BIL Cases 1

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  1.THE CONSOLIDATED BANK and TRUST CORPORATION,  petitioner, vs . COURT OF APPEALSand L.C. DIAZ and COMPANY, CPA’s, respondents .D E C I S I O N - CARPIO, J  .:T! Cas! Before us is a petition for review of the Decision [1]  of the Court of Appeals dated 27 October 1998 and itsesolution dated 11 !a 1999# $he assailed decision reversed the Decision [2]  of the e%ional $rial Court of !anila& Branch 8& absolvin% petitioner Consolidated Ban' and $rust Corporation& now 'nown as (olidban'Corporation )*(olidban'+,& of an liabilit # $he -uestioned resolution of the appellate court denied the .otionfor reconsideration of (olidban' but .odified the decision b deletin% the award of e/e.plar da.a%es&attorne 0s fees& e/penses of liti%ation and cost of suit# T! Fa #s (olidban' is a do.estic ban'in% corporation or%anied and e/istin% under hilippine laws# rivaterespondent 3#C# Dia and Co.pan & CA0s )*3#C# Dia+,& is a professional partnership en%a%ed in the practiceof accountin%# (o.eti.e in !arch 1974& 3#C# Dia opened a savin%s account with (olidban'& desi%nated as (avin%s Account 5o# (6A 2148724#On 1 Au%ust 1991& 3#C# Dia throu%h its cashier& !ercedes !acara a )*!acara a+,& filled up a savin%s)cash, deposit slip for 99 and a savin%s )chec's, deposit slip for :# !acara a instructed the .essen%er of 3#C# Dia& ;s.ael Calapre )*Calapre+,& to deposit the .one with (olidban'# !acara a also %ave Calaprethe (olidban' passboo'#Calapre went to (olidban' and presented to $eller 5o# 4 the two deposit slips and the passboo'# $heteller ac'nowled%ed receipt of the deposit b returnin% to Calapre the duplicate copies of the two depositslips# $eller 5o# 4 sta.ped the deposit slips with the words *D<3;CA$=+ and *(A>;5? $=33= 4(O3;DBA5@ =AD O;C=#+ (ince the transaction too' ti.e and Calapre had to .a'e another deposit for 3#C# Dia with Allied Ban'& he left the passboo' with (olidban'# Calapre then went to Allied Ban'# henCalapre returned to (olidban' to retrieve the passboo'& $eller 5o# 4 infor.ed hi. that *so.ebod %ot thepassboo'#+ []  Calapre went bac' to 3#C# Dia and reported the incident to !acara a#!acara a i..ediatel prepared a deposit slip in duplicate copies with a chec' of 2&# !acara a&to%ether with Calapre& went to (olidban' and presented to $eller 5o# 4 the deposit slip and chec'# $he teller sta.ped the words *D<3;CA$=+ and *(A>;5? $=33= 4 (O3;DBA5@ =AD O;C=+ on the duplicatecop of the deposit slip# hen !acara a as'ed for the passboo'& $eller 5o# 4 told !acara a that so.eone %otthe passboo' but she could not re.e.ber to who. she %ave the passboo'# hen !acara a as'ed $eller 5o#4 if Calapre %ot the passboo'& $eller 5o# 4 answered that so.eone shorter than Calapre %ot the passboo'#Calapre was then standin% beside !acara a#$eller 5o# 4 handed to !acara a a deposit slip dated 1 Au%ust 1991 for the deposit of a chec'for 9& drawn on hilippine Ban'in% Corporation )*BC+,# $his BC chec' of 3#C# Dia was a chec' that ithad *lon% closed#+ []  BC subse-uentl dishonored the chec' because of insufficient funds and because thesi%nature in the chec' differed fro. BC0s speci.en si%nature# ailin% to %et bac' the passboo'& !acara awent bac' to her office and reported the .atter to the ersonnel !ana%er of 3#C# Dia& =..anuel Alvare#$he followin% da & 1: Au%ust 1991& 3#C# Dia throu%h its Chief =/ecutive Officer& 3uis C# Dia )*Dia+,&called up (olidban' to stop an transaction usin% the sa.e passboo' until 3#C# Dia could open a newaccount# [:]  On the sa.e da & Dia for.all wrote (olidban' to .a'e the sa.e re-uest# ;t was also on thesa.e da that 3#C# Dia learned of the unauthoried withdrawal the da before& 1 Au%ust 1991& of &fro. its savin%s account# $he withdrawal slip for the & bore the si%natures of the authoriedsi%natories of 3#C# Dia& na.el Dia and ustico 3# !urillo# $he si%natories& however& denied si%nin% thewithdrawal slip# A certain 5oel $a.a o received the &#;n an ;nfor.ation [4]  dated : (epte.ber 1991& 3#C# Dia char%ed its .essen%er& =.erano ;la%an )*;la%an+,and one oscon >erdaola with =stafa throu%h alsification of Co..ercial Docu.ent# $he e%ional $rial  Court of !anila dis.issed the cri.inal case after the Cit rosecutor filed a !otion to Dis.iss on  Au%ust1992#On 2 Au%ust 1992& 3#C# Dia throu%h its counsel de.anded fro. (olidban' the return of # (olidban' refused#On 2: Au%ust 1992& 3#C# Dia filed a Co.plaint [7]  for ecover of a (u. of !one a%ainst (olidban' withthe e%ional $rial Court of !anila& Branch 8# After trial& the trial court rendered on 28 Dece.ber 199 adecision absolvin% (olidban' and dis.issin% the co.plaint# 3#C# Dia then appealed [8]  to the Court of Appeals# On 27 October 1998& the Court of Appeals issued itsDecision reversin% the decision of the trial court#On 11 !a 1999& the Court of Appeals issued its esolution den in% the .otion for reconsideration of (olidban'# $he appellate court& however& .odified its decision b deletin% the award of e/e.plar da.a%esand attorne 0s fees# T! R$%&n' () #! T*&a% C($*# ;n absolvin% (olidban'& the trial court applied the rules on savin%s account written on the passboo'# $herules state that *possession of this boo' shall raise the presu.ption of ownership and an pa .ent or pa .ents .ade b the ban' upon the production of the said boo' and entr therein of the withdrawal shallhave the sa.e effect as if .ade to the depositor personall #+ [9]  At the ti.e of the withdrawal& a certain 5oel $a.a o was not onl in possession of the passboo'& he alsopresented a withdrawal slip with the si%natures of the authoried si%natories of 3#C# Dia# $he speci.ensi%natures of these persons were in the si%nature cards# $he teller sta.ped the withdrawal slip with the words*(avin% $eller 5o# :#+ $he teller then passed on the withdrawal slip to ?enere !anuel )*!anuel+, for authentication# !anuel verified the si%natures on the withdrawal slip# $he withdrawal slip was then %iven toanother officer who co.pared the si%natures on the withdrawal slip with the speci.en on the si%nature cards#$he trial court concluded that (olidban' acted with care and observed the rules on savin%s account when itallowed the withdrawal of & fro. the savin%s account of 3#C# Dia#$he trial court pointed out that the burden of proof now shifted to 3#C# Dia to prove that the si%natures onthe withdrawal slip were for%ed# $he trial court ad.onished 3#C# Dia for not offerin% in evidence the 5ationalBureau of ;nvesti%ation )*5B;+, report on the authenticit of the si%natures on the withdrawal slipfor &# $he trial court believed that 3#C# Dia did not offer this evidence because it is dero%ator to itsaction# Another provision of the rules on savin%s account states that the depositor .ust 'eep the passboo' *under loc' and 'e #+ [1]  hen another person presents the passboo' for withdrawal prior to (olidban'0s receipt of thenotice of loss of the passboo'& that person is considered as the owner of the passboo'# $he trial court ruledthat the passboo' presented durin% the -uestioned transaction was *now out of the loc' and 'e andpresu.ptivel read for a business transaction#+ [11] (olidban' did not have an participation in the custod and care of the passboo'# $he trial court believedthat (olidban'0s act of allowin% the withdrawal of & was not the direct and pro/i.ate cause of the loss#$he trial court held that 3#C# Dia0s ne%li%ence caused the unauthoried withdrawal# $hree facts establish 3#C#Dia0s ne%li%enceE )1, the possession of the passboo' b a person other than the depositor 3#C# DiaF )2, thepresentation of a si%ned withdrawal receipt b an unauthoried personF and ), the possession b anunauthoried person of a BC chec' *lon% closed+ b 3#C# Dia& which chec' was deposited on the da of thefraudulent withdrawal#$he trial court debun'ed 3#C# Dia0s contention that (olidban' did not follow the precautionar proceduresobserved b the two parties whenever 3#C# Dia withdrew si%nificant a.ounts fro. its account# 3#C# Diaclai.ed that a letter .ust acco.pan withdrawals of .ore than2&# $he letter .ust re-uest (olidban' toallow the withdrawal and convert the a.ount to a .ana%er0s chec'# $he bearer .ust also have a letter authoriin% hi. to withdraw the sa.e a.ount# Another person drivin% a car .ust acco.pan the bearer sothat he would not wal' fro. (olidban' to the office in .a'in% the withdrawal# $he trial court pointed out that3#C# Dia disre%arded these precautions in its past withdrawal# On 14 Gul 1991& 3#C# Dia withdrew 82&::  without an separate letter of authoriation or an co..unication with (olidban' that the .one be convertedinto a .ana%er0s chec'#$he trial court further Hustified the dis.issal of the co.plaint b holdin% that the case was a last ditch effortof 3#C# Dia to recover & after the dis.issal of the cri.inal case a%ainst ;la%an#$he dispositive portion of the decision of the trial court readsE;5 >;= O $= O=?O;5?& Hud%.ent is hereb rendered   D;(!;((;5? the co.plaint#$he Court further renders Hud%.ent in favor of defendant ban' pursuant to its counterclai. the a.ount of $hirt $housand esos )&#, as attorne 0s fees#ith costs a%ainst plaintiff# (O OD==D# [12] T! R$%&n' () #! C($*# () A++!a%s $he Court of Appeals ruled that (olidban'0s ne%li%ence was the pro/i.ate cause of the unauthoriedwithdrawal of & fro. the savin%s account of 3#C# Dia# $he appellate court reached this conclusionafter appl in% the provision of the Civil Code on -uasidelict& to witE Article 2174# hoever b act or o.ission causes da.a%e to another& there bein% fault or ne%li%ence& is obli%ed to pa for the da.a%e done# (uch fault or ne%li%ence& if there is no pree/istin% contractual relation between the parties& is called a -uasidelict and is %overned b the provisions of this chapter#$he appellate court held that the three ele.ents of a -uasidelict are present in this case& na.el E )a, da.a%essuffered b the plaintiffF )b, fault or ne%li%ence of the defendant& or so.e other person for whose acts he .ustrespondF and )c, the connection of cause and effect between the fault or ne%li%ence of the defendant and theda.a%e incurred b the plaintiff#$he Court of Appeals pointed out that the teller of (olidban' who received the withdrawal slip for &allowed the withdrawal without .a'in% the necessar in-uir # $he appellate court stated that the teller& whowas not presented b (olidban' durin% trial& should have called up the depositor because the .one to bewithdrawn was a si%nificant a.ount# ad the teller called up 3#C# Dia& (olidban' would have 'nown that thewithdrawal was unauthoried# $he teller did not even verif the identit of the i.postor who .ade thewithdrawal# $hus& the appellate court found (olidban' liable for its ne%li%ence in the selection and supervisionof its e.plo ees#$he appellate court ruled that while 3#C# Dia was also ne%li%ent in entrustin% its deposits to its .essen%er and its .essen%er in leavin% the passboo' with the teller& (olidban' could not escape liabilit because of thedoctrine of *last clear chance#+ (olidban' could have averted the inHur suffered b 3#C# Dia had it called up3#C# Dia to verif the withdrawal#$he appellate court ruled that the de%ree of dili%ence re-uired fro. (olidban' is .ore than that of a %oodfather of a # $he business and functions of ban's are affected with public interest# Ban's are obli%ated totreat the accounts of their depositors with .eticulous care& alwa s havin% in .ind the fiduciar nature of their relationship with their clients# $he Court of Appeals found (olidban' re.iss in its dut & violatin% its fiduciar relationship with 3#C# Dia#$he dispositive portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals readsE==O=& pre.ises considered& the decision appealed fro. is hereb =>=(=D and a new one entered#1# Orderin% defendantappellee Consolidated Ban' and $rust Corporation to pa plaintiffappellantthe su. of $hree undred $housand esos )&#,& with interest thereon at the rate of 12I per annu. fro. the date of filin% of the co.plaint until paid& the su. of 2&# as  e/e.plar da.a%es& and 2&# as attorne 0s fees and e/penses of liti%ation as well as the cost of suitF and2# Orderin% the dis.issal of defendantappellee0s counterclai. in the a.ount of &# as attorne 0s fees#(O OD==D# [1]  Actin% on the .otion for reconsideration of (olidban'& the appellate court affir.ed its decision but .odified theaward of da.a%es# $he appellate court deleted the award of e/e.plar da.a%es and attorne 0s fees#;nvo'in% Article 221 [1]  of the Civil Code& the appellate court ruled that e/e.plar da.a%es could be %ranted if the defendant acted with %ross ne%li%ence# (ince (olidban' was %uilt of si.ple ne%li%ence onl & the award of e/e.plar da.a%es was not Hustified# Conse-uentl & the award of attorne 0s fees was also disallowedpursuant to Article 228 of the Civil Code# $he e/penses of liti%ation and cost of suit were also not i.posed on(olidban'#$he dispositive portion of the esolution reads as followsE==O=& fore%oin% considered& our decision dated October 27& 1998 is affir.ed with .odification b deletin% the award of e/e.plar da.a%es and attorne 0s fees& e/penses of liti%ation and cost of suit#(O OD==D# [1:] ence& this petition# T! Iss$!s (olidban' see's the review of the decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals on these %roundsE;# $= CO<$ O A=A3( ==D ;5 O3D;5? $A$ =$;$;O5= BA5@ (O<3D (<= $= 3O(( B=CA<(= ;$( $=33= (O<3D A>= ;($ CA33=D ;>A$= =(O5D=5$ BJ $=3=O5= B=O= ;$ A33O=D $= ;$DAA3 O&# $O =(O5D=5$0( !=((=5?= =!=A5O ;3A?A5& (;5C= $== ;( 5O A?==!=5$ B=$==5 $= A$;=( ;5 $= O=A$;O5 O $= (A>;5?( ACCO<5$& 5O ;( $== A5J BA5@;5? 3A& ;C !A5DA$=( $A$ A BA5@ $=33= (O<3D ;($ CA33 < $= D=O(;$O B=O= A33O;5? A ;$DAA3 O A B;? A!O<5$ ;5 A (A>;5?( ACCO<5$#;;# $= CO<$ O A=A3( ==D ;5 A3J;5? $= DOC$;5= O 3A($ C3=A CA5C= A5D ;5 O3D;5? $A$ =$;$;O5= BA5@0( $=33= AD $= 3A($ OO$<5;$J $O ;$O3D $= ;$DAA3 =5 ;$ ;( <5D;(<$=D $A$ $= $O (;?5A$<=( O =(O5D=5$ O5 $= ;$DAA3 (3; A= ?=5<;5= A5D ;>A$= =(O5D=5$0( A((BOO@ A( D<3J =(=5$=D& A5D CO5$A;;(= =(O5D=5$ A( 5=?3;?=5$ ;5 $= (=3=C$;O5 A5D (<=>;(;O5 O ;$( !=((=5?= =!=A5O ;3A?A5& A5D ;5 $= (A=@==;5? O ;$( C=C@( A5D O$= ;5A5C;A3 DOC<!=5$(#;;;# $= CO<$ O A=A3( ==D ;5 5O$ ;5D;5? $A$ $= ;5($A5$ CA(= ;( A 3A($ D;$C =O$ O ;>A$= =(O5D=5$ $O =CO>= ;$( &# A$= A;3;5? ;5 ;$( =O$( $O =CO>= $= (A!= O! ;$( =!3OJ== =!=A5O ;3A?A5#;># $= CO<$ O A=A3( ==D ;5 5O$ !;$;?A$;5? $= DA!A?=( AAD=D  A?A;5($ =$;$;O5= <5D= A$;C3= 2197 O $= C;>;3 COD=& 5O$;$($A5D;5? ;$( ;5D;5? $A$ =$;$;O5= BA5@0( 5=?3;?=5C= A( O53J CO5$;B<$OJ# [14]
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