Civil Law,  Legally Yours

Rosales v. Reyes

Rosales v. Reyes

G.R. No. 8162; October 10, 1913

FACTS:

On July 29, 1902, Rivera sold a parcel of land to Reyes and Ordoveza for 800 pesos under pacto de retro, on the condition, however, that the repurchase could not be made until after three years from the date of the contract of sale. In this document, Rivera states that he was of age.

On May 29, 1903, Rivera sold his right to repurchase to Rosales for 1,075 pesos. In the document evidencing this sale, Rivera states that he is 23 years of age.

Rosales, who is the plaintiff in this case, alleges that in January 1908, he tendered 800 pesos to Reyes and Ordoveza with the request that the land be surrendered to him in accordance with the contract entered into between them and Rivera in 1902, but that they refused to accept the money and comply with his request.

ISSUES:

  1. Whether or not the period to repurchase has already expired
  2. Whether or not the offer of payment without depositing in court is sufficient

HELD:

1. In this case, the period has not prescribed yet. If there is no condition that will bar the right of the vendor a retro to exercise his right of redemption, the period shall be counted from the perfection of the contract of sale. However, if there is a condition that bars such exercise of right, like in this case, it shall be counted from expiration of the condition and the period shall not exceed 4 years. Applying this rule in this case, the vendor a retro is given a period of 7 years within which to repurchase the property and the 7 years shall be counted from the perfection of the contract.

In such a case the question arises, Upon what basis must the duration of the right to repurchase be calculated? Any such contract must necessarily be terminated ten years from the date of its execution, but should the vendor have the privilege to exercise this right for the balance of the ten years, or should he be allowed only four years on the ground that there was no express agreement of the parties upon this point?

In all such cases, it would seem that the vendor should be allowed four years from the expiration of the time within which the right to redeem could not be exercised, or in the event that four years would extend the life of the contract beyond ten years, the balance of the ten-year period, on the ground that vendors, where the right to redeem is not thus suspended and no express agreement as to the length of time during which it may be exercised is made, are also allowed four years. 

Rationale: When a statute or instrument is equally susceptible of two interpretations, one in favor of natural right and the other against it, the former is to be adopted (Sec. 294, Code Civ. Proc.)

The provisions of Article 1508 are strictly analogous to the statute of limitations upon actions. As the date on which a right of action expires is determined by the date it accrues and not by some prior event which might be considered as its inchoate beginning, so the right to repurchase is to be calculated from the day upon which that right may be freely exercised by the vendor, subject, of course, to the ten-year limitation of the law.

2. The settled rule in this jurisdiction is that a bona fide offer or tender of the price agreed upon for the repurchase is sufficient to preserve the rights of the party making it, without the necessity of making judicial deposit, if the offer or tender is refused by the creditor (vendee  retro.)

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