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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 7165. March 26, 1912. ]

DAMASA LAFORGA ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. BRUNO LAFORGA, Defendant-Appellee.

Policarpo Soriano, for Appellants.

Antonio Adiarte, for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. MORTGAGE; GRANDPARENTS CANNOT MORTGAGE PROPERTY OF MINORS. — A grandmother of minor children acting merely as such, or even as guardian ad litem, has no authority to mortgage property belonging to minor children; a mortgage so executed by her is void and does not bind the children.


D E C I S I O N


MAPA, J.:


This is an action for the recovery of possession of two parcels of land described in the complaint and situate, one in the sitio of Balayoac and the other in Lubec, of the pueblo of Badoc, Province of Ilocos Norte.

The defendant in his written answer admits that these parcels of land belong to the plaintiffs but alleges that he is in possession of them through their delivery to him by the plaintiff Damasa Laforga on a mortgage — the first of the two parcels, that in Balayoac, as security for the sum of P95 and the second, that in Lubec, for the sum of P200, and states that he is willing to return said parcels to the plaintiffs whenever they pay him said sums.

Upon the evidence adduced at the trial, the court ordered the defendant to deliver immediately to the plaintiffs the Balayoac land, and also, upon his being reimbursed by the latter in the sum of P203, likewise to deliver to them the Lubec land. No special finding was made as to the costs. The plaintiffs have appealed from the judgment only with respect to the obligation it imposes upon them to pay to the defendant the sum of P203 as a condition precedent to his returning the Lubec land to them.

The grounds upon which this part of the judgment appealed from rests are thus stated therein:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"From the evidence adduced it has been proved that the defendant has been paying money up to the sum of P203 to the attorney for the plaintiff for the expenses of the suit which they have been maintaining, with the agreement that the said defendant should continue in the usufruct of the Lubec land until he should be reimbursed for the aforementioned sum paid by him."cralaw virtua1aw library

The record discloses that the agreement referred to in the judgment was executed solely and exclusively by the plaintiff, Damasa Laforga, the grandmother of the other plaintiffs, who are still minors, and that the land in question, that of Lubec, belongs exclusively to them. Damasa Laforga was not the legal representative of the said minors at the time of the execution of that agreement and she evidently acted merely as their grandmother. Even supposing that she might then have been acting as the guardian ad litem of said minors, which is the most that could be admitted from the evidence adduced at the trial, such Capacity could not authorize her validly to execute the agreement concerned, which, therefore, lacks the legal force requisite to make it binding upon the minors.

The judgment appealed from is reversed, in so far as it declares that the plaintiff minors must pay the sum of P203 to the defendant, and the latter is ordered to deliver immediately to them the disputed Lubec land, but the right is reserved to the defendant to prosecute his claim for said payment against Damasa Laforga in the manner and form provided by law. No special finding is made of the costs in this instance. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Johnson, Carson, Moreland, and Trent, JJ., concur.

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