What are the applicable provisions of the Civil Code on interpretation of contracts?

 Articles 1370 to 1379 of the Civil Code cover the rules on interpretation of contracts under Civil Law. Foremost among these rules are:

 

  • If the terms of the contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the intention of the contracting parties, the literal meaning of its stipulations shall control. If the words appear contrary to the evident intention of the parties, intention prevails over words (Art. 1370).
  • If a stipulation of any contract can have several meanings, the meaning which will be most adequate to render the stipulation effective shall be adopted (Art. 1373).
  • Words, which may have different significations, shall be understood in that which is most in keeping with the nature and object of the contract (Art. 1375).
  • The usage or custom of the place shall be borne in mind when interpreting the ambiguities of a contract, and shall fill the omission of stipulations which are ordinarily established (Art. 1376).