The lot in Cagayan de Oro City of the late PantaleonJomoc was fictitiously sold and transferred to third persons. Maria P. Vda. Jomoc, as administratrix of the estate filed suit to recover the property. The case was decided in favor of Jomoc and was accordingly appealed by Mariano So and Gaw Sur Cheng. Pending the appeal, Jomoc executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement aid Sale of Land with private respondent. The document was not yet signed by all the parties nor authorized but in the meantime, Maura So had made partial payments.In 1983, Mariano So, agreed to settle the case by executing a Deed of Reconveyance of the land in favor of PantaleonJomoc. On February 28, 1983, the heirs of Jomoc executed another extrajudicial settlement with absolute sale in favor of Lim Leong Kang and Lim Pue king. Later, Maura So demanded from the Jomoc family the execution of the final deed of conveyance. They ignored the demand. Thus, Maria So sued the Jomoc heirs for specific performance to execute and deliver the proper registrable deed of sale over the lot. So then filed a notice of lispendens. According to the Jomocs, they believed that Maura So had backed out from the transaction as evidenced by an oral testimony that she did where she expressed frustration in evicting squatters who demanded large sums as a condition for vacating. Hence, they executed the other extrajudicial settlement with sale of registered land in favor of the spouses Lim. The spouses Lim, however, registered their settlement and sale only on April 27, 1983. The lower court, found that (1) the case is one of double sale; and (2) the spouses Lim are registrants in bad faith. On appeal, the trial court’s decision was affirmed.
Whether the contract of sale by Maria P. Jomoc with private respondent is unenforceable under the Statute of Frauds.
No. The contract is enforceable. The meeting of the minds and the delivery of sums as partial payment is clear and this is admitted by both parties to the agreement. Hence, there was already a valid and existing contract, not merely perfected as the trial court saw it, but partly executed. It is of no moment whether or not it is enforceable under the Statute of Frauds, which rule we do not find to be applicable because of partial payment of the vendee’s obligation and its acceptance by the vendors-heirs. The contract of sale of real property even if not complete in form, so long as the essential requisites of consent of the contracting parties, object, and cause of the obligation concur and they were clearly established to be present is valid and effective as between the parties.
The two courts correctly ruled that the spouses Lim do not have a better right. They purchased the land with full knowledge of a previous sale to private respondent and without requiring from the vendor-heirs any proof of the prior vendee’s revocation of her purchase. They did so in bad faith or on the belief that a registration may improve their position being subsequent buyers of the same lot.
Digest Credit: Joseph Eric Pocholo Briones
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