Elements of a Waiver against Public Policy

Not all quitclaims are per se in valid or against public policy. A quitclaim is invalid or contrary to public policy only: (1) where there is clear proof that the waiver was wrangled from an unsuspecting or gullible person; or (2) where the terms of settlement are unconscionable on their face. In instances of invalid quitclaims, the law steps in to annul the questionable waiver. Indeed, there are legitimate waivers that represent the voluntary and reasonable settlements of laborers’ claims that should be respected by the Court as the law between the parties. Where the party has voluntarily made the waiver, with a full understanding of its terms as well as its consequences, and the consideration for the quitclaim is credible and reasonable, the transaction must be recognized as a valid and binding undertaking, and may not later be disowned simply because of a change of mind. A waiver is essentially contractual. (G.R. No. 167225; October 22, 2014)