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647 SCRA 200


Carabeo entered into a contract with Sps. Dingco to sell his rights over 648 square meter parcel
of unregistered land for P38,000. Carabeo refused to accept remaining balance of P18,900 because he
would like to register first the land. Upon learning that the land been registered on 1993, Dingco offered to
pay but Carabeo still refused.
Dingco filed complaint for specific performance before RTC. Carabeo passed away but his
counsel failed to inform the court. Then, RTC ruled in favor of Dingco. CA denied the appeal and the
motion for reconsideration of Carabeo. Petition for Review was filed by son of Carabeo, Antonio. He
alleged that CA faulted in upholding validity of contract despite lack of spousal consent. He proffer that the
death of Carabeo causes the dismissal of the action and Dingcos cause of action being an action in

Whether or not CA erred in decising in favor of Dingco

NO. Argument of lack of consent was raised only on appeal. Also, Dingco is pursuing property
right arising from the agreement, whereas Antonio is invoking nullity of such agreement to protect his
proprietary interest. Assuming that the agreement is deemed void, there is a corollary obligation on part of
petitioner to return the money paid and since the action involves property rights, it survived.
Citing Bonilla v. Barcena, The question as to whether an action survives or not depends on the
nature of the action and the damage sued for. In the causes of action which survive, the wrong
complained [of] affects primarily and principally property and property rights, the injuries to the person
being merely incidental, while in the causes of action which do not survive, the injury complained of is to
the person, the property and rights of property affected being incidental.
Since the trial court was not informed of petitioners death, it may not be faulted for proceeding to
render judgment without ordering his substitution. Its judgment is thus valid and binding upon petitioners
legal representatives or successors-in-interest, insofar as his interest in the property subject of the action
is concerned. In filing a Notice of Appeal, petitioners counsel of record had no personality to act on behalf
of the already deceased client who, it bears reiteration, had not been substituted as a party after his
death. The trial courts decision had thereby become final and executory, no appeal having been
Furthermore, failure of the counsel to comply with his duty to inform court of the death of his
client, such that no substitution if effected, will not invalidate the proceedings and the judgment rendered
if the action survives the death of such party.