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53 Gempesaw vs. CA, 218 SCRA 682, Feb.

9, 1993
Facts: Natividad Gempesaw, owner of grocery stores in Caloocan, paid her
suppliers through the issuance of checks prepared by her bookkeeper, Al
icia Galang. It has been her usual practice to sign the checks without verifyin
g material detail in them such as to whom the checks were being paid and
if the issuances were necessary. Gempesaw issued a total of 82 checks which
she subsequently demanded Philippine Bank of Communications (drawee bank) to cre
dit back to her account, with money value totalling to P1,208.606.89 for having
been wrongfully charged against her account. The bank refused to do so and this
prompted her to file the case against the bank.
Issue: W/N Gempesaw may invoke the real defense of forgery of bearer ins
trument against drawee bank
Held: No, Gempesaw may not invoke forgery of bearer instrument as defens
e. Generally, forgery is a real defense by the party whose signature was forged.
Thus, drawee bank who has paid a check on which an indorsement has been forg
ed cannot debit the account of a drawer for the amount of said check
An exception to this rule is when the drawer is guilty of neglig
ence which causes the bank to honor such checks. In the case at bar, petitioner
did not exercise reasonable diligence which could have avoided the fruition of
Galang's fraudulent schemes.
54 Republic vs. Ebrada, GR L-40769, July 31, 1975
Facts: Respondent Ebrada encashed a back pay check dated January 15, 196
3 at Republic Bank. The Bureau of Treasury, which issued the check advised the
bank that the alleged indorsement of the check by one Martin Lorenzo was a forgery
as the latter has been dead since 14 July 1952; and requested that it be refund
ed he sum deducted from its account. The bank refunded the amount to the Bureau
and demanded upon Ebrada the sum in question, who refused.
Issues: W/N the bank can recover from Ebrada who was the last indorser o
f the check with the forged indorsement and W/N the existence of one forged sign
ature in the check will render void all the other negotiations of the check with
respect to the other parties whose signature are genuine.
Held: (1) No, Republic Bank should suffer the loss when it paid the amou
nt of the check in question to Ebrada but it has the remedy to recover from the
latter the amount it paid to her because as last indorser of the check, she has
warranted that she has good title to it even if in fact she did not because the
payee of the check was already dead 11 years before the check was issued.
(2) The negotiation of the check in question from Martin Lore
nzo, the original payee whose indorsement was forged, to the second indorser, sh
ould be declared of no affect, but the negotiation of the aforesaid check from t
he second indorser to the third indorser, and from the third indorser to Ebrada
who did not know of the forgery, should be considered valid and enforceable, ba
rring any claim of forgery.