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G.R. No. 121413
January 29, 2001
Secs. 55 and 56: Holder in Good Faith
FACTS: This case involves defendant Ford who drew and issued a citibank check in the
amount of 4,746,114.41 in favor of the Commission of Internal Revenue as payment of
their percentage or manufacturers sales taxes for the third quarter of 1977. The checks
were then deposited to IBAA (now PCI Bank) and were subsequently cleared at the
Central Bank. Upon presentment with Citibank, the proceeds of the check were paid to
IBAA as collecting bank. However, the proceeds of the check were never paid to CIR.
The plaintiff was prompted by the CIR to make a second payment of its manufacturers
sales taxes for 1977. Ford together with the check and the Revenue Tax Receipt was
deposited with defendant IBAA and later accepted the check and sent to the Central
Clearing House. After presentment of the check for payment to Citibank, the latter paid
for the face value and was debited to defendants account with Citibank. Plaintiff then
discovered that the amount was not paid to CIR which prompted Ford to notify the latter
that in case it will be re-assessed by the BIR for payment of the taxes covered by the said
checks, plaintiff shall hold the defendants liable for reimbursement for the value of the
check. Both IBAA and Citibank denied liability and refused to payeven after BIR
notified the parties. IBAA was then merged with PCIBank. Upon investigation of the
NBI, Godofredo Rivera, the General Ledger Accountant of Ford recalled the check since
there was an error with the computation. With Riveras instruction, PCIBank replaced the
check with two of its own Managers check. Subsequently, alleged members of a
syndicate later deposited the two MCs with Pacific Banking Corporation. Ford then filed
a third-part complaint before the trial court imploding Pacific Banking Corporation and
Godofredo Rivera. The RTC favored Ford and asked Citibank and PCIBank liable. Upon
appeal, CA modified the judgment making IBAA solely liable. Hence, this petition
The same syndicate apparently embezzled the proceeds of the check to settle Fords
percentage taxes for 1978-1979. The RTC rendered Citibank liable to reimburse Ford at
total of 12,163,298.10 PHP.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner Ford the right to recover from the collecting bank
(PCIBank) the drawee bank the value of the checks intended as payment to the
Commission of Internal Revenue or is he already prescribed.
HELD: Yes, Ford can recover from PCIBank along with Citibank. The checks were
drawn against the drawee bank but the title of the person negotiating the same was
obtained by fraud and unlawful means, and the proceeds of the checks were not remitted
Commissioner, the checks were diverted and encashed for the eventual
among members of the syndicate. Pursuant to this, it is vital to show that the
negotiation is made by the perpetrator in breach of faith amounting to fraud. The
person negotiating the checks must have gone beyond the authority given by his

principal. If the principal could prove that there was no negligence in the performance
of his duties, he may set up the personal defense to escape liability and recover
from other parties who, through their own negligence, allowed the commission of the
crime. It should be resolved if Ford is guilty of the imputed contributory
negligence that would defeat its claim for reimbursement, bearing in mind that its
employees were among the members of the syndicate. It appears although the
employees of Ford initiated the transactions attributable to the organized syndicate,
their actions were not the proximate cause of encashing the checks payable to
CIR. The degree of Fords negligence couldnt be characterized as the proximate
cause of the injury to parties. The mere fact that the forgery was committed by
a drawer-payors confidential employee or agent, who by virtue of his position had
unusual facilities for perpetrating the fraud and imposing the forged paper upon the bank,
doesnt entitle the bank to shift the loss to the drawer-payor, in the absence of some
circumstance raising estoppel against the drawer.