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[MONTE DE PIEDAD Y CAJA DE AHORROS DE MANILA v. JOSE FERNANDO RODRIGO](https://lawyerly.ph/juris/view/c1bad?user=fbGU2WFpmaitMVEVGZ2lBVW5xZ2RVdz09)
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63 Phil. 312

[ G. R. No. 42928, August 18, 1936 ]

MONTE DE PIEDAD Y CAJA DE AHORROS DE MANILA, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT, VS. JOSE FERNANDO RODRIGO, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.

D E C I S I O N

VILLA-REAL, J.:

These are two appeals, one taken by the  plaintiff company Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Manila and the other by the defendant  Jose Fernando Rodrigo, from the order of the Court of First Instance of Manila of September 20, 1934, denying the motion of the former praying for the issuance of an alias  writ of execution in its favor or in favor of the spouses Luis  Izquierdo and Conception Cabigao, its alleged assignees; and that of the latter praying that the said Monte de Piedad y Caja de  Ahorros  de Manila be ordered to return to  said defendant Jose Fernando Rodrigo  the sum of P6,000, with interest thereon, which said defendant  alleges to have paid in excess to said plaintiff company.

In support of its appeal, the appellant Monte de Piedad y  Caja de Ahorros de Manila assigns the following alleged errors as committed by the  court a quo in its said order, to wit:
  1. The court a quo erred  in declaring that the plaintiff Monte de Piedad considered its credit fully  paid when it received the seven thousand pesos and released the third and last mortgaged  property.

  2. The court a quo likewise erred in not  holding that the defendant Rodrigo continued  to be under obligation to pay to the plaintiff or to the assignees thereof  the unpaid balance of his mortgage debt declared in a final judgment.

  3. The court a quo likewise erred  in not granting the motion of the plaintiff and its assignees for the issuance of an alias  writ of execution for the unpaid balance  of the mortgage debt  in question."
The appellant Jose Fernando Rodrigo, in  turn, assigns the following alleged errors as  committed  by the court a  quo in its said judgment,  to wit:
  1. The lower court erred in  declaring that said appellant did not erroneously make any undue payment.

  2. The lower court erred in believing that the indivisibility of the mortgage erases the independence of the joint obligation.

  3. The lower  court erred  in not ordering the  Monte de Piedad y Caja  de  Ahorros de Manila to return to said defendant-appellant the sum of P6,000 paid by him in excess."
The pertinent facts necessary for the resolution of the questions raised by the parties in  their respective briefs, are as follows:

Juana Gatmaitan had obtained a loan of  P15,000  from the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros  de  Manila.  To secure the performance of her obligation she mortgaged to said company all her participation in the real properties described in certificate of title No. 22559 issued in her favor and of Juana M. Torres.   The latter, as coowner, in  turn, constituted in the same deed a mortgage on all  her  right and participation in the real properties described in said certificate  of title.  Inasmuch  as  Juana  Gatmaitan had transferred all  her  rights, interest and  participation in the properties described in said certificate of  title to the defendant-appellant  Jose  Fernando  Rodrigo,  the  latter assumed Juana Gatmaitan's  said obligation in  the sum of P15,000  and, together with his co-owner Juana M. Torres, he again mortgaged to the creditor company all  the properties described in transfer  certificate  of  title No.  29292 which substituted the former  original certificate of title No. 22559.  In said mortgage, the appellant Jose  Fernando Rodrigo  included another real  property belonging to him, situated  in Bulacan and described  in  the  mortgage  deed, Exhibit C, which was registered in the registry of deeds in accordance with Act No. 2837.  The payment of the debt having become due and the same not having been paid, the mortgagee  Monte de Piedad y  Caja de Ahorros de Manila brought the corresponding action for foreclosure against Jose Fernando Rodrigo and Juana M. Torres in the Court of First Instance of Manila, which action was docketed as civil case No.  37165.   Juana M.  Torres died  during the pendency of the action and was substituted by Potenciana Yupangco as judicial  administratrix of her estate.  On November 18, 1930, the Court of First Instance of Manila rendered judgment therein; the dispositive part of which reads as follows:
"Wherefore, judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiff, sentencing the defendants to pay to the plaintiff the said sums of P17,481.17, P98 and P1,500, plus the interest on  P15,000  at 10 per cent per annum from the 4th of October of  this year, until  fully  paid, with costs.  Should the defendants fail to pay the sums in question representing the amount of this judgment within the  period of three months, the court will  order the sale at public auction of the properties described in Exhibits A, A-1, B and C, as prayed  for by  the  plaintiff in its complaint."
Upon appeal, said case which was  docketed under G. R. No. 35132 (Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Manila vs.  Fernando Rodrigo and De Yupangco, 56 Phil., 310), was affirmed in toto by this  court.

As neither the defendant Jose Fernando Rodrigo  nor his  co-guarantor Juana M. Torres had not paid the mortgage debt within the period fixed in the judgment, the corresponding writ of execution was issued and two of the mortgaged parcels of land,  the ones described  in Exhibits A, A-1 and  B, were sold  at  public auction for the sum of P10,000 to the  plaintiff company, having been the highest bidder.

One  of said two parcels was the common property of the  defendants  and the other parcel, which is situated in Manila  and  assessed at P20,000 in the land tax registry, exclusively belongs to  the defendant Jose Fernando Rodrigo.

To avoid a similar attachment and sale at public auction of the third mortgaged real property situated in Bulacan (Exhibit C), which exclusively belonged to Jose Fernando Rodrigo, the latter, on November 4, 1932, made a compromise with the plaintiff by negotiating and having the Luzon Surety Co., Inc., which was his surety during the pendency of said cause on appeal, pay to the plaintiff company, for the release of the said property in Bulacan from the mortgage, the proceeds of the bond amounting to P5,000, plus the sum of P2,000, or a total of P7,000, which the plaintiff company  acknowledges to have received.

On  January  31,  1933,  the  defendant-appellant Jose Fernando Rodrigo brought an action in  the Court of First Instance of Bulacan  against the  spouses Luis  Izquierdo and  Concepcion Cabigao for  the  recovery  of a sum of money, which action was docketed as civil case No. 4258 of said  court, judgment having  been rendered therein ordering the defendants to pay to  the plaintiff the sum of P2,500.  Upon  appeal, this  court  affirmed  said  judgment in a decision of December 21, 1933 (Fernando Rodrigo vs. Cabigao and Izquierdo, 59 Phil., 187).

On March   13,  1934, the plaintiff-appellant Monte  de Piedad y Caja  de  Ahorros  de Manila,  in a  public instrument, assigned to the spouses  Luis Izquierdo and Concepcion Cabigao an alleged balance in its  favor in the sum of P6,401.50.

As a writ of execution had been issued against the spouses Luis Izquierdo  and Concepcion Cabigao in favor of Jose Fernando Rodrigo  in said civil case No. 4258, said spouses, on March 16, 1934, filed a motion praying that the judgment rendered in favor of Jose Fernando Rodrigo be declared  paid, compensated and  satisfied with an amount from the proceeds of the judgment assigned  to them by the  Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Manila against said  Jose Fernando Rodrigo, sufficient to cover the amount of the  judgment in favor of the defendant-appellant.

In an order of March 26, 1934, the Court of First Instance of Bulacan, then presided over by Judge Buenaventura Ocampo, denied said motion, having found it not well founded.

From said order Luis Izquierdo and Concepcion Gabigao appealed to this court  (G. R. No. 42147, Feb. 11, 1935 [61 Phil., 1023]) and a division of three thereof rendered judgmen the dispositive part of which reads:
"Without deciding whether or not the motion in question was properly presented in this case it is  clear that under the above facts the trial court did not err in denying that motion.  The orders appealed  from should  be and are hereby  affirmed with  costs in  this instance against the defendants-appellants."
In view of said denial and to collect the balance in question, the spouses Luis Izquierdo and Concepcion Cabigao, together with the Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Manila, filed a petition on April 9, 1934, praying for the issuance of an alias writ of execution in accordance with section  260 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Said  petition was opposed  by  the defendant-appellant Jose Fernando Rodrigo who, in turn, demanded the return of the sum of P6,000 with interest thereon, which he claims to have paid in excess  to said plaintiff company.

The first question to be decided in this appeal is that raised by the defendant-appellant Jose Fernando Rodrigo in his first assignment of alleged error, consisting in that the court a quo erred in holding that said defendant-appellant made  no undue payment.

It is  claimed by  the  defendant-appellant Jose  Fernando-Rodrigo that, as the total amount of the judgment rendered in  civil  case No. 37165 of the Court of First Instance of Manila, wherein the Monte de Piedad y  Caja de Ahorros de Manila was plaintiff and he (Jose Fernando Rodrigo)  and  Juana  M.  Torres were  defendants,  was P22,000, and he had paid the  sum of P17,000 consisting of P10,000 representing the proceeds of the sale at public auction of two  of  the three mortgaged parcels of land, and P7,000 paid by the Luzon Surety Co.,  Inc.,  he unduly paid an excess of P6,000 because, as he and his co-defendant Juana M. Torres had been ordered in said judgment to pay the amount thereof, their obligation was joint and he should have paid only P1,000 of the amount of  said judgment, the payment of P11,000 representing the other half devolving upon his codefendant Juana M. Torres.

The plaintiff company Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Manila, in civil  case No.  37165 of  the  Court of First Instance of Manila, tacitly agreed to the dispositive part of the judgment rendered therein,  ordering the defendants Jose Fernando Rodrigo and Juana M. Torres to pay the amount of the judgment  without specifying the manner of making the payment, not only because it had failed to. ask for the amendment of the  judgment but also because it had asked for  the execution thereof, the mortgaged properties having been sold at public auction.  The defendant-appellant Jose Fernando Rodrigo, however, cannot claim to have unduly paid the sum of P6,000. Article 1895 of the Civil Code considers as undue payment that which is erroneously made to a person who is not  entitled to collect.  In this case the defendants  Jose  Fernando Rodrigo and  Juana M. Torres owed by judgment  the amount of P22,000, consisting of  the original debt of P15,000 and the interest thereon,  to the  plaintiff company  Monte de Piedad y Caja de Ahorros de Manila.  Therefore  in paying the sum of P17,000, Jose Fernando Rodrigo thereby fully settled his  obligation under said judgment and partially paid that of his co-defendant Juana M. Torres under the same judgment.   This is not a  payment unduly  made but a payment for the account of a  debtor in the performance of whose obligation  he was interested  she being  his co-surety (article 1158, Civil Code).

The second question to be decided is that raised by the plaintiff-appellant Monte de Piedad y Caja  de  Ahorros de Manila, consisting in that the court a quo erred in  declaring that it considered  its credit fully paid when  it received the P7,000 and released  the third and  last  mortgaged property.

As stated above, after two of the three mortgaged parcels of land  had been sold at public auction* for the sum  of P10,000, the  parties agreed  to  suspend  the sale  of the third  parcel situated in the  Province of Bulacan, exclusively  belonging  to  the  defendant-appellant  Jose  Fernando  Rodrigo, because there was paid in lieu  thereof the amount of P7,000, of which P5,000 were the proceeds  of the bond subscribed by the Luzon Surety Co., Inc., in civil case No. 37165 of the Court  of First Instance of Manila, with which sum the  obligation contracted by  said Luzon Surety Co., Inc., in connection with said bond was cancelled, and P2,000 were paid by  said Luzon Surety Co., Inc.,  to cancel  the mortgage lien on the third parcel in  question.  Although the release of one of the mortgaged parcels does not ordinarily settle the unpaid balance of a mortgage  debt, the agreement of the parties in this case  must have  been to the contrary, taking into consideration  the fact  that one of the real properties sold at public auction, the one situated  in  Manila  and  acquired  by the plaintiff-appellant  as the highest bidder, was  assessed  for  land tax purposes  at P20,000,  and  that said  plaintiff-appellant did not assign its rights to the  sum  of P6,401.50, representing the unpaid balance of its judgment credit  after the execution of said judgment, to the spouses Luis Izquierdo and Concepcion Cabigao  prior to November 4, 1932, but on March 13, 1934, or ask for the issuance of an alias writ of execution until April 9, 1934, or about 17  months after the first execution.  It is unreasonable to suppose that the defendant-appellant Jose Fernando Rodrigo had to pay the sum of P7,000 to release the real property in Bulacan from the mortgage lien without asking for the cancellation  of the entire debt, considering the fact that as there was an unpaid balance of the judgment  credit, the latter may  be executed upon the released property.  All  these considerations convince us that with the  release of the real property situated in Bulacan exclusively  belonging to the defendant-appellant Jose Fernando Rodrigo, through the payment of the sum of P7,000, the entire amount of the judgment rendered in favor of the plaintiff-appellant against the defendant-appellant was paid.

In  view of the foregoing considerations,  we  are of the opinion and so hold that the payment made by a joint judgment debtor in excess of what he should pay, for the benefit of his co-debtor and co-surety,  cannot be  considered  as a payment unduly made under article 1895 of the Civil  Code but as a payment made by a person interested in  the performance of the obligation in accordance with the provision of article 1158 of said Code.

Wherefore, not finding any error in the judgment appealed from,  it is  affirmed in toto, with  the costs to the plaintiff company Monte de Piedad y Caja de  Ahorros de Manila.  So ordered.

Avanceña, C. J., Abad Santos, Imperial,  Diaz, Recto, and Laurel, JJ., concur.

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