February 2009 Decisions on Civil Law

Here are some decisions promulgated by the Supreme Court in February 2009 on civil law and related laws.

Civil Code

1.      Payment under a perfected contract of sale.     Miguel Tan, doing business under the name and style of Manila Mandarin Marketing, was engaged in the business of selling electrical materials. From August 19 to November 26, 1997, Manila Mining Corporation (MMC) ordered and received various electrical materials from Tan valued at P2,347,880. MMC agreed to pay the purchase price within 30 days from delivery, or be charged interest of 18% per annum, and in case of suit to collect the same, to pay attorney’s fees equal to 25% of the claim. MMC made partial payments in the amount of P464,636. Despite repeated demands, it failed to give the remaining balance of P1,883,244, which was covered by nine invoices. On September 3, 2001, Tan filed a collection suit against MMC at the Manila RTC.

MMC contends that Tan’s claim for payment was premature inasmuch as the original invoices and purchase orders were not sent to its accounting department. Consequently, Tan’s claims were not verified and processed. MMC believes that mere delivery of the goods did not automatically give rise to its obligation to pay. It relied on Article 1545 of the Civil Code to justify its refusal to pay:

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