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CAN A PERSON BE PREVENTED BY PRESCRIPTION (LAPSE OF TIME) FROM BRINGING AN ACTION TO ANNUL A FRAUDULENT TRANSACTION

The Philippine Lawyer

-Ferdie Aguirre

(About the writer: G. Ferdinand (Ferdie) Aguirre has more than 20 years of combined experience as a legal professional in the Philippines and in Canada.  After graduating from the Ateneo de Manila College of Law in 1987 and passing the Bar given that year, he has held the following positions in the Philippine Corporate world: Asst. Senior Vice President of the Philippine National Bank, Senior Manager of the Law Division of the Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company and as Chief Legal Counsel of Unibancard.  His private practice included having successfully handled several major cases and being included in the Philippine case books.  Ferdie Aguirre was also a professor of Political Science and Business Law before migrating to Ontario Canada in 2005 where worked as a Paralegal. He is presently a Court Agent & a Commissioner for  Oaths in Alberta and is now working on his admission to the Alberta Bar.  Ferdie Aguirre may be reached at (403) 6131168 /(403) 4747168 or at pilipinolegalservices@yahoo.ca)

CAN A PERSON BE PREVENTED BY PRESCRIPTION (LAPSE OF TIME) FROM BRINGING AN ACTION TO ANNUL A FRAUDULENT TRANSACTION

Romeo was a contract worker in Japan where he was employed as a waiter in a Karaoke Bar .  During his first year there, Romeo was content in having enough money to send to his wife Mila and his son Enrique who were both living in Pampanga  Being a likeable fellow, Romeo was able to befriend some of the customers who worked in the scrap yards.  He learned from his new friends that he could make more money from the  junkyards.  Having been a mechanic’s helper when he was a teenager, Romeo knew how to dismantle cars for parts which he later sent back to his buyers in Manila.   With the great demand of surplus car parts in Manila, Romeo was able to build his sideline into a multi million peso business.  He quit his job and was able to employ his own chop chop boys from Manila. These trappings of success came with its share of temptations and as expected with the “new rich”, Romeo eventually acquired a mistress named Alice. A young and sexy “guest relations officer “(GRO) from the night clubs of Quezon City  At first, Alice appeared to be content with the usual in dinners in 5 star hotels and casual gifts from Romeo until she bore Romeo a daughter.   After noticing that the little girl became the apple of Romeo’s eye, Alice became demanding.  Instead of the usual two day a week visits, Alice demanded that stay with her and their daughter during the weekday and visit Mila his real wife only on weekends.  Romeo was able to pull this of on the pretext of having to be in Manila during weekdays when the shipments from Japan were arriving.

One night after a having slept with Alice in their upscale condo in Makati, Romeo suffered heart attack.  Despite efforts by doctors to save his life, Romeo died.  Distraught with the fear of losing her meal ticket, Alice rummaged through the documents in Romeo’s office table in their condo unit.  There Alice saw several land titles covering houses and lots in prime locations in    Ayala Alabang, Cebu, Tagatay and Cavite.  Alice forged the signature of Romeo and was able to register the titles of the properties in her name.

Fifteen years after Romeo’s death, Mila opened a box containing some files belonging to her late husband.  There she saw the photocopies of the titles of the properties fraudulently taken by Alice.   She showed it to her son Enrique, who is now already a lawyer.     After some investigations, Enrique discovered that aside from being a forgery, the deeds of sale covering the properties in question were notarized weeks after Romeo died.  As expected, Enrique brought action to annul the sale of the properties.

During the trial Alice argued among others, that the filing of the case was barred by prescription.

IS THE CASE BARRED BY PRESCRIPTION OR THE LAPSE OF TIME

The action is not barred by prescription or lapse of time. The supposed vendor’s signature having been proved to be a forgery, the instrument is totally void or inexistent as “absolutely simulated or fictitious” under Article 1409 of the Civil Code.51cralaw According to Article 1410, “the action or defense for the declaration of the inexistence of a contract does not prescribe”. The inexistence of a contract is permanent and incurable which cannot be cured either by ratification or by prescription.(G.R. No. 163271 : SPOUSES PATRICIO and MYRNA BERNALES, Petitioners, vs. HEIRS OF JULIAN SAMBAAN, namely: EMMA S. FELICILDA, ANITA S. SAMBAAN, VIOLETA S. DADSANAN, ABSALON S. SAMBAAN, AGUSTINE S. SAMBAAN, EDITHA S. MANGUIRAN, GRACE S. NITCHA, CLODUALDO S. SAMBAAN, GINA S. SAMBAAN and FE S. YAP, Respondents).

cralaw

(Legal Disclaimer: This article is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be neither formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.)









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