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MANUELA T. VDA. DE SALVATIERRA vs. HON. LORENZO C.

GARLITOS,
Judge of the CFI, and SEGUNDINO REFUERZO,
No. L-11442. May 23, 1958
Nature: ORIGINAL ACTION in the Supreme Court. Certiorari.
Ponente: FELIX, J.
Facts:
Manuela T. Vda. de Salvatierra appeared to be the owner of a parcel of
land.
Manuela entered into a contract of lease with the Philippine Fibers
Producers Co., Inc., (not registered in the SEC and not a corporation)
represented by Mr. Refuerzo (President). It was provided that the lease
would be for 10 years; the land would be planted to kenaf, ramie or other
crops suitable to the soil; the lessor would be entitled to 30% of the net
income accruing from the harvest of any crop without being responsible
for the cost of production thereof; and that after every harvest, the lessee
was bound to declare at the earliest possible time the income derived
and to deliver the corresponding share due the lessor.
Manuela filed a complaint with the CFI because these conditions were not
met. Lower Court sided with Manuela and a writ of execution was later
issued (for Manuelas share of profits). 3 parcel of lands under the name
of Refuerzo was attached since the corporation does not have a property
available for attachment.
Rufuerzo claims that the decision should only be focused on the
corporation and not him. Court agreed and released his property.
Issue: Whether Rufuerzo is correct that the subject corporation should be
the one to shoulder the liabilities and not him
Held: NO. Petition Granted.
Ratio:
A corporation when registered has a juridical personality separate and
distinct from its component members or stockholders and officers, such that
a corporation cannot be held liable for the personal indebtedness of a
stockholder even if he should be its president (Walter A. Smith Co. vs. Ford,
SC-G. R. No. 42420) and conversely, a stockholder cannot be held personally
liable for any financial obligation by the corporation in excess of his unpaid
subscription. But this rule is understood to refer merely to registered
corporations and cannot be made applicable to the liability of members of an
unincorporated association. The reason behind this doctrine is obvious an
unincorporated association has no personality and would be incompetent to
act and appropriate for itself the power and attributes of a corporation as
provided by law, it cannot create agents or confer authority on another to act
in its behalf; thus, those who act or purport to act as its representatives or
agents do so without authority and at their own risk. And as it is an
elementary principle of law that a person who acts as an agent without

authority or without a principal is himself regarded as the principal,


possessed of all the right and subject to all the liabilities of a principal, a
person acting or purporting to act on behalf of a corporation which has no
valid existence assumes such privileges and obligations and becomes
personally liable for contracts entered into or for other acts performed as
such agent