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LIM v.

PEOPLE
G.R. No. L-34338 Demands for payment of the balance of the value for the
November 21, 1984 tobacco were made by Ayroso, particularly through her
Relova, J.: sister Salud Bantug. Bantug further testified that she made
several trips to petitioners house but the same eluded her.
DOCTRINE: Petitioner Lim denied these allegations but admitted that
Article 1197. If the obligation does not fix a period, but from she wrote a letter to Bantug stating that she was not able to
its nature and the circumstance it can be inferred that a go to Ayrosos house because it was hard for her to collect
period was intended, the courts may fix the duration thereof. money from the Cabanatuan market and only a few
The courts shall also fix the duration of the period when it customers were buying from her.
depends upon the will of the debtor
In every case, the courts shall determine such period as may Pursuant to this letter, the petitioner Lim sent a money order
under the circumstances have been probably contemplated for P100.00 on October 24, 1967, P50.00 on March 8, 1967,
by the parties. Once fixed by the courts, the period cannot and P90.00 on April 18, 1967. However, no further amounts
be changed by them. were paid by petitioner. Of the total value of P799.50, the
she had paid to Ayroso only P240.00. Consequently, Ayroso
FACTS: filed a criminal complaint against petitioner for estafa.
On January 10, 1966, Petitioner Lim, a businesswoman,
proposed to sell the tobacco of Maria Ayroso which consisted ISSUE/S:
of 615 kilos of tobacco to be sold for P1.30 per kilo Whether the receipt is a contract of agency to sell or a
whereupon Ayroso agreed to the same. The overprice from contract of sale of the subject tobacco between petitioner
the agreement was to be given to petitioner Lim upon the and the complainant, thereby precluding criminal liability of
sale of the tobacco. The agreement was witnessed by petitioner for the crime charged
Ayrosos maid Genoveva Ruiz and her sister Salud Bantug,
who also drew the document, signed by the two parties. It Whether or not the Article 1197 is applicable in the case at
states: bar (relevant)

HELD:
To Whom It May Concern: The court held that, it is clear in the agreement, that the
proceeds of the sale of the tobacco should be turned over to
the complainant as soon as the same was sold, or, that the
obligation was immediately demandable as soon as the
tobacco was disposed of. Hence, Article 1197 of the New
This is to certify that I have received from Mrs. Maria de Civil Code, which provides that the courts may fix the
Guzman Vda. de Ayroso. of Gapan, Nueva Ecija, six duration of the obligation if it does not fix a period, does not
hundred fifteen kilos of leaf tobacco to be sold at Pl.30 apply.
per kilo. The proceeds in the amount of Seven Hundred
Ninety Nine Pesos and 50/100 (P 799.50) will be given The fact that appellant received the tobacco to be sold at
to her as soon as it was sold. P1.30 per kilo and the proceeds to be given to complainant
as soon as it was sold, strongly negates transfer of
ownership of the goods to the petitioner. The agreement constituted her as an agent with the obligation to return the
tobacco if the same was not sold.