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PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, plaintiff-appellee, vs. MANILA OIL REFINING & BY-PRODUCTS COMPANY, INC., defendant-appellant.

FACTS: Manila Oil Refining & By-Products Company, Inc., executed and delivered to the Philippine National Bank, a written instrument promising to pay to the order of the latter P61,000.00 and stipulating that in case the note be not paid at maturity, it authorizes any attorney in the Philippine Islands to appear in its name and confess judgment for the above sum with interest, cost of suit and attorney's fees of ten (10) per cent for collection, a release of all errors and waiver of all rights to inquisition and appeal, and to the benefit of all laws exempting property, real or personal, from levy or sale. The Manila Oil Refining and By-Products Company, Inc. failed to pay. The Philippine National Bank brought action. An attorney associated with the Philippine National Bank entered his appearance in representation of Manila Oil Refining & By-Products Company, Inc, and filed a motion confessing judgment. ISSUE: Is the provision in a promissory note which authorizes any attorney to appear and confess judgment thereon in case the same be not paid at maturity valid. HELD: Warrants of attorney to confess judgment are not authorized nor contemplated by our law. The provisions in notes authorizing attorneys to appear and confess judgments against makers should not be recognized in this jurisdiction by implication and should only be considered as valid when given express legislative sanction. Such warrants of attorney are void as against public policy. They enlarge the field for fraud, the promissor bargains away his right to a day in court, and it strikes down the right of appeal accorded by statute. It might be the source of abuse and oppression, and make the courts involuntary parties thereto. BERTES, A. L.