[G.R. No. L-21587. September 13, 1924. ]
MATEO DISTOR, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. GREGORIO DORADO and ROSALIA ARROYO, as administrators of the estate of ANGEL DISTOR, Appellees.
Meliton D. Albana for Appellant.
Dorado & Abella Vito for Appellees.
1. ANTICHRESIS. — Pursuant to the contract in question, one of the contracting parties transferred a land to the other by way of mortgage in consideration of certain quantity of palay (rice) delivered by the latter to the former, in order that he might enjoy and dispose of it as though he were the owner thereof. It was stipulated in said contract that if after the lapse of six years the owner of the land should return to the other party the amount of palay received from the latter, said mortgage should become void and no effect, otherwise it will remain in full force and effect until the day he could return said amount of palay, his action or that of his heirs never to prescribe. Held: That said contract is one of antichresis, since the debtor delivered his land to the creditor in order that the latter might enjoy the same, without obligation on the debtor’s part to pay any interest on his debt, but he could not redeem the property mortgaged until after six years.
D E C I S I O N
The plaintiff prays that he be declared owner of the four parcels of land described in his complaint and that the defendants be sentenced to return them to the plaintiff, or to pay him the sum of P31,800 as damages, plus P3,300 every year he fails to receive the product thereof, and P7,950 as attorney’s fee.
In support of his claim he alleges:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That on or about March 4, 1917, the plaintiff mortgaged said parcels of land to the deceased Angel Distor for 638 cavans and 15 gantas of palay, it having been stipulated that he could redeem them at any time from the aforesaid date, but must make the redemption within six years from March 4, 1917, the date of the document, otherwise the plaintiff shall become bound to pay double the amount for which the property was given as security, that is to say, 1,217 cavans and 5 gantas, one-half of this amount being interest for the six years within which he failed to redeem. Another condition of said mortgage is that the plaintiff should remain in the possession and enjoyment of said four parcels in order that he might pay the mortgage debt with their products: but the aforesaid Angel Distor, taking advantage of plaintiff’s ignorance of the Spanish language, drew or caused to be drawn a deed of mortgage in Spanish, wherein he stated, or caused to be stated, that he should have the usufruct of the aforesaid parcels of land for six years, at least, from March 4, 1917, and that during those six years the plaintiff could not redeem them, both of which conditions are contrary to the true agreement had between the parties — the plaintiff and the deceased.
"That said deceased, Angel Distor, succeeded in causing the plaintiff to sign said document of mortgage because he made the latter believe that he could redeem the four parcels of land at any time and that said plaintiff would remain in the possession and enjoyment thereof in accordance with what was really stipulated between them; for had he known at or prior to signing said document that he could not redeem them within six years from the aforesaid date and that the said deceased should have the usufruct thereof during the time they were not redeemed, said plaintiff would not have affixed his signature to said document.
"That said deed of mortgage is in the hands and possession of the defendant administrators and is a part of the evidence of the plaintiff.
"That the 630 cavans and 15 gantas of palay for which said for parcels of land were mortgaged were and are the aggregate of the principal, which is one-half, and the interest, which is the other half, of said quantity of palay.
"That the aforesaid deceased, Angel Distor, by virtue of said deed of mortgage, unlawfully and without justifiable motive, took possession of the aforesaid parcels of land in or about the middle of March, 1917, and continued in the possession and enjoyment thereof until his death, having disposed of and appropriated all their products during said period of time notwithstanding the several demands made upon him by plaintiff to let him redeem the aforesaid four parcels and to return said products to him."cralaw virtua1aw library
At the trial Exhibit A was presented as evidence, which literally is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"REAL PROPERTY MORTGAGE
"I, Mateo Distor, married, of age, and resident of the municipality of Panitan, Province of Capiz, P. I., do hereby declare that in consideration of the quantity of six hundred thirty-eight cavans and fifteen gantas (638.15) of palay delivered to me by Mr. Angel Distor, proprietor, of age, and resident of the municipality of Panitan, Capiz, P. I., I hereby transfer by way of mortgage to said Angel Distor four parcels of irrigated land, having a capacity for the sowing of nine cavans approximately of palay, situated in the sitio of Maroag, barrio of Bangaan, municipality of Panitan, Capiz, P. I., described as follows: First parcel. —Irrigated land bound on the north by property of Ricardo Derecho; on the south by properties of Felipe Dizon and Mariano de Ocampo; on the east by property of Angel Distor, and on the west by properties of Salvador Dimaisip, Pedro Demafelis and Blas Amusing. Second parcel. — Irrigated land bound on the north by property of Roberto Derecho; on the south by property of Narcisa Distor, on the east and the west by a dry land of the vendor Mateo Distor. Third parcel. — Irrigated land bound on the north by lands of the vendor Mateo Distor; on the south by property of Angel Distor; on the east by property of Higidia Desales, and on he west by a dry land of Mateo Distor. Fourth parcel. — Irrigated land bound on the north by a dry land of heirs of Gregorio Diaz; on the south by a dry land of Fermin Descalzo; on the east by properties of Arcadio Devilles and Alejandro Altuveros, and on the west by property of Fermin Descalzo.
"Provided that if I deliver, or cause to be delivered, to said Mr. Angel Distor the quantity of 638 cavans and 15 gantas of palay after the term of six years from this date without interest, this mortgage shall become void and of no effect, otherwise it will remain in full force and effect until I can deliver said quantity of palay, my right of action, of that of my heirs and successors in interest, never to prescribed, and in the meantime I deliver to him the aforesaid lands in order that he may enjoy, and dispose of, them as though he were the owner thereof, by transferring of donation the same to another with the same conditions herein stipulated.
"In testimony whereof we executed this document in duplicate, one copy for the purchaser and the other for the seller, and we, the seller as well as the purchaser, hereunto set our hands at Panitan this fourth day of March, nineteen hundred and seventeen.
(Sgd.) "MATEO DISTOR
"Signed in the present of:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
(Sgd.) "HERMENEGILDO DECLARO
The trial court rendered judgment, absolving the defendants from the complaint with the costs against the plaintiff on the ground that the latter had not established by a preponderance of evidence the allegations contained in the complaint.
Now the appellant prays for a reversal of the judgment appealed from, assigning thirteen errors in his typewritten brief. The appellant contends that the contract Exhibit A, which he termed a mortgage in his complaint, is a contract of antichresis defined and sanctioned by article 1881 of the Civil Code.
In view of the phraseology used in said exhibit, we are inclined to hold that said exhibit expresses a contract of antichresis, as contended by the appellant, for the debtor delivered his lands to the creditor in order that the latter might enjoy their fruits, without obligation on the part of the former to pay interest upon his debt. But according to the plaintiff the exhibit itself, the debtor, that is the plaintiff, cannot redeem the property given in antichresis until after six years from March 4, 1917.
There is no use entering upon a detailed discussion of the errors assigned by the appellant, for the reason that, after examining the evidence introduced in that case, we have reached the conclusion that the plaintiff has not successfully proven the allegations of the complaint as to the machinations imputed to the creditor in the drawing of Exhibit A, nor as to the damages and attorney’s fee claimed by him.
The contract Exhibit A being valid, is binding between the contracting parties and their heirs.
The judgment appealed from is, therefore, affirmed with the costs against the appellant; it being understood that to avoid unnecessary litigations, and it appearing from Exhibit A that, upon the date of the return of the record to the court of origin, the six years stipulated by the contracting parties shall have elapsed, and in view of the statement contained in the last page of appellees’ brief that they have no objection to it, the appellant may recover from the defendants the lands claimed by him upon delivering the 638 cavans and gantas of palay or paying their value, as determined by the court below, should the parties not come to an agreement. So ordered.
Johnson, Street, Malcolm, Avanceña, Ostrand, and Romualdez, JJ., concur.