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Title II.

Art. 1305. A contract is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby
one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give something or to render
some service. (1254a)
Art. 1306. The contracting parties may establish such stipulations, clauses,
terms and conditions as they may deem convenient, provided they are not
contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. (1255a)
Art. 1307. Innominate contracts shall be regulated by the stipulations of the
parties, by the provisions of Titles I and II of this Book, by the rules governing
the most analogous nominate contracts, and by the customs of the place. (n)
Art. 1308. The contract must bind both contracting parties; its validity or
compliance cannot be left to the will of one of them. (1256a)
Art. 1309. The determination of the performance may be left to a third
person, whose decision shall not be binding until it has been made known to
both contracting parties. (n)
Art. 1310. The determination shall not be obligatory if it is evidently
inequitable. In such case, the courts shall decide what is equitable under the
circumstances. (n)
Art. 1311. Contracts take effect only between the parties, their assigns and
heirs, except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the
contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by
provision of law. The heir is not liable beyond the value of the property he
received from the decedent.
If a contract should contain some stipulation in favor of a third person, he
may demand its fulfillment provided he communicated his acceptance to the
obligor before its revocation. A mere incidental benefit or interest of a person
is not sufficient. The contracting parties must have clearly and deliberately
conferred a favor upon a third person. (1257a)
Art. 1312. In contracts creating real rights, third persons who come into
possession of the object of the contract are bound thereby, subject to the

provisions of the Mortgage Law and the Land Registration Laws. (n)
Art. 1313. Creditors are protected in cases of contracts intended to defraud
them. (n)
Art. 1314. Any third person who induces another to violate his contract shall
be liable for damages to the other contracting party. (n)
Art. 1315. 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. (1258)
Art. 1316. Real contracts, such as deposit, pledge and Commodatum, are not
perfected until the delivery of the object of the obligation. (n)
Art. 1317. No one may contract in the name of another without being
authorized by the latter, or unless he has by law a right to represent him.
A contract entered into in the name of another by one who has no authority
or legal representation, or who has acted beyond his powers, shall be
unenforceable, unless it is ratified, expressly or impliedly, by the person on
whose behalf it has been executed, before it is revoked by the other
contracting party. (1259a)

Art. 1318. There is no contract unless the following requisites concur:
(1) Consent of the contracting parties;
(2) Object certain which is the subject matter of the contract;
(3) Cause of the obligation which is established. (1261)
SECTION 1. - Consent
Art. 1319. Consent is manifested by the meeting of the offer and the
acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the
contract. The offer must be certain and the acceptance absolute. A qualified

acceptance constitutes a counter-offer.

Acceptance made by letter or telegram does not bind the offerer except from
the time it came to his knowledge. The contract, in such a case, is presumed
to have been entered into in the place where the offer was made. (1262a)
Art. 1320. An acceptance may be express or implied. (n)
Art. 1321. The person making the offer may fix the time, place, and manner
of acceptance, all of which must be complied with. (n)
Art. 1322. An offer made through an agent is accepted from the time
acceptance is communicated to him. (n)
Art. 1323. An offer becomes ineffective upon the death, civil interdiction,
insanity, or insolvency of either party before acceptance is conveyed. (n)
Art. 1324. When the offerer has allowed the offeree a certain period to
accept, the offer may be withdrawn at any time before acceptance by
communicating such withdrawal, except when the option is founded upon a
consideration, as something paid or promised. (n)
Art. 1325. Unless it appears otherwise, business advertisements of things for
sale are not definite offers, but mere invitations to make an offer. (n)
Art. 1326. Advertisements for bidders are simply invitations to make
proposals, and the advertiser is not bound to accept the highest or lowest
bidder, unless the contrary appears. (n)
Art. 1327. The following cannot give consent to a contract:
(1) Unemancipated minors;
(2) Insane or demented persons, and deaf-mutes who do not know how to
write. (1263a)
Art. 1328. Contracts entered into during a lucid interval are valid. Contracts
agreed to in a state of drunkenness or during a hypnotic spell are voidable.
Art. 1329. The incapacity declared in Article 1327 is subject to the
modifications determined by law, and is understood to be without prejudice
to special disqualifications established in the laws. (1264)

Art. 1330. A contract where consent is given through mistake, violence,

intimidation, undue influence, or fraud is voidable. (1265a)
Art. 1331. In order that mistake may invalidate consent, it should refer to the
substance of the thing which is the object of the contract, or to those
conditions which have principally moved one or both parties to enter into the
Mistake as to the identity or qualifications of one of the parties will vitiate
consent only when such identity or qualifications have been the principal
cause of the contract.
A simple mistake of account shall give rise to its correction. (1266a)
Art. 1332. When one of the parties is unable to read, or if the contract is in a
language not understood by him, and mistake or fraud is alleged, the person
enforcing the contract must show that the terms thereof have been fully
explained to the former. (n)
Art. 1333. There is no mistake if the party alleging it knew the doubt,
contingency or risk affecting the object of the contract. (n)
Art. 1334. Mutual error as to the legal effect of an agreement when the real
purpose of the parties is frustrated, may vitiate consent. (n)
Art. 1335. There is violence when in order to wrest consent, serious or
irresistible force is employed.
There is intimidation when one of the contracting parties is compelled by a
reasonable and well-grounded fear of an imminent and grave evil upon his
person or property, or upon the person or property of his spouse,
descendants or ascendants, to give his consent.
To determine the degree of intimidation, the age, sex and condition of the
person shall be borne in mind.
A threat to enforce one's claim through competent authority, if the claim is
just or legal, does not vitiate consent. (1267a)
Art. 1336. Violence or intimidation shall annul the obligation, although it may
have been employed by a third person who did not take part in the contract.

Art. 1337. There is undue influence when a person takes improper advantage
of his power over the will of another, depriving the latter of a reasonable
freedom of choice. The following circumstances shall be considered: the
confidential, family, spiritual and other relations between the parties, or the
fact that the person alleged to have been unduly influenced was suffering
from mental weakness, or was ignorant or in financial distress. (n)
Art. 1338. There is fraud when, through insidious words or machinations of
one of the contracting parties, the other is induced to enter into a contract
which, without them, he would not have agreed to. (1269)
Art. 1339. Failure to disclose facts, when there is a duty to reveal them, as
when the parties are bound by confidential relations, constitutes fraud. (n)
Art. 1340. The usual exaggerations in trade, when the other party had an
opportunity to know the facts, are not in themselves fraudulent. (n)
Art. 1341. A mere expression of an opinion does not signify fraud, unless
made by an expert and the other party has relied on the former's special
knowledge. (n)
Art. 1342. Misrepresentation by a third person does not vitiate consent,
unless such misrepresentation has created substantial mistake and the same
is mutual. (n)
Art. 1343. Misrepresentation made in good faith is not fraudulent but may
constitute error. (n)
Art. 1344. In order that fraud may make a contract voidable, it should be
serious and should not have been employed by both contracting parties.
Incidental fraud only obliges the person employing it to pay damages. (1270)
Art. 1345. Simulation of a contract may be absolute or relative. The former
takes place when the parties do not intend to be bound at all; the latter,
when the parties conceal their true agreement. (n)
Art. 1346. An absolutely simulated or fictitious contract is void. A relative
simulation, when it does not prejudice a third person and is not intended for
any purpose contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public

policy binds the parties to their real agreement. (n)

SECTION 2. - Object of Contracts
Art. 1347. All things which are not outside the commerce of men, including
future things, may be the object of a contract. All rights which are not
intransmissible may also be the object of contracts.
No contract may be entered into upon future inheritance except in cases
expressly authorized by law.
All services which are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order
or public policy may likewise be the object of a contract. (1271a)
Art. 1348. Impossible things or services cannot be the object of contracts.
Art. 1349. The object of every contract must be determinate as to its kind.
The fact that the quantity is not determinate shall not be an obstacle to the
existence of the contract, provided it is possible to determine the same,
without the need of a new contract between the parties. (1273)
SECTION 3. - Cause of Contracts
Art. 1350. In onerous contracts the cause is understood to be, for each
contracting party, the prestation or promise of a thing or service by the
other; in remuneratory ones, the service or benefit which is remunerated;
and in contracts of pure beneficence, the mere liberality of the benefactor.
Art. 1351. The particular motives of the parties in entering into a contract are
different from the cause thereof. (n)
Art. 1352. Contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause, produce no effect
whatever. The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law, morals, good customs,
public order or public policy. (1275a)
Art. 1353. The statement of a false cause in contracts shall render them void,
if it should not be proved that they were founded upon another cause which
is true and lawful. (1276)
Art. 1354. Although the cause is not stated in the contract, it is presumed

that it exists and is lawful, unless the debtor proves the contrary. (1277)
Art. 1355. Except in cases specified by law, lesion or inadequacy of cause
shall not invalidate a contract, unless there has been fraud, mistake or undue
influence. (n)

Valid Contracts - if a contract has all of the required elements, it is

valid and enforceable in a court of law.

Void Contracts - has no effect in a court of law and cannot be

enforced in a court of law. Most commonly, a void contract will be
missing one or all of the essential elements needed for a valid

Unenforceable Contracts - a contract which cannot be enforced in a

court of law. This could happen because the terms of the contract are
ambiguous, if one party has a voidable contract or if the Statute of
Limitations has expired.

Rescissible Contract - a contract that can be cancelled/terminated due to

fraud, mistake or illegality

Remediable Contract - a contract near its termination that can be

remedied by the defaulting party

Simulated Contract - a contract that does not bound the parties involved
or conceals a true agreement

G.R. No. 165679

Time and again, we have held that in a petition for review on certiorari
filed under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, we cannot review or pass upon
factual matters, save under exceptional circumstances, none of which
obtains in the present case.Petitioner endeavors in vain to convince us
that the trial court and the Court of Appealserred in finding him negligent
in the construction of respondents house and holding him liable for breach
of contract.

This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of

Court seeking to reverse and set aside the April 29, 2004 Decision of the
Court Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 70757, which affirmed the December 21,
2000 Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 157, Pasig City, in an
action for breach of contract with damages filed by respondent against
For respondent and her family, April 18, 1998 was supposed to be a
special occasion and a time for family reunion.It was the wedding date of
her sister Sally Guce, and respondents other siblings from the United
States of America, as well as her mother, were expected to return to the
country.The wedding ceremony was set to be held at the familys ancestral
house at San Vicente, Banay-banay, Lipa City, where respondents
relatives planned to stay while in the Philippines.
Respondent found the occasion an opportune time to renovate their
ancestral house.Thus, in January 1998 she entered into a Construction
Contract with petitioner for the demolition of the ancestral house and the
construction of a new four-bedroom residential house.The parties agreed
that respondent would pay P500,000.00 to the petitioner, who obliged
himself to furnish all the necessary materials and labor for the completion
of the project. Petitioner likewise undertook to finish all interior portions of
the house on or before March 31, 1998, or more than two weeks before
Sallys wedding.
On April 18, 1998, however, the house remained unfinished. The wedding
ceremony was thus held at the Club Victorina and respondents relatives
were forced to stay in a hotel. Her mother lived with her children,
transferring from one place to another.
On July 27, 1998, respondent filed a Complaint for breach of contract and
damages against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City.
She alleged, among others, that petitioner started the project without
securing the necessary permit from the City Engineers Office of Lipa City.
Respondent likewise alleged that, all in all, she gave petitioner
P550,000.00 (which is P50,000.00 more than the contract price).
However, and despite knowledge that the construction of the house was
intended for the forthcoming marriage of respondents sister, petitioner
unjustly and fraudulently abandoned the project leaving it substantially
unfinished and incomplete. Several demands were made, but petitioner
obstinately refused to make good his contractual obligations. Worse,
petitioners workmanship on the incomplete residential house was

Respondent prayed for the return of the P50,000.00 overpayment.She

also prayed for an award of P100,000.00 for the purpose of repairing what
had been poorly constructed and at least P200,000.00 to complete the
In his Answer with Counterclaim, petitioner asserted that it was
respondent who undertook to secure the necessary government
permits.With regard to the alleged overpayment, petitioner claimed that
the amount of P50,000.00 was in payment for the additional works which
respondent requested while the construction was still on going. In fact,
the estimated cost for the additional works amounted to P133,960.00,
over and above the P500,000.00 contract price.
Petitioner likewise alleged that the delay in the construction of the house
was due to circumstances beyond his control, namely: heavy rains,
observance of Holy Week, and celebration of barangay fiesta. Ultimately,
he was not able to complete the project because on May 27, 1998,
respondent went to his house and told him to stop the work.
He maintained that he cannot be held liable for the amounts claimed by
the respondent in her complaint considering that he had faithfully
complied with the
terms and conditions of the Construction Contract.
On February 19, 1999, pre-trial conference was conducted. Thereafter,
trial ensued.
Respondent testified on the material points alleged in her complaint. She
also presented the testimony of her brother Romeo Guce, who declared
on the witness stand that petitioner confided to him that he had to stop
the construction because he could no longer pay his workers. He also
testified that petitioner asked for additional amount of about P20,000.00
to finish the house. He relayed this to the respondent who refused to
release any additional amount because of petitioners unsatisfactory and
substandard work. But later on, respondent acceded and gave petitioner
To establish the status of the project and determine the amount necessary
for the repair and completion of the house, respondent presented Romeo
Dela Cruz, a licensed realtor and a graduate of an engineering course at
the Technological Institute of the Philippines. Dela Cruz testified that he
conducted an ocular inspection on the construction site in November
1998 and found that only about 60% of the project had been
accomplished. Some parts of the project, according to the witness, were
even poorly done. He likewise testified that in order to repair the poorly

constructed portion of the house, respondent would need to spend about

P100,000.00 and another P200,000.00 to complete it.
Petitioner also took the witness stand and testified on matters relative to
the defenses he raised in his answer.
On December 21, 2000, the RTC rendered a Decision in favor of the
respondent and against the petitioner. The RTC gave more credence to
respondents version of the facts, finding thatConsequently, the fallo of the RTC decision reads:
Both parties were unsatisfied. They thus brought the matter to the Court
of Appeals assailing the Decision of the RTC. The appellate court,
however, found no cogent reason to depart from the trial courts
conclusion. Thus, on April 29, 2004, it rendered the herein assailed
Decision affirming with modification the RTCs ruling, viz:
Feeling aggrieved but still undeterred, petitioner interposes the present
recourse anchored on the following grounds:
For purposes of clarity, we shall tackle simultaneously the second and
third arguments raised by the petitioner.
Instant petition not available to determine whether petitioner violated the
contract or abandoned the construction of the house
Petitioner contends that he neither abandoned the project nor violated the
contract..He maintains that continuous rains caused the delay in the
construction of the house and that he was not able to finish the project
because respondent ordered him to stop the work.In fact, there was no
reason for him to stop the project because he still had available workers
and materials at that time, as well as collectibles from the respondent.
Petitioner likewise contends that the Court of Appeals erred in upholding
the trial courts finding that he was guilty of negligence.
The contentions lack merit.
Petitioner endeavors to convince us to determine, yet again, the weight,
credence, and probative value of the evidence presented.This cannot be
done in this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of

Court where only questions of law may be raised by the parties and
passed upon by us.In Fong v. Velayo,[17] we defined a question of law as
distinguished from a question of fact, viz:
It has already been held that the determination of the existence of a
breach of contract is a factual matter not usually reviewable in a petition
filed under Rule 45.[18]We will not review, much less reverse, the factual
findings of the Court of Appeals especially where, as in this case, such
findings coincide with those of the trial court, since we are not a trier of
facts.[19]The established rule is that the factual findings of the Court of
Appeals affirming those of the RTC are conclusive and binding on us.We
are not wont to review them, save under exceptional circumstances as:
(1) when the inference made is manifestly mistaken, absurd or
impossible; (2) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (3) when the
findings are grounded entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures;
(4) when the judgment of the Court of Appeals is based on
misapprehension of facts; (5) when the Court of Appeals, in making its
findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to
the admissions of both appellant and appellee; (6) when the findings of
fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they
are based; (7) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain
relevant facts not disputed by the parties and which, if properly
considered, would justify a different conclusion; and (8) when the findings
of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of evidence
and are contradicted by the evidence on record.[20]
Except with respect to the first ground advanced by the petitioner which
will be discussed later, none of the above exceptions obtain in this
case.Hence, we find no cogent reason to disturb the findings of the RTC
and affirmed by the Court of Appeals that petitioner was negligent in the
construction of respondents house and thus liable for breach of contract.
Respondent not entitled to actual damages for want of evidentiary proof
Petitioner further argues that the appellate court erred in affirming the
RTCs award of actual damages for want of evidentiary foundation.He
maintains that actual damages must be proved with reasonable degree of
certainty.In the case at bench, petitioner argues that the trial and the
appellate courts awarded the amounts of P100,000.00 and P200,000.00
as actual damages based merely on the testimonies of respondent and
her witness.
We agree.Article 2199 of the Civil Code provides that one is entitled to an
adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as
he has duly proved.

In Ong v. Court of Appeals,[21] we held that (a)ctual damages are such

compensation or damages for an injury that will put the injured party in
the position in which he had been before he was injured.They pertain to
such injuries or losses that are actually sustained and susceptible of
measurement.To be recoverable, actual damages must not only be
capable of proof, but must actually be proved with reasonable degree of
certainty.We cannot simply rely on speculation, conjecture or guesswork
in determining the amount of damages.Thus, it was held that before
actual damages can be awarded, there must be competent proof of the
actual amount of loss, and credence can be given only to claims which are
duly supported by receipts.[22]
Here, as correctly pointed out by petitioner, respondent did not present
documentary proof to support the claimed necessary expenses for the
repair and completion of the house.In awarding the amounts of
P100,000.00 and P200,000.00, the RTC and the Court of Appeals merely
relied on the testimonies of the respondent and her witness.Thus:
Respondent entitled to temperate damages in lieu of actual damages
Nonetheless, in the absence of competent proof on the amount of actual
damages suffered, a party is entitled to temperate damages.Articles
2216, 2224 and 2225 of the Civil Code provide:
Temperate or moderate damages may be recovered when some pecuniary
loss has been suffered but its amount cannot, from the nature of the case,
be proved with certainty.[23]The amount thereof is usually left to the
discretion of the courts but the same should be reasonable, bearing in
mind that temperate damages should be more than nominal but less than
There is no doubt that respondent sustained damages due to the breach
committed by the petitioner.The transfer of the venue of the wedding, the
repair of the substandard work, and the completion of the house
necessarily entailed expenses.However, as earlier discussed, respondent
failed to present competent proof of the exact amount of such pecuniary
loss.To our mind, and in view of the circumstances obtaining in this case,
an award of temperate damages equivalent to 20% of the original
contract price of P500,000.00, or P100,000.00 (which, incidentally, is
equivalent to 1/3 of the total amount claimed as actual damages), is just
and reasonable.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The Decision
of the Court of Appeals dated April 29, 2004 in CA-G.R. CV No. 70757 is
AFFIRMEDwithMODIFICATION that the award of actual damages is

deleted and, in lieu thereof, petitioner is ordered to pay respondent

temperate damages in the amount of P100,000.00.