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G.R. No.

156940 December 14, 2004 required of banks is more than that of a good father of a family where the
fiduciary nature of their relationship with their depositors is concerned. In this
ASSOCIATED BANK (Now WESTMONT BANK) vs. TAN case, petitioner did not treat respondent’s account with the highest degree of
care. Respondent withdrew his money upon the advice of petitioner that his
money was already cleared. It is petitioner’s premature authorization of the
withdrawal that caused the respondent’s account balance to fall to insufficient
FACTS:
levels, and the subsequent dishonor of his own checks for lack of funds.
Respondent Tan is a businessman and a regular depositor-creditor of
the petitioner, Associated Bank. Sometime in September 1990, he deposited
a postdated check with the petitioner in the amount of P101,000 issued to
him by a certain Willy Cheng from Tarlac. The check was duly entered in his
bank record. Allegedly, upon advice and instruction of petitioner that
theP101,000 check was already cleared and backed up by sufficient funds,
respondent, on the same date, withdrew the sum of P240,000 from his
account leaving a balance of P57,793.45. A day after, TAN deposited the
amount of P50,000 making his existing balance in the amount
of P107,793.45, because he has issued several checks to his business
partners. However, his suppliers and business partners went back to him
alleging that the checks he issued bounced for insufficiency of funds.
Thereafter, respondent informed petitioner to take positive steps regarding
the matter for he has adequate and sufficient funds to pay the amount of the
subject checks. Nonetheless, petitioner did not bother nor offer any apology
regarding the incident. Respondent Tan filed a Complaint for Damages on
December 19, 1990, with the RTC against petitioner. The trial court rendered
a decision in favor of respondent and ordered petitioner to pay damages and
attorney’s fees. Appellate court affirmed the lower court’s decision. CA ruled
that the bank should not have authorized the withdrawal of the value of the
deposited check prior to its clearing. Petitioner filed a Petition for Review
before the Supreme Court.

ISSUE:

W/N petitioner has the right to debit the amount of the dishonored check from
the account of respondent on the ground that the check was withdrawn by
respondent prior to its clearing

HELD:

The Petition has no merit.

The real issue here is not so much the right of petitioner to debit
respondent’s account but, rather, the manner in which it exercised such right.
Banks are granted by law the right to debit the value of a dishonored check
from a depositor’s account but they must do so with the highest degree of
care, so as not to prejudice the depositor unduly. The degree of diligence
Guingona v. City Fiscal Flaminiano 4. To afford adequate protection to constitutional rights
5. In proper cases, because the statute relied upon is unconstitutional or
TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR., ANTONIO MARTIN, and TERESITA was held invalid
SANTOS v.
CITY FISCAL FLAMINIANO, ASST. CITY FISCAL LOTA and CLEMENT When David invested his money on time and savings deposits with NSLA,
DAVID the contract that was perfected was a contract of simple loan
1984 / Makasiar or mutuum and not a contract of deposit. The relationship between David
and NSLA is that of creditor and debtor. While the Bank has the obligation
David invested several deposits with the Nation Savings and Loan to return the amount deposited, it has no obligation to return or deliver
Association [NSLA]. He said that he was induced into making said the same money that was deposited. NSLA’s failure to return the amount
investments by an Australian national who was a close associate of the deposited will not constitute estafa through misappropriation, but it will
petitioners [NSLA officials]. On March 1981, NSLA was placed under only give rise to civil liability over which the public respondents have no
receivershipby the Central Bank, so David filed claims for his and his jurisdiction.
sister’s investments. Considering that petitioners’ liability is purely civil in nature and
On June 1981, Guingona and Martin, upon David’s that there is no clear showing that they engaged in foreign exchange
request, assumed the bank’s obligation to David by executing a joint transactions, public respondents acted without jurisdiction when they
promissory note. On July 1981, David received a report that only a portion investigated the charges against the petitioners. Public respondents should
of his investments was entered in the NSLA records. be restrained from further proceeding with the criminal case for to allow the
On December 1981, David filed I.S. No. 81-31938 in the Office of the case to continue would work great injustice to petitioners and would render
City Fiscal, which case was assigned to Asst. City Fiscal Lota for preliminary meaningless the proper administration of justice.
investigation. David charged petitioners with estafa and violation of Central Even granting that NSLA’s failure to pay the time and savings
Bank Circular No. 364 and related regulations on foreign exchange deposits would constitute a violation of RPC 315, paragraph 1(b), any
transactions. incipient criminal liability was deemed avoided. When NSLA was placed
Petitioners moved to dismiss the charges against them for lack of under receivership, Guingona and Martin assumed the obligation to David,
jurisdiction because David's claims allegedly comprised a purely civil thereby resulting in the novation of the original contractual obligation.
obligation, but the motion was denied. After the presentation of David's The original trust relationbetween NSLA and David was converted into
principal witness, petitioners filed this petition for prohibition and injunction an ordinary debtor-creditor relation between the petitioners and David.
because: While it is true that novation does not extinguish criminal liability, it may
a. The production of various documents showed that the transactions prevent the rise of criminal liability as long as it occurs prior to the filing of the
between David and NSLA were simple loans (civil obligations which were criminal information in court.
novated when Guingona and Martin assumed them)
b. David's principal witness testified that the duplicate originals of the
instruments of indebtedness were all on file with NSLA.
A TRO was issued ordering the respondents to refrain from
proceeding with the preliminary investigation in I.S. No. 81-31938.

Petitioners’ liability is civil in nature, so respondents have no


jurisdiction over the estafa charge. TRO CORRECTLY ISSUED.

GENERAL RULE: Criminal prosecution may not be blocked by court


prohibition or injunction.
EXCEPTIONS
1. For the orderly administration of justice
2. To prevent the use of the strong arm of the law in an oppressive and
vindictive manner
3. To avoid multiplicity of actions
Compania Maritima vs CA Case Digest for the loss destruction or deterioration common carriers must prove that they have
Compania Maritima vs Court of Appeals and Vicente Concepcion exercised extraordinary diligence as required by Article 1733 of the Civil Code.

(162 SCRA 685)

Extraordinary Diligence in the vigilance over the goods tendered for shipment
requires the common carrier to know and follow the required precaution fro avoiding
Facts: Vicente Concepcion is doing business under the name of Consolidated damage or destruction of the goods entrusted to it for safe carriage and delivery. It
Construction. Being a Manila based contractor, Concepcion had to ship his requires common carriers to render service with the greatest skill and foresight and to
construction equipment to Cagayan de Oro. On August 28, 1964, Concepcion use all reasonable means to ascertain the nature and characteristics of goods
shipped 1 unit pay loader, 4 units of 6x6 Roe trucks, and 2 pieces of water tanks. The tendered for shipment and to exercise due care in the handling and stowage including
aforementioned equipment was loaded aboard the MV Cebu, which left Manila on such methods as their nature requires.
August 30, 1964 and arrived at Cagayan de Oro on September 1, 1964. The Reo
trucks and water tanks were safely unloaded however the pay loader suffered
damage while being unloaded. The damaged pay loader was taken to the petitioner’s
compound in Cagayan de Oro. The Supreme Court further held that the weight in a bill of lading are prima facie
evidence of the amount received and the fact that the weighing was done by another
will not relieve the common carrier where it accepted such weight and entered it in on
the bill of lading. The common carrier can protect themselves against mistakes in the
Consolidated Construction thru Vicente Concepcion wrote Compania Maritima to bill of lading as to weight by exercising extraordinary diligence before issuing such.
demand a replacement of the broken pay loader and also asked for damages. Unable
to get a response, Concepcion sent another demand letter. Petitioner meanwhile,
sent the damaged payloader to Manila, it was weighed at San Miguel Corporation,
where it was found that the payloader actually weighed 7.5 tons and not 2.5 tons as
declared in its bill of lading. Due to this, petitioner denied the claim for damages of
Consolidated Construction. Consolidated then filed an action for damages against
petitioner with the Court of First Instance of Manila. The Court of First Instance
dismissed the complaint stating that the proximate cause of the fall of the payloader
which caused its damage was the act or omission of Vicente Concepcion for
misrepresenting the weight of the payloader as 2.5 tons instead of its true weight of
7.5 tons. On appeal, the Court of Appeals, reversed the decision of the Court of First
Instance and ordered the plaintiff to pay Concepcion damages. Hence this petition.

Issue: Whether or not the act of respondent Concepcion of misdeclaring the true
weight of the payloader the proximate and only cause of the damage of the
payloader?

Held: No, Compania Maritima is liable for the damage to the payloader. The General
rule under Articles 1735 and 1752 of the Civil Code is that common carriers are
presumed to be at fault or to have acted negligently in case the goods transported by
them are lost, destroyed, or had deteriorated. To overcome the presumption of liability