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Sesbreno v.

Court of Appeals

Facts: Sesbreo made a money market placement in the amount of P300,000.00 with the Philifinance, with a term of 32 days. Philifinance issued Delta Motors Corporation Promissory Note ("DMC PN") No. 2731, the Certificate of Securities Delivery Receipt indicating the sale of the note with notation that said security was in the custody of Pilipinas Bank, and postdated checks drawn against the Insular Bank of Asia and America for P304,533.33 payable on 13 March 1981. However, the checks were dishonored. Pilipinas Bank never released the note, nor any instrument related thereto, to Sesbreno; but Sesbreno learned that the security which was issued on April 10, 1980, maturing on 6 April 1981, has a face value of P2,300,833.33 with PhilFinance as payee and Delta Motors as maker; and was stamped non -negotiable on its face. As Sesbreno was unable to collect his investment and interest thereon, he filed an action for damages against Delta Motors and Pilipinas Bank. Delta Motors contents that said promissory note was not intended to be negotiated or otherwise transferred by Philfinance as manifested by the word "non-negotiable" stamped across the face of the Note.

Issue: WON the non-negotiability of a promissory note prevents its assignment.

Held: No. A non-negotiable instrument may not be negotiated but may be assigned or transferred. The negotiation of a negotiable instrument must be distinguished from theassignment or transfer of an instrument whether that be negotiable or non-negotiable. Only an instrument qualifying as a negotiable instrument under the relevant statute may be negotiated either by indorsement thereof coupled with delivery, or by delivery alone where the negotiable instrument is in bearer form. A negotiable instrument may, however, instead of being negotiated, also be assigned or transferred. The legal consequences of negotiation as distinguished from assignment of a negotiable instrument are, of course, different. A nonnegotiable instrument may, obviously, not be negotiated; but it may be assigned or transferred, absent an express prohibition against assignment or transfer written in the face of the instrument: The words "not negotiable," stamped on the face of the bill of lading, did not destroy its assignability, but the sole effect was to exempt the bill from the

statutory provisions relative thereto, and a bill, though not negotiable, may be transferred by assignment; the assignee taking subject to the equities between the original parties. 12 (Emphasis added)

DMC PN No. 2731, while marked "non-negotiable," was not at the same time stamped "nontransferable" or "non-assignable." It contained no stipulation which prohibited Philfinance from assigning or transferring, in whole or in part, that Note.