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G.R. No. 108169
August 25, 1999


Certain lots located in Cabalantian, Bacolor, Pampanga were sold to three sets
of plaintiffs, namely, spouses Feliciano and Macaria Ventura, spouses Venancio and
Patricia David and Florencia Ventura Vda. De Basco by respondents spouses Alejandro
and Guadalupe Tiongson. A parcel of residential land with more or less an area of 300
square meters for a total purchase price of P16,500.00 was sold to spouses Feliciano
and Macaria Ventura. Spouses Venancio and Patricia David bought a parcel of land
consisting of 308 square meters, more or less, for a total consideration of P15,000.00.
Lastly, two parcels of land with a total area of 169 square meters were sold to Florencia
Ventura Vda. De Basco for a total consideration of P10,400.00. The parties agreed that
as soon as the plaintiffs fully paid the purchase price, the respondents will execute an
individual deed of absolute sale and issue a certificate of title in favor of them.

The Venturas immediately took possessio9n of the lot, built a house and fenced
the perimeters. They were able to fully pay the price as of October 28, 1985 as
evidenced by a certification issued by Alejandro Tiongson. Sometime in November
1985, the Venturas demanded the issuance certificate of title but the Tiongsons refused
to do so.

Spouses David claimed that, as agreed by the parties, the P15,000.00 purchase
price would be paid as follows: 3800 as downpayment and a monthly amortization of
365 starting on March 8, 1983, until fully paid. By October 31, 1985, as evidenced by
the receipts issued by Alejandro Tiongson, the Davids paid a total of P15,050.00. The
Davids demanded the execution of a deed of sale and the issuance of a certificate of
title on the first week of November 1985 but the Tiongsons also refused. Unlike the
Venturas, they were not able to take possession of the land.

Florencia Ventura Vda. De Basco bought two parcels of land and had paid
P12,945.00 as of February 6, 1984 for the two lots, evidenced by the receipts issued by
Alejandro Tiongson. She demanded the execution of the deeds of sale and issuance of
the corresponding certificate of title over the lots but the respondents were not able to
comply with the said obligation.

The plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando,
Pampanga for specific performance with damages. The Tiongsons were declared at
default for failure to file their answer, despite the fifteen days extension given by the
trial court. The Trial court made the decision that the respondents should execute the
deeds of sale and issue the certificate of title to the plaintiffs and pay P15,000.00 as
moral damages to the plaintiffs.

The Tiongsons then appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals alleging that
the plaintiffs are not yet fully paid. For this reason, they did not issue the deeds of sale
and the certificates of title. The Court of Appeals modified the decision of the Trial
Court. It held that there were no perfected contracts of sale entered into by the Davids
and Florencia Vda. de Basco with respondents. There was no agreement in the price as
well as the manner and time of payment thus there was no meeting in the minds
regarding the price. David and Basco filed a motion for reconsideration but it was


The issues in this case are (1) whether there was an agreed purchase price
agreed by the Davids and the Tiongsons, and (2) whether the lots purchased by Basco
was determinate.


In the issue regarding that of the Davids, there was indeed an agreed purchase
price but it was unknown if it was a total of P15,000.00 alleged by the Davids or 120
per square meter as claimed by the respondents. Nevertheless, the sellers could not
render invalid a perfected contract of sale by merely contradicting the buyers allegation
regarding the price, and subsequently raising the lack of agreement as to the price. As
to the case of Basco, the lots purchased here was determinate since it was adequately
described in the receipts or at least easily determinable. The Supreme Court reversed
and set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals. They rendered judgment ordering
the Tiongsons to execute the deeds of sale to the 300 square metere lot sold to the
Davids, as well as the 109 square meters lot sold to Basco. With respect to the 60
square meters lot purchased by Basco, Tiongson is ordered to segregate the lot and
execute a deed of sale thereafter and the issuance of the certificate of title. The court
also deleted the award for moral damages for lack of basis.


Article 1460 provides the following:
Art. 1460. A thing is determinate when it is particularly designated or physical
segregated from all others of the same class. The requisite that a thing be determinate
is satisfied if at the time the contract is entered into, the thing is capable of being made
determinate without the necessity of a new or further agreement between the parties.

Also, Article 1469 further provides that in order that the price may be considered
certain, it shall be sufficient that it be so with reference to another thing certain, or that
the determination thereof be left to the judgment of a special person or persons.
Should such person or persons be unable or unwilling to fix it, the contract shall be
inefficacious, unless the parties subsequently agree upon the price. If the third person
or persons acted in bad faith or by mistake, the courts may fix the price. Where such
third person or persons are prevented from fixing the price or terms by fault of the
seller or the buyer, the party not in fault may have such remedies against the party in
fault as are allowed the seller or the buyer, as the case may be.