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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
G.R. No. L-!"!# $eb%ua%& '() *+
LEE BOG , COMPAN-) plaintiff-appellee)
.s.
T/E /ANO0ER $1RE 1NSURANCE COMPAN- O$ T/E C1T- O$ NE2 -OR3) ET
AL.) 4efen4ants-appellants. REPUBL1C O$ T/E P/1L1PP1NES) ET AL.) inte%.eno%s-
appellees.
An5el S. Ga6boa fo% plaintiff-appellee.
Lichauco) Pica7o an4 A5caoili fo% 4efen4ants-appellants.
Office of the Solicito% Gene%al an4 The P%o.incial $iscal of Pan5asinan fo% inte%.eno%s-
appellees.
BAUT1STA ANGELO) 8.9
This is an appeal f%o6 a 4ecision of the Cou%t of $i%st 1nstance of Pan5asinan hol4in5
4efen4ants-appellants liable fo% the face .alue of the fi%e insu%ance policies issue4
%especti.el& b& the6) :ith nu6be%s an4 fo% a6ounts as follo:s9
Polic& Nu6be%
1ssuin5 Co6pan&
A6ount
!+";'
/ano.e% $i%e 1nsu%ance Co6pan&
P##)!!!.!!
''('
Alliance 1ns. , Su%et& Co
'')!!!.!!
""+
E6pi%e 1nsu%ance Co
#)!!!.!!
+;<
Phil.A6e%ican Gen. 1ns. Co
'!)!!!.!!
;#<!*<#
Co66e%cial Union Ass. Co. Lt4.
#)!!!.!!
'#+"<
B%itish T%a4e%s 1ns. Co. Lt4
#)!!!.!!
<;='+;!
South B%itish 1ns. Co.Lt4
#)!!!.!!
!P/-(!
1nsu%ance Co. of No%th A6e%ica
#)!!!.!!
$-"<!
Centu%& 1ns. Co.) 1nc
#)!!!.!!
#(+<
People>s Su%et& , 1ns. Co
()!!!.!!
!+";"
/ano.e% $i%e 1ns. Co6pan&
+#)!!!.!!
Total
P'"!)!!!.!!
The assu%e4 in these policies is plaintiff-appellee Lee Bo5 , Co6pan&. The insu%ance
co.e%e4 ?stoc@ of %ice an4 pala& Aloose an4=o% in sac@sB) the p%ope%t& of the assu%e4 o%
hel4 b& hi6 in t%ust) on co66ission o% on Coint account :ith othe%s an4=o% fo% :hich he is
%esponsible in case of loss?) :hile containe4 4u%in5 the cu%%enc& of the policies in the
buil4in5 of the assu%e4 in Binalonan) Pan5asinan) othe%:ise @no:n as the Binalonan)
Pan5asinan Rice Mill. The%e :as a co66on ?si6ple loss pa&able clause? in fa.o% of the
Bu%eau of Co66e%ce in all the policies issue4 b& 4efen4ants-appellants) eDcept Polic&
No. !+";") issue4 b& the /ano.e% $i%e 1nsu%ance Co6pan&) :hich also containe4 a
?si6ple loss pa&able clause? but in fa.o% of the People>s Su%et& , 1nsu%ance Co.) 1nc.
Sai4 clause p%o.i4es that ?loss) if an&) un4e% this polic&) is pa&able to the Bu%eau of
Co66e%ce) Manila) as its inte%est 6a& appea%) subCect to the te%6s) con4itions) clauses)
an4 :a%%anties of this polic&.? .
The Republic of the Philippines inte%.ene4 in behalf of the Bu%eau of Co66e%ce as
t%ustee to %ecei.e pa&6ent in case of loss un4e% the fi%st ten abo.e-6entione4 policies.
C%ispin A. $e%nan4e7 an4 Eui%ino C. Ma%tine7 also inte%.ene4 as alle5e4 4eposito%s of
the appellee fo% the pu%pose of %eco.e%in5 f%o6 the latte% an4 the appellants) Cointl& an4
se.e%all&) the .alue of thei% alle5e4 4eposits in the a55%e5ate su6 of P()"*!.!!.
1n this instant appeal) it is a%5ue4 that the lo:e% cou%t e%%e4 in consi4e%in5 the clai6s on
the bon4e4 pala& belon5in5 to 4eposito%s sepa%atel& an4 in4epen4entl& f%o6 the clai6 on
the unbon4e4 pala& belon5in5 to the appellee because the policies sue4 upon :e%e
concu%%ent an4 each an4 all of the6 co.e%e4) in thei% enti%et&) insepa%abl& an4 in4i.isibl&)
the stoc@ of %ice an4 pala& @ept in the insu%e4>s :a%ehouse) :hethe% belon5in5 to the
insu%e4 o% to its 4eposito%s. As the%e is) ho:e.e%) a 4iffe%ence bet:een bon4e4 an4
unbon4e4 pala& an4 one is 4istinct f%o6 the othe%) each subCect 6ust %eall& be t%eate4
sepa%atel&. The pala& insu%e4 b& the appellee un4e% the afo%esai4 ten policies inclu4e4 no
6o%e than such of the pala& as the :a%ehouse %ecei.e4 as 4eposits. The pala& insu%e4 b&
the appellee pa&able to the Bu%eau of Co66e%ce in case of loss co.e%e4 onl& the pala&
that :as %ecei.e4 as 4eposits. This is the obCect of the %eFui%e6ent of la: that ?e.e%&
pe%son license4) un4e% this Act) to en5a5e in the business of %ecei.in5 %ice fo% sto%a5e
shall insu%e the %ice as %ecei.e4 an4 sto%e4 a5ainst fi%e.? This is the .e%& %eason :h&
plaintiff-appellee insu%e4 sai4 pala&. The appellants cannot p%eten4 that the& an4 appellee
:e%e not a:a%e of the fact that the subCect 6atte% of the insu%ance policies upon :hich the
inte%.eno%-appellee is suin5 :as solel& the pala& co.e%e4 b& the Bon4e4 2a%ehouse Act.
Upon the othe% han4) polic& No. !+";" issue4 b& the /ano.e% $i%e 1nsu%ance
Co6pan&) :hich 4oes not contain a clause co66on to the afo%e6entione4 ten policies)
%efe%%e4 onl& to the unbon4e4 4eposits of the appellee.
Un4e% the secon4 assi5n6ent of e%%o%) appellants conten4 that appellee has faile4 to
establish its lossG that the clai6s :e%e fo% about th%ee ti6es the actual loss an4 the%efo%e
f%au4ulentG that appellee e6plo&e4 f%au4ulent 6eans an4 4e.ices to obtain un4ue benefits
un4e% the policies b& co6binin5 an4 co66in5lin5 :ith sac@s of %ice an4 pala&
app%oDi6atel& the sa6e Fuantit& of %ice b%an an4=o% %ice hus@G an4 that appellee ha4
p%esente4 false suppo%tin5 4ecla%ations.
Appellee>s e.i4ence of loss ALee Bo5>s testi6on&) EDhibits M) M- to M-!) EDhibit R
colu6n C-*) the testi6on& foun4 on pp. <;-#!) '!<-'!;) "#!) #<*-##!) t.s.n.) EDhibits
N) N-B has satisfacto%il& establishe4 the a6ounts clai6e4. The Fuantit& of bon4e4 pala&
lost an4 4est%o&e4 has been p%o.e4 b& the co%%espon4in5 Fue4ans Ane5otiable :a%ehouse
%eceiptsB) EDhibits M) M- to M-! an4 AE. As sho:n b& these %eceipts) the outstan4in5
4eposits as of Ma& ") *#") afte% 4e4uctin5 the :ith4%a:als) a6ounte4 to +#*)#".#
@ilos) :hich at << @ilos a ca.an) :oul4 be eFui.alent to <)*(* ca.anes of pala&. These
fi5u%es tall& :ith the Fuantit& of pala& state4 in the p%oof of loss co.e%in5 the bon4e4
pala&.
As %e5a%4s the unbon4e4 pala& o% that belon5in5 to the appellee) the a6ount of loss 6a&
.e%il& be 4ete%6ine4 f%o6 the pu%chase of pala& an4 sales of 6ille4 %ice that ha4 been
%e5ula%l& %eco%4e4 in the colu6na% cash boo@ AEDhibit RB at the place of t%ansaction b& a
ce%tifie4 public accountant. Afte% si6ple a%ith6etical p%ocesses) the %e6ainin5 pala& at
the ti6e of the fi%e :oul4 be <)#<.; ca.anes Appellants> a%5u6ent that f%au4 is
6anifeste4 b& the fact that the Fuantit& of pala& is still sho%t b& +(." ca.anes on the basis
of <)#(" ca.anes state4 in the p%oof of loss in.ol.es an insi5nificant e%%o% if 4ue
consi4e%ation is ta@en of the ci%cu6stance that it 4oes not eDactl& an4 necessa%il& ta@e
t:o ca.anes of pala& to 6ill a ca.an of %ice. The t&pe of pala& an4 the 4%&ness of hus@s
affect the p%ocess.
Mo%eo.e%) the testi6on& of the 6ana5in5 pa%tne% of the appellee co6pan& an4 of A5ustin
4e 0e%a an4 Se5is6un4o Millan) both co66e%cial a5ents of the Bu%eau of Co66e%ce at
the ti6e assi5ne4 in Pan5asinan) confi%6s the ph&sical eDistence of the clai6e4 Fuantit&
of pala&) as thei% esti6ates 6o%e o% less app%oDi6ate the actual loss. Natu%all&) nu6e%ical
P%ecision 6a& not be eDpecte4) because those esti6ates :e%e base4 6e%el& on a ph&sical
obse%.ation of the bi5 pile eDistin5 befo%e the fi%e. 1t is sufficient that the& sho: little
4isc%epanc& :ith the fi5u%es %eco%4e4 in the boo@s of the appellee.
The 6athe6atical co6putations of :itnesses $ilo6eno an4 Ma5pili a%e ?%ou5h
esti6ates? an4 the%efo%e so6e allo:ance fo% such technical facto%s as ?sta55e%in5)?
?sh%in@a5e? an4 ?an5le of %epose? shoul4 be 4ul& ta@en into accountG an4 :he%e sai4
esti6ates 4o not sho: too :i4e a 4iffe%ence) the%e :oul4 be no Custification in
4isc%e4itin5 appellee>s clai6s.
2e also o.e%%ule the contention that the appellee use4 f%au4ulent 6eans o% 4e.ices to
obtain benefits un4e% the policies. The conclusion that) because the sa6ples of the 4eb%is
ta@en f%o6 the :a%ehouse afte% the fi%e consiste4 of 4a%a@ an4 %ice hus@s) the 6ust ha.e
been containe4 in the sac@s sto%e4 in the :a%ehouse) is untenable. 1n the fi%st place) it is
not unusual to fin4 such 4eb%is because thei% unbu%ne4 6ate%ial fo%6e4 the p%otecti.e
linin5 of the sac@s of pala&. Secon4l&) the sa6ples :e%e ta@en onl& f%o6 the si4es of the
pile an4 not f%o6 its co%e. Thi%4l&) consi4e%in5 Aas appellee a%5uesB the si7e of the pile)
)<.(< cubic 6ete%s) an4 the ti6e it too@ the fi%e to consu6e the 6ass of pala&) the
sa6ples ta@en a%e too insi5nificant to be %ep%esentati.e. Lastl&) the 6oti.e fo% such
alle5e4 f%au4 is 6issin5. Appellee co6pan& :as ha.in5 a th%i.in5 business at the ti6e of
the fi%e.
1n the li5ht of the fo%e5oin5 consi4e%ations) the 4ecision appeale4 f%o6 is he%eb& affi%6e4
:ith costs a5ainst appellants. So o%4e%e4.
Ben57on) Act5 C.8.) Pa4illa) Concepcion) Re&es) 8.B.L.) Ba%%e%a) Pa%e4es an4 Hi7on) 88.)
concu%.