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146.

ANTIPOLO REALTY v NHA


FACTS:
Jose Fernando executed a Contract to Sell with petitioner Antipolo Realty Corporation over a lot at
Ponderosa Heights Subdivision in Antipolo Rizal. He transferred his rights over the lot to private respondent
Virgilio Yuson. Thereafter, Yuson assumed the obligations of the vendee under the original contract, including
payment of Fernandos installments in arrears. However, due to the failure of ARC to develop the subdivision
project as stipulated under Clause 17 of the contract, Yuson paid only the arrears for the month of August 1972
and stopped paying thereafter. Despite the notice sent by ARC and its citing of an NHA decision both claiming
that it had complied with its obligation to complete the improvements, Yuson refused to pay the Sept 1972-Oct
1976 monthly installments, but agreed as to the post Oct 1976 installments. ARC reacted by rescinding the
contract, and claiming the forfeiture of all installment payments made by Yuson. Aggrieved, Yuson brought the
matter to the NHA. The latter ordered the reinstatement of the contract. Motion for reconsideration was denied.
On certiorari before the SC, petitioner cries lack of jurisdiction on the part of NHA and likewise, notice as to the
schedule of the hearing. A minute resolution was issued, affirming NHA, but without prejudice to pursuing an
administrative remedy. ARC then appealed the case to the Office of the Presiden. Again, the contract was
upheld. Back to the SC, ARC now claims that the NHA had not only acted on matter outside its
competence/jurisdiction, but had also, in effect, assumed the performance of judicial or quasi-judicial functions
which it wasnt authorized to perform.
ISSUE W/N the NHA has quasi-judicial functions.
HELD YES, it has. As a matter of fact, Sec3 of PD No. 957, or The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers
Decree vests the NHA with exclusive jurisdiction to regulate real estate trade and business. In its 2nd and 3rd
preambular paragraphs, the statute discussed the need and scope for NHAs regulatory authority, that is, the
rise of cases where subdivision owners/developers/sellers renege on their obligations to lot buyers, and other
fraudulent means employed by the former to the detriment of the latter. Most importantly, PD No. 1344
provides that the NHA has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of the following nature: (a) unsound
real estate business practices; (b) claims involving refund and any other claims filed by sub- division lot or
condominium unit buyer against the project owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesma, and (c) Cases
involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lots or
condominium units against the owner, developer, dealer, broker or salesman. NHAs ruling which reinstated the
contract is justified under the provisions of Sec 23 of PD No. 957, which provides that no installment payment
shall be forfeited in favor of the owner/developer WHEN the buyer desists from paying DUE TO the failure of
owner/developer to develop the subdivision or condominium project according to the approved plans and
within the time limit for complying with the same. Having failed its obligation to complete certain specified
improvements within the period of 2 years, petitioner is NOT entitiled to exercise its options under Clause 7 of
the contract (rescind and treat payments as forfeited in its favor). Instead, in the light of ARCs breach with
Yuson, it is the latter who has the option either to rescind and receive reimbursement OR to suspend payment
until petitioner has complied. Thus, NHA was correct in its ruling.

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