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C. Mandatory or prohibitory laws

1. CONCEPT

Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity. (Article 5, Civil Code)

There is no well-defined rule by which a mandatory or prohibitory law may, in all circumstances, be distinguished from one which is directory, suppletory, or permissive. In the determination of this question, the prime object is to ascertain the legislative intention. Generally speaking, those provisions which are mere matter of form, or which are not material, do not affect any substantial right, and do not relate to the essence of the thing to be done, so that compliance is a matter of convenience rather that substance, are considered to be directory. On the other hand, statutory provisions which relate to matters of substance, affect substantial rights and are the very essence of the thing required to be done, are regarded as mandatory. (Far East Bank & Trust Co. v. Marquez, G.R. No. 147964, 20 January 2004, citing Arturo M. Tolentino, Commentaries and jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. I [1990 ed.], p. 26.)

2. VOID – IF ACT AGAINST MANDATORY OR PROHIBITORY LAWS

Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void. (In Re: Barcelote v. Republic, G.R. No. 222095, 07 August 2017)

Inone case, the Supreme Court declared as void and cancelled a birth certificate, which showed that the mother was already 54 years old at the time of the child’s birth and which was not signed either by the civil registrar or by the supposed mother. (In Re: Barcelote v. Republic, G.R. No. 222095, 07 August 2017)

The lot was mortgaged in violation of Section 18 of PD 957. Respondent, who was the buyer of the property, was not notified of the mortgage before the release of the loan proceeds by petitioner. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void. Hence, the mortgage over the lot is null and void insofar as private respondent is concerned. (Far East Bank & Trust Co. v. Marquez, supra)

It would not matter that Gonzalez executed the Contract to Sell in favor of Francisco Jr. prior to the Deed of Assignment in favor of Francisco III. As established in the previous discussion, the Contract to Sell between Gonzalez and Francisco Jr. was void and without force and effect for being contrary to law. It intended to effect a transfer, which was prohibited by Republic Act No. 7353. It is even irrelevant that the terms of said Contract to Sell had been fully complied with and performed by the parties thereto, and that a Deed of Absolute Sale was already executed by Gonzalez in favor of Francisco Jr. A void agreement will not be rendered operative by the parties’ alleged performance (partial or full) of their respective prestations. A contract that violates the law is null and void ab initio and vests no rights and creates no obligations. It produces no legal effect at all. (Nunga v. Nunga III, G.R. No. 178306, 18 December 2008)

a. Extends to court decisions

Like any other judgment, a judgment upon compromise which is contrary to law is a void judgment; and a void judgment or order has no legal and binding effect. It does not divest rights, and no rights can be obtained under it; all proceedings founded upon a void judgment are equally worthless. (Santos v. Santos, G.R. No. 214593)

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