The Court of Appeals (CA) has cleared comedian and "Eat Bulaga" host Jose Manalo of civil liability in connection with a P50-million civil case involving his estranged wife.
In a resolution dated March 28, the Former 17th Division affirmed its earlier decision upholding a lower court's ruling which disapproved a debt compromise agreement entered into by Manalo's wife, Annalyn, that attempted to bind the TV personality without his consent.
The appeals court dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by one Froilan Clemente, Jr. after it found the arguments he raised a "mere rehash" of already considered issues.
To fully settle an unpaid P15-million debt to Clemente, Manalo committed "jointly and/or together with her husband and co-defendant" to pay the businessman P50 million in the form of properties.
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court, and subsequently the CA, found the agreement "contrary to law" because Manalo did not sign it and thus did not consent to the deal.
"To repeat, the compromise agreement was signed by only one of the two defendants: Annalyn. On the other hand, herein private respondent Ariel or Jose, her husband and co-defendant, was not made a party to the settlement with the plaintiff, Froilan," the CA said in the three-page ruling.
"More importantly, the main provisions of said compromise agreement involve admissions of liabilities and assumption of obligations made by Annalyn, not only for herself, but also on behalf of her husband Ariel, even if the latter was not made a party to the settlement," it added.
The CA also maintained that the admissions made by Annalyn in the agreement "deal with matters that were specifically contested and denied by Jose..."
The ruling was penned by Associate Justice Ma. Luisa Quijano Padilla and concurred in by Associate Justices Elihu Ybañez and Perpetua Atal-Paño. —KG, GMA News