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Republic of the Philippines

8th Judicial Region


MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES
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Plaintiff;

Case No. xx
For:
COLLECTION FOR SUM OF
MONEY AND DAMAGES

-versusxx
Defendants.
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DECISION
In his complaint, plaintiff alleges that on January 2, 2007,
defendant spouses approached him to borrow the amount of Three
Hundred Thousand Pesos (P300,000.00). At first, he was hesistant to
lend such amount but due to friendship, he was prevailed upon.
According to the plaintiff, he handed the said amount (less
P10,000.00) in two tranches. He gave the first tranche on January 2,
2007 with the amount of One Hundred Forty Thousand Pesos
(P140,000.00) and the remainder on February 12, 2007 with the amount
of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P150,000.00), or a total of Two
Hundred Ninety Thousand Pesos. An interest of ten percent (10%)
monthly was agreed upon. Each loan was evidenced by an instrument
known as Good For and was signed only by one of the spouses,
Ederlina B. Oledan. The other defendant, Mario Oledan, begged to be
excused from being present in the signing of the document of
indebtedness because he had to attend to another concern during the
first transaction. For the second, it was not shown why Mario was not
able to sign the same although plaintiff said that Ederlina claimed she
was authorized by Mario to borrow money from him.
Defendants never paid any single monthly interest nor any portion
of the principal amount they owed to plaintiff despite numerous
demands, hence, this suit. Plaintiff prays for payment from defendants
the sum of One Million Forty-four Thousand Pesos (P1,044,000.00) as
principal and interest plus litigation expenses, moral damages,
exemplary damages and attorneys fees.
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On the other hand, only defendant Mario Oledan filed his answer.
He denies all the material allegations of the complaint and asserts that
complaint has no cause of action. He states that there is no showing that
he has obtained a loan from plaintiff, either jointly or singly. The
promissory notes show that Mario is not a signatory therein. It was
signed by Ederlina alone, his estranged wife. The loans were obtained
for her own use or benefit only, and without the knowledge and consent
of Mario. He alleges that he and his wife had been separated de facto
since the time prior to January 2, 2007, up to the present, with their
minor children under his care and custody.
He asks for the dismissal of this case with reimbursement for
attorneys fees and payment of litigation expenses, moral and exemplary
damages to the sum P125,000.00.
Courts Ruling
The crucial issues in this case are: (1) Whether or not there was
consent on the part of Mario on the loans obtained by his wife, Erlinda;
and (2) Whether or not the proceeds of the loans redound to the benefit
of the defendants family.
Personal obligations of either of the spouses incurred during the
marriage which do not redound to the benefit of the family or do not have
the consent of the other spouse shall be borne only by the spousedebtor and his or her separate property.1 Thus, in BA Finance
Corporation vs. Court of Appeals,2 the Supreme Court held that where
the evidence shows a spouse incurred the obligation for his sole benefit,
it should not be charged to the conjugal partnership of gains.
Specifically, the High Court states, that:
There is no dispute that A & L Industries was established during the marriage of
Augusta and Lily Yulo and therefore the same is presumed conjugal and the
fact that it was registered in the name of only one of the spouses does not
destroy its conjugal nature (See Mendoza v. Reyes, 124 SCRA 161, 165).
However, for the said property to be held liable, the obligation contracted by the
husband must have redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership under
Article 161 of the Civil Code. In the present case, the obligation which the
1 See Sta. Maria, Melencio Jr., S. Persons & Family Relations Law, 4 th Ed. 2004, p.
506
2 161 SCRA 608
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petitioner is seeking to enforce against the conjugal property managed by the


private respondent Lily Yulo was undoubtedly contracted by Augusto Yulo for
his own benefit because at the time he incurred the obligation he had already
abandoned his family and had left their conjugal home. xxx

In the case at bar, plaintiffs claim that Mario consented to the loans
obtained by Erlinda is not supported by evidence. The court is not
convinced of the veracity in plaintiffs answer in Question No. 22 of his
Judicial Affidavit, that, after the money was released and before the
paper could be signed, defendant Mario begged to be excused as he
had other matters to attend to. Perusal of the paper entitled Good For, 3
shows that it is a simple document which does not need so much
preparation. In a few minutes, the paper could have been prepared and
signed right away by Mario.
In his complaint, plaintiff states that, at first, he was hesistant to
lend such a huge amount knowing that it was his hard earned money,
hence, it was expected of him to ensure that the loan transaction is
properly recorded by requiring both spouses to sign the same. It is
unbelievable that he could let go so easily of Mario without the latters
signature affixed on the document.
Moreover, in the said document, there is a witness named Carmelita
G. Sulla, but the court wonders why this witness was not presented by
plaintiff, knowing that Mario has denied in his answer his participation
therein. She could at least corroborate plaintiffs claim that Mario
consented to the loan.
In the same vein, the court is not persuaded by plaintiffs claim that
the reason why there was no signature of Mario on the second Good
For, is that he was not around but his wife has relayed to him that she
was sent there by her husband to borrow another sum of P150,000.00.
Suggesting that a contract of agency took place between Mario and
Erlinda, as principal and agent, respectively, plaintiff should have
required a written instrument of agency from Erlinda. By his failure to do
so, plaintiff cannot bind Mario as principal to honor the acts of Erlinda, in
the absence of proof of such agency.
On the second issue, plaintiff likewise fails to present evidence that
the loans by Erlinda redound to the benefit of the family. The Supreme

3 Exhibit B; records, p. 10
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Court in the above-mentioned case, quoting Luzon Surety Co., Inc. v. De


Gracia,4 enunciated as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
In the most categorical language, a conjugal partnership under that provision is
liable only for such "debts and obligations contracted by the husband for the
benefit of the conjugal partnership." There must be the requisite showing
then of some advantage which clearly accrued to the welfare of the
spouses. There is none in this case. (emphasis added)
xxx xxx xxx
Moreover, it would negate the plain object of the additional requirement in the
present Civil Code that a debt contracted by the husband to bind a
conjugal partnership must redound to its benefit. That is still another
provision indicative of the solicitude and tender regard that the law manifests
for the family as a unit. Its interest is paramount; its welfare uppermost in the
minds of the codifiers and legislators.

Under the Family Code, the absolute community of property shall


be liable for debts and obligations contracted by either spouses without
the consent of the other to the extent that the family may have been
benefited.5
The lack of proof that Erlindas loans redounded to the benefit of the
family is bolstered by the uncontroverted claim of Mario that he and
Erlinda had been separated de facto since prior to January 2, 2007.
This assertion could have just been easily disproved by plaintiff since the
living together between husband and wife in a small town like theirs
would be of public knowledge. Any person or neighbor can testify that
defendants-spouses were not separated de facto at the time the subject
loans were contracted. Yet, again, as in the first issue, plaintiff offered no
credible evidence to substantiate his complaint.
WHEREFORE, plaintiffs complaint is dismissed for lack of merit.
Defendants counterclaim is likewise denied for lack of factual and legal
basis.
4 30 SCRA 111, 115-117
5 Article 94, par. 3.
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SO ORDERED.
IN CHAMBERS, July 27, 2016, Tacloban City.
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Presiding Judge

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