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Case Digests_Art 1972-1991 1 MHH_2.

2_Credit Transactions

Gullas vs PNB on the bank’s role and obligations, first, as respondent’s depositary bank; and second, as collecting agent for the
Facts: On August 2, 1933, the Treasurer of the United States for the United States Veterans Bureau issued a check in question.
Warrant in the amount of $361, payable to the order of Bacos. Atty Gullas and Lopez signed as endorsers of this As depositary bank: Petitioner did not treat respondent’s account with the highest degree of care. Under
check. Thereupon it was cashed by the Philippine National Bank. Subsequently the treasury warrant was ordinary banking practice, after receiving a check deposit, a bank either immediately credit the amount to a
dishonored by the Insular Treasurer. At that time the outstanding balance of Atty Gullas on the books of the depositor’s account; or infuse value to that account only after the drawee bank shall have paid such amount.
bank was P509. Such was applied by PNB to Gullas’ unpaid endorsed warrant. Meanwhile, Gullas had issued Before the check shall have been cleared for deposit, the collecting bank can only “assume” at its own risk -- as
certain checks but which could not be paid anymore for insufficient funds. Gullas left for Manila and when he herein petitioner did -- that the check would be cleared and paid out.
came back, he received a Notice of Dishonor and thereupon paid the balance of the Warrant. He was greatly As collecting agent: In the deposit slip a reservation may have been made “The bank only obligates itself as
inconvenienced and embarrassed due to the spread of news in the periodicals. collecting agent and assumes no responsibility, and until such time as actual payments shall have come to its
Issue: Is there a right of Philippine National Bank to apply a deposit to the debt of depositor to it? possession, this Bank reserves the right to charge back to the Depositor’s account any amounts previously
Held: No. As to a depositor who has funds sufficient to meet payment of a check drawn by him in favor of a third credited whether or not the deposited item is returned” but it is not enough to insulate the bank from liability.
party, he has a right of action against the bank for its refusal to pay such a check in the absence of notice to him The relationship between the payee or holder of a commercial paper and the collecting bank is that of principal
that the bank has applied the funds so deposited in extinguishment of past due claims held against him. What and agent. Reasonable business practice and prudence, moreover, dictated that petitioner should not have
the bank did caused a disturbance in Gullas' finances, especially with reference to his insurance, which was authorized the withdrawal by respondent of P240,000 on October 1, 1990, as this amount was over and above
injurious to him. He should be awarded nominal damages of P250 because of the premature action of the bank his outstanding cleared balance of P196,793.45
against which he had no means of protection. Petitioner failed to show that it had immediately and duly informed respondent of the debiting of his account.
GR: A bank has a right of set off of the deposits in its hands for the payment of any indebtedness to it on the part
of a depositor. Guingona vs City Fiscal
X: The bank has no right, without an order from or special assent of the depositor to retain out of his deposit an Facts: David and sister Kuhne made placements with Nation Savings and Loan Assn Inc, totaling P1.15 million.
amount sufficient to meet his indebtedness. (Louisiana doctrine - theory of confidential contracts arising from They also had savings deposits there totaling P13,531. They also invested there US$75,000 ($50,000 of which
irregular deposits). was deposited in Guingona’s account in Security Bank). At the time of deposit, Martin was the president of
Although the Civil Code contains provisions regarding compensation (set off) and deposit, but it also provides National Savings, and Guingona was a director. Then Nation Savings was placed under receivership because of
that notice of dishonor is in order to charge all indorser and that the right of action against him does not accrue serious fraud and irregularities committed by its key officers. Guingona and Martin executed a promissory note
until the notice is given. Compensation shall take place when two persons are reciprocally creditor and debtor of acknowledging a debt of P1,336,614.02 and $75,000 to be paid in installments within 180 days from said date
each other. The relation existing between a depositor and a bank is that of creditor and debtor. with interest at 16% per annum from July 1, 1981 until fully paid. The promissory note was novated by another
note, antedated June 17, 1981, whereby Guingona acknowledged one-half of the obligation as his debt or the
Associated Bank (now Westmont Bank) vs Tan sums of P668,307.01 and $37,500 and secured the same by second mortgages on his Quezon City properties.
Facts: Tan is a businessman and regular depositor of Associated Bank. He deposited a postdated UCPB check Guingona paid P200,000 on that note. Martin assumed the other half of the total debt. He secured it with the
P101,000 issued to him by Cheng. Allegedly, upon advice and instruction of the BANK that the check was already pledge of a ring. David received a report from the Central Bank that only P305,821.92 of the placements made by
cleared and backed up by sufficient funds, TAN, on the same date, withdrew the sum of P240,000, leaving a him and his sister were entered in the NSLA records. David filed a case for estafa against Guingona, Martin and
balance of P57,793.45. A day after, TAN deposited the amount of P50,000 making his existing balance in the Santos (GM).
amount of P107,793.45. But his suppliers and business partners went back to him alleging that the checks he Held: When private respondent David invested his money on time and savings deposits with the aforesaid bank,
issued (total P74,357) bounced for insufficiency of funds. Thereafter, TAN, thru his lawyer, informed the BANK the contract that was perfected was a contract of simple loan or mutuum and not a contract of deposit governed
to take positive steps regarding the matter for he has adequate and sufficient funds to pay the amount of the by the provisions concerning simple loan (Article 1980, Civil Code). Hence, the relationship between the private
subject checks. Nonetheless, the BANK did not bother nor offer any apology regarding the incident. respondent and the Nation Savings and Loan Association is that of creditor and debtor; consequently, the
Issue: WON a collecting bank has the right to debit the account of its client for a check deposit which was ownership of the amount deposited was transmitted to the Bank upon the perfection of the contract and it can
dishonored by the drawee bank. make use of the amount deposited for its banking operations, such as to pay interests on deposits and to pay
CA: Bank should not have authorized the withdrawal of the value of the deposited check prior to its clearing. withdrawals. While the Bank has the obligation to return the amount deposited, it has, however, no obligation to
Having done so, contrary to its obligation to treat respondent’s account with meticulous care, the bank violated return or deliver the same money that was deposited. And, the failure of the Bank to return the amount
its own policy. It thereby took upon itself the obligation to officially inform respondent of the status of his deposited will not constitute estafa through misappropriation punishable under Article 315, par. 1(b) of the
account before unilaterally debiting the amount of P101,000. Without such notice, it is estopped from blaming Revised Penal Code, but it will only give rise to civil liability over which the public respondents have no
him for failing to fund his account. jurisdiction. But even granting that the failure of the bank to pay the time and savings deposits of private
Held: The real issue here is not so much the right of petitioner to debit respondent’s account but, rather, the respondent David would constitute a violation of the Revised Penal Code, nevertheless any incipient criminal
manner in which it exercised such right. Even while the right of setoff is conceded, separate is the question of liability was deemed avoided, because when the foresaid bank was placed under receivership by the Central
whether that remedy has properly been exercised. The liability of petitioner in this case ultimately revolves Bank, petitioners Guingona and Martin assumed the obligation of the bank to private respondent David, thereby
around the issue of whether it properly exercised its right of setoff. The determination thereof hinges, in turn, resulting in the novation of the original contractual obligation arising from deposit into a contract of loan and
Case Digests_Art 1972-1991 2 MHH_2.2_Credit Transactions

converting the original trust relation between the bank and private respondent David into an ordinary debtor- YHT Realty Corp vs ACompania Maritima vs CA
creditor relation between the petitioners and private respondent. Consequently, the failure of the bank or Facts: YHT Realty, its employees and Tan were made solidarily liable for the loss of Mr McLoughlin’s American
petitioners Guingona and Martin to pay the deposits of private respondent would not constitute a breach of and Australian dollars deposited in the safety deposit box of Tropicana Copacabana Apartment Hotel, owned and
trust but would merely be a failure to pay the obligation as a debtor. Moreover, while it is true that novation operated by YHT Realty Corporation. Tan convinced MgLoughlin to transfer from Sheraton hotel to Tropicana
does not extinguish criminal liability, it may however, prevent the rise of criminal liability as long as it occurs
whenever he is in the Philippines. On 30 October 1987, McLoughlin arrived from Australia and registered with
prior to the filing of the criminal information in court.
Tropicana. He rented a safety deposit box as it was his practice to rent a safety deposit box every time he
registered at Tropicana in previous trips. As a tourist, McLoughlin was aware of the procedure observed by
Guingona vs City Fiscal (MR decision) Tropicana relative to its safety deposit boxes. The safety deposit box could only be opened through the use of
Held: As a general rule, an injunction will not be granted to restrain a criminal prosecution. With more reason two keys, one of which is given to the registered guest, and the other remaining in the possession of the
will injunction not lie when the case is still at the preliminary investigation stage. This Court should not usurp the management of the hotel. When a registered guest wished to open his safety deposit box, he alone could
primary function of the City Fiscal to conduct the preliminary investigation of the estafa charge and of the personally request the management who then would assign one of its employees to accompany the guest and
petitioners’ countercharge for perjury, which was consolidated with the estafa charge. assist him in opening the safety deposit box with the two keys. McLoughlin allegedly placed the following in his
safety deposit box: Fifteen Thousand US Dollars (US$15,000.00) which he placed in two envelopes, one envelope
Compania Maritima vs CA
containing Ten Thousand US Dollars (US$10,000.00) and the other envelope Five Thousand US Dollars
Facts: Petitioners were ask to pay respondent Atty Consulta P2.59 million as atty’s fees for the 3 cases he
(US$5,000.00); Ten Thousand Australian Dollars (AUS$10,000.00) which he also placed in another envelope; two
handled. Maritime company was sued by Genstar Container Corp and the former was asked to pay the latter, but
(2) other envelopes containing letters and credit cards; two (2) bankbooks; and a checkbook, arranged side by
failed to do so. So properties of Compania (tugboats Dadiangas, Marinero and Timonel; floating crane; and
side inside the safety deposit box. When he left for a short trip to Hongkong without checking out from
motorized launch sea otter) were levied upon in execution. Compania failed to pay Atty Consulta also.
Tropicana, he got an envelope from the safety deposit box containing US$5,000. But when he opened it, only
Held: In the ordinary sense, attorney’s fees represent the reasonable compensation paid to a lawyer by his client
$3,000 was there. He just thought of it as a result of bad accounting. He came back to the Philippines and left for
for the legal services he has rendered to the latter. On the other hand, in its extraordinary concept, attorney’s
Australia. He discovered that another envelope containing US$10,000 was short of 5,000, and that a jewelry was
fees may be awarded by the court as indemnity for damages to be paid by the losing party to the prevailing
missing. When he came back to the PH, he checked in at Tropicana and again rented a deposit box.
party. The instant case involves the ordinary concept. Generally, the amount of attorney’s fees due is that
stipulated in the retainer agreement which is conclusive as to the amount of the lawyer’s compensation. In the On 16 April 1988, McLoughlin requested Lainez and Payam to open his safety deposit box. He noticed that in the
absence thereof, the amount of attorney’s fees is fixed on the basis of quantum meruit, i.e., the reasonable envelope containing Fifteen Thousand US Dollars (US$15,000.00), Two Thousand US Dollars (US$2,000.00) were
worth of his services.[8] In determining the amount of attorney’s fees, the following factors are considered: (1) missing and in the envelope previously containing Ten Thousand Australian Dollars (AUS$10,000.00), Four
the time spent and extent of services rendered; (2) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved; (3) the Thousand Five Hundred Australian Dollars (AUS$4,500.00) were missing. When McLoughlin discovered the loss,
importance of the subject matter; (4) the skill demanded; (5) the probability of losing other employment as a he immediately confronted Lainez and Payam who admitted that Tan opened the safety deposit box with the key
result of the acceptance of the proffered case; (6) the amount involved in the controversy and the benefits assigned to him. McLoughlin went up to his room where Tan was staying and confronted her. Tan admitted that
resulting to the client; (7) the certainty of compensation; (8) the character of employment; and (9) the she had stolen McLoughlin’s key and was able to open the safety deposit box with the assistance of Lopez,
professional standing of the lawyer. Payam and Lainez.[12] Lopez also told McLoughlin that Tan stole the key assigned to McLoughlin while the latter
was asleep. McLoughlin requested the management for an investigation of the incident. Lopez got in touch with
In addition, the value of the properties involved was considerable. As already stated, to satisfy the judgment in
Tan and arranged for a meeting with the police and McLoughlin. When the police did not arrive, Lopez and Tan
favor of Genstar Container Corporation in Civil Case, properties of petitioners worth P51,000,000 were sold at
went to the room of McLoughlin at Tropicana and thereat, Lopez wrote on a piece of paper a promissory note.
public auction. Only P1,235,000 was realized from the sale and petitioners were in danger of losing their
properties. As the appellate court pointed out, Atty. Consulta rendered professional services not only in the trial Despite the execution of promissory note by Tan, McLoughlin insisted that it must be the hotel who must
court but in the Court of Appeals and in this Court. There is no question that through his efforts, properties assume responsibility for the loss he suffered. However, Lopez refused to accept the responsibility relying on the
owned by petitioners were saved from execution. conditions for renting the safety deposit box entitled “Undertaking For the Use Of Safety Deposit Box” holding
free and blameless Tropicana from any liability from the loss in the contents or the deposit box.
A corporation has a personality separate and distinct from its individual stockholders or members. The fiction of
corporate entity will be set aside and the individual stockholders will be held liable for its obligation only if it is McLoughlin wrote the Ofc of the President to address his concern, but the same was forwarded to DOJ.
shown that it is being used for fraudulent, unfair, or illegal purposes.[11] In this case, the Court of Appeals held
that individual petitioners were guilty of fraud, based on its finding that they refused to pay the attorney’s fees Held: Payam and Lainez, who were employees of Tropicana, had custody of the master key of the management
demanded by Atty. Consulta. when the loss took place. In fact, they even admitted that they assisted Tan on three separate occasions in
opening McLoughlin’s safety deposit box. This only proves that Tropicana had prior knowledge that a person
Case Digests_Art 1972-1991 3 MHH_2.2_Credit Transactions

aside from the registered guest had access to the safety deposit box. Yet the management failed to notify
McLoughlin of the incident and waited for him to discover the taking before it disclosed the matter to him.
Therefore, Tropicana should be held responsible for the damage suffered by McLoughlin by reason of the
negligence of its employees. The management should have guarded against the occurrence of this incident
considering that Payam admitted in open court that she assisted Tan three times in opening the safety deposit
box of McLoughlin at around 6:30 A.M. to 7:30 A.M. while the latter was still asleep. In light of the circumstances
surrounding this case, it is undeniable that without the acquiescence of the employees of Tropicana to the
opening of the safety deposit box, the loss of McLoughlin’s money could and should have been avoided.

In the case at bar, the responsibility of securing the safety deposit box was shared not only by the guest himself
but also by the management since two keys are necessary to open the safety deposit box. Without the
assistance of hotel employees, the loss would not have occurred. Thus, Tropicana was guilty of concurrent
negligence in allowing Tan, who was not the registered guest, to open the safety deposit box of McLoughlin,
even assuming that the latter was also guilty of negligence in allowing another person to use his key. To rule
otherwise would result in undermining the safety of the safety deposit boxes in hotels for the management will
be given imprimatur to allow any person, under the pretense of being a family member or a visitor of the guest,
to have access to the safety deposit box without fear of any liability that will attach thereafter in case such
person turns out to be a complete stranger. This will allow the hotel to evade responsibility for any liability
incurred by its employees in conspiracy with the guest’s relatives and visitors.

Durban Apartments Corp vs Pioneer Insurance and Surety

Facts: Pioneer by right of subrogation filed a complaint for recovery of damages against Durban. The insured,
Jeffrey See arrived and checked in at the City garden Hotel (owned by Durban) and its parking attendant,
Justimbaste got the key to See’s Vitara to park it. The ff day, See was informed that his car was carnapped. 3
months after, the car has still been not recovered. Pioneer pay See P1.163 million. Durban was negligent since
this is its second carnap incident but it not do something about it.

Held: Respondent substantiated the allegations in its complaint, i.e., a contract of necessary deposit existed
between the insured See and petitioner. The insured See deposited his vehicle for safekeeping with petitioner,
through the latter’s employee, Justimbaste. In turn, Justimbaste issued a claim stub to See. Thus, the contract of
deposit was perfected from See’s delivery, when he handed over to Justimbaste the keys to his vehicle, which
Justimbaste received with the obligation of safely keeping and returning it. Ultimately, petitioner is liable for the
loss of See’s vehicle.

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