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Robles v Lizarraga Hermanos


The Petitioner (Robles) filed an action against defendant Lizarraga Hermanos, a mercantile partnership
for the purpose of recovering compensation for improvements made by the petitioner upon the
hacienda "Nahalinan" and the value of implements and farming equipment supplied to the hacienda by
the petitioner, as well as damages for breach of contract. Upon hearing the cause the trial court gave
judgment for the plaintiff to recover of the defendant the sum of P14,194.42, with costs. From this
judgment the defendant appealed.


Whether the petitioner is allowed to recover the value of the improvements.


The Deed of Conveyance refers to the transfer to the defendant of interests on certain properties. IT
does not contemplate about the rights in the hacienda which the petitioner acquired by lease or of the
things that he had as improvements or had acquired by purchase. The verbal contract is clearly
independent of the main contract of conveyance.

The trial court found that the personal property, consisting of farming implements and other movables
placed on the farm by the plaintiff, have been utilized by the defendant in the cultivation of the
hacienda, and that the defendant is benefiting by those things.

The SC ruled that the contract only means that defendant would take over the movables and the
improvements at an appraised valuation, and the defendant obligated itself to promote the appraisal in
good faith. As the defendant partially frustrated the appraisal, it violated a term of the contract and
made itself liable for the true value of the things contracted, as such value may be established in the
usual course of proof. Furthermore, it must occur to any one, as the trial judge pointed out, that an
unjust enrichment of the defendant would result from allowing it to appropriate the movables without
compensating the petitioner thereof.