Sie sind auf Seite 1von 3

[NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS | ATTY.

CENIZA] 1

CESAR V. AREZA AND LOLITA B. AREZA, PETITIONERS, VS.EXPRESS total of One Million Eight Hundred Thousand Pesos
SAVINGS BANK, INC. AND MICHAEL POTENCIANO, RESPONDENTS. (P1,800,000.00).
G.R. No. 176697 / September 10, 2014 /
J. Perez  Michael Potenciano, the branch manager of Express Savings
Bank, was present during the transaction and immediately
TOPIC: HOLDERS in DUE COURSE. offered the services of the bank for the processing and eventual
crediting of the checks to the account of the petitioners
DOCTRINE: Section 124 of the Negotiable Instruments Law states because the Arezas were valued clients of the bank.
that a material alteration avoids an instrument except as against
an assenting party and subsequent indorsers, but a holder in due  The petitioners then deposited the checks to Express Savings
course may enforce payment according to its original tenor. Thus, Bank which in turn deposited the checks with its depository
when the drawee bank pays a materially altered check, it violates the bank, Equitable-PCI Bank. Equitable-PCI Bank then presented
terms of the check, as well as its duty to charge its client’s account only the checks to the drawee bank, Philippine Veterans Bank,
for bona fide disbursements he had made. If the drawee did not pay which honoured the checks.
according to the original tenor of the instrument, as directed by the
drawer, then it has no right to claim reimbursement from the drawer,  Sometime in July 2000, the checks were returned by PVAO to
much less, the right to deduct the erroneous payment it made from the the drawee on the ground that the amount on the face of the
drawer’s account which it was expected to treat with utmost fidelity. checks was altered from the original amount of P4,000.00 to
The drawee, however, still has recourse to recover its loss. It may pass P200,000.00. The drawee bank, in turn, returned the checks to
the liability back to the collecting bank which is what the drawee bank Equitable-PCI Bank. Equitable-PCI Bank then informed Express
exactly did in this case. It debited the account of Equitable-PCI Bank for Savings Bank that the drawee dishonored the checks on the
the altered amount of the checks. ground of material alterations. It also debited the deposit
account of Express Savings Bank in the amount of
P1,800,000.00. Express Savings Bank insisted that it informed
the petitioners of what happened to the checks. On the other
RECIT READY SUMMARY: hand, the petitioners maintained that the said bank never
informed them of the said progress.

FACTS:  The petitioners then issued a check in the amount of


P500,000.00 but it was dishonored. They demanded the bank
 Petitioners Cesar V. Areza and Lolita B. Areza have two bank
to honor the check but it refused. Instead, it closed the Special
deposits with respondent Express Savings Bank. They were
Savings Account of the petitioners with a balance of
engaged in the business of “buy and sell” of brand new and
P1,179,659.69 and transferred said amount to their savings
second-hand motor vehicles. On May 2, 2000, they received an
account. Express Savings Bank then withdrew the amount of
order from a certain Gerry Mambuay for the purchase of a
P1,800,000.00 representing the returned checks from
second-hand Mitsubishi Pajero and a brand-new Honda CRV.
petitioners’ savings account.
 The buyer, Mambuay, paid petitioners with nine (9) Philippine
 The petitioners filed a Complaint for Sum of Money with
Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) checks payable to different
Damages against Express Savings Bank and Potenciano for the
payees and drawn against the Philippine Veterans Bank, each
alleged arbitrary and groundless dishonouring of their checks
valued at Two Hundred Thousand Pesos (P200,000.00) for a

(GO1) 2017 - 2018


and the unlawful and unilateral withdrawal from their savings alteration. This view appears to be in consonance with Section 124
account. of the Negotiable Instruments Law which states that a material
alteration avoids an instrument except as against an assenting
 The RTC, through Judge Antonio S. Pozas, initially ruled in party and subsequent indorsers, but a holder in due course may
favor of the petitioners but the same court, through Pairing enforce payment according to its original tenor. Thus, when the
Judge Romeo C. De Leon, eventually granted the Motion for drawee bank pays a materially altered check, it violates the terms of the
Reconsideration filed by the respondents and set aside the check, as well as its duty to charge its client’s account only for bona fide
Pozas Decision. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the disbursements he had made. If the drawee did not pay according to the
ruling of the RTC. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. original tenor of the instrument, as directed by the drawer, then it has
no right to claim reimbursement from the drawer, much less, the right
to deduct the erroneous payment it made from the drawer’s account
which it was expected to treat with utmost fidelity. The drawee,
however, still has recourse to recover its loss. It may pass the liability
back to the collecting bank which is what the drawee bank exactly did
in this case. It debited the account of Equitable-PCI Bank for the altered
amount of the checks.
ISSUE/S:
I. Whether or not the drawee bank is liable for the altered tenor of
acceptance in case the negotiable instrument is altered before
acceptance. [YES] ISSUE 2:
II. Whether or not the respondent bank has the right to debit
P1,800,000.00 from the petitioners’ accounts. NO  The Bank cannot debit the savings account of petitioners. A
depositary/collecting bank may resist or defend against a claim for
breach of warranty if the drawer, the payee, or either the drawee bank
or depositary bank was negligent and such negligence substantially
contributed to the loss from alteration. In the instant case, no
negligence can be attributed to petitioners. We lend credence to their
HELD: (ISSUE 1) claim that at the time of the sales transaction, the Bank’s branch
 Section 63 of Act No. 2031 or the Negotiable Instruments Law provides manager was present and even offered the Bank’s services for the
that the acceptor, by accepting the instrument, engages that he will pay processing and eventual crediting of the checks. True to the branch
it according to the tenor of his acceptance. The acceptor is a drawee manager’s words, the checks were cleared three days later when
who accepts the bill. In Philippine National Bank v. Court of Appeals, deposited by petitioners and the entire amount of the checks was
the payment of the amount of a check implies not only acceptance but credited to their savings account.
also compliance with the drawee’s obligation.
 Moreover, the Bank cannot set-off the amount it paid to Equitable-PCI
 In case the negotiable instrument is altered before acceptance, is the Bank with petitioners’ savings account. Under Art. 1278 of the New
drawee liable for the original or the altered tenor of acceptance? There Civil Code, compensation shall take place when two persons, in their
are two divergent intepretations proffered by legal analysts. The first own right, are creditors and debtors of each other. It is well-settled that
view is that the obligation of the acceptor should be limited to the tenor the relationship of the depositors and the Bank or similar institution is
of the instrument as drawn by the maker, as was the rule at common that of creditor-debtor. But as previously discussed, petitioners are not
law, but that it should be enforceable in favor of a holder in due course liable for the deposit of the altered checks. The Bank, as the depositary
against the acceptor according to its tenor at the time of its acceptance and collecting bank ultimately bears the loss. Thus, there being no
or certification. indebtedness to the Bank on the part of petitioners, legal compensation
cannot take place.
 The second view is that the acceptor/drawee despite the tenor of
his acceptance is liable only to the extent of the bill prior to
[NEGOTIABLE INSTRUMENTS | ATTY. CENIZA] 3

 To recap, the drawee bank, Philippine Veterans Bank in this case, is


only liable to the extent of the check prior to alteration. Since Philippine
Veterans Bank paid the altered amount of the check, it may pass the
liability back as it did, to Equitable-PCI Bank, the collecting bank. The
collecting banks, Equitable-PCI Bank and Express Savings Bank, are
ultimately liable for the amount of the materially altered check. It
cannot further pass the liability back to the petitioners absent any
showing in the negligence on the part of the petitioners which
substantially contributed to the loss from alteration.

 Based on the foregoing, the SC granted the petition and affirmed the
Pozas decision only insofar as it ordered respondents to jointly and
severally pay petitioners P1,800,000.00, representing the amount
withdrawn from the latter’s account.

(GO1) 2017 - 2018