Deposit CONVERTED into Contract of Hire of Services
It is acknowledged that the obligation of the appellants arose primarily out of the contract of deposit, but this deposit was later converted into a contract of hire of services, and this is true. But it is also true that, after the object of the hire of services had been fulfilled, the rice in every way remained as a deposit in the possession of the appellants for them to return to the depositor at any time they might be required to do so, and nothing has relieved them of this obligation; neither the dissolution of the partnership that united them, nor the revolutionary movement of a political character that seems to have occurred in 1898, nor the fact that they may at some time have lost possession of the rice.
With reference to the second question, or under title of deposit or hire of services, the possession of the appellants can in no way amount to prescription, for the thing received on deposit or for hire of services could not prescribe, since for every prescription of ownership the possession must be in the capacity of an owner, public, peaceful, and uninterrupted (Civil Code, 1941); and the appellants could not possess the rice in the capacity of owners, taking for granted that the depositor or lessor never could have believed that he had transferred to them ownership of the thing deposited or leased, but merely the care of the thing on deposit and the use or profit thereof; which is expressed in legal terms by saying that the possession of the depositary or of the lessee is not adverse to that of the depositor or lessor, who continues to be the owner of the thing which is merely held in trust by the depositary or lessee.
In strict law, the deposit, when it is of fungible goods received by weight, number or measurement, becomes a mutual loan, by reason of the authorization which the depositary may have from the depositor to make use of the goods deposited. (Civil Code, 1768, and Code of Commerce, 309; G.R. No. L-7097 October 23, 1912)