Florante F. Manacop, petitioner, vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 97898. August 11, 1997.*
In 1972, petitioner Florante F. Manacop and his wife purchased a residential lot. The petitioner was later sued by E & L Mercantile, Inc for collection of indebtedness which instead of filing an answer, petitioner and his company entered into a compromise agreement. On July 15, 1986, private respondent filed a motion for execution which the lower court granted. The sheriff levied and sold several vehicles and other personal properties of petitioner in partial satisfaction of the judgment debt.
On August 1, 1989, petitioner filed a motion to quash the alias writs of execution and to stop the sheriff from continuing to enforce them on the ground that the judgment was not yet executory.
Private respondent filed an opposition that property covered could not be considered a family home on the grounds that petitioner was already living abroad and that the property, having been acquired in 1972, should have been judicially constituted as a family home to exempt it from execution.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration on the ground that “all existing family residences at the time of the effectivity of the Family Code are considered family homes and are prospectively entitled to the benefits accorded to a family home under the Family Code.”
– Whether or not a writ of execution of a final and executory judgment issued before the effectivity of the Family Code be executed on a house and lot constituted as a family home under the provision of said Code
– Whether or not the property shall be considered a family home even the petitioner stays in the United States which he states to be temporary
– YES. Petitioner incurred the indebtedness prior to the effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988. Hence, petitioner’s family home was not exempt from attachment “by sheer force of exclusion embodied in paragraph 2, Article 155. The residential house and lot of petitioner which was constituted prior to the family code shall became a family home by operation of law only under Article 153 of the Family Code. However, that said provision of the Family Code does not have retroactive effect. Since the debt involved herein was incurred and the assailed orders of the trial court issued prior to August 3, 1988, the petitioner cannot be shielded by the benevolent provisions of the Family Code.
Under Article 162 of the Family Code, it is provided that ‘the provisions of this Chapter shall also govern existing family residences insofar as said provisions are applicable.’ It does not mean that Articles 152 and 153 of said Code have a retroactive effect such that all existing family residences are deemed to have been constituted as family homes at the time of their occupation prior to the effectivity of the Family Code and are exempt from execution for the payment of obligations incurred before the effectivity of the Family Code. Article 162 simply means that all existing family residences at the time of the effectivity of the Family Code, are considered family homes and are prospectively entitled to the benefits accorded to a family home under the Family Code. Article 162 does not state that the provisions of Chapter 2, Title V have a retroactive effect
-NO. The law explicitly provides that occupancy of the family home either by the owner thereof or by “any of its beneficiaries” must be actual. That which is “actual” is something real, or actually existing, as opposed to something merely possible, or to something which is presumptive or constructive. Actual occupancy, however, need not be by the owner of the house specifically. Rather, the property may be occupied by the “beneficiaries” enumerated by Article 154 of the Family Code.