Civil Code Volume IV Obligations Contracts .pdf

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Art. 1106

extinctive prescription (“liberatory prescription;’’ prescription of actions); (“Statute of Limitations’’).

as to the object or subject matter:


prescription of property

prescription of real property


prescription of personal rights

prescription of rights

(5) Laches
Laches (or “estoppel by laches”) is unreasonable delay in the
bringing of a cause of action before the courts of justice. Thus, if
an action prescribes say in ten (10) years, it should be brought
to court as soon as possible, without waiting for 8 or 9 years,
unless the delay can be justifiably explained (as when there is
a search for evidence). Note therefore, that while an action has
not yet prescribed, it may no longer be brought to court because
of laches.
As defined by the Supreme Court, “laches is failure or
neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time,
to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should
have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert a
right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that
the party entitled thereto either has abandoned it or declined to
assert it. However, courts will not be bound by strictures of the
statute of limitations or laches when manifest wrong or injuries
would result thereby.” (Cristobal v. Melchor, 78 SCRA 175).
Arradaza, et al. v. CA & Larrazabal
GR 50422, Feb. 8, 1989
The principle of laches is a creation of equity. It is applied,
not really to penalize neglect or sleeping upon one’s right, but
rather to avoid recognizing a right when to do so would result
in a clearly inequitable situation.
(6) Rationale for Laches
If a person fails to act as soon as possible in vindication
of an alleged right, it is possible that the right does not really