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General rule: drawee is liable for forged signature of drawer

Samsung maintains a current account in Far East Bank in Makati Branch.

Jong Lee (project mgr) is its sole signatory while checks were under custody of Kyu Lee (accountant).

Roberto Gonzaga presented for payment in FEB Makati a check drawn against Samsung's Construction account
payable to cash (bearer) of 999,500.

Bank Teller -
1. checked the balance if sufficient ba
2. compared signature on the check with specimen signature card of the bank
3. forwarded the check to branch Sr Asst Cashier
****bank policy requires 2 bank oficers to approve checks exceeding 100K
4. forwarded check/card to another officer, Syfu who noticed that Sempio (asst accountant of Samsung) was in the
5. Sempio said it was genuine, he sait it was for purchase of EQUIPMENT for samsung
4. Syfu AUTHORIZED the bank's encashment of the check to Gonzaga

Next day-
Accountant discovered the withdrawal and perused the checkbook to find that last BLANK CHECK was missing. He
notified Jong (PM) who went to the bank immediately.

They filed a compliant.

TRIAL – 2 contradictory findings

Samsung - Sr NBI document examiner (forged)
FEBTC - PNP Crime Lab document examiner (authentic)

GEN: wholly inoperative, payment made is ineffectual does not discharge. Drawee is in a superior position to
detect a forgery, it can compare signatures to specimen in signature card.

GEN: If drawer's signature is forged, then the liability attaches to the drawee irrespective of its good faith
because it is expected to warrant the genuiness of the signature if the drawer. He should have been put on guard
when a bearer instrument was presented attached to an instrument carrying the amount of close to a million pesos.

XPN: negligence of drawer. Samsung was not held liable in this case, no factual finding to support. The
safekeeping issue does not necessarily imply that it was negligent - employers are not expected to know
the evil cognitions in the minds of their employees. Presumed ordinary care was employed by the

Shared liability – negligence by both drawer and drawee

Operates and owns 4 grocery stores. She pays her debts to her suppliers through checks drawn against her

Checks were prepared and filled all material particulars by her trusted bookkeeper, Alicia who presented to
gempesaw for verification together with invoice receipts.
HOWEVER, gempesaw does not bother to verify the accuracy of the checks NOR does she verify if they were
delivered to their respective payees.

She found out 2 years later that a total of 82 checks were drawn against her account credited to the Chief
Accountant (Boon) PH bank Buendia Branch approved by him and credited to accounts in Onpin and Elcano

GEN: Forged signature of drawer is borne by drawee on account of its acceptance of the instrument.

XPN: if Drawer is NEGLIGENT. The liability is divided between them.

Here, Gempesaw (drawer) is negligent she failed to act as a prudent businessman would and relied implicitly
upon her bookkeepers' loyalty and honesty. Had SHE VERIFIED, SHE WOULDVE DISCOVERED

The bank is also liable for violating its own internal rules which are impliedly instututed in any contract it enters
BRANCH MGRS but they accepted the checks with only the accountant's approval. Furhter, of their FAILURE TO

Signature of indorser is forged, liable si collecting bank unless if the drawee is liable of contributory
negligence (shared liability) the drawer is also negligent in this case

Province of Tarlac maintains a current account with PNB Tarlac branch.

Checks are issued by its Provincial TREASURER and coutnersigned by PROV AUDITOR or the Sec of SB.

Portion of the checks are allocated to Concepcion Emergency Hospital, Tarlac. Checks were released and received
for the hospital by Pangilinan (ADMIN OFFFICER and CASHIER). Only to discover that hospital did not receive
several of the alloted checks.

After examination, they learned that 30 checks were encached by Pangilinan with ASSOC BANK who was the
hospital's admin and cashier until his retirement.
MNGR of ASSOC BANK contends that Pangilinan deposited the check in his personal savings acount BUT he
already withdrew the money upon clearing the checks and paid by PNB (drawee).

PNB did not return the ckecks within 24 hrs only several days later. Pangilinan forged the signature of the chief of
payee hospital for some other checks - all containing "ALL PRIOR ENDORSEMENTS GUARANTEED ASSOCIATED

signature of indorser is forged

ASSOC BANK (collecting bank's) liability
GENERAL: even if indorsement of a check deposited is forged, it is bound by its warranties as a subsequent
indorser and cannot set up the real defense against PNB

XPN: PNB (drawee) unreasonably delayed in notifying it of the fact of forgery that it can no longer
collect from depositor-forger.


GEN: when it pays under a forged indorsement, he cannot debit it from the account of the drawer in his hands
and is not entitled to indemification. Bear loss.

XPN: PNB can prove failure of drawer (Tarlac Province) to exercise ordinary care that substantially
contriubted to the forgery, the drawer cannot set up the defense. Share liab.
THUS, assoc bank is liable to refund the amount encashed to PNB. Tarlac, party prior the forgery, can raise
defense but because it is also negligent for issuing checks to Pangilinan even after retirement PNB pays only 50%.
Assoc Bank can ask for refund from the depositor for the amount it paid to PNB but court did not acquire JD over


Facts: Ford Philippines drew a Citibank check in the amount of P4.7m in favor of the Commissioner of
the Internal Revenue (CIR).
The check represents Ford’s tax payment for the 3RD quarter of 1977. On the face of the check
was written “Payee’s account only”- cannot be encashed and can only be deposited with
the CIR’s savings account (which is with Metrobank).

check was however presented to (3rd party bank – collected) PCIB and PCIB accepted the same.
PCIB then indorsed the check for clearing to Citibank. Citibank cleared the check and paid PCIB P4,
746,114.41. CIR later informed Ford that it never received the tax payment.

An investigation ensued and it was discovered that Ford’s accountant Rivera, when the check was
deposited with PCIB, recalled the check since there was allegedly an error in the computation of the
tax to be paid. PCIB, as instructed, replaced the check with two of its manager’s checks.

It was further discovered that Rivera was actually a member of a syndicate and the manager’s
checks were subsequently deposited with the Pacific Banking Corporation by other members of the
syndicate. Thereafter, Rivera and the other members became fugitives of justice.

ISSUE: What are the liabilities of each party?

RULING: PCIB is liable for the amount of the check (P4,746,114.41). PCIB, as a collecting bank has
been negligent in verifying the authority of Rivera to negotiate the check. It failed to ascertain
whether or not Rivera can validly recall the check and have them be replaced with PCIB’s
manager’s checks as in fact, Ford has no knowledge and did not authorize such. A bank (in this case
PCIB) which cashes a check drawn upon another bank (in this case Citibank), without requiring proof
as to the identity of persons presenting it, or making inquiries with regard to them, cannot hold the
proceeds against the drawee when the proceeds of the checks were afterwards diverted to the
hands of a third party. Hence, PCIB is liable for the amount of the embezzled check.