Concept of Obligations

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What constitutes an obligation – An obligation is “a juridical necessity to give, to do or not to do.”[1] Simply, it is a “juridical relation whereby a person (called the creditor) may demand from another (called the debtor) the observance of a determinative conduct (the giving, doing, or not doing), and in case of breach, may demand satisfaction from the assets of the latter.”[2]

What constitutes a right – Conversely, a right is “a claim or title to an interest in anything whatsoever that is enforceable by law.”[3] For every right of a person, there is a corresponding obligation of another to respect such right.[4] Subject to applicable law, any right acquired by virtue of an obligation is transmissible unless otherwise expressly stipulated.[5]


[1] CIVIL CODE, Article 1156.

[2] J.B.L. Reyes, Lawyer’s Journal, 31 January 1951, p. 47.

[3] Makati Stock Exchange, Inc., et al., v. Miguel V. Campos, G.R. No. 138814, 16 April 2009, citing Balley v. Miller, 91 N.E. 24, 25, Ind. App. 475, cited in 37A Words and Phrases 363.

[4] Makati Stock Exchange, Inc., et al., v. Miguel V. Campos, supra.

[5] CIVIL CODE. Article 1178.

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