Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Manila Memorial Park Inc. vs Linsangan (November 22, 2004)

Facts: Florencia Baluyot is authorized by the Manila Memorial Park Inc. (MMPI) to sell burial lots to those interested in purchasing. Herein respondent Atty. Linsangan was approached by Florencia with an offer to sell to the former a lot that she alleges to have already been previously sold but the owner thereof has cancelled and thus, Atty. Linsangan shall only continue the payment thereof amounting to P95,000, Atty. Linsangan agreed and payed an initial P35, 000. Thereafter, Florencia advised Atty. Linsangan that there were changes in the contract and that she needed him to sign a new contract stipulating the total price of P132, 000 but Florencia assured Atty. Linsangan that he would only pay the agreed P95, 000. In the new contract, Atty. Linsangan acceded that he has read and understood all the stipulations therein. The payment was made in installments for two years which Atty. Linsangan completed, however, after two years, Florencia informed Linsangan that their contract was cancelled and offered a different lot, Atty. Linsangan refused the offer and filed a suit for breach of contract against MMPI and Florencia. MMPI avers that Florencia acted beyond the scope of her authority as MMPI’s agent since the latter did not allow her to renegotiate existing contracts but only to sell new contracts. Atty. Lnsangan on the other hand argues that MMPI should be liable for the acts of its agents. 

Issue: Whether or not MMPI is liable for the acts of Florencia 

Held: NO. The SC ruled that Florencia acted outside the scope of her authority as agent of MMPI and Atty. Linsangan failed to ascertain the authority given to Florencia especially that their agreement on the second contract had a different stipulation than what he and Florencia agreed upon. Moreover, Atty. Linsangan’s signature over the new contract signifies his agreement thereto and serves as a form of ratification for the acts of Florencia which were outside the authority given her. As such, the SC ruled that the principal cannot be held liable for actions of agents outside the scope of their authority when such acts are ratified by the principal himself. On the part of MMPI, they did not ratify Florencia’s acts, nor did they know of such actions.

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