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Presley v. Bel-Air Village Association, 201 SCRA 13
Spouses Almendras were the registered owners of the property while Presley as lessee of the property, is the owner and operator of Hot Pan de Sal Store. A complaint for specific performance was filed by Bel-Air Village Association, Inc. against the spouses (deceased, substituted by petitioner) for violating a Bel - Air Subdivision restriction that the subject house and lot shall be used only for residential and not for commercial purposes, and for non-payment of association dues to them.
The RTC rendered decision in favor of respondent which was affirmed by the CA Motion for reconsideration was denied hence this petition.
Whether or not the deed of restriction can be enforced by BAVA against the petitioner.
No. The contractual stipulations on the use of the land even if said conditions are annotated on the torrens title can be impaired if necessary, to reconcile with the legitimate exercise of police power. Like all contracts, subject to the overriding demands, needs, and interests of the greater number as the State may determine in the legitimate exercise of police power. The jurisdiction of the court guarantees sanctity of contract and is said to be the 'law between the contracting parties,' (Civil Code, supra, art. 1159) but while it is so, it cannot contravene 'law, morals, good customs, public order, or public policy.' (supra, art. 1306). Above all, it cannot be raised as a deterrent to police power, designed precisely to promote health, safety, peace, and enhance the common good, at the expense of contractual rights, whenever necessary.
Jupiter Street has been highly commercialized since the passage of Ordinance No. 81-01. The records indicate that commercial buildings, offices, restaurants, and stores have already sprouted in the area. The Court saw no reason why the petitioner should be singled out and prohibited from putting up her hot pan de sal store.