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Aboitiz Intl Forwarders Inc. v. CA and Philippine Charter Insurance Corp. (PCIC) G.R. No.

142272 May 2, 2006 Callejo, Sr., J. FACTS: I.S. Parts International, Inc. of New Jersey, USA, engaged the services of Aboitiz as forwarder/consolidator to deliver from Philadelphia, USA, 1 box containing Glass Making Machine Parts for Hold/Open/Close Operating Linkages to Union Glass & Container Corp. (consignee) in Manila. Aboitiz loaded said cargo at the port of Philadelphia, USA, on board the vessel Cool Fortune. The vessel MS Queensway Bridge arrived at the port of Manila and subsequently discharged the container where the cargo was placed; upon stripping of the container, however, the cargo was not among its contents and/or was found shorthanded (Note: It was not explained why it was MS Queensway Bridge which delivered the goods to the consignee when said goods were loaded on Cool Fortune. Perhaps, there was transshipment.) Aboitiz allegedly misdelivered or misappropriated the cargo thereby failing to deliver the same to the consignee in violation of their obligations to forward and deliver the same to the consignee. As a result of the loss, PCIC paid its assured I.S. Parts the sum of P269,349.54 after proper assessment and thereby become subrogated to the consignees rights of recovery. Aboitiz claimed that it had a meritorious defense because it exercised and observed extraordinary diligence in its vigilance over the goods consigned to Union Glass. It was allegedly due to the fault and negligence of Accord Container Lines (Philippines), Inc. and Accord Shipping PTE Ltd. that the said goods were lost. As such, they must be the ones held liable to PCIC. ISSUE: WON Aboitiz failed to show a meritorious defense HELD: Yes. The contention of Aboitiz that it acted and observed extraordinary diligence in its vigilance over the shipment insured by PCIC, without any factual basis for such allegation, is merely a conclusion. Neither did Aboitiz offer any factual basis for its claim that the loss of the cargo was caused by the negligence of its co-defendants, Accord Container and Accord Shipping.