The Court is not impressed. First, in withdrawing the amounts consigned, Dayrit and FGR expressly reserved the right to question the validity of the consignation. In Riesenbeck v. Court of Appeals,15 the Court held that:
A sensu contrario, when the creditor’s acceptance of the money consigned is conditional and with reservations, he is not deemed to have waived the claims he reserved against his debtor. Thus, when the amount consigned does not cover the entire obligation, the creditor may accept it, reserving his right to the balance (Tolentino, Civil Code of the Phil., Vol. IV, 1973 Ed., p. 317, citing 3 Llerena 263). The same factual milieu obtains here because the respondent creditor accepted with reservation the amount consigned in court by the petitioner-debtor. Therefore, the creditor is not barred from raising his other claims, as he did in his answer with special defenses and counterclaim against petitioner-debtor.
As respondent-creditor’s acceptance of the amount consigned was with reservations, it did not completely extinguish the entire indebtedness of the petitioner-debtor. It is apposite to note here that consignation is completed at the time the creditor accepts the same without objections, or, if he objects, at the time the court declares that it has been validly made in accordance with law.16 (Emphasis supplied)
Second, compliance with the requisites of a valid consignation is mandatory. Failure to comply strictly with any of the requisites will render the consignation void. Substantial compliance is not enough.
In Insular Life Assurance Company, Ltd. v. Toyota Bel-Air, Inc.,17 the Court enumerated the requisites of a valid consignation: (1) a debt due; (2) the creditor to whom tender of payment was made refused without just cause to accept the payment, or the creditor was absent, unknown or incapacitated, or several persons claimed the same right to collect, or the title of the obligation was lost; (3) the person interested in the performance of the obligation was given notice before consignation was made; (4) the amount was placed at the disposal of the court; and (5) the person interested in the performance of the obligation was given notice after the consignation was made.
Articles 1257 and 1258 of the Civil Code state, respectively:
Art. 1257. In order that the consignation of the thing due may release the obligor, it must first be announced to the persons interested in the fulfillment of the obligation.
The consignation shall be ineffectual if it is not made strictly in consonance with the provisions which regulate payment.
Art. 1258. Consignation shall be made by depositing the things due at the disposal of judicial authority, before whom the tender of payment shall be proved, in a proper case, and the announcement of the consignation in other cases.
The consignation having been made, the interested parties shall also be notified thereof. (Emphasis supplied)
The giving of notice to the persons interested in the performance of the obligation is mandatory. Failure to notify the persons interested in the performance of the obligation will render the consignation void. In Ramos v. Sarao,18 the Court held that, “All interested parties are to be notified of the consignation. Compliance with [this requisite] is mandatory.”19 In Valdellon v. Tengco,20 the Court held that:
Under Art. 1257 of our Civil Code, in order that consignation of the thing due may release the obligor, it must first be announced to the persons interested in the fulfillment of the obligation. The consignation shall be ineffectual if it is not made strictly in consonance with the provisions which regulate payment. In said Article 1258, it is further stated that the consignation having been made, the interested party shall also be notified thereof.21 (Emphasis supplied)
In Soco v. Militante, et al.,22 the Court held that:
We hold that the essential requisites of a valid consignation must be complied with fully and strictly in accordance with the law, Articles 1256 to 1261, New Civil Code. That these Articles must be accorded a mandatory construction is clearly evident and plain from the very language of the codal provisions themselves which require absolute compliance with the essential requisites therein provided. Substantial compliance is not enough for that would render only a directory construction to the law. The use of the words “shall” and “must” which are imperative, operating to impose a duty which may be enforced, positively indicate that all the essential requisites of a valid consignation must be complied with. The Civil Code Articles expressly and explicitly direct what must be essentially done in order that consignation shall be valid and effectual.23 (Emphasis supplied)