Monday, 03 November 2014 14:09
(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “… To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, `If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’…” (John 8:31-32, the Holy Bible).
DISTORTION BY SENATE SUB-COMMITTEE OF THREE: Were Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Alan Peter Cayetano, and Antonio Trillanes IV correct in making it appear that the supposed acquisition by businessman Antonio Tiu of a 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas (which is now being referred to as “Hacienda Binay”) was not legally acceptable just because it was made by virtue of a mere one-page document? The clear answer is, no. The three, particularly Cayetano and Pimentel who were supposed to know better because they themselves are lawyers, were dead wrong in that pretense. The rule in this country, as enshrined in the Civil Code of the Philippines and in various decisions of the Supreme Court, is that a contract, even for the purchase of lands, can be validly entered into in any form, and, consequently, even by a mere one-page agreement like in the case of Tiu. In fact, the Civil Code and the Supreme Court decisions are clear that even a mere verbal contract for the acquisition of land is valid and binding. So, why then were the three senator-critics of Vice President Jejomar Binay knowingly misrepresenting or distorting the law when they were grilling Tiu, trying to make him look like his claim as a buyer of the 350-hectare property was fraudulent simply because it was made by virtue of a one-page contract?
TIU COULD COMPLAIN AGAINST THE SUB-COMMITTEE OF THREE: I guess Tiu, to vindicate his rights and protect his reputation as a businessman whose company depends on public trust and confidence, could complain against this gross misrepresentation of the three as constituting graft and corruption under Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019), or even as an administrative infraction. Tiu could base his complaint on Art. 1315 of the Civil Code which provides that contracts “are perfected by mere consent, and from that moment the parties are bound not only to the fulfillment of what has been expressly stipulated but also to all the consequences which, according to their nature, may be in keeping with good faith, usage and law.” Additionally, Tiu could also cite Art. 1356 of the same Civil Code, which holds that contracts “shall be obligatory in whatever form they may have been entered into, provided all the essential requisites for their validity are present…” Indeed, even a non-lawyer or a non-senator can immediately understand the clear import of these provisions.
SC DECISION RECOGNIZES VALIDITY OF CONTRACTS IN ANY FORM: And then, had the three senators used even only a small amount of their time and their talent in researching through Google, they could have also found out that the great civil law authority in the Philippines of all time, Justice J.B.L. Reyes, already confirmed the applicability of the foregoing Civil Code provisions to purchases of lands. In the case of then movie actress Marlen Dauden entitled “Hernaez vs. Hon. Delos Angeles”, G.R. No. L-27010, April 30, 1969, Justice J.B.L Reyes explained: “…in general, contracts are valid and binding from their perfection regardless of form whether they be oral or written. This is plain from Articles 1315 and 1356 of the present Civil Code…” And, insofar as contracts involving lands are concerned, Justice J.B.L. Reyes noted that while these contracts can be generally proved only by the agreements in writing, their existence and validity nevertheless can be proved by mere oral testimony if, as in the case of Tiu’s purchase, there had been a partial or full performance of the oral agreements covering them. Any reaction from Pimentel, Cayetano and Trillanes on this?
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