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4 July 2018

Re: Termination of Lease (Christopher Alan Leach)


______________________________________________________

(a) The subject property [Brgy. 5, Poblacion, Coron, Palawan; TCT No.
T-205500] was leased by Mrs. Juanita C. Abringe to Mr.
Christopher Alan Leach;

(b) The Contract of Lease, pursuant to par. 1 of the instrument


evidencing the Contract of Lease shall be effective for a period of
Twenty-Five (25) years from the date of notarization (25 April
2008). Thus, the Contract of Lease between the parties will end
on 25 April 2033.

(c) Subsequently, the Lessor, Mrs. Juanita C. Abringe died. In a Letter


dated 21 June 2018, the heirs of the deceased served a Notice of
Rescission to Mr. Leach. The grounds relied by the heirs in
rescinding the Contract of Lease was:

“ (1) xxx that only three (3) of the fourteen (14)


children of JUANITA C. ABRINGE agreed to
enter into the said lease contract with [Mr.
Leash] over Lot 2, Psd. 04-126132, a 4,000
square meter property situated in Brgy. Pob. 5,
Coron, Palawan;
(2) xxx to this day, [Mr. Leash] have not used
the leased property.”

(d) It is respectfully submitted that the grounds relied upon by the


Heirs of Mrs. Juanita C. Abringe are not sufficient grounds to declare
the Contract of Lease rescinded.

(e) In the case of DKC Holdings Corp. v. Court of Appeals, et al.1, the
Supreme Court aptly held that-

“The general rule is that the heirs are bound by


the contracts entered into by their

1 G.R. No. 118248, 5 April 2000.


predecessors-in-interest except when the
rights and obligations arising therefrom are
not transmissible by (1) by their nature, (2) by
stipulation, or (3) by provision of law.”

Furthermore, Article 1311 of the Civil Code embodies the principle


of Relativity of Contracts. Thus-

“Contracts take effect only between the parties,


their assigns and heirs, except in case where
the rights and obligations arising from contract
are not transmissible by their nature, or by
stipulation or by provision of law. xxx

xxx ”

In connection with this provision of law, Article 1159 of the Civil Code
provides:

“Obligations arising from contracts have the


force of law between the contracting parties
and should be complied with in good faith.”

In the Contract of Lease, there is neither contractual stipulation


making the rights and obligations under the contract intransmissible.
More importantly, the nature of the rights and obligations therein are,
by their nature, transmissible.

It has also been held that a good measure for determining


whether a contract terminates upon the death of one of the parties is
whether it is of such a character that it may be performed by the
promissor's personal representative. Contracts to perform personal
acts which cannot be as well performed by others are discharged by
the death of the promissor. Conversely, where the service or act is of
such a character that it may as well be performed by another, or where
the contract, by its terms, shows that performance by others was
contemplated, death does not terminate the contract or excuse
nonperformance.

Thus, by the very nature of the Contract of Lease between Mrs.


Abringe and Mr. Leach, there being no stipulation that the rights and
obligations are intransmissible, it is safe to assume that the rights in
the Lease Contract are transmissible. In other words, the Heirs are
bound by the Contract entered into by and between the Lessor and the
Lessee.

Likewise, it is of no moment that only three of the fourteen


children agreed to lease the parcel of land. During the execution of the
Contract of Lease, it is Mrs. Abringe who was the owner of the leased
premises. It is only up to the moment of her death that the fourteen
children became co-owners of the property. Also, the death of their
predecessor did not give them the absolute right to terminate the
contract of lease or rescind it.

Lastly, non-use of the leased premises does not automatically


vest on the heirs the right to rescind the lease contract. In the case of
Rubio de Larena v. Villanueva2 the Supreme Court held that the mere
failure of one party to perform his undertaking does not ipso jure
produce the resolution of the contract; the party entitled to resolve
should apply the court for a decree of rescission or resolution. To
further bolster the argument that the right to rescind is not to be
wielded recklessly, the Supreme Court in the case of Tan v. Court of
Appeals3 held-

“In the absence of a contrary stipulation, the


power to rescind an obligation must be
invoked judicially; it cannot be exercised solely
on a party’s own judgment that the other has
committed a breach of the obligation.”

In the Contract of Lease executed by the parties, there is no


stipulation giving any party to unilaterally rescind the contract to the
prejudice of the other.

2 53 Phil. 923.
3 175 SCRA 656.