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PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

FIRST DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-3638. November 19, 1907. ]

FAUSTINO GUERRA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. BLANCO SENDAGORTA and URRUTIA, Defendant-Appellant.

M. G. Gavieres, for Appellant.

C. W. O’Brien, for Appellee.

SYLLABUS


1. PARTNERSHIP; CONTRACTS FOR SERVICES. — An agreement for the hire of services made by a partner, in order to bind the partnership, must be made by the authority or with the knowledge of the other members of the concern, or be subsequently recognized or permitted by them to continue.

2. ACTION FOR SERVICES. — In an action for services rendered the plaintiff can recover only such amount as may be due at the time of the commencement of the action.


D E C I S I O N


JOHNSON, J.:


This was an action brought by the plaintiff in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Masbate against the defendant to recover the sum of P1,320, for services rendered by the plaintiff to the defendant as manager of the hacienda of the latter in said province, and for the sum of P506, money which the plaintiff alleged that he had deposited with the defendant.

The action was duly tried in the Court of First Instance of said province, and after hearing the evidence in the cause the lower court made the following finding of facts:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"The court finds that the plaintiff, Faustino Guerra, was employed by the defendant partnership, as alleged from April 1, 1901, to March 31, 1903, at the rate of P60 per month salary, and from December 15, 1903 to April 15, 1905, at the rate of P80 per month, as administrator of said hacienda; that about the time of this employment by said partnership he made a deposit with Tomas Blanco, one of the firm, of P506, said sum being the property of the said Faustino Guerra, the plaintiff; that said Guerra has never received any part of the deposit, nor any part of the salary due him for his two periods of service with said partnership, with the exception of P357.63, which he drew from the receipts of the hacienda at various times in small sums, and which he accounted for on the books of the partnership."cralaw virtua1aw library

Upon this finding of facts the lower court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant, making due allowance for the said payment made of P357.63, and allowing interest upon the amount due, in the sum of P3,070.27, with interest at the rate of 6 per cent from the 22d day of March, 1906.

From the decision of the lower court the defendant appealed.

The defendant assigns as the principal error the fact that the plaintiff failed to show during the trial in the lower court that his services were rendered by virtue of a contract with the defendant, constituting a partnership. The defendant claims that, if the services rendered by the plaintiff were rendered, under a contract at all, it was under a contract made with Tomas Blanco, one of the partners, and not with the partnership, and that under the articles of copartnership Blanco had no authority to make a contract binding upon the partnership without the express consent of his copartners. The defendant partnership also claims that the deposit of P506 was made with the said Blanco and not with the partnership, and therefore the partnership had incurred no liability to the plaintiff.

Upon these contentions of the defendant copartnership we are unable to find any evidence in the record which justifies the contentions of the plaintiff with reference to the payment of his salary for the first period of service, to wit, from April 1, 1901, to March 31, 1903, and also with reference to the deposit of P506. All the evidence relating to this period of service and to this deposit shows that the contract was made with the said Blanco and that the deposit was made with the said Blanco without any preference or relation to the partnership whatever. With reference to the second period of service the evidence shows that this contract was also made with the said Blanco, but by reference to the exhibits which were introduced during the trial it appears that the other copartners recognized their liability and the liability of the copartnership for the payment of the salary for a portion of that period.

The plaintiff claims that there is due him for the period of December 15, 1903 to April 15, 1905, a period of sixteen months, at the rate of P80 per month, the sum of P1,280.

There is nothing in the record which shows that the plaintiff had an express contract with the defendant for services to be rendered by him covering a period from the 15th of December, 1903, to the 15th of April, 1905; neither is there anything in the record to show that the plaintiff was discharged before the expiration of that period. The record shows that this action was commenced by the plaintiff upon the 9th day of February, 1905, more than two months before the 15th day of April, 1905. The plaintiff would be entitled to recover in this action for services rendered after the time of the commencement of the action; therefore under no consideration could the plaintiff recover for his services for the period included between the 9th day of February, 1905, and the 15th day of April, 1905. Moreover, it appears from the record that the plaintiff left the employment of the defendant ceased to administer the hacienda of the defendant on the 2d day of December, 1904, and that one Santos Ondaviela took charge of the said hacienda as the successor of the plaintiff on the said last-mentioned date. The plaintiff is only entitled to recover his salary at the rate of P80 per month from the 15th of December, 1903, to the 2d day of December, 1904, or in other words, for a period of eleven months and seventeen days, or the sum of P925.33.

It is the judgment of this court, therefore, that the sentence of the lower court be modified and that the plaintiff recover of the defendant the sum of P925.33, with interest at the rate of 6 per cent from the said 9th day of February and costs. This finding and conclusion, of course, is without prejudice to the right of the plaintiff to bring an action against the defendant Blanco for both the first period of service and for the deposit of P506. So ordered.

Arellano, C.J., Torres, Willard, and Tracey, JJ., concur.

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