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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 97753 August 10, 1992 CALTEX (PHILIPPINES), INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SECURITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, respondents. Bito, Lozada, Ortega & Castillo for petitioners. Nepomuceno, Hofileña & Guingona for private.

REGALADO, J.: This petition for review on certiorari impugns and seeks the reversal of the decision promulgated by respondent court on March 8, 1991 in CA-G.R. CV No. 23615 1 affirming with modifications, the earlier decision of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch XLII, 2 which dismissed the complaint filed therein by herein petitioner against respondent bank. The undisputed background of this case, as found by the court a quo and adopted by respondent court, appears of record: 1. On various dates, defendant, a commercial banking institution, through its Sucat Branch issued 280 certificates of time deposit (CTDs) in favor of one Angel dela Cruz who deposited with herein defendant the aggregate amount of P1,120,000.00, as follows: (Joint Partial Stipulation of Facts and Statement of Issues, Original Records, p. 207; Defendant's Exhibits 1 to 280); CTD CTD Dates Serial Nos. Quantity Amount 22 Feb. 82 90101 to 90120 20 P80,000 26 Feb. 82 74602 to 74691 90 360,000 2 Mar. 82 74701 to 74740 40 160,000 4 Mar. 82 90127 to 90146 20 80,000 5 Mar. 82 74797 to 94800 4 16,000 5 Mar. 82 89965 to 89986 22 88,000 5 Mar. 82 70147 to 90150 4 16,000 8 Mar. 82 90001 to 90020 20 80,000 9 Mar. 82 90023 to 90050 28 112,000 9 Mar. 82 89991 to 90000 10 40,000 9 Mar. 82 90251 to 90272 22 88,000 ——— ————

Total 280 P1,120,000 ===== ======== 2. Angel dela Cruz delivered the said certificates of time (CTDs) to herein plaintiff in connection with his purchased of fuel products from the latter (Original Record, p. 208). 3. Sometime in March 1982, Angel dela Cruz informed Mr. Timoteo Tiangco, the Sucat Branch Manger, that he lost all the certificates of time deposit in dispute. Mr. Tiangco advised said depositor to execute and submit a notarized Affidavit of Loss, as required by defendant bank's procedure, if he desired replacement of said lost CTDs (TSN, February 9, 1987, pp. 48-50). 4. On March 18, 1982, Angel dela Cruz executed and delivered to defendant bank the required Affidavit of Loss (Defendant's Exhibit 281). On the basis of said affidavit of loss, 280 replacement CTDs were issued in favor of said depositor (Defendant's Exhibits 282-561). 5. On March 25, 1982, Angel dela Cruz negotiated and obtained a loan from defendant bank in the amount of Eight Hundred Seventy Five Thousand Pesos (P875,000.00). On the same date, said depositor executed a notarized Deed of Assignment of Time Deposit (Exhibit 562) which stated, among others, that he (de la Cruz) surrenders to defendant bank "full control of the indicated time deposits from and after date" of the assignment and further authorizes said bank to pre-terminate, set-off and "apply the said time deposits to the payment of whatever amount or amounts may be due" on the loan upon its maturity (TSN, February 9, 1987, pp. 6062). 6. Sometime in November, 1982, Mr. Aranas, Credit Manager of plaintiff Caltex (Phils.) Inc., went to the defendant bank's Sucat branch and presented for verification the CTDs declared lost by Angel dela Cruz alleging that the same were delivered to herein plaintiff "as security for purchases made with Caltex Philippines, Inc." by said depositor (TSN, February 9, 1987, pp. 54-68). 7. On November 26, 1982, defendant received a letter (Defendant's Exhibit 563) from herein plaintiff formally informing it of its possession of the CTDs in question and of its decision to pre-terminate the same. 8. On December 8, 1982, plaintiff was requested by herein defendant to furnish the former "a copy of the document evidencing the guarantee agreement with Mr. Angel dela Cruz" as well as "the details of Mr. Angel dela Cruz" obligation against which plaintiff proposed to apply the time deposits (Defendant's Exhibit 564). 9. No copy of the requested documents was furnished herein defendant. 10. Accordingly, defendant bank rejected the plaintiff's demand and claim for payment of the value of the CTDs in a letter dated February 7, 1983 (Defendant's Exhibit 566). 11. In April 1983, the loan of Angel dela Cruz with the defendant bank matured and fell due and on August 5, 1983, the latter set-off and applied the time deposits in question to the payment of the matured loan (TSN, February 9, 1987, pp. 130-131).

12. In view of the foregoing, plaintiff filed the instant complaint, praying that defendant bank be ordered to pay it the aggregate value of the certificates of time deposit of P1,120,000.00 plus accrued interest and compounded interest therein at 16% per annum, moral and exemplary damages as well as attorney's fees. After trial, the court a quo rendered its decision dismissing the instant complaint.

3

On appeal, as earlier stated, respondent court affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the complaint, hence this petition wherein petitioner faults respondent court in ruling (1) that the subject certificates of deposit are non-negotiable despite being clearly negotiable instruments; (2) that petitioner did not become a holder in due course of the said certificates of deposit; and (3) in disregarding the pertinent provisions of the Code of Commerce relating to lost instruments payable to bearer. 4 The instant petition is bereft of merit. A sample text of the certificates of time deposit is reproduced below to provide a better understanding of the issues involved in this recourse. SECURITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY 6778 Ayala Ave., Makati No. 90101 Metro Manila, Philippines SUCAT OFFICEP 4,000.00 CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT Rate 16% Date of Maturity FEB. 23, 1984 FEB 22, 1982, 19____ This is to Certify that B E A R E R has deposited in this Bank the sum of PESOS: FOUR THOUSAND ONLY, SECURITY BANK SUCAT OFFICE P4,000 & 00 CTS Pesos, Philippine Currency, repayable to said depositor 731 days. after date, upon presentation and surrender of this certificate, with interest at the rate of 16% per cent per annum. (Sgd. Illegible) (Sgd. Illegible) —————————— ——————————— AUTHORIZED SIGNATURES 5

Respondent court ruled that the CTDs in question are non-negotiable instruments, nationalizing as follows: . . . While it may be true that the word "bearer" appears rather boldly in the CTDs issued, it is important to note that after the word "BEARER" stamped on the space provided supposedly for the name of the depositor, the words "has deposited" a certain amount follows. The document further provides that the amount deposited shall be "repayable to said depositor" on the period indicated. Therefore, the text of the instrument(s) themselves manifest with clarity that they are payable, not to whoever purports to be the "bearer" but only to the specified person indicated therein, the depositor. In effect, the appellee bank acknowledges its depositor Angel dela Cruz as the person who made the

deposit and further engages itself to pay said depositor the amount indicated thereon at the stipulated date. 6

We disagree with these findings and conclusions, and hereby hold that the CTDs in question are negotiable instruments. Section 1 Act No. 2031, otherwise known as the Negotiable Instruments Law, enumerates the requisites for an instrument to become negotiable, viz: (a) It must be in writing and signed by the maker or drawer; (b) Must contain an unconditional promise or order to pay a sum certain in money; (c) Must be payable on demand, or at a fixed or determinable future time; (d) Must be payable to order or to bearer; and (e) Where the instrument is addressed to a drawee, he must be named or otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty. The CTDs in question undoubtedly meet the requirements of the law for negotiability. The parties' bone of contention is with regard to requisite (d) set forth above. It is noted that Mr. Timoteo P. Tiangco, Security Bank's Branch Manager way back in 1982, testified in open court that the depositor reffered to in the CTDs is no other than Mr. Angel de la Cruz. xxx xxx xxx Atty. Calida: q In other words Mr. Witness, you are saying that per books of the bank, the depositor referred (sic) in these certificates states that it was Angel dela Cruz? witness: a Yes, your Honor, and we have the record to show that Angel dela Cruz was the one who cause (sic) the amount. Atty. Calida: q And no other person or entity or company, Mr. Witness? witness: a None, your Honor. 7

xxx xxx xxx Atty. Calida: q Mr. Witness, who is the depositor identified in all of these certificates of time deposit insofar as the bank is concerned?

witness: a Angel dela Cruz is the depositor. 8

xxx xxx xxx On this score, the accepted rule is that the negotiability or non-negotiability of an instrument is determined from the writing, that is, from the face of the instrument itself. 9 In the construction of a bill or note, the intention of the parties is to control, if it can be legally ascertained. 10 While the writing may be read in the light of surrounding circumstances in order to more perfectly understand the intent and meaning of the parties, yet as they have constituted the writing to be the only outward and visible expression of their meaning, no other words are to be added to it or substituted in its stead. The duty of the court in such case is to ascertain, not what the parties may have secretly intended as contradistinguished from what their words express, but what is the meaning of the words they have used. What the parties meant must be determined by what they said. 11 Contrary to what respondent court held, the CTDs are negotiable instruments. The documents provide that the amounts deposited shall be repayable to the depositor. And who, according to the document, is the depositor? It is the "bearer." The documents do not say that the depositor is Angel de la Cruz and that the amounts deposited are repayable specifically to him. Rather, the amounts are to be repayable to the bearer of the documents or, for that matter, whosoever may be the bearer at the time of presentment. If it was really the intention of respondent bank to pay the amount to Angel de la Cruz only, it could have with facility so expressed that fact in clear and categorical terms in the documents, instead of having the word "BEARER" stamped on the space provided for the name of the depositor in each CTD. On the wordings of the documents, therefore, the amounts deposited are repayable to whoever may be the bearer thereof. Thus, petitioner's aforesaid witness merely declared that Angel de la Cruz is the depositor "insofar as the bank is concerned," but obviously other parties not privy to the transaction between them would not be in a position to know that the depositor is not the bearer stated in the CTDs. Hence, the situation would require any party dealing with the CTDs to go behind the plain import of what is written thereon to unravel the agreement of the parties thereto through facts aliunde. This need for resort to extrinsic evidence is what is sought to be avoided by the Negotiable Instruments Law and calls for the application of the elementary rule that the interpretation of obscure words or stipulations in a contract shall not favor the party who caused the obscurity. 12 The next query is whether petitioner can rightfully recover on the CTDs. This time, the answer is in the negative. The records reveal that Angel de la Cruz, whom petitioner chose not to implead in this suit for reasons of its own, delivered the CTDs amounting to P1,120,000.00 to petitioner without informing respondent bank thereof at any time. Unfortunately for petitioner, although the CTDs are bearer instruments, a valid negotiation thereof for the true purpose and agreement between it and De la Cruz, as ultimately ascertained, requires both delivery and indorsement. For, although petitioner seeks to deflect this fact, the CTDs were in reality delivered to it as a security for De la Cruz' purchases of its fuel products. Any doubt as to whether the CTDs were delivered as payment for the fuel products or as a security has been dissipated and resolved in favor of the latter by petitioner's own authorized and responsible representative himself. In a letter dated November 26, 1982 addressed to respondent Security Bank, J.Q. Aranas, Jr., Caltex Credit Manager, wrote: ". . . These certificates of deposit were negotiated to us by Mr. Angel dela Cruz to guarantee his purchases of fuel products" (Emphasis ours.) 13 This admission is conclusive upon petitioner, its protestations notwithstanding. Under the doctrine of estoppel, an admission or representation is rendered conclusive upon the person making it, and cannot be denied

or disproved as against the person relying thereon. 14 A party may not go back on his own acts and representations to the prejudice of the other party who relied upon them. 15 In the law of evidence, whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act, or omission, be permitted to falsify it. 16 If it were true that the CTDs were delivered as payment and not as security, petitioner's credit manager could have easily said so, instead of using the words "to guarantee" in the letter aforequoted. Besides, when respondent bank, as defendant in the court below, moved for a bill of particularity therein 17 praying, among others, that petitioner, as plaintiff, be required to aver with sufficient definiteness or particularity (a) the due date or dates ofpayment of the alleged indebtedness of Angel de la Cruz to plaintiff and (b) whether or not it issued a receipt showing that the CTDs were delivered to it by De la Cruz as payment of the latter's alleged indebtedness to it, plaintiff corporation opposed the motion. 18 Had it produced the receipt prayed for, it could have proved, if such truly was the fact, that the CTDs were delivered as payment and not as security. Having opposed the motion, petitioner now labors under the presumption that evidence willfully suppressed would be adverse if produced. 19 Under the foregoing circumstances, this disquisition in Intergrated Realty Corporation, et al. vs. Philippine National Bank, et al. 20 is apropos: . . . Adverting again to the Court's pronouncements in Lopez, supra, we quote therefrom: The character of the transaction between the parties is to be determined by their intention, regardless of what language was used or what the form of the transfer was. If it was intended to secure the payment of money, it must be construed as a pledge; but if there was some other intention, it is not a pledge. However, even though a transfer, if regarded by itself, appears to have been absolute, its object and character might still be qualified and explained by contemporaneous writing declaring it to have been a deposit of the property as collateral security. It has been said that a transfer of property by the debtor to a creditor, even if sufficient on its face to make an absolute conveyance, should be treated as a pledge if the debt continues in inexistence and is not discharged by the transfer, and that accordingly the use of the terms ordinarily importing conveyance of absolute ownership will not be given that effect in such a transaction if they are also commonly used in pledges and mortgages and therefore do not unqualifiedly indicate a transfer of absolute ownership, in the absence of clear and unambiguous language or other circumstances excluding an intent to pledge. Petitioner's insistence that the CTDs were negotiated to it begs the question. Under the Negotiable Instruments Law, an instrument is negotiated when it is transferred from one person to another in such a manner as to constitute the transferee the holder thereof, 21 and a holder may be the payee or indorsee of a bill or note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof. 22 In the present case, however, there was no negotiation in the sense of a transfer of the legal title to the CTDs in favor of petitioner in which situation, for obvious reasons, mere delivery of the bearer CTDs would have sufficed. Here, the delivery thereof only as security for the purchases of Angel de la Cruz (and we even disregard the fact that the amount involved was not disclosed) could at the most constitute petitioner only as a holder for value by reason of his lien. Accordingly, a negotiation for such purpose

cannot be effected by mere delivery of the instrument since, necessarily, the terms thereof and the subsequent disposition of such security, in the event of non-payment of the principal obligation, must be contractually provided for. The pertinent law on this point is that where the holder has a lien on the instrument arising from contract, he is deemed a holder for value to the extent of his lien. 23 As such holder of collateral security, he would be a pledgee but the requirements therefor and the effects thereof, not being provided for by the Negotiable Instruments Law, shall be governed by the Civil Code provisions on pledge of incorporeal rights, 24 which inceptively provide: Art. 2095. Incorporeal rights, evidenced by negotiable instruments, . . . may also be pledged. The instrument proving the right pledged shall be delivered to the creditor, and if negotiable, must be indorsed. Art. 2096. A pledge shall not take effect against third persons if a description of the thing pledged and the date of the pledge do not appear in a public instrument. Aside from the fact that the CTDs were only delivered but not indorsed, the factual findings of respondent court quoted at the start of this opinion show that petitioner failed to produce any document evidencing any contract of pledge or guarantee agreement between it and Angel de la Cruz. 25 Consequently, the mere delivery of the CTDs did not legally vest in petitioner any right effective against and binding upon respondent bank. The requirement under Article 2096 aforementioned is not a mere rule of adjective law prescribing the mode whereby proof may be made of the date of a pledge contract, but a rule of substantive law prescribing a condition without which the execution of a pledge contract cannot affect third persons adversely. 26 On the other hand, the assignment of the CTDs made by Angel de la Cruz in favor of respondent bank was embodied in a public instrument. 27 With regard to this other mode of transfer, the Civil Code specifically declares: Art. 1625. An assignment of credit, right or action shall produce no effect as against third persons, unless it appears in a public instrument, or the instrument is recorded in the Registry of Property in case the assignment involves real property. Respondent bank duly complied with this statutory requirement. Contrarily, petitioner, whether as purchaser, assignee or lien holder of the CTDs, neither proved the amount of its credit or the extent of its lien nor the execution of any public instrument which could affect or bind private respondent. Necessarily, therefore, as between petitioner and respondent bank, the latter has definitely the better right over the CTDs in question. Finally, petitioner faults respondent court for refusing to delve into the question of whether or not private respondent observed the requirements of the law in the case of lost negotiable instruments and the issuance of replacement certificates therefor, on the ground that petitioner failed to raised that issue in the lower court. 28 On this matter, we uphold respondent court's finding that the aspect of alleged negligence of private respondent was not included in the stipulation of the parties and in the statement of issues submitted by them to the trial court.29 The issues agreed upon by them for resolution in this case are: 1. Whether or not the CTDs as worded are negotiable instruments.

2. Whether or not defendant could legally apply the amount covered by the CTDs against the depositor's loan by virtue of the assignment (Annex "C"). 3. Whether or not there was legal compensation or set off involving the amount covered by the CTDs and the depositor's outstanding account with defendant, if any. 4. Whether or not plaintiff could compel defendant to preterminate the CTDs before the maturity date provided therein. 5. Whether or not plaintiff is entitled to the proceeds of the CTDs. 6. Whether or not the parties can recover damages, attorney's fees and litigation expenses from each other. As respondent court correctly observed, with appropriate citation of some doctrinal authorities, the foregoing enumeration does not include the issue of negligence on the part of respondent bank. An issue raised for the first time on appeal and not raised timely in the proceedings in the lower court is barred by estoppel. 30 Questions raised on appeal must be within the issues framed by the parties and, consequently, issues not raised in the trial court cannot be raised for the first time on appeal. 31 Pre-trial is primarily intended to make certain that all issues necessary to the disposition of a case are properly raised. Thus, to obviate the element of surprise, parties are expected to disclose at a pre-trial conference all issues of law and fact which they intend to raise at the trial, except such as may involve privileged or impeaching matters. The determination of issues at a pre-trial conference bars the consideration of other questions on appeal.32 To accept petitioner's suggestion that respondent bank's supposed negligence may be considered encompassed by the issues on its right to preterminate and receive the proceeds of the CTDs would be tantamount to saying that petitioner could raise on appeal any issue. We agree with private respondent that the broad ultimate issue of petitioner's entitlement to the proceeds of the questioned certificates can be premised on a multitude of other legal reasons and causes of action, of which respondent bank's supposed negligence is only one. Hence, petitioner's submission, if accepted, would render a pre-trial delimitation of issues a useless exercise. 33 Still, even assuming arguendo that said issue of negligence was raised in the court below, petitioner still cannot have the odds in its favor. A close scrutiny of the provisions of the Code of Commerce laying down the rules to be followed in case of lost instruments payable to bearer, which it invokes, will reveal that said provisions, even assuming their applicability to the CTDs in the case at bar, are merely permissive and not mandatory. The very first article cited by petitioner speaks for itself. Art 548. The dispossessed owner, no matter for what cause it may be, may apply to the judge or court of competent jurisdiction, asking that the principal, interest or dividends due or about to become due, be not paid a third person, as well as in order to prevent the ownership of the instrument that a duplicate be issued him. (Emphasis ours.) xxx xxx xxx The use of the word "may" in said provision shows that it is not mandatory but discretionary on the part of the "dispossessed owner" to apply to the judge or court of competent jurisdiction for the issuance of a duplicate of the lost instrument. Where the provision reads "may," this word shows that

it is not mandatory but discretional. 34 The word "may" is usually permissive, not mandatory. 35 It is an auxiliary verb indicating liberty, opportunity, permission and possibility. 36 Moreover, as correctly analyzed by private respondent, 37 Articles 548 to 558 of the Code of Commerce, on which petitioner seeks to anchor respondent bank's supposed negligence, merely established, on the one hand, a right of recourse in favor of a dispossessed owner or holder of a bearer instrument so that he may obtain a duplicate of the same, and, on the other, an option in favor of the party liable thereon who, for some valid ground, may elect to refuse to issue a replacement of the instrument. Significantly, none of the provisions cited by petitioner categorically restricts or prohibits the issuance a duplicate or replacement instrument sans compliance with the procedure outlined therein, and none establishes a mandatory precedent requirement therefor. WHEREFORE, on the modified premises above set forth, the petition is DENIED and the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, C.J., Padilla and Nocon, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION

G.R. No. 76788 January 22, 1990 JUANITA SALAS, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRST FINANCE & LEASING CORPORATION, respondents. Arsenio C. Villalon, Jr. for petitioner. Labaguis, Loyola, Angara & Associates for private respondent.

FERNAN, C.J.: Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari is the decision of the Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. CV No. 00757 entitled "Filinvest Finance & Leasing Corporation v. Salas", which modified the decision of the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga in Civil Case No. 5915, a collection suit between the same parties. Records disclose that on February 6, 1980, Juanita Salas (hereinafter referred to as petitioner) bought a motor vehicle from the Violago Motor Sales Corporation (VMS for brevity) for P58,138.20 as evidenced by a promissory note. This note was subsequently endorsed to Filinvest Finance & Leasing Corporation (hereinafter referred to as private respondent) which financed the purchase. Petitioner defaulted in her installments beginning May 21, 1980 allegedly due to a discrepancy in the engine and chassis numbers of the vehicle delivered to her and those indicated in the sales invoice, certificate of registration and deed of chattel mortgage, which fact she discovered when the vehicle figured in an accident on 9 May 1980. This failure to pay prompted private respondent to initiate Civil Case No. 5915 for a sum of money against petitioner before the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga. In its decision dated September 10, 1982, the trial court held, thus: WHEREFORE, and in view of all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P28,414.40 with interest thereon at the rate of 14% from October 2, 1980 until the said sum is fully paid; and the further amount of P1,000.00 as attorney's fees. The counterclaim of defendant is dismissed. With costs against defendant. 1

Both petitioner and private respondent appealed the aforesaid decision to the Court of Appeals. Imputing fraud, bad faith and misrepresentation against VMS for having delivered a different vehicle to petitioner, the latter prayed for a reversal of the trial court's decision so that she may be absolved from the obligation under the contract. On October 27, 1986, the Court of Appeals rendered its assailed decision, the pertinent portion of which is quoted hereunder: The allegations, statements, or admissions contained in a pleading are conclusive as against the pleader. A party cannot subsequently take a position contradictory of, or inconsistent with his pleadings (Cunanan vs. Amparo, 80 Phil. 227). Admissions made by the parties in the pleadings, or in the course of the trial or other proceedings, do not require proof and cannot be contradicted unless previously shown to have been made through palpable mistake (Sec. 2, Rule 129, Revised Rules of Court; Sta. Ana vs. Maliwat, L-23023, Aug. 31, 1968, 24 SCRA 1018). When an action or defense is founded upon a written instrument, copied in or attached to the corresponding pleading as provided in the preceding section, the genuineness and due execution of the instrument shall be deemed admitted unless the adverse party, under oath, specifically denied them, and sets forth what he claims to be the facts (Sec. 8, Rule 8, Revised Rules of Court; Hibbered vs. Rohde and McMillian, 32 Phil. 476). A perusal of the evidence shows that the amount of P58,138.20 stated in the promissory note is the amount assumed by the plaintiff in financing the purchase of defendant's motor vehicle from the Violago Motor Sales Corp., the monthly amortization of winch is Pl,614.95 for 36 months. Considering that the defendant was able to pay twice (as admitted by the plaintiff, defendant's account became delinquent only beginning May, 1980) or in the total sum of P3,229.90, she is therefore liable to pay the remaining balance of P54,908.30 at l4% per annum from October 2, 1980 until full payment. WHEREFORE, considering the foregoing, the appealed decision is hereby modified ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of P54,908.30 at 14% per annum from October 2, 1980 until full payment. The decision is AFFIRMED in all other respects. With costs to defendant. 2

Petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied; hence, the present recourse. In the petition before us, petitioner assigns twelve (12) errors which focus on the alleged fraud, bad faith and misrepresentation of Violago Motor Sales Corporation in the conduct of its business and which fraud, bad faith and misrepresentation supposedly released petitioner from any liability to private respondent who should instead proceed against VMS. 3 Petitioner argues that in the light of the provision of the law on sales by description 4 which she alleges is applicable here, no contract ever existed between her and VMS and therefore none had been assigned in favor of private respondent. She contends that it is not necessary, as opined by the appellate court, to implead VMS as a party to the case before it can be made to answer for damages because VMS was earlier sued by her for "breach of contract with damages" before the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City, Branch LXXII,

docketed as Civil Case No. 2916-0. She cites as authority the decision therein where the court originally ordered petitioner to pay the remaining balance of the motor vehicle installments in the amount of P31,644.30 representing the difference between the agreed consideration of P49,000.00 as shown in the sales invoice and petitioner's initial downpayment of P17,855.70 allegedly evidenced by a receipt. Said decision was however reversed later on, with the same court ordering defendant VMS instead to return to petitioner the sum of P17,855.70. Parenthetically, said decision is still pending consideration by the First Civil Case Division of the Court of Appeals, upon an appeal by VMS, docketed as AC-G.R. No. 02922. 5 Private respondent in its comment, prays for the dismissal of the petition and counters that the issues raised and the allegations adduced therein are a mere rehash of those presented and already passed upon in the court below, and that the judgment in the "breach of contract" suit cannot be invoked as an authority as the same is still pending determination in the appellate court. We see no cogent reason to disturb the challenged decision. The pivotal issue in this case is whether the promissory note in question is a negotiable instrument which will bar completely all the available defenses of the petitioner against private respondent. Petitioner's liability on the promissory note, the due execution and genuineness of which she never denied under oath is, under the foregoing factual milieu, as inevitable as it is clearly established. The records reveal that involved herein is not a simple case of assignment of credit as petitioner would have it appear, where the assignee merely steps into the shoes of, is open to all defenses available against and can enforce payment only to the same extent as, the assignor-vendor. Recently, in the case of Consolidated Plywood Industries Inc. v. IFC Leasing and Acceptance Corp., 6 this Court had the occasion to clearly distinguish between a negotiable and a non-negotiable instrument. Among others, the instrument in order to be considered negotiable must contain the so-called "words of negotiability — i.e., must be payable to "order" or "bearer"". Under Section 8 of the Negotiable Instruments Law, there are only two ways by which an instrument may be made payable to order. There must always be a specified person named in the instrument and the bill or note is to be paid to the person designated in the instrument or to any person to whom he has indorsed and delivered the same. Without the words "or order or "to the order of", the instrument is payable only to the person designated therein and is therefore non-negotiable. Any subsequent purchaser thereof will not enjoy the advantages of being a holder of a negotiable instrument, but will merely "step into the shoes" of the person designated in the instrument and will thus be open to all defenses available against the latter. Such being the situation in the above-cited case, it was held that therein private respondent is not a holder in due course but a mere assignee against whom all defenses available to the assignor may be raised. 7 In the case at bar, however, the situation is different. Indubitably, the basis of private respondent's claim against petitioner is a promissory note which bears all the earmarks of negotiability. The pertinent portion of the note reads: PROMISSORY NOTE (MONTHLY)

P58,138.20 San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines Feb. 11, 1980 For value received, I/We jointly and severally, promise to pay Violago Motor Sales Corporation or order, at its office in San Fernando, Pampanga, the sum of FIFTY EIGHT THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED THIRTY EIGHT & 201/100 ONLY (P58,138.20) Philippine currency, which amount includes interest at 14% per annum based on the diminishing balance, the said principal sum, to be payable, without need of notice or demand, in installments of the amounts following and at the dates hereinafter set forth, to wit: P1,614.95 monthly for "36" months due and payable on the 21st day of each month starting March 21, 1980 thru and inclusive of February 21, 1983. P_________ monthly for ______ months due and payable on the ______ day of each month starting _____198__ thru and inclusive of _____, 198________ provided that interest at 14% per annum shall be added on each unpaid installment from maturity hereof until fully paid. xxx xxx xxx Maker; Co-Maker: (SIGNED) JUANITA SALAS _________________ Address: ____________________ ____________________ WITNESSES SIGNED: ILLEGIBLE SIGNED: ILLEGIBLE TAN # TAN # PAY TO THE ORDER OF FILINVEST FINANCE AND LEASING CORPORATION VIOLAGO MOTOR SALES CORPORATION BY: (SIGNED) GENEVEVA V. BALTAZAR Cash Manager 8

A careful study of the questioned promissory note shows that it is a negotiable instrument, having complied with the requisites under the law as follows: [a] it is in writing and signed by the maker Juanita Salas; [b] it contains an unconditional promise to pay the amount of P58,138.20; [c] it is payable at a fixed or determinable future time which is "P1,614.95 monthly for 36 months due and payable on the 21 st day of each month starting March 21, 1980 thru and inclusive of Feb. 21, 1983;" [d] it is payable to Violago Motor Sales Corporation, or order and as such, [e] the drawee is named or indicated with certainty. 9 It was negotiated by indorsement in writing on the instrument itself payable to the Order of Filinvest Finance and Leasing Corporation 10 and it is an indorsement of the entire instrument. 11

Under the circumstances, there appears to be no question that Filinvest is a holder in due course, having taken the instrument under the following conditions: [a] it is complete and regular upon its face; [b] it became the holder thereof before it was overdue, and without notice that it had previously been dishonored; [c] it took the same in good faith and for value; and [d] when it was negotiated to Filinvest, the latter had no notice of any infirmity in the instrument or defect in the title of VMS Corporation. 12 Accordingly, respondent corporation holds the instrument free from any defect of title of prior parties, and free from defenses available to prior parties among themselves, and may enforce payment of the instrument for the full amount thereof. 13 This being so, petitioner cannot set up against respondent the defense of nullity of the contract of sale between her and VMS. Even assuming for the sake of argument that there is an iota of truth in petitioner's allegation that there was in fact deception made upon her in that the vehicle she purchased was different from that actually delivered to her, this matter cannot be passed upon in the case before us, where the VMS was never impleaded as a party. Whatever issue is raised or claim presented against VMS must be resolved in the "breach of contract" case. Hence, we reach a similar opinion as did respondent court when it held: We can only extend our sympathies to the defendant (herein petitioner) in this unfortunate incident. Indeed, there is nothing We can do as far as the Violago Motor Sales Corporation is concerned since it is not a party in this case. To even discuss the issue as to whether or not the Violago Motor Sales Corporation is liable in the transaction in question would amount, to denial of due process, hence, improper and unconstitutional. She should have impleaded Violago Motor Sales. 14

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the assailed decision is hereby AFFIRMED. With costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED. Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano, Bidin and Cortés, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. L-40824 February 23, 1989 GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and MR. & MRS. ISABELO R. RACHO, respondents. The Government Corporate Counsel for petitioner. Lorenzo A. Sales for private respondents.

REGALADO , J.: Private respondents, Mr. and Mrs. Isabelo R. Racho, together with the spouses Mr. and Mrs Flaviano Lagasca, executed a deed of mortgage, dated November 13, 1957, in favor of petitioner Government Service Insurance System (hereinafter referred to as GSIS) and subsequently, another deed of mortgage, dated April 14, 1958, in connection with two loans granted by the latter in the sums of P 11,500.00 and P 3,000.00, respectively. 1 A parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 38989 of the Register of Deed of Quezon City, co-owned by said mortgagor spouses, was given as security under the aforesaid two deeds. 2 They also executed a 'promissory note" which states in part: ... for value received, we the undersigned ... JOINTLY, SEVERALLY and SOLIDARILY, promise to pay the GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM the sum of . . . (P 11,500.00) Philippine Currency, with interest at the rate of six (6%) per centum compounded monthly payable in . . . (120)equal monthly installments of . . . (P 127.65) each. 3

On July 11, 1961, the Lagasca spouses executed an instrument denominated "Assumption of Mortgage" under which they obligated themselves to assume the aforesaid obligation to the GSIS and to secure the release of the mortgage covering that portion of the land belonging to herein private respondents and which was mortgaged to the GSIS. 4 This undertaking was not fulfilled. 5 Upon failure of the mortgagors to comply with the conditions of the mortgage, particularly the payment of the amortizations due, GSIS extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage and caused the mortgaged property to be sold at public auction on December 3, 1962. 6 More than two years thereafter, or on August 23, 1965, herein private respondents filed a complaint against the petitioner and the Lagasca spouses in the former Court of First Instance of Quezon City, 7 praying that the extrajudicial foreclosure "made on, their property and all other documents executed in relation thereto in favor of the Government Service Insurance System" be declared null and void. It was further prayed that they be allowed to recover said

property, and/or the GSIS be ordered to pay them the value thereof, and/or they be allowed to repurchase the land. Additionally, they asked for actual and moral damages and attorney's fees. In their aforesaid complaint, private respondents alleged that they signed the mortgage contracts not as sureties or guarantors for the Lagasca spouses but they merely gave their common property to the said co-owners who were solely benefited by the loans from the GSIS. The trial court rendered judgment on February 25, 1968 dismissing the complaint for failure to establish a cause of action. 8 Said decision was reversed by the respondent Court of Appeals 9 which held that: ... although formally they are co-mortgagors, they are so only for accomodation (sic) in that the GSIS required their consent to the mortgage of the entire parcel of land which was covered with only one certificate of title, with full knowledge that the loans secured thereby were solely for the benefit of the appellant (sic) spouses who alone applied for the loan. xxxx 'It is, therefore, clear that as against the GSIS, appellants have a valid cause for having foreclosed the mortgage without having given sufficient notice to them as required either as to their delinquency in the payment of amortization or as to the subsequent foreclosure of the mortgage by reason of any default in such payment. The notice published in the newspaper, 'Daily Record (Exh. 12) and posted pursuant to Sec 3 of Act 3135 is not the notice to which the mortgagor is entitled upon the application being made for an extrajudicial foreclosure. ... 10

On the foregoing findings, the respondent court consequently decreed thatIn view of all the foregoing, the judgment appealed from is hereby reversed, and another one entered (1) declaring the foreclosure of the mortgage void insofar as it affects the share of the appellants; (2) directing the GSIS to reconvey to appellants their share of the mortgaged property, or the value thereof if already sold to third party, in the sum of P 35,000.00, and (3) ordering the appellees Flaviano Lagasca and Esther Lagasca to pay the appellants the sum of P 10,00.00 as moral damages, P 5,000.00 as attorney's fees, and costs. 11

The case is now before us in this petition for review. In submitting their case to this Court, both parties relied on the provisions of Section 29 of Act No. 2031, otherwise known as the Negotiable Instruments Law, which provide that an accommodation party is one who has signed an instrument as maker, drawer, acceptor of indorser without receiving value therefor, but is held liable on the instrument to a holder for value although the latter knew him to be only an accommodation party. This approach of both parties appears to be misdirected and their reliance misplaced. The promissory note hereinbefore quoted, as well as the mortgage deeds subject of this case, are clearly not negotiable instruments. These documents do not comply with the fourth requisite to be considered as such under Section 1 of Act No. 2031 because they are neither payable to order nor to bearer. The note is payable to a specified party, the GSIS. Absent the aforesaid requisite, the

provisions of Act No. 2031 would not apply; governance shall be afforded, instead, by the provisions of the Civil Code and special laws on mortgages. As earlier indicated, the factual findings of respondent court are that private respondents signed the documents "only to give their consent to the mortgage as required by GSIS", with the latter having full knowledge that the loans secured thereby were solely for the benefit of the Lagasca spouses. 12 This appears to be duly supported by sufficient evidence on record. Indeed, it would be unusual for the GSIS to arrange for and deduct the monthly amortizations on the loans from the salary as an army officer of Flaviano Lagasca without likewise affecting deductions from the salary of Isabelo Racho who was also an army sergeant. Then there is also the undisputed fact, as already stated, that the Lagasca spouses executed a so-called "Assumption of Mortgage" promising to exclude private respondents and their share of the mortgaged property from liability to the mortgagee. There is no intimation that the former executed such instrument for a consideration, thus confirming that they did so pursuant to their original agreement. The parol evidence rule 13 cannot be used by petitioner as a shield in this case for it is clear that there was no objection in the court below regarding the admissibility of the testimony and documents that were presented to prove that the private respondents signed the mortgage papers just to accommodate their co-owners, the Lagasca spouses. Besides, the introduction of such evidence falls under the exception to said rule, there being allegations in the complaint of private respondents in the court below regarding the failure of the mortgage contracts to express the true agreement of the parties. 14 However, contrary to the holding of the respondent court, it cannot be said that private respondents are without liability under the aforesaid mortgage contracts. The factual context of this case is precisely what is contemplated in the last paragraph of Article 2085 of the Civil Code to the effect that third persons who are not parties to the principal obligation may secure the latter by pledging or mortgaging their own property So long as valid consent was given, the fact that the loans were solely for the benefit of the Lagasca spouses would not invalidate the mortgage with respect to private respondents' share in the property. In consenting thereto, even assuming that private respondents may not be assuming personal liability for the debt, their share in the property shall nevertheless secure and respond for the performance of the principal obligation. The parties to the mortgage could not have intended that the same would apply only to the aliquot portion of the Lagasca spouses in the property, otherwise the consent of the private respondents would not have been required. The supposed requirement of prior demand on the private respondents would not be in point here since the mortgage contracts created obligations with specific terms for the compliance thereof. The facts further show that the private respondents expressly bound themselves as solidary debtors in the promissory note hereinbefore quoted. Coming now to the extrajudicial foreclosure effected by GSIS, We cannot agree with the ruling of respondent court that lack of notice to the private respondents of the extrajudicial foreclosure sale impairs the validity thereof. InBonnevie, et al. vs. Court of appeals, et al., 15 the Court ruled that Act No. 3135, as amended, does not require personal notice on the mortgagor, quoting the requirement on notice in such cases as follows: Section 3. Notice shall be given by posting notices of sale for not less than twenty days in at least three public places of the municipality where the property is situated, and if such property is worth more than four hundred pesos, such notice shall also be

published once a week for at least three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality or city. There is no showing that the foregoing requirement on notice was not complied with in the foreclosure sale complained of . The respondent court, therefore, erred in annulling the mortgage insofar as it affected the share of private respondents or in directing reconveyance of their property or the payment of the value thereof Indubitably, whether or not private respondents herein benefited from the loan, the mortgage and the extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings were valid. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered REVERSING the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals and REINSTATING the decision of the court a quo in Civil Case No. Q-9418 thereof. SO ORDERED. Melencio-Herrera (Chairperson), Paras, Padilla and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G.R. No. L-15126

November 30, 1961

VICENTE R. DE OCAMPO & CO., plaintiff-appellee, vs. ANITA GATCHALIAN, ET AL., defendants-appellants. Vicente Formoso, Jr. for plaintiff-appellee. Reyes and Pangalañgan for defendants-appellants. LABRADOR, J.: Appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Conrado M. Velasquez, presiding, sentencing the defendants to pay the plaintiff the sum of P600, with legal interest from September 10, 1953 until paid, and to pay the costs. The action is for the recovery of the value of a check for P600 payable to the plaintiff and drawn by defendant Anita C. Gatchalian. The complaint sets forth the check and alleges that plaintiff received it in payment of the indebtedness of one Matilde Gonzales; that upon receipt of said check, plaintiff gave Matilde Gonzales P158.25, the difference between the face value of the check and Matilde Gonzales' indebtedness. The defendants admit the execution of the check but they allege in their answer, as affirmative defense, that it was issued subject to a condition, which was not fulfilled, and that plaintiff was guilty of gross negligence in not taking steps to protect itself. At the time of the trial, the parties submitted a stipulation of facts, which reads as follows: Plaintiff and defendants through their respective undersigned attorney's respectfully submit the following Agreed Stipulation of Facts; First. — That on or about 8 September 1953, in the evening, defendant Anita C. Gatchalian who was then interested in looking for a car for the use of her husband and the family, was shown and offered a car by Manuel Gonzales who was accompanied by Emil Fajardo, the latter being personally known to defendant Anita C. Gatchalian; Second. — That Manuel Gonzales represented to defend Anita C. Gatchalian that he was duly authorized by the owner of the car, Ocampo Clinic, to look for a buyer of said car and to negotiate for and accomplish said sale, but which facts were not known to plaintiff; Third. — That defendant Anita C. Gatchalian, finding the price of the car quoted by Manuel Gonzales to her satisfaction, requested Manuel Gonzales to bring the car the day following together with the certificate of registration of the car, so that her husband would be able to see same; that on this request of defendant Anita C. Gatchalian, Manuel Gonzales advised her that the owner of the car will not be willing to give the certificate of registration unless there is a showing that the party interested in the purchase of said car is ready and willing to make such purchase and that for this purpose Manuel Gonzales requested defendant Anita C. Gatchalian to give him (Manuel Gonzales) a check which will be shown to the owner as

evidence of buyer's good faith in the intention to purchase the said car, the said check to be for safekeeping only of Manuel Gonzales and to be returned to defendant Anita C. Gatchalian the following day when Manuel Gonzales brings the car and the certificate of registration, but which facts were not known to plaintiff; Fourth. — That relying on these representations of Manuel Gonzales and with his assurance that said check will be only for safekeeping and which will be returned to said defendant the following day when the car and its certificate of registration will be brought by Manuel Gonzales to defendants, but which facts were not known to plaintiff, defendant Anita C. Gatchalian drew and issued a check, Exh. "B"; that Manuel Gonzales executed and issued a receipt for said check, Exh. "1"; Fifth. — That on the failure of Manuel Gonzales to appear the day following and on his failure to bring the car and its certificate of registration and to return the check, Exh. "B", on the following day as previously agreed upon, defendant Anita C. Gatchalian issued a "Stop Payment Order" on the check, Exh. "3", with the drawee bank. Said "Stop Payment Order" was issued without previous notice on plaintiff not being know to defendant, Anita C. Gatchalian and who furthermore had no reason to know check was given to plaintiff; Sixth. — That defendants, both or either of them, did not know personally Manuel Gonzales or any member of his family at any time prior to September 1953, but that defendant Hipolito Gatchalian is personally acquainted with V. R. de Ocampo; Seventh. — That defendants, both or either of them, had no arrangements or agreement with the Ocampo Clinic at any time prior to, on or after 9 September 1953 for the hospitalization of the wife of Manuel Gonzales and neither or both of said defendants had assumed, expressly or impliedly, with the Ocampo Clinic, the obligation of Manuel Gonzales or his wife for the hospitalization of the latter; Eight. — That defendants, both or either of them, had no obligation or liability, directly or indirectly with the Ocampo Clinic before, or on 9 September 1953; Ninth. — That Manuel Gonzales having received the check Exh. "B" from defendant Anita C. Gatchalian under the representations and conditions herein above specified, delivered the same to the Ocampo Clinic, in payment of the fees and expenses arising from the hospitalization of his wife; Tenth. — That plaintiff for and in consideration of fees and expenses of hospitalization and the release of the wife of Manuel Gonzales from its hospital, accepted said check, applying P441.75 (Exhibit "A") thereof to payment of said fees and expenses and delivering to Manuel Gonzales the amount of P158.25 (as per receipt, Exhibit "D") representing the balance on the amount of the said check, Exh. "B"; Eleventh. — That the acts of acceptance of the check and application of its proceeds in the manner specified above were made without previous inquiry by plaintiff from defendants: Twelfth. — That plaintiff filed or caused to be filed with the Office of the City Fiscal of Manila, a complaint for estafa against Manuel Gonzales based on and arising from the acts of said Manuel Gonzales in paying his obligations with plaintiff and receiving the cash balance of the check, Exh. "B" and that said complaint was subsequently dropped;

Thirteenth. — That the exhibits mentioned in this stipulation and the other exhibits submitted previously, be considered as parts of this stipulation, without necessity of formally offering them in evidence; WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed that this agreed stipulation of facts be admitted and that the parties hereto be given fifteen days from today within which to submit simultaneously their memorandum to discuss the issues of law arising from the facts, reserving to either party the right to submit reply memorandum, if necessary, within ten days from receipt of their main memoranda. (pp. 21-25, Defendant's Record on Appeal). No other evidence was submitted and upon said stipulation the court rendered the judgment already alluded above. In their appeal defendants-appellants contend that the check is not a negotiable instrument, under the facts and circumstances stated in the stipulation of facts, and that plaintiff is not a holder in due course. In support of the first contention, it is argued that defendant Gatchalian had no intention to transfer her property in the instrument as it was for safekeeping merely and, therefore, there was no delivery required by law (Section 16, Negotiable Instruments Law); that assuming for the sake of argument that delivery was not for safekeeping merely, delivery was conditional and the condition was not fulfilled. In support of the contention that plaintiff-appellee is not a holder in due course, the appellant argues that plaintiff-appellee cannot be a holder in due course because there was no negotiation prior to plaintiff-appellee's acquiring the possession of the check; that a holder in due course presupposes a prior party from whose hands negotiation proceeded, and in the case at bar, plaintiff-appellee is the payee, the maker and the payee being original parties. It is also claimed that the plaintiff-appellee is not a holder in due course because it acquired the check with notice of defect in the title of the holder, Manuel Gonzales, and because under the circumstances stated in the stipulation of facts there were circumstances that brought suspicion about Gonzales' possession and negotiation, which circumstances should have placed the plaintiff-appellee under the duty, to inquire into the title of the holder. The circumstances are as follows: The check is not a personal check of Manuel Gonzales. (Paragraph Ninth, Stipulation of Facts). Plaintiff could have inquired why a person would use the check of another to pay his own debt. Furthermore, plaintiff had the "means of knowledge" inasmuch as defendant Hipolito Gatchalian is personally acquainted with V. R. de Ocampo (Paragraph Sixth, Stipulation of Facts.). The maker Anita C. Gatchalian is a complete stranger to Manuel Gonzales and Dr. V. R. de Ocampo (Paragraph Sixth, Stipulation of Facts). The maker is not in any manner obligated to Ocampo Clinic nor to Manuel Gonzales. (Par. 7, Stipulation of Facts.) The check could not have been intended to pay the hospital fees which amounted only to P441.75. The check is in the amount of P600.00, which is in excess of the amount due plaintiff. (Par. 10, Stipulation of Facts). It was necessary for plaintiff to give Manuel Gonzales change in the sum P158.25 (Par. 10, Stipulation of Facts). Since Manuel Gonzales is the party obliged to pay, plaintiff should have been more cautious and wary in accepting a piece of paper and disbursing cold cash.

The check is payable to bearer. Hence, any person who holds it should have been subjected to inquiries. EVEN IN A BANK, CHECKS ARE NOT CASHED WITHOUT INQUIRY FROM THE BEARER. The same inquiries should have been made by plaintiff. (Defendantsappellants' brief, pp. 52-53) Answering the first contention of appellant, counsel for plaintiff-appellee argues that in accordance with the best authority on the Negotiable Instruments Law, plaintiff-appellee may be considered as a holder in due course, citing Brannan's Negotiable Instruments Law, 6th edition, page 252. On this issue Brannan holds that a payee may be a holder in due course and says that to this effect is the greater weight of authority, thus: Whether the payee may be a holder in due course under the N. I. L., as he was at common law, is a question upon which the courts are in serious conflict. There can be no doubt that a proper interpretation of the act read as a whole leads to the conclusion that a payee may be a holder in due course under any circumstance in which he meets the requirements of Sec. 52. The argument of Professor Brannan in an earlier edition of this work has never been successfully answered and is here repeated. Section 191 defines "holder" as the payee or indorsee of a bill or note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof. Sec. 52 defendants defines a holder in due course as "a holder who has taken the instrument under the following conditions: 1. That it is complete and regular on its face. 2. That he became the holder of it before it was overdue, and without notice that it had been previously dishonored, if such was the fact. 3. That he took it in good faith and for value. 4. That at the time it was negotiated to him he had no notice of any infirmity in the instrument or defect in the title of the person negotiating it." Since "holder", as defined in sec. 191, includes a payee who is in possession the word holder in the first clause of sec. 52 and in the second subsection may be replaced by the definition in sec. 191 so as to read "a holder in due course is a payee or indorsee who is in possession," etc. (Brannan's on Negotiable Instruments Law, 6th ed., p. 543). The first argument of the defendants-appellants, therefore, depends upon whether or not the plaintiff-appellee is a holder in due course. If it is such a holder in due course, it is immaterial that it was the payee and an immediate party to the instrument. The other contention of the plaintiff is that there has been no negotiation of the instrument, because the drawer did not deliver the instrument to Manuel Gonzales with the intention of negotiating the same, or for the purpose of giving effect thereto, for as the stipulation of facts declares the check was to remain in the possession Manuel Gonzales, and was not to be negotiated, but was to serve merely as evidence of good faith of defendants in their desire to purchase the car being sold to them. Admitting that such was the intention of the drawer of the check when she delivered it to Manuel Gonzales, it was no fault of the plaintiff-appellee drawee if Manuel Gonzales delivered the check or negotiated it. As the check was payable to the plaintiff-appellee, and was entrusted to Manuel Gonzales by Gatchalian, the delivery to Manuel Gonzales was a delivery by the drawer to his own agent; in other words, Manuel Gonzales was the agent of the drawer Anita Gatchalian insofar as the possession of the check is concerned. So, when the agent of drawer Manuel Gonzales negotiated the check with the intention of getting its value from plaintiff-appellee, negotiation took place through no fault of the plaintiff-appellee, unless it can be shown that the plaintiff-appellee should be considered as having notice of the defect in the possession of the holder Manuel Gonzales. Our resolution of this issue leads us to a consideration of the last question

presented by the appellants, i.e., whether the plaintiff-appellee may be considered as a holder in due course. Section 52, Negotiable Instruments Law, defines holder in due course, thus: A holder in due course is a holder who has taken the instrument under the following conditions: (a) That it is complete and regular upon its face; (b) That he became the holder of it before it was overdue, and without notice that it had been previously dishonored, if such was the fact; (c) That he took it in good faith and for value; (d) That at the time it was negotiated to him he had no notice of any infirmity in the instrument or defect in the title of the person negotiating it. The stipulation of facts expressly states that plaintiff-appellee was not aware of the circumstances under which the check was delivered to Manuel Gonzales, but we agree with the defendantsappellants that the circumstances indicated by them in their briefs, such as the fact that appellants had no obligation or liability to the Ocampo Clinic; that the amount of the check did not correspond exactly with the obligation of Matilde Gonzales to Dr. V. R. de Ocampo; and that the check had two parallel lines in the upper left hand corner, which practice means that the check could only be deposited but may not be converted into cash — all these circumstances should have put the plaintiff-appellee to inquiry as to the why and wherefore of the possession of the check by Manuel Gonzales, and why he used it to pay Matilde's account. It was payee's duty to ascertain from the holder Manuel Gonzales what the nature of the latter's title to the check was or the nature of his possession. Having failed in this respect, we must declare that plaintiff-appellee was guilty of gross neglect in not finding out the nature of the title and possession of Manuel Gonzales, amounting to legal absence of good faith, and it may not be considered as a holder of the check in good faith. To such effect is the consensus of authority. In order to show that the defendant had "knowledge of such facts that his action in taking the instrument amounted to bad faith," it is not necessary to prove that the defendant knew the exact fraud that was practiced upon the plaintiff by the defendant's assignor, it being sufficient to show that the defendant had notice that there was something wrong about his assignor's acquisition of title, although he did not have notice of the particular wrong that was committed. Paika v. Perry, 225 Mass. 563, 114 N.E. 830. It is sufficient that the buyer of a note had notice or knowledge that the note was in some way tainted with fraud. It is not necessary that he should know the particulars or even the nature of the fraud, since all that is required is knowledge of such facts that his action in taking the note amounted bad faith. Ozark Motor Co. v. Horton (Mo. App.), 196 S.W. 395. Accord. Davis v. First Nat. Bank, 26 Ariz. 621, 229 Pac. 391. Liberty bonds stolen from the plaintiff were brought by the thief, a boy fifteen years old, less than five feet tall, immature in appearance and bearing on his face the stamp a degenerate, to the defendants' clerk for sale. The boy stated that they belonged to his mother. The defendants paid the boy for the bonds without any further inquiry. Held, the plaintiff could recover the value of the bonds. The term 'bad faith' does not necessarily involve furtive motives, but means bad faith in a commercial sense. The manner in which the defendants

conducted their Liberty Loan department provided an easy way for thieves to dispose of their plunder. It was a case of "no questions asked." Although gross negligence does not of itself constitute bad faith, it is evidence from which bad faith may be inferred. The circumstances thrust the duty upon the defendants to make further inquiries and they had no right to shut their eyes deliberately to obvious facts. Morris v. Muir, 111 Misc. Rep. 739, 181 N.Y. Supp. 913, affd. in memo., 191 App. Div. 947, 181 N.Y. Supp. 945." (pp. 640-642, Brannan's Negotiable Instruments Law, 6th ed.). The above considerations would seem sufficient to justify our ruling that plaintiff-appellee should not be allowed to recover the value of the check. Let us now examine the express provisions of the Negotiable Instruments Law pertinent to the matter to find if our ruling conforms thereto. Section 52 (c) provides that a holder in due course is one who takes the instrument "in good faith and for value;" Section 59, "that every holder is deemed prima facie to be a holder in due course;" and Section 52 (d), that in order that one may be a holder in due course it is necessary that "at the time the instrument was negotiated to him "he had no notice of any . . . defect in the title of the person negotiating it;" and lastly Section 59, that every holder is deemed prima facieto be a holder in due course. In the case at bar the rule that a possessor of the instrument is prima faciea holder in due course does not apply because there was a defect in the title of the holder (Manuel Gonzales), because the instrument is not payable to him or to bearer. On the other hand, the stipulation of facts indicated by the appellants in their brief, like the fact that the drawer had no account with the payee; that the holder did not show or tell the payee why he had the check in his possession and why he was using it for the payment of his own personal account — show that holder's title was defective or suspicious, to say the least. As holder's title was defective or suspicious, it cannot be stated that the payee acquired the check without knowledge of said defect in holder's title, and for this reason the presumption that it is a holder in due course or that it acquired the instrument in good faith does not exist. And having presented no evidence that it acquired the check in good faith, it (payee) cannot be considered as a holder in due course. In other words, under the circumstances of the case, instead of the presumption that payee was a holder in good faith, the fact is that it acquired possession of the instrument under circumstances that should have put it to inquiry as to the title of the holder who negotiated the check to it. The burden was, therefore, placed upon it to show that notwithstanding the suspicious circumstances, it acquired the check in actual good faith. The rule applicable to the case at bar is that described in the case of Howard National Bank v. Wilson, et al., 96 Vt. 438, 120 At. 889, 894, where the Supreme Court of Vermont made the following disquisition: Prior to the Negotiable Instruments Act, two distinct lines of cases had developed in this country. The first had its origin in Gill v. Cubitt, 3 B. & C. 466, 10 E. L. 215, where the rule was distinctly laid down by the court of King's Bench that the purchaser of negotiable paper must exercise reasonable prudence and caution, and that, if the circumstances were such as ought to have excited the suspicion of a prudent and careful man, and he made no inquiry, he did not stand in the legal position of a bona fide holder. The rule was adopted by the courts of this country generally and seem to have become a fixed rule in the law of negotiable paper. Later in Goodman v. Harvey, 4 A. & E. 870, 31 E. C. L. 381, the English court abandoned its former position and adopted the rule that nothing short of actual bad faith or fraud in the purchaser would deprive him of the character of a bona fide purchaser and let in defenses existing between prior parties, that no circumstances of suspicion merely, or want of proper caution in the purchaser, would have this effect, and that even gross negligence would have no effect, except as evidence tending to establish bad faith or fraud. Some of the American courts adhered to the earlier rule, while others followed the change inaugurated in Goodman v. Harvey. The question was before this court in Roth v. Colvin, 32

Vt. 125, and, on full consideration of the question, a rule was adopted in harmony with that announced in Gill v. Cubitt, which has been adhered to in subsequent cases, including those cited above. Stated briefly, one line of cases including our own had adopted the test of the reasonably prudent man and the other that of actual good faith. It would seem that it was the intent of the Negotiable Instruments Act to harmonize this disagreement by adopting the latter test. That such is the view generally accepted by the courts appears from a recent review of the cases concerning what constitutes notice of defect. Brannan on Neg. Ins. Law, 187-201. To effectuate the general purpose of the act to make uniform the Negotiable Instruments Law of those states which should enact it, we are constrained to hold (contrary to the rule adopted in our former decisions) that negligence on the part of the plaintiff, or suspicious circumstances sufficient to put a prudent man on inquiry, will not of themselves prevent a recovery, but are to be considered merely as evidence bearing on the question of bad faith. See G. L. 3113, 3172, where such a course is required in construing other uniform acts. It comes to this then: When the case has taken such shape that the plaintiff is called upon to prove himself a holder in due course to be entitled to recover, he is required to establish the conditions entitling him to standing as such, including good faith in taking the instrument. It devolves upon him to disclose the facts and circumstances attending the transfer, from which good or bad faith in the transaction may be inferred. In the case at bar as the payee acquired the check under circumstances which should have put it to inquiry, why the holder had the check and used it to pay his own personal account, the duty devolved upon it, plaintiff-appellee, to prove that it actually acquired said check in good faith. The stipulation of facts contains no statement of such good faith, hence we are forced to the conclusion that plaintiff payee has not proved that it acquired the check in good faith and may not be deemed a holder in due course thereof. For the foregoing considerations, the decision appealed from should be, as it is hereby, reversed, and the defendants are absolved from the complaint. With costs against plaintiff-appellee. Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Paredes, Dizon and De Leon, JJ., concur. Bengzon, C.J., concurs in the result.

Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G.R. No. 70145 November 13, 1986 MARCELO A. MESINA, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, HON. ARSENIO M. GONONG, in his capacity as Judge of Regional Trial Court — Manila (Branch VIII), JOSE GO, and ALBERT UY, respondents.

PARAS, J.:

This is an appeal by certiorari from the decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Court (IAC for short), now the Court of Appeals (CA) in AC-G.R. S.P. 04710, dated Jan. 22, 1985, which dismissed the petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Marcelo A. Mesina against the trial court in Civil Case No. 84-22515. Said case (an Interpleader) was filed by Associated Bank against Jose Go and Marcelo A. Mesina regarding their conflicting claims over Associated Bank Cashier's Check No. 011302 for P800,000.00, dated December 29, 1983. Briefly, the facts and statement of the case are as follows: Respondent Jose Go, on December 29, 1983, purchased from Associated Bank Cashier's Check No. 011302 for P800,000.00. Unfortunately, Jose Go left said check on the top of the desk of the bank manager when he left the bank. The bank manager entrusted the check for safekeeping to a bank official, a certain Albert Uy, who had then a visitor in the person of Alexander Lim. Uy had to answer a phone call on a nearby telephone after which he proceeded to the men's room. When he returned to his desk, his visitor Lim was already gone. When Jose Go inquired for his cashier's check from Albert Uy, the check was not in his folder and nowhere to be found. The latter advised Jose Go to go to the bank to accomplish a "STOP PAYMENT" order, which suggestion Jose Go immediately followed. He also executed an affidavit of loss. Albert Uy went to the police to report the loss of the check, pointing to the person of Alexander Lim as the one who could shed light on it. The records of the police show that Associated Bank received the lost check for clearing on December 31, 1983, coming from Prudential Bank, Escolta Branch. The check was immediately dishonored by Associated Bank by sending it back to Prudential Bank, with the words "Payment Stopped" stamped on it. However, the same was again returned to Associated Bank on January 4, 1984 and for the second time it was dishonored. Several days later, respondent Associated Bank received a letter, dated January 9, 1984, from a certain Atty. Lorenzo Navarro demanding payment on the cashier's check in question, which was being held by his client. He however refused to reveal the name of his client and threatened to sue, if payment is not made. Respondent bank, in its letter, dated January 20, 1984, replied saying the check belonged to Jose Go who lost it in the bank and is laying claim to it. On February 1, 1984, police sent a letter to the Manager of the Prudential Bank, Escolta Branch, requesting assistance in Identifying the person who tried to encash the check but said bank refused saying that it had to protect its client's interest and the Identity could only be revealed with the

client's conformity. Unsure of what to do on the matter, respondent Associated Bank on February 2, 1984 filed an action for Interpleader naming as respondent, Jose Go and one John Doe, Atty. Navarro's then unnamed client. On even date, respondent bank received summons and copy of the complaint for damages of a certain Marcelo A. Mesina from the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Caloocan City filed on January 23, 1984 bearing the number C-11139. Respondent bank moved to amend its complaint, having been notified for the first time of the name of Atty. Navarro's client and substituted Marcelo A. Mesina for John Doe. Simultaneously, respondent bank, thru representative Albert Uy, informed Cpl. Gimao of the Western Police District that the lost check of Jose Go is in the possession of Marcelo Mesina, herein petitioner. When Cpl. Gimao went to Marcelo Mesina to ask how he came to possess the check, he said it was paid to him by Alexander Lim in a "certain transaction" but refused to elucidate further. An information for theft (Annex J) was instituted against Alexander Lim and the corresponding warrant for his arrest was issued (Annex 6-A) which up to the date of the filing of this instant petition remains unserved because of Alexander Lim's successful evation thereof. Meanwhile, Jose Go filed his answer on February 24, 1984 in the Interpleader Case and moved to participate as intervenor in the complain for damages. Albert Uy filed a motion of intervention and answer in the complaint for Interpleader. On the Scheduled date of pretrial conference inthe interpleader case, it was disclosed that the "John Doe" impleaded as one of the defendants is actually petitioner Marcelo A. Mesina. Petitioner instead of filing his answer to the complaint in the interpleader filed on May 17, 1984 an Omnibus Motion to Dismiss Ex Abudante Cautela alleging lack of jurisdiction in view of the absence of an order to litigate, failure to state a cause of action and lack of personality to sue. Respondent bank in the other civil case (CC-11139) for damages moved to dismiss suit in view of the existence already of the Interpleader case. The trial court in the interpleader case issued an order dated July 13, 1984, denying the motion to dismiss of petitioner Mesina and ruling that respondent bank's complaint sufficiently pleaded a cause of action for itnerpleader. Petitioner filed his motion for reconsideration which was denied by the trial court on September 26, 1984. Upon motion for respondent Jose Go dated October 31, 1984, respondent judge issued an order on November 6, 1984, declaring petitioner in default since his period to answer has already expirecd and set the ex-parte presentation of respondent bank's evidence on November 7, 1984. Petitioner Mesina filed a petition for certioari with preliminary injunction with IAC to set aside 1) order of respondent court denying his omnibus Motion to Dismiss 2) order of 3) the order of default against him. On January 22, 1985, IAC rendered its decision dimissing the petition for certiorari. Petitioner Mesina filed his Motion for Reconsideration which was also denied by the same court in its resolution dated February 18, 1985. Meanwhile, on same date (February 18, 1985), the trial court in Civil Case #84-22515 (Interpleader) rendered a decisio, the dispositive portion reading as follows: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered ordering plaintiff Associate Bank to replace Cashier's Check No. 011302 in favor of Jose Go or its cas equivalent with legal rate of itnerest from date of complaint, and with costs of suit against the latter. SO ORDERED.

On March 29, 1985, the trial court in Civil Case No. C-11139, for damages, issued an order, the pertinent portion of which states: The records of this case show that on August 20, 1984 proceedings in this case was (were) ordered suspended because the main issue in Civil Case No. 84-22515 and in this instant case are the same which is: who between Marcelo Mesina and Jose Go is entitled to payment of Associated Bank's Cashier's Check No. CC-011302? Said issue having been resolved already in Civil casde No. 84-22515, really this instant case has become moot and academic. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the motion sholud be as it is hereby granted and this case is ordered dismissed. In view of the foregoing ruling no more action should be taken on the "Motion For Reconsideration (of the order admitting the Intervention)" dated June 21, 1984 as well as the Motion For Reconsideration dated September 10, 1984. SO ORDERED. Petitioner now comes to Us, alleging that: 1. IAC erred in ruling that a cashier's check can be countermanded even in the hands of a holder in due course. 2. IAC erred in countenancing the filing and maintenance of an interpleader suit by a party who had earlier been sued on the same claim. 3. IAC erred in upholding the trial court's order declaring petitioner as in default when there was no proper order for him to plead in the interpleader complaint. 4. IAC went beyond the scope of its certiorari jurisdiction by making findings of facts in advance of trial. Petitioner now interposes the following prayer: 1. Reverse the decision of the IAC, dated January 22, 1985 and set aside the February 18, 1985 resolution denying the Motion for Reconsideration. 2. Annul the orders of respondent Judge of RTC Manila giving due course to the interpleader suit and declaring petitioner in default. Petitioner's allegations hold no water. Theories and examples advanced by petitioner on causes and effects of a cashier's check such as 1) it cannot be countermanded in the hands of a holder in due course and 2) a cashier's check is a bill of exchange drawn by the bank against itself-are general principles which cannot be aptly applied to the case at bar, without considering other things. Petitioner failed to substantiate his claim that he is a holder in due course and for consideration or value as shown by the established facts of the case. Admittedly, petitioner became the holder of the cashier's check as endorsed by Alexander Lim who stole the check. He refused to say how and why it was passed to him. He had therefore notice of the defect of his title over the check from the start. The holder of a cashier's check who is not a holder in due course cannot enforce such check against the issuing bank which dishonors the same. If a payee of a cashier's check obtained it from the

issuing bank by fraud, or if there is some other reason why the payee is not entitled to collect the check, the respondent bank would, of course, have the right to refuse payment of the check when presented by the payee, since respondent bank was aware of the facts surrounding the loss of the check in question. Moreover, there is no similarity in the cases cited by petitioner since respondent bank did not issue the cashier's check in payment of its obligation. Jose Go bought it from respondent bank for purposes of transferring his funds from respondent bank to another bank near his establishment realizing that carrying money in this form is safer than if it were in cash. The check was Jose Go's property when it was misplaced or stolen, hence he stopped its payment. At the outset, respondent bank knew it was Jose Go's check and no one else since Go had not paid or indorsed it to anyone. The bank was therefore liable to nobody on the check but Jose Go. The bank had no intention to issue it to petitioner but only to buyer Jose Go. When payment on it was therefore stopped, respondent bank was not the one who did it but Jose Go, the owner of the check. Respondent bank could not be drawer and drawee for clearly, Jose Go owns the money it represents and he is therefore the drawer and the drawee in the same manner as if he has a current account and he issued a check against it; and from the moment said cashier's check was lost and/or stolen no one outside of Jose Go can be termed a holder in due course because Jose Go had not indorsed it in due course. The check in question suffers from the infirmity of not having been properly negotiated and for value by respondent Jose Go who as already been said is the real owner of said instrument. In his second assignment of error, petitioner stubbornly insists that there is no showing of conflicting claims and interpleader is out of the question. There is enough evidence to establish the contrary. Considering the aforementioned facts and circumstances, respondent bank merely took the necessary precaution not to make a mistake as to whom to pay and therefore interpleader was its proper remedy. It has been shown that the interpleader suit was filed by respondent bank because petitioner and Jose Go were both laying their claims on the check, petitioner asking payment thereon and Jose Go as the purchaser or owner. The allegation of petitioner that respondent bank had effectively relieved itself of its primary liability under the check by simply filing a complaint for interpleader is belied by the willingness of respondent bank to issue a certificate of time deposit in the amount of P800,000 representing the cashier's check in question in the name of the Clerk of Court of Manila to be awarded to whoever wig be found by the court as validly entitled to it. Said validity will depend on the strength of the parties' respective rights and titles thereto. Bank filed the interpleader suit not because petitioner sued it but because petitioner is laying claim to the same check that Go is claiming. On the very day that the bank instituted the case in interpleader, it was not aware of any suit for damages filed by petitioner against it as supported by the fact that the interpleader case was first entitled Associated Bank vs. Jose Go and John Doe, but later on changed to Marcelo A. Mesina for John Doe when his name became known to respondent bank. In his third assignment of error, petitioner assails the then respondent IAC in upholding the trial court's order declaring petitioner in default when there was no proper order for him to plead in the interpleader case. Again, such contention is untenable. The trial court issued an order, compelling petitioner and respondent Jose Go to file their Answers setting forth their respective claims. Subsequently, a Pre-Trial Conference was set with notice to parties to submit position papers. Petitioner argues in his memorandum that this order requiring petitioner to file his answer was issued without jurisdiction alleging that since he is presumably a holder in due course and for value, how can he be compelled to litigate against Jose Go who is not even a party to the check? Such argument is trite and ridiculous if we have to consider that neither his name or Jose Go's name appears on the check. Following such line of argument, petitioner is not a party to the check either and therefore has no valid claim to the Check. Furthermore, the Order of the trial court requiring the parties to file their answers is to all intents and purposes an order to interplead, substantially and essentially and therefore in compliance with the provisions of Rule 63 of the Rules of Court. What else is the purpose of a law suit but to litigate?

The records of the case show that respondent bank had to resort to details in support of its action for Interpleader. Before it resorted to Interpleader, respondent bank took an precautionary and necessary measures to bring out the truth. On the other hand, petitioner concealed the circumstances known to him and now that private respondent bank brought these circumstances out in court (which eventually rendered its decision in the light of these facts), petitioner charges it with "gratuitous excursions into these non-issues." Respondent IAC cannot rule on whether respondent RTC committed an abuse of discretion or not, without being apprised of the facts and reasons why respondent Associated Bank instituted the Interpleader case. Both parties were given an opportunity to present their sides. Petitioner chose to withhold substantial facts. Respondents were not forbidden to present their side-this is the purpose of the Comment of respondent to the petition. IAC decided the question by considering both the facts submitted by petitioner and those given by respondents. IAC did not act therefore beyond the scope of the remedy sought in the petition. WHEREFORE, finding that the instant petition is merely dilatory, the same is hereby denied and the assailed orders of the respondent court are hereby AFFIRMED in toto. SO ORDERED.

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