Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Marmont Resort Hotel Enterprises vs. Guiang

Facts: On 2 May 1975, a Memorandum of Agreement was executed between Maris Trading and petitioner Marmont Resort Hotel Enterprises, Inc. ("Marmont"), a corporation engaged in the hotel and resort business with office and establishment at Olongapo City. Under the agreement, Maris Trading undertook to drill for water and to provide all equipment necessary to install and complete a water supply facility to service the Marmont Resort Hotel in Olongapo, for a stipulated fee of P40,000.00. In fulfillment of its contract, Maris Trading drilled a well and installed a water pump on a portion of a parcel of land situated in Olongapo City, then occupied by respondent spouses Federico and Aurora Guiang. 

Five (5) months later, Memorandum of Agreement was executed between Maris Trading and Aurora Guiang, with Federico Guiang signing as witness, 1) acknowledging the facts of the MoA between Maris Trading and Marmont 2) That Maris Trading built and drilled the water source on the said land for Marmount and 3) that for and in consideration of the sum of P1,500.00 the Second Party [Guiang] hereby Sell, Transfer and Cede all possessory rights, interest and claims over that portion of the lot wherein the water source of Marmont Resort is located unto and in favor of Maris Trading. 

After some time, the water supply of the Marmont Resort Hotel became inadequate to meet the hotel's water requirements. Marmont Resort Hotel sought permission from the Guiang spouses to inspect the water pump which had been installed on the portion of the land previously occupied by the spouses and to make the necessary additional installations thereon. No such permission, however, was granted. 

Issue: Whether defendants have the right to prohibit the Maris Trading from performing the repairs. 

Held: Article 165 and 172 state the general principle under our civil law, that the wife may not validly bind the conjugal partnership without the consent of the husband, who is legally the administrator of the conjugal partnership. In this particular case, however, as noted earlier, the second Memorandum of Agreement, although ostensibly contracted solely by Aurora Guiang with Maris Trading, was also signed by her husband Federico, as one of the witnesses thereto. This circumstance indicates not only that Federico was present during the execution of the agreement but also that he had, in fact, given his consent to the execution thereof by his wife Aurora. Otherwise, he should not have appended his signature to the document as witness. Respondent spouses cannot now disown the second Memorandum of Agreement as their effective consent thereto is sufficiently manifested in the document itself. 

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