by Floperl Abiog

JOAQUIN IBAÑEZ DE ALDECOA Y PALET ET AL. v. HONGKONG, GR No. 6889, 1915-03-23

Facts:

This action was commenced in October, 1908, by Joaquin Ibanez de Aldecoa and Zoilo Ibañez de Aldecoa to cancel a certain instrument of mortgage executed by them, jointly with Aldecoa & Co. and Isabel Palet

This action was commenced in October, 1908, by Joaquin Ibanez de Aldecoa and Zoilo Ibañez de Aldecoa to cancel a certain instrument of mortgage executed by them, jointly with Aldecoa & Co. and Isabel Palet,... By this... mortgage various properties of Aldecoa & Co., of Isabel Palet, and of the plaintiffs were hypothecated to secure the payment unto the bank of an overdraft of Aldecoa & Co., amounting to P475,000.

By this... mortgage various properties of Aldecoa & Co., of Isabel Palet, and of the plaintiffs were hypothecated to secure the payment unto the bank of an overdraft of Aldecoa & Co., amounting to P475,000

Joaquin Ibañez de Aldecoa and Zoilo Ibañez de Aldecoa, were born in the  Philippine Islands... respectively, the legitimate children of Zoilo Ibañez de Aldecoa and Isabel Palet. Both parents were natives of Spain.

After the death of the father, the firm of Aldecoa & Co., of which he had been a member, was reorganized, and his widow became one of the general, or "capitalistic," partners of the firm.

Isabel Palet, the mother of the plaintiffs, who were then over the age of 18 years... went before a notary public and executed two instruments (Exhibits D and E) wherein and whereby she emancipated her two sons... with their consent.

the firm of Aldecoa & Co. was heavily indebted to the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank, and the latter was desirous of collecting or securing the payment of this indebtedness.

It was finally proposed that Isabel Palet and her two sons, the plaintiffs, should mortgage, in addition to certain securities of Aldecoa & Co.,... certain of their real properties as security for the obligations of Aldecoa & Co. So, on February 23, 1906, the mortgage, which is the subject matter of the present action, was executed.

the firm of Aldecoa & Co. expired by limitation of the... partnership term, and the firm went into liquidation.

An agreement to this effect was executed by Isabel Palet, by the  plaintiff Joaquin Ibañez de Aldecoa, who had then attained his... full majority, and by Zoilo Ibañez de Aldecoa, who was not yet 23 years of age. Subsequent thereto, and in 1908, the plaintiffs commenced an action against their mother, Isabel Palet, and Aldecoa & Co., in which the bank was not a party

Issues:

whether Dona Isabel Palet could legally emancipate the plaintiffs under the law in force in this country in July, 1903, and thus confer upon them capacity to execute a valid mortgage on their real property with her consent... whether Dona Isabel Palet could legally emancipate the plaintiffs under the law in force in this country in July, 1903, and thus confer upon them capacity to execute a valid mortgage on their real property with her consent.

Ruling:

Under the Civil Code parents had general control over the persons of their children and also over their property. The following articles of the Civil Code illustrate the extent of the parental authority over the property of their minor children... the income or usufruct of property inherited by the child or bequeathed to it belonged to the parent unless the child had been formally emancipated or lived apart from his parent with the latter's consent. (Art. 160.) True it is that the law prevented the... alienation or incumbrance of real property of the child without permission of the court (Civil  Code, art. 164; Mortgage Law, art. 205) and required the parent to give security, binding himself or herself to comply with the obligations imposed upon usufructuaries in case... the parent contracted a second marriage. (Civil Code, art. 492;  Mort. Law, art. 200.) But restrictions such as these did not make a parent a guardian.

There was, however, no conflict between the patria potestad and guardianship under the Civil Code. This was for the reason, as stated above, that the law of guardianship expressly excluded the patria potestad from its operation. But in the enactment of the present... code of procedure, no attempt was made, in dealing with the subject of guardianship, to exclude the patria potestad from the operation of the law of guardianship.

the law of guardianship in California extended to and included minor children whose... parents were still living. It was this law which was incorporated into the new code of procedure, and the  Philippine Commission inserted no exception saving the institution of patria potestad  from its operation.

The new law of guardianship, as contained in the

Code of Civil Procedure, was enacted without reference to the preexisting law relating to in... capacitated persons. It was borrowed almost verbatim, and certainly in all substantial particulars, from the statute of California, where the Spanish patria potestad was unknown.

It must be taken as the intent of the legislature that the practical application of those provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure relating to guardianship should conform in the main with the  practice under the same statute in

California. It is obligatory upon the judicial department to follow the intent of the legislative branch of the Government in the application of laws.

The provisions of the new code of procedure on guardianship being applicable to minor children whose parents or one of them are still living, it is clear that those articles of the Civil  Code relating to emancipation of minors by their parents are also, partially at least,... repealed.

By reference to these articles (314-319), it will be noted that by emancipating his child the parent surrenders to it the right to the usufruct and administration of his property.

Not having the right in the first place, and, hence, no authority to concede it to his child, the formal emancipation of a minor child by... the parent cannot now have the effect prescribed in articles 314-319 of the Civil Code.

we deem it necessary, before proceeding further, to say that there are some provisions of the patria... potestad which are not necessarily in conflict with the new code of procedure. Parents are  never deprived of the custody and care of their children except for cause.

But so far as the property of such children is concerned, the rights of the parent must be subordinated to the efficient working of the new law of guardianship.

Principles: