Absence of required power of attorney renders sale based thereon void ab initio

The authority granted Villamil-Estrada under the special power of attorney was explicit and exclusionary; for her to institute any action in court to eject all persons found on Lots Nos. 9127 and 443 so that petitioner could take material possession thereof, and for this purpose, to appear at the pre-trial and enter into any stipulation of facts and/or comptromise agreement but only insofar as this was protective of the rights and interests of petitioner in the property. Nowhere in this authorization was Villamil-Estrada granted expressly or impliedly any power to sell the subject property nor a portion thereof. Neither can a conferment of the power to sell be validly inferred from the specific authority "to enter into a compromise agreement" because of the explicit limitation fixed by the grantor that the compromise entered into shall be "so far as it shall protect the rights and interest of the corporation in the aforementioned lots." In the context of the specific investiture of powers to Villamil-Estrada, alienation by sale of an immovable certainly cannot be deemed protective of the right of petitioner to physically possess the same, more so when the land was being sold for a price of P80.00 per square meter, very much less than its assessed value of P250.00 per square meter, and considering further that petitioner never received the proceeds of the sale. It is therefore clear that by selling to respondent Perez a portion of petitioner's land through a compromise agreement, Villamil-Estrada acted without or in obvious authority. The sale ipso jure is consequently void. So is the compromise agreement. This being the case, the judgment based thereon is necessarily void. Antipodal to the opinion expressed by respondent court in resolving petitioner's motion for reconsideration, the nullity of the settlement between Villamil-Estrada and Perez impaired the jurisdiction of the trial court to render its decision based on the compromise agreement. (Alviar v. Court of First Instance of La Union) [G.R. No. 114311. November 29, 1996]