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Far East Bank and Trust Company v.

G.R. No. 148582
January 16, 2002
Chapter I: Requisites of Negotiability
Respondent Estrella Querimit worked as an internal auditor of the
Philippine Savings Bank (PSB) for 19 years. She opened a dollar
savings account in petitioner Far East Bank and Trust Company
(FEBTC)issued to her was four (4) Certificates of Deposit, each
representing a total amount of 60,000 USD. Said certificates were
to mature on January 23, 1987 and were payable to bearer at
4.5% interest per annum. Respondent kept her money in the bank
to ear more interest and use her funds after she retired. After
accompanying his husband, who eventually died, to the United
States, she returned to the Philippines and went to petitioner to
withdraw her deposit. Petitioner told respondent that her husband
had withdrawn the money deposit. Despite several demands
made by the respondent, petitioner refused to pay prompting
Querimit to file a complaint against FEBTC. Petitioner insisted that
they allowed respondents husband to withdraw the deposit by
presenting certified true copies of documents showing the
payment. The trial court and the Court of Appeals rendered
judgment for respondent stating the fact that FEBTC failed to
prove that the certificates of deposit had been paid out of its
funds. Respondents subject certificates of deposit until now
remain unendorsed, undelivered and unwithdrawn.

ISSUE/S: Whether or not the subject certificates of deposit have

already been paid by petitioner.
HELD: No, petitioner bank failed to prove their payment to
respondent Estrella Querimit, as the bearer and lawful holder of
the subject certificates of deposit. A certificate of deposit is a
written acknowledgement by a bank of the receipt of a sum of
money on deposit which the bank promises to pay to the
depositor, on demand of the same, to some other person whereby
a debtor-creditor relationship between the bank and depositor is
created. The principle that payment must be made to someone
authorize to receive in order to release a debt is necessary to the
payment of certificates of deposit. In general, one who pleads
payment has the burden to prove it such that the burden rests on
the defendant to prove payment than on the plaintiff. The
certificates of deposit were clearly marked payable to bearer
which means the person in possession of an instrument. FEBTC
should not have paid respondents husband or any third party
without the surrender of the said certificates. The business of
banks is impressed with public interest since there exists a
fiduciary nature of relationship with their depositors to treat their
accounts with the highest degree of care. Responsibility arising
from negligence in the performance of every kinds of obligation is
demandable. The principle of laches is not sufficient to defeat the
rights of respondent over the subject certificates of deposit.
FEBTC is liable for exemplary damages, moral damages and
attorneys fees.