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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. 10170. September 10, 1915. ]

JUANA FAJARDO, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. AGUADA MAGSACAY, Defendant-Appellee.

Inocencio Payumo for Appellant.

Pedro Carmen Legaspi for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. PAYMENT; EFFECT OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PAYMENT. — A pure and simple admission of payment, made by the creditor, without any reservation whatever, extinguishes the obligation.

2. ID.; ID. — When the instrument is drawn up in concrete terms and in such a way as to extinguish a debt or an obligation to pay a certain specific sum, and when the same contains no word or words whatever to indicate that it is a payment on account of a larger sum due and still to be paid, it constitutes a method of absolutely and definitely extinguishing the obligation.


D E C I S I O N


ARELLANO, C.J. :


Damian Sandin was the owner of a parcel of land of about 209 hectares situated in Polillo and Mitaan, of the municipality of Cabanatuan, Province of Nueva Ecija. When he died he was succeeded in the ownership of this land by his two sisters and a niece who, from Spain, conferred power upon the attorney D. Antonio Constantino to sell it. This the latter did and on September 26, 1910, he disposed of it to Eugenio Paguia for the price of P2,100. All of these facts are shown in the notarial instrument executed on the aforesaid date. (Exhibit 6.)

On September 27, 1910, Eugenio Paguia in turn sold the land to Paulino Candelaria for P3,200, as appears by a notarial instrument of the same date. [Exhibit 6 (a). ]

Paulino Candelaria, by a notarial instrument of September 6, 1912, sold 160 hectares of the land to Mariano Limjap for P5,000 and bound himself to deliver to the purchaser within the period of one month the plan of the same prepared in such a manner that it would be accepted by the Court of Land Registration, to pay the expenses of survey of the said land, the cost of preparation of the plan, all other expenses that might be necessary in order that the purchaser might obtain a torrens title, and also the cost of the deed of sale. He furthermore bound himself not to mortgage or encumber in any manner the remainder of the land included within the said area of 209 hectares, until the whole parcel should have been registered in the Court of Land Registration.

In an instrument of November 4, 1912, Paulino Candelaria, after referring to the previous one of September 6th set forth that, in consideration of the sum of P550 Philippine currency which had been paid to him on the same date by Mariano Limjap, he sold to the latter the rest of the parcel of land described in the instrument, in order to complete the sale of the whole of it (the term "rest" being understood to mean an area of not less than 19 hectares) and bound himself to deliver to the purchaser the plan of the entire parcel within the period of one month, to pay the expenses of survey and of the plan, etc., and to comply with all the other stipulations of the previous instrument.

After all this, Juana Fajardo appears on January 8, 1913, with the claim that she had formed a partnership with Agueda Magsacay to purchase from Antonio Constantino the land referred to in the foregoing transactions. She alleges that they had brought into the partnership the sum of P3,400 with which the land was in fact purchased, but that said land appears in the deed of sale as having been acquired by a son of Agueda Magsacay, Paulino Candelaria, who has appropriated the said land to himself; hence her action to secure a judgment against Agueda Magsacay for the sum of P9,405, as an indemnity for losses and damages, inasmuch as the said land at P90 a hectare was estimated to be worth P18,810; one-half of which was plaintiff’s share and amounted to the said P9,405.

In support of her complaint she filed Exhibit A (defendant’s Exhibit 4) which is a notarial instrument, in duplicate, executed by both parties on June 17, 1912, before the notary Catalino Ortiz, and which reads as follows: "We two have purchased a parcel of land in the sitio of Polillo and Mitaan, etc., from D. Antonio Constantino, an attorney of Manila, as the general administrator of the heirs of D. Damian Sandin, for the price of P3,400. The deed of sale is made out in the name of Paulino Candelaria, a son of the first-named, that is to say, Agueda Magsacay. The money with which this land was bought belonged to us in equal shares. The boundaries of the land are: (here follows its description). It is now being surveyed by a government surveyor and we have divided it. For this reason all the expenses of the survey will be divided between us and in dividing it (the land) between us each of us will bear her share of the expenses. On this account, as soon as all this is finished and the survey and the division have been made, I, Agueda Magsacay, bind myself to have made, or my son Paulino Candelaria will do so, an instrument relative to the part of the land that belongs to the other party hereto, Juana Fajardo." (Exhibit A.)

The plaintiff does not claim the one-half of the land that was purchased with the money which she and the defendant brought into the partnership for this purpose. She demands, merely as an indemnity for damages, the amount she would have received had the 209 hectares of land been sold at the rate of P90 a hectare.

The defendant admits in that document, herein transcribed, that the land was to be acquired for her and for the plaintiff, and that, at the time of its execution, June 17, 1912, it was being surveyed and had been divided between them. As has been seen, this took place before Paulino Candelaria had sold the land to Mariano Limjap, for this first sale was not made until September 6, 1912; the second was made on November 4 of the same year.

But now here comes defendant’s Exhibit 1, which is a private document signed by the plaintiff and the defendant and drawn up in the following language: "I, Juana Fajardo, unmarried, of age, a native of Bulacan and resident of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija, hereby set forth that it is true that I have received from Doña Agueda Magsacay the sum of P2,260 in payment of what was owing me by the said Doña Agueda Magsacay for a parcel of our land which she sold. In witness whereof I hereunto affix my signature, in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, this 18th day of October, 1912. (Signed) Juana Fajardo. — (Signed) Agueda Magsacay."cralaw virtua1aw library

It appears that this amount was received by Juana Fajardo after the execution of the first instrument in favor of Limjap, on September 6, 1912, and before the execution of the second one, that is, forty-two days after Paulino Candelaria had admitted receiving P5,000 from Limjap as the price of the sale he had made to the latter, although only P4,200 were actually received, since Limjap had retained P800, as shown by Exhibit 5, until a torrens title should be obtained for the land. It was subsequently disclosed, by means of the second instrument executed on November 4, 1912, that Candelaria received the remainder of the payment for the land. This remainder was P550, inasmuch as Candelaria only bound himself to deliver as the rest of the land an amount not less than 19 hectares, instead of the 49 hectares, the true remainder. In short, Candelaria received from Limjap P4,200 on September 6, 1912, and P550 on the 4th of November following.

Such are the facts upon which this action is based, according to the documents introduced in evidence.

At trial it was proven by the testimony of the plaintiff herself that her Exhibit A, that is, the document in which the defendant recorded plaintiff is share in the land, was executed subsequent to the sale thereof made by Antonio Constantino to Paulino Candelaria and previous to the sale made by Candelaria to Mariano Limjap; and that the P2,260 mentioned in Exhibit 1 was received by plaintiff as her share of the land in question. Therefore she recognized and ratified the said document, although she claims that the said amount was received by her as an advance payment in accordance with the stipulations made with the defendant, to wit, that the latter should pay her at the rate of P90 a hectare.

It is this agreement that does not appear to have been proven. The trial court says: "This part of plaintiff’s allegation is not supported by the evidence, for, in the opinion of the court, the testimony of Felix Gregorio — the only witness who affirmed the existence of that agreement — is unworthy of belief, as he was ostensibly hostile to Agueda Magsacay because of legal proceedings, brought by her against him over some rice, which were recently terminated through the mediation of Juana Fajardo. . . ." The conclusion of the trial court was that defendant did not promise to indemnify plaintiff for the actual value of the land at the rate of P90 per hectare. He therefore absolved defendant from the complaint, dismissed the case and taxed the costs against plaintiff.

Plaintiff appealed. Nothing new, however is alleged with respect to the facts already discussed. The conclusions drawn therefrom by the lower court are accepted by us, for they contain no error of fact or law, and, moreover, the only debatable point is whether the document issued by plaintiff in behalf of defendant, in which she admits having received from the latter P2,260 in payment of her share in the sale of the land which belonged to both, referred to a total or a partial payment. This is the whole question.

Deciding this point we hold that the document (Exhibit 1) is drafted in concrete terms and in such form as to extinguish any debt of, or obligation to pay, a certain specific sum, and contains no word or words whatever to indicate that it is a payment on account of a larger sum due and still to be paid.

The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with the costs of this instance against the Appellant. So ordered.

Torres, Johnson, Carson, Trent and Araullo, JJ., concur.

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