G.R. No. 198800, December 11, 2013
JOSE T. RAMIREZ, Petitioner, v. THE MANILA BANKING CORPORATION, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
N) All correspondence relative to this MORTGAGE, including demand letters, summons, subpoenas or notifications of any judicial or extrajudicial actions shall be sent to the MORTGAGOR at the address given above or at the address that may hereafter be given in writing by the MORTGAGOR to the MORTGAGEE, and the mere act of sending any correspondence by mail or by personal delivery to the said address shall be valid and effective notice to the MORTGAGOR for all legal purposes and the fact that any communication is not actually received by the MORTGAGOR, or that it has been returned unclaimed to the MORTGAGEE, or that no person was found at the address given, or that the address is fictitious or cannot be located, shall not excuse or relieve the MORTGAGOR from the effects of such notice.8ChanRoblesVirtualawlibraryRespondent filed a request for extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage9 before Atty. Hipolito Sañez on the ground that Ramirez failed to pay his loan despite demands. During the auction sale on September 8, 1994, respondent was the only bidder for the mortgaged properties.10 Thereafter, a certificate of sale11 was issued in its favor as the highest bidder.
Premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff [Ramirez] and against the defendant [bank], whose counterclaim is hereby dismissed, declaring the Certificate of Sale of the properties covered by TCT Nos. N–10722 and N–23033, as null and void and ordering the defendant [bank] to pay the following:The CA reversed the trial court’s decision and ruled that absence of personal notice of foreclosure to Ramirez as required by paragraph N of the real estate mortgage is not a ground to set aside the foreclosure sale.16 The fallo of the assailed CA Decision reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary
1) One Hundred Thousand (P100,000.00) Pesos as moral damages;
2) Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos as exemplary damages;
3) Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos as Attorney’s fees; and
4) Costs of suit.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision dated June 30, 2003 of the Regional Trial Court of Marikina, Branch 193 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new one is entered AFFIRMING the validity of the Certificate of Sale of the properties covering TCT Nos. N–10722 and N–23033.Ramirez’s motion for reconsideration was denied in the assailed CA Resolution.
[A] contract is the law between the parties and … absent any showing that its provisions are wholly or in part contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy, it shall be enforced to the letter by the courts. Section 3, Act No. 3135 reads:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibraryWe reiterated the Wong ruling in Global Holiday Ownership Corporation v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company23 and recently, in Carlos Lim, et al. v. Development Bank of the Philippines.24 Notably, all these cases involved provisions similar to paragraph N of the real estate mortgage in this case.“Sec. 3. Notice shall be given by posting notices of the sale for not less than twenty days in at least three public places of the municipality or city where the property is situated, and if such property is worth more than four hundred pesos, such notice shall also be published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality and city.”The Act only requires (1) the posting of notices of sale in three public places, and (2) the publication of the same in a newspaper of general circulation. Personal notice to the mortgagor is not necessary. Nevertheless, the parties to the mortgage contract are not precluded from exacting additional requirements. In this case, petitioner and respondent in entering into a contract of real estate mortgage, agreed inter alia:chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary“all correspondence relative to this mortgage, including demand letters, summonses, subpoenas, or notifications of any judicial or extra–judicial action shall be sent to the MORTGAGOR….”Precisely, the purpose of the foregoing stipulation is to apprise respondent of any action which petitioner might take on the subject property, thus according him the opportunity to safeguard his rights. When petitioner failed to send the notice of foreclosure sale to respondent, he committed a contractual breach sufficient to render the foreclosure sale on November 23, 1981 null and void.
1 SEC. 3. Notice shall be given by posting notices of the sale for not less than twenty days in at least three public places of the municipality or city where the property is situated, and if such property is worth more than four hundred pesos, such notice shall also be published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality or city.
2 AN ACT TO REGULATE THE SALE OF PROPERTY UNDER SPECIAL POWERS INSERTED IN OR ANNEXED TO REAL ESTATE MORTGAGES, approved on March 6, 1924.
3Carlos Lim, et al. v. Development Bank of the Philippines, G.R. No. 177050, July 1, 2013, p. 16.
4Rollo, pp. 25–39. Penned by Associate Justice Amelita G. Tolentino with the concurrence of Associate Justices Normandie B. Pizarro and Ruben C. Ayson.
5 Id. at 54–55. Penned by Associate Justice Amelita G. Tolentino with the concurrence of Associate Justices Normandie B. Pizarro and Marlene B. Gonzales–Sison.
6 Id. at 108–110.
7 Id. at 105–107.
8 Id. at 115–116.
9 Id. at 112–A–118.
10 Id. at 122–123.
11 Id. at 127–128.
12 Id. at 124.
13 Id. at 56–58.
14 Id. at 75–85. Penned by Judge Alice C. Gutierrez.
15 Id. at 84–85.
16 Id. at 30–31.
17 Id. at 37.
18 Id. at 13.
19 Id. at 14.
20 Id. at 96.
21 Supra note 3.
22 412 Phil. 207, 216–217 (2001).
23 G.R. No. 184081, June 19, 2009, 590 SCRA 188, 196–197.
24 Supra note 3, at 16–17.
25Rollo, p. 84.
26 CIVIL CODE, Article 2217. Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury....
27Philippine Savings Bank v. Mañalac, Jr., G.R. No. 145441, April 26, 2005, 457 SCRA 203, 222.
28Rollo, pp. 78–79.
29Gatmaitan v. Dr. Gonzales, 525 Phil. 658, 672 (2006).
30 CIVIL CODE, Article 2229. Exemplary or corrective damages are imposed, by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition to the moral, temperate, liquidated or compensatory damages.
31Ledda v. Bank of the Philippine Islands, G.R. No. 200868, November 21, 2012, 686 SCRA 285, 296–297.
32Rollo, pp. 13–20.
33 RULES OF COURT, Rule 142, Section 1. Costs ordinarily follow results of suit. – Unless otherwise provided in these Rules, costs shall be allowed to the prevailing party as a matter of course….
34 Id., SEC. 10. Costs in Regional Trial Courts. – In an action or proceeding pending in a Regional Trial Court, the prevailing party may recover the following costs, and no other:
(a) For the complaint or answer, fifteen pesos;
(b) For his own attendance, and that of his attorney, down to and including final judgment, twenty pesos;
(c) For each witness necessarily produced by him, for each day’s necessary attendance of such witness at the trial, two pesos, and his lawful traveling fees;
(d) For each deposition lawfully taken by him, and produced in evidence, five pesos;
(e) For original documents, deeds, or papers of any kind produced by him, nothing;
(f) For official copies of such documents, deeds, or papers, the lawful fees necessarily paid for obtaining such copies;
(g) The lawful fees paid by him in entering and docketing the action or recording the proceedings, for the service of any process in action, and all lawful clerk’s fees paid by him.
35 Id., SEC. 11. Costs … in Supreme Court. – In an action or proceeding pending … in the Supreme Court, the prevailing party may recover the following costs, and no other:
x x x
(c) All lawful fees charged against him by the clerk xxx of the Supreme Court, in entering and docketing the action.
36 Id., SEC. 7. Restriction of costs. – If the plaintiff in any action shall recover a sum not exceeding ten pesos as debt or damages, he shall recover no more costs than debt or damages, unless the court shall certify that the action involved a substantial and important right to the plaintiff in which case full costs may be allowed.
37 See Global Holiday Ownership Corporation v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, supra note 23, at 198.