Thursday, March 27, 2014

Case Digest: Islamic Directorate of the Philippines v. CA

ISLAMIC DIRECTORATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, MANUEL F. PEREA and SECURITIES & EXCHANGE COMMISSION, petitioners, vs.COURT OF APPEALS and IGLESIA NI CRISTO, respondents.
G.R. No. 117897, 14 May 1997.


HERMOSISIMA, JR., J.:

1971, the ISLAMIC DIRECTORATE OF THE PHILIPPINES ("IDP") was incorporated  with the primary purpose of establishing a mosque, school, and other religious infrastructures in Quezon City.

IDP purchased a 49,652-square meter lot in Tandang Sora, QC, which was covered by TCT Nos. RT-26520 (176616) and RT-26521 (170567).

When President Marcos declared martial law in 1972, most of the members of the 1971 Board of Trustees ("Tamano Group")flew to the Middle East to escape political persecution.

Thereafter, two contending groups claiming to be the IDP Board of Trustees sprung: the Carpizo group and Abbas group.

In a suit between the two groups, SEC rendered a decision in 1986 declaring both groups to be null and void. SEC recommeded that the a new by-laws be approved and a new election be conducted upon the approval of the by-laws. However, the SEC recommendation was not heeded.

In 1989, the Carpizo group passed a Board Resolution authorizing the sale of the land to Iglesia Ni Cristo ("INC"), and a Deed of Sale was eventually executed.

In 1991, the Tamano Group filed a petition before the SEC questioning the sale.

Meanwhile, INC filed a suit for specific performance before RTC Branch 81 against the Carpizo group. INC also moved to compel  a certain Leticia Ligon (who is apparently the mortgagee of the lot) to surrender the title.

The Tamano group sought to intervene, but the intervention was denied despite being informed of the pending SEC case. In 1992, the Court subsequently ruled that the INC as the rightful owner of the land, and ordered Ligon to surrender the titles for annotation. Ligon appealed to CA and SC, but her appeals were denied.

In 1993, the SEC ruled that the sale was null and void . On appeal CA reversed the SEC ruling.

MAIN ISSUE: W/N the sale between the Carpizo group and INC is null and void.

RULING: YES.

Since the SEC has declared the Carpizo group as a void Board of Trustees, the sale it entered into with INC is likewise void. Without a valid consent of a contracting party, there can be no valid contract.

In this case, the IDP, never gave its consent, through a legitimate Board of Trustees, to the disputed Deed of Absolute Sale executed in favor of INC. Therefore, this is a case not only of vitiated consent, but one where consent on the part of one of the supposed contracting parties is totally wanting. Ineluctably, the subject sale is void and produces no effect whatsoever.

Further, the Carpizo group failed to comply with Section 40 of the Corporation Code, which provides that: " ... a corporation may, by a majority vote of its board of directors or trustees, sell, lease, exchange, mortgage, pledge or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of its property and assets... when authorized by the vote of the stockholders representing at least two-thirds (2/3) of the outstanding capital stock; or in case of non-stock corporation, by the vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the members, in a stockholders' or members' meeting duly called for the purpose...."

The subject lot constitutes the only property of IDP. Hence, its sale to a third-party is a sale or disposition of all the corporate property and assets of IDP. For the sale to be valid, the majority vote of the legitimate Board of Trustees, concurred in by the vote of at least 2/3 of the bona fide members of the corporation should have been obtained. These twin requirements were not met in the case at bar.

ANCILLARY ISSUE: W/N The Ligon ruling constitutes res judicata.

RULING: NO.

Section 49(b), Rule 39 enunciates the first concept of res judicata known as "bar by prior judgment," whereas, Section 49(c), Rule 39 is referred to as "conclusiveness of judgment."

There is "bar by former judgment" when, between the first case where the judgment was rendered, and the second case where such judgment is invoked, there is identity of parties, subject matter and cause of action. When the three identities are present, the judgment on the merits rendered in the first constitutes an absolute bar to the subsequent action. But where between the first case wherein judgment is rendered and the second case wherein such judgment is invoked, there is only identity of parties but there is no identity of cause of action, the judgment is conclusive in the second case, only as to those matters actually and directly controverted and determined, and not as to matters merely involved therein. This is what is termed "conclusiveness of judgment."

Neither applies to the case at bar. There is no "bar by former judgment" since while there may be identity of subject matter (IDP property) in both cases, there is no identity of parties.  The principal parties in the first case were Ligon and the Iglesia Ni Cristo. The IDP can not be considered essentially a formal party thereto for the simple reason that it was not duly represented by a legitimate Board of Trustees.

Res Judicata in the form of "conclusiveness of judgment" cannot likewise apply for the reason that the primary issue in the first case is the possession of the titles, and not the sale of the land, as in this case.

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