rule2 5 marilag v martinez.docx - G.R No 201892 NORLINDA S...

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G.R. No. 201892, July 22, 2015 NORLINDA S. MARILAG, Petitioner, v. MARCELINO B. MARTINEZ, Respondent. D E C I S I O N PERLAS-BERNABE, J.: Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari1 are the Decision2 dated November 4, 2011 and the Resolution3 dated May 14, 2012 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 81258 which recalled and set aside the Orders dated November 3, 20034 and January 14, 20045 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Las Piñas City, Branch 202 (court a quo) in Civil Case No. 98-0156, and reinstated the Decision6 dated August 28, 2003 directing petitioner Norlinda S. Marilag (petitioner) to return to respondent Marcelino B. Martinez (respondent) the latter's excess payment, plus interest, and to pay attorney's fees and the costs of suit. The Facts On July 30, 1992, Rafael Martinez (Rafael), respondent's father, obtained from petitioner a loan in the amount of P160,000.00, with a stipulated monthly interest of five percent (5%), payable within a period of six (6) months. The loan was secured by a real estate mortgage over a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-208400. Rafael failed to settle his obligation upon maturity and despite repeated demands, prompting petitioner to file a Complaint for Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate Mortgage before the RTC of Imus, Cavite, Branch 907 (RTC-Imus) on November 10, 1995,8 docketed as Civil Case No. 1208-95 Gudicial foreclosure case). Rafael failed to file his answer and, upon petitioner's motion, was declared in default. After an ex parte presentation of petitioner's evidence, the RTC-Imus issued a Decision9 dated January 30, 1998, (January 30, 1998 Decision) in the foreclosure case, declaring the stipulated 5% monthly interest to be usurious and reducing the same to 12% per annum (p.a.). Accordingly, it ordered Rafael to pay petitioner the amount of P229,200.00, consisting of the principal of P160,000.00 and accrued interest of P59,200.00 from July 30, 1992 to September 30, 1995.10 Records do not show that this Decision had already attained finality. Meanwhile, prior to Rafael's notice of the above decision, respondent agreed to pay Rafael's obligation to petitioner which was pegged at P689,000.00. After making a total payment of P400,000.00,11 he executed a promissory note12 dated February 20, 1998 (subject PN), binding himself to pay on or before March 31, 1998 the amount of P289,000.00, "representing the balance of the agreed financial obligation of [his] father to [petitioner]."13 After learning of the January 30, 1998 Decision, respondent refused to pay the amount covered by the subject PN despite demands, prompting petitioner to file a complaint14 for sum of money and damages before the court a quo on July 2, 1998, docketed as Civil Case No. 98- 0156 (collection case). Respondent filed his answer,15 contending that petitioner has no cause of action against him. He averred that he has fully settled Rafael's obligation and that he committed a mistake in paying more than the amount due under the loan, i.e., the amount of P229,200.00 as adjudged by the RTC-Imus in the judicial foreclosure case which, thus, warranted the return of the excess payment. He therefore prayed
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