Rio y Olabarrieta (predecessor-in-interest of appellant Rio y Compania) and the late Anastacio Manalo, father of the defendant-appellee Elvira Maslog, entered into a “Contrato de Servicios Personales” wherein the personal services of Manalo were engaged by the plaintiff-appellant for the administration and exploitation of its forest concession.
Under the contract, plaintiff-appellant was to extend to agent Manalo a credit not exceeding P5,000.00 with interest at 9% per annum.
On May 30, 1941, Anastacio Manalo died intestate.
Elvira Maslog carried on the account of her late father and made payments thereon up to December 31, 1941.
As of December 31, 1941, the balance of the account stood at P18,614.58 due and owing to plaintiff-appellant.
On January 29, 1954, plaintiff-appellant filed a complaint with the Court of First Instance of Palawan for the recovery of said amount from Elvira Maslog (joined with her husband) in her capacity as her father’s only heir, because through an affidavit of extrajudicial settlement of November 19, 1953 she had adjudicated to herself all the properties of the late Anastacio Manalo.
Before the case was set for hearing, defendants-appellees filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, on the ground that the cause of action has already prescribed.
The trial court rendered a decision dismissing the case.
Hence, this appeal.
Whether the money claims against the deceased has prescribed.
Anastacio Manalo died intestate, and at the time of his death, he had an outstanding obligation in plaintiff-appellant’s favor. This claim, being for money and arising from contract, did not survive and should have been filed promptly against the estate of the deceased debtor(Secs. 2 and 5, Rules 87).
Plaintiff-appellant was aware of the death of Anastacio Manalo and it is not claimed that Rio y Compania(successor to the original creditor) did not know the existence of Manalo’s obligation.
As a creditor, it was appellant’s duty to present its claim within a reasonable time after Anastacio Manalo’s death in the estate proceedings, and if none were had to file a petition for letters of administration, as authorized by sec. 6(b) of Rule 79.
But in spite of the creditor’s knowledge of the debtor’s death on May 30, 1941 and its awareness of the existence of the obligation, it did not take steps to institute administration proceedings, or collect the debt in question until January 29, 1954, more than 12 years from the death of the decedent.
The law strictly requires the prompt presentation and disposition of claims against the decedent’s estate in order to settle the affairs of the estate as soon as possible, pay off its debts and distribute the residue.
In the case of Tan Se Guan vs. Ga Siu San, 47 Phil., 96, this Court held:
The purpose of the rule is to settle the affairs of the estate with dispatch, so that the residue may be delivered to the persons entitled thereto without their being afterwards called upon to respond in actions for claims, which under the ordinary statute of limitations, have not yet prescribed.