Civil Law Case Digest

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154 Amonoy vs. Gutierrez
G.R. No. 140420, February 15, 2001

FACTS
This case had its roots in Special Proceedings No. 3103 of Branch I of the CFI of Pasig, Rizal, for the settlement of the estate of the deceased Julio Cantolos, involving six (6) parcels of land situated in Tanay Rizal. Amonoy was the counsel of therein Francisca Catolos, Agnes Catolos, Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formida. On 12 January 1965, the Project of Partition submitted was approved and xxx two (2) of the said lots were adjudicated to Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda. The Attorney's fees charged by Amonoy was P27,600 and on 20 Jan 1965 Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formida executed a deed of real estate mortgage on the said two (2) lots adjudicated to them, in favor of Amonoy to secure the payment of his attorney's fees. But it was only on 6 Aug 1969 after the taxes had been paid, the claims settled and the properties adjudicated, that the estate was declared closed and terminated. Asuncion Pasamba died on 24 Feb 1969 while Alfonso Fornilda passed away on 2 Jul 1969. Among the heirs of the latter was his daughter, plaintiff-appellant Angela Gutierrez. Because his Attorney's fees thus secured by the two lots were not paid, on 21 Jan 1970 Amonoy filed for their foreclosure in Civil Code 4 No. 12726 entitled Sergio Amonoy vs. Heirs of Asuncion Pasamba and Heirs of Alfonso Fornilda before the CFI of Pasig, Rizal, and this was assigned to Branch VIII. The heirs opposed, contending that the attorney's fees charged were unconscionable and that the attorney's fees charged were unconscionable and that the agreed sum was only P11,695.92. But on 28 Sep 1972 judgment was rendered in favor of Amonoy requiring the heirs to pay within 90 days the P27,600 secured by the mortgage, P11,880 as value of the harvests, and P9,640 as another round of attorney's fees. Failing in that, the two (2) lots would be sold at public auction. They failed to pay. On 6 Feb 1973, the said lots were foreclosed and on 23 Mar 1973 the auction sale was held where Amonoy was the highest bidder at P23,760. On 2 May 1973 his bid was judicially confirmed. A deficiency was claimed & to satisfy it another execution sale was conducted, and again the highest bidder was Amonoy at P12,137.50. Included in those sold was the lot on which the Gutierrez spouses had their house. More than a year after the Decision in Civil Code No. 12726 was rendered, the said decedent's heirs filed on 19 Dec 1973 before the CFI of Pasig, Rizal, Civil case No. 18731 entitled Maria Penano, et al vs. Sergio Amonoy, et al, a suit for the annulment thereof. The case was dismissed by the CFI on 7 Nov 1977, and this was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on 22 Jul 1981. Thereafter, the CFI on 25 Jul 1985 issued a Writ of Possession and pursuant to which a notice to vacate was made on 26 Aug 1985. On Amonoy's motion of 24 Apr 1986, the Orders of 25 Apr 1986 and 6 May 1986 were issued for the demolition of structures in the said lots, including the house of the Gutierrez spouses. On 27 Sep 1985 a temporary restraining order was granted on 2 Jun 1986 enjoining the demolition of the petitioners' houses. Then on 5 Oct 1988 a Decision was rendered in the said G.R. No. L-72306 disposing that: "WHEREFORE, Certiorari is granted; the Order of respondent Trial Court, dated 25 Jul 1985, granting a Writ of Possession, as well as its Ordered, dated 25 Apr 1986 and 16 May 1986, directing and authorizing respondent Sheriff to demolish the houses of petitioners Angela and Leocadia Fornilda are hereby ordered returned to petitioners unless some of them have been conveyed to innocent third persons. But by the time the SC promulgated the abovementioned Decision, respondents' house had already been destroyed, supposedly in accordance with a Writ of Demolition ordered by the lower court. Thus, a Complaint for damages in connection with the destruction of their house was filed by respondents against petitioner before the RTC on Dec 15,...
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