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Case No. 82 LAURO IMMACULATA VS. HON. PEDRO C.

NAVARRO
G.R. No. L- 42230
April 15, 1988

FACTS:

On March 24, 1975, petitioner Lauro Immaculata, represented by his wife


Amparo Velasco as guardian ad litem filed in the CFI of Rizal a complaint, for
annulment of judgment and deed of sale with reconveyance of real property,
against private respondents herein and respondent sheriff.

The complaint alleged that on or about December, 1969 Juanito Victoria with the
cooperation of defendant Juanita Naval, and others succeeded in causing
plaintiff Lauro Immaculata, petitioner herein, to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale
in favor of Juanito Victoria, by unduly taking advantage of the mental illness
and/or weakness of petitioner and thru deceit and fraudulent means, purportedly
disposed of by way of absolute sale, a 5,000-square meter parcel of land
covered by a TCT, for the sum of P 58k, which petitioner supposedly received,
but in truth and in fact did not; that although it was made to appear that petitioner
voluntarily and freely appeared before the Notary Public on January 13, 1970,
petitioner, then already suffering from chronic mental illness, could not possibly
appear before the said Notary Public; and that said Deed of Sale was not freely
and voluntarily executed by petitioner, and the same was absolutely fictitious and
simulated, and, consequently, null and void;

that based on said fictitious and simulated sale, an action for specific
performance was filed by Juanito Victoria, during his lifetime, against petitioner
herein before the respondent Court to compel petitioner to execute a document
registerable with the Register of Deeds of Rizal in order that Juanito Victoria may
be able to obtain title over the property; that no proper and valid service of
summons was ever made upon the petitioner, and thus, notwithstanding, the
latter was declared in default and judgment by default was rendered against him;
that said judgment by default was null and void, having been rendered against a
person who is/was admittedly insane and over whose person, the respondent
court did not validly acquire jurisdiction; that the judgment by default was not
properly served upon the petitioner and/or the supposed guardian ad litem, and
this, notwithstanding, Juanito Victoria, thru counsel, succeeded in securing the
issuance of a writ of execution to enforce the judgment by default rendered by
the respondent Court against the petitioner; that Juanito Victoria, alleging that the
herein petitioner failed to comply with the alleged writ of execution, prayed before
the respondent Court that the respondent Sheriff be directed to execute the
necessary deed of conveyance in favor of Juanito Victoria and thus
consequently, without the knowledge and consent of petitioner, a new TCT was
issued in favor of Victoria; that, in the alternative, petitioner prays that he be
allowed to repurchase the property within five (5) years from the time judgment is
rendered by the respondent court upholding the validity of the proceedings and
the sale since the land in question was originally covered by a Free Patent title;
and finally, petitioner prays for actual and moral damages as well as exemplary
damages, attorney's fees, expenses of litigation and costs of suit.

Private respondents moved for the complaints dismissal. Respondent Court


dismissed the complaint on the ground of res judicata. Petitioner filed an MR on
the ground that res judicata is not applicable when the main cause of action is to
annul the very judgment. However, the respondent court denied the MR.

ISSUE:

WON consignation is required when an offer to redeem is made within the


legal redemption period?

HELD:

The reconsideration of this issue is hereby GRANTED.


While res judicata may bar questions on the validity of the sale in view of alleged
insanity and intimidation (and this point is no longer pressed by counsel for the
petitioner) still the question of the right of legal redemption has remained
unresolved.

Be it noted that in an action (Civil Case No. 20968) filed on March 24, 1975
before the defunct Court of First Instance of Rizal, petitioner presented an
alternative cause of action or prayer just in case the validity of the sale would be
sustained. And this alternative cause of action or prayer is to allow petitioner to
legally redeem the property.
We hereby grant said alternative cause of action or prayer. While the sale was
originally executed sometime in December, 1969, it was only on February 3,
1974 when, as prayed for 1 by private respondent, and as ordered by the court a
quo, a "deed of conveyance" was formally executed. Since offer to redeem was
made on March 24, 1975, this was clearly within the five-year period of legal
redemption allowed by the Public Land Act

The allegation that the offer to redeem was not sincere, because there was no
consignation of the amount in Court is devoid of merit. The right to redeem is a
RIGHT, not an obligation, therefore, there is no consignation required (De Jesus
v. Garcia, C.A. 47 O.G. 2406; Resales v. Reyes, 25 Phil. 495, Vda. de Quirino v.
Palarca, L-28269, Aug. 16, 1969) to preserve the right to redeem (Villegas v.
Capistrano, 9 Phil. 416).
The case is remanded to the court a quo for it to accept payment or consignation
2 (in connection with the legal redemption which We are hereby allowing the
petitioner to do) by the herein petitioner of whatever he received from respondent
at the time the transaction was made.

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