Legally Yours

Tala Realty Services v. Banco Filipino

Statutory Construction.  Stare decisis et non quieta movere.
Tala Realty Services Corp. v. Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank
G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001FACTS:
Tala alleged that on the basis of a contract of lease executed on August 25, 1981, its contract with Banco Filipino expired on August 31, 1992. However, Banco Filipino has continued to occupy the premises even after the expiration of the lease. On June 2, 1993, Tala imposed upon Banco Filipino the following terms and conditions: that the bank should pay P70,050.00 as monthly rental retroactive as of September 1, 1992, with a rental escalation of 10% per year; and advance deposit equivalent to rents for four months, plus a goodwill of P500,000.00. Banco Filipino did not comply and in April 1994, it stopped paying rents. Banco Filipino denied having executed the lease contract providing for a term of eleven (11) years; claiming that its contract with Tala is for twenty (20) years, citing the Contract of Lease executed on August 25, 1981.

Whether or not the eleven-year lease contract superseded the twenty-year lease contract

The eleven (11)-year contract is a forgery because (1) Teodoro O. Arcenas, then Executive Vice-President of private respondent Banco Filipino, denied having signed the contract; (2) the records of the notary public who notarized the said contract, Atty. Generoso S. Fulgencio, Jr., do not include the said document; and (3) the said contract was never submitted to the Central Bank as required by the latter’s rules and regulations. It is not the eleven (11)-year lease contract but the twenty (20)-year lease contract which is the real and genuine contract between petitioner Tala Realty and private respondent Banco Filipino. Considering that the twenty (20)-year lease contract is still subsisting and will expire in 2001 yet, Banco Filipino is entitled to the possession of the subject premises for as long as it pays the agreed rental and does not violate the other terms and conditions thereof. The validity of the twenty (20) year lease contract was further reinforced on June 20, 2000 when the First Division of this Court rendered a Decision in G.R. No. 137980, likewise upholding the twenty (20)-year lease contract, thus:

“In light of the foregoing recent Decision of this Court (G.R. No. 129887), we have no option but to uphold the twenty-year lease contract over the eleven-year contract presented by petitioner. It is the better practice that when a court has laid down a principle of law as applicable to a certain state of facts, it will adhere to that principle and apply it to all future cases where the facts are substantially the same. ‘Stare decisis et non quieta movere.”

That the principle of stare decisis applies in the instant case, even though the subject property is different, may be gleaned from the pronouncement in Negros Navigation Co., Inc. vs. Court of Appeals. Stare decisis simply declares that, for the sake of certainty, a conclusion reached in one case should be applied to those which follow, if the facts are substantially the same, even though the parties may be different. Considering the above rulings, the term of the lease in the present case is also twenty (20) years.

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