Private respondent (plaintiff) Javellana filed an action for redemption of a co-owned property against petitioners Doromal, et al. (defendants). The Court of First Instance (CFI) dismissed the action for having been made out of time. The Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s decision and held that although respondent Javellana was informed of her co-owners’ proposal to sell the land in question to petitioners she was, however, “never notified … least of all, in writing”, of the actual execution and registration of the corresponding deed of sale, hence, said respondent’s right to redeem had not yet expired at the time she made her offer for that purpose thru her letter of June 10, 1968 delivered to petitioners on even date.
The other pivotal issue raised by petitioners on relates to the price which respondent offered for the redemption in question. The decision under review states that notwithstanding the fact that “the consideration of P30,000 only was placed in the deed of sale to minimize the payment of the registration fees, stamps and sales tax” and
ISSUE#1: Is a notice to co-owner(s) of a perfected sale a sufficient notice for the counting of the 30-day right of redemption period by a co-owner?
HELD#1: NO, the notice of perfected sale is not sufficient.
We are of the considered opinion and so hold that for purposes of the co-owner’s right of redemption granted by Article 1620 of the Civil Code, the notice in writing which Article 1623 requires to be made to the other co-owners and from receipt of which the 30-day period to redeem should be counted is a notice not only of a perfected sale but of the actual execution and delivery of the deed of sale. This is implied from the latter portion of Article 1623 which requires that before a register of deeds can record a sale by a co-owner, there must be presented to him, an affidavit to the effect that the notice of the sale had been sent in writing to the other co-owners. A sale may not be presented to the register of deeds for registration unless it be in the form of a duly executed public instrument. Moreover, the law prefers that all the terms and conditions of the sale should be definite and in writing. As aptly observed by Justice Gatmaitan in the decision under review, Article 1619 of the Civil Code bestows unto a co-owner the right to redeem and “to be subrogated under the same terms and conditions stipulated in the contract”, and to avoid any controversy as to the terms and conditions under which the right to redeem may be exercised, it is best that the period therefor should not be deemed to have commenced unless the notice of the disposition is made after the formal deed of disposal has been duly executed. And it being beyond dispute that respondent herein has never been notified in writing of the execution of the deed of sale by which petitioners acquired the subject property, it necessarily follows that her tender to redeem the same made on June 10, 1968 was well within the period prescribed by law. Indeed, it is immaterial when she might have actually come to know about said deed, it appearing she has never been shown a copy thereof through a written communication by either any of the petitioners-purchasers or any of her co-owners-vendees. (Cornejo et al. vs. CA et al., 16 SCRA 775.)
ISSUE#2: Can the contention of the petitioners be sustained that redemption price should be the actual amount paid and not that consideration in the deed of sale which is only P30,000?
HELD#2: No, petitioners’ contention cannot be sustained.
As stated in the decision under review, the trial court found that “the consideration of P30,000 only was placed in the deed of sale to minimize the payment of the registration fees, stamps and sales tax.” With this undisputed fact in mind, it is impossible for the Supreme Court to sanction petitioners’ pragmatic but immoral posture. Being patently violative of public policy and injurious to public interest, the seemingly wide practice of understating considerations of transactions for the purpose of evading taxes and fees due to the government must be condemned and all parties guilty thereof must be made to suffer the consequences of their ill-advised agreement to defraud the state. Verily, the trial court fell short of its devotion and loyalty to the Republic in officially giving its stamp of approval to the stand of petitioners and even berating respondent Javellana as wanting to enrich herself “at the expense of her own blood relatives who are her aunts, uncles and cousins.” On the contrary, said “blood relatives” should have been sternly told, as We here hold, that they are in pari-delicto with petitioners in committing tax evasion and should not receive any consideration from any court in respect to the money paid for the sale in dispute. Their situation is similar to that of parties to an illegal contract.