Category Archives: 02. Contracts

Book 4: Obligations & Contracts



Art. 1305. A contract is a meeting of minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with respect to the other, to give something or to render some service. (1254a)

Art. 1306. The contracting parties may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions as they may deem convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy. (1255a)

Art. 1307. Innominate contracts shall be regulated by the stipulations of the parties, by the provisions of Titles I and II of this Book, by the rules governing the most analogous nominate contracts, and by the customs of the place. (n)

Art. 1308. The contract must bind both contracting parties; its validity or compliance cannot be left to the will of one of them. (1256a)

Art. 1309. The determination of the performance may be left to a third person, whose decision shall not be binding until it has been made known to both contracting parties. (n)

Art. 1310. The determination shall not be obligatory if it is evidently inequitable. In such case, the courts shall decide what is equitable under the circumstances. (n)

Art. 1311. Contracts take effect only between the parties, their assigns and heirs, except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of law. The heir is not liable beyond the value of the property he received from the decedent.

If a contract should contain some stipulation in favor of a third person, he may demand its fulfillment provided he communicated his acceptance to the obligor before its revocation. A mere incidental benefit or interest of a person is not sufficient. The contracting parties must have clearly and deliberately conferred a favor upon a third person. (1257a)

Art. 1312. In contracts creating real rights, third persons who come into possession of the object of the contract are bound thereby, subject to the provisions of the Mortgage Law and the Land Registration Laws. (n)

Art. 1313. Creditors are protected in cases of contracts intended to defraud them. (n)

Art. 1314. Any third person who induces another to violate his contract shall be liable for damages to the other contracting party. (n)

Art. 1315. Contracts are perfected by mere consent, and from that moment the parties are bound not only to the fulfillment of what has been expressly stipulated but also to all the consequences which, according to their nature, may be in keeping with good faith, usage and law. (1258)

Art. 1316. Real contracts, such as deposit, pledge and Commodatum, are not perfected until the delivery of the object of the obligation. (n)

Art. 1317. No one may contract in the name of another without being authorized by the latter, or unless he has by law a right to represent him.

A contract entered into in the name of another by one who has no authority or legal representation, or who has acted beyond his powers, shall be unenforceable, unless it is ratified, expressly or impliedly, by the person on whose behalf it has been executed, before it is revoked by the other contracting party. (1259a)


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Book 4: Obligations & Contracts




Art. 1318. There is no contract unless the following requisites concur:

(1) Consent of the contracting parties;

(2) Object certain which is the subject matter of the contract;

(3) Cause of the obligation which is established. (1261)

SECTION 1. – Consent

Art. 1319. Consent is manifested by the meeting of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract. The offer must be certain and the acceptance absolute. A qualified acceptance constitutes a counter-offer.

Acceptance made by letter or telegram does not bind the offerer except from the time it came to his knowledge. The contract, in such a case, is presumed to have been entered into in the place where the offer was made. (1262a)

Art. 1320. An acceptance may be express or implied. (n)

Art. 1321. The person making the offer may fix the time, place, and manner of acceptance, all of which must be complied with. (n)

Art. 1322. An offer made through an agent is accepted from the time acceptance is communicated to him. (n)

Art. 1323. An offer becomes ineffective upon the death, civil interdiction, insanity, or insolvency of either party before acceptance is conveyed. (n)

Art. 1324. When the offerer has allowed the offeree a certain period to accept, the offer may be withdrawn at any time before acceptance by communicating such withdrawal, except when the option is founded upon a consideration, as something paid or promised. (n)

Art. 1325. Unless it appears otherwise, business advertisements of things for sale are not definite offers, but mere invitations to make an offer. (n)

Art. 1326. Advertisements for bidders are simply invitations to make proposals, and the advertiser is not bound to accept the highest or lowest bidder, unless the contrary appears. (n)

Art. 1327. The following cannot give consent to a contract:

(1) Unemancipated minors;

(2) Insane or demented persons, and deaf-mutes who do not know how to write. (1263a)

Art. 1328. Contracts entered into during a lucid interval are valid. Contracts agreed to in a state of drunkenness or during a hypnotic spell are voidable. (n)

Art. 1329. The incapacity declared in Article 1327 is subject to the modifications determined by law, and is understood to be without prejudice to special disqualifications established in the laws. (1264)

Art. 1330. A contract where consent is given through mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence, or fraud is voidable. (1265a)

Art. 1331. In order that mistake may invalidate consent, it should refer to the substance of the thing which is the object of the contract, or to those conditions which have principally moved one or both parties to enter into the contract.

Mistake as to the identity or qualifications of one of the parties will vitiate consent only when such identity or qualifications have been the principal cause of the contract.

A simple mistake of account shall give rise to its correction. (1266a)

Art. 1332. When one of the parties is unable to read, or if the contract is in a language not understood by him, and mistake or fraud is alleged, the person enforcing the contract must show that the terms thereof have been fully explained to the former. (n)

Art. 1333. There is no mistake if the party alleging it knew the doubt, contingency or risk affecting the object of the contract. (n)

Art. 1334. Mutual error as to the legal effect of an agreement when the real purpose of the parties is frustrated, may vitiate consent. (n)

Art. 1335. There is violence when in order to wrest consent, serious or irresistible force is employed.

There is intimidation when one of the contracting parties is compelled by a reasonable and well-grounded fear of an imminent and grave evil upon his person or property, or upon the person or property of his spouse, descendants or ascendants, to give his consent.

To determine the degree of intimidation, the age, sex and condition of the person shall be borne in mind.

A threat to enforce one’s claim through competent authority, if the claim is just or legal, does not vitiate consent. (1267a)

Art. 1336. Violence or intimidation shall annul the obligation, although it may have been employed by a third person who did not take part in the contract. (1268)

Art. 1337. There is undue influence when a person takes improper advantage of his power over the will of another, depriving the latter of a reasonable freedom of choice. The following circumstances shall be considered: the confidential, family, spiritual and other relations between the parties, or the fact that the person alleged to have been unduly influenced was suffering from mental weakness, or was ignorant or in financial distress. (n)

Art. 1338. There is fraud when, through insidious words or machinations of one of the contracting parties, the other is induced to enter into a contract which, without them, he would not have agreed to. (1269)

Art. 1339. Failure to disclose facts, when there is a duty to reveal them, as when the parties are bound by confidential relations, constitutes fraud. (n)

Art. 1340. The usual exaggerations in trade, when the other party had an opportunity to know the facts, are not in themselves fraudulent. (n)

Art. 1341. A mere expression of an opinion does not signify fraud, unless made by an expert and the other party has relied on the former’s special knowledge. (n)

Art. 1342. Misrepresentation by a third person does not vitiate consent, unless such misrepresentation has created substantial mistake and the same is mutual. (n)

Art. 1343. Misrepresentation made in good faith is not fraudulent but may constitute error. (n)

Art. 1344. In order that fraud may make a contract voidable, it should be serious and should not have been employed by both contracting parties.

Incidental fraud only obliges the person employing it to pay damages. (1270)

Art. 1345. Simulation of a contract may be absolute or relative. The former takes place when the parties do not intend to be bound at all; the latter, when the parties conceal their true agreement. (n)

Art. 1346. An absolutely simulated or fictitious contract is void. A relative simulation, when it does not prejudice a third person and is not intended for any purpose contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy binds the parties to their real agreement. (n)

SECTION 2. – Object of Contracts

Art. 1347. All things which are not outside the commerce of men, including future things, may be the object of a contract. All rights which are not intransmissible may also be the object of contracts.

No contract may be entered into upon future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law.

All services which are not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy may likewise be the object of a contract. (1271a)

Art. 1348. Impossible things or services cannot be the object of contracts. (1272)

Art. 1349. The object of every contract must be determinate as to its kind. The fact that the quantity is not determinate shall not be an obstacle to the existence of the contract, provided it is possible to determine the same, without the need of a new contract between the parties. (1273)

SECTION 3. – Cause of Contracts

Art. 1350. In onerous contracts the cause is understood to be, for each contracting party, the prestation or promise of a thing or service by the other; in remuneratory ones, the service or benefit which is remunerated; and in contracts of pure beneficence, the mere liberality of the benefactor. (1274)

Art. 1351. The particular motives of the parties in entering into a contract are different from the cause thereof. (n)

Art. 1352. Contracts without cause, or with unlawful cause, produce no effect whatever. The cause is unlawful if it is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy. (1275a)

Art. 1353. The statement of a false cause in contracts shall render them void, if it should not be proved that they were founded upon another cause which is true and lawful. (1276)

Art. 1354. Although the cause is not stated in the contract, it is presumed that it exists and is lawful, unless the debtor proves the contrary. (1277)

Art. 1355. Except in cases specified by law, lesion or inadequacy of cause shall not invalidate a contract, unless there has been fraud, mistake or undue influence. (n)

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Book 4: Obligations & Contracts



Art. 1356. Contracts shall be obligatory, in whatever form they may have been entered into, provided all the essential requisites for their validity are present. However, when the law requires that a contract be in some form in order that it may be valid or enforceable, or that a contract be proved in a certain way, that requirement is absolute and indispensable. In such cases, the right of the parties stated in the following article cannot be exercised. (1278a)

Art. 1357. If the law requires a document or other special form, as in the acts and contracts enumerated in the following article, the contracting parties may compel each other to observe that form, once the contract has been perfected. This right may be exercised simultaneously with the action upon the contract. (1279a)

Art. 1358. The following must appear in a public document:

(1) Acts and contracts which have for their object the creation, transmission, modification or extinguishment of real rights over immovable property; sales of real property or of an interest therein a governed by Articles 1403, No. 2, and 1405;

(2) The cession, repudiation or renunciation of hereditary rights or of those of the conjugal partnership of gains;

(3) The power to administer property, or any other power which has for its object an act appearing or which should appear in a public document, or should prejudice a third person;

(4) The cession of actions or rights proceeding from an act appearing in a public document.

All other contracts where the amount involved exceeds five hundred pesos must appear in writing, even a private one. But sales of goods, chattels or things in action are governed by Articles, 1403, No. 2 and 1405. (1280a)

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Book 4: Obligations & Contracts



Art. 1359. When, there having been a meeting of the minds of the parties to a contract, their true intention is not expressed in the instrument purporting to embody the agreement, by reason of mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct or accident, one of the parties may ask for the reformation of the instrument to the end that such true intention may be expressed.

If mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct, or accident has prevented a meeting of the minds of the parties, the proper remedy is not reformation of the instrument but annulment of the contract.

Art. 1360. The principles of the general law on the reformation of instruments are hereby adopted insofar as they are not in conflict with the provisions of this Code.

Art. 1361. When a mutual mistake of the parties causes the failure of the instrument to disclose their real agreement, said instrument may be reformed.

Art. 1362. If one party was mistaken and the other acted fraudulently or inequitably in such a way that the instrument does not show their true intention, the former may ask for the reformation of the instrument.

Art. 1363. When one party was mistaken and the other knew or believed that the instrument did not state their real agreement, but concealed that fact from the former, the instrument may be reformed.

Art. 1364. When through the ignorance, lack of skill, negligence or bad faith on the part of the person drafting the instrument or of the clerk or typist, the instrument does not express the true intention of the parties, the courts may order that the instrument be reformed.

Art. 1365. If two parties agree upon the mortgage or pledge of real or personal property, but the instrument states that the property is sold absolutely or with a right of repurchase, reformation of the instrument is proper.

Art. 1366. There shall be no reformation in the following cases:

(1) Simple donations inter vivos wherein no condition is imposed;

(2) Wills;

(3) When the real agreement is void.

Art. 1367. When one of the parties has brought an action to enforce the instrument, he cannot subsequently ask for its reformation.

Art. 1368. Reformation may be ordered at the instance of either party or his successors in interest, if the mistake was mutual; otherwise, upon petition of the injured party, or his heirs and assigns.

Art. 1369. The procedure for the reformation of instrument shall be governed by rules of court to be promulgated by the Supreme Court.

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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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Book 4: Obligations & Contracts



Art. 1380. Contracts validly agreed upon may be rescinded in the cases established by law. (1290)

Art. 1381. The following contracts are rescissible:

(1) Those which are entered into by guardians whenever the wards whom they represent suffer lesion by more than one-fourth of the value of the things which are the object thereof;

(2) Those agreed upon in representation of absentees, if the latter suffer the lesion stated in the preceding number;

(3) Those undertaken in fraud of creditors when the latter cannot in any other manner collect the claims due them;

(4) Those which refer to things under litigation if they have been entered into by the defendant without the knowledge and approval of the litigants or of competent judicial authority;

(5) All other contracts specially declared by law to be subject to rescission. (1291a)

Art. 1382. Payments made in a state of insolvency for obligations to whose fulfillment the debtor could not be compelled at the time they were effected, are also rescissible. (1292)

Art. 1383. The action for rescission is subsidiary; it cannot be instituted except when the party suffering damage has no other legal means to obtain reparation for the same. (1294)

Art. 1384. Rescission shall be only to the extent necessary to cover the damages caused. (n)

Art. 1385. Rescission creates the obligation to return the things which were the object of the contract, together with their fruits, and the price with its interest; consequently, it can be carried out only when he who demands rescission can return whatever he may be obliged to restore.

Neither shall rescission take place when the things which are the object of the contract are legally in the possession of third persons who did not act in bad faith.

In this case, indemnity for damages may be demanded from the person causing the loss. (1295)

Art. 1386. Rescission referred to in Nos. 1 and 2 of Article 1381 shall not take place with respect to contracts approved by the courts. (1296a)

Art. 1387. All contracts by virtue of which the debtor alienates property by gratuitous title are presumed to have been entered into in fraud of creditors, when the donor did not reserve sufficient property to pay all debts contracted before the donation.

Alienations by onerous title are also presumed fraudulent when made by persons against whom some judgment has been issued. The decision or attachment need not refer to the property alienated, and need not have been obtained by the party seeking the rescission.

In addition to these presumptions, the design to defraud creditors may be proved in any other manner recognized by the law of evidence. (1297a)

Art. 1388. Whoever acquires in bad faith the things alienated in fraud of creditors, shall indemnify the latter for damages suffered by them on account of the alienation, whenever, due to any cause, it should be impossible for him to return them.

If there are two or more alienations, the first acquirer shall be liable first, and so on successively. (1298a)

Art. 1389. The action to claim rescission must be commenced within four years.

For persons under guardianship and for absentees, the period of four years shall not begin until the termination of the former’s incapacity, or until the domicile of the latter is known. (1299)

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Book 4: Obligations & Contracts



Art. 1390. The following contracts are voidable or annullable, even though there may have been no damage to the contracting parties:

(1) Those where one of the parties is incapable of giving consent to a contract;

(2) Those where the consent is vitiated by mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence or fraud.

These contracts are binding, unless they are annulled by a proper action in court. They are susceptible of ratification. (n)

Art. 1391. The action for annulment shall be brought within four years.

This period shall begin:

In cases of intimidation, violence or undue influence, from the time the defect of the consent ceases.

In case of mistake or fraud, from the time of the discovery of the same.

And when the action refers to contracts entered into by minors or other incapacitated persons, from the time the guardianship ceases. (1301a)

Art. 1392. Ratification extinguishes the action to annul a voidable contract. (1309a)

Art. 1393. Ratification may be effected expressly or tacitly. It is understood that there is a tacit ratification if, with knowledge of the reason which renders the contract voidable and such reason having ceased, the person who has a right to invoke it should execute an act which necessarily implies an intention to waive his right. (1311a)

Art. 1394. Ratification may be effected by the guardian of the incapacitated person. (n)

Art. 1395. Ratification does not require the conformity of the contracting party who has no right to bring the action for annulment. (1312)

Art. 1396. Ratification cleanses the contract from all its defects from the moment it was constituted. (1313)

Art. 1397. The action for the annulment of contracts may be instituted by all who are thereby obliged principally or subsidiarily. However, persons who are capable cannot allege the incapacity of those with whom they contracted; nor can those who exerted intimidation, violence, or undue influence, or employed fraud, or caused mistake base their action upon these flaws of the contract. (1302a)

Art. 1398. An obligation having been annulled, the contracting parties shall restore to each other the things which have been the subject matter of the contract, with their fruits, and the price with its interest, except in cases provided by law.

In obligations to render service, the value thereof shall be the basis for damages. (1303a)

Art. 1399. When the defect of the contract consists in the incapacity of one of the parties, the incapacitated person is not obliged to make any restitution except insofar as he has been benefited by the thing or price received by him. (1304)

Art. 1400. Whenever the person obliged by the decree of annulment to return the thing can not do so because it has been lost through his fault, he shall return the fruits received and the value of the thing at the time of the loss, with interest from the same date. (1307a)

Art. 1401. The action for annulment of contracts shall be extinguished when the thing which is the object thereof is lost through the fraud or fault of the person who has a right to institute the proceedings.

If the right of action is based upon the incapacity of any one of the contracting parties, the loss of the thing shall not be an obstacle to the success of the action, unless said loss took place through the fraud or fault of the plaintiff. (1314a)

Art. 1402. As long as one of the contracting parties does not restore what in virtue of the decree of annulment he is bound to return, the other cannot be compelled to comply with what is incumbent upon him. (1308)

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