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Villaroel v. Estrada, G.R. No. L-47262, 19 December 1940.

19 Mar

[AVANCEÑA, Pres.]

FACTS: On May 9, 1912, Alejandro F. Callao, the mother of the defendant Juan F. Villarroel, obtained from the spouses Mariano Estrada and Severina a loan of P1,000 payable after seven years. Alejandra died, leaving as sole heir to the defendant. The spouses Mariano Estrada and Severina also died, leaving as sole heir the plaintiff Bernardino Estrada. On August 9, 1930, the defendant signed a document (Exhibit B) by which it declares the applicant to owe the amount of P1,000, with an interest of 12 percent per year. This action deals with the collection of this amount.

ISSUE: Is the defendant Juan under obligation to pay the loan that already prescribed if he subsequently declared that he owed it to plaintiff Bernardino?

HELD: YES.

Although the action to recover the original debt has already been prescribed when the claim was filed in this case, the question that arises in this appeal is mainly whether, notwithstanding such a prescription, the action (may be) brought. However, the present action is not based on the original obligation contracted by the defendant’s mother, who has already been prescribed, but in which the defendant contracted on August 9, 1930 upon assuming the fulfillment of that obligation, Already prescribed. Since the defendant is the sole inheritor of the primitive debtor, with the right to succeed in his inheritance, that debt, brought by his mother legally, although it has lost its effectiveness by prescription, is now, however, for a moral obligation, which is consideration Sufficient to create and render effective and enforceable its obligation voluntarily contracted on August 9, 1930 in Exhibit B.

The rule that a new promise to pay a pre-paid debt must be made by the same obligated person or by another legally authorized by it, is not applicable to the present case in which it is not required to fulfill the obligation of the obligee originally, but of which he voluntarily wanted to assume this obligation.

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