if he did not know before, what was the status of the proposed trade for the Ronquillo property. Elser's widow and one of his clerks testified that about June 15, 1920, Elser cabled Lyons something to this effect;: "I have mortgaged the property on Carriedo Street, secured by my personal note. You are amply protected. I wish you to join me in the San Juan Subdivision. Borrow all money you can." Lyons says that no such cablegram was received by him, and we consider this point of fact of little moment, since the proof shows that Lyons knew that the Carriedo mortgage had been executed, and after his arrival in Manila he consented for the mortgage to remain on the property until it was paid off, as shortly occurred. It may well be that

Lyons did not at first clearly understand all the ramifications of the situation, but he knew enough, we think, to apprise him of the material factors in the situation, and we concur in the conclusion of the trial court that Elser did not act in bad faith and was guilty of no fraud. In the purely legal aspect of the case, the position of the appellant is, in our opinion, untenable. If Elser had used any money actually belonging to Lyons in this deal, he would under article 1724 of the Civil Code and article 264 of the Code of Commerce, be obligated to pay interest upon the money so applied to his own use. Under the law prevailing in this jurisdiction a trust does not ordinarily attach with respect to property acquired by a person who uses money belonging to another (Martinez vs. Martinez, 1 Phil., 647; Enriquez vs. Olaguer, 25 Phil., 641.). Of course, if an actual relation of partnership had existed in the money used, the case might be difference; and much emphasis is laid in the appellant's brief upon the relation of partnership which, it is claimed, existed. But there was clearly no general relation of partnership, under article 1678 of the Civil Code. It is clear that Elser, in buying the San Juan Estate, was not acting for any partnership composed of himself and Lyons, and the law cannot be distorted into a proposition which would make Lyons a participant in this deal contrary to his express determination. It seems to be supposed that the doctrines of equity worked out in the jurisprudence of England and the United States with reference to trust supply a basis for this action. The doctrines referred to operate, however, only where money belonging to one person is used by another for the acquisition of property which should belong to both; and it takes but little discernment to see that the situation here involved is not one for the application of that doctrine, for no money belonging to Lyons or any partnership composed of Elser and Lyons was in fact used by Elser in the purchase of the San Juan Estate. Of course, if any damage had been caused to Lyons by the placing of the mortgage upon the equity of redemption in the Carriedo property, Elser's estate would be liable for such damage. But it is evident that Lyons was not prejudice by that act. The appellee insist that the trial court committed error in admitting the testimony of Lyons upon matters that passed between him and Elser while the latter was still alive. While the admission of this testimony was of questionable propriety, any error made by the trial court on this point was error without injury, and the determination of the question is not

necessary to this decision. We therefore pass the point without further discussion. The judgment appealed from will be affirmed, and it is so ordered, with costs against the appellant.

The resolution of these questions would significantly mark a difference in the lives of herein petitioners. The Facts Balgamelo Cabiling Ma (Balgamelo), Felix Cabiling Ma, Jr. (Felix, Jr.), Valeriano Cabiling Ma (Valeriano), Lechi Ann Ma (Lechi Ann), Arceli Ma (Arceli), Nicolas Ma (Nicolas), and Isidro Ma (Isidro) are the children of Felix (Yao Kong) Ma,[1] a Taiwanese, and Dolores Sillona Cabiling, a Filipina.[2] Records reveal that petitioners Felix, Jr., Balgamelo and Valeriano were all born under aegis of the 1935 Philippine Constitution in the years 1948, 1951, and 1957, respectively.[3] They were all raised in the Philippines and have resided in this country for almost sixty (60) years; they spent their whole lives, studied and received their primary and secondary education in the country; they do not speak nor understand the Chinese language, have not set foot in Taiwan, and do not know any relative of their father; they have not even traveled abroad; and they have already raised their respective families in the Philippines.[4] During their age of minority, they secured from the Bureau of Immigration their Alien Certificates of Registration (ACRs). [5] Immediately upon reaching the age of twenty-one, they claimed Philippine citizenship in accordance with Section 1(4), Article IV, of the 1935 Constitution, which provides that (t)hose whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship are citizens of the Philippines. Thus, on 15 August 1969, Felix, Jr. executed his affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and took his oath of allegiance before then Judge Jose L. Gonzalez, Municipal Judge, Surigao, Surigao del Norte. [6] On 14 January 1972, Balgamelo did the same before Atty. Patrocinio C. Filoteo, Notary Public, SurigaoCity, Surigao del Norte.[7] In 1978, Valeriano took his oath of allegiance before then Judge Salvador C. Sering, City Court of Surigao City, the fact of which the latter attested to in his Affidavit of 7 March 2005.[8] Having taken their oath of allegiance as Philippine citizens, petitioners, however, failed to have the necessary documents registered in the civil registry as required under Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No.

G.R. No. 183133

July 26, 2010

BALGAMELO CABILING MA, FELIX CABILING MA, JR., andVALERIANO CABILING MA, Petitioners, -versusCOMMISSIONER ALIPIO F. FERNANDEZ, JR., ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER ARTHEL B. CARONOGAN, ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER JOSE DL. CABOCHAN, ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER TEODORO B. DELARMENTE AND ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER FRANKLIN Z. LITTAUA, in their capacities as Chairman and Members of the Board of Commissioners (Bureau of Immigration), and MAT G. CATRAL, Respondents. Should children born under the 1935 Constitution of a Filipino mother and an alien father, who executed an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and took their oath of allegiance to the government upon reaching the age of majority, but who failed to immediately file the documents of election with the nearest civil registry, be considered foreign nationals subject to deportation as undocumented aliens for failure to obtain alien certificates of registration? Positioned upon the facts of this case, the question is translated into the inquiry whether or not the omission negates their rights to Filipino citizenship as children of a Filipino mother, and erase the years lived and spent as Filipinos.

625 (An Act Providing the Manner in which the Option to Elect Philippine Citizenship shall be Declared by a Person whose Mother is a Filipino Citizen). It was only on 27 July 2005 or more than thirty (30) years after they elected Philippine citizenship that Balgamelo and Felix, Jr. did so. [9] On the other hand, there is no showing that Valeriano complied with the registration requirement. Individual certifications[10] all dated 3 January 2005 issued by the Office of the City Election Officer, Commission on Elections, Surigao City, show that all of them are registered voters of Barangay Washington, Precinct No. 0015A since June 1997, and that records on previous registrations are no longer available because of the mandatory general registration every ten (10) years. Moreover, aside from exercising their right of suffrage, Balgamelo is one of the incumbent Barangay Kagawadsin Barangay Washington, Surigao City.[11] Records further reveal that Lechi Ann and Arceli were born also in Surigao City in 1953[12] and 1959,[13] respectively. The Office of the City Civil Registrar issued a Certification to the effect that the documents showing that Arceli elected Philippine citizenship on 27 January 1986 were registered in its Office on 4 February 1986. However, no other supporting documents appear to show that Lechi Ann initially obtained an ACR nor that she subsequently elected Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. Likewise, no document exists that will provide information on the citizenship of Nicolas and Isidro. The Complaint On 16 February 2004, the Bureau of Immigration received the Complaint-Affidavit[14] of a certain Mat G. Catral (Mr. Catral), alleging that Felix (Yao Kong) Ma and his seven (7) children are undesirable and overstaying aliens. Mr. Catral, however, did not participate in the proceedings, and the Ma family could not but believe that the complaint against them was politically motivated because they strongly supported a candidate in Surigao City in the 2004 National and Local Elections.[15] On 9 November 2004, the Legal Department of the Bureau of Immigration charged them for violation of Sections 37(a)(7) [16] and 45(e) [17] of Commonwealth Act No. 613, otherwise known as the Philippine Immigration Act of 1940, as amended. The Charge Sheet[18] docketed as BSI-D.C. No. AFF-04-574 (OC-STF-04-09/23-1416) reads, in part:

That Respondents x x x, all Chinese nationals, failed and continuously failed to present any valid document to show their respective status in the Philippines. They likewise failed to produce documents to show their election of Philippines (sic) citizenship, hence, undocumented and overstaying foreign nationals in the country. That respondents, being aliens, misrepresent themselves as Philippine citizens in order to evade the requirements of the immigration laws. Ruling of the Board of Commissioners, Bureau of Immigration After Felix Ma and his seven (7) children were afforded the opportunity to refute the allegations, the Board of Commissioners (Board) of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), composed of the public respondents, rendered a Judgment dated 2 February 2005 finding that Felix Ma and his children violated Commonwealth Act No. 613, Sections 37(a)(7) and 45(e) in relation to BI Memorandum Order Nos. ADD-01-031 and ADD-01-035 dated 6 and 22 August 2001, respectively.[19] The Board ruled that since they elected Philippine citizenship after the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 625, which was approved on 7 June 1941, they were governed by the following rules and regulations: 1. Section 1 of Commonwealth Act No. 625, providing that the election of Philippine citizenship embodied in a statement sworn before any officer authorized to administer oaths and the oath of allegiance shall be filed with the nearest civil registry; [20] and Commission of Immigration and Deportation (CID, now Bureau of Immigration [BI]) Circular dated 12 April 1954,[21] detailing the procedural requirements in the registration of the election of Philippine citizenship. 2. Memorandum Order dated 18 August 1956[22] of the CID, requiring the filing of a petition for the cancellation of their alien certificate of registration with the CID, in view of their election of Philippine citizenship; 3. Department of Justice (DOJ) Opinion No. 182, 19 August 1982; and DOJ Guidelines, 27 March 1985, requiring that the records of the

proceedings be forwarded to the Ministry (now the Department) of Justice for final determination and review.[23] As regards the documentation of aliens in the Philippines, Administrative Order No. 1-93 of the Bureau of Immigration[24] requires that ACR, E-series, be issued to foreign nationals who apply for initial registration, finger printing and issuance of an ACR in accordance with the Alien Registration Act of 1950. [25] According to public respondents, any foreign national found in possession of an ACR other than the E-series shall be considered improperly documented aliens and may be proceeded against in accordance with the Immigration Act of 1940 or the Alien Registration Act of 1950, as amended. [26] Supposedly for failure to comply with the procedure to prove a valid claim to Philippine citizenship via election proceedings, public respondents concluded that Felix, Jr. Balgamelo, Arceli, Valeriano and Lechi Ann are undocumented and/or improperly documented aliens.[27] Nicolas and Isidro, on the other hand, did not submit any document to support their claim that they are Philippine citizens. Neither did they present any evidence to show that they are properly documented aliens. For these reasons, public respondents likewise deemed them undocumented and/or improperly documented aliens. [28] The dispositive portion[29] of the Judgment of 2 February 2005 reads: 1. Subject to the submission of appropriate clearances, summary deportation of Felix (Yao Kong) Ma, Felix Ma, Jr., Balgamelo Ma, Valeriano Ma, Lechi Ann Ma, Nicolas Ma, Arceli Ma and Isidro Ma, Taiwanese [Chinese], under C.A. No. 613, Sections 37(a)(7), 45(e) and 38 in relation to BI M.O. Nos. ADD-01-031 and ADD01-035 dated 6 and 22 August 2001, respectively; Issuance of a warrant of deportation against Felix (Yao Kong) Ma, Felix Ma, Jr., Balgamelo Ma, Valeriano Ma, Lechi Ann Ma, Nicolas Ma, Arceli Ma and Isidro Ma under C.A. No. 613, Section 37(a); Inclusion of the names of Felix (Yao Kong) Ma, Felix Ma, Jr., Balgamelo Ma, Valeriano Ma, Lechi Ann Ma, 4.

Nicolas Ma, Arceli Ma and Isidro Ma in the Immigration Blacklist; and Exclusion from the Philippines of Felix (Yao Kong) Ma, Felix Ma, Jr., Balgamelo Ma, Valeriano Ma, Lechi Ann Ma, Nicolas Ma, Arceli Ma and Isidro Ma under C.A. No. 613, Section 29(a)(15). (Emphasis supplied.)

In its Resolution[30] of 8 April 2005, public respondents partially reconsidered their Judgment of 2 February 2005. They were convinced that Arceli is an immigrant under Commonwealth Act No. 613, Section 13(g).[31] However, they denied the Motion for Reconsideration with respect to Felix Ma and the rest of his children. [32]

Ruling of the Court of Appeals On 3 May 2005, only Balgamelo, Felix, Jr., and Valeriano filed the Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure before the Court of Appeals, which was docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 89532. They sought the nullification of the issuances of the public respondents, to wit: (1) the Judgment dated 2 February 2005, ordering the summary deportation of the petitioners, issuance of a warrant of deportation against them, inclusion of their names in the Immigration Blacklist, and exclusion of the petitioners from the Philippines; and (2) the Resolution dated 8 April 2005, denying the petitioners Motion for Reconsideration. On 29 August 2007, the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition[33] after finding that the petitioners failed to comply with the exacting standards of the law providing for the procedure and conditions for their continued stay in the Philippines either as aliens or as its nationals.[34] On 29 May 2008, it issued a Resolution[35] denying the petitioners Motion for Reconsideration dated 20 September 2007. To reiterate, a persons continued and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines, his being a registered voter or an elected public official cannot vest in him Philippine citizenship as the law specifically lays down the

2.

3.

requirements for acquisition of Philippine citizenship by election. The prescribed procedure in electing Philippine citizenship is certainly not a tedious and painstaking process. All that is required of the elector is to execute an affidavit of election of Philippine citizenship and, thereafter, file the same with the nearest civil registry. The constitutional mandate concerning citizenship must be adhered to strictly. Philippine citizenship can never be treated like a commodity that can be claimed when needed and suppressed when convenient. One who is privileged to elect Philippine citizenship has only an inchoate right to such citizenship. As such, he should avail of the right with fervor, enthusiasm and promptitude.[36] Our Ruling The 1935 Constitution declares as citizens of the Philippines those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. The mandate states: Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines: (1) xxx; xxxx (4) Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship.[37] In 1941, Commonwealth Act No. 625 was enacted. It laid down the manner of electing Philippine citizenship, to wit: Section 1. The option to elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with subsection (4), Section 1, Article IV, of the Constitution shall be expressed in a statement to be signed and sworn to by the party concerned before any officer authorized to administer oaths, and shall be filed with the nearest civil registry. The said party shall accompany the aforesaid statement with the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Government of the Philippines.

The statutory formalities of electing Philippine citizenship are: (1) a statement of election under oath; (2) an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the Philippines; and (3) registration of the statement of election and of the oath with the nearest civil registry. In Re:Application for Admission to the Philippine Bar, Vicente D. Ching,[38] we determined the meaning of the period of election described by phrase upon reaching the age of majority. Our references were the Civil Code of the Philippines, the opinions of the Secretary of Justice, and the case of Cueco v. Secretary of Justice.[39] We pronounced: x x x [T]he 1935 Constitution and C.A. No. 625 did not prescribe a time period within which the election of Philippine citizenship should be made. The 1935 Charter only provides that the election should be made upon reaching the age of majority. The age of majority then commenced upon reaching twenty-one (21) years. [40] In the opinions of the Secretary of Justice on cases involving the validity of election of Philippine citizenship, this dilemma was resolved by basing the time period on the decisions of this Court prior to the effectivity of the 1935 Constitution. In these decisions, the proper period for electing Philippine citizenship was, in turn, based on the pronouncements of the Department of State of the United States Government to the effect that the election should be made within a reasonable time after attaining the age of majority.[41] The phrase reasonable time has been interpreted to mean that the elections should be made within three (3) years from reaching the age of majority. [42] However, we held in Cue[n]co vs. Secretary of Justice, [43] that the three (3) year period is not an inflexible rule. We said: It is true that this clause has been construed to mean a reasonable time after reaching the age of majority, and that the Secretary of Justice has ruled that three (3) years is the reasonable time to elect Philippine citizenship under the constitutional provision adverted to above, which period may be extended under certain circumstances, as when the person concerned has always considered himself a Filipino.

However, we cautioned in Cue[n]co that the extension of the option to elect Philippine citizenship is not indefinite. Regardless of the foregoing, petitioner was born on February 16, 1923. He became of age on February 16, 1944. His election of citizenship was made onMay 15, 1951, when he was over twenty-eight (28) years of age, or over seven (7) years after he had reached the age of majority. It is clear that said election has not been made upon reaching the age of majority.
[44]

In Mallare, Estebans exercise of the right of suffrage when he came of age was deemed to be a positive act of election of Philippine citizenship.[50] The Court of Appeals, however, said that the case cannot support herein petitioners cause, pointing out that, unlike petitioner, Esteban is a natural child of a Filipina, hence, no other act would be necessary to confer on him the rights and privileges of a Filipino citizen, [51] and that Esteban was born in 1929[52] prior to the adoption of the 1935 Constitution and the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 625. [53] In the Co case, Jose Ong, Jr. did more than exercise his right of suffrage, as he established his life here in the Philippines.[54] Again, such circumstance, while similar to that of herein petitioners, was not appreciated because it was ruled that any election of Philippine citizenship on the part of Ong would have resulted in absurdity, because the law itself had already elected Philippine citizenship for him [55] as, apparently, while he was still a minor, a certificate of naturalization was issued to his father.
[56]

We reiterated the above ruling in Go, Sr. v. Ramos,[45] a case in which we adopted the findings of the appellate court that the father of the petitioner, whose citizenship was in question, failed to elect Philippine citizenship within the reasonable period of three (3) years upon reaching the age of majority; and that the belated submission to the local civil registry of the affidavit of election and oath of allegiance x x x was defective because the affidavit of election was executed after the oath of allegiance, and the delay of several years before their filing with the proper office was not satisfactorily explained. [46] In both cases, we ruled against the petitioners because they belatedly complied with all the requirements. The acts of election and their registration with the nearest civil registry were all done beyond the reasonable period of three years upon reaching the age of majority. The instant case presents a different factual setting. Petitioners complied with the first and second requirements upon reaching the age of majority. It was only the registration of the documents of election with the civil registry that was belatedly done. We rule that under the facts peculiar to the petitioners, the right to elect Philippine citizenship has not been lost and they should be allowed to complete the statutory requirements for such election. Such conclusion, contrary to the finding of the Court of Appeals, is in line with our decisions in In Re:Florencio Mallare,[47] Co v. Electoral Tribunal of the House of Representatives,[48] and Re:Application for Admission to the Philippine Bar, Vicente D. Ching .[49]

In Ching, it may be recalled that we denied his application for admission to the Philippine Bar because, in his case, all the requirements, to wit: (1) a statement of election under oath; (2) an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and Government of the Philippines; and (3) registration of the statement of election and of the oath with the nearest civil registry were complied with only fourteen (14) years after he reached the age of majority. Ching offered no reason for the late election of Philippine citizenship.[57] In all, the Court of Appeals found the petitioners argument of good faith and informal election unacceptable and held: Their reliance in the ruling contained in Re:Application for Admission to the Philippine Bar, Vicente D. Ching , [which was decided on 1 October 1999], is obviously flawed. It bears emphasis that the Supreme Court, in said case, did not adopt the doctrine laid down in In Re: Florencio Mallare. On the contrary, the Supreme Court was emphatic in pronouncing that the special circumstances invoked by Ching, i.e., his continuous and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines and his being a certified public accountant, a registered voter and a former elected public official, cannot vest in him Philippine citizenship as the law specifically lays

down the requirements for acquisition of Philippine citizenship by election.[58] We are not prepared to state that the mere exercise of suffrage, being elected public official, continuous and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines, and other similar acts showing exercise of Philippine citizenship can take the place of election of citizenship. What we now say is that where, as in petitioners case, the election of citizenship has in fact been done and documented within the constitutional and statutory timeframe, the registration of the documents of election beyond the frame should be allowed if in the meanwhile positive acts of citizenship have publicly, consistently, and continuously been done. The actual exercise of Philippine citizenship, for over half a century by the herein petitioners, is actual notice to the Philippine public which is equivalent to formal registration of the election of Philippine citizenship. For what purpose is registration? In Pascua v. Court of Appeals,[59] we elucidated the principles of civil law on registration: To register is to record or annotate. American and Spanish authorities are unanimous on the meaning of the term to register as to enter in a register; to record formally and distinctly; to enroll; to enter in a list. [60] In general, registration refers to any entry made in the books of the registry, including both registration in its ordinary and strict sense, and cancellation, annotation, and even the marginal notes. In strict acceptation, it pertains to the entry made in the registry which records solemnly and permanently the right of ownership and other real rights . [61] Simply stated, registration is made for the purpose of notification.[62] Actual knowledge may even have the effect of registration as to the person who has knowledge thereof. Thus, [i]ts purpose is to give notice thereof to all persons (and it) operates as a notice of the deed, contract, or instrument to others.[63] As pertinent is the holding that registration neither adds to its validity nor converts an invalid instrument into a valid one between the parties.[64] It lays emphasis on the validity of an unregistered document.

Comparable jurisprudence may be consulted. In a contract of partnership, we said that the purpose of registration is to give notice to third parties; that failure to register the contract does not affect the liability of the partnership and of the partners to third persons; and that neither does such failure affect the partnerships juridical personality.[65] An unregistered contract of partnership is valid as among the partners, so long as it has the essential requisites, because the main purpose of registration is to give notice to third parties, and it can be assumed that the members themselves knew of the contents of their contract.[66] The non-registration of a deed of donation does not also affect its validity. Registration is not a requirement for the validity of the contract as between the parties, for the effect of registration serves chiefly to bind third persons. [67] Likewise relevant is the pronouncement that registration is not a mode of acquiring a right. In an analogous case involving an unrecorded deed of sale, we reiterated the settled rule that registration is not a mode of acquiring ownership. Registration does not confer ownership. It is not a mode of acquiring dominion, but only a means of confirming the fact of its existence with notice to the world at large.[68] Registration, then, is the confirmation of the existence of a fact. In the instant case, registration is the confirmation of election as such election. It is not the registration of the act of election, although a valid requirement under Commonwealth Act No. 625, that will confer Philippine citizenship on the petitioners. It is only a means of confirming the fact that citizenship has been claimed. Indeed, we even allow the late registration of the fact of birth and of marriage.[69] Thus, has it been admitted through existing rules that the late registration of the fact of birth of a child does not erase the fact of birth. Also, the fact of marriage cannot be declared void solely because of the failure to have the marriage certificate registered with the designated government agency. Notably, the petitioners timely took their oath of allegiance to the Philippines. This was a serious undertaking. It was commitment and fidelity to the state coupled with a pledge to renounce absolutely and forever all allegiance to any other state. This was unqualified acceptance

of their identity as a Filipino and the complete disavowal of any other nationality. Petitioners have passed decades of their lives in the Philippines as Filipinos. Their present status having been formed by their past, petitioners can no longer have any national identity except that which they chose upon reaching the age of reason. Corollary to this fact, we cannot agree with the view of the Court of Appeals that since the ACR presented by the petitioners are no longer valid on account of the new requirement to present an E-series ACR, they are deemed not properly documented.[70] On the contrary, petitioners should not be expected to secure E-series ACR because it would be inconsistent with the election of citizenship and its constructive registration through their acts made public, among others, their exercise of suffrage, election as public official, and continued and uninterrupted stay in the Philippines since birth. The failure to register as aliens is, obviously, consistent with petitioners election of Philippine citizenship. The leanings towards recognition of the citizenship of children of Filipino mothers have been indicated not alone by the jurisprudence that liberalized the requirement on time of election, and recognized positive acts of Philippine citizenship. The favor that is given to such children is likewise evident in the evolution of the constitutional provision on Philippine citizenship. Thus, while the 1935 Constitution requires that children of Filipino mothers elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching their age of majority, [71] upon the effectivity of the 1973 Constitution, they automatically become Filipinos[72] and need not elect Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority. The 1973 provision reads: Section 1. The following are citizens of the Philippines: (1) xxx. (2) Those whose fathers and mothers are citizens of the Philippines.[73] Better than the relaxation of the requirement, the 1987 Constitution now classifies them as natural-born citizens upon election of Philippine citizenship. Thus, Sec. 2, Article IV thereof provides:

Section 2. Natural-born citizens are those who are citizens of the Philippines from birth without having to perform any act to acquire or perfect their Philippine citizenship. Those who elect Philippine citizenship in accordance with paragraph (3), Section 1 hereof[74] shall be deemed natural-born citizens. (Emphasis supplied.) The constitutional bias is reflected in the deliberations of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. MR. CONCEPCION. x x x. xxxx x x x x As regards those born of Filipino mothers, the 1935 Constitution merely gave them the option to choose Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority, even, apparently, if the father were an alien or unknown. Upon the other hand, under the 1973 Constitution, children of mixed marriages involving an alien father and a Filipino mother are Filipino citizens, thus liberalizing the counterpart provision in the 1935 Constitution by dispensing with the need to make a declaration of intention upon reaching the age of majority. I understand that the committee would further liberalize this provision of the 1935 Constitution. The Committee seemingly proposes to further liberalize the policy of the 1935 Constitution by making those who became citizens of the Philippines through a declaration of intention to choose their mothers citizenship upon reaching the majority age by declaring that such children are natural-born citizens of the Philippines.[75] xxxx xxx Why does the draft resolution adopt the provision of the 1973 Constitution and not that of the 1935? [76] xxxx

FR. BERNAS. x x x Precisely, the reason behind the modification of the 1935 rule on citizenship was a recognition of the fact that it reflected a certain male chauvinism, and it was for the purpose of remedying that this proposed provision was put in. The idea was that we should not penalize the mother of a child simply because she fell in love with a foreigner. Now, the question on what citizenship the child would prefer arises. We really have no way of guessing the preference of the infant. But if we recognize the right of the child to choose, then let him choose when he reaches the age of majority. I think dual citizenship is just a reality imposed on us because we have no control of the laws on citizenship of other countries. We recognize a child of a Filipino mother. But whether or not she is considered a citizen of another country is something completely beyond our control. But certainly it is within the jurisdiction of the Philippine government to require that [at] a certain point, a child be made to choose. But I do not think we should penalize the child before he is even able to choose. I would, therefore, support the retention of the modification made in 1973 of the male chauvinistic rule of the 1935 Constitution.
[77]

xxxx [on the period within which to elect Philippine citizenship] MR. RODRIGO. [T]his provision becomes very, very important because his election of Philippine citizenship makes him not only a Filipino citizen but a natural-born Filipino citizen, entitling him to run for Congress, to be a Justice of the Supreme Court x x x.[80] We are guided by this evolvement from election of Philippine citizenship upon reaching the age of majority under the 1935 Philippine Constitution todispensing with the election requirement under the 1973 Philippine Constitution to express classification of these children as natural-born citizens under the 1987 Constitution towards the conclusion that the omission of the 1941 statutory requirement of registration of the documents of election should not result in the obliteration of the right to Philippine citizenship. Having a Filipino mother is permanent. It is the basis of the right of the petitioners to elect Philippine citizenship. Petitioners elected Philippine citizenship in form and substance. The failure to register the election in the civil registry should not defeat the election and resultingly negate the permanent fact that they have a Filipino mother. The lacking requirements may still be complied with subject to the imposition of appropriate administrative penalties, if any. The documents they submitted supporting their allegations that they have already registered with the civil registry, although belatedly, should be examined for validation purposes by the appropriate agency, in this case, the Bureau of Immigration. Other requirements embodied in the administrative orders and other issuances of the Bureau of Immigration and the Department of Justice shall be complied with within a reasonable time. WHEREFORE, the Decision dated 29 August 2007, and the Resolution dated 29 May 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 89532 affirming the Judgment dated 2 February 2005, and the Resolution dated 8 April 2005 of the Bureau of Immigration in BSI-D.C. No. AFF-04574 OC-STF-04-09/23-1416 are herebySET ASIDE with respect to petitioners Balgamelo Cabiling Ma, Felix Cabiling Ma, Jr., and Valeriano Cabiling Ma. Petitioners are given ninety (90) days from notice within which to COMPLY with the requirements of the Bureau of Immigration

xxxx MR. REGALADO. With respect to a child who became a Filipino citizen by election, which the Committee is now planning to consider a natural-born citizen, he will be so the moment he opts for Philippine citizenship. Did the Committee take into account the fact that at the time of birth, all he had was just an inchoate right to choose Philippine citizenship, and yet, by subsequently choosing Philippine citizenship, it would appear that his choice retroacted to the date of his birth so much so that under the Gentlemans proposed amendment, he would be a naturalborn citizen?[78] FR. BERNAS. But the difference between him and the natural-born who lost his status is that the natural-born who lost his status, lost it voluntarily; whereas, this individual in the situation contemplated in Section 1, paragraph 3 never had the chance to choose.[79]

embodied in its Judgment of 2 February 2005. The Bureau of Immigration shallENSURE that all requirements, including the payment of their financial obligations to the state, if any, have been complied with subject to the imposition of appropriate administrative fines; REVIEW the documents submitted by the petitioners; and ACT thereon in accordance with the decision of this Court. SO ORDERED.

EQUIPMENT, INC., (BORMAHECO), CONSTANCIO M. MAGLANA and JACOB S. LIM, respondents. G.R. No. 84157 July 28, 1989 JACOB S. LIM, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, PIONEER INSURANCE AND SURETY CORPORATION, BORDER MACHINERY and HEAVY EQUIPMENT CO., INC,, FRANCISCO and MODESTO CERVANTES and CONSTANCIO MAGLANA,respondents. The subject matter of these consolidated petitions is the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 66195 which modified the decision of the then Court of First Instance of Manila in Civil Case No. 66135. The plaintiffs complaint (petitioner in G.R. No. 84197) against all defendants (respondents in G.R. No. 84197) was dismissed but in all other respects the trial court's decision was affirmed. The dispositive portion of the trial court's decision reads as follows: WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered against defendant Jacob S. Lim requiring Lim to pay plaintiff the amount of P311,056.02, with interest at the rate of 12% per annum compounded monthly; plus 15% of the amount awarded to plaintiff as attorney's fees from July 2,1966, until full payment is made; plus P70,000.00 moral and exemplary damages. It is found in the records that the cross party plaintiffs incurred additional miscellaneous expenses aside from Pl51,000.00,,making a total of P184,878.74. Defendant Jacob S. Lim is further required to pay cross party plaintiff, Bormaheco, the Cervanteses one-half and Maglana the other half, the amount of Pl84,878.74 with interest from the filing of the cross-complaints until the amount is fully paid; plus moral and exemplary damages in the amount of P184,878.84 with interest from the filing of the cross-complaints until the amount is fully paid; plus moral and exemplary damages in the amount of P50,000.00 for each of the two Cervanteses.

G.R. No. 84197 July 28, 1989 PIONEER INSURANCE & SURETY CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, BORDER MACHINERY & HEAVY

Furthermore, he is required to pay P20,000.00 to Bormaheco and the Cervanteses, and another P20,000.00 to Constancio B. Maglana as attorney's fees. xxx xxx xxx WHEREFORE, in view of all above, the complaint of plaintiff Pioneer against defendants Bormaheco, the Cervanteses and Constancio B. Maglana, is dismissed. Instead, plaintiff is required to indemnify the defendants Bormaheco and the Cervanteses the amount of P20,000.00 as attorney's fees and the amount of P4,379.21, per year from 1966 with legal rate of interest up to the time it is paid. Furthermore, the plaintiff is required to pay Constancio B. Maglana the amount of P20,000.00 as attorney's fees and costs. No moral or exemplary damages is awarded against plaintiff for this action was filed in good faith. The fact that the properties of the Bormaheco and the Cervanteses were attached and that they were required to file a counterbond in order to dissolve the attachment, is not an act of bad faith. When a man tries to protect his rights, he should not be saddled with moral or exemplary damages. Furthermore, the rights exercised were provided for in the Rules of Court, and it was the court that ordered it, in the exercise of its discretion. No damage is decided against Malayan Insurance Company, Inc., the third-party defendant, for it only secured the attachment prayed for by the plaintiff Pioneer. If an insurance company would be liable for damages in performing an act which is clearly within its power and which is the reason for its being, then nobody would engage in the insurance business. No further claim or counter-claim for or against anybody is declared by this Court. (Rollo - G.R. No. 24197, pp. 15-16)

In 1965, Jacob S. Lim (petitioner in G.R. No. 84157) was engaged in the airline business as owner-operator of Southern Air Lines (SAL) a single proprietorship. On May 17, 1965, at Tokyo, Japan, Japan Domestic Airlines (JDA) and Lim entered into and executed a sales contract (Exhibit A) for the sale and purchase of two (2) DC-3A Type aircrafts and one (1) set of necessary spare parts for the total agreed price of US $109,000.00 to be paid in installments. One DC-3 Aircraft with Registry No. PIC-718, arrived in Manila on June 7,1965 while the other aircraft, arrived in Manila on July 18,1965. On May 22, 1965, Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation (Pioneer, petitioner in G.R. No. 84197) as surety executed and issued its Surety Bond No. 6639 (Exhibit C) in favor of JDA, in behalf of its principal, Lim, for the balance price of the aircrafts and spare parts. It appears that Border Machinery and Heavy Equipment Company, Inc. (Bormaheco), Francisco and Modesto Cervantes (Cervanteses) and Constancio Maglana (respondents in both petitions) contributed some funds used in the purchase of the above aircrafts and spare parts. The funds were supposed to be their contributions to a new corporation proposed by Lim to expand his airline business. They executed two (2) separate indemnity agreements (Exhibits D-1 and D-2) in favor of Pioneer, one signed by Maglana and the other jointly signed by Lim for SAL, Bormaheco and the Cervanteses. The indemnity agreements stipulated that the indemnitors principally agree and bind themselves jointly and severally to indemnify and hold and save harmless Pioneer from and against any/all damages, losses, costs, damages, taxes, penalties, charges and expenses of whatever kind and nature which Pioneer may incur in consequence of having become surety upon the bond/note and to pay, reimburse and make good to Pioneer, its successors and assigns, all sums and amounts of money which it or its representatives should or may pay or cause to be paid or become liable to pay on them of whatever kind and nature. On June 10, 1965, Lim doing business under the name and style of SAL executed in favor of Pioneer as deed of chattel mortgage as security for the latter's suretyship in favor of the former. It was stipulated therein that Lim transfer and convey to the surety the two aircrafts. The deed (Exhibit D) was duly registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds of the City

of Manila and with the Civil Aeronautics Administration pursuant to the Chattel Mortgage Law and the Civil Aeronautics Law (Republic Act No. 776), respectively. Lim defaulted on his subsequent installment payments prompting JDA to request payments from the surety. Pioneer paid a total sum of P298,626.12. Pioneer then filed a petition for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the said chattel mortgage before the Sheriff of Davao City. The Cervanteses and Maglana, however, filed a third party claim alleging that they are coowners of the aircrafts, On July 19, 1966, Pioneer filed an action for judicial foreclosure with an application for a writ of preliminary attachment against Lim and respondents, the Cervanteses, Bormaheco and Maglana. In their Answers, Maglana, Bormaheco and the Cervanteses filed crossclaims against Lim alleging that they were not privies to the contracts signed by Lim and, by way of counterclaim, sought for damages for being exposed to litigation and for recovery of the sums of money they advanced to Lim for the purchase of the aircrafts in question. After trial on the merits, a decision was rendered holding Lim liable to pay Pioneer but dismissed Pioneer's complaint against all other defendants. As stated earlier, the appellate court modified the trial court's decision in that the plaintiffs complaint against all the defendants was dismissed. In all other respects the trial court's decision was affirmed. We first resolve G.R. No. 84197. Petitioner Pioneer Insurance and Surety Corporation avers that: RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED WHEN IT DISMISSED THE APPEAL OF PETITIONER ON THE SOLE GROUND THAT PETITIONER HAD ALREADY COLLECTED THE PROCEEDS OF THE REINSURANCE ON ITS BOND IN FAVOR OF THE JDA AND THAT IT CANNOT REPRESENT A REINSURER TO RECOVER THE AMOUNT FROM HEREIN PRIVATE

RESPONDENTS AS DEFENDANTS IN THE TRIAL COURT. (Rollo - G. R. No. 84197, p. 10) The petitioner questions the following findings of the appellate court: We find no merit in plaintiffs appeal. It is undisputed that plaintiff Pioneer had reinsured its risk of liability under the surety bond in favor of JDA and subsequently collected the proceeds of such reinsurance in the sum of P295,000.00. Defendants' alleged obligation to Pioneer amounts to P295,000.00, hence, plaintiffs instant action for the recovery of the amount of P298,666.28 from defendants will no longer prosper. Plaintiff Pioneer is not the real party in interest to institute the instant action as it does not stand to be benefited or injured by the judgment. Plaintiff Pioneer's contention that it is representing the reinsurer to recover the amount from defendants, hence, it instituted the action is utterly devoid of merit. Plaintiff did not even present any evidence that it is the attorney-in-fact of the reinsurance company, authorized to institute an action for and in behalf of the latter. To qualify a person to be a real party in interest in whose name an action must be prosecuted, he must appear to be the present real owner of the right sought to be enforced (Moran, Vol. I, Comments on the Rules of Court, 1979 ed., p. 155). It has been held that the real party in interest is the party who would be benefited or injured by the judgment or the party entitled to the avails of the suit (Salonga v. Warner Barnes & Co., Ltd., 88 Phil. 125, 131). By real party in interest is meant a present substantial interest as distinguished from a mere expectancy or a future, contingent, subordinate or consequential interest (Garcia v. David, 67 Phil. 27; Oglleaby v. Springfield Marine Bank, 52 N.E. 2d 1600, 385 III, 414; Flowers v. Germans, 1 NW 2d 424; Weber v. City of Cheye, 97 P. 2d 667, 669, quoting 47 C.V. 35). Based on the foregoing premises, plaintiff Pioneer cannot be considered as the real party in interest as it has already been paid by the reinsurer the sum of P295,000.00 the bulk of defendants' alleged obligation to Pioneer.

In addition to the said proceeds of the reinsurance received by plaintiff Pioneer from its reinsurer, the former was able to foreclose extra-judicially one of the subject airplanes and its spare engine, realizing the total amount of P37,050.00 from the sale of the mortgaged chattels. Adding the sum of P37,050.00, to the proceeds of the reinsurance amounting to P295,000.00, it is patent that plaintiff has been overpaid in the amount of P33,383.72 considering that the total amount it had paid to JDA totals to only P298,666.28. To allow plaintiff Pioneer to recover from defendants the amount in excess of P298,666.28 would be tantamount to unjust enrichment as it has already been paid by the reinsurance company of the amount plaintiff has paid to JDA as surety of defendant Lim vis-a-vis defendant Lim's liability to JDA. Well settled is the rule that no person should unjustly enrich himself at the expense of another (Article 22, New Civil Code). (Rollo-84197, pp. 24-25). The petitioner contends that-(1) it is at a loss where respondent court based its finding that petitioner was paid by its reinsurer in the aforesaid amount, as this matter has never been raised by any of the parties herein both in their answers in the court below and in their respective briefs with respondent court; (Rollo, p. 11) (2) even assuming hypothetically that it was paid by its reinsurer, still none of the respondents had any interest in the matter since the reinsurance is strictly between the petitioner and the re-insurer pursuant to section 91 of the Insurance Code; (3) pursuant to the indemnity agreements, the petitioner is entitled to recover from respondents Bormaheco and Maglana; and (4) the principle of unjust enrichment is not applicable considering that whatever amount he would recover from the co-indemnitor will be paid to the reinsurer. The records belie the petitioner's contention that the issue on the reinsurance money was never raised by the parties. A cursory reading of the trial court's lengthy decision shows that two of the issues threshed out were: xxx xxx xxx

1. Has Pioneer a cause of action against defendants with respect to so much of its obligations to JDA as has been paid with reinsurance money? 2. If the answer to the preceding question is in the negative, has Pioneer still any claim against defendants, considering the amount it has realized from the sale of the mortgaged properties? (Record on Appeal, p. 359, Annex B of G.R. No. 84157). In resolving these issues, the trial court made the following findings: It appearing that Pioneer reinsured its risk of liability under the surety bond it had executed in favor of JDA, collected the proceeds of such reinsurance in the sum of P295,000, and paid with the said amount the bulk of its alleged liability to JDA under the said surety bond, it is plain that on this score it no longer has any right to collect to the extent of the said amount. On the question of why it is Pioneer, instead of the reinsurance (sic), that is suing defendants for the amount paid to it by the reinsurers, notwithstanding that the cause of action pertains to the latter, Pioneer says: The reinsurers opted instead that the Pioneer Insurance & Surety Corporation shall pursue alone the case.. . . . Pioneer Insurance & Surety Corporation is representing the reinsurers to recover the amount.' In other words, insofar as the amount paid to it by the reinsurers Pioneer is suing defendants as their attorney-in-fact. But in the first place, there is not the slightest indication in the complaint that Pioneer is suing as attorney-in- fact of the reinsurers for any amount. Lastly, and most important of all, Pioneer has no right to institute and maintain in its own name an action for the benefit of the reinsurers. It is well-settled that an action brought by an attorney-in-fact in his own name instead of that of the principal will not prosper, and this is so even where the name of the principal is disclosed in the complaint.

Section 2 of Rule 3 of the Old Rules of Court provides that 'Every action must be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest.' This provision is mandatory. The real party in interest is the party who would be benefitted or injured by the judgment or is the party entitled to the avails of the suit. This Court has held in various cases that an attorney-in-fact is not a real party in interest, that there is no law permitting an action to be brought by an attorney-in-fact. Arroyo v. Granada and Gentero, 18 Phil. Rep. 484; Luchauco v. Limjuco and Gonzalo, 19 Phil. Rep. 12; Filipinos Industrial Corporation v. San Diego G.R. No. L- 22347,1968, 23 SCRA 706, 710-714. The total amount paid by Pioneer to JDA is P299,666.29. Since Pioneer has collected P295,000.00 from the reinsurers, the uninsured portion of what it paid to JDA is the difference between the two amounts, or P3,666.28. This is the amount for which Pioneer may sue defendants, assuming that the indemnity agreement is still valid and effective. But since the amount realized from the sale of the mortgaged chattels are P35,000.00 for one of the airplanes and P2,050.00 for a spare engine, or a total of P37,050.00, Pioneer is still overpaid by P33,383.72. Therefore, Pioneer has no more claim against defendants. (Record on Appeal, pp. 360-363). The payment to the petitioner made by the reinsurers was not disputed in the appellate court. Considering this admitted payment, the only issue that cropped up was the effect of payment made by the reinsurers to the petitioner. Therefore, the petitioner's argument that the respondents had no interest in the reinsurance contract as this is strictly between the petitioner as insured and the reinsuring company pursuant to Section 91 (should be Section 98) of the Insurance Code has no basis. In general a reinsurer, on payment of a loss acquires the same rights by subrogation as are acquired in similar cases where the original insurer pays a loss (Universal Ins. Co. v. Old Time Molasses Co. C.C.A. La., 46 F 2nd 925).

The rules of practice in actions on original insurance policies are in general applicable to actions or contracts of reinsurance. (Delaware, Ins. Co. v. Pennsylvania Fire Ins. Co., 55 S.E. 330,126 GA. 380, 7 Ann. Con. 1134). Hence the applicable law is Article 2207 of the new Civil Code, to wit: Art. 2207. If the plaintiffs property has been insured, and he has received indemnity from the insurance company for the injury or loss arising out of the wrong or breach of contract complained of, the insurance company shall be subrogated to the rights of the insured against the wrongdoer or the person who has violated the contract. If the amount paid by the insurance company does not fully cover the injury or loss, the aggrieved party shall be entitled to recover the deficiency from the person causing the loss or injury. Interpreting the aforesaid provision, we ruled in the case of Phil. Air Lines, Inc. v. Heald Lumber Co. (101 Phil. 1031 [1957]) which we subsequently applied in Manila Mahogany Manufacturing Corporation v. Court of Appeals(154 SCRA 650 [1987]): Note that if a property is insured and the owner receives the indemnity from the insurer, it is provided in said article that the insurer is deemed subrogated to the rights of the insured against the wrongdoer and if the amount paid by the insurer does not fully cover the loss, then the aggrieved party is the one entitled to recover the deficiency. Evidently, under this legal provision, the real party in interest with regard to the portion of the indemnity paid is the insurer and not the insured. (Emphasis supplied). It is clear from the records that Pioneer sued in its own name and not as an attorney-in-fact of the reinsurer. Accordingly, the appellate court did not commit a reversible error in dismissing the petitioner's complaint as against the respondents for the reason that the petitioner was not the real party in interest in the complaint and, therefore, has no cause of action against the respondents.

Nevertheless, the petitioner argues that the appeal as regards the counter indemnitors should not have been dismissed on the premise that the evidence on record shows that it is entitled to recover from the counter indemnitors. It does not, however, cite any grounds except its allegation that respondent "Maglanas defense and evidence are certainly incredible" (p. 12, Rollo) to back up its contention. On the other hand, we find the trial court's findings on the matter replete with evidence to substantiate its finding that the counter-indemnitors are not liable to the petitioner. The trial court stated: Apart from the foregoing proposition, the indemnity agreement ceased to be valid and effective after the execution of the chattel mortgage. Testimonies of defendants Francisco Cervantes and Modesto Cervantes. Pioneer Insurance, knowing the value of the aircrafts and the spare parts involved, agreed to issue the bond provided that the same would be mortgaged to it, but this was not possible because the planes were still in Japan and could not be mortgaged here in the Philippines. As soon as the aircrafts were brought to the Philippines, they would be mortgaged to Pioneer Insurance to cover the bond, and this indemnity agreement would be cancelled. The following is averred under oath by Pioneer in the original complaint: The various conflicting claims over the mortgaged properties have impaired and rendered insufficient the security under the chattel mortgage and there is thus no other sufficient security for the claim sought to be enforced by this action. This is judicial admission and aside from the chattel mortgage there is no other security for the claim sought to be enforced by this action, which necessarily means that the indemnity agreement had ceased to have any force and

effect at the time this action was instituted. Sec 2, Rule 129, Revised Rules of Court. Prescinding from the foregoing, Pioneer, having foreclosed the chattel mortgage on the planes and spare parts, no longer has any further action against the defendants as indemnitors to recover any unpaid balance of the price. The indemnity agreement was ipso jure extinguished upon the foreclosure of the chattel mortgage. These defendants, as indemnitors, would be entitled to be subrogated to the right of Pioneer should they make payments to the latter. Articles 2067 and 2080 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines. Independently of the preceding proposition Pioneer's election of the remedy of foreclosure precludes any further action to recover any unpaid balance of the price. SAL or Lim, having failed to pay the second to the eight and last installments to JDA and Pioneer as surety having made of the payments to JDA, the alternative remedies open to Pioneer were as provided in Article 1484 of the New Civil Code, known as the Recto Law. Pioneer exercised the remedy of foreclosure of the chattel mortgage both by extrajudicial foreclosure and the instant suit. Such being the case, as provided by the aforementioned provisions, Pioneer shall have no further action against the purchaser to recover any unpaid balance and any agreement to the contrary is void.' Cruz, et al. v. Filipinas Investment & Finance Corp. No. L- 24772, May 27,1968, 23 SCRA 791, 7956. The operation of the foregoing provision cannot be escaped from through the contention that Pioneer is not the vendor but JDA. The reason is that Pioneer is actually exercising the rights of JDA as vendor, having subrogated it in such rights. Nor may the application of the provision be validly opposed on the ground that these defendants and defendant Maglana are not the vendee but indemnitors. Pascual, et al. v. Universal Motors Corporation, G.R. No. L- 27862, Nov. 20,1974, 61 SCRA 124.

The restructuring of the obligations of SAL or Lim, thru the change of their maturity dates discharged these defendants from any liability as alleged indemnitors. The change of the maturity dates of the obligations of Lim, or SAL extinguish the original obligations thru novations thus discharging the indemnitors. The principal hereof shall be paid in eight equal successive three months interval installments, the first of which shall be due and payable 25 August 1965, the remainder of which ... shall be due and payable on the 26th day x x x of each succeeding three months and the last of which shall be due and payable 26th May 1967. However, at the trial of this case, Pioneer produced a memorandum executed by SAL or Lim and JDA, modifying the maturity dates of the obligations, as follows: The principal hereof shall be paid in eight equal successive three month interval installments the first of which shall be due and payable 4 September 1965, the remainder of which ... shall be due and payable on the 4th day ... of each succeeding months and the last of which shall be due and payable 4th June 1967. Not only that, Pioneer also produced eight purported promissory notes bearing maturity dates different from that fixed in the aforesaid memorandum; the due date of the first installment appears as October 15, 1965, and those of the rest of the installments, the 15th of each succeeding three months, that of the last installment being July 15, 1967. These restructuring of the obligations with regard to their maturity dates, effected twice, were done without the knowledge, much less, would have it believed that these defendants Maglana (sic). Pioneer's official Numeriano Carbonel would have it believed that these defendants and defendant Maglana knew of and consented to the modification of the obligations. But if that were so, there

would have been the corresponding documents in the form of a written notice to as well as written conformity of these defendants, and there are no such document. The consequence of this was the extinguishment of the obligations and of the surety bond secured by the indemnity agreement which was thereby also extinguished. Applicable by analogy are the rulings of the Supreme Court in the case of Kabankalan Sugar Co. v. Pacheco, 55 Phil. 553, 563, and the case of Asiatic Petroleum Co. v. Hizon David, 45 Phil. 532, 538. Art. 2079. An extension granted to the debtor by the creditor without the consent of the guarantor extinguishes the guaranty The mere failure on the part of the creditor to demand payment after the debt has become due does not of itself constitute any extension time referred to herein, (New Civil Code).' Manresa, 4th ed., Vol. 12, pp. 316-317, Vol. VI, pp. 562-563, M.F. Stevenson & Co., Ltd., v. Climacom et al. (C.A.) 36 O.G. 1571. Pioneer's liability as surety to JDA had already prescribed when Pioneer paid the same. Consequently, Pioneer has no more cause of action to recover from these defendants, as supposed indemnitors, what it has paid to JDA. By virtue of an express stipulation in the surety bond, the failure of JDA to present its claim to Pioneer within ten days from default of Lim or SAL on every installment, released Pioneer from liability from the claim. Therefore, Pioneer is not entitled to exact reimbursement from these defendants thru the indemnity. Art. 1318. Payment by a solidary debtor shall not entitle him to reimbursement from his codebtors if such payment is made after the obligation has prescribed or became illegal.

These defendants are entitled to recover damages and attorney's fees from Pioneer and its surety by reason of the filing of the instant case against them and the attachment and garnishment of their properties. The instant action is clearly unfounded insofar as plaintiff drags these defendants and defendant Maglana.' (Record on Appeal, pp. 363-369, Rollo of G.R. No. 84157). We find no cogent reason to reverse or modify these findings. Hence, it is our conclusion that the petition in G.R. No. 84197 is not meritorious. We now discuss the merits of G.R. No. 84157. Petitioner Jacob S. Lim poses the following issues: l. What legal rules govern the relationship among coinvestors whose agreement was to do business through the corporate vehicle but who failed to incorporate the entity in which they had chosen to invest? How are the losses to be treated in situations where their contributions to the intended 'corporation' were invested not through the corporate form? This Petition presents these fundamental questions which we believe were resolved erroneously by the Court of Appeals ('CA'). (Rollo, p. 6). These questions are premised on the petitioner's theory that as a result of the failure of respondents Bormaheco, Spouses Cervantes, Constancio Maglana and petitioner Lim to incorporate, a de facto partnership among them was created, and that as a consequence of such relationship all must share in the losses and/or gains of the venture in proportion to their contribution. The petitioner, therefore, questions the appellate court's findings ordering him to reimburse certain amounts given by the respondents to the petitioner as their contributions to the intended corporation, to wit: However, defendant Lim should be held liable to pay his codefendants' cross-claims in the total amount of P184,878.74 as correctly found by the trial court, with interest from the filing of the cross-complaints until the amount is fully paid.

Defendant Lim should pay one-half of the said amount to Bormaheco and the Cervanteses and the other one-half to defendant Maglana. It is established in the records that defendant Lim had duly received the amount of Pl51,000.00 from defendants Bormaheco and Maglana representing the latter's participation in the ownership of the subject airplanes and spare parts (Exhibit 58). In addition, the cross-party plaintiffs incurred additional expenses, hence, the total sum of P 184,878.74. We first state the principles. While it has been held that as between themselves the rights of the stockholders in a defectively incorporated association should be governed by the supposed charter and the laws of the state relating thereto and not by the rules governing partners (Cannon v. Brush Electric Co., 54 A. 121, 96 Md. 446, 94 Am. S.R. 584), it is ordinarily held that persons who attempt, but fail, to form a corporation and who carry on business under the corporate name occupy the position of partners inter se (Lynch v. Perryman, 119 P. 229, 29 Okl. 615, Ann. Cas. 1913A 1065). Thus, where persons associate themselves together under articles to purchase property to carry on a business, and their organization is so defective as to come short of creating a corporation within the statute, they become in legal effect partners inter se, and their rights as members of the company to the property acquired by the company will be recognized (Smith v. Schoodoc Pond Packing Co., 84 A. 268,109 Me. 555; Whipple v. Parker, 29 Mich. 369). So, where certain persons associated themselves as a corporation for the development of land for irrigation purposes, and each conveyed land to the corporation, and two of them contracted to pay a third the difference in the proportionate value of the land conveyed by him, and no stock was ever issued in the corporation, it was treated as a trustee for the associates in an action between them for an accounting, and its capital stock was treated as partnership assets, sold, and the proceeds distributed among them in proportion to the value of the property contributed by each (Shorb v. Beaudry, 56 Cal. 446). However, such a relation does not necessarily exist, for ordinarily persons cannot be made to assume the relation of partners, as between

themselves, when their purpose is that no partnership shall exist (London Assur. Corp. v. Drennen, Minn., 6 S.Ct. 442, 116 U.S. 461, 472, 29 L.Ed. 688), and it should be implied only when necessary to do justice between the parties; thus, one who takes no part except to subscribe for stock in a proposed corporation which is never legally formed does not become a partner with other subscribers who engage in business under the name of the pretended corporation, so as to be liable as such in an action for settlement of the alleged partnership and contribution (Ward v. Brigham, 127 Mass. 24). A partnership relation between certain stockholders and other stockholders, who were also directors, will not be implied in the absence of an agreement, so as to make the former liable to contribute for payment of debts illegally contracted by the latter (Heald v. Owen, 44 N.W. 210, 79 Iowa 23). (Corpus Juris Secundum, Vol. 68, p. 464). (Italics supplied). In the instant case, it is to be noted that the petitioner was declared nonsuited for his failure to appear during the pretrial despite notification. In his answer, the petitioner denied having received any amount from respondents Bormaheco, the Cervanteses and Maglana. The trial court and the appellate court, however, found through Exhibit 58, that the petitioner received the amount of P151,000.00 representing the participation of Bormaheco and Atty. Constancio B. Maglana in the ownership of the subject airplanes and spare parts. The record shows that defendant Maglana gave P75,000.00 to petitioner Jacob Lim thru the Cervanteses. It is therefore clear that the petitioner never had the intention to form a corporation with the respondents despite his representations to them. This gives credence to the cross-claims of the respondents to the effect that they were induced and lured by the petitioner to make contributions to a proposed corporation which was never formed because the petitioner reneged on their agreement. Maglana alleged in his cross-claim: ... that sometime in early 1965, Jacob Lim proposed to Francisco Cervantes and Maglana to expand his airline business. Lim was to procure two DC-3's from Japan and secure the necessary certificates of public convenience and necessity as well as the required permits for the operation

thereof. Maglana sometime in May 1965, gave Cervantes his share of P75,000.00 for delivery to Lim which Cervantes did and Lim acknowledged receipt thereof. Cervantes, likewise, delivered his share of the undertaking. Lim in an undertaking sometime on or about August 9,1965, promised to incorporate his airline in accordance with their agreement and proceeded to acquire the planes on his own account. Since then up to the filing of this answer, Lim has refused, failed and still refuses to set up the corporation or return the money of Maglana. (Record on Appeal, pp. 337-338). while respondents Bormaheco and the Cervanteses alleged in their answer, counterclaim, cross-claim and third party complaint: Sometime in April 1965, defendant Lim lured and induced the answering defendants to purchase two airplanes and spare parts from Japan which the latter considered as their lawful contribution and participation in the proposed corporation to be known as SAL. Arrangements and negotiations were undertaken by defendant Lim. Down payments were advanced by defendants Bormaheco and the Cervanteses and Constancio Maglana (Exh. E- 1). Contrary to the agreement among the defendants, defendant Lim in connivance with the plaintiff, signed and executed the alleged chattel mortgage and surety bond agreement in his personal capacity as the alleged proprietor of the SAL. The answering defendants learned for the first time of this trickery and misrepresentation of the other, Jacob Lim, when the herein plaintiff chattel mortgage (sic) allegedly executed by defendant Lim, thereby forcing them to file an adverse claim in the form of third party claim. Notwithstanding repeated oral demands made by defendants Bormaheco and Cervanteses, to defendant Lim, to surrender the possession of the two planes and their accessories and or return the amount advanced by the former amounting to an aggregate sum of P 178,997.14 as evidenced by a statement of accounts, the latter ignored, omitted and refused to comply with them. (Record on Appeal, pp. 341-342). Applying therefore the principles of law earlier cited to the facts of the case, necessarily, no de facto partnership was created among the parties

which would entitle the petitioner to a reimbursement of the supposed losses of the proposed corporation. The record shows that the petitioner was acting on his own and not in behalf of his other would-be incorporators in transacting the sale of the airplanes and spare parts. WHEREFORE, the instant petitions are DISMISSED. The questioned decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.

[G.R. No. 30616 : December 10, 1990.] EUFRACIO D. ROJAS, Plaintiff-Appellant, vs. CONSTANCIO B. MAGLANA, Defendant-Appellee.

This is a direct appeal to this Court from a decision ** of the then Court of First Instance of Davao, Seventh Judicial District, Branch III, in Civil Case No. 3518, dismissing appellant's complaint. As found by the trial court, the antecedent facts of the case are as follows: On January 14, 1955, Maglana and Rojas executed their Articles of CoPartnership (Exhibit "A") called Eastcoast Development Enterprises (EDE) with only the two of them as partners. The partnership EDE with an indefinite term of existence was duly registered on January 21, 1955 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. One of the purposes of the duly-registered partnership was to "apply or secure timber and/or minor forests products licenses and concessions over public and/or private forest lands and to operate, develop and promote such forests rights and concessions." (Rollo, p. 114). A duly registered Articles of Co-Partnership was filed together with an application for a timber concession covering the area located at Cateel and Baganga, Davao with the Bureau of Forestry which was approved and Timber License No. 35-56 was duly issued and became the basis of subsequent renewals made for and in behalf of the duly registered partnership EDE. Under the said Articles of Co-Partnership, appellee Maglana shall manage the business affairs of the partnership, including marketing and handling of cash and is authorized to sign all papers and instruments relating to the partnership, while appellant Rojas shall be the logging superintendent and shall manage the logging operations of the partnership. It is also provided in the said articles of co-partnership that all profits and losses of the partnership shall be divided share and share alike between the partners. During the period from January 14, 1955 to April 30, 1956, there was no operation of said partnership (Record on Appeal [R.A.] p. 946). Because of the difficulties encountered, Rojas and Maglana decided to avail of the services of Pahamotang as industrial partner. On March 4, 1956, Maglana, Rojas and Agustin Pahamotang executed their Articles of Co-Partnership (Exhibit "B" and Exhibit "C") under the firm name EASTCOAST DEVELOPMENT ENTERPRISES (EDE). Aside from the slight difference in the purpose of the second partnership which is to hold and secure renewal of timber license instead of to secure the license as in the first partnership and the term of the second partnership is fixed to thirty (30) years, everything else is the same.

The partnership formed by Maglana, Pahamotang and Rojas started operation on May 1, 1956, and was able to ship logs and realize profits. An income was derived from the proceeds of the logs in the sum of P643,633.07 (Decision, R.A. 919). On October 25, 1956, Pahamotang, Maglana and Rojas executed a document entitled "CONDITIONAL SALE OF INTEREST IN THE PARTNERSHIP, EASTCOAST DEVELOPMENT ENTERPRISE" (Exhibits "C" and "D") agreeing among themselves that Maglana and Rojas shall purchase the interest, share and participation in the Partnership of Pahamotang assessed in the amount of P31,501.12. It was also agreed in the said instrument that after payment of the sum of P31,501.12 to Pahamotang including the amount of loan secured by Pahamotang in favor of the partnership, the two (Maglana and Rojas) shall become the owners of all equipment contributed by Pahamotang and the EASTCOAST DEVELOPMENT ENTERPRISES, the name also given to the second partnership, be dissolved. Pahamotang was paid in fun on August 31, 1957. No other rights and obligations accrued in the name of the second partnership (R.A. 921). After the withdrawal of Pahamotang, the partnership was continued by Maglana and Rojas without the benefit of any written agreement or reconstitution of their written Articles of Partnership (Decision, R.A. 948). On January 28, 1957, Rojas entered into a management contract with another logging enterprise, the CMS Estate, Inc. He left and abandoned the partnership (Decision, R.A. 947). On February 4, 1957, Rojas withdrew his equipment from the partnership for use in the newly acquired area (Decision, R.A. 948). The equipment withdrawn were his supposed contributions to the first partnership and was transferred to CMS Estate, Inc. by way of chattel mortgage (Decision, R.A. p. 948). On March 17, 1957, Maglana wrote Rojas reminding the latter of his obligation to contribute, either in cash or in equipment, to the capital investments of the partnership as well as his obligation to perform his duties as logging superintendent. Two weeks after March 17, 1957, Rojas told Maglana that he will not be able to comply with the promised contributions and he will not work as logging superintendent. Maglana then told Rojas that the latter's share will just be 20% of the net profits. Such was the sharing from 1957 to 1959 without complaint or dispute (Decision, R.A. 949).: nad

Meanwhile, Rojas took funds from the partnership more than his contribution. Thus, in a letter dated February 21, 1961 (Exhibit "10") Maglana notified Rojas that he dissolved the partnership (R.A. 949). On April 7, 1961, Rojas filed an action before the Court of First Instance of Davao against Maglana for the recovery of properties, accounting, receivership and damages, docketed as Civil Case No. 3518 (Record on Appeal, pp. 1-26). Rojas' petition for appointment of a receiver was denied (R.A. 894). Upon motion of Rojas on May 23, 1961, Judge Romero appointed commissioners to examine the long and voluminous accounts of the Eastcoast Development Enterprises (Ibid., pp. 894-895). The motion to dismiss the complaint filed by Maglana on June 21, 1961 (Ibid., pp. 102-114) was denied by Judge Romero for want of merit (Ibid., p. 125). Judge Romero also required the inclusion of the entire year 1961 in the report to be submitted by the commissioners (Ibid., pp. 138-143). Accordingly, the commissioners started examining the records and supporting papers of the partnership as well as the information furnished them by the parties, which were compiled in three (3) volumes. On May 11, 1964, Maglana filed his motion for leave of court to amend his answer with counterclaim, attaching thereto the amended answer (Ibid., pp. 26-336), which was granted on May 22, 1964 (Ibid., p. 336). On May 27, 1964, Judge M.G. Reyes approved the submitted Commissioners' Report (Ibid., p. 337). On June 29, 1965, Rojas filed his motion for reconsideration of the order dated May 27, 1964 approving the report of the commissioners which was opposed by the appellee. On September 19, 1964, appellant's motion for reconsideration was denied (Ibid., pp. 446-451). A mandatory pre-trial was conducted on September 8 and 9, 1964 and the following issues were agreed upon to be submitted to the trial court: (a) The nature of partnership and the legal relations of Maglana and Rojas after the dissolution of the second partnership; (b) Their sharing basis: whether in proportion to their contribution or share and share alike; (c) The ownership of properties bought by Maglana in his wife's name;

(d) The damages suffered and who should be liable for them; and (e) The legal effect of the letter dated February 23, 1961 of Maglana dissolving the partnership (Decision, R.A. pp. 895-896).nad After trial, the lower court rendered its decision on March 11, 1968, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: "WHEREFORE, the above facts and issues duly considered, judgment is hereby rendered by the Court declaring that: "1. The nature of the partnership and the legal relations of Maglana and Rojas after Pahamotang retired from the second partnership, that is, after August 31, 1957, when Pahamotang was finally paid his share the partnership of the defendant and the plaintiff is one of a de facto and at will; "2. Whether the sharing of partnership profits should be on the basis of computation, that is the ratio and proportion of their respective contributions, or on the basis of share and share alike this covered by actual contributions of the plaintiff and the defendant and by their verbal agreement; that the sharing of profits and losses is on the basis of actual contributions; that from 1957 to 1959, the sharing is on the basis of 80% for the defendant and 20% for the plaintiff of the profits, but from 1960 to the date of dissolution, February 23, 1961, the plaintiff's share will be on the basis of his actual contribution and, considering his indebtedness to the partnership, the plaintiff is not entitled to any share in the profits of the said partnership; "3. As to whether the properties which were bought by the defendant and placed in his or in his wife's name were acquired with partnership funds or with funds of the defendant and the Court declares that there is no evidence that these properties were acquired by the partnership funds, and therefore the same should not belong to the partnership; "4. As to whether damages were suffered and, if so, how much, and who caused them and who should be liable for them the Court declares that neither parties is entitled to damages, for as already stated above it is not a wise policy to place a price on the right of a person to litigate and/or to come to Court for the assertion of the rights they believe they are entitled to;

"5. As to what is the legal effect of the letter of defendant to the plaintiff dated February 23, 1961; did it dissolve the partnership or not the Court declares that the letter of the defendant to the plaintiff dated February 23, 1961, in effect dissolved the partnership; "6. Further, the Court relative to the canteen, which sells foodstuffs, supplies, and other merchandise to the laborers and employees of the Eastcoast Development Enterprises, the COURT DECLARES THE SAME AS NOT BELONGING TO THE PARTNERSHIP; "7. That the alleged sale of forest concession Exhibit 9-B, executed by Pablo Angeles David is VALID AND BINDING UPON THE PARTIES AND SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF MAGLANA'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE PARTNERSHIP; "8. Further, the Court orders and directs plaintiff Rojas to pay or turn over to the partnership the amount of P69,000.00 the profits he received from the CMS Estate, Inc. operated by him; "9. The claim that plaintiff Rojas should be ordered to pay the further sum of P85,000.00 which according to him he is still entitled to receive from the CMS Estate, Inc. is hereby denied considering that it has not yet been actually received, and further the receipt is merely based upon an expectancy and/or still speculative; "10. The Court also directs and orders plaintiff Rojas to pay the sum of P62,988.19 his personal account to the partnership; "11. The Court also credits the defendant the amount of P85,000.00 the amount he should have received as logging superintendent, and which was not paid to him, and this should be considered as part of Maglana's contribution likewise to the partnership; and "12. The complaint is hereby dismissed with costs against the plaintiff.: rd "SO ORDERED." Decision, Record on Appeal, pp. 985-989). Rojas interposed the instant appeal. The main issue in this case is the nature of the partnership and legal relationship of the Maglana-Rojas after Pahamotang retired from the second partnership. The lower court is of the view that the second partnership superseded the first, so that when the second partnership was dissolved there was no written contract of co-partnership; there was no reconstitution as provided

for in the Maglana, Rojas and Pahamotang partnership contract. Hence, the partnership which was carried on by Rojas and Maglana after the dissolution of the second partnership was a de facto partnership and at will. It was considered as a partnership at will because there was no term, express or implied; no period was fixed, expressly or impliedly (Decision, R.A. pp. 962-963). On the other hand, Rojas insists that the registered partnership under the firm name of Eastcoast Development Enterprises (EDE) evidenced by the Articles of Co-Partnership dated January 14, 1955 (Exhibit "A") has not been novated, superseded and/or dissolved by the unregistered articles of co-partnership among appellant Rojas, appellee Maglana and Agustin Pahamotang, dated March 4, 1956 (Exhibit "C") and accordingly, the terms and stipulations of said registered Articles of Co-Partnership (Exhibit "A") should govern the relations between him and Maglana. Upon withdrawal of Agustin Pahamotang from the unregistered partnership (Exhibit "C"), the legally constituted partnership EDE (Exhibit "A") continues to govern the relations between them and it was legal error to consider a de facto partnership between said two partners or a partnership at will. Hence, the letter of appellee Maglana dated February 23, 1961, did not legally dissolve the registered partnership between them, being in contravention of the partnership agreement agreed upon and stipulated in their Articles of Co-Partnership (Exhibit "A"). Rather, appellant is entitled to the rights enumerated in Article 1837 of the Civil Code and to the sharing profits between them of "share and share alike" as stipulated in the registered Articles of Co-Partnership (Exhibit "A"). After a careful study of the records as against the conflicting claims of Rojas and Maglana, it appears evident that it was not the intention of the partners to dissolve the first partnership, upon the constitution of the second one, which they unmistakably called an "Additional Agreement" (Exhibit "9-B") (Brief for Defendant-Appellee, pp. 24-25). Except for the fact that they took in one industrial partner; gave him an equal share in the profits and fixed the term of the second partnership to thirty (30) years, everything else was the same. Thus, they adopted the same name, EASTCOAST DEVELOPMENT ENTERPRISES, they pursued the same purposes and the capital contributions of Rojas and Maglana as stipulated in both partnerships call for the same amounts. Just as important is the fact that all subsequent renewals of Timber License No. 35-36 were secured in favor of the First Partnership, the original licensee. To all intents and purposes therefore, the First Articles of Partnership were only amended, in the form of Supplementary Articles of Co-Partnership (Exhibit "C") which was never registered (Brief for Plaintiff-Appellant, p. 5).

Otherwise stated, even during the existence of the second partnership, all business transactions were carried out under the duly registered articles. As found by the trial court, it is an admitted fact that even up to now, there are still subsisting obligations and contracts of the latter (Decision, R.A. pp. 950-957). No rights and obligations accrued in the name of the second partnership except in favor of Pahamotang which was fully paid by the duly registered partnership (Decision, R.A., pp. 919-921). On the other hand, there is no dispute that the second partnership was dissolved by common consent. Said dissolution did not affect the first partnership which continued to exist. Significantly, Maglana and Rojas agreed to purchase the interest, share and participation in the second partnership of Pahamotang and that thereafter, the two (Maglana and Rojas) became the owners of equipment contributed by Pahamotang. Even more convincing, is the fact that Maglana on March 17, 1957, wrote Rojas, reminding the latter of his obligation to contribute either in cash or in equipment, to the capital investment of the partnership as well as his obligation to perform his duties as logging superintendent. This reminder cannot refer to any other but to the provisions of the duly registered Articles of Co-Partnership. As earlier stated, Rojas replied that he will not be able to comply with the promised contributions and he will not work as logging superintendent. By such statements, it is obvious that Roxas understood what Maglana was referring to and left no room for doubt that both considered themselves governed by the articles of the duly registered partnership. Under the circumstances, the relationship of Rojas and Maglana after the withdrawal of Pahamotang can neither be considered as a De Facto Partnership, nor a Partnership at Will, for as stressed, there is an existing partnership, duly registered. As to the question of whether or not Maglana can unilaterally dissolve the partnership in the case at bar, the answer is in the affirmative. Hence, as there are only two parties when Maglana notified Rojas that he dissolved the partnership, it is in effect a notice of withdrawal. Under Article 1830, par. 2 of the Civil Code, even if there is a specified term, one partner can cause its dissolution by expressly withdrawing even before the expiration of the period, with or without justifiable cause. Of course, if the cause is not justified or no cause was given, the withdrawing partner is liable for damages but in no case can he be compelled to remain in the firm. With his withdrawal, the number of members is decreased, hence, the dissolution. And in whatever way he may view the

situation, the conclusion is inevitable that Rojas and Maglana shall be guided in the liquidation of the partnership by the provisions of its duly registered Articles of Co-Partnership; that is, all profits and losses of the partnership shall be divided "share and share alike" between the partners. But an accounting must first be made and which in fact was ordered by the trial court and accomplished by the commissioners appointed for the purpose. On the basis of the Commissioners' Report, the corresponding contribution of the partners from 1956-1961 are as follows: Eufracio Rojas who should have contributed P158,158.00, contributed only P18,750.00 while Maglana who should have contributed P160,984.00, contributed P267,541.44 (Decision, R.A. p. 976). It is a settled rule that when a partner who has undertaken to contribute a sum of money fails to do so, he becomes a debtor of the partnership for whatever he may have promised to contribute (Article 1786, Civil Code) and for interests and damages from the time he should have complied with his obligation (Article 1788, Civil Code) (Moran, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 133 SCRA 94 [1984]). Being a contract of partnership, each partner must share in the profits and losses of the venture. That is the essence of a partnership (Ibid., p. 95). Thus, as reported in the Commissioners' Report, Rojas is not entitled to any profits. In their voluminous reports which was approved by the trial court, they showed that on 50-50% basis, Rojas will be liable in the amount of P131,166.00; on 80-20%, he will be liable for P40,092.96 and finally on the basis of actual capital contribution, he will be liable for P52,040.31. Consequently, except as to the legal relationship of the partners after the withdrawal of Pahamotang which is unquestionably a continuation of the duly registered partnership and the sharing of profits and losses which should be on the basis of share and share alike as provided for in the duly registered Articles of Co-Partnership, no plausible reason could be found to disturb the findings and conclusions of the trial court.: nad As to whether Maglana is liable for damages because of such withdrawal, it will be recalled that after the withdrawal of Pahamotang, Rojas entered into a management contract with another logging enterprise, the CMS Estate, Inc., a company engaged in the same business as the partnership. He withdrew his equipment, refused to contribute either in cash or in equipment to the capital investment and to perform his duties as logging superintendent, as stipulated in their partnership agreement. The records

also show that Rojas not only abandoned the partnership but also took funds in an amount more than his contribution (Decision, R.A., p. 949). In the given situation Maglana cannot be said to be in bad faith nor can he be liable for damages. PREMISES CONSIDERED, the assailed decision of the Court of First Instance of Davao, Branch III, is hereby MODIFIED in the sense that the duly registered partnership of Eastcoast Development Enterprises continued to exist until liquidated and that the sharing basis of the partners should be on share and share alike as provided for in its Articles of Partnership, in accordance with the computation of the commissioners. We also hereby AFFIRM the decision of the trial court in all other respects.: nad SO ORDERED.

G.R. No. L-1147

September 24, 1903

ESCOLASTICO DUTERTE Y ROSALES, plaintiff-appellant, vs. FLORENTINO RALLOS, defendant-appellee. The plaintiff-appellant claimed that he, the defendant, and one Castro were partners in the management of a cockpit. The defendant denied this. The court found that no such partnership existed and ordered judgment for the defendant. The plaintiff moved for a new trial, which was denied. To this order and the judgment he excepted and has brought here the evidence on which the court below based its finding. We have examined the evidence and are of the opinion that said finding, so far as the existence of the copartnership to September 1, 1901, is concerned, is plainly and manifestly against the evidence. We reach this conclusion chiefly from the documents written by the defendant and sent to the plaintiff. It is not contradicted that the plaintiff demanded by letter of the defendant a settlement of their accounts. These demands the defendant answered with the following letter: MY DEAR BOY: I am working at these accounts. Perhaps I will have them ready tomorrow morning. But I have no money, unless Mr. Spitz comes on one of these boats, when we will have funds. Yours, FLORENTINO RALLOS. April 13, 1902. On May 7 the defendant wrote another letter to the plaintiff which is in part as follows:

CEBU, May 7, 1902. Seor Don Escolastico Duterte. DEAR BOY: In your letter which I received this afternoon, you designate me as a little less than embezzler. I have in my possession the money of no one but myself. If I have not called you an embezzler or something worse on account of all that you have done and are doing with me, reflect whether you have reason to write me in the manner you do. I have done you a favor in admitting you into the cockpit partnership, as the only manner in which I might collect what you owe me. I think you have made a mistake, and I will frankly refresh your memory. You are indebted to me clearly one thousand pesos, advanced for your former market contract. In the preceding year, the defendant sent to the plaintiff statements of the business for the months of June, July, and August. They are in legal effect the same. The one for July is as follows: Receipts of the cockpit of this city during the entire month of July Expenses Cuotas Rent, 6 days Present to Biloy $300. 00 60.00 20.00 380.000 140.622 ====== == One-third Ticoy owes for seats 46.873 31.200 $520.622 Ticoy's net share Ticoy stands for the plaintiff.

15.673 30.000 45.673

That the plaintiff rendered services in the management of the cockpit, and that the defendant paid him money on account of the cockpit, is undisputed. The defendant, after denying that the plaintiff was his partner, testified, among other things, as follows: The profits were divided. A portion was given to two friends, Seores Duterte and Castro, but not as partners. A portion was given to Seor Duterte solely because he was a friend who aided and encouraged the cockpit. I did not have an agreement with them. As a private individual, he had no duty to perform, except when he had to preside at the cockpit. I am not aware that they, or either of them, rendered other services. I did not tell them the reason why I gave them a share. I paid them for my pleasure, as friends, Duterte had no legal interest. Seor Duterte had not authority to employ any person in the cockpit; this function was exercised solely by Seor Isabelo Alburo, since I gave Seor Duterte a portion only as a friend. Castro, the other supposed partner, and a witness for the defendant, denied that he was such a partner, but his testimony is in part as follows: I do not remember what the profit was, but, as I have said, Seor Rallos sent me $20 or $30. I did not keep any account. I did not receive money monthly, but on Mondays Seor Rallos would send me some money. Seor Rallos began to send me money from 20 to 30 pesos, and this money was what obtained on the preceding Sunday in the cockpit. I think Seor Rallos sent it to me as a present for the reason that he could not be present at the cockpit. I am not a servant or employee of the cockpit. I have not any conversation with Seor Rallos with reference to I am not a servant

or employee of the cockpit. I have not the business. When Seor Rallos sent me that money he sent me no letter. He sent it to me by a messenger. I think that Seor Rallos sent me that money because I went to the cockpit and helped the president on account of the former. Seor Rallos asked me to go to the cockpit. Yes, I have had a conversation with Seor Rallos. In this conversation Seor Rallos said nothing to me about money. Seor Rallos asked me to go to the cockpit to aid the president. It is not true, as I went to the cockpit only to do him a favor. We have, then, the testimony of the plaintiff that he made a verbal contract of partnership with the defendant for this business, uncontradicted evidence that he performed services in connection with it; that the defendant paid him the money on account thereof and sent him accounts for three months showing his interest to be one-third of the profits in addition to the $5 each day, and wrote him a letter in which he said that he admitted the plaintiff into the partnership in order to collect what the plaintiff owed him on another transaction. The reason which the defendant gives for paying the plaintiff money is not credible. We see no way of explaining the accounts submitted by the defendant to plaintiff on any theory other than that there was a partnership between them up to September 1, 1901, at least. The letter of the defendant, in which he says that he admitted the plaintiff into the partnership, can be explained on no other theory. That there was an agreement to share the profits is clearly proved by the accounts submitted. The plaintiff testified that the profits and losses were to be shared equally. But even omitting this testimony, the case is covered by article 1689 of the Civil Code, which provides that, in the absence of agreement as to the losses, they shall be shared as the gains are. Article 1668 of the Civil Code is not applicable to the case. No real estate was contributed by any member. The partnership did not become the owner of the cockpit. It is undisputed that this was owned by the defendant and that the partnership paid him ten dollars a day for the use of it.

Neither can the judgment be sustained on the ground stated by the court in its decision and relied upon by counsel for the appellee here, namely, that Castro should have been joined as a party to the suit. One of the grounds for demurrer mentioned in section 91 of the Code of Civil Procedure is "that there is a defect or misjoinder of parties plaintiff or defendants." No demurrer was interposed on this or in any other ground, and by the terms of section 93 of the same Code, by omitting to demur on this ground the defendant waived the objection which he now makes. The finding of fact by the court below, that there was no partnership, at least to September 1, 1901, was plainly and manifestly against the evidence, and for that reason a new trial of this case must be had. In this new trial, if the evidence is the same as upon the first trial, the plaintiff will be entitled to an accounting, at least to September 1, 1901, and for such further term as the proof upon the new trial shows, in the opinion of the court below, that the partnership existed; that accounting can be had in this suit and a final judgment rendered for the plaintiff if any balance appears in his favor. No second or other suit will be necessary. The judgment of the court below is reversed and the case remanded for a new trial, with the costs of this instance against the appellee, and after the expiration of twenty days, reckoned from the date of this decision, judgment shall be rendered accordingly, and the case is returned to the court below for compliance therewith.

G.R. No. L-21906

December 24, 1968

INOCENCIA DELUAO and FELIPE DELUAO plaintiffs-appellees, vs. NICANOR CASTEEL and JUAN DEPRA, defendants, NICANOR CASTEEL, defendant-appellant. This is an appeal from the order of May 2, 1956, the decision of May 4, 1956 and the order of May 21, 1956, all of the Court of First Instance of Davao, in civil case 629. The basic action is for specific performance, and damages resulting from an alleged breach of contract. In 1940 Nicanor Casteel filed a fishpond application for a big tract of swampy land in the then Sitio of Malalag (now the Municipality of Malalag), Municipality of Padada, Davao. No action was taken thereon by the authorities concerned. During the Japanese occupation, he filed another fishpond application for the same area, but because of the conditions then prevailing, it was not acted upon either. On December 12, 1945 he filed a third fishpond application for the same area, which, after a survey, was found to contain 178.76 hectares. Upon investigation conducted by a representative of the Bureau of Forestry, it was discovered that the area applied for was still needed for firewood production. Hence on May 13, 1946 this third application was disapproved. Despite the said rejection, Casteel did not lose interest. He filed a motion for reconsideration. While this motion was pending resolution, he was advised by the district forester of Davao City that no further action would be taken on his motion, unless he filed a new application for the area concerned. So he filed on May 27, 1947 his fishpond application 1717. Meanwhile, several applications were submitted by other persons for portions of the area covered by Casteel's application. On May 20, 1946 Leoncio Aradillos filed his fishpond application 1202 covering 10 hectares of land found inside the area applied for by Casteel; he was later granted fishpond permit F-289-C covering 9.3 hectares certified as available for fishpond purposes by the Bureau of Forestry. Victor D. Carpio filed on August 8, 1946 his fishpond application 762 over a portion of the land applied for by Casteel. Alejandro Cacam's fishpond application 1276, filed on December 26, 1946, was given due course on December 9, 1947 with the issuance to him of fishpond permit F-539-C to

develop 30 hectares of land comprising a portion of the area applied for by Casteel, upon certification of the Bureau of Forestry that the area was likewise available for fishpond purposes. On November 17, 1948 Felipe Deluao filed his own fishpond application for the area covered by Casteel's application. Because of the threat poised upon his position by the above applicants who entered upon and spread themselves within the area, Casteel realized the urgent necessity of expanding his occupation thereof by constructing dikes and cultivating marketable fishes, in order to prevent old and new squatters from usurping the land. But lacking financial resources at that time, he sought financial aid from his uncle Felipe Deluao who then extended loans totalling more or less P27,000 with which to finance the needed improvements on the fishpond. Hence, a wide productive fishpond was built. Moreover, upon learning that portions of the area applied for by him were already occupied by rival applicants, Casteel immediately filed the corresponding protests. Consequently, two administrative cases ensued involving the area in question, to wit: DANR Case 353, entitled "Fp. Ap. No. 661 (now Fp. A. No. 1717), Nicanor Casteel, applicant-appellant versus Fp. A. No. 763, Victorio D. Carpio, applicant-appellant"; and DANR Case 353-B, entitled "Fp. A. No. 661 (now Fp. A. No. 1717), Nicanor Casteel, applicant-protestant versus Fp. Permit No. 289-C, Leoncio Aradillos, Fp. Permit No. 539-C, Alejandro Cacam, Permittees-Respondents." However, despite the finding made in the investigation of the above administrative cases that Casteel had already introduced improvements on portions of the area applied for by him in the form of dikes, fishpond gates, clearings, etc., the Director of Fisheries nevertheless rejected Casteel's application on October 25, 1949, required him to remove all the improvements which he had introduced on the land, and ordered that the land be leased through public auction. Failing to secure a favorable resolution of his motion for reconsideration of the Director's order, Casteel appealed to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In the interregnum, some more incidents occurred. To avoid repetition, they will be taken up in our discussion of the appellant's third assignment of error.

On November 25, 1949 Inocencia Deluao (wife of Felipe Deluao) as party of the first part, and Nicanor Casteel as party of the second part, executed a contract denominated a "contract of service" the salient provisions of which are as follows: That the Party of the First Part in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements made herein to the Party of the Second Part, hereby enter into a contract of service, whereby the Party of the First Part hires and employs the Party of the Second Part on the following terms and conditions, to wit: That the Party of the First Part will finance as she has hereby financed the sum of TWENTY SEVEN THOUSAND PESOS (P27,000.00), Philippine Currency, to the Party of the Second Part who renders only his services for the construction and improvements of a fishpond at Barrio Malalag, Municipality of Padada, Province of Davao, Philippines; That the Party of the Second Part will be the Manager and sole buyer of all the produce of the fish that will be produced from said fishpond; That the Party of the First Part will be the administrator of the same she having financed the construction and improvement of said fishpond; That this contract was the result of a verbal agreement entered into between the Parties sometime in the month of November, 1947, with all the above-mentioned conditions enumerated; ... On the same date the above contract was entered into, Inocencia Deluao executed a special power of attorney in favor of Jesus Donesa, extending to the latter the authority "To represent me in the administration of the fishpond at Malalag, Municipality of Padada, Province of Davao, Philippines, which has been applied for fishpond permit by Nicanor Casteel, but rejected by the Bureau of Fisheries, and to supervise, demand, receive, and collect the value of the fish that is being periodically realized from it...." On November 29, 1949 the Director of Fisheries rejected the application filed by Felipe Deluao on November 17, 1948. Unfazed by this rejection,

Deluao reiterated his claim over the same area in the two administrative cases (DANR Cases 353 and 353-B) and asked for reinvestigation of the application of Nicanor Casteel over the subject fishpond. However, by letter dated March 15, 1950 sent to the Secretary of Commerce and Agriculture and Natural Resources (now Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources), Deluao withdrew his petition for reinvestigation. On September 15, 1950 the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources issued a decision in DANR Case 353, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: In view of all the foregoing considerations, Fp. A. No. 661 (now Fp. A. No. 1717) of Nicanor Casteel should be, as hereby it is, reinstated and given due course for the area indicated in the sketch drawn at the back of the last page hereof; and Fp. A. No. 762 of Victorio D. Carpio shall remain rejected. On the same date, the same official issued a decision in DANR Case 353B, the dispositive portion stating as follows: WHEREFORE, Fishpond Permit No. F-289-C of Leoncio Aradillos and Fishpond Permit No. F-539-C of Alejandro Cacam, should be, as they are hereby cancelled and revoked; Nicanor Casteel is required to pay the improvements introduced thereon by said permittees in accordance with the terms and dispositions contained elsewhere in this decision.... Sometime in January 1951 Nicanor Casteel forbade Inocencia Deluao from further administering the fishpond, and ejected the latter's representative (encargado), Jesus Donesa, from the premises. Alleging violation of the contract of service (exhibit A) entered into between Inocencia Deluao and Nicanor Casteel, Felipe Deluao and Inocencia Deluao on April 3, 1951 filed an action in the Court of First Instance of Davao for specific performance and damages against Nicanor Casteel and Juan Depra (who, they alleged, instigated Casteel to violate his contract), praying inter alia, (a) that Casteel be ordered to respect and abide by the terms and conditions of said contract and that Inocencia Deluao be allowed to continue administering the said fishpond and collecting the proceeds from the sale of the fishes caught from time to

time; and (b) that the defendants be ordered to pay jointly and severally to plaintiffs the sum of P20,000 in damages. On April 18, 1951 the plaintiffs filed an ex parte motion for the issuance of a preliminary injunction, praying among other things, that during the pendency of the case and upon their filling the requisite bond as may be fixed by the court, a preliminary injunction be issued to restrain Casteel from doing the acts complained of, and that after trial the said injunction be made permanent. The lower court on April 26, 1951 granted the motion, and, two days later, it issued a preliminary mandatory injunction addressed to Casteel, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: POR EL PRESENTE, queda usted ordenado que, hasta nueva orden, usted, el demandado y todos usu abogados, agentes, mandatarios y demas personas que obren en su ayuda, desista de impedir a la demandante Inocencia R. Deluao que continue administrando personalmente la pesqueria objeto de esta causa y que la misma continue recibiendo los productos de la venta de los pescados provenientes de dicha pesqueria, y que, asimismo, se prohibe a dicho demandado Nicanor Casteel a desahuciar mediante fuerza al encargado de los demandantes llamado Jesus Donesa de la pesqueria objeto de la demanda de autos. On May 10, 1951 Casteel filed a motion to dissolve the injunction, alleging among others, that he was the owner, lawful applicant and occupant of the fishpond in question. This motion, opposed by the plaintiffs on June 15, 1951, was denied by the lower court in its order of June 26, 1961. The defendants on May 14, 1951 filed their answer with counterclaim, amended on January 8, 1952, denying the material averments of the plaintiffs' complaint. A reply to the defendants' amended answer was filed by the plaintiffs on January 31, 1952. The defendant Juan Depra moved on May 22, 1951 to dismiss the complaint as to him. On June 4, 1951 the plaintiffs opposed his motion. The defendants filed on October 3, 1951 a joint motion to dismiss on the ground that the plaintiffs' complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted. The motion, opposed by the plaintiffs on October 12, 1951, was denied for lack of merit by the lower court in its order of October 22, 1951. The defendants' motion for reconsideration filed on

October 31, 1951 suffered the same fate when it was likewise denied by the lower court in its order of November 12, 1951. After the issues were joined, the case was set for trial. Then came a series of postponements. The lower court (Branch I, presided by Judge Enrique A. Fernandez) finally issued on March 21, 1956 an order in open court, reading as follows: . Upon petition of plaintiffs, without any objection on the part of defendants, the hearing of this case is hereby transferred to May 2 and 3, 1956 at 8:30 o'clock in the morning. This case was filed on April 3, 1951 and under any circumstance this Court will not entertain any other transfer of hearing of this case and if the parties will not be ready on that day set for hearing, the court will take the necessary steps for the final determination of this case. (emphasis supplied) On April 25, 1956 the defendants' counsel received a notice of hearing dated April 21, 1956, issued by the office of the Clerk of Court (thru the special deputy Clerk of Court) of the Court of First Instance of Davao, setting the hearing of the case for May 2 and 3, 1956 before Judge Amador Gomez of Branch II. The defendants, thru counsel, on April 26, 1956 filed a motion for postponement. Acting on this motion, the lower court (Branch II, presided by Judge Gomez) issued an order dated April 27, 1956, quoted as follows: This is a motion for postponement of the hearing of this case set for May 2 and 3, 1956. The motion is filed by the counsel for the defendants and has the conformity of the counsel for the plaintiffs. An examination of the records of this case shows that this case was initiated as early as April 1951 and that the same has been under advisement of the Honorable Enrique A. Fernandez, Presiding Judge of Branch No. I, since September 24, 1953, and that various incidents have already been considered and resolved by Judge Fernandez on various occasions. The last order issued by Judge Fernandez on this case was issued on March 21, 1956, wherein he definitely states that the Court will not entertain any further postponement of the hearing of this case.

CONSIDERING ALL THE FOREGOING, the Court believes that the consideration and termination of any incident referring to this case should be referred back to Branch I, so that the same may be disposed of therein. (emphasis supplied) A copy of the abovequoted order was served on the defendants' counsel on May 4, 1956. On the scheduled date of hearing, that is, on May 2, 1956, the lower court (Branch I, with Judge Fernandez presiding), when informed about the defendants' motion for postponement filed on April 26, 1956, issued an order reiterating its previous order handed down in open court on March 21, 1956 and directing the plaintiffs to introduce their evidence ex parte, there being no appearance on the part of the defendants or their counsel. On the basis of the plaintiffs' evidence, a decision was rendered on May 4, 1956 the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: EN SU VIRTUD, el Juzgado dicta de decision a favor de los demandantes y en contra del demandado Nicanor Casteel: (a) Declara permanente el interdicto prohibitorio expedido contra el demandado; (b) Ordena al demandado entregue la demandante la posesion y administracion de la mitad () del "fishpond" en cuestion con todas las mejoras existentes dentro de la misma; (c) Condena al demandado a pagar a la demandante la suma de P200.00 mensualmente en concepto de danos a contar de la fecha de la expiracion de los 30 dias de la promulgacion de esta decision hasta que entregue la posesion y administracion de la porcion del "fishpond" en conflicto; (d) Condena al demandado a pagar a la demandante la suma de P2,000.00 valor de los pescado beneficiados, mas los intereses legales de la fecha de la incoacion de la demanda de autos hasta el completo pago de la obligacion principal; (e) Condena al demandado a pagar a la demandante la suma de P2,000.00, por gastos incurridos por aquella durante la pendencia de esta causa;

(f) Condena al demandado a pagar a la demandante, en concepto de honorarios, la suma de P2,000.00; (g) Ordena el sobreseimiento de esta demanda, por insuficiencia de pruebas, en tanto en cuanto se refiere al demandado Juan Depra; (h) Ordena el sobreseimiento de la reconvencion de los demandados por falta de pruebas; (i) Con las costas contra del demandado, Casteel. The defendant Casteel filed a petition for relief from the foregoing decision, alleging, inter alia, lack of knowledge of the order of the court a quo setting the case for trial. The petition, however, was denied by the lower court in its order of May 21, 1956, the pertinent portion of which reads as follows: The duty of Atty. Ruiz, was not to inquire from the Clerk of Court whether the trial of this case has been transferred or not, but to inquire from the presiding Judge, particularly because his motion asking the transfer of this case was not set for hearing and was not also acted upon. Atty. Ruiz knows the nature of the order of this Court dated March 21, 1956, which reads as follows: Upon petition of the plaintiff without any objection on the part of the defendants, the hearing of this case is hereby transferred to May 2 and 3, 1956, at 8:30 o'clock in the morning. This case was filed on April 3, 1951, and under any circumstance this Court will not entertain any other transfer of the hearing of this case, and if the parties will not be ready on the day set for hearing, the Court will take necessary steps for the final disposition of this case. In view of the order above-quoted, the Court will not accede to any transfer of this case and the duty of Atty. Ruiz is no other than to be present in the Sala of this Court and to call the attention of the same to the existence of his motion for transfer.

Petition for relief from judgment filed by Atty. Ruiz in behalf of the defendant, not well taken, the same is hereby denied. Dissatisfied with the said ruling, Casteel appealed to the Court of Appeals which certified the case to us for final determination on the ground that it involves only questions of law. Casteel raises the following issues: (1) Whether the lower court committed gross abuse of discretion when it ordered reception of the appellees' evidence in the absence of the appellant at the trial on May 2, 1956, thus depriving the appellant of his day in court and of his property without due process of law; (2) Whether the lower court committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the verified petition for relief from judgment filed by the appellant on May 11, 1956 in accordance with Rule 38, Rules of Court; and (3) Whether the lower court erred in ordering the issuance ex parte of a writ of preliminary injunction against defendant-appellant, and in not dismissing appellees' complaint. 1. The first and second issues must be resolved against the appellant. The record indisputably shows that in the order given in open court on March 21, 1956, the lower court set the case for hearing on May 2 and 3, 1956 at 8:30 o'clock in the morning and empathically stated that, since the case had been pending since April 3, 1951, it would not entertain any further motion for transfer of the scheduled hearing. An order given in open court is presumed received by the parties on the very date and time of promulgation,1 and amounts to a legal notification for all legal purposes.2 The order of March 21, 1956, given in open court, was a valid notice to the parties, and the notice of hearing dated April 21, 1956 or one month thereafter, was a superfluity. Moreover, as between the order of March 21, 1956, duly promulgated by the lower court, thru Judge Fernandez, and the notice of hearing signed by a "special deputy clerk of court" setting the hearing in another branch of the same court, the former's order was the one legally binding. This is because the

incidents of postponements and adjournments are controlled by the court and not by the clerk of court, pursuant to section 4, Rule 31 (now sec. 3, Rule 22) of the Rules of Court. Much less had the clerk of court the authority to interfere with the order of the court or to transfer the cage from one sala to another without authority or order from the court where the case originated and was being tried. He had neither the duty nor prerogative to re-assign the trial of the case to a different branch of the same court. His duty as such clerk of court, in so far as the incident in question was concerned, was simply to prepare the trial calendar. And this duty devolved upon the clerk of court and not upon the "special deputy clerk of court" who purportedly signed the notice of hearing. It is of no moment that the motion for postponement had the conformity of the appellees' counsel. The postponement of hearings does not depend upon agreement of the parties, but upon the court's discretion. 3 The record further discloses that Casteel was represented by a total of 12 lawyers, none of whom had ever withdrawn as counsel. Notice to Atty. Ruiz of the order dated March 21, 1956 intransferably setting the case for hearing for May 2 and 3, 1956, was sufficient notice to all the appellant's eleven other counsel of record. This is a well-settled rule in our jurisdiction.4 It was the duty of Atty. Ruiz, or of the other lawyers of record, not excluding the appellant himself, to appear before Judge Fernandez on the scheduled dates of hearing Parties and their lawyers have no right to presume that their motions for postponement will be granted. 5 For indeed, the appellant and his 12 lawyers cannot pretend ignorance of the recorded fact that since September 24, 1953 until the trial held on May 2, 1956, the case was under the advisement of Judge Fernandez who presided over Branch I. There was, therefore, no necessity to "re-assign" the same to Branch II because Judge Fernandez had exclusive control of said case, unless he was legally inhibited to try the case and he was not. There is truth in the appellant's contention that it is the duty of the clerk of court not of the Court to prepare the trial calendar. But the assignment or reassignment of cases already pending in one sala to

another sala, and the setting of the date of trial after the trial calendar has been prepared, fall within the exclusive control of the presiding judge. The appellant does not deny the appellees' claim that on May 2 and 3, 1956, the office of the clerk of court of the Court of First Instance of Davao was located directly below Branch I. If the appellant and his counsel had exercised due diligence, there was no impediment to their going upstairs to the second storey of the Court of First Instance building in Davao on May 2, 1956 and checking if the case was scheduled for hearing in the said sala. The appellant after all admits that on May 2, 1956 his counsel went to the office of the clerk of court. The appellant's statement that parties as a matter of right are entitled to notice of trial, is correct. But he was properly accorded this right. He was notified in open court on March 21, 1956 that the case was definitely and intransferably set for hearing on May 2 and 3, 1956 before Branch I. He cannot argue that, pursuant to the doctrine in Siochi vs. Tirona,6 his counsel was entitled to a timely notice of the denial of his motion for postponement. In the cited case the motion for postponement was the first one filed by the defendant; in the case at bar, there had already been a series of postponements. Unlike the case at bar, the Siochi case was not intransferably set for hearing. Finally, whereas the cited case did not spend for a long time, the case at bar was only finally and intransferably set for hearing on March 21, 1956 after almost five years had elapsed from the filing of the complaint on April 3, 1951. The pretension of the appellant and his 12 counsel of record that they lacked ample time to prepare for trial is unacceptable because between March 21, 1956 and May 2, 1956, they had one month and ten days to do so. In effect, the appellant had waived his right to appear at the trial and therefore he cannot be heard to complain that he has been deprived of his property without due process of law.7 Verily, the constitutional requirements of due process have been fulfilled in this case: the lower court is a competent court; it lawfully acquired jurisdiction over the person of the defendant (appellant) and the subject matter of the action; the defendant (appellant) was given an opportunity to be heard; and judgment was rendered upon lawful hearing. 8 2. Finally, the appellant contends that the lower court incurred an error in ordering the issuance ex parte of a writ of preliminary injunction against

him, and in not dismissing the appellee's complaint. We find this contention meritorious. Apparently, the court a quo relied on exhibit A the so-called "contract of service" and the appellees' contention that it created a contract of coownership and partnership between Inocencia Deluao and the appellant over the fishpond in question. Too well-settled to require any citation of authority is the rule that everyone is conclusively presumed to know the law. It must be assumed, conformably to such rule, that the parties entered into the so-called "contract of service" cognizant of the mandatory and prohibitory laws governing the filing of applications for fishpond permits. And since they were aware of the said laws, it must likewise be assumed in fairness to the parties that they did not intend to violate them. This view must perforce negate the appellees' allegation that exhibit A created a contract of co-ownership between the parties over the disputed fishpond. Were we to admit the establishment of a co-ownership violative of the prohibitory laws which will hereafter be discussed, we shall be compelled to declare altogether the nullity of the contract. This would certainly not serve the cause of equity and justice, considering that rights and obligations have already arisen between the parties. We shall therefore construe the contract as one of partnership, divided into two parts namely, a contract of partnership to exploit the fishpond pending its award to either Felipe Deluao or Nicanor Casteel, and a contract of partnership to divide the fishpond between them after such award. The first is valid, the second illegal. It is well to note that when the appellee Inocencia Deluao and the appellant entered into the so-called "contract of service" on November 25, 1949, there were two pending applications over the fishpond. One was Casteel's which was appealed by him to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources after it was disallowed by the Director of Fisheries on October 25, 1949. The other was Felipe Deluao's application over the same area which was likewise rejected by the Director of Fisheries on November 29, 1949, refiled by Deluao and later on withdrawn by him by letter dated March 15, 1950 to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Clearly, although the fishpond was then in the possession of Casteel, neither he nor, Felipe Deluao was the holder of a fishpond permit over the area. But be that as it may, they were not however precluded from exploiting the fishpond pending resolution of Casteel's appeal or the

approval of Deluao's application over the same area whichever event happened first. No law, rule or regulation prohibited them from doing so. Thus, rather than let the fishpond remain idle they cultivated it. The evidence preponderates in favor of the view that the initial intention of the parties was not to form a co-ownership but to establish a partnership Inocencia Deluao as capitalist partner and Casteel as industrial partner the ultimate undertaking of which was to divide into two equal parts such portion of the fishpond as might have been developed by the amount extended by the plaintiffs-appellees, with the further provision that Casteel should reimburse the expenses incurred by the appellees over one-half of the fishpond that would pertain to him. This can be gleaned, among others, from the letter of Casteel to Felipe Deluao on November 15, 1949, which states, inter alia: ... [W]ith respect to your allowing me to use your money, same will redound to your benefit because you are the ones interested in half of the work we have done so far, besides I did not insist on our being partners in my fishpond permit, but it was you "Tatay" Eping the one who wanted that we be partners and it so happened that we became partners because I am poor , but in the midst of my poverty it never occurred to me to be unfair to you. Therefore so that each of us may be secured, let us have a document prepared to the effect that we are partners in the fishpond that we caused to be made here in Balasinon, but it does not mean that you will treat me as one of your "Bantay" (caretaker) on wage basis but not earning wages at all, while the truth is that we are partners . In the event that you are not amenable to my proposition and consider me as "Bantay" (caretaker) instead, do not blame me if I withdraw all my cases and be left without even a little and you likewise. (emphasis supplied)9 Pursuant to the foregoing suggestion of the appellant that a document be drawn evidencing their partnership, the appellee Inocencia Deluao and the appellant executed exhibit A which, although denominated a "contract of service," was actually the memorandum of their partnership agreement. That it was not a contract of the services of the appellant, was admitted by the appellees themselves in their letter10 to Casteel dated December 19, 1949 wherein they stated that they did not employ him in his (Casteel's) claim but because he used their money in developing and improving the fishpond, his right must be divided between them. Of

course, although exhibit A did not specify any wage or share appertaining to the appellant as industrial partner, he was so entitled this being one of the conditions he specified for the execution of the document of partnership.11 Further exchanges of letters between the parties reveal the continuing intent to divide the fishpond. In a letter, 12dated March 24, 1950, the appellant suggested that they divide the fishpond and the remaining capital, and offered to pay the Deluaos a yearly installment of P3,000 presumably as reimbursement for the expenses of the appellees for the development and improvement of the one-half that would pertain to the appellant. Two days later, the appellee Felipe Deluao replied, 13expressing his concurrence in the appellant's suggestion and advising the latter to ask for a reconsideration of the order of the Director of Fisheries disapproving his (appellant's) application, so that if a favorable decision was secured, then they would divide the area. Apparently relying on the partnership agreement, the appellee Felipe Deluao saw no further need to maintain his petition for the reinvestigation of Casteel's application. Thus by letter14 dated March 15, 1950 addressed to the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, he withdrew his petition on the alleged ground that he was no longer interested in the area, but stated however that he wanted his interest to be protected and his capital to be reimbursed by the highest bidder. The arrangement under the so-called "contract of service" continued until the decisions both dated September 15, 1950 were issued by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources in DANR Cases 353 and 353-B. This development, by itself, brought about the dissolution of the partnership. Moreover, subsequent events likewise reveal the intent of both parties to terminate the partnership because each refused to share the fishpond with the other. Art. 1830(3) of the Civil Code enumerates, as one of the causes for the dissolution of a partnership, "... any event which makes it unlawful for the business of the partnership to be carried on or for the members to carry it on in partnership." The approval of the appellant's fishpond application by the decisions in DANR Cases 353 and 353-B brought to the fore several provisions of law which made the continuation of the partnership unlawful and therefore caused its ipso facto dissolution.

Act 4003, known as the Fisheries Act, prohibits the holder of a fishpond permit (the permittee) from transferring or subletting the fishpond granted to him, without the previous consent or approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 15 To the same effect is Condition No. 3 of the fishpond permit which states that "The permittee shall not transfer or sublet all or any area herein granted or any rights acquired therein without the previous consent and approval of this Office." Parenthetically, we must observe that in DANR Case 353-B, the permit granted to one of the parties therein, Leoncio Aradillos, was cancelled not solely for the reason that his permit covered a portion of the area included in the appellant's prior fishpond application, but also because, upon investigation, it was ascertained thru the admission of Aradillos himself that due to lack of capital, he allowed one Lino Estepa to develop with the latter's capital the area covered by his fishpond permit F-289-C with the understanding that he (Aradillos) would be given a share in the produce thereof.16 Sec. 40 of Commonwealth Act 141, otherwise known as the Public Land Act, likewise provides that The lessee shall not assign, encumber, or sublet his rights without the consent of the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce, and the violation of this condition shall avoid the contract; Provided, That assignment, encumbrance, or subletting for purposes of speculation shall not be permitted in any case: Provided, further, That nothing contained in this section shall be understood or construed to permit the assignment, encumbrance, or subletting of lands leased under this Act, or under any previous Act, to persons, corporations, or associations which under this Act, are not authorized to lease public lands. Finally, section 37 of Administrative Order No. 14 of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources issued in August 1937, prohibits a transfer or sublease unless first approved by the Director of Lands and under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe. Thus, it states: When a transfer or sub-lease of area and improvement may be allowed. If the permittee or lessee had, unless otherwise specifically provided, held the permit or lease and actually operated and made improvements on the area for at least one year, he/she

may request permission to sub-lease or transfer the area and improvements under certain conditions. (a) Transfer subject to approval. A sub-lease or transfer shall only be valid when first approved by the Director under such terms and conditions as may be prescribed, otherwise it shall be null and void. A transfer not previously approved or reported shall be considered sufficient cause for the cancellation of the permit or lease and forfeiture of the bond and for granting the area to a qualified applicant or bidder, as provided in subsection (r) of Sec. 33 of this Order. Since the partnership had for its object the division into two equal parts of the fishpond between the appellees and the appellant after it shall have been awarded to the latter, and therefore it envisaged the unauthorized transfer of one-half thereof to parties other than the applicant Casteel, it was dissolved by the approval of his application and the award to him of the fishpond. The approval was an event which made it unlawful for the business of the partnership to be carried on or for the members to carry it on in partnership. The appellees, however, argue that in approving the appellant's application, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources likewise recognized and/or confirmed their property right to one-half of the fishpond by virtue of the contract of service, exhibit A. But the untenability of this argument would readily surface if one were to consider that the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources did not do so for the simple reason that he does not possess the authority to violate the aforementioned prohibitory laws nor to exempt anyone from their operation. However, assuming in gratia argumenti that the approval of Casteel's application, coupled with the foregoing prohibitory laws, was not enough to cause the dissolution ipso facto of their partnership, succeeding events reveal the intent of both parties to terminate the partnership by refusing to share the fishpond with the other. On December 27, 1950 Casteel wrote17 the appellee Inocencia Deluao, expressing his desire to divide the fishpond so that he could administer his own share, such division to be subject to the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. By letter dated December 29,

1950,18 the appellee Felipe Deluao demurred to Casteel's proposition because there were allegedly no appropriate grounds to support the same and, moreover, the conflict over the fishpond had not been finally resolved. The appellant wrote on January 4, 1951 a last letter 19 to the appellee Felipe Deluao wherein the former expressed his determination to administer the fishpond himself because the decision of the Government was in his favor and the only reason why administration had been granted to the Deluaos was because he was indebted to them. In the same letter, the appellant forbade Felipe Deluao from sending the couple's encargado, Jesus Donesa, to the fishpond. In reply thereto, Felipe Deluao wrote a letter20 dated January 5, 1951 in which he reiterated his refusal to grant the administration of the fishpond to the appellant, stating as a ground his belief "that only the competent agencies of the government are in a better position to render any equitable arrangement relative to the present case; hence, any action we may privately take may not meet the procedure of legal order." Inasmuch as the erstwhile partners articulated in the aforecited letters their respective resolutions not to share the fishpond with each other in direct violation of the undertaking for which they have established their partnership each must be deemed to have expressly withdrawn from the partnership, thereby causing its dissolution pursuant to art. 1830(2) of the Civil Code which provides, inter alia, that dissolution is caused "by the express will of any partner at any time." In this jurisdiction, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources possesses executive and administrative powers with regard to the survey, classification, lease, sale or any other form of concession or disposition and management of the lands of the public domain, and, more specifically, with regard to the grant or withholding of licenses, permits, leases and contracts over portions of the public domain to be utilized as fishponds.21, Thus, we held in Pajo, et al. vs. Ago, et al. (L-15414, June 30, 1960), and reiterated in Ganitano vs. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, et al. (L-21167, March 31, 1966), that ... [T]he powers granted to the Secretary of Agriculture and Commerce (Natural Resources) by law regarding the disposition of public lands such as granting of licenses, permits, leases, and

contracts, or approving, rejecting, reinstating, or cancelling applications, or deciding conflicting applications, are all executive and administrative in nature. It is a well-recognized principle that purely administrative and discretionary functions may not be interfered with by the courts (Coloso v. Board of Accountancy, G.R. No. L-5750, April 20, 1953). In general, courts have no supervising power over the proceedings and action of the administrative departments of the government. This is generally true with respect to acts involving the exercise of judgment or discretion, and findings of fact. (54 Am. Jur. 558-559) Findings of fact by an administrative board or official, following a hearing, are binding upon the courts and will not be disturbed except where the board or official has gone beyond his statutory authority, exercised unconstitutional powers or clearly acted arbitrarily and without regard to his duty or with grave abuse of discretion... (emphasis supplied) In the case at bar, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources gave due course to the appellant's fishpond application 1717 and awarded to him the possession of the area in question. In view of the finality of the Secretary's decision in DANR Cases 353 and 353-B, and considering the absence of any proof that the said official exceeded his statutory authority, exercised unconstitutional powers, or acted with arbitrariness and in disregard of his duty, or with grave abuse of discretion, we can do no less than respect and maintain unfettered his official acts in the premises. It is a salutary rule that the judicial department should not dictate to the executive department what to do with regard to the administration and disposition of the public domain which the law has entrusted to its care and administration. Indeed, courts cannot superimpose their discretion on that of the land department and compel the latter to do an act which involves the exercise of judgment and discretion.22 Therefore, with the view that we take of this case, and even assuming that the injunction was properly issued because present all the requisite grounds for its issuance, its continuation, and, worse, its declaration as permanent, was improper in the face of the knowledge later acquired by the lower court that it was the appellant's application over the fishpond which was given due course. After the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources approved the appellant's application, he became to all intents and purposes the legal permittee of the area with the corresponding right to possess, occupy and enjoy the same.

Consequently, the lower court erred in issuing the preliminary mandatory injunction. We cannot overemphasize that an injunction should not be granted to take property out of the possession and control of one party and place it in the hands of another whose title has not been clearly established by law.23 However, pursuant to our holding that there was a partnership between the parties for the exploitation of the fishpond before it was awarded to Casteel, this case should be remanded to the lower court for the reception of evidence relative to an accounting from November 25, 1949 to September 15, 1950, in order for the court to determine (a) the profits realized by the partnership, (b) the share (in the profits) of Casteel as industrial partner, (e) the share (in the profits) of Deluao as capitalist partner, and (d) whether the amounts totalling about P27,000 advanced by Deluao to Casteel for the development and improvement of the fishpond have already been liquidated. Besides, since the appellee Inocencia Deluao continued in possession and enjoyment of the fishpond even after it was awarded to Casteel, she did so no longer in the concept of a capitalist partner but merely as creditor of the appellant, and therefore, she must likewise submit in the lower court an accounting of the proceeds of the sales of all the fishes harvested from the fishpond from September 16, 1950 until Casteel shall have been finally given the possession and enjoyment of the same. In the event that the appellee Deluao has received more than her lawful credit of P27,000 (or whatever amounts have been advanced to Casteel), plus 6% interest thereon per annum, then she should reimburse the excess to the appellant. ACCORDINGLY, the judgment of the lower court is set aside. Another judgment is hereby rendered: (1) dissolving the injunction issued against the appellant, (2) placing the latter back in possession of the fishpond in litigation, and (3) remanding this case to the court of origin for the reception of evidence relative to the accounting that the parties must perforce render in the premises, at the termination of which the court shall render judgment accordingly. The appellant's counterclaim is dismissed. No pronouncement as to costs.

G.R. No. L-24193

June 28, 1968

MAURICIO AGAD, plaintiff-appellant, vs. SEVERINO MABATO and MABATO and AGAD COMPANY, defendantsappellees. In this appeal, taken by plaintiff Mauricio Agad, from an order of dismissal of the Court of First Instance of Davao, we are called upon to determine the applicability of Article 1773 of our Civil Code to the contract of partnership on which the complaint herein is based. Alleging that he and defendant Severino Mabato are pursuant to a public instrument dated August 29, 1952, copy of which is attached to the complaint as Annex "A" partners in a fishpond business, to the capital of which Agad contributed P1,000, with the right to receive 50% of the profits; that from 1952 up to and including 1956, Mabato who handled the partnership funds, had yearly rendered accounts of the operations of the partnership; and that, despite repeated demands, Mabato had failed and refused to render accounts for the years 1957 to 1963, Agad prayed in his complaint against Mabato and Mabato & Agad Company, filed on June 9, 1964, that judgment be rendered sentencing Mabato to pay him (Agad) the sum of P14,000, as his share in the profits of the partnership for the period from 1957 to 1963, in addition to P1,000 as attorney's fees, and ordering the dissolution of the partnership, as well as the winding up of its affairs by a receiver to be appointed therefor.

In his answer, Mabato admitted the formal allegations of the complaint and denied the existence of said partnership, upon the ground that the contract therefor had not been perfected, despite the execution of Annex "A", because Agad had allegedly failed to give his P1,000 contribution to the partnership capital. Mabato prayed, therefore, that the complaint be dismissed; that Annex "A" be declared void ab initio; and that Agad be sentenced to pay actual, moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees. Subsequently, Mabato filed a motion to dismiss, upon the ground that the complaint states no cause of action and that the lower court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case, because it involves principally the determination of rights over public lands. After due hearing, the court issued the order appealed from, granting the motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. This conclusion was predicated upon the theory that the contract of partnership, Annex "A", is null and void, pursuant to Art. 1773 of our Civil Code, because an inventory of the fishpond referred in said instrument had not been attached thereto. A reconsideration of this order having been denied, Agad brought the matter to us for review by record on appeal. Articles 1771 and 1773 of said Code provide: Art. 1771. A partnership may be constituted in any form, except where immovable property or real rights are contributed thereto, in which case a public instrument shall be necessary. Art. 1773. A contract of partnership is void, whenever immovable property is contributed thereto, if inventory of said property is not made, signed by the parties; and attached to the public instrument. The issue before us hinges on whether or not "immovable property or real rights" have been contributed to the partnership under consideration. Mabato alleged and the lower court held that the answer should be in the affirmative, because "it is really inconceivable how a partnership engaged in the fishpond business could exist without said fishpond property (being) contributed to the partnership." It should be noted, however, that, as stated in Annex "A" the partnership was established "to operate a fishpond", not to "engage in a fishpond business". Moreover, none of the partners contributed either a fishpond or a real right to any fishpond. Their

contributions were limited to the sum of P1,000 each. Indeed, Paragraph 4 of Annex "A" provides: That the capital of the said partnership is Two Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos Philippine Currency, of which One Thousand (P1,000.00) pesos has been contributed by Severino Mabato and One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos has been contributed by Mauricio Agad. xxx xxx xxx

The operation of the fishpond mentioned in Annex "A" was the purpose of the partnership. Neither said fishpond nor a real right thereto was contributed to the partnership or became part of the capital thereof, even if a fishpond or a real right thereto could become part of its assets. WHEREFORE, we find that said Article 1773 of the Civil Code is not in point and that, the order appealed from should be, as it is hereby set aside and the case remanded to the lower court for further proceedings, with the costs of this instance against defendant-appellee, Severino Mabato. It is so ordered.

AGUILAR V. CA- CO-OWNERSHIP Any of the Co-owners may demand the sale of the house and lot at any time and the other cannot object to such demand; thereafter the proceeds of the sale shall be divided equally according to their respective interests. FACTS:

Petitioner Vergilio and respondent Senen bought a house and lot in Paraaque where their father could spend and enjoy his remaining years in a peaceful neighborhood. They initially agreed that Vergilio will get 2/3 and Senen will get 1/3; but later they agreed on equal shares. Senen was left in the said lot to take care of their father since Vergilios family was in Cebu. After their fathers death petitioner demanded from private respondent that the latter vacate the house and that the property be sold and proceeds thereof divided among them but the latter refused. Petitioner then filed to compel the sale of the property. The chunk of the issue tackled by the courts was regarding the pre-trial. Respondent filed a motion to cancel Pre-trial since the counsel had to accompany his wife in Dumaguete City where she would be a principal sponsor in a wedding. CFI denied the motion; and the pre-trial proceeded on the scheduled date. The respondents did not appear thus they were declared in default. The trial went on ex parte without the respondent and held that the property should be sold to a third party and that the proceeds be distributed to the parties; in addition respondent was made to pay rent from the time the action was filed. Respondents appealed this and the decision was reversed by the CA saying that the TC erred in declaring respondents in default; the case was then remanded to the trial court. Hence this appeal. ISSUE: A) W/N CA erred (1) in holding that the motion of respondent through counsel to cancel the pre-trial was dilatory in character and (2) in remanding the case to the trial court for pre-trial and trial? ISSUE RELEVANT TO PROPERTY: B) W/N trial court was correct with regards to the sale and rent? SC held that of the proceeds should go to the petitioner and the remainder to the respondent (1,200 each.) Also rent was awarded 1,200 pesos per month with legal interest from the time the trial court ordered the respondent to vacate, for the use and enjoyment of the other half of RULING: A) YES, CA erred in granting the respondents motion and remanding the case. The law is clear that the appearance of parties at the pretrial is mandatory. A party who fails to appear at a pre-trial conference may be non-suited or considered as in default. It is the discretion of the court to grant the motion if it sees that the reason for the cancelation of the same would be reasonable. SC found that the reason for the cancelation of the pre-trial was insufficient and that the trial court was not in grave abuse of discretion when they denied it. B) YES, with a few modification. Petitioner and respondents are co-owners of subject house and lot in equal shares; either one of them may demand the sale of the house and lot at any time and the other cannot object to such demand; thereafter the proceeds of the sale shall be divided equally according to their respective interests. BASIS: Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership, and that each co-owner may demand at any time partition of the thing owned in common insofar as his share is concerned. Corollary to this rule, Art. 498 of the Code states that whenever the thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds accordingly distributed.

the property. BASIS: When petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the property and the trial court granted the petition and ordered the ejectment of respondent, the co-ownership was deemed terminated and the right to enjoy the possession jointly also ceased.

G.R. No. L-31684 June 28, 1973

EVANGELISTA & CO., DOMINGO C. EVANGELISTA, JR., CONCHITA B. NAVARRO and LEONARDA ATIENZA ABAD SABTOS, petitioners, vs. ESTRELLA ABAD SANTOS, respondent. On October 9, 1954 a co-partnership was formed under the name of "Evangelista & Co." On June 7, 1955 the Articles of Co-partnership was amended as to include herein respondent, Estrella Abad Santos, as industrial partner, with herein petitioners Domingo C. Evangelista, Jr., Leonardo Atienza Abad Santos and Conchita P. Navarro, the original capitalist partners, remaining in that capacity, with a contribution of P17,500 each. The amended Articles provided, inter alia, that "the contribution of Estrella Abad Santos consists of her industry being an industrial partner", and that the profits and losses "shall be divided and distributed among the partners ... in the proportion of 70% for the first three partners, Domingo C. Evangelista, Jr., Conchita P. Navarro and Leonardo Atienza Abad Santos to be divided among them equally; and 30% for the fourth partner Estrella Abad Santos." On December 17, 1963 herein respondent filed suit against the three other partners in the Court of First Instance of Manila, alleging that the partnership, which was also made a party-defendant, had been paying dividends to the partners except to her; and that notwithstanding her demands the defendants had refused and continued to refuse and let her examine the partnership books or to give her information regarding the partnership affairs to pay her any share in the dividends declared by the partnership. She therefore prayed that the defendants be ordered to render accounting to her of the partnership business and to pay her corresponding share in the partnership profits after such accounting, plus attorney's fees and costs. The defendants, in their answer, denied ever having declared dividends or distributed profits of the partnership; denied likewise that the plaintiff ever demanded that she be allowed to examine the partnership books; and byway of affirmative defense alleged that the amended Articles of Copartnership did not express the true agreement of the parties, which was that the plaintiff was not an industrial partner; that she did not in fact contribute industry to the partnership; and that her share of 30% was to be based on the profits which might be realized by the partnership only until full payment of the loan which it had obtained in December, 1955 from the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation in the sum of P30,000, for

which the plaintiff had signed a promisory note as co-maker and mortgaged her property as security. The parties are in agreement that the main issue in this case is "whether the plaintiff-appellee (respondent here) is an industrial partner as claimed by her or merely a profit sharer entitled to 30% of the net profits that may be realized by the partnership from June 7, 1955 until the mortgage loan from the Rehabilitation Finance Corporation shall be fully paid, as claimed by appellants (herein petitioners)." On that issue the Court of First Instance found for the plaintiff and rendered judgement "declaring her an industrial partner of Evangelista & Co.; ordering the defendants to render an accounting of the business operations of the (said) partnership ... from June 7, 1955; to pay the plaintiff such amounts as may be due as her share in the partnership profits and/or dividends after such an accounting has been properly made; to pay plaintiff attorney's fees in the sum of P2,000.00 and the costs of this suit." The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals, which thereafter affirmed judgments of the court a quo. In the petition before Us the petitioners have assigned the following errors: I. The Court of Appeals erred in the finding that the respondent is an industrial partner of Evangelista & Co., notwithstanding the admitted fact that since 1954 and until after promulgation of the decision of the appellate court the said respondent was one of the judges of the City Court of Manila, and despite its findings that respondent had been paid for services allegedly contributed by her to the partnership. In this connection the Court of Appeals erred: (A) In finding that the "amended Articles of Copartnership," Exhibit "A" is conclusive evidence that respondent was in fact made an industrial partner of Evangelista & Co. (B) In not finding that a portion of respondent's testimony quoted in the decision proves that said respondent did not bind herself to contribute her industry, and she could not, and

in fact did not, because she was one of the judges of the City Court of Manila since 1954. (C) In finding that respondent did not in fact contribute her industry, despite the appellate court's own finding that she has been paid for the services allegedly rendered by her, as well as for the loans of money made by her to the partnership. II. The lower court erred in not finding that in any event the respondent was lawfully excluded from, and deprived of, her alleged share, interests and participation, as an alleged industrial partner, in the partnership Evangelista & Co., and its profits or net income. III. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming in toto the decision of the trial court whereby respondent was declared an industrial partner of the petitioner, and petitioners were ordered to render an accounting of the business operation of the partnership from June 7, 1955, and to pay the respondent her alleged share in the net profits of the partnership plus the sum of P2,000.00 as attorney's fees and the costs of the suit, instead of dismissing respondent's complaint, with costs, against the respondent. It is quite obvious that the questions raised in the first assigned errors refer to the facts as found by the Court of Appeals. The evidence presented by the parties as the trial in support of their respective positions on the issue of whether or not the respondent was an industrial partner was thoroughly analyzed by the Court of Appeals on its decision, to the extent of reproducing verbatim therein the lengthy testimony of the witnesses. It is not the function of the Supreme Court to analyze or weigh such evidence all over again, its jurisdiction being limited to reviewing errors of law that might have been commited by the lower court. It should be observed, in this regard, that the Court of Appeals did not hold that the Articles of Co-partnership, identified in the record as Exhibit "A", was conclusive evidence that the respondent was an industrial partner of the said company, but considered it together with other factors, consisting of

both testimonial and documentary evidences, in arriving at the factual conclusion expressed in the decision. The findings of the Court of Appeals on the various points raised in the first assignment of error are hereunder reproduced if only to demonstrate that the same were made after a through analysis of then evidence, and hence are beyond this Court's power of review. The aforequoted findings of the lower Court are assailed under Appellants' first assigned error, wherein it is pointed out that "Appellee's documentary evidence does not conclusively prove that appellee was in fact admitted by appellants as industrial partner of Evangelista & Co." and that "The grounds relied upon by the lower Court are untenable" (Pages 21 and 26, Appellant's Brief). The first point refers to Exhibit A, B, C, K, K-1, J, N and S, appellants' complaint being that "In finding that the appellee is an industrial partner of appellant Evangelista & Co., herein referred to as the partnership the lower court relied mainly on the appellee's documentary evidence, entirely disregarding facts and circumstances established by appellants" evidence which contradict the said finding' (Page 21, Appellants' Brief). The lower court could not have done otherwise but rely on the exhibits just mentioned, first, because appellants have admitted their genuineness and due execution, hence they were admitted without objection by the lower court when appellee rested her case and, secondly the said exhibits indubitably show the appellee is an industrial partner of appellant company. Appellants are virtually estopped from attempting to detract from the probative force of the said exhibits because they all bear the imprint of their knowledge and consent, and there is no credible showing that they ever protested against or opposed their contents prior of the filing of their answer to appellee's complaint. As a matter of fact, all the appellant Evangelista, Jr., would have us believe as against the cumulative force of appellee's aforesaid documentary evidence is the appellee's Exhibit "A", as confirmed and corroborated by the other exhibits already mentioned, does not express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto, the real

understanding between them being the appellee would be merely a profit sharer entitled to 30% of the net profits that may be realized between the partners from June 7, 1955, until the mortgage loan of P30,000.00 to be obtained from the RFC shall have been fully paid. This version, however, is discredited not only by the aforesaid documentary evidence brought forward by the appellee, but also by the fact that from June 7, 1955 up to the filing of their answer to the complaint on February 8, 1964 or a period of over eight (8) years appellants did nothing to correct the alleged false agreement of the parties contained in Exhibit "A". It is thus reasonable to suppose that, had appellee not filed the present action, appellants would not have advanced this obvious afterthought that Exhibit "A" does not express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto. At pages 32-33 of appellants' brief, they also make much of the argument that 'there is an overriding fact which proves that the parties to the Amended Articles of Partnership, Exhibit "A", did not contemplate to make the appellee Estrella Abad Santos, an industrial partner of Evangelista & Co. It is an admitted fact that since before the execution of the amended articles of partnership, Exhibit "A", the appellee Estrella Abad Santos has been, and up to the present time still is, one of the judges of the City Court of Manila, devoting all her time to the performance of the duties of her public office. This fact proves beyond peradventure that it was never contemplated between the parties, for she could not lawfully contribute her full time and industry which is the obligation of an industrial partner pursuant to Art. 1789 of the Civil Code. The Court of Appeals then proceeded to consider appellee's testimony on this point, quoting it in the decision, and then concluded as follows: One cannot read appellee's testimony just quoted without gaining the very definite impression that, even as she was and still is a Judge of the City Court of Manila, she has rendered services for appellants without which they would not have had the wherewithal to operate the business for which appellant company was organized. Article 1767 of the

New Civil Code which provides that "By contract of partnership two or more persons bind themselves, to contribute money, property, or industry to a common fund, with the intention of dividing the profits among themselves, 'does not specify the kind of industry that a partner may thus contribute, hence the said services may legitimately be considered as appellee's contribution to the common fund. Another article of the same Code relied upon appellants reads: 'ART. 1789. An industrial partner cannot engage in business for himself, unless the partnership expressly permits him to do so; and if he should do so, the capitalist partners may either exclude him from the firm or avail themselves of the benefits which he may have obtained in violation of this provision, with a right to damages in either case.' It is not disputed that the provision against the industrial partner engaging in business for himself seeks to prevent any conflict of interest between the industrial partner and the partnership, and to insure faithful compliance by said partner with this prestation. There is no pretense, however, even on the part of the appellee is engaged in any business antagonistic to that of appellant company, since being a Judge of one of the branches of the City Court of Manila can hardly be characterized as a business. That appellee has faithfully complied with her prestation with respect to appellants is clearly shown by the fact that it was only after filing of the complaint in this case and the answer thereto appellants exercised their right of exclusion under the codal art just mentioned by alleging in their Supplemental Answer dated June 29, 1964 or after around nine (9) years from June 7, 1955 subsequent to the filing of defendants' answer to the complaint, defendants reached an agreement whereby the herein plaintiff been excluded from, and deprived of, her alleged share, interests or participation, as an alleged industrial partner, in the defendant partnership and/or in its net profits or income, on the ground plaintiff has never contributed her industry to the partnership, instead she has been and still is a judge of the City Court (formerly

Municipal Court) of the City of Manila, devoting her time to performance of her duties as such judge and enjoying the privilege and emoluments appertaining to the said office, aside from teaching in law school in Manila, without the express consent of the herein defendants' (Record On Appeal, pp. 24-25). Having always knows as a appellee as a City judge even before she joined appellant company on June 7, 1955 as an industrial partner, why did it take appellants many yearn before excluding her from said company as aforequoted allegations? And how can they reconcile such exclusive with their main theory that appellee has never been such a partner because "The real agreement evidenced by Exhibit "A" was to grant the appellee a share of 30% of the net profits which the appellant partnership may realize from June 7, 1955, until the mortgage of P30,000.00 obtained from the Rehabilitation Finance Corporal shall have been fully paid." (Appellants Brief, p. 38). What has gone before persuades us to hold with the lower Court that appellee is an industrial partner of appellant company, with the right to demand for a formal accounting and to receive her share in the net profit that may result from such an accounting, which right appellants take exception under their second assigned error. Our said holding is based on the following article of the New Civil Code: 'ART. 1899. Any partner shall have the right to a formal account as to partnership affairs: (1) If he is wrongfully excluded from the partnership business or possession of its property by his co-partners; (2) If the right exists under the terms of any agreement; (3) As provided by article 1807; (4) Whenever other circumstance render it just and reasonable.

We find no reason in this case to depart from the rule which limits this Court's appellate jurisdiction to reviewing only errors of law, accepting as conclusive the factual findings of the lower court upon its own assessment of the evidence. The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with costs.

G.R. No. L-45624

April 25, 1939

GEORGE LITTON, petitioner-appellant, vs. HILL & CERON, ET AL., respondents-appellees. This is a petition to review on certiorari the decision of the Court of Appeals in a case originating from the Court of First Instance of Manila wherein the herein petitioner George Litton was the plaintiff and the respondents Hill & Ceron, Robert Hill, Carlos Ceron and Visayan Surety & Insurance Corporation were defendants. The facts are as follows: On February 14, 1934, the plaintiff sold and delivered to Carlos Ceron, who is one of the managing partners of Hill & Ceron, a certain number of mining claims, and by virtue of said transaction, the defendant Carlos Ceron delivered to the plaintiff a document reading as follows: Feb. 14, 1934 Received from Mr. George Litton share certificates Nos. 4428, 4429 and 6699 for 5,000, 5,000 and 7,000 shares respectively total 17,000 shares of Big Wedge Mining Company, which we have sold

at P0.11 (eleven centavos) per share or P1,870.00 less 1/2 per cent brokerage. HILL & CERON By: (Sgd.) CARLOS CERON Ceron paid to the plaintiff the sum or P1,150 leaving an unpaid balance of P720, and unable to collect this sum either from Hill & Ceron or from its surety Visayan Surety & Insurance Corporation, Litton filed a complaint in the Court of First Instance of Manila against the said defendants for the recovery of the said balance. The court, after trial, ordered Carlos Ceron personally to pay the amount claimed and absolved the partnership Hill & Ceron, Robert Hill and the Visayan Surety & Insurance Corporation. On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the latter affirmed the decision of the court on May 29, 1937, having reached the conclusion that Ceron did not intend to represent and did not act for the firm Hill & Ceron in the transaction involved in this litigation. Accepting, as we cannot but accept, the conclusion arrived at by the Court of Appeals as to the question of fact just mentioned, namely, that Ceron individually entered into the transaction with the plaintiff, but in view, however, of certain undisputed facts and of certain regulations and provisions of the Code of Commerce, we reach the conclusion that the transaction made by Ceron with the plaintiff should be understood in law as effected by Hill & Ceron and binding upon it. In the first place, it is an admitted fact by Robert Hill when he testified at the trial that he and Ceron, during the partnership, had the same power to buy and sell; that in said partnership Hill as well as Ceron made the transaction as partners in equal parts; that on the date of the transaction, February 14, 1934, the partnership between Hill and Ceron was in existence. After this date, or on February 19th, Hill & Ceron sold shares of the Big Wedge; and when the transaction was entered into with Litton, it was neither published in the newspapers nor stated in the commercial registry that the partnership Hill & Ceron had been dissolved. Hill testified that a few days before February 14th he had a conversation with the plaintiff in the course of which he advised the latter not to deliver shares for sale or on commission to Ceron because the partnership was

about to be dissolved; but what importance can be attached to said advice if the partnership was not in fact dissolved on February 14th, the date when the transaction with Ceron took place? Under article 226 of the Code of Commerce, the dissolution of a commercial association shall not cause any prejudice to third parties until it has been recorded in the commercial registry. (See also Cardell vs. Maeru, 14 Phil., 368.) The Supreme Court of Spain held that the dissolution of a partnership by the will of the partners which is not registered in the commercial registry, does not prejudice third persons. (Opinion of March 23, 1885.) Aside from the aforecited legal provisions, the order of the Bureau of Commerce of December 7, 1933, prohibits brokers from buying and selling shares on their own account. Said order reads: The stock and/or bond broker is, therefore, merely an agent or an intermediary, and as such, shall not be allowed. . . . (c) To buy or to sell shares of stock or bonds on his own account for purposes of speculation and/or for manipulating the market, irrespective of whether the purchase or sale is made from or to a private individual, broker or brokerage firm. In its decision the Court of Appeals states: But there is a stronger objection to the plaintiff's attempt to make the firm responsible to him. According to the articles of copartnership of 'Hill & Ceron,' filed in the Bureau of Commerce. Sixth. That the management of the business affairs of the copartnership shall be entrusted to both copartners who shall jointly administer the business affairs, transactions and activities of the copartnership, shall jointly open a current account or any other kind of account in any bank or banks, shall jointly sign all checks for the withdrawal of funds and shall jointly or singly sign, in the latter case, with the consent of the other partner. . . . Under this stipulation, a written contract of the firm can only be signed by one of the partners if the other partner consented. Without the consent of one partner, the other cannot bind the firm

by a written contract. Now, assuming for the moment that Ceron attempted to represent the firm in this contract with the plaintiff (the plaintiff conceded that the firm name was not mentioned at that time), the latter has failed to prove that Hill had consented to such contract. It follows from the sixth paragraph of the articles of partnership of Hill &n Ceron above quoted that the management of the business of the partnership has been entrusted to both partners thereof, but we dissent from the view of the Court of Appeals that for one of the partners to bind the partnership the consent of the other is necessary. Third persons, like the plaintiff, are not bound in entering into a contract with any of the two partners, to ascertain whether or not this partner with whom the transaction is made has the consent of the other partner. The public need not make inquires as to the agreements had between the partners. Its knowledge, is enough that it is contracting with the partnership which is represented by one of the managing partners. There is a general presumption that each individual partner is an authorized agent for the firm and that he has authority to bind the firm in carrying on the partnership transactions. (Mills vs. Riggle, 112 Pac., 617.) The presumption is sufficient to permit third persons to hold the firm liable on transactions entered into by one of members of the firm acting apparently in its behalf and within the scope of his authority. (Le Roy vs.Johnson, 7 U. S. [Law. ed.], 391.) The second paragraph of the articles of partnership of Hill & Ceron reads in part: Second: That the purpose or object for which this copartnership is organized is to engage in the business of brokerage in general, such as stock and bond brokers, real brokers, investment security brokers, shipping brokers, and other activities pertaining to the business of brokers in general. The kind of business in which the partnership Hill & Ceron is to engage being thus determined, none of the two partners, under article 130 of the Code of Commerce, may legally engage in the business of brokerage in general as stock brokers, security brokers and other activities pertaining

to the business of the partnership. Ceron, therefore, could not have entered into the contract of sale of shares with Litton as a private individual, but as a managing partner of Hill & Ceron. The respondent argues in its brief that even admitting that one of the partners could not, in his individual capacity, engage in a transaction similar to that in which the partnership is engaged without binding the latter, nevertheless there is no law which prohibits a partner in the stock brokerage business for engaging in other transactions different from those of the partnership, as it happens in the present case, because the transaction made by Ceron is a mere personal loan, and this argument, so it is said, is corroborated by the Court of Appeals. We do not find this alleged corroboration because the only finding of fact made by the Court of Appeals is to the effect that the transaction made by Ceron with the plaintiff was in his individual capacity. The appealed decision is reversed and the defendants are ordered to pay to the plaintiff, jointly and severally, the sum of P720, with legal interest, from the date of the filing of the complaint, minus the commission of onehalf per cent (%) from the original price of P1,870, with the costs to the respondents. So ordered.

G.R. No. 5840

September 17, 1910

THE UNITED STATES, plaintiff-appellee, vs. EUSEBIO CLARIN, defendant-appellant. Pedro Larin delivered to Pedro Tarug P172, in order that the latter, in company with Eusebio Clarin and Carlos de Guzman, might buy and sell mangoes, and, believing that he could make some money in this business, the said Larin made an agreement with the three men by which the profits were to be divided equally between him and them. Pedro Tarug, Eusebio Clarin, and Carlos de Guzman did in fact trade in mangoes and obtained P203 from the business, but did not comply with the terms of the contract by delivering to Larin his half of the profits; neither did they render him any account of the capital. Larin charged them with the crime of estafa, but the provincial fiscal filed an information only against Eusebio Clarin in which he accused him of appropriating to himself not only the P172 but also the share of the profits that belonged to Larin, amounting to P15.50. Pedro Tarug and Carlos de Guzman appeared in the case as witnesses and assumed that the facts presented concerned the defendant and themselves together. The trial court, that of First Instance of Pampanga, sentenced the defendant, Eusebio Clarin, to six months' arresto mayor, to suffer the accessory penalties, and to return to Pedro Larin P172, besides P30.50 as his share of the profits, or to subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency, and to pay the costs. The defendant appealed, and in deciding his appeal we arrive at the following conclusions: When two or more persons bind themselves to contribute money, property, or industry to a common fund, with the intention of dividing the profits among themselves, a contract is formed which is called partnership. (Art. 1665, Civil Code.)

When Larin put the P172 into the partnership which he formed with Tarug, Clarin, and Guzman, he invested his capital in the risks or benefits of the business of the purchase and sale of mangoes, and, even though he had reserved the capital and conveyed only the usufruct of his money, it would not devolve upon of his three partners to return his capital to him, but upon the partnership of which he himself formed part, or if it were to be done by one of the three specifically, it would be Tarug, who, according to the evidence, was the person who received the money directly from Larin. The P172 having been received by the partnership, the business commenced and profits accrued, the action that lies with the partner who furnished the capital for the recovery of his money is not a criminal action for estafa, but a civil one arising from the partnership contract for a liquidation of the partnership and a levy on its assets if there should be any. No. 5 of article 535 of the Penal Code, according to which those are guilty of estafa "who, to the prejudice of another, shall appropriate or misapply any money, goods, or any kind of personal property which they may have received as a deposit on commission for administration or in any other character producing the obligation to deliver or return the same," (as, for example, in commodatum, precarium, and other unilateral contracts which require the return of the same thing received) does not include money received for a partnership; otherwise the result would be that, if the partnership, instead of obtaining profits, suffered losses, as it could not be held liable civilly for the share of the capitalist partner who reserved the ownership of the money brought in by him, it would have to answer to the charge of estafa, for which it would be sufficient to argue that the partnership had received the money under obligation to return it. We therefore freely acquit Eusebio Clarin, with the costs de oficio. The complaint for estafa is dismissed without prejudice to the institution of a civil action.

and prejudice of the said ISIDORA ROSALES, in the aforementioned amount and in such other amount as may be awarded under the provision of the Civil Code. CONTRARY TO LAW. The antecedent facts are as follows: Petitioner Carmen Liwanag (Liwanag) and a certain Thelma Tabligan went to the house of complainant Isidora Rosales (Rosales) and asked her to join them in the business of buying and selling cigarettes. Convinced of the feasibility of the venture, Rosales readily agreed. Under their agreement, Rosales would give the money needed to buy the cigarettes while Liwanag and Tabligan would act as her agents, with a corresponding 40% commission to her if the goods are sold; otherwise the money would be returned to Rosales. Consequently, Rosales gave several cash advances to Liwanag and Tabligan amounting to P633,650.00. During the first two months, Liwanag and Tabligan made periodic visits to Rosales to report on the progress of the transactions. The visits, however, suddenly stopped, and all efforts by Rosales to obtain information regarding their business proved futile. Alarmed by this development and believing that the amounts she advanced were being misappropriated, Rosales filed a case of estafa against Liwanag. After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered a decision dated January 9, 1991, finding Liwanag guilty as charged. The dispositive portion of the decision reads thus: WHEREFORE, the Court holds, that the prosecution has established the guilt of the accused, beyond reasonable doubt, and therefore, imposes upon the accused, Carmen Liwanag, an Indeterminate Penalty of SIX (6) YEARS, EIGHT (8) MONTHS AND TWENTY ONE (21) DAYS OF PRISION CORRECCIONAL TO FOURTEEN (14) YEARS AND EIGHT (8) MONTHS OF PRISION MAYOR AS MAXIMUM, AND TO PAY THE COSTS. The accused is likewise ordered to reimburse the private complainant the sum of P526,650.00, without subsidiary imprisonment, in case of insolvency. SO ORDERED.

[G.R. No. 114398. October 24, 1997] CARMEN LIWANAG, petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the Solicitor General, respondents. Petitioner was charged with the crime of estafa before the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 93, Quezon City, in an information which reads as follows: That on or between the month of May 19, 1988 and August, 1988 in Quezon City, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the said accused, with intent of gain, with unfaithfulness, and abuse of confidence, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously defraud one ISIDORA ROSALES, in the following manner, to wit: on the date and in the place aforementioned, said accused received in trust from the offended party cash money amounting to P536,650.00, Philippine Currency, with the express obligation involving the duty to act as complainants agent in purchasing local cigarettes (Philip Morris and Marlboro cigarettes), to resell them to several stores, to give her commission corresponding to 40% of the profits; and to return the aforesaid amount of offended party, but said accused, far from complying her aforesaid obligation, and once in possession thereof, misapplied, misappropriated and converted the same to her personal use and benefit, despite repeated demands made upon her, accused failed and refused and still fails and refuses to deliver and/or return the same to the damage

Said decision was affirmed with modification by the Court of Appeals in a decision dated November 29, 1993, the decretal portion of which reads: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed with the correction of the nomenclature of the penalty which should be: SIX (6) YEARS, EIGHT (8) MONTHS and TWENTY ONE (21) DAYS of prision mayor, as minimum, to FOURTEEN (14) YEARS and EIGHT (8) MONTHS of reclusion temporal, as maximum. In all other respects, the decision is AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.

Estafa is a crime committed by a person who defrauds another causing him to suffer damages, by means of unfaithfulness or abuse of confidence, or of false pretenses of fraudulent acts. [4] From the foregoing, the elements of estafa are present, as follows: (1) that the accused defrauded another by abuse of confidence or deceit; and (2) that damage or prejudice capable of pecuniary estimation is caused to the offended party or third party, [5] and it is essential that there be a fiduciary relation between them either in the form of a trust, commission or administration.[6] The receipt signed by Liwanag states thus: May 19, 1988 Quezon City

Her motion for reconsideration having been denied in the resolution of March 16, 1994, Liwanag filed the instant petition, submitting the following assignment of errors: 1. RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE CONVICTION OF THE ACCUSED-PETITIONER FOR THE CRIME OF ESTAFA, WHEN CLEARLY THE CONTRACT THAT EXIST (sic) BETWEEN THE ACCUSED-PETITIONER AND COMPLAINANT IS EITHER THAT OF A SIMPLE LOAN OR THAT OF A PARTNERSHIP OR JOINT VENTURE HENCE THE NON RETURN OF THE MONEY OF THE COMPLAINANT IS PURELY CIVIL IN NATURE AND NOT CRIMINAL. 2. RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT GRAVELY ERRED IN NOT ACQUITTING THE ACCUSED-PETITIONER ON GROUNDS OF REASONABLE DOUBT BY APPLYING THE EQUIPOISE RULE. Liwanag advances the theory that the intention of the parties was to enter into a contract of partnership, wherein Rosales would contribute the funds while she would buy and sell the cigarettes, and later divide the profits between them.[1] She also argues that the transaction can also be interpreted as a simple loan, with Rosales lending to her the amount stated on an installment basis.[2] The Court of Appeals correctly rejected these pretenses. While factual findings of the Court of Appeals are conclusive on the parties and not reviewable by the Supreme Court, and carry more weight when these affirm the factual findings of the trial court, [3] we deem it more expedient to resolve the instant petition on its merits.

Received from Mrs. Isidora P. Rosales the sum of FIVE HUNDRED TWENTY SIX THOUSAND AND SIX HUNDRED FIFTY PESOS (P526,650.00) Philippine Currency, to purchase cigarrets (sic) (Philip & Marlboro) to be sold to customers. In the event the said cigarrets (sic) are not sold, the proceeds of the sale or the said products (shall) be returned to said Mrs. Isidora P. Rosales the said amount of P526,650.00 or the said items on or before August 30, 1988. (SGD & Thumbedmarked) (sic) CARMEN LIWANAG 26 H. Kaliraya St. Quezon City Signed in the presence of: (Sgd) Illegible (Sgd) Doming Z. Baligad

The language of the receipt could not be any clearer. It indicates that the money delivered to Liwanag was for a specific purpose, that is, for the purchase of cigarettes, and in the event the cigarettes cannot be sold, the money must be returned to Rosales. Thus, even assuming that a contract of partnership was indeed entered into by and between the parties, we have ruled that when money or property have been received by a partner for a specific purpose (such as that obtaining in the instant case) and he later misappropriated it, such partner is guilty of estafa.[7]

Neither can the transaction be considered a loan, since in a contract of loan once the money is received by the debtor, ownership over the same is transferred.[8] Being the owner, the borrower can dispose of it for whatever purpose he may deem proper. In the instant petition, however, it is evident that Liwanag could not dispose of the money as she pleased because it was only delivered to her for a single purpose, namely, for the purchase of cigarettes, and if this was not possible then to return the money to Rosales. Since in this case there was no transfer of ownership of the money delivered, Liwanag is liable for conversion under Art. 315, par. 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the appealed decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 29, 1993, is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED.

The matter now pending is the appellant's motion for reconsideration of our main decision, wherein we have upheld the validity of the sale of the lands owned by the partnership Goquiolay & Tan Sin An, made in 1949 by the widow of the managing partner, Tan Sin An (Executed in her dual capacity as Administratrix of the husband's estate and as partner in lieu of the husband), in favor of the buyers Washington Sycip and Betty Lee for the following consideration: Cash paid Debts assumed by purchaser: To Yutivo To Sing Yee Cuan & Co., TOTAL 62,415.91 54,310.13 P153,726. 04 P37,000.0 0

Appellant Goquiolay, in his motion for reconsideration, insist that, contrary to our holding, Kong Chai Pin, widow of the deceased partner Tan Sin An, never became more than a limited partner, incapacitated by law to manage the affairs of partnership; that the testimony of her witness Young and Lim belies that she took over the administration of the partnership property; and that, in any event, the sale should be set aside because it was executed with the intent to defraud appellant of his share in the properties sold. Three things must be always held in mind in the discussion of this motion to reconsider, being basic and beyond controversy: (a) That we are dealing here with the transfer of partnership property by one partner, acting in behalf of the firm, to a stranger. There is no question between partners inter se, and this aspect to the case was expressly reserved in the main decision of 26 July 1960; (b) That partnership was expressly organized: "to engage in real estate business, either by buying and selling real estate". The Articles of copartnership, in fact, expressly provided that:

G.R. No. L-11840

December 10, 1963

ANTONIO C. GOQUIOLAY, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants, vs. WASHINGTON Z. SYCIP, ET AL., defendants-appellees.

IV. The object and purpose of the copartnership are as follows: 1. To engage in real estate business, either by buying and selling real estates; to subdivide real estates into lots for the purpose of leasing and selling them.; (c) That the properties sold were not part of the contributed capital (which was in cash) but land precisely acquired to be sold, although subject to a mortgage in favor of the original owners, from whom the partnership had acquired them. With these points firmly in mind, let us turn to the points insisted upon by appellant. It is first averred that there is "not one iota of evidence" that Kong Chai Pin managed and retained possession of the partnership properties. Suffice it to point out that appellant Goquiolay himself admitted that ... Mr. Yu Eng Lai asked me if I can just let Mrs. Kong Chai Pin continue to manage the properties (as) she had no other means of income. Then I said, because I wanted to help Mrs. Kong Chai Pin, she could just do it and besides I am not interested in agricultural lands. I allowed her to take care of the properties in order to help her and because I believe in God and wanted to help her. Q So the answer to my question is you did not take any steps? A I did not. Q And this conversation which you had with Mrs. Yu Eng Lai was few months after 1945? A In the year 1945. (Emphasis supplied). The appellant subsequently ratified this testimony in his deposition of 30 June 1956, pages 8-9, wherein he stated: that plantation was being occupied at that time by the widow, Mrs. Tan Sin An, and of course they are receiving quiet a lot benefit from the plantation.

Discarding the self-serving expressions, these admissions of Goquiolay are certainly entitled to greater weight than those of Hernando Young and Rufino Lim, having been made against the party's own interest. Moreover, the appellant's reference to the testimony of Hernando Young, that the witness found the properties "abandoned and undeveloped", omits to mention that said part of the testimony started with the question: Now, you said that about 1942 or 1943 you returned to Davao. Did you meet Mrs. Kong Chai Pin there in Davao at that time? Similarly, the testimony of Rufino Lim, to the effect that the properties of the partnership were undeveloped, and the family of the widow (Kong Chai Pin) did not receive any income from the partnership properties, was given in answer to the question: According to Mr. Goquiolay, during the Japanese occupation Tan Sin an and his family lived on the plantation of the partnership and derived their subsistence from that plantation. What can you say to that? (Dep. 19 July 1956, p. 8). And also What can you say as to the development of these other properties of the partnership which you saw during the occupation? (Dep. p. 13, Emphasis supplied). to which witness gave the following answer: I saw the properties in Mamay still undeveloped. The third property which is in Tigato is about eleven (11) hectares and planted with abaca seedlings planted by Mr. Sin An. When I went there with Hernando Youngwe saw all the abaca destroyed. The place was occupied by the Japanese Army. They planted camotes and vegetables to feed the Japanese Army. Of course they never paid any money to Tan Sin An or his family. (Dep., Lim, pp. 13-14. Emphasis supplied). Plainly, both Young and Lim's testimonies do not belie, or contradict, Goquiolay's admission that he told Mr. Yu Eng Lai that the widow "could just do it" (i.e., continue to manage the properties). Witnesses Lim and

Young referred to the period of Japanese occupation; but Goquiolay's authority was, in fact, given to the widow in 1945, after the occupation. Again, the disputed sale by the widow took place in 1949. That Kong Chai Pin carried out no acts of management during the Japanese occupation (1942-1944) does not mean that she did not do so from 1945 to 1949. We thus find that Goquiolay did not merely rely on reports from Lim and Young; he actually manifested his willingness that the widow should manage the partnership properties. Whether or not she complied with this authority is a question between her and the appellant, and is not here involved. But the authority was given, and she did have it when she made the questioned sale, because it was never revoked. It is argued that the authority given by Goquiolay to the widow Kong Chai Pin was only to manage the property, and that it did not include the power to alienate, citing Article 1713 of the Civil Code of 1889. What this argument overlooks is that the widow was not a mere agent, because she had become a partner upon her husband's death, as expressly provided by the articles of copartnership. Even more, granting that by succession to her husband, Tan Sin An, the widow only became a limited partner, Goquiolay's authorization to manage the partnership property was proof that he considered and recognized her as general partner , at least since 1945. The reason is plain: Under the law (Article 148, last paragraph, Code of Commerce), appellant could not empower the widow, if she were only a limited partner, to administer the properties of the firm, even as a mere agent: Limited partners may not perform any act of administration with respect to the interests of the copartnership, not even in the capacity of agents of the managing partners. (Emphasis supplied). By seeking authority to manage partnership property, Tan Sin An's widow showed that she desired to be considered a general partner. By authorizing the widow to manage partnership property (which a limited partner could not be authorized to do), Goquiolay recognized her as such partner, and is now in estoppel to deny her position as a general partner, with authority to administer and alienate partnership property. Besides, as we pointed out in our main decision, the heir ordinarily (and we did not say "necessarily") becomes a limited partner for his own

protection, because he would normally prefer to avoid any liability in excess of the value of the estate inherited so as not to jeopardize his personal assets. But this statutory limitation of responsibility being designed to protect the heir, the latter may disregard it and instead elect to become a collective or general partner, with all the rights and privileges of one, and answering for the debts of the firm not only with the inheritance but also with the heir's personal fortune. This choice pertains exclusively to the heir, and does not require the assent of the surviving partner. It must be remember that the articles of co-partnership here involved expressly stipulated that: In the event of the death of any of the partners at any time before the expiration of said term, the co-partnership shall not be dissolved but will have to be continued and the deceased partner shall be represented by his heirs or assigns in said co-partnership (Art. XII, Articles of Co-Partnership). The Articles did not provide that the heirs of the deceased would be merely limited partners; on the contrary, they expressly stipulated that in case of death of either partner "the co-partnership ... will have to be continued" with the heirs or assigns. It certainly could not be continued if it were to be converted from a general partnership into a limited partnership, since the difference between the two kinds of associations is fundamental; and specially because the conversion into a limited association would have the heirs of the deceased partner without a share in the management. Hence, the contractual stipulation does actually contemplate that the heirs would become general partners rather than limited ones. Of course, the stipulation would not bind the heirs of the deceased partner should they refuse to assume personal and unlimited responsibility for the obligations of the firm. The heirs, in other words, can not be compelled to become general partners against their wishes. But because they are not so compellable, it does not legitimately follow that they may not voluntarily choose to become general partners, waiving the protective mantle of the general laws of succession. And in the latter event, it is pointless to discuss the legality of any conversion of a limited partner into a general one. The heir never was a limited partner, but chose to be, and became, a general partner right at the start.

It is immaterial that the heir's name was not included in the firm name, since no conversion of status is involved, and the articles of copartnership expressly contemplated the admission of the partner's heirs into the partnership. It must never be overlooked that this case involved the rights acquired by strangers, and does not deal with the rights existing between partners Goquiolay and the widow of Tan Sin An. The issues between the partners inter sewere expressly reserved in our main decision. Now, in determining what kind of partner the widow of partner Tan Sin an Had elected to become, strangers had to be guided by her conduct and actuations and those of appellant Goquiolay. Knowing that by law a limited partner is barred from managing the partnership business or property, third parties (like the purchasers) who found the widow possessing and managing the firm property with the acquiescence (or at least without apparent opposition) of the surviving partners were perfectly justified in assuming that she had become a general partner, and, therefore, in negotiating with her as such a partner, having authority to act for, and in behalf of the firm. This belief, be it noted, was shared even by the probate court that approved the sale by the widow of the real property standing in the partnership name. That belief was fostered by the very inaction of appellant Goquiolay. Note that for seven long years, from partner Tan Sin An's death in 1942 to the sale in 1949, there was more than ample time for Goquiolay to take up the management of these properties, or at least ascertain how its affairs stood. For seven years Goquiolay could have asserted his alleged rights, and by suitable notice in the commercial registry could have warned strangers that they must deal with him alone, as sole general partner. But he did nothing of the sort, because he was not interested (supra), and he did not even take steps to pay, or settle the firm debts that were overdue since before the outbreak of the last war. He did not even take steps, after Tan Sin An died, to cancel, or modify, the provisions of the partnership articles that he (Goquiolay) would have no intervention in the management of the partnership. This laches certainly contributed to confirm the view that the widow of Tan Sin An had, or was given, authority to manage and deal with the firm's properties apart from the presumption that a general partner dealing with partnership property has to requisite authority from his copartners (Litton vs. Hill and Ceron, et al., 67 Phil. 513; quoted in our main decision, p. 11). The stipulation in the articles of partnership that any of the two managing partners may contract and sign in the name of the

partnership with the consent of the other, undoubtedly creates on obligation between the two partners, which consists in asking the other's consent before contracting for the partnership. This obligation of course is not imposed upon a third person who contracts with the partnership. Neither it is necessary for the third person to ascertain if the managing partner with whom he contracts has previously obtained the consent of the other. A third person may and has a right to presume that the partner with whom he contracts has, in the ordinary and natural course of business, the consent of his copartner; for otherwise he would not enter into the contract. The third person would naturally not presume that the partner with whom he enters into the transaction is violating the articles of partnership, but on the contrary is acting in accordance therewith. And this finds support in the legal presumption that the ordinary course of business has been followed (No. 18, section 334, Code of Civil Procedure), and that the law has been obeyed (No. 31, section 334). This last presumption is equally applicable to contracts which have the force of law between the parties. (Litton vs. Hill & Ceron, et al., 67 Phil. 409, 516). (Emphasis supplied.) It is next urged that the widow, even as a partner, had no authority to sell the real estate of the firm. This argument is lamentably superficial because it fails to differentiate between real estate acquired and held as stock-in-tradeand real estate held merely as business site (Vivante's "taller o banco social") for the partnership. Where the partnership business is to deal in merchandise and goods, i.e., movable property, the sale of its real property (immovables) is not within the ordinary powers of a partner, because it is not in line with the normal business of the firm. But where the express and avowed purpose of the partnership is to buy and sell real estate (as in the present case), the immovables thus acquired by the firm from part of its stock-in-trade, and the sale thereof is in pursuance of partnership purposes, hence within the ordinary powers of the partner. This distinction is supported by the opinion of Gay de Montella1 , in the very passage quoted in the appellant's motion for reconsideration: La enajenacion puede entrar en las facultades del gerante, cuando es conforme a los fines sociales. Pero esta facultad de enajenar limitada a las ventas conforme a los fines sociales, viene limitada a los objetos de comercio o a los productos de la fabrica para explotacion de los cuales se ha constituido la Sociedad. Ocurrira una cosa parecida cuando el objeto de la Sociedad fuese la compra y

venta de inmuebles, en cuyo caso el gerente estaria facultado para otorgar las ventas que fuere necesario . (Montella) (Emphasis supplied). The same rule obtains in American law. In Rosen vs. Rosen, 212 N.Y. Supp. 405, 406, it was held: a partnership to deal in real estate may be created and either partner has the legal right to sell the firm real estate. In Chester vs. Dickerson, 54 N. Y. 1, 13 Am. Rep. 550: And hence, when the partnership business is to deal in real estate, one partner has ample power, as a general agent of the firm, to enter into an executory contract for the sale of real estate. And in Revelsky vs. Brown, 92 Ala. 522, 9 South 182, 25 Am. St. Rep. 83: If the several partners engaged in the business of buying and selling real estate can not bind the firm by purchases or sales of such property made in the regular course of business, then they are incapable of exercising the essential rights and powers of general partners and their association is not really a partnership at all, but a several agency. Since the sale by the widow was in conformity with the express objective of the partnership, "to engage ... in buying and selling real estate" (Art. IV, No. 1 Articles of Copartnership), it can not be maintained that the sale was made in excess of her power as general partner. Considerable stress is laid by appellant in the ruling of the Supreme Court of Ohio in McGrath, et al., vs. Cowen, et al., 49 N.E., 338. But the facts of that case are vastly different from the one before us. In the McGrath case, the Court expressly found that: The firm was then, and for some time had been, insolvent, in the sense that its property was insufficient to pay its debts, though it still had good credit, and was actively engaged in the prosecution of its business. On that day, which was Saturday, the plaintiff caused to be prepared, ready for execution, the four chattel mortgages in

question, which cover all the tangible property then belonging to the firm, including the counters, shelving, and other furnishings and fixtures necessary for, and used in carrying on, its business , and signed the same in this form: "In witness whereof, the said Cowen & McGrath, a firm, and Owen McGrath, surviving partner, of said firm, and Owen McCrath, individually, have hereunto set their hands, this 20th day of May, A.D. 1893. Cowen & Mcgrath, by Owen McGrath. Owen McGrath, Surviving partner of Cowen & McGrath. Owen McGrath." At the same time, the plaintiff had prepared, ready for filing, the petitionfor the dissolution of the partnership and appointment of a receiver which he subsequently filed, as hereinafter stated. On the day the mortgages were signed, they were placed in the hands of the mortgagees, which was the first intimation to them that there was any intention to make them. At the timenone of the claims secured by the mortgages were due, except, it may be, a small part of one of them, and none of the creditors to whom the mortgages were made had requested security, or were pressing for the payment of their debts. ... The mortgages appear to be without a sufficient condition of defiance, and contain a stipulation authorizing the mortgagees to take immediate possession of the property, which they did as soon as the mortgages were filed through the attorney who then represented them, as well as the plaintiff; and the stores were at once closed, and possession delivered by them to the receiver appointed upon the filing of the petition. The avowed purposes of the plaintiff, in the course pursued by him, was to terminate the partnership, place its properly beyond the control of the firm, and insure the preference of the mortgagees , all of which was known to them at the time; .... (Cas cit., p. 343, Emphasis supplied). It is natural that form these facts the Supreme Court of Ohio should draw the conclusion that the conveyances were made with intent to terminate the partnership, and that they were not within the powers of McGrath as a partner. But there is no similarity between those acts and the sale by the widow of Tan Sin An. In the McGrath case, the sale included even the fixtures used in the business; in our case, the lands sold were those acquired to be sold. In the McGrath case, none of the creditors were pressing for payment; in our case, the creditors had been unpaid for more than seven years, and their claims had been approved by the probate court for payment. In the McGrath case, the partnership received nothing beyond the discharge of its debts; in the present case, not only were its

debts assumed by the buyers, but the latter paid, in addition, P37,000.00 in cash to the widow, to the profit of the partnership. Clearly, the McGrath ruling is not applicable. We will now turn to the question of fraud. No direct evidence of it exists; but appellant point out, as indicia thereof, the allegedly low price paid for the property, and the relationship between the buyers, the creditors of the partnership, and the widow of Tan Sin An. First, as to the price: As already noted, this property was actually sold for a total of P153,726.04, of which P37,000.00 was in cash, and the rest in partnership debts assumed by the purchaser. These debts (62,415.91 to Yutivo, and P54,310.13 to Sing Ye Cuan & Co.) are not questioned; they were approved by the court, and its approval is now final. The claims were, in fact, for the balance on the original purchase price of the land sold (sue first to La Urbana, later to the Banco Hipotecario) plus accrued interests and taxes, redeemed by the two creditors-claimants. To show that the price was inadquate, appellant relies on the testimony of the realtor Mata, who is 1955, six years after the sale in question, asserted that the land was worth P312,000.00. Taking into account the continued rise of real estate values since liberation, and the fact that the sale in question was practically a forced sale because the partnership had no other means to pay its legitimate debts, this evidence certainly does not show such "gross inadequacy" as to justify recission of the sale. If at the time of the sale (1949) the price of P153,726.04 was really low, how is it that appellant was not able to raise the amount, even if the creditor's representative, Yu Khe Thai, had already warned him four years before (1945) that the creditors wanted their money back, as they were justly entitled to? It is argued that the land could have been mortgaged to raise the sum needed to discharge the debts. But the lands were already mortgaged, and had been mortgaged since 1940, first to La Urbana, and then to the Banco Hipotecario. Was it reasonable to expect that other persons would loan money to the partnership when it was unable even to pay the taxes on the property, and the interest on the principal since 1940? If it had been possible to find lenders willing to take a chance on such a bad financial record, would not Goquiolay have taken advantage of it? But the fact is clear on the record that since liberation until 1949 Goquiolay never lifted a finger to discharge the debts of the partnership. Is he entitled now to cry fraud after the debts were discharged with no help from him.

With regard to the relationship between the parties, suffice it to say that the Supreme Court has ruled that relationship alone is not a badge of fraud (Oria Hnos. vs. McMicking, 21 Phil. 243; also Hermandad del Smo. Nombre de Jesus vs. Sanchez, 40 Off. Gaz., 1685). There is no evidence that the original buyers, Washington Sycip and Betty Lee, were without independent means to purchase the property. That the Yutivos should be willing to extend credit to them, and not to appellant, is neither illegal nor immoral; at the very least, these buyers did not have a record of inveterate defaults like the partnership "Tan Sin An & Goquiolay". Appellant seeks to create the impression that he was the victim of a conspiracy between the Yutivo firm and their component members. But no proof is adduced. If he was such a victim, he could have easily defeated the conspirators by raising money and paying off the firm's debts between 1945 and 1949; but he did not; he did not even care to look for a purchaser of the partnership assets. Were it true that the conspiracy to defraud him arose (as he claims) because of his refusal to sell the lands when in 1945 Yu Khe Thai asked him to do so, it is certainly strange that the conspirators should wait 4 years, until 1949, to have the sale effected by the widow of Tan Sin An, and that the sale should have been routed through the probate court taking cognizance of Tan Sin An's estate, all of which increased the risk that the supposed fraud should be detected. Neither was there any anomaly in the filing of the claims of Yutivo and Sing Yee Cuan & Co., (as subrogees of the Banco Hipotecario) in proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Tan Sin An. This for two reasons: First, Tan Sin An and the partnership "Tan Sin An & Goquiolay" were solidary (Joint and several)debtors (Exhibits "N", mortgage to the Banco Hipotecario), and Rule 87, section 6 is the effect that: Where the obligation of the decedent is joint and several with another debtor, the claim shall be filed against the decedent as if he were the only debtor, without prejudice to the right of the estate to recover contribution from the other debtor. (Emphasis supplied). Secondly, the solidary obligation was guaranteed by a mortgage on the properties of the partnership and those of Tan Sim An personally, and a mortgage is indivisible, in the sense that each and every parcel under mortgage answers for the totality of the debt (Civ. Code of 1889, Article 1860; New Civil Code, Art. 2089).

A final and conclusive consideration: The fraud charged not being one used to obtain a party's consent to a contract (i.e., not being deceit or dolus in contrahendo), if there is fraud at al, it can only be a fraud of creditorsthat gives rise to a rescission of the offending contract. But by express provision of law (Article 1294, Civil Code of 1889; Article 1383, New Civil Code) "the action for rescission is subsidiary; it can not be instituted except when the party suffering damage has no other legal means to obtain reparation for the same". Since there is no allegation, or evidence, that Goquiolay can not obtain reparation from the widow and heirs of Tan Sin An, the present suit to rescind the sale in question is not maintainable, even if the fraud charged actually did exist. PREMISES CONSIDERED, the motion for reconsideration is denied.

xxx xxx xxx ... on February 22, 1971 Pecson and Moran entered into an agreement whereby both would contribute P15,000 each for the purpose of printing 95,000 posters (featuring the delegates to the 1971 Constitutional Convention), with Moran actually supervising the work; that Pecson would receive a commission of P l,000 a month starting on April 15, 1971 up to December 15, 1971; that on December 15, 1971, a liquidation of the accounts in the distribution and printing of the 95,000 posters would be made, that Pecson gave Moran P10,000 for which the latter issued a receipt; that only a few posters were printed; that on or about May 28, 1971, Moran executed in favor of Pecson a promissory note in the amount of P20,000 payable in two equal installments (P10,000 payable on or before June 15, 1971 and P10,000 payable on or before June 30, 1971), the whole sum becoming due upon default in the payment of the first installment on the date due, complete with the costs of collection. Private respondent Pecson filed with the Court of First Instance of Manila an action for the recovery of a sum of money and alleged in his complaint three (3) causes of action, namely: (1) on the alleged partnership agreement, the return of his contribution of P10,000.00, payment of his share in the profits that the partnership would have earned, and, payment of unpaid commission; (2) on the alleged promissory note, payment of the sum of P20,000.00; and, (3) moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees.

G.R. No. L-59956 October 31, 1984 After the trial, the Court of First Instance held that: t.hqw ISABELO MORAN, JR., petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and MARIANO E. PECSON, respondents. This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals which ordered petitioner Isabelo Moran, Jr. to pay damages to respondent Mariano E, Pecson. As found by the respondent Court of Appeals, the undisputed facts indicate that: t.hqw From the evidence presented it is clear in the mind of the court that by virtue of the partnership agreement entered into by the parties-plaintiff and defendant the plaintiff did contribute P10,000.00, and another sum of P7,000.00 for the Voice of the Veteran or Delegate Magazine. Of the expected 95,000 copies of the posters, the defendant was able to print 2,000 copies only authorized of which, however, were sold at P5.00 each. Nothing more was done after this and it can be said that the venture did not really get off the ground. On the other hand, the plaintiff failed to give his full contribution of

P15,000.00. Thus, each party is entitled to rescind the contract which right is implied in reciprocal obligations under Article 1385 of the Civil Code whereunder 'rescission creates the obligation to return the things which were the object of the contract ... WHEREFORE, the court hereby renders judgment ordering defendant Isabelo C. Moran, Jr. to return to plaintiff Mariano E. Pecson the sum of P17,000.00, with interest at the legal rate from the filing of the complaint on June 19, 1972, and the costs of the suit. For insufficiency of evidence, the counterclaim is hereby dismissed. From this decision, both parties appealed to the respondent Court of Appeals. The latter likewise rendered a decision against the petitioner. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: t.hqw PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision appealed from is hereby SET ASIDE, and a new one is hereby rendered, ordering defendant-appellant Isabelo C. Moran, Jr. to pay plaintiff- appellant Mariano E. Pecson: (a) Forty-seven thousand five hundred (P47,500) (the amount that could have accrued to Pecson under their agreement); (b) Eight thousand (P8,000), (the commission for eight months); (c) Seven thousand (P7,000) (as a return of Pecson's investment for the Veteran's Project); (d) Legal interest on (a), (b) and (c) from the date the complaint was filed (up to the time payment is made) The petitioner contends that the respondent Court of Appeals decided questions of substance in a way not in accord with law and with Supreme Court decisions when it committed the following errors: I

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING PETITIONER ISABELO C. MORAN, JR. LIABLE TO RESPONDENT MARIANO E. PECSON IN THE SUM OF P47,500 AS THE SUPPOSED EXPECTED PROFITS DUE HIM. II THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING PETITIONER ISABELO C. MORAN, JR. LIABLE TO RESPONDENT MARIANO E. PECSON IN THE SUM OF P8,000, AS SUPPOSED COMMISSION IN THE PARTNERSHIP ARISING OUT OF PECSON'S INVESTMENT. III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING PETITIONER ISABELO C. MORAN, JR. LIABLE TO RESPONDENT MARIANO E. PECSON IN THE SUM OF P7,000 AS A SUPPOSED RETURN OF INVESTMENT IN A MAGAZINE VENTURE. IV ASSUMING WITHOUT ADMITTING THAT PETITIONER IS AT ALL LIABLE FOR ANY AMOUNT, THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS DID NOT EVEN OFFSET PAYMENTS ADMITTEDLY RECEIVED BY PECSON FROM MORAN. V THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN NOT GRANTING THE PETITIONER'S COMPULSORY COUNTERCLAIM FOR DAMAGES. The first question raised in this petition refers to the award of P47,500.00 as the private respondent's share in the unrealized profits of the partnership. The petitioner contends that the award is highly speculative. The petitioner maintains that the respondent court did not take into account the great risks involved in the business undertaking. We agree with the petitioner that the award of speculative damages has no basis in fact and law.

There is no dispute over the nature of the agreement between the petitioner and the private respondent. It is a contract of partnership. The latter in his complaint alleged that he was induced by the petitioner to enter into a partnership with him under the following terms and conditions: t.hqw 1. That the partnership will print colored posters of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention; 2. That they will invest the amount of Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00) each; 3. That they will print Ninety Five Thousand (95,000) copies of the said posters; 4. That plaintiff will receive a commission of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) a month starting April 15, 1971 up to December 15, 1971; 5. That upon the termination of the partnership on December 15, 1971, a liquidation of the account pertaining to the distribution and printing of the said 95,000 posters shall be made. The petitioner on the other hand admitted in his answer the existence of the partnership. The rule is, when a partner who has undertaken to contribute a sum of money fails to do so, he becomes a debtor of the partnership for whatever he may have promised to contribute (Art. 1786, Civil Code) and for interests and damages from the time he should have complied with his obligation (Art. 1788, Civil Code). Thus in Uy v. Puzon (79 SCRA 598), which interpreted Art. 2200 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, we allowed a total of P200,000.00 compensatory damages in favor of the appellee because the appellant therein was remiss in his obligations as a partner and as prime contractor of the construction projects in question. This case was decided on a particular set of facts. We awarded compensatory damages in the Uy case because there was a finding that the constructing business is a profitable one and that the UP construction company derived some profits from its contractors in the construction of roads and bridges despite its deficient capital." Besides, there was evidence to show that the

partnership made some profits during the periods from July 2, 1956 to December 31, 1957 and from January 1, 1958 up to September 30, 1959. The profits on two government contracts worth P2,327,335.76 were not speculative. In the instant case, there is no evidence whatsoever that the partnership between the petitioner and the private respondent would have been a profitable venture. In fact, it was a failure doomed from the start. There is therefore no basis for the award of speculative damages in favor of the private respondent. Furthermore, in the Uy case, only Puzon failed to give his full contribution while Uy contributed much more than what was expected of him. In this case, however, there was mutual breach. Private respondent failed to give his entire contribution in the amount of P15,000.00. He contributed only P10,000.00. The petitioner likewise failed to give any of the amount expected of him. He further failed to comply with the agreement to print 95,000 copies of the posters. Instead, he printed only 2,000 copies. Article 1797 of the Civil Code provides: t.hqw The losses and profits shall be distributed in conformity with the agreement. If only the share of each partner in the profits has been agreed upon, the share of each in the losses shall be in the same proportion. Being a contract of partnership, each partner must share in the profits and losses of the venture. That is the essence of a partnership. And even with an assurance made by one of the partners that they would earn a huge amount of profits, in the absence of fraud, the other partner cannot claim a right to recover the highly speculative profits. It is a rare business venture guaranteed to give 100% profits. In this case, on an investment of P15,000.00, the respondent was supposed to earn a guaranteed P1,000.00 a month for eight months and around P142,500.00 on 95,000 posters costing P2.00 each but 2,000 of which were sold at P5.00 each. The fantastic nature of expected profits is obvious. We have to take various factors into account. The failure of the Commission on Elections to proclaim all the 320 candidates of the Constitutional Convention on time was a major factor. The petitioner undesirable his best business judgment and felt that it would be a losing venture to go on with the printing of the agreed 95,000 copies of the posters. Hidden risks in any business venture have to be considered.

It does not follow however that the private respondent is not entitled to recover any amount from the petitioner. The records show that the private respondent gave P10,000.00 to the petitioner. The latter used this amount for the printing of 2,000 posters at a cost of P2.00 per poster or a total printing cost of P4,000.00. The records further show that the 2,000 copies were sold at P5.00 each. The gross income therefore was P10,000.00. Deducting the printing costs of P4,000.00 from the gross income of P10,000.00 and with no evidence on the cost of distribution, the net profits amount to only P6,000.00. This net profit of P6,000.00 should be divided between the petitioner and the private respondent. And since only P4,000.00 was undesirable by the petitioner in printing the 2,000 copies, the remaining P6,000.00 should therefore be returned to the private respondent. Relative to the second alleged error, the petitioner submits that the award of P8,000.00 as Pecson's supposed commission has no justifiable basis in law. Again, we agree with the petitioner. The partnership agreement stipulated that the petitioner would give the private respondent a monthly commission of Pl,000.00 from April 15, 1971 to December 15, 1971 for a total of eight (8) monthly commissions. The agreement does not state the basis of the commission. The payment of the commission could only have been predicated on relatively extravagant profits. The parties could not have intended the giving of a commission inspite of loss or failure of the venture. Since the venture was a failure, the private respondent is not entitled to the P8,000.00 commission. Anent the third assigned error, the petitioner maintains that the respondent Court of Appeals erred in holding him liable to the private respondent in the sum of P7,000.00 as a supposed return of investment in a magazine venture. In awarding P7,000.00 to the private respondent as his supposed return of investment in the "Voice of the Veterans" magazine venture, the respondent court ruled that: t.hqw xxx xxx xxx

... Moran admittedly signed the promissory note of P20,000 in favor of Pecson. Moran does not question the due execution of said note. Must Moran therefore pay the amount of P20,000? The evidence indicates that the P20,000 was assigned by Moran to cover the following: t.hqw (a) P 7,000 the amount of the PNB check given by Pecson to Moran representing Pecson's investment in Moran's other project (the publication and printing of the 'Voice of the Veterans'); (b) P10,000 to cover the return of Pecson's contribution in the project of the Posters; (c) P3,000 representing Pecson's commission for three months (April, May, June, 1971). Of said P20,000 Moran has to pay P7,000 (as a return of Pecson's investment for the Veterans' project, for this project never left the ground) ... As a rule, the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are final and conclusive and cannot be reviewed on appeal to this Court ( Amigo v. Teves, 96 Phil. 252), provided they are borne out by the record or are based on substantial evidence (Alsua-Betts v. Court of Appeals, 92 SCRA 332). However, this rule admits of certain exceptions. Thus, in Carolina Industries Inc. v. CMS Stock Brokerage, Inc., et al., (97 SCRA 734), we held that this Court retains the power to review and rectify the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals when (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises and conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken absurd and impossible; (3) where there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; and (5) when the court, in making its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same are contrary to the admissions of both the appellant and the appellee.

In this case, there is misapprehension of facts. The evidence of the private respondent himself shows that his investment in the "Voice of Veterans" project amounted to only P3,000.00. The remaining P4,000.00 was the amount of profit that the private respondent expected to receive. The records show the following exhibits- t.hqw E Xerox copy of PNB Manager's Check No. 234265 dated March 22, 1971 in favor of defendant. Defendant admitted the authenticity of this check and of his receipt of the proceeds thereof (t.s.n., pp. 3-4, Nov. 29, 1972). This exhibit is being offered for the purpose of showing plaintiff's capital investment in the printing of the "Voice of the Veterans" for which he was promised a fixed profit of P8,000. This investment of P6,000.00 and the promised profit of P8,000 are covered by defendant's promissory note for P14,000 dated March 31, 1971 marked by defendant as Exhibit 2 (t.s.n., pp. 20-21, Nov. 29, 1972), and by plaintiff as Exhibit P. Later, defendant returned P3,000.00 of the P6,000.00 investment thereby proportionately reducing the promised profit to P4,000. With the balance of P3,000 (capital) and P4,000 (promised profit), defendant signed and executed the promissory note for P7,000 marked Exhibit 3 for the defendant and Exhibit M for plaintiff. Of this P7,000, defendant paid P4,000 representing full return of the capital investment and P1,000 partial payment of the promised profit. The P3,000 balance of the promised profit was made part consideration of the P20,000 promissory note (t.s.n., pp. 22-24, Nov. 29, 1972). It is, therefore, being presented to show the consideration for the P20,000 promissory note. F Xerox copy of PNB Manager's check dated May 29, 1971 for P7,000 in favor of defendant. The authenticity of the check and his receipt of the proceeds thereof were admitted by the defendant (t.s.n., pp. 3-4, Nov. 29, 1972). This P 7,000 is part consideration, and in cash, of the P20,000 promissory note (t.s.n., p. 25, Nov. 29, 1972), and it is being presented to show the consideration for the P20,000 note and the existence and validity of the obligation. xxx xxx xxx

L-Book entitled "Voice of the Veterans" which is being offered for the purpose of showing the subject matter of the other partnership agreement and in which plaintiff invested the P6,000 (Exhibit E) which, together with the promised profit of P8,000 made up for the consideration of the P14,000 promissory note (Exhibit 2; Exhibit P). As explained in connection with Exhibit E. the P3,000 balance of the promised profit was later made part consideration of the P20,000 promissory note. M-Promissory note for P7,000 dated March 30, 1971. This is also defendant's Exhibit E. This document is being offered for the purpose of further showing the transaction as explained in connection with Exhibits E and L. N-Receipt of plaintiff dated March 30, 1971 for the return of his P3,000 out of his capital investment of P6,000 (Exh. E) in the P14,000 promissory note (Exh. 2; P). This is also defendant's Exhibit 4. This document is being offered in support of plaintiff's explanation in connection with Exhibits E, L, and M to show the transaction mentioned therein. xxx xxx xxx P-Promissory note for P14,000.00. This is also defendant's Exhibit 2. It is being offered for the purpose of showing the transaction as explained in connection with Exhibits E, L, M, and N above. Explaining the above-quoted exhibits, respondent Pecson testified that: t.hqw Q During the pre-trial of this case, Mr. Pecson, the defendant presented a promissory note in the amount of P14,000.00 which has been marked as Exhibit 2. Do you know this promissory note? A Yes, sir.

Q What is this promissory note, in connection with your transaction with the defendant? A This promissory note is for the printing of the "Voice of the Veterans". Q What is this "Voice of the Veterans", Mr. Pecson? A It is a book.t.hqw (T.S.N., p. 19, Nov. 29, 1972) Q And what does the amount of P14,000.00 indicated in the promissory note, Exhibit 2, represent? A It represents the P6,000.00 cash which I gave to Mr. Moran, as evidenced by the Philippine National Bank Manager's check and the P8,000.00 profit assured me by Mr. Moran which I will derive from the printing of this "Voice of the Veterans" book. Q You said that the P6,000.00 of this P14,000.00 is covered by, a Manager's check. I show you Exhibit E, is this the Manager's check that mentioned? A Yes, sir. Q What happened to this promissory note of P14,000.00 which you said represented P6,000.00 of your investment and P8,000.00 promised profits? A Latter, Mr. Moran returned to me P3,000.00 which represented one-half (1/2) of the P6,000.00 capital I gave to him.

Q As a consequence of the return by Mr. Moran of one-half (1/2) of the P6,000.00 capital you gave to him, what happened to the promised profit of P8,000.00? A It was reduced to one-half (1/2) which is P4,000.00. Q Was there any document executed by Mr. Moran in connection with the Balance of P3,000.00 of your capital investment and the P4,000.00 promised profits? A Yes, sir, he executed a promissory note. Q I show you a promissory note in the amount of P7,000.00 dated March 30, 1971 which for purposes of Identification I request the same to be marked as Exhibit M. . . Court t.hqw Mark it as Exhibit M. Q (continuing) is this the promissory note which you said was executed by Mr. Moran in connection with your transaction regarding the printing of the "Voice of the Veterans"? A Yes, sir. (T.S.N., pp. 20-22, Nov. 29, 1972). Q What happened to this promissory note executed by Mr. Moran, Mr. Pecson? A Mr. Moran paid me P4,000.00 out of the P7,000.00 as shown by the promissory note. Q Was there a receipt issued by you covering this payment of P4,000.00 in favor of Mr. Moran?

A Yes, sir. (T.S.N., p. 23, Nov. 29, 1972). Q You stated that Mr. Moran paid the amount of P4,000.00 on account of the P7,000.00 covered by the promissory note, Exhibit M. What does this P4,000.00 covered by Exhibit N represent? A This P4,000.00 represents the P3,000.00 which he has returned of my P6,000.00 capital investment and the P1,000.00 represents partial payment of the P4,000.00 profit that was promised to me by Mr. Moran. Q And what happened to the balance of P3,000.00 under the promissory note, Exhibit M? A The balance of P3,000.00 and the rest of the profit was applied as part of the consideration of the promissory note of P20,000.00. (T.S.N., pp. 23-24, Nov. 29, 1972). The respondent court erred when it concluded that the project never left the ground because the project did take place. Only it failed. It was the private respondent himself who presented a copy of the book entitled "Voice of the Veterans" in the lower court as Exhibit "L". Therefore, it would be error to state that the project never took place and on this basis decree the return of the private respondent's investment. As already mentioned, there are risks in any business venture and the failure of the undertaking cannot entirely be blamed on the managing partner alone, specially if the latter exercised his best business judgment, which seems to be true in this case. In view of the foregoing, there is no reason to pass upon the fourth and fifth assignments of errors raised by the petitioner. We likewise find no valid basis for the grant of the counterclaim. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of the respondent Court of Appeals (now Intermediate Appellate Court) is hereby SET ASIDE

and a new one is rendered ordering the petitioner Isabelo Moran, Jr., to pay private respondent Mariano Pecson SIX THOUSAND (P6,000.00) PESOS representing the amount of the private respondent's contribution to the partnership but which remained unused; and THREE THOUSAND (P3,000.00) PESOS representing one half (1/2) of the net profits gained by the partnership in the sale of the two thousand (2,000) copies of the posters, with interests at the legal rate on both amounts from the date the complaint was filed until full payment is made. SO ORDERED.

in their joint answer, and the judgment so rendered granted reliefs not prayed for in the complaint, and (2) prohibition to enjoin further proceedings relative to the motion for immediate execution of the said judgment. Originally, this litigation was a complaint filed on February 9, 1971 by respondent Tan Put only against the spouses-petitioners Antonio Lim Tanhu and Dy Ochay. Subsequently, in an amended complaint dated September 26, 1972, their son Lim Teck Chuan and the other spousespetitioners Alfonso Leonardo Ng Sua and Co Oyo and their son Eng Chong Leonardo were included as defendants. In said amended complaint, respondent Tan alleged that she "is the widow of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, who was a partner in the commercial partnership, Glory Commercial Company ... with Antonio Lim Tanhu and Alfonso Ng Sua that "defendant Antonio Lim Tanhu, Alfonso Leonardo Ng Sua, Lim Teck Chuan, and Eng Chong Leonardo, through fraud and machination, took actual and active management of the partnership and although Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan was the manager of Glory Commercial Company, defendants managed to use the funds of the partnership to purchase lands and building's in the cities of Cebu, Lapulapu, Mandaue, and the municipalities of Talisay and Minglanilla, some of which were hidden, but the description of those already discovered were as follows: (list of properties) ...;" and that: 13. (A)fter the death of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, the defendants, without liquidation continued the business of Glory Commercial Company by purportedly organizing a corporation known as the Glory Commercial Company, Incorporated, with paid up capital in the sum of P125,000.00, which money and other assets of the said Glory Commercial Company, Incorporated are actually the assets of the defunct Glory Commercial Company partnership, of which the plaintiff has a share equivalent to one third ( / 3) thereof; 14. (P)laintiff, on several occasions after the death of her husband, has asked defendants of the above-mentioned properties and for the liquidation of the business of the defunct partnership, including investments on real estate in Hong Kong, but defendants kept on promising to liquidate said properties and just told plaintiff to

G.R. No. L-40098 August 29, 1975 ANTONIO LIM TANHU, DY OCHAY, ALFONSO LEONARDO NG SUA and CO OYO, petitioners, vs. HON. JOSE R. RAMOLETE as Presiding Judge, Branch III, CFI, Cebu and TAN PUT, respondents. Petition for (1) certiorari to annul and set aside certain actuations of respondent Court of First Instance of Cebu Branch III in its Civil Case No. 12328, an action for accounting of properties and money totalling allegedly about P15 million pesos filed with a common cause of action against six defendants, in which after declaring four of the said defendants herein petitioners, in default and while the trial as against the two defendants not declared in default was in progress, said court granted plaintiff's motion to dismiss the case in so far as the non-defaulted defendants were concerned and thereafter proceeded to hear ex-parte the rest of the plaintiffs evidence and subsequently rendered judgment by default against the defaulted defendants, with the particularities that notice of the motion to dismiss was not duly served on any of the defendants, who had alleged a compulsory counterclaim against plaintiff

15. (S)ometime in the month of November, 1967, defendants, Antonio Lim Tanhu, by means of fraud deceit and misrepresentations did then and there, induce and convince the plaintiff to execute a quitclaim of all her rights and interests, in the assets of the partnership of Glory Commercial Company, which is null and void, executed through fraud and without any legal effect. The original of said quitclaim is in the possession of the adverse party defendant Antonio Lim Tanhu. 16. (A)s a matter of fact, after the execution of said quitclaim, defendant Antonio Lim Tanhu offered to pay the plaintiff the amount P65,000.00 within a period of one (1) month, for which plaintiff was made to sign a receipt for the amount of P65,000.00 although no such amount was given and plaintiff was not even given a copy of said document; 17. (T)hereafter, in the year 1968-69, the defendants who had earlier promised to liquidate the aforesaid properties and assets in favor among others of plaintiff and until the middle of the year 1970 when the plaintiff formally demanded from the defendants the accounting of real and personal properties of the Glory Commercial Company, defendants refused and stated that they would not give the share of the plaintiff. (Pp. 36-37, Record.) She prayed as follows: WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed that judgment be rendered: a) Ordering the defendants to render an accounting of the real and personal properties of the Glory Commercial Company including those registered in the names of the defendants and other persons, which properties are located in the Philippines and in Hong Kong; b) Ordering the defendants to deliver to the plaintiff after accounting, one third (/ 3) of the total value of all the properties which is approximately P5,000,000.00 representing the just share of the plaintiff;

c) Ordering the defendants to pay the attorney of the plaintiff the sum of Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P250,000.00) by way of attorney's fees and damages in the sum of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00). This Honorable Court is prayed for other remedies and reliefs consistent with law and equity and order the defendants to pay the costs. (Page 38, Record.) The admission of said amended complaint was opposed by defendants upon the ground that there were material modifications of the causes of action previously alleged, but respondent judge nevertheless allowed the amendment reasoning that: The present action is for accounting of real and personal properties as well as for the recovery of the same with damages. An objective consideration of pars. 13 and 15 of the amended complaint pointed out by the defendants to sustain their opposition will show that the allegations of facts therein are merely to amplify material averments constituting the cause of action in the original complaint. It likewise include necessary and indispensable defendants without whom no final determination can be had in the action and in order that complete relief is to be accorded as between those already parties. Considering that the amendments sought to be introduced do not change the main causes of action in the original complaint and the reliefs demanded and to allow amendments is the rule, and to refuse them the exception and in order that the real question between the parties may be properly and justly threshed out in a single proceeding to avoid multiplicity of actions. (Page 40, Record.) In a single answer with counterclaim, over the signature of their common counsel, defendants denied specifically not only the allegation that respondent Tan is the widow of Tee Hoon because, according to them, his legitimate wife was Ang Siok Tin still living and with whom he had four (4) legitimate children, a twin born in 1942, and two others born in 1949 and

1965, all presently residing in Hongkong, but also all the allegations of fraud and conversion quoted above, the truth being, according to them, that proper liquidation had been regularly made of the business of the partnership and Tee Hoon used to receive his just share until his death, as a result of which the partnership was dissolved and what corresponded to him were all given to his wife and children. To quote the pertinent portions of said answer: AND BY WAY OF SPECIAL AND AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES, defendants hereby incorporate all facts averred and alleged in the answer, and further most respectfully declare: 1. That in the event that plaintiff is filing the present complaint as an heir of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, then, she has no legal capacity to sue as such, considering that the legitimate wife, namely: Ang Siok Tin, together with their children are still alive. Under Sec. 1, (d), Rule 16 of the Revised Rules of Court, lack of legal capacity to sue is one of the grounds for a motion to dismiss and so defendants prays that a preliminary hearing be conducted as provided for in Sec. 5, of the same rule; 2. That in the alternative case or event that plaintiff is filing the present case under Art. 144 of the Civil Code, then, her claim or demand has been paid, waived abandoned or otherwise extinguished as evidenced by the 'quitclaim' Annex 'A' hereof, the ground cited is another ground for a motion to dismiss (Sec. 1, (h), Rule 16) and hence defendants pray that a preliminary hearing be made in connection therewith pursuant to Section 5 of the aforementioned rule; 3. That Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan was legally married to Ang Siok Tin and were blessed with the following children, to wit: Ching Siong Lim and Ching Hing Lim (twins) born on February 16, 1942; Lim Shing Ping born on March 3, 1949 and Lim Eng Lu born on June 25, 1965 and presently residing in Hongkong; 4. That even before the death of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, the plaintiff was no longer his common law wife and even though

she was not entitled to anything left by Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, yet, out of the kindness and generosity on the part of the defendants, particularly Antonio Lain Tanhu, who, was inspiring to be monk and in fact he is now a monk, plaintiff was given a substantial amount evidenced by the 'quitclaim' (Annex 'A'); 5. That the defendants have acquired properties out of their own personal fund and certainly not from the funds belonging to the partnership, just as Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan had acquired properties out of his personal fund and which are now in the possession of the widow and neither the defendants nor the partnership have anything to do about said properties; 6. That it would have been impossible to buy properties from funds belonging to the partnership without the other partners knowing about it considering that the amount taken allegedly is quite big and with such big amount withdrawn the partnership would have been insolvent; 7. That plaintiff and Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan were not blessed with children who would have been lawfully entitled to succeed to the properties left by the latter together with the widow and legitimate children; 8. That despite the fact that plaintiff knew that she was no longer entitled to anything of the shares of the late Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, yet, this suit was filed against the defendant who have to interpose the following COUNTERCLAIM A. That the defendants hereby reproduced, by way of reference, all the allegations and foregoing averments as part of this counterclaim; . B. That plaintiff knew and was aware she was merely the common-law wife of Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan and that the lawful and legal is still living, together with the legitimate children, and yet she deliberately suppressed this fact, thus

showing her bad faith and is therefore liable for exemplary damages in an amount which the Honorable Court may determine in the exercise of its sound judicial discretion. In the event that plaintiff is married to Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan, then, her marriage is bigamous and should suffer the consequences thereof; C. That plaintiff was aware and had knowledge about the 'quitclaim', even though she was not entitled to it, and yet she falsely claimed that defendants refused even to see her and for filing this unfounded, baseless, futile and puerile complaint, defendants suffered mental anguish and torture conservatively estimated to be not less than P3,000.00; D. That in order to defend their rights in court, defendants were constrained to engage the services of the undersigned counsel, obligating themselves to pay P500,000.00 as attorney's fees; E. That by way of litigation expenses during the time that this case will be before this Honorable Court and until the same will be finally terminated and adjudicated, defendants will have to spend at least P5,000.00. (Pp. 44-47. Record.) After unsuccessfully trying to show that this counterclaim is merely permissive and should be dismissed for non-payment of the corresponding filing fee, and after being overruled by the court, in due time, plaintiff answered the same, denying its material allegations. On February 3, 1973, however, the date set for the pre-trial, both of the two defendants-spouses the Lim Tanhus and Ng Suas, did not appear, for which reason, upon motion of plaintiff dated February 16, 1973, in an order of March 12, 1973, they were all "declared in DEFAULT as of February 3, 1973 when they failed to appear at the pre-trial." They sought to hive this order lifted thru a motion for reconsideration, but the effort failed when the court denied it. Thereafter, the trial started, but at the stage thereof where the first witness of the plaintiff by the name of Antonio Nuez who testified that he is her adopted son, was up for recross-examination, said plaintiff unexpectedly filed on October 19, 1974 the following simple and unreasoned

MOTION TO DROP DEFENDANTS LIM TECK CHUAN AND ENG CHONG LEONARDO COMES now plaintiff, through her undersigned counsel, unto the Honorable Court most respectfully moves to drop from the complaint the defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo and to consider the case dismissed insofar as said defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo are concerned. WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed of the Honorable Court to drop from the complaint the defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo and to dismiss the case against them without pronouncement as to costs. (Page 50, Record.) which she set for hearing on December 21, 1974. According to petitioners, none of the defendants declared in default were notified of said motion, in violation of Section 9 of Rule 13, since they had asked for the lifting of the order of default, albeit unsuccessfully, and as regards the defendants not declared in default, the setting of the hearing of said motion on October 21, 1974 infringed the three-day requirement of Section 4 of Rule 15, inasmuch as Atty. Adelino Sitoy of Lim Teck Chuan was served with a copy of the motion personally only on October 19, 1974, while Atty. Benjamin Alcudia of Eng Chong Leonardo was served by registered mail sent only on the same date. Evidently without even verifying the notices of service, just as simply as plaintiff had couched her motion, and also without any legal grounds stated, respondent court granted the prayer of the above motion thus: ORDER Acting on the motion of the plaintiff praying for the dismissal of the complaint as against defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo.

The same is hereby GRANTED. The complaint as against defendant Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo is hereby ordered DISMISSED without pronouncement as to costs. Simultaneously, the following order was also issued: Considering that defendants Antonio Lim Tanhu and his spouse Dy Ochay as well as defendants Alfonso Ng Sua and his spouse Co Oyo have been declared in default for failure to appear during the pre-trial and as to the other defendants the complaint had already been ordered dismissed as against them. Let the hearing of the plaintiff's evidence ex-parte be set on November 20, 1974, at 8:30 A.M. before the Branch Clerk of Court who is deputized for the purpose, to swear in witnesses and to submit her report within ten (10) days thereafter. Notify the plaintiff. SO ORDERED. Cebu City, Philippines, October 21, 1974. (Page 52, Record.) But, in connection with this last order, the scheduled ex-parte reception of evidence did not take place on November 20, 1974, for on October 28, 1974, upon verbal motion of plaintiff, the court issued the following selfexplanatory order: . Acting favorably on the motion of the plaintiff dated October 18, 1974, the Court deputized the Branch Clerk of Court to receive the evidence of the plaintiff ex-parte to be made on November 20, 1974. However, on October 28, 1974, the plaintiff, together with her witnesses, appeared in court and asked, thru counsel, that she be allowed to present her evidence. Considering the time and expenses incurred by the plaintiff in bringing her witnesses to the court, the Branch Clerk of Court is hereby authorized to receive immediately the evidence of the plaintiff ex-parte.

SO ORDERED. Cebu City, Philippines, October 28, 1974. (Page 53. Record.) Upon learning of these orders on October 23, 1973, the defendant Lim Teck Cheng, thru counsel, Atty. Sitoy, filed a motion for reconsideration thereof, and on November 1, 1974, defendant Eng Chong Leonardo, thru counsel Atty. Alcudia, filed also his own motion for reconsideration and clarification of the same orders. These motions were denied in an order dated December 6, 1974 but received by the movants only on December 23, 1974. Meanwhile, respondent court rendered the impugned decision on December 20, 1974. It does not appear when the parties were served copies of this decision. Subsequently, on January 6, 1975, all the defendants, thru counsel, filed a motion to quash the order of October 28, 1974. Without waiting however for the resolution thereof, on January 13, 1974, Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo went to the Court of Appeals with a petition for certiorari seeking the annulment of the above-mentioned orders of October 21, 1974 and October 28, 1974 and decision of December 20, 1974. By resolution of January 24, 1975, the Court of Appeals dismissed said petition, holding that its filing was premature, considering that the motion to quash the order of October 28, 1974 was still unresolved by the trial court. This holding was reiterated in the subsequent resolution of February 5, 1975 denying the motion for reconsideration of the previous dismissal. On the other hand, on January 20, 1975, the other defendants, petitioners herein, filed their notice of appeal, appeal bond and motion for extension to file their record on appeal, which was granted, the extension to expire after fifteen (15) days from January 26 and 27, 1975, for defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Suas, respectively. But on February 7, 1975, before the perfection of their appeal, petitioners filed the present petition with this Court. And with the evident intent to make their procedural position clear, counsel for defendants, Atty. Manuel Zosa, filed with respondent court a manifestation dated February 14, 1975 stating that "when the nondefaulted defendants Eng Chong Leonardo and Lim Teck Chuan filed their petition in the Court of Appeals, they in effect abandoned their motion to quash the order of October 28, 1974," and that similarly "when Antonio Lim Tanhu, Dy Ochay, Alfonso Leonardo Ng Sua and Co Oyo, filed their petition for certiorari and prohibition ... in the Supreme Court, they likewise abandoned their motion to quash." This manifestation was acted

upon by respondent court together with plaintiffs motion for execution pending appeal in its order of the same date February 14, 1975 this wise: ORDER When these incidents, the motion to quash the order of October 28, 1974 and the motion for execution pending appeal were called for hearing today, counsel for the defendants-movants submitted their manifestation inviting the attention of this Court that by their filing for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction in the Court of Appeals which was dismissed and later the defaulted defendants filed with the Supreme Court certiorari with prohibition they in effect abandoned their motion to quash. IN VIEW HEREOF, the motion to quash is ordered ABANDONED. The resolution of the motion for execution pending appeal shall be resolved after the petition for certiorari and prohibition shall have been resolved by the Supreme Court. SO ORDERED. Cebu City, Philippines, February 14, 1975. (Page 216, Record.) Upon these premises, it is the position of petitioners that respondent court acted illegally, in violation of the rules or with grave abuse of discretion in acting on respondent's motion to dismiss of October 18, 1974 without previously ascertaining whether or not due notice thereof had been served on the adverse parties, as, in fact, no such notice was timely served on the non-defaulted defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo and no notice at all was ever sent to the other defendants, herein petitioners, and more so, in actually ordering the dismissal of the case by its order of October 21, 1974 and at the same time setting the case for further hearing as against the defaulted defendants, herein petitioners, actually hearing the same ex-parte and thereafter rendering the decision of December 20, 1974 granting respondent Tan even reliefs not prayed for in the complaint. According to the petitioners, to begin with, there was compulsory counterclaim in the common answer of the defendants the nature of which is such that it cannot be decided in an

independent action and as to which the attention of respondent court was duly called in the motions for reconsideration. Besides, and more importantly, under Section 4 of Rule 18, respondent court had no authority to divide the case before it by dismissing the same as against the non-defaulted defendants and thereafter proceeding to hear it exparte and subsequently rendering judgment against the defaulted defendants, considering that in their view, under the said provision of the rules, when a common cause of action is alleged against several defendants, the default of any of them is a mere formality by which those defaulted are not allowed to take part in the proceedings, but otherwise, all the defendants, defaulted and not defaulted, are supposed to have but a common fate, win or lose. In other words, petitioners posit that in such a situation, there can only be one common judgment for or against all the defendant, the non-defaulted and the defaulted. Thus, petitioners contend that the order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 should be considered also as the final judgment insofar as they are concerned, or, in the alternative, it should be set aside together with all the proceedings and decision held and rendered subsequent thereto, and that the trial be resumed as of said date, with the defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo being allowed to defend the case for all the defendants. On the other hand, private respondent maintains the contrary view that inasmuch as petitioners had been properly declared in default, they have no personality nor interest to question the dismissal of the case as against their non-defaulted co-defendants and should suffer the consequences of their own default. Respondent further contends, and this is the only position discussed in the memorandum submitted by her counsel, that since petitioners have already made or at least started to make their appeal, as they are in fact entitled to appeal, this special civil action has no reason for being. Additionally, she invokes the point of prematurity upheld by the Court of Appeals in regard to the above-mentioned petition therein of the non-defaulted defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo. Finally, she argues that in any event, the errors attributed to respondent court are errors of judgment and may be reviewed only in an appeal. After careful scrutiny of all the above-related proceedings, in the court below and mature deliberation, the Court has arrived at the conclusion that petitioners should be granted relief, if only to stress emphatically once more that the rules of procedure may not be misused and abused as instruments for the denial of substantial justice. A review of the record of this case immediately discloses that here is another demonstrative

instance of how some members of the bar, availing of their proficiency in invoking the letter of the rules without regard to their real spirit and intent, succeed in inducing courts to act contrary to the dictates of justice and equity, and, in some instances, to wittingly or unwittingly abet unfair advantage by ironically camouflaging their actuations as earnest efforts to satisfy the public clamor for speedy disposition of litigations, forgetting all the while that the plain injunction of Section 2 of Rule 1 is that the "rules shall be liberally construed in order to promote their object and to assist the parties in obtaining not only 'speedy' but more imperatively, "just ... and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding." We cannot simply pass over the impression that the procedural maneuvers and tactics revealed in the records of the case at bar were deliberately planned with the calculated end in view of depriving petitioners and their co-defendants below of every opportunity to properly defend themselves against a claim of more than substantial character, considering the millions of pesos worth of properties involved as found by respondent judge himself in the impugned decision, a claim that appears, in the light of the allegations of the answer and the documents already brought to the attention of the court at the pre-trial, to be rather dubious. What is most regrettable is that apparently, all of these alarming circumstances have escaped respondent judge who did not seem to have hesitated in acting favorably on the motions of the plaintiff conducive to the deplorable objective just mentioned, and which motions, at the very least, appeared to be 'of highly controversial' merit, considering that their obvious tendency and immediate result would be to convert the proceedings into a one-sided affair, a situation that should be readily condemnable and intolerable to any court of justice. Indeed, a seeming disposition on the part of respondent court to lean more on the contentions of private respondent may be discerned from the manner it resolved the attempts of defendants Dy Ochay and Antonio Lim Tanhu to have the earlier order of default against them lifted. Notwithstanding that Dy Ochay's motion of October 8, 1971, co-signed by her with their counsel, Atty. Jovencio Enjambre (Annex 2 of respondent answer herein) was over the jurat of the notary public before whom she took her oath, in the order of November 2, 1971, (Annex 3 id.) it was held that "the oath appearing at the bottom of the motion is not the one contemplated by the abovequoted pertinent provision (See. 3, Rule 18) of the rules. It is not even a verification. (See. 6, Rule 7.) What the rule requires as interpreted by the Supreme Court is that the motion must have to be accompanied by an affidavit of merits that the defendant has a meritorious defense, thereby ignoring the very simple legal point that the

ruling of the Supreme Court in Ong Peng vs. Custodio, 1 SCRA 781, relied upon by His Honor, under which a separate affidavit of merit is required refers obviously to instances where the motion is not over oath of the party concerned, considering that what the cited provision literally requires is no more than a "motion under oath." Stated otherwise, when a motion to lift an order of default contains the reasons for the failure to answer as well as the facts constituting the prospective defense of the defendant and it is sworn to by said defendant, neither a formal verification nor a separate affidavit of merit is necessary. What is worse, the same order further held that the motion to lift the order of default "is an admission that there was a valid service of summons" and that said motion could not amount to a challenge against the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant. Such a rationalization is patently specious and reveals an evident failure to grasp the import of the legal concepts involved. A motion to lift an order of default on the ground that service of summons has not been made in accordance with the rules is in order and is in essence verily an attack against the jurisdiction of the court over the person of the defendant, no less than if it were worded in a manner specifically embodying such a direct challenge. And then, in the order of February 14, 1972 (Annex 6, id.) lifting at last the order of default as against defendant Lim Tanhu, His Honor posited that said defendant "has a defense (quitclaim) which renders the claim of the plaintiff contentious." We have read defendants' motion for reconsideration of November 25, 1971 (Annex 5, id.), but We cannot find in it any reference to a "quitclaim". Rather, the allegation of a quitclaim is in the amended complaint (Pars. 15-16, Annex B of the petition herein) in which plaintiff maintains that her signature thereto was secured through fraud and deceit. In truth, the motion for reconsideration just mentioned, Annex 5, merely reiterated the allegation in Dy Ochay's earlier motion of October 8, 1971, Annex 2, to set aside the order of default, that plaintiff Tan could be but the common law wife only of Tee Hoon, since his legitimate wife was still alive, which allegation, His Honor held in the order of November 2, 1971, Annex 3, to be "not good and meritorious defense". To top it all, whereas, as already stated, the order of February 19, 1972, Annex 6, lifted the default against Lim Tanhu because of the additional consideration that "he has a defense (quitclaim) which renders the claim of the plaintiff contentious," the default of Dy Ochay was maintained notwithstanding that exactly the same "contentions" defense as that of her husband was invoked by her.

Such tenuous, if not altogether erroneous reasonings and manifest inconsistency in the legal postures in the orders in question can hardly convince Us that the matters here in issue were accorded due and proper consideration by respondent court. In fact, under the circumstances herein obtaining, it seems appropriate to stress that, having in view the rather substantial value of the subject matter involved together with the obviously contentious character of plaintiff's claim, which is discernible even on the face of the complaint itself, utmost care should have been taken to avoid the slightest suspicion of improper motivations on the part of anyone concerned. Upon the considerations hereunder to follow, the Court expresses its grave concern that much has to be done to dispel the impression that herein petitioners and their co-defendants are being railroaded out of their rights and properties without due process of law, on the strength of procedural technicalities adroitly planned by counsel and seemingly unnoticed and undetected by respondent court, whose orders, gauged by their tenor and the citations of supposedly pertinent provisions and jurisprudence made therein, cannot be said to have proceeded from utter lack of juridical knowledgeability and competence. 1 The first thing that has struck the Court upon reviewing the record is the seeming alacrity with which the motion to dismiss the case against nondefaulted defendants Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo was disposed of, which definitely ought not to have been the case. The trial was proceeding with the testimony of the first witness of plaintiff and he was still under re-cross-examination. Undoubtedly, the motion to dismiss at that stage and in the light of the declaration of default against the rest of the defendants was a well calculated surprise move, obviously designed to secure utmost advantage of the situation, regardless of its apparent unfairness. To say that it must have been entirely unexpected by all the defendants, defaulted and non-defaulted , is merely to rightly assume that the parties in a judicial proceeding can never be the victims of any procedural waylaying as long as lawyers and judges are imbued with the requisite sense of equity and justice. But the situation here was aggravated by the indisputable fact that the adverse parties who were entitled to be notified of such unanticipated dismissal motion did not get due notice thereof. Certainly, the nondefaulted defendants had the right to the three-day prior notice required by Section 4 of Rule 15. How could they have had such indispensable

notice when the motion was set for hearing on Monday, October 21, 1974, whereas the counsel for Lim Teck Chuan, Atty. Sitoy was personally served with the notice only on Saturday, October 19, 1974 and the counsel for Eng Chong Leonardo, Atty. Alcudia, was notified by registered mail which was posted only that same Saturday, October 19, 1974? According to Chief Justice Moran, "three days at least must intervene between the date of service of notice and the date set for the hearing, otherwise the court may not validly act on the motion." (Comments on the Rules of Court by Moran, Vol. 1, 1970 ed. p. 474.) Such is the correct construction of Section 4 of Rule 15. And in the instant case, there can be no question that the notices to the non-defaulted defendants were short of the requirement of said provision. We can understand the over-anxiety of counsel for plaintiff, but what is incomprehensible is the seeming inattention of respondent judge to the explicit mandate of the pertinent rule, not to speak of the imperatives of fairness, considering he should have realized the far-reaching implications, specially from the point of view he subsequently adopted, albeit erroneously, of his favorably acting on it. Actually, he was aware of said consequences, for simultaneously with his order of dismissal, he immediately set the case for the ex-parte hearing of the evidence against the defaulted defendants, which, incidentally, from the tenor of his order which We have quoted above, appears to have been done by him motu propio As a matter of fact, plaintiff's motion also quoted above did not pray for it. Withal, respondent court's twin actions of October 21, 1974 further ignores or is inconsistent with a number of known juridical principles concerning defaults, which We will here take occasion to reiterate and further elucidate on, if only to avoid a repetition of the unfortunate errors committed in this case. Perhaps some of these principles have not been amply projected and elaborated before, and such paucity of elucidation could be the reason why respondent judge must have acted as he did. Still, the Court cannot but express its vehement condemnation of any judicial actuation that unduly deprives any party of the right to be heard without clear and specific warrant under the terms of existing rules or binding jurisprudence. Extreme care must be the instant reaction of every judge when confronted with a situation involving risks that the proceedings may not be fair and square to all the parties concerned. Indeed, a keen sense of fairness, equity and justice that constantly looks for consistency between the letter of the adjective rules and these basic principles must be possessed by every judge, If substance is to prevail, as

it must, over form in our courts. Literal observance of the rules, when it is conducive to unfair and undue advantage on the part of any litigant before it, is unworthy of any court of justice and equity. Withal, only those rules and procedure informed, with and founded on public policy deserve obedience in accord with their unequivocal language or words.. Before proceeding to the discussion of the default aspects of this case, however, it should not be amiss to advert first to the patent incorrectness, apparent on the face of the record, of the aforementioned order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 of the case below as regards non-defaulted defendants Lim and Leonardo. While it is true that said defendants are not petitioners herein, the Court deems it necessary for a full view of the outrageous procedural strategy conceived by respondent's counsel and sanctioned by respondent court to also make reference to the very evident fact that in ordering said dismissal respondent court disregarded completely the existence of defendant's counterclaim which it had itself earlier held if indirectly, to be compulsory in nature when it refused to dismiss the same on the ground alleged by respondent Tan that he docketing fees for the filing thereof had not been paid by defendants. Indeed, that said counterclaim is compulsory needs no extended elaboration. As may be noted in the allegations hereof aforequoted, it arose out of or is necessarily connected with the occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim, (Section 4, Rule 9) namely, plaintiff's allegedly being the widow of the deceased Tee Hoon entitled, as such, to demand accounting of and to receive the share of her alleged late husband as partner of defendants Antonio Lim Tanhu and Alfonso Leonardo Ng Sua in Glory Commercial Company, the truth of which allegations all the defendants have denied. Defendants maintain in their counterclaim that plaintiff knew of the falsity of said allegations even before she filed her complaint, for she had in fact admitted her commonlaw relationship with said deceased in a document she had jointly executed with him by way of agreement to terminate their illegitimate relationship, for which she received P40,000 from the deceased, and with respect to her pretended share in the capital and profits in the partnership, it is also defendants' posture that she had already quitclaimed, with the assistance of able counsel, whatever rights if any she had thereto in November, 1967, for the sum of P25,000 duly receipted by her, which quitclaim was, however, executed, according to respondent herself in her amended complaint, through fraud. And having filed her complaint knowing, according to defendants, as she ought to have known, that the material allegations thereof are false and baseless, she has

caused them to suffer damages. Undoubtedly, with such allegations, defendants' counterclaim is compulsory, not only because the same evidence to sustain it will also refute the cause or causes of action alleged in plaintiff's complaint, (Moran, supra p. 352) but also because from its very nature, it is obvious that the same cannot "remain pending for independent adjudication by the court." (Section 2, Rule 17.) The provision of the rules just cited specifically enjoins that "(i)f a counterclaim has been pleaded by a defendant prior to the service upon him of the plaintiff's motion to dismiss, the action shall not be dismissed against the defendant's objection unless the counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication by the court." Defendants Lim and Leonardo had no opportunity to object to the motion to dismiss before the order granting the same was issued, for the simple reason that they were not opportunity notified of the motion therefor, but the record shows clearly that at least defendant Lim immediately brought the matter of their compulsory counterclaim to the attention of the trial court in his motion for reconsideration of October 23, 1974, even as the counsel for the other defendant, Leonardo, predicated his motion on other grounds. In its order of December 6, 1974, however, respondent court not only upheld the plaintiffs supposed absolute right to choose her adversaries but also held that the counterclaim is not compulsory, thereby virtually making unexplained and inexplicable 180-degree turnabout in that respect. There is another equally fundamental consideration why the motion to dismiss should not have been granted. As the plaintiff's complaint has been framed, all the six defendants are charged with having actually taken part in a conspiracy to misappropriate, conceal and convert to their own benefit the profits, properties and all other assets of the partnership Glory Commercial Company, to the extent that they have allegedly organized a corporation, Glory Commercial Company, Inc. with what they had illegally gotten from the partnership. Upon such allegations, no judgment finding the existence of the alleged conspiracy or holding the capital of the corporation to be the money of the partnership is legally possible without the presence of all the defendants. The non-defaulted defendants are alleged to be stockholders of the corporation and any decision depriving the same of all its assets cannot but prejudice the interests of said defendants. Accordingly, upon these premises, and even prescinding from the other reasons to be discussed anon it is clear that all the six defendants below, defaulted and non-defaulted, are indispensable parties. Respondents could do no less than grant that they are so on page 23 of their answer. Such being the case, the questioned order of dismissal

is exactly the opposite of what ought to have been done. Whenever it appears to the court in the course of a proceeding that an indispensable party has not been joined, it is the duty of the court to stop the trial and to order the inclusion of such party. (The Revised Rules of Court, Annotated & Commented by Senator Vicente J. Francisco, Vol. 1, p. 271, 1973 ed. See also Cortez vs. Avila, 101 Phil. 705.) Such an order is unavoidable, for the "general rule with reference to the making of parties in a civil action requires the joinder of all necessary parties wherever possible, and the joinder of all indispensable parties under any and all conditions, the presence of those latter being a sine qua non of the exercise of judicial power." (Borlasa vs. Polistico, 47 Phil. 345, at p. 347.) It is precisely " when an indispensable party is not before the court (that) the action should be dismissed." (People v. Rodriguez, 106 Phil. 325, at p. 327.) The absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent actuations of the court null and void, for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present. In short, what respondent court did here was exactly the reverse of what the law ordains it eliminated those who by law should precisely be joined. As may he noted from the order of respondent court quoted earlier, which resolved the motions for reconsideration of the dismissal order filed by the non-defaulted defendants, His Honor rationalized his position thus: It is the rule that it is the absolute prerogative of the plaintiff to choose, the theory upon which he predicates his right of action, or the parties he desires to sue, without dictation or imposition by the court or the adverse party. If he makes a mistake in the choice of his right of action, or in that of the parties against whom he seeks to enforce it, that is his own concern as he alone suffers therefrom. The plaintiff cannot be compelled to choose his defendants, He may not, at his own expense, be forced to implead anyone who, under the adverse party's theory, is to answer for defendant's liability. Neither may the Court compel him to furnish the means by which defendant may avoid or mitigate their liability. (Vao vs. Alo, 95 Phil. 495-496.) This being the rule this court cannot compel the plaintiff to continue prosecuting her cause of action against the defendants-movants if in the course of the trial she believes she can enforce it against the remaining defendants subject

only to the limitation provided in Section 2, Rule 17 of the Rules of Court. ... (Pages 6263, Record.) Noticeably, His Honor has employed the same equivocal terminology as in plaintiff's motion of October 18, 1974 by referring to the action he had taken as being "dismissal of the complaint against them or their being dropped therefrom", without perceiving that the reason for the evidently intentional ambiguity is transparent. The apparent idea is to rely on the theory that under Section 11 of Rule 3, parties may be dropped by the court upon motion of any party at any stage of the action, hence "it is the absolute right prerogative of the plaintiff to choosethe parties he desires to sue, without dictation or imposition by the court or the adverse party." In other words, the ambivalent pose is suggested that plaintiff's motion of October 18, 1974 was not predicated on Section 2 of Rule 17 but more on Section 11 of Rule 3. But the truth is that nothing can be more incorrect. To start with, the latter rule does not comprehend whimsical and irrational dropping or adding of parties in a complaint. What it really contemplates is erroneous or mistaken non-joinder and misjoinder of parties. No one is free to join anybody in a complaint in court only to drop him unceremoniously later at the pleasure of the plaintiff. The rule presupposes that the original inclusion had been made in the honest conviction that it was proper and the subsequent dropping is requested because it has turned out that such inclusion was a mistake. And this is the reason why the rule ordains that the dropping be "on such terms as are just" just to all the other parties. In the case at bar, there is nothing in the record to legally justify the dropping of the non-defaulted defendants, Lim and Leonardo. The motion of October 18, 1974 cites none. From all appearances, plaintiff just decided to ask for it, without any relevant explanation at all. Usually, the court in granting such a motion inquires for the reasons and in the appropriate instances directs the granting of some form of compensation for the trouble undergone by the defendant in answering the complaint, preparing for or proceeding partially to trial, hiring counsel and making corresponding expenses in the premises. Nothing of these, appears in the order in question. Most importantly, His Honor ought to have considered that the outright dropping of the non-defaulted defendants Lim and Leonardo, over their objection at that, would certainly be unjust not only to the petitioners, their own parents, who would in consequence be entirely defenseless, but also to Lim and Leonardo themselves who would naturally correspondingly suffer from the eventual judgment against their parents. Respondent court paid no heed at all to the mandate that such dropping must be on

such terms as are just" meaning to all concerned with its legal and factual effects. Thus, it is quite plain that respondent court erred in issuing its order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 as well as its order of December 6, 1974 denying reconsideration of such dismissal. As We make this ruling, We are not oblivious of the circumstance that defendants Lim and Leonardo are not parties herein. But such consideration is inconsequential. The fate of the case of petitioners is inseparably tied up with said order of dismissal, if only because the order of ex-parte hearing of October 21, 1974 which directly affects and prejudices said petitioners is predicated thereon. Necessarily, therefore, We have to pass on the legality of said order, if We are to decide the case of herein petitioners properly and fairly. The attitude of the non-defaulted defendants of no longer pursuing further their questioning of the dismissal is from another point of view understandable. On the one hand, why should they insist on being defendants when plaintiff herself has already release from her claims? On the other hand, as far as their respective parents-co-defendants are concerned, they must have realized that they (their parents) could even be benefited by such dismissal because they could question whether or not plaintiff can still prosecute her case against them after she had secured the order of dismissal in question. And it is in connection with this last point that the true and correct concept of default becomes relevant. At this juncture, it may also be stated that the decision of the Court of Appeals of January 24, 1975 in G. R. No. SP-03066 dismissing the petition for certiorari of non-defaulted defendants Lim and Leonardo impugning the order of dismissal of October 21, 1974, has no bearing at all in this case, not only because that dismissal was premised by the appellate court on its holding that the said petition was premature inasmuch as the trial court had not yet resolved the motion of the defendants of October 28, 1974 praying that said disputed order be quashed, but principally because herein petitioners were not parties in that proceeding and cannot, therefore, be bound by its result. In particular, We deem it warranted to draw the attention of private respondent's counsel to his allegations in paragraphs XI to XIV of his answer, which relate to said decision of the Court of Appeals and which have the clear tendency to make it appear to the Court that the appeals court had upheld the legality and validity of the actuations of the trial court being questioned, when as a matter of indisputable fact, the dismissal of the petition was based solely and

exclusively on its being premature without in any manner delving into its merits. The Court must and does admonish counsel that such manner of pleading, being deceptive and lacking in candor, has no place in any court, much less in the Supreme Court, and if We are adopting a passive attitude in the premises, it is due only to the fact that this is counsel's first offense. But similar conduct on his part in the future will definitely be dealt with more severely. Parties and counsel would be well advised to avoid such attempts to befuddle the issues as invariably then will be exposed for what they are, certainly unethical and degrading to the dignity of the law profession. Moreover, almost always they only betray the inherent weakness of the cause of the party resorting to them. 2 Coming now to the matter itself of default, it is quite apparent that the impugned orders must have proceeded from inadequate apprehension of the fundamental precepts governing such procedure under the Rules of Court. It is time indeed that the concept of this procedural device were fully understood by the bench and bar, instead of being merely taken for granted as being that of a simple expedient of not allowing the offending party to take part in the proceedings, so that after his adversary shall have presented his evidence, judgment may be rendered in favor of such opponent, with hardly any chance of said judgment being reversed or modified. The Rules of Court contain a separate rule on the subject of default, Rule 18. But said rule is concerned solely with default resulting from failure of the defendant or defendants to answer within the reglementary period. Referring to the simplest form of default, that is, where there is only one defendant in the action and he fails to answer on time, Section 1 of the rule provides that upon "proof of such failure, (the court shall) declare the defendant in default. Thereupon the court shall proceed to receive the plaintiff's evidence and render judgment granting him such relief as the complaint and the facts proven may warrant." This last clause is clarified by Section 5 which says that "a judgment entered against a party in default shall not exceed the amount or be different in kind from that prayed for." Unequivocal, in the literal sense, as these provisions are, they do not readily convey the full import of what they contemplate. To begin with, contrary to the immediate notion that can be drawn from their language,

these provisions are not to be understood as meaning that default or the failure of the defendant to answer should be "interpreted as an admission by the said defendant that the plaintiff's cause of action find support in the law or that plaintiff is entitled to the relief prayed for." (Moran, supra, p. 535 citing Macondary & Co. v. Eustaquio, 64 Phil. 466, citing with approval Chaffin v. McFadden, 41 Ark. 42; Johnson v. Pierce, 12 Ark. 599; Mayden v. Johnson, 59 Ga. 105; People v. Rust, 292 111. 328; Ken v. Leopold 21 111. A. 163; Chicago, etc. Electric R. Co. v. Krempel 116 111. A. 253.) Being declared in default does not constitute a waiver of rights except that of being heard and of presenting evidence in the trial court. According to Section 2, "except as provided in Section 9 of Rule 13, a party declared in default shall not be entitled to notice of subsequent proceedings, nor to take part in the trial." That provision referred to reads: "No service of papers other than substantially amended pleadings and final orders or judgments shall be necessary on a party in default unless he files a motion to set aside the order of default, in which event he shall be entitled to notice of all further proceedings regardless of whether the order of default is set aside or not." And pursuant to Section 2 of Rule 41, "a party who has been declared in default may likewise appeal from the judgment rendered against him as contrary to the evidence or to the law, even if no petition for relief to set aside the order of default has been presented by him in accordance with Rule 38.". In other words, a defaulted defendant is not actually thrown out of court. While in a sense it may be said that by defaulting he leaves himself at the mercy of the court, the rules see to it that any judgment against him must be in accordance with law. The evidence to support the plaintiff's cause is, of course, presented in his absence, but the court is not supposed to admit that which is basically incompetent. Although the defendant would not be in a position to object, elementary justice requires that, only legal evidence should be considered against him. If the evidence presented should not be sufficient to justify a judgment for the plaintiff, the complaint must be dismissed. And if an unfavorable judgment should be justifiable, it cannot exceed in amount or be different in kind from what is prayed for in the complaint. Incidentally, these considerations argue against the present widespread practice of trial judges, as was done by His Honor in this case, of delegating to their clerks of court the reception of the plaintiff's evidence

when the defendant is in default. Such a Practice is wrong in principle and orientation. It has no basis in any rule. When a defendant allows himself to be declared in default, he relies on the faith that the court would take care that his rights are not unduly prejudiced. He has a right to presume that the law and the rules will still be observed. The proceedings are held in his forced absence, and it is but fair that the plaintiff should not be allowed to take advantage of the situation to win by foul or illegal means or with inherently incompetent evidence. Thus, in such instances, there is need for more attention from the court, which only the judge himself can provide. The clerk of court would not be in a position much less have the authority to act in the premises in the manner demanded by the rules of fair play and as contemplated in the law, considering his comparably limited area of discretion and his presumably inferior preparation for the functions of a judge. Besides, the default of the defendant is no excuse for the court to renounce the opportunity to closely observe the demeanor and conduct of the witnesses of the plaintiff, the better to appreciate their truthfulness and credibility. We therefore declare as a matter of judicial policy that there being no imperative reason for judges to do otherwise, the practice should be discontinued. Another matter of practice worthy of mention at this point is that it is preferable to leave enough opportunity open for possible lifting of the order of default before proceeding with the reception of the plaintiff's evidence and the rendition of the decision. "A judgment by default may amount to a positive and considerable injustice to the defendant; and the possibility of such serious consequences necessitates a careful and liberal examination of the grounds upon which the defendant may seek to set it aside." (Moran, supra p. 534, citing Coombs vs. Santos, 24 Phil. 446; 449450.) The expression, therefore, in Section 1 of Rule 18 aforequoted which says that "thereupon the court shall proceed to receive the plaintiff's evidence etc." is not to be taken literally. The gain in time and dispatch should the court immediately try the case on the very day of or shortly after the declaration of default is far outweighed by the inconvenience and complications involved in having to undo everything already done in the event the defendant should justify his omission to answer on time. The foregoing observations, as may be noted, refer to instances where the only defendant or all the defendants, there being several, are declared in default. There are additional rules embodying more considerations of justice and equity in cases where there are several defendants against whom a common cause of action is averred and not all of them answer opportunely or are in default, particularly in reference to the power of the

court to render judgment in such situations. Thus, in addition to the limitation of Section 5 that the judgment by default should not be more in amount nor different in kind from the reliefs specifically sought by plaintiff in his complaint, Section 4 restricts the authority of the court in rendering judgment in the situations just mentioned as follows: Sec. 4. Judgment when some defendants answer, and other make difficult. When a complaint states a common cause of action against several defendant some of whom answer, and the others fail to do so, the court shall try the case against all upon the answer thus filed and render judgment upon the evidence presented. The same proceeding applies when a common cause of action is pleaded in a counterclaim, cross-claim and third-party claim. Very aptly does Chief Justice Moran elucidate on this provision and the controlling jurisprudence explanatory thereof this wise: Where a complaint states a common cause of action against several defendants and some appear to defend the case on the merits while others make default, the defense interposed by those who appear to litigate the case inures to the benefit of those who fail to appear, and if the court finds that a good defense has been made, all of the defendants must be absolved. In other words, the answer filed by one or some of the defendants inures to the benefit of all the others, even those who have not seasonably filed their answer. (Bueno v. Ortiz, L-22978, June 27, 1968, 23 SCRA 1151.) The proper mode of proceeding where a complaint states a common cause of action against several defendants, and one of them makes default, is simply to enter a formal default order against him, and proceed with the cause upon the answers of the others. The defaulting defendant merely loses his standing in court, he not being entitled to the service of notice in the cause, nor to appear in the suit in any way. He cannot adduce evidence; nor can he be heard at the final hearing, (Lim Toco v. Go Fay, 80 Phil. 166.) although he may appeal the judgment rendered against him on the merits. (Rule 41, sec. 2.) If the case is finally decided in the plaintiff's favor, a final decree is then entered against all the defendants; but if the suit should be decided against the

plaintiff, the action will be dismissed as to all the defendants alike. (Velez v. Ramas, 40 Phil. 787-792; Frow v. de la Vega, 15 Wal. 552,21 L. Ed. 60.) In other words the judgment will affect the defaulting defendants either favorably or adversely. (Castro v. Pea, 80 Phil. 488.) Defaulting defendant may ask execution if judgment is in his favor. (Castro v. Pea, supra.) (Moran, Rules of Court, Vol. 1, pp. 538-539.) In Castro vs. Pea, 80 Phil. 488, one of the numerous cases cited by Moran, this Court elaborated on the construction of the same rule when it sanctioned the execution, upon motion and for the benefit of the defendant in default, of a judgment which was adverse to the plaintiff. The Court held: As above stated, Emilia Matanguihan, by her counsel, also was a movant in the petition for execution Annex 1. Did she have a right to be such, having been declared in default? In Frow vs. De la Vega,supra, cited as authority in Velez vs. Ramas, supra, the Supreme Court of the United States adopted as ground for its own decision the following ruling of the New York Court of Errors in Clason vs. Morris, 10 Jons., 524: It would be unreasonable to hold that because one defendant had made default, the plaintiff should have a decree even against him, where the court is satisfied from the proofs offered by the other, that in fact the plaintiff is not entitled to a decree. (21 Law, ed., 61.) The reason is simple: justice has to be consistent. The complaint stating a common cause of action against several defendants, the complainant's rights or lack of them in the controversy have to be the same, and not different, as against all the defendant's although one or some make default and the other or others appear, join issue, and enter into trial. For instance, in the case of Clason vs. Morris above cited, the New York Court of Errors in effect held that in such a case if the plaintiff is not entitled to a decree, he will not be entitled to it, not only as against the defendant appearing

and resisting his action but also as against the one who made default. In the case at bar, the cause of action in the plaintiff's complaint was common against the Mayor of Manila, Emilia Matanguihan, and the other defendants in Civil Case No. 1318 of the lower court. The Court of First Instance in its judgment found and held upon the evidence adduced by the plaintiff and the defendant mayor that as between said plaintiff and defendant Matanguihan the latter was the one legally entitled to occupy the stalls; and it decreed, among other things, that said plaintiff immediately vacate them. Paraphrasing the New York Court of Errors, it would be unreasonable to hold now that because Matanguihan had made default, the said plaintiff should be declared, as against her, legally entitled to the occupancy of the stalls, or to remain therein, although the Court of First Instance was so firmly satisfied, from the proofs offered by the other defendant, that the same plaintiff was not entitled to such occupancy that it peremptorily ordered her to vacate the stalls. If in the cases of Clason vs. Morris, supra, Frow vs. De la Vega, supra, and Velez vs. Ramas, supra the decrees entered inured to the benefit of the defaulting defendants, there is no reason why that entered in said case No. 1318 should not be held also to have inured to the benefit of the defaulting defendant Matanguihan and the doctrine in said three cases plainly implies that there is nothing in the law governing default which would prohibit the court from rendering judgment favorable to the defaulting defendant in such cases. If it inured to her benefit, it stands to reason that she had a right to claim that benefit, for it would not be a benefit if the supposed beneficiary were barred from claiming it; and if the benefit necessitated the execution of the decree, she must be possessed of the right to ask for the execution thereof as she did when she, by counsel, participated in the petition for execution Annex 1. Section 7 of Rule 35 would seem to afford a solid support to the above considerations. It provides that when a complaint states a common cause of action against several defendants, some of whom answer, and the others make default, 'the court shall try the case against all upon the answer thus filed and render judgment upon the evidence presented by the parties in court'. It is obvious that under this provision the

case is tried jointly not only against the defendants answering but also against those defaulting, and the trial is held upon the answer filed by the former; and the judgment, if adverse, will prejudice the defaulting defendants no less than those who answer. In other words, the defaulting defendants are held bound by the answer filed by their codefendants and by the judgment which the court may render against all of them. By the same token, and by all rules of equity and fair play, if the judgment should happen to be favorable, totally or partially, to the answering defendants, it must correspondingly benefit the defaulting ones, for it would not be just to let the judgment produce effects as to the defaulting defendants only when adverse to them and not when favorable. In Bueno vs. Ortiz, 23 SCRA 1151, the Court applied the provision under discussion in the following words: In answer to the charge that respondent Judge had committed a grave abuse of discretion in rendering a default judgment against the PC, respondents allege that, not having filed its answer within the reglementary period, the PC was in default, so that it was proper for Patanao to forthwith present his evidence and for respondent Judge to render said judgment. It should be noted, however, that in entering the area in question and seeking to prevent Patanao from continuing his logging operations therein, the PC was merely executing an order of the Director of Forestry and acting as his agent. Patanao's cause of action against the other respondents in Case No. 190, namely, the Director of Forestry, the District Forester of Agusan, the Forest Officer of Bayugan, Agusan, and the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Pursuant to Rule 18, Section 4, of the Rules of Court, 'when a complaint states a common cause of action against several defendants some of whom answer and the others fail to do so, the court shall try the case against all upon the answer thus filed (by some) and render judgment upon the evidence presented.' In other words, the answer filed by one or some of the defendants inures to the benefit of all the others, even those who have not seasonably filed their answer.

Indeed, since the petition in Case No. 190 sets forth a common cause of action against all of the respondents therein, a decision in favor of one of them would necessarily favor the others. In fact, the main issue, in said case, is whether Patanao has a timber license to undertake logging operations in the disputed area. It is not possible to decide such issue in the negative, insofar as the Director of Forestry, and to settle it otherwise, as regards the PC, which is merely acting as agent of the Director of Forestry, and is, therefore, his alter ego, with respect to the disputed forest area. Stated differently, in all instances where a common cause of action is alleged against several defendants, some of whom answer and the others do not, the latter or those in default acquire a vested right not only to own the defense interposed in the answer of their co- defendant or codefendants not in default but also to expect a result of the litigation totally common with them in kind and in amount whether favorable or unfavorable. The substantive unity of the plaintiff's cause against all the defendants is carried through to its adjective phase as ineluctably demanded by the homogeneity and indivisibility of justice itself. Indeed, since the singleness of the cause of action also inevitably implies that all the defendants are indispensable parties, the court's power to act is integral and cannot be split such that it cannot relieve any of them and at the same time render judgment against the rest. Considering the tenor of the section in question, it is to be assumed that when any defendant allows himself to be declared in default knowing that his defendant has already answered, he does so trusting in the assurance implicit in the rule that his default is in essence a mere formality that deprives him of no more than the right to take part in the trial and that the court would deem anything done by or for the answering defendant as done by or for him. The presumption is that otherwise he would not -have seen to that he would not be in default. Of course, he has to suffer the consequences of whatever the answering defendant may do or fail to do, regardless of possible adverse consequences, but if the complaint has to be dismissed in so far as the answering defendant is concerned it becomes his inalienable right that the same be dismissed also as to him. It does not matter that the dismissal is upon the evidence presented by the plaintiff or upon the latter's mere desistance, for in both contingencies, the lack of sufficient legal basis must be the cause. The integrity of the common cause of action against all the defendants and the indispensability of all of them in the proceedings do not permit any possibility of waiver of the plaintiff's right only as to one or some of them, without including all of

them, and so, as a rule, withdrawal must be deemed to be a confession of weakness as to all. This is not only elementary justice; it also precludes the concomitant hazard that plaintiff might resort to the kind of procedural strategem practiced by private respondent herein that resulted in totally depriving petitioners of every opportunity to defend themselves against her claims which, after all, as will be seen later in this opinion, the record does not show to be invulnerable, both in their factual and legal aspects, taking into consideration the tenor of the pleadings and the probative value of the competent evidence which were before the trial court when it rendered its assailed decision where all the defendants are indispensable parties, for which reason the absence of any of them in the case would result in the court losing its competency to act validly, any compromise that the plaintiff might wish to make with any of them must, as a matter of correct procedure, have to await until after the rendition of the judgment, at which stage the plaintiff may then treat the matter of its execution and the satisfaction of his claim as variably as he might please. Accordingly, in the case now before Us together with the dismissal of the complaint against the non-defaulted defendants, the court should have ordered also the dismissal thereof as to petitioners. Indeed, there is more reason to apply here the principle of unity and indivisibility of the action just discussed because all the defendants here have already joined genuine issues with plaintiff. Their default was only at the pre-trial. And as to such absence of petitioners at the pre-trial, the same could be attributed to the fact that they might not have considered it necessary anymore to be present, since their respective children Lim and Leonardo, with whom they have common defenses, could take care of their defenses as well. Anything that might have had to be done by them at such pre-trial could have been done for them by their children, at least initially, specially because in the light of the pleadings before the court, the prospects of a compromise must have appeared to be rather remote. Such attitude of petitioners is neither uncommon nor totally unjustified. Under the circumstances, to declare them immediately and irrevocably in default was not an absolute necessity. Practical considerations and reasons of equity should have moved respondent court to be more understanding in dealing with the situation. After all, declaring them in default as respondent court did not impair their right to a common fate with their children. 3

Another issue to be resolved in this case is the question of whether or not herein petitioners were entitled to notice of plaintiff's motion to drop their co-defendants Lim and Leonardo, considering that petitioners had been previously declared in default. In this connection, the decisive consideration is that according to the applicable rule, Section 9, Rule 13, already quoted above, (1) even after a defendant has been declared in default, provided he "files a motion to set aside the order of default, he shall be entitled to notice of all further proceedings regardless of whether the order of default is set aside or not" and (2) a party in default who has not filed such a motion to set aside must still be served with all "substantially amended or supplemented pleadings." In the instant case, it cannot be denied that petitioners had all filed their motion for reconsideration of the order declaring them in default. Respondents' own answer to the petition therein makes reference to the order of April 3, 1973, Annex 8 of said answer, which denied said motion for reconsideration. On page 3 of petitioners' memorandum herein this motion is referred to as "a motion to set aside the order of default." But as We have not been favored by the parties with a copy of the said motion, We do not even know the excuse given for petitioners' failure to appear at the pre-trial, and We cannot, therefore, determine whether or not the motion complied with the requirements of Section 3 of Rule 18 which We have held to be controlling in cases of default for failure to answer on time. (The Philippine-British Co. Inc. etc. et al. vs. The Hon. Walfrido de los Angeles etc. et al., 63 SCRA 50.) We do not, however, have here, as earlier noted, a case of default for failure to answer but one for failure to appear at the pre-trial. We reiterate, in the situation now before Us, issues have already been joined. In fact, evidence had been partially offered already at the pre-trial and more of it at the actual trial which had already begun with the first witness of the plaintiff undergoing re-cross-examination. With these facts in mind and considering that issues had already been joined even as regards the defaulted defendants, it would be requiring the obvious to pretend that there was still need for an oath or a verification as to the merits of the defense of the defaulted defendants in their motion to reconsider their default. Inasmuch as none of the parties had asked for a summary judgment there can be no question that the issues joined were genuine, and consequently, the reason for requiring such oath or verification no longer holds. Besides, it may also be reiterated that being the parents of the non-defaulted defendants, petitioners must have assumed that their presence was superfluous, particularly because the cause of action against them as well as their own defenses are common. Under these

circumstances, the form of the motion by which the default was sought to be lifted is secondary and the requirements of Section 3 of Rule 18 need not be strictly complied with, unlike in cases of default for failure to answer. We can thus hold as We do hold for the purposes of the revival of their right to notice under Section 9 of Rule 13, that petitioner's motion for reconsideration was in substance legally adequate regardless of whether or not it was under oath. In any event, the dropping of the defendants Lim and Leonardo from plaintiff's amended complaint was virtually a second amendment of plaintiffs complaint. And there can be no doubt that such amendment was substantial, for with the elimination thereby of two defendants allegedly solidarily liable with their co-defendants, herein petitioners, it had the effect of increasing proportionally what each of the remaining defendants, the said petitioners, would have to answer for jointly and severally. Accordingly, notice to petitioners of the plaintiff's motion of October 18, 1974 was legally indispensable under the rule above-quoted. Consequently, respondent court had no authority to act on the motion, to dismiss, pursuant to Section 6 of Rule 15, for according to Senator Francisco, "(t) he Rules of Court clearly provide that no motion shall be acted upon by the Court without the proof of service of notice thereof, together with a copy of the motion and other papers accompanying it, to all parties concerned at least three days before the hearing thereof, stating the time and place for the hearing of the motion. (Rule 26, section 4, 5 and 6, Rules of Court (now Sec. 15, new Rules). When the motion does not comply with this requirement, it is not a motion. It presents no question which the court could decide. And the Court acquires no jurisdiction to consider it. (Roman Catholic Bishop of Lipa vs. Municipality of Unisan 44 Phil., 866; Manakil vs. Revilla, 42 Phil., 81.) (Laserna vs. Javier, et al., CA-G.R. No. 7885, April 22, 1955; 21 L.J. 36, citing Roman Catholic Bishop of Lipa vs. Municipality of Unisan 44 Phil., 866; Manakil vs. Revilla, 42 Phil., 81.) (Francisco. The Revised Rules of Court in the Philippines, pp. 861-862.) Thus, We see again, from a different angle, why respondent court's order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 is fatally ineffective. 4 The foregoing considerations notwithstanding, it is respondents' position that certiorari is not the proper remedy of petitioners. It is contended that inasmuch as said petitioners have in fact made their appeal already by

filing the required notice of appeal and appeal bond and a motion for extension to file their record on appeal, which motion was granted by respondent court, their only recourse is to prosecute that appeal. Additionally, it is also maintained that since petitioners have expressly withdrawn their motion to quash of January 4, 1975 impugning the order of October 28, 1974, they have lost their right to assail by certiorari the actuations of respondent court now being questioned, respondent court not having been given the opportunity to correct any possible error it might have committed. We do not agree. As already shown in the foregoing discussion, the proceedings in the court below have gone so far out of hand that prompt action is needed to restore order in the entangled situation created by the series of plainly illegal orders it had issued. The essential purpose of certiorari is to keep the proceedings in lower judicial courts and tribunals within legal bounds, so that due process and the rule of law may prevail at all times and arbitrariness, whimsicality and unfairness which justice abhors may immediately be stamped out before graver injury, juridical and otherwise, ensues. While generally these objectives may well be attained in an ordinary appeal, it is undoubtedly the better rule to allow the special remedy of certiorari at the option of the party adversely affected, when the irregularity committed by the trial court is so grave and so far reaching in its consequences that the long and cumbersome procedure of appeal will only further aggravate the situation of the aggrieved party because other untoward actuations are likely to materialize as natural consequences of those already perpetrated. If the law were otherwise, certiorari would have no reason at all for being. No elaborate discussion is needed to show the urgent need for corrective measures in the case at bar. Verily, this is one case that calls for the exercise of the Supreme Court's inherent power of supervision over all kinds of judicial actions of lower courts. Private respondent's procedural technique designed to disable petitioners to defend themselves against her claim which appears on the face of the record itself to be at least highly controversial seems to have so fascinated respondent court that none would be surprised should her pending motion for immediate execution of the impugned judgment receive similar ready sanction as her previous motions which turned the proceedings into a one-sided affair. The stakes here are high. Not only is the subject matter considerably substantial; there is the more important aspect that not only the spirit and intent of the rules but even the basic rudiments of fair play have been disregarded. For the Court to leave unrestrained the obvious tendency of

the proceedings below would be nothing short of wittingly condoning inequity and injustice resulting from erroneous construction and unwarranted application of procedural rules. 5 The sum and total of all the foregoing disquisitions is that the decision here in question is legally anomalous. It is predicated on two fatal malactuations of respondent court namely (1) the dismissal of the complaint against the non-defaulted defendants Lim and Leonardo and (2) the ex-parte reception of the evidence of the plaintiff by the clerk of court, the subsequent using of the same as basis for its judgment and the rendition of such judgment. For at least three reasons which We have already fully discussed above, the order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 is unworthy of Our sanction: (1) there was no timely notice of the motion therefor to the non-defaulted defendants, aside from there being no notice at all to herein petitioners; (2) the common answer of the defendants, including the non-defaulted, contained a compulsory counterclaim incapable of being determined in an independent action; and (3) the immediate effect of such dismissal was the removal of the two non-defaulted defendants as parties, and inasmuch as they are both indispensable parties in the case, the court consequently lost the" sine qua non of the exercise of judicial power", per Borlasa vs. Polistico, supra. This is not to mention anymore the irregular delegation to the clerk of court of the function of receiving plaintiff's evidence. And as regards the ex-parte reception of plaintiff's evidence and subsequent rendition of the judgment by default based thereon, We have seen that it was violative of the right of the petitioners, under the applicable rules and principles on default, to a common and single fate with their non-defaulted co-defendants. And We are not yet referring, as We shall do this anon to the numerous reversible errors in the decision itself. It is to be noted, however, that the above-indicated two fundamental flaws in respondent court's actuations do not call for a common corrective remedy. We cannot simply rule that all the impugned proceedings are null and void and should be set aside, without being faced with the insurmountable obstacle that by so doing We would be reviewing the case as against the two non-defaulted defendants who are not before Us not being parties hereto. Upon the other hand, for Us to hold that the order of

dismissal should be allowed to stand, as contended by respondents themselves who insist that the same is already final, not only because the period for its finality has long passed but also because allegedly, albeit not very accurately, said 'non-defaulted defendants unsuccessfully tried to have it set aside by the Court of Appeals whose decision on their petition is also already final, We would have to disregard whatever evidence had been presented by the plaintiff against them and, of course, the findings of respondent court based thereon which, as the assailed decision shows, are adverse to them. In other words, whichever of the two apparent remedies the Court chooses, it would necessarily entail some kind of possible juridical imperfection. Speaking of their respective practical or pragmatic effects, to annul the dismissal would inevitably prejudice the rights of the non-defaulted defendants whom We have not heard and who even respondents would not wish to have anything anymore to do with the case. On the other hand, to include petitioners in the dismissal would naturally set at naught every effort private respondent has made to establish or prove her case thru means sanctioned by respondent court. In short, We are confronted with a legal para-dilemma. But one thing is certain this difficult situations has been brought about by none other than private respondent who has quite cynically resorted to procedural maneuvers without realizing that the technicalities of the adjective law, even when apparently accurate from the literal point of view, cannot prevail over the imperatives of the substantive law and of equity that always underlie them and which have to be inevitably considered in the construction of the pertinent procedural rules. All things considered, after careful and mature deliberation, the Court has arrived at the conclusion that as between the two possible alternatives just stated, it would only be fair, equitable and proper to uphold the position of petitioners. In other words, We rule that the order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 is in law a dismissal of the whole case of the plaintiff, including as to petitioners herein. Consequently, all proceedings held by respondent court subsequent thereto including and principally its decision of December 20, 1974 are illegal and should be set aside. This conclusion is fully justified by the following considerations of equity: 1. It is very clear to Us that the procedural maneuver resorted to by private respondent in securing the decision in her favor was ill-conceived. It was characterized by that which every principle of law and equity disdains taking unfair advantage of the rules of procedure in order to

unduly deprive the other party of full opportunity to defend his cause. The idea of "dropping" the non-defaulted defendants with the end in view of completely incapacitating their co-defendants from making any defense, without considering that all of them are indispensable parties to a common cause of action to which they have countered with a common defense readily connotes an intent to secure a one-sided decision, even improperly. And when, in this connection, the obvious weakness of plaintiff's evidence is taken into account, one easily understands why such tactics had to be availed of. We cannot directly or indirectly give Our assent to the commission of unfairness and inequity in the application of the rules of procedure, particularly when the propriety of reliance thereon is not beyond controversy. 2. The theories of remedial law pursued by private respondents, although approved by His Honor, run counter to such basic principles in the rules on default and such elementary rules on dismissal of actions and notice of motions that no trial court should be unaware of or should be mistaken in applying. We are at a loss as to why His Honor failed to see through counsel's inequitous strategy, when the provisions (1) on the three-day rule on notice of motions, Section 4 of Rule 15, (2) against dismissal of actions on motion of plaintiff when there is a compulsory counterclaim, Section 2, Rule 17, (3) against permitting the absence of indispensable parties, Section 7, Rule 3, (4) on service of papers upon defendants in default when there are substantial amendments to pleadings, Section 9, Rule 13, and (5) on the unity and integrity of the fate of defendants in default with those not in default where the cause of action against them and their own defenses are common, Section 4, Rule 18, are so plain and the jurisprudence declaratory of their intent and proper construction are so readily comprehensible that any error as to their application would be unusual in any competent trial court. 3. After all, all the malactuations of respondent court are traceable to the initiative of private respondent and/or her counsel. She cannot, therefore, complain that she is being made to unjustifiably suffer the consequences of what We have found to be erroneous orders of respondent court. It is only fair that she should not be allowed to benefit from her own frustrated objective of securing a one-sided decision. 4. More importantly, We do not hesitate to hold that on the basis of its own recitals, the decision in question cannot stand close scrutiny. What is more, the very considerations contained therein reveal convincingly the

inherent weakness of the cause of the plaintiff. To be sure, We have been giving serious thought to the idea of merely returning this case for a resumption of trial by setting aside the order of dismissal of October 21, 1974, with all its attendant difficulties on account of its adverse effects on parties who have not been heard, but upon closer study of the pleadings and the decision and other circumstances extant in the record before Us, We are now persuaded that such a course of action would only lead to more legal complications incident to attempts on the part of the parties concerned to desperately squeeze themselves out of a bad situation. Anyway, We feel confident that by and large, there is enough basis here and now for Us to rule out the claim of the plaintiff. Even a mere superficial reading of the decision would immediately reveal that it is littered on its face with deficiencies and imperfections which would have had no reason for being were there less haste and more circumspection in rendering the same. Recklessness in jumping to unwarranted conclusions, both factual and legal, is at once evident in its findings relative precisely to the main bases themselves of the reliefs granted. It is apparent therein that no effort has been made to avoid glaring inconsistencies. Where references are made to codal provisions and jurisprudence, inaccuracy and inapplicability are at once manifest. It hardly commends itself as a deliberate and consciencious adjudication of a litigation which, considering the substantial value of the subject matter it involves and the unprecedented procedure that was followed by respondent's counsel, calls for greater attention and skill than the general run of cases would. Inter alia, the following features of the decision make it highly improbable that if We took another course of action, private respondent would still be able to make out any case against petitioners, not to speak of their codefendants who have already been exonerated by respondent herself thru her motion to dismiss: 1. According to His Honor's own statement of plaintiff's case, "she is the widow of the late Tee Hoon Po Chuan (Po Chuan, for short) who was then one of the partners in the commercial partnership, Glory Commercial Co. with defendants Antonio Lim Tanhu (Lim Tanhu, for short) and Alfonso Leonardo Ng Sua (Ng Sua, for short) as co-partners; that after the death of her husband on March 11, 1966 she is entitled to share not only in the capital and profits of the partnership but also in the other assets, both real

and personal, acquired by the partnership with funds of the latter during its lifetime." Relatedly, in the latter part of the decision, the findings are to the following effect: . That the herein plaintiff Tan Put and her late husband Po Chuan married at the Philippine Independent Church of Cebu City on December, 20, 1949; that Po Chuan died on March 11, 1966; that the plaintiff and the late Po Chuan were childless but the former has a foster son Antonio Nuez whom she has reared since his birth with whom she lives up to the present; that prior to the marriage of the plaintiff to Po Chuan the latter was already managing the partnership Glory Commercial Co. then engaged in a little business in hardware at Manalili St., Cebu City; that prior to and just after the marriage of the plaintiff to Po Chuan she was engaged in the drugstore business; that not long after her marriage, upon the suggestion of Po Chuan the plaintiff sold her drugstore for P125,000.00 which amount she gave to her husband in the presence of defendant Lim Tanhu and was invested in the partnership Glory Commercial Co. sometime in 1950; that after the investment of the above-stated amount in the partnership its business flourished and it embarked in the import business and also engaged in the wholesale and retail trade of cement and GI sheets and under huge profits; xxx xxx xxx That the late Po Chuan was the one who actively managed the business of the partnership Glory Commercial Co. he was the one who made the final decisions and approved the appointments of new personnel who were taken in by the partnership; that the late Po Chuan and defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua are brothers, the latter two (2) being the elder brothers of the former; that defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua are both naturalized Filipino citizens whereas the late Po Chuan until the time of his death was a Chinese citizen; that the three (3) brothers were partners in the Glory Commercial Co. but Po Chuan was practically the owner of the partnership having the controlling interest; that

defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua were partners in name but they were mere employees of Po Chuan .... (Pp. 89-91, Record.) How did His Honor arrive at these conclusions? To start with, it is not clear in the decision whether or not in making its findings of fact the court took into account the allegations in the pleadings of the parties and whatever might have transpired at the pre-trial. All that We can gather in this respect is that references are made therein to pre-trial exhibits and to Annex A of the answer of the defendants to plaintiff's amended complaint. Indeed, it was incumbent upon the court to consider not only the evidence formally offered at the trial but also the admissions, expressed or implied, in the pleadings, as well as whatever might have been placed before it or brought to its attention during the pre-trial. In this connection, it is to be regretted that none of the parties has thought it proper to give Us an idea of what took place at the pre-trial of the present case and what are contained in the pre-trial order, if any was issued pursuant to Section 4 of Rule 20. The fundamental purpose of pre-trial, aside from affording the parties every opportunity to compromise or settle their differences, is for the court to be apprised of the unsettled issues between the parties and of their respective evidence relative thereto, to the end that it may take corresponding measures that would abbreviate the trial as much as possible and the judge may be able to ascertain the facts with the least observance of technical rules. In other words whatever is said or done by the parties or their counsel at the pre- trial serves to put the judge on notice of their respective basic positions, in order that in appropriate cases he may, if necessary in the interest of justice and a more accurate determination of the facts, make inquiries about or require clarifications of matters taken up at the pre-trial, before finally resolving any issue of fact or of law. In brief, the pre-trial constitutes part and parcel of the proceedings, and hence, matters dealt with therein may not be disregarded in the process of decision making. Otherwise, the real essence of compulsory pre-trial would be insignificant and worthless. Now, applying these postulates to the findings of respondent court just quoted, it will be observed that the court's conclusion about the supposed marriage of plaintiff to the deceased Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan is contrary to the weight of the evidence brought before it during the trial and the pretrial.

Under Article 55 of the Civil Code, the declaration of the contracting parties that they take each other as husband and wife "shall be set forth in an instrument" signed by the parties as well as by their witnesses and the person solemnizing the marriage. Accordingly, the primary evidence of a marriage must be an authentic copy of the marriage contract. While a marriage may also be proved by other competent evidence, the absence of the contract must first be satisfactorily explained. Surely, the certification of the person who allegedly solemnized a marriage is not admissible evidence of such marriage unless proof of loss of the contract or of any other satisfactory reason for its non-production is first presented to the court. In the case at bar, the purported certification issued by a Mons. Jose M. Recoleto, Bishop, Philippine Independent Church, Cebu City, is not, therefore, competent evidence, there being absolutely no showing as to unavailability of the marriage contract and, indeed, as to the authenticity of the signature of said certifier, the jurat allegedly signed by a second assistant provincial fiscal not being authorized by law, since it is not part of the functions of his office. Besides, inasmuch as the bishop did not testify, the same is hearsay. As regards the testimony of plaintiff herself on the same point and that of her witness Antonio Nuez, there can be no question that they are both self-serving and of very little evidentiary value, it having been disclosed at the trial that plaintiff has already assigned all her rights in this case to said Nuez, thereby making him the real party in interest here and, therefore, naturally as biased as herself. Besides, in the portion of the testimony of Nuez copied in Annex C of petitioner's memorandum, it appears admitted that he was born only on March 25, 1942, which means that he was less than eight years old at the supposed time of the alleged marriage. If for this reason alone, it is extremely doubtful if he could have been sufficiently aware of such event as to be competent to testify about it. Incidentally, another Annex C of the same memorandum purports to be the certificate of birth of one Antonio T. Uy supposed to have been born on March 23, 1937 at Centro Misamis, Misamis Occidental, the son of one Uy Bien, father, and Tan Put, mother. Significantly, respondents have not made any adverse comment on this document. It is more likely, therefore, that the witness is really the son of plaintiff by her husband Uy Kim Beng. But she testified she was childless. So which is which? In any event, if on the strength of this document, Nuez is actually the legitimate son of Tan Put and not her adopted son, he would have been but 13 years old in 1949, the year of her alleged marriage to Po Chuan, and even then,

considering such age, his testimony in regard thereto would still be suspect. Now, as against such flimsy evidence of plaintiff, the court had before it, two documents of great weight belying the pretended marriage. We refer to (1) Exhibit LL, the income tax return of the deceased Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan indicating that the name of his wife was Ang Sick Tin and (2) the quitclaim, Annex A of the answer, wherein plaintiff Tan Put stated that she had been living with the deceased without benefit of marriage and that she was his "common-law wife". Surely, these two documents are far more reliable than all the evidence of the plaintiff put together. Of course, Exhibit LL is what might be termed as pre-trial evidence. But it is evidence offered to the judge himself, not to the clerk of court, and should have at least moved him to ask plaintiff to explain if not rebut it before jumping to the conclusion regarding her alleged marriage to the deceased, Po Chuan. And in regard to the quitclaim containing the admission of a common-law relationship only, it is to be observed that His Honor found that "defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua had the plaintiff execute a quitclaim on November 29, 1967 (Annex "A", Answer) where they gave plaintiff the amount of P25,000 as her share in the capital and profits of the business of Glory Commercial Co. which was engaged in the hardware business", without making mention of any evidence of fraud and misrepresentation in its execution, thereby indicating either that no evidence to prove that allegation of the plaintiff had been presented by her or that whatever evidence was actually offered did not produce persuasion upon the court. Stated differently, since the existence of the quitclaim has been duly established without any circumstance to detract from its legal import, the court should have held that plaintiff was bound by her admission therein that she was the common-law wife only of Po Chuan and what is more, that she had already renounced for valuable consideration whatever claim she might have relative to the partnership Glory Commercial Co. And when it is borne in mind that in addition to all these considerations, there are mentioned and discussed in the memorandum of petitioners (1) the certification of the Local Civil Registrar of Cebu City and (2) a similar certification of the Apostolic Prefect of the Philippine Independent Church, Parish of Sto. Nio, Cebu City, that their respective official records corresponding to December 1949 to December 1950 do not show any marriage between Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan and Tan Put, neither of which

certifications have been impugned by respondent until now, it stands to reason that plaintiff's claim of marriage is really unfounded. Withal, there is still another document, also mentioned and discussed in the same memorandum and unimpugned by respondents, a written agreement executed in Chinese, but purportedly translated into English by the Chinese Consul of Cebu, between Tan Put and Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan to the following effect: CONSULATE OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA Cebu City, Philippines TRANSLATION This is to certify that 1, Miss Tan Ki Eng Alias Tan Put, have lived with Mr. Lim Po Chuan alias TeeHoon since 1949 but it recently occurs that we are incompatible with each other and are not in the position to keep living together permanently. With the mutual concurrence, we decided to terminate the existing relationship of common law-marriage and promised not to interfere each other's affairs from now on. The Forty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00) has been given to me by Mr. Lim Po Chuan for my subsistence. Witnesses: Mr. Lim Beng Guan Mr. Huang Sing Se Signed on the 10 day of the 7th month of the 54th year of the Republic of China (corresponding to the year 1965). (SGD) TAN KI ENG Verified from the records. JORGE TABAR (Pp. 283-284, Record.) Indeed, not only does this document prove that plaintiff's relation to the deceased was that of a common-law wife but that they had settled their property interests with the payment to her of P40,000. In the light of all these circumstances, We find no alternative but to hold that plaintiff Tan Put's allegation that she is the widow of Tee Hoon Lim Po

Chuan has not been satisfactorily established and that, on the contrary, the evidence on record convincingly shows that her relation with said deceased was that of a common-law wife and furthermore, that all her claims against the company and its surviving partners as well as those against the estate of the deceased have already been settled and paid. We take judicial notice of the fact that the respective counsel who assisted the parties in the quitclaim, Attys. H. Hermosisima and Natalio Castillo, are members in good standing of the Philippine Bar, with the particularity that the latter has been a member of the Cabinet and of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, hence, absent any credible proof that they had allowed themselves to be parties to a fraudulent document His Honor did right in recognizing its existence, albeit erring in not giving due legal significance to its contents. 2. If, as We have seen, plaintiff's evidence of her alleged status as legitimate wife of Po Chuan is not only unconvincing but has been actually overcome by the more competent and weighty evidence in favor of the defendants, her attempt to substantiate her main cause of action that defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua have defrauded the partnership Glory Commercial Co. and converted its properties to themselves is even more dismal. From the very evidence summarized by His Honor in the decision in question, it is clear that not an iota of reliable proof exists of such alleged misdeeds. Of course, the existence of the partnership has not been denied, it is actually admitted impliedly in defendants' affirmative defense that Po Chuan's share had already been duly settled with and paid to both the plaintiff and his legitimate family. But the evidence as to the actual participation of the defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua in the operation of the business that could have enabled them to make the extractions of funds alleged by plaintiff is at best confusing and at certain points manifestly inconsistent. In her amended complaint, plaintiff repeatedly alleged that as widow of Po Chuan she is entitled to / 3 share of the assets and properties of the partnership. In fact, her prayer in said complaint is, among others, for the delivery to her of such / 3 share. His Honor's statement of the case as well as his findings and judgment are all to that same effect. But what did she actually try to prove at the ex- parte hearing?

According to the decision, plaintiff had shown that she had money of her own when she "married" Po Chuan and "that prior to and just after the marriage of the plaintiff to Po Chuan, she was engaged in the drugstore business; that not long after her marriage, upon the suggestion of Po Chuan, the plaintiff sold her drugstore for P125,000 which amount she gave to her husband in the presence of Tanhu and was invested in the partnership Glory Commercial Co. sometime in 1950; that after the investment of the above-stated amount in the partnership, its business flourished and it embarked in the import business and also engaged in the wholesale and retail trade of cement and GI sheets and under (sic) huge profits." (pp. 25-26, Annex L, petition.) To begin with, this theory of her having contributed of P125,000 to the capital of the partnership by reason of which the business flourished and amassed all the millions referred to in the decision has not been alleged in the complaint, and inasmuch as what was being rendered was a judgment by default, such theory should not have been allowed to be the subject of any evidence. But inasmuch as it was the clerk of court who received the evidence, it is understandable that he failed to observe the rule. Then, on the other hand, if it was her capital that made the partnership flourish, why would she claim to be entitled to only to / 3 of its assets and profits? Under her theory found proven by respondent court, she was actually the owner of everything, particularly because His Honor also found "that defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua were partners in the name but they were employees of Po Chuan that defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua had no means of livelihood at the time of their employment with the Glory Commercial Co. under the management of the late Po Chuan except their salaries therefrom; ..." (p. 27,id.) Why then does she claim only / 3 share? Is this an indication of her generosity towards defendants or of a concocted cause of action existing only in her confused imagination engendered by the death of her common-law husband with whom she had settled her common-law claim for recompense of her services as common law wife for less than what she must have known would go to his legitimate wife and children? Actually, as may be noted from the decision itself, the trial court was confused as to the participation of defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua in Glory Commercial Co. At one point, they were deemed partners, at another point mere employees and then elsewhere as partnersemployees, a newly found concept, to be sure, in the law on partnership. And the confusion is worse comfounded in the judgment which allows these "partners in name" and "partners-employees" or employees who

had no means of livelihood and who must not have contributed any capital in the business, "as Po Chuan was practically the owner of the partnership having the controlling interest", / 3 each of the huge assets and profits of the partnership. Incidentally, it may be observed at this juncture that the decision has made Po Chuan play the inconsistent role of being "practically the owner" but at the same time getting his capital from the P125,000 given to him by plaintiff and from which capital the business allegedly "flourished." Anent the allegation of plaintiff that the properties shown by her exhibits to be in the names of defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua were bought by them with partnership funds, His Honor confirmed the same by finding and holding that "it is likewise clear that real properties together with the improvements in the names of defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua were acquired with partnership funds as these defendants were only partnersemployees of deceased Po Chuan in the Glory Commercial Co. until the time of his death on March 11, 1966." (p. 30, id.) It Is Our considered view, however, that this conclusion of His Honor is based on nothing but pure unwarranted conjecture. Nowhere is it shown in the decision how said defendants could have extracted money from the partnership in the fraudulent and illegal manner pretended by plaintiff. Neither in the testimony of Nuez nor in that of plaintiff, as these are summarized in the decision, can there be found any single act of extraction of partnership funds committed by any of said defendants. That the partnership might have grown into a multi-million enterprise and that the properties described in the exhibits enumerated in the decision are not in the names of Po Chuan, who was Chinese, but of the defendants who are Filipinos, do not necessarily prove that Po Chuan had not gotten his share of the profits of the business or that the properties in the names of the defendants were bought with money of the partnership. In this connection, it is decisively important to consider that on the basis of the concordant and mutually cumulative testimonies of plaintiff and Nuez, respondent court found very explicitly that, and We reiterate: xxx xxx xxx That the late Po Chuan was the one who actively managed the business of the partnership Glory Commercial Co. he was the one who made the final decisions and approved the appointments of new Personnel who were taken in by the partnership; that the late Po Chuan and defendants Lim

Tanhu and Ng Sua are brothers, the latter to (2) being the elder brothers of the former; that defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua are both naturalized Filipino citizens whereas the late Po Chuan until the time of his death was a Chinese citizen; that the three (3) brothers were partners in the Glory Commercial Co. but Po Chuan was practically the owner of the partnership having the controlling interest; that defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua were partners in name but they were mere employees of Po Chuan; .... (Pp. 90-91, Record.) If Po Chuan was in control of the affairs and the running of the partnership, how could the defendants have defrauded him of such huge amounts as plaintiff had made his Honor believe? Upon the other hand, since Po Chuan was in control of the affairs of the partnership, the more logical inference is that if defendants had obtained any portion of the funds of the partnership for themselves, it must have been with the knowledge and consent of Po Chuan, for which reason no accounting could be demanded from them therefor, considering that Article 1807 of the Civil Code refers only to what is taken by a partner without the consent of the other partner or partners. Incidentally again, this theory about Po Chuan having been actively managing the partnership up to his death is a substantial deviation from the allegation in the amended complaint to the effect that "defendants Antonio Lim Tanhu, Alfonso Leonardo Ng Sua, Lim Teck Chuan and Eng Chong Leonardo, through fraud and machination, took actual and active management of the partnership and although Tee Hoon Lim Po Chuan was the manager of Glory Commercial Co., defendants managed to use the funds of the partnership to purchase lands and buildings etc. (Par. 4, p. 2 of amended complaint, Annex B of petition) and should not have been permitted to be proven by the hearing officer, who naturally did not know any better. Moreover, it is very significant that according to the very tax declarations and land titles listed in the decision, most if not all of the properties supposed to have been acquired by the defendants Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua with funds of the partnership appear to have been transferred to their names only in 1969 or later, that is, long after the partnership had been automatically dissolved as a result of the death of Po Chuan. Accordingly, defendants have no obligation to account to anyone for such acquisitions in the absence of clear proof that they had violated the trust of Po Chuan during the existence of the partnership. (See Hanlon vs. Hansserman and. Beam, 40 Phil. 796.)

There are other particulars which should have caused His Honor to readily disbelieve plaintiffs' pretensions. Nuez testified that "for about 18 years he was in charge of the GI sheets and sometimes attended to the imported items of the business of Glory Commercial Co." Counting 18 years back from 1965 or 1966 would take Us to 1947 or 1948. Since according to Exhibit LL, the baptismal certificate produced by the same witness as his birth certificate, shows he was born in March, 1942, how could he have started managing Glory Commercial Co. in 1949 when he must have been barely six or seven years old? It should not have escaped His Honor's attention that the photographs showing the premises of Philippine Metal Industries after its organization "a year or two after the establishment of Cebu Can Factory in 1957 or 1958" must have been taken after 1959. How could Nuez have been only 13 years old then as claimed by him to have been his age in those photographs when according to his "birth certificate", he was born in 1942? His Honor should not have overlooked that according to the same witness, defendant Ng Sua was living in Bantayan until he was directed to return to Cebu after the fishing business thereat floundered, whereas all that the witness knew about defendant Lim Teck Chuan's arrival from Hongkong and the expenditure of partnership money for him were only told to him allegedly by Po Chuan, which testimonies are veritably exculpatory as to Ng Sua and hearsay as to Lim Teck Chuan. Neither should His Honor have failed to note that according to plaintiff herself, "Lim Tanhu was employed by her husband although he did not go there always being a mere employee of Glory Commercial Co." (p. 22, Annex the decision.) The decision is rather emphatic in that Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua had no known income except their salaries. Actually, it is not stated, however, from what evidence such conclusion was derived in so far as Ng Sua is concerned. On the other hand, with respect to Lim Tanhu, the decision itself states that according to Exhibit NN-Pre trial, in the supposed income tax return of Lim Tanhu for 1964, he had an income of P4,800 as salary from Philippine Metal Industries alone and had a total assess sable net income of P23,920.77 that year for which he paid a tax of P4,656.00. (p. 14. Annex L, id.) And per Exhibit GG-Pretrial in the year, he had a net income of P32,000 for which be paid a tax of P3,512.40. ( id.) As early as 1962, "his fishing business in Madridejos Cebu was making money, and he reported "a net gain from operation (in) the amount of P865.64" ( id., per Exhibit VV-Pre-trial.) From what then did his Honor gather the conclusion that all the properties registered in his name have come from funds malversed from the partnership?

It is rather unusual that His Honor delved into financial statements and books of Glory Commercial Co. without the aid of any accountant or without the same being explained by any witness who had prepared them or who has knowledge of the entries therein. This must be the reason why there are apparent inconsistencies and inaccuracies in the conclusions His Honor made out of them. In Exhibit SS-Pre-trial, the reported total assets of the company amounted to P2,328,460.27 as of December, 1965, and yet, Exhibit TT-Pre-trial, according to His Honor, showed that the total value of goods available as of the same date was P11,166,327.62. On the other hand, per Exhibit XX-Pre-trial, the supposed balance sheet of the company for 1966, "the value of inventoried merchandise, both local and imported", as found by His Honor, was P584,034.38. Again, as of December 31, 1966, the value of the company's goods available for sale was P5,524,050.87, per Exhibit YY and YY-Pre-trial. Then, per Exhibit II-3Pre-trial, the supposed Book of Account, whatever that is, of the company showed its "cash analysis" was P12,223,182.55. We do not hesitate to make the observation that His Honor, unless he is a certified public accountant, was hardly qualified to read such exhibits and draw any definite conclusions therefrom, without risk of erring and committing an injustice. In any event, there is no comprehensible explanation in the decision of the conclusion of His Honor that there were P12,223,182.55 cash money defendants have to account for, particularly when it can be very clearly seen in Exhibits 11-4, 11-4- A, 11-5 and 11-6-Pre-trial, Glory Commercial Co. had accounts payable as of December 31, 1965 in the amount of P4,801,321.17. (p. 15, id.) Under the circumstances, We are not prepared to permit anyone to predicate any claim or right from respondent court's unaided exercise of accounting knowledge. Additionally, We note that the decision has not made any finding regarding the allegation in the amended complaint that a corporation denominated Glory Commercial Co., Inc. was organized after the death of Po Chuan with capital from the funds of the partnership. We note also that there is absolutely no finding made as to how the defendants Dy Ochay and Co Oyo could in any way be accountable to plaintiff, just because they happen to be the wives of Lim Tanhu and Ng Sua, respectively. We further note that while His Honor has ordered defendants to deliver or pay jointly and severally to the plaintiff P4,074,394.18 or / 3 of the P12,223,182.55, the supposed cash belonging to the partnership as of December 31, 1965, in the same breath, they have also been sentenced to partition and give / 3 share of the properties enumerated in the dispositive portion of the decision, which seemingly are the very properties allegedly purchased from the funds of the partnership which would naturally include the

P12,223,182.55 defendants have to account for. Besides, assuming there has not yet been any liquidation of the partnership, contrary to the allegation of the defendants, then Glory Commercial Co. would have the status of a partnership in liquidation and the only right plaintiff could have would be to what might result after such liquidation to belong to the deceased partner, and before this is finished, it is impossible to determine, what rights or interests, if any, the deceased had (Bearneza vs. Dequilla 43 Phil. 237). In other words, no specific amounts or properties may be adjudicated to the heir or legal representative of the deceased partner without the liquidation being first terminated. Indeed, only time and the fear that this decision would be much more extended than it is already prevent us from further pointing out the inexplicable deficiencies and imperfections of the decision in question. After all, what have been discussed should be more than sufficient to support Our conclusion that not only must said decision be set aside but also that the action of the plaintiff must be totally dismissed, and, were it not seemingly futile and productive of other legal complications, that plaintiff is liable on defendants' counterclaims. Resolution of the other issues raised by the parties albeit important and perhaps pivotal has likewise become superfluous. IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is granted. All proceedings held in respondent court in its Civil Case No. 12328 subsequent to the order of dismissal of October 21, 1974 are hereby annulled and set aside, particularly the ex-parte proceedings against petitioners and the decision on December 20, 1974. Respondent court is hereby ordered to enter an order extending the effects of its order of dismissal of the action dated October 21, 1974 to herein petitioners Antonio Lim Tanhu, Dy Ochay, Alfonso Leonardo Ng Sua and Co Oyo. And respondent court is hereby permanently enjoined from taking any further action in said civil case gave and except as herein indicated. Costs against private respondent.