PpL-5671 Delos Reyes vs. Alojado
ROWENA R. CABAS Obligations and Contracts G.R. No. L-5671. August 24, 1910. Benito delos Reyes, plaintiff-appellant.
vs. Veronica Alojado, defendant-appellee. En Banc Case FACTS OF THE CASE: On or about Janaury 22, 1905, Veronica Alojado obtained a loan from Benito delos Reyes the sum of ₱67.60 for the purpose of paying her debt from Olympia Zaballa. It was agreed that Alojado should remain as a servant in the house of delos Reyes to serve without remuneration until such time that she can find someone who can loan the said amount, freeing her from her obligation to delos Reyes but repeating/incurring the same obligation. On March 12, 1906, Alojado left without paying her debt and despite demands, failed to pay her loan compelling delos Reyes to file a suit at the Court of Justice of the Peace of Sta. Rosa, Laguna on March 15, 1906 to recover the sum or to compel her to return to his service. On April 14, 1906, the judgment was rendered by the court against Alojado for her to pay the sum to delos Reyes and if insolvent, fulfill her agreement with costs assessed against her. Defendant filed an appeal with the Court of First Instance, the plaintiff on May 4, 1906 filed a Motion to Disallow the Appeals with cost against her alleging that it was filed out of time. Delos Reyes also averred that Alojado also obtained
several small amounts from him amounting to the total amount of ₱11.97 that remained unpaid and asked the court for judgment to comply with the contract and to pay him the sum of ₱79.57 and that until paid, Alojado should remain gratuitously in the service of his household plus the cost of the trial. Alojado answere stressing that she left because delos Reyes did not pay her for the services she has rendered and that the items she purchased amounting to ₱11.97 are still in the possession of delos Reyes because he refuses to deliver them. The Court of First Instance absolved Alojado computing the wages due her to ₱82 less her indebtedness. The difference shall be paid by delos Reyes to Alojado in the amount of ₱2.43, hence, delos Reyes filed before the Supreme Court an appeal through bill of exceptions, alleging that the CFI’s judgment was manifestly contrary to the weight of evidence.
ISSUE: 1. Whether or not the Court of First Instance erred in ruling that the condition is contrary to law and morality under Article 1255 (Article 1306, NCC) in relation to the provisions on hiring domestic servies under Article 1583, 1584 and 1585 of the Civil Code.
No. The duty to pay the said sum as well as that of ₱11.97 delivered to the defendant in small amounts during the time that she was in the plaintiff’s house, is unquestionable, inasmuch as it is a positive debt demandable of the defendant by her creditor. (Arts. 1754, 1170 Civil Code). However, the reason alleged by the plaintiff as a basis for the loan is untenable, to wit, that the defendant was obliged to render service in his house as a servant without remuneration whatever and to remain therein so long as she had not paid her debt, inasmuch as this condition is contrary to law and morality. (Art. 1255, Civil Code). Domestic services are always to be remunerated, and no agreement may subsist is law in which it is stipulated that any domestic service shall be absolutely gratuitous, unless it be admitted htat slavery may be established in this country through a covenant entered into between the interested parties. Articles 1583, 1584 and 1585 of the Civil Code prescribe rules governing the hiring of domestic servants, the conditions of such hire, the term during which the service may be rendered and the wages that accrue to the servant, also the duties of the latter and the master. Article 1306 (1255) of the Civil Code reads: The contracting parties may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions as they may deem convenient, provided they are not contrary to law, moral, good customs, public order, or public policy.