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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 157049 August 11, 2010
CITYTRUST BANKING CORPORATION !o" B#!$ o% t&' P&()(**(!' Is)#!+s,, Petitioner,
vs.
CAR-OS ROMU-O N. CRU., Respondent.
R S O ! " T I O N
BERSAMIN, J.:
"nder revie# is the decision pro$ul%ated on October &, '((' in ).*.+ ,.R. )V No. -&.'&,
/
#hereb0
the )ourt of *ppeals 1)*2 affir$ed the decision dated 3anuar0 /4, /..5 of the Re%ional Trial )ourt
1RT)2, 6ranch ./, in 7ue8on )it0,
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findin% the petitioner liable to pa0 to the respondent $oral
da$a%es of P/((,(((.((, e9e$plar0 da$a%es of P'(,(((.((, and attorne0:s fees of P'(,(((.((.
In the ti$e $aterial to the case, the respondent, an architect and business$an, $aintained savin%s and
chec;in% accounts at the petitioner:s !o0ola Hei%hts 6ranch. The savin%s account #as considered
closed due to the oversi%ht co$$itted b0 one of the latter:s tellers. The closure resulted in the e9tre$e
e$barrass$ent of the respondent, for chec;s that he had issued could not be honored althou%h his
savin%s account #as sufficientl0 funded and the accounts #ere $aintained under the petitioner:s
chec;+o+$atic arran%e$ent 1#hereb0 the current account #as $aintained at 8ero balance and the funds
fro$ the savin%s account #ere auto$aticall0 transferred to the current account to cover chec;s issued
b0 the depositor li;e the respondent2.
"n$oved b0 the petitioner:s apolo%ies and the ad<ust$ent $ade on his accounts b0 its e$plo0ees, the
respondent sued in the RT) to clai$ da$a%es fro$ the petitioner.
*fter trial, the RT) ruled in the respondent:s favor, and ordered the petitioner to pa0 hi$ P/((,(((.((
as $oral da$a%es, P'(,(((.(( as e9e$plar0 da$a%e, and P'(,((((.(( as attorne0:s fees. The RT)
found that the petitioner had failed to properl0 supervise its teller= and that the petitioner:s ne%li%ence
had $ade the respondent suffer serious an9iet0, e$barrass$ent and hu$iliation, entitlin% hi$ to
da$a%es.
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The petitioner appealed to the )ourt of *ppeals 1)*2, ar%uin% that the RT) erred in orderin% it to pa0
$oral and e9e$plar0 da$a%es.
Ho#ever, the )* affir$ed the RT), e9plainin% that the erroneous closure of the respondent:s account
#ould not have been co$$itted in the first place if the petitioner had not been careless in supervisin%
its e$plo0ees. *ccordin% to the )*, >the fiduciar0 relationship and the e9tent of dili%ence that is to be
e9pected fro$ a ban;in% institution, li;e herein appellant )it0trust, in handlin% the accounts of its
depositors cannot be rela9ed behind the shado# of an e$plo0ee #hether or not he?she is ne# on the
<ob.>
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Moreover, the )* said that the ne%li%ence of the petitioner:s personnel #as the pro9i$ate cause
that had set in $otion the events leadin% to the da$a%e caused to the respondent= hence, the RT)
correctl0 opined that >#hile a ban; is not e9pected to be infallible, it $ust bear the bla$e for not
discoverin% the $ista;e of its teller for lac; of proper supervision.>
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The petitioner sou%ht reconsideration, but the )* denied its $otion for reconsideration for lac; of
$erit.
Hence, this appeal, in #hich the petitioner $aintains that there #ere >decisive fact situations sho#in%
e9cusable ne%li%ence and %ood faith>
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that did not <ustif0 the a#ard of $oral and e9e$plar0 da$a%es
and attorne0:s fees.
The petition has no $erit.
Airstl0, the errors sou%ht to be revie#ed focused on the correctness of the factual findin%s of the )*.
Such revie# #ill reBuire the )ourt to a%ain assess the facts. Cet, the )ourt is not a trier of facts. Thus,
the appeal is not proper, for onl0 Buestions of la# can be elevated to the )ourt via petition for revie#
on certiorari.
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Secondl0, nothin% fro$ the petitioner:s ar%u$ents persuasivel0 sho#ed that the RT) and the )* erred.
The findin%s of both lo#er courts #ere full0 supported b0 the evidence adduced.
"nBuestionabl0, the petitioner, bein% a ban;in% institution, had the direct obli%ation to supervise ver0
closel0 the e$plo0ees handlin% its depositors: accounts, and should al#a0s be $indful of the fiduciar0
nature of its relationship #ith the depositors. Such relationship reBuired it and its e$plo0ees to record
accuratel0 ever0 sin%le transaction, and as pro$ptl0 as possible, considerin% that the depositors:
accounts should al#a0s reflect the a$ounts of $one0 the depositors could dispose of as the0 sa# fit,
confident that, as a ban;, it #ould deliver the a$ounts to #ho$ever the0 directed.
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If it fell short of
that obli%ation, it should bear the responsibilit0 for the conseBuences to the depositors, #ho, li;e the
respondent, suffered particular e$barrass$ent and disturbed peace of $ind fro$ the ne%li%ence in the
handlin% of the accounts.
Thirdl0, in several decisions of the )ourt,
.
the ban;s, defendants therein, #ere $ade liable for
ne%li%ence, even #ithout sufficient proof of $alice or bad faith on their part, and the )ourt a#arded
$oral da$a%es of P/((,(((.(( each ti$e to the suin% depositors in proper consideration of their
reputation and their social standin%. The respondent should be si$ilarl0 a#arded for the da$a%e to his
reputation as an architect and business$an.1avvphi1
!astl0, the )* properl0 affir$ed the RT):s a#ard of e9e$plar0 da$a%es and attorne0:s fees. It is
never overe$phasi8ed that the public al#a0s relies on a ban;:s profession of dili%ence and
$eticulousness in renderin% irreproachable service.
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Its failure to e9ercise dili%ence and
$eticulousness #arranted its liabilit0 for e9e$plar0 da$a%es and for reasonable attorne0:s fees.
EHRAOR, #e den0 the petition for revie# on certiorari, and affir$ the decision rendered on
October &, '((' b0 the )ourt of *ppeals.
)osts of suit to be paid b0 the petitioner.
SO ORDRD.
-UCAS P. BERSAMIN
*ssociate 3ustice
E )ON)"RF
CONC/ITA CARPIO MORA-ES
*ssociate 3ustice
)hairperson
ARTURO 0. BRION
*ssociate 3ustice
ROBERTO A. ABA0
G
*ssociate 3ustice
MARTIN S. 1I--ARAMA, 2R.
*ssociate 3ustice
* T T S T * T I O N
I attest that the conclusions in the above Resolution had been reached in consultation before the case
#as assi%ned to the #riter of the opinion of the )ourt:s Division.
CONC/ITA CARPIO MORA-ES
*ssociate 3ustice
)hairperson
) R T I A I ) * T I O N
Pursuant to Section /4, *rticle VIII of the )onstitution, and the Division )hairperson:s *ttestation, I
certif0 that the conclusions in the above Resolution had been reached in consultation before the case
#as assi%ned to the #riter of the opinion of the )ourt:s Division.
RENATO C. CORONA
)hief 3ustice
3oot!ot's
G
*dditional $e$ber per Special Order No. &-4 dated Ma0 /D, '(/(.
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Rollo, pp. 4.+-.= penned b0 *ssociate 3ustice Danilo 6. Pine 1retired2, #ith *ssociate 3ustice
Ruben T. Re0es 1later a Me$ber of the )ourt, since retired2 and *ssociate 3ustice *ndres 6.
Re0es, 3r. 1no# Presidin% 3ustice of the )ourt of *ppeals2 concurrin%.
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Id., pp. 5@+@-= penned b0 then Presidin% 3ud%e Marina !. 6u8on 1later an *ssociate 3ustice of
the )ourt of *ppeals2.
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Id.
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Supra, at note /, p. -@.
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Id.
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Id., p. 4(.
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Section /, Rule -5, Rules of )ourt, specificall0 states that the petition for revie# on certiorari
>shall raise onl0 Buestions of la#, #hich $ust be distinctl0 set forth.>
&
Citytrust Banking Corp. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, ,.R. No. &-'&/, 'D Ma0 /..-, '4'
S)R* 55., 5@-.
.
Prudential 6an; v. )ourt of *ppeals, ,.R. No. /'554@, March /@, '(((, 4'& S)R* '@-=
Philippine National 6an; v. )ourt of *ppeals, ,.R. No. /'@/5', Septe$ber '&, /..., 4/5
S)R* 4(.= Metropolitan 6an; and Trust )o$pan0 v. Eon%, ,.R. No. /'(&5., 3une '@, '((/,
45. S)R* @(&.
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Prudential 6an; v. )ourt of *ppeals, supra, at p. 'D/.