Sunday, April 2, 2023




G.R. No. 242087. December 07, 2021


Bautista alleged that she lent Bendencio a loan totaling P 1,100,000 payable in May 2013 with monthly interest at 8%. Bendecio informed her that Mascariñas would be paying the loans by depositing a manager's check in her account. But the same never materialized. Instead, Mascariñas executed a promissory note in her favor promising to pay her the total amount of the loan with the same interest rate. Still, neither Bendecio nor Mascariñas paid despite her oral demands and the demand letter she sent to them. This led her to file a complaint before the RTC which ruled in her favor. The CA affirmed the RTC ruling. 


Whether Bendecio and Mascariñas are liable to pay Bautista the loan amounting to P1,100,000.00.


Yes. The SC held that the contention of Bendecio and Mascariñas that Bautista can no longer claim from Bendecio since she was already released from liability when Mascariñas assumed the same and that in effect, Bendecio's obligation was extinguished by novation when Mascariñas substituted her as debtor in the loan agreement is devoid of merit.  The burden of establishing a novation is on the party who asserts its existence, or in this case, Bendecio and Mascariñas. But apart from their bare allegation, nowhere in the records was it even remotely suggested that Bautista, the creditor, consented to the alleged novation. Novation is one of the means to extinguish an obligation where a subsequent obligation extinguishes or modifies the first. It is a relative extinguishment whereby a new obligation is created in lieu of the old. But in order that an obligation may be extinguished by another which substitutes the same, it is imperative that it be so declared in unequivocal terms, or that the old and the new obligations be on every point incompatible with each other.

Under Article 1291 of the Civil Code, novation is done by: (1) changing the object or principal conditions; (2) substituting the person of the debtor; or (3) subrogating a third person in the rights of the creditor. Novation is never presumed. Indeed, just because Bautista accepted Mascariñas' promissory note does not necessarily mean that Bendecio's obligation was already extinguished. In the absence of clear and unmistakable consent on the part of Bautista, her acceptance of Mascariñas' note does equate to the release of Bendecio from her obligation.


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