G.R. No. 185530. April 18, 2018 (Case Brief / Digest)

### Title:
Makati Tuscany Condominium Corporation vs. Multi-Realty Development Corporation

### Facts:
Multi-Realty Development Corporation constructed the Makati Tuscany, a condominium, and incorporated the Makati Tuscany Condominium Corporation (MATUSCO) to manage its common areas. A discrepancy arose concerning the ownership of 98 parking slots, which Multi-Realty claimed retained ownership of, despite them being designated as common areas in the Master Deed. After MATUSCO denied Multi-Realty’s ownership claims in 1989, Multi-Realty filed a complaint in 1990 for reformation of the instrument. The RTC dismissed the case, a decision which was appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). The CA initially dismissed the appeal but was ordered by the Supreme Court to resolve Multi-Realty’s appeal on the merits, leading to a decision favoring the reformation of the Master Deed and Deed of Transfer.

### Issues:
1. Whether the Master Deed and Deed of Transfer should be reformed to exclude the 98 parking slots from the common areas.
2. Whether the Supreme Court is bound by its factual findings in Multi-Realty Development Corporation v. The Makati Tuscany Condominium Corporation regarding Multi-Realty’s ownership of the disputed parking slots.

### Court’s Decision:
The Supreme Court denied the Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by MATUSCO, affirming the CA’s decision to reform the Master Deed and Deed of Transfer to accurately reflect that the 98 parking slots were retained by Multi-Realty. The Court found that the subsequent and contemporaneous acts of the parties showed that the original intent was for Multi-Realty to retain ownership of the 98 parking slots, thus warranting the reformation of the instrument.

### Doctrine:
The power of reformation is vested in equity to allow a written instrument to express the true intention of the parties involved, especially when that intention is not accurately captured by the instrument due to mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct, or accident, in accordance with Article 1359 of the Civil Code.

### Class Notes:
1. **Reformation of Instrument:** A remedy that allows the revision of a written contract to express the true agreement of the parties.
2. **Estoppel:** A principle that prevents a party from asserting something contrary to what is implied by a previous action or statement by them or by a legal determination in a previous case.
3. **Prescription:** Legal deadlines for filing actions which, if not complied with, result in the rights being barred.

#### Application:
– An action for reformation of an instrument must satisfy three requisites: a meeting of the minds of the parties, the instrument does not express the true intent, and the failure is due to mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct, or accident.
– Estoppel by deed applies when a party’s previous conduct contradicts their current claims to the detriment of the party who relied on that conduct.
– Prescription periods vary depending on whether the underlying claim is based on a real right or a personal right, affecting the timeframe within which a case must be filed.

### Historical Background:
This case highlighted the complexities surrounding the development and management of condominium properties in the Philippines, especially in the early stages of the condominium industry where legal precedents and frameworks were still evolving. The reformation sought by Multi-Realty underscores the importance of clear documentation reflecting the true intent of the parties, particularly in innovative real estate projects.


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