Dela Torre v. Primetown (Case digest. G.R. No. 221932)


FACTS: Respondent Primetown Property Group, Inc., in 2003, filed a petition for corporate rehabilitation with prayer for suspension of payments and actions with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, and was raffled off to Branch 138. On August 15, 2003, the rehabilitation court issued a Stay Order.[3]

On October 15, 2004, petitioner Patricia Cabrieto dela Torre filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene[4] seeking judicial order for specific performance, i.e., for respondent to execute in her favor a deed of sale covering Unit 3306, Makati Prime Citadel Condominium which she bought from the former as she had allegedly fully paid the purchase price. Respondent opposed the motion arguing that it was filed out of time considering that the Stay Order was issued on August 15, 2003 and under the Interim Rules of Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation (Interim Rules), any claimants and creditors shall file their claim before the rehabilitation court not later than ten (10) days before the date of the initial hearing; and that since the Stay Order was issued on August 15, 2003 and the publication thereof was done in September 2003 with the initial hearing on the petition set on September 24 2003, the motion for intervention should have been filed on or before September 14, 2003.[5]

RTC granted the motion to intervene.

Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration alleging that intervenor is still liable to pay P1,902,210.48 as unpaid interest and penalty charges; and it is the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) which has exclusive and original jurisdiction over the controversies involving condominium units and not the RTC.ISSUES:
  1. Was the RTC correct in entertaining the petition for intervention?
  2. Is an intervention to enforce specific performance for the execution of a deed a "claim"?
  3. Is petitioner's reliance on Town v. Quisumbing correct?
HELD: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated April 28, 2015 and the Resolution dated November 25, 2015 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 125314 are hereby AFFIRMED.

ISSUE [1]: The RTC should not have entertained the petition for intervention at all.

Respondent filed a petition for rehabilitation and suspension of payments with the RTC which issued a Stay Order on August 15, 2003. The initial hearing was set on September 24, 2003; thus, any comment or opposition to the petition should have been filed 10 days before the initial hearing but petitioner did not file any and already barred from participating in the proceedings. However, petitioner filed a motion for leave to intervene on October 15, 2004, one year after, praying that respondent be ordered to execute in her favor a deed of absolute sale over Unit 3306 of the Makati Prime Citadel Condominium, subject matter of their earlier contract to sell. It bears stressing that intervention is prohibited under Section 1,[14] Rule 3 of the Interim Rules.

While respondent is undergoing rehabilitation, the enforcement of all claims against it is stayed. Rule 2, Section 1 of the Interim Rules defines a claim as referring to all claims or demands of whatever nature or character against a debtor or its property, whether for money or otherwise. The definition is all-encompassing as it refers to all actions whether for money or otherwise. There are no distinctions or exemptions.[18]

ISSUE [2]: Yes, petitioner's prayer in intervention for respondent to execute the deed of sale in her favor for the condominium unit is a claim as defined under the Interim Rules which is already stayed as early as August 15, 2003. In fact, the same order also prohibited respondent from selling, encumbering, transferring or disposing in any manner of any of its properties, except in the ordinary course of business.

ISSUE [3]: Petitioner's reliance in Town and Country Enterprises, Inc. v. Hon. Quisumbing, Jr., et al.[21] is in correct.

The rule is settled that the mortgagor loses all interests over the foreclosed property after the expiration of the redemption period and the purchaser becomes the absolute owner thereof when no redemption is made and, therefore, entitled to possession. In Town v. Quisumbing, we also ruled that while the issuance of the Stay Order suspends the enforcement of all claims against the debtor, whether for money or otherwise, and whether such enforcement is by court action or otherwise, effective from the date of its issuance until the dismissal of the petition or the termination of the rehabilitation proceedings, however, the Stay Order issued by the Rehabilitation Court cannot apply to the mortgage obligations owing to Metrobank which had already been enforced before TCEI's filing of its petition.

In contrast, petitioner's ownership of the condominium unit alleging that she had fully paid the purchase price was, however, disputed by respondent based on their Memorandum of Agreement dated January 20, 1997 where petitioner acknowledged that she had paid the principal obligation on the condominium unit but had yet to pay respondent for penalty charges and interest by reason of the delay in the payment of the monthly amortizations.


Carpio, J., (Chairperson), Perlas-Bernabe, and Reyes, Jr., JJ., concur.
Caguioa, J., on official business.

[1] Penned by Associate Justice Edwin D. Sorongon, concurred in by Associate Justices Ricardo R. Rosario and Danton Q. Bueser; rollo, pp. 17-24.[2] Id. at 7-8.

[3] Id. at 194-195; Per Judge Sixto Marella, Jr.

[4] Rollo, pp. 77-81.

[5] Id. at 135-136.

[6] Id. at 104-105; Per Acting Presiding Judge Joselito C. Villarosa.

[7] Id. at 104.

[8] Id. at 88-89.

[9] Rollo, pp. 23-33.

[10] Id. at 32-33.

[11] 696 Phil. 1 (2012).

[12] Town and Country Enterprises, Inc. v. Hon. Quisumbing, Jr., et al., supra, at 12-13, citing Castillo v. Uniwide Warehouse Club, Inc., 634 Phil. 41, 49 (2010).

[13] Veterans Philippine Scout Security Agency, Inc. vs. First Dominion Prime Holdings, Inc., 693 Phil. 336, 346 (2012).

[14] Section 1. Nature of Proceedings. - Any proceeding initiated under these Rules shall be considered in rem. Jurisdiction over all those affected by the proceedings shall be considered as acquired upon publication of the notice of the commencement of the proceedings in any newspaper of general circulation in the Philippines in the manner prescribed by these Rules.

The proceedings shall also be summary and non-adversarial in nature. The following pleadings are prohibited:
x x x

j. Intervention.
[15] 680 Phil. 238 (2012).

[16] Id. at 245-246.

[17] Rollo, p. 194.

[18] Spouses Sobrejuanite v. ASB Development Corp., 508 Phil. 715, 723 (2005).

[19] 594 Phil. 96 (2008).

[20] Id. at 112.

[21] Supra note, 11.