Book 4: Obligations & Contracts



Art. 1370. If the terms of a contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of the contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulations shall control.

If the words appear to be contrary to the evident intention of the parties, the latter shall prevail over the former. (1281)

Art. 1371. In order to judge the intention of the contracting parties, their contemporaneous and subsequent acts shall be principally considered. (1282)

Art. 1372. However general the terms of a contract may be, they shall not be understood to comprehend things that are distinct and cases that are different from those upon which the parties intended to agree. (1283)

Art. 1373. If some stipulation of any contract should admit of several meanings, it shall be understood as bearing that import which is most adequate to render it effectual. (1284)

Art. 1374. The various stipulations of a contract shall be interpreted together, attributing to the doubtful ones that sense which may result from all of them taken jointly. (1285)

Art. 1375. Words which may have different significations shall be understood in that which is most in keeping with the nature and object of the contract. (1286)

Art. 1376. The usage or custom of the place shall be borne in mind in the interpretation of the ambiguities of a contract, and shall fill the omission of stipulations which are ordinarily established. (1287)

Art. 1377. The interpretation of obscure words or stipulations in a contract shall not favor the party who caused the obscurity. (1288)

Art. 1378. When it is absolutely impossible to settle doubts by the rules established in the preceding articles, and the doubts refer to incidental circumstances of a gratuitous contract, the least transmission of rights and interests shall prevail. If the contract is onerous, the doubt shall be settled in favor of the greatest reciprocity of interests.

If the doubts are cast upon the principal object of the contract in such a way that it cannot be known what may have been the intention or will of the parties, the contract shall be null and void. (1289)

Art. 1379. The principles of interpretation stated in Rule 123 of the Rules of Court shall likewise be observed in the construction of contracts. (n)


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