Bar Exam Questionnaire – “Civil Law” questions 4

James Ryan Jonas

Actual 2008 Philippine Bar Exams Questionnaire
CIVIL LAW (Part 4 of 5)

XIII. Raymond, single, named his sister Ruffa in his will as a devisee of a parcel of land which he owned. The will imposed upon Ruffa the obligation of preserving the land and transferring it, upon her death, to her illegitimate daughter Scarlet who was then only one year old. Raymond later died, leaving behind his widowed mother, Ruffa and Scarlet.

  • a) Is the condition imposed upon Ruffa to preserve the property and
    to transmit it upon her death to Scarlet, valid? (1%)
  • b) If Scarlet predeceases Ruffa, who inherits the property? (2%)
  • c) If Ruffa predeceases Raymond, can Scarlet inherit the property
    directly from Raymond? (2%)

XIV. Stevie was born blind. He went to school for the blind, and learned to read in Braille language. He speaks English fluently. Can he:

  • a) Make a will? (1%)
  • b) Act as a witness to a will? (1%)
  • c) In either of the above instances, must the will be read to him? (1%)

XV. Eduardo was granted a loan by XYZ Bank for the purpose of improving a building which XYZ leased from him. Eduardo, executed the promissory note (“PN”) in favor of the bank, with his friend Recardo as cosignatory. In the PN, they both acknowledged that they are “individually and collectively” liable and waived the need for prior demand. To secure the PN, Recardo executed a real estate mortgage on his own property. When Eduardo defaulted on the PN, XYZ stopped payment of rentals on the building on the ground that legal compensation had set in. Since there was still a balance due on the PN after applying the rentals, XYZ foreclosed the real estate mortgage over Recardo’s property. Recardo opposed the foreclosure on the ground that he is only a co-signatory; that no demand was made upon him for payment, and assuming he is liable, his liability should not go beyond half the balance of the loan. Further, Recardo said that when the bank invoked compensation between the rentals and the amount of the loan, it amounted to a new contract or novation, and had the effect of extinguishing the security since he did not give his consent (as owner of the property under the real estate mortgage) thereto.

  • a) Can XYZ Bank validly assert legal compensation? (2%)
  • b) Can Recardo’s property be foreclosed to pay the full balance of the loan? (2%)
  • c) Does Recardo have basis under the Civil Code for claiming that
    the original contract was novated? (2%)

XVI. Dux leased his house to Iris for a period of 2 years, at the rate of P25,000.00 monthly, payable annually in advance. The contract stipulated that it may be renewed for another 2-year period upon mutual agreement of the parties. The contract also granted Iris the right of first refusal to purchase the property at any time during the lease, if Dux decides to sell the property at the same price that the property is offered for sale to a third party. Twenty-three months after execution of the lease contract, Dux sold the house to his mother for P2 million. Iris claimed that the sale was a breach of her right of first refusal. Dux said there was no breach because the property was sold to his mother who is not a third party. Iris filed an action to rescind the sale and to compel Dux to sell the property to her at the same price. Alternatively, she asked the court to extend the lease for another 2 years on the same terms.

  • a) Can Iris seek rescission of the sale of the property to Dux’s mother? (3%)
  • b) Will the alternative prayer for extension of the lease prosper? (2%)

Bar Exam Questions Reviewer:

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.