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Bordador v.

Luz
G.R. No. 130148 December 15, 1997 J. Regalado
petitioners Jose and Lydia Bordador
respondents Sps. Brigida and Ernesto Luz, Narciso Deganos
summary The Bordadors, who were running a jewelry business, entrusted pieces of jewelry to Degnos,
who was obliged to sell them. Deganos failed to account for them. A civil and criminal case were
filed against him, which prayed that Brigida Luz, who was puported to be his principal, be held
solidarily liable. The Court ruled that Deganos was not the agent of Luz, as there was no evidence
that Luz consented to, or authorized Deganos to act on her behalf.

facts of the case


The Bordador's were in the business of purchase and sale of jewelry, and Brigida Luz was their regular customer.
Deganos, the brother of Luz, received pieces of jewelry worth P382,816.00, covered by seventeen receipts, eleven of them
indicating that they were received on behalf a certain Evelyn Aquino, and six indicated that they were receive don behalf
of Luz.

Deganos was supposed to sell the items, remit the proceeds, and return the unsold ones to the Bordadors. However,
he was only able to remit P53,207.00, failing to pay the balance of the sales proceeds and returning any unsold items. The
Bordadors filed a complaint before the barangay court, where Deganos along with the Sps. Luz signed a compromise
agreement promising to pay the unpaid account of P765,463.98. Deganos, however, failed to comply.

A civil case for the recovery of sum of money was instituted against Deganos and Brigida Luz in the Malolos RTC.
Her husband Ernesto was impleaded as well. Four years later in 1994, a criminal case for estafa was filed, which was still
pending when this decision was promulgated.

Petitioners claimed that Deganos was acting as the agent of Brigida Luz and because he failed to pay for the pieces of
jewelry, the Sps. Luz, as principals, are solidarily liable. The respondents countered that only Deganos was liable, that
Brigida never authorized him to receive jewelry on her behalf, neither did she receive the articles in question.

The RTC ruled that there was no agency between Brigida Luz and Deganos. It was Bordador who indicated that the
items were received on behalf of Luz. Even if there was a contract of agency, there was no memorandum to this effect and
was therefore unenforceable.

CA affirmed the judgment.

issue
Was there a contract of agency between Luz and Deganos? NO.

ratio
Petitioners presented as evidence several letters sent by Luz to the Bordadors to prove that she recognized her liability but
the court had pointed out that such letters were for previous obligations and did not include the jewelries involved in the
present case. As for the statement of Brigida Luz that she received pieces of gold jewelry, there was no proof that the said
jewelry were the same items in question.

While it was shown in the findings of fact that Deganos had ostensibly acted as an agent of Luz, there was no showing
that Luz authorized him to act on her behalf regarding the transaction questioned in this case. The basis for agency is
representation, and there is no showing that Luz consented or authorized Deganos to act on her behalf.

It was inexcusably negligent of the Bordados to entrust Deganos with several pieces of jewelry without requiring a
written authorization from the supposed principal. A person dealing with an agent is put upon inquiry and must
discover upon his peril the authority of the agent. There was no express or implied agency between Deganos and Luz.

Petitioners also assail the validity of the CA's ruling, as it will be in conflict with the criminal case of estafa. This will not
be the case as Article 33 of the Civil Code provides that action for damages arising from fraud may proceed
independently of the criminal case and will need only a preponderance of evidence.