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INS.10.

3 AGRICULTURAL CREDIT & COOPERATIVE FINANCING ADMINISTRATION


(ACCFA) vs. ALPHA INSURANCE & SURETY CO., INC. & RICARDO A. LADINES, ET
AL.

FACTS: In order to guarantee the Asingan Farmers' Cooperative Marketing Association, Inc.
(FACOMA) against loss on account of "personal dishonesty, amounting to larceny or estafa of its
Secretary-Treasurer, Ricardo A. Ladines, Alpha Insurance had issued its bond with said Ricardo
Ladines as principal and Alpha Insurance as solidary surety. On the same date, the Asingan FACOMA
assigned its rights to ACCFA.

During the effectivity of the bond, Ricardo Ladines converted and misappropriated, to his personal
benefit, some P11,513.22 of the FACOMA funds, of which P6,307.33 belonged to the ACCFA. Upon
discovery of the loss, ACCFA immediately notified in writing the survey company within the period
fixed in the bond; but despite repeated demands the surety company refused and failed to pay.
Whereupon, ACCFA filed suit against appellee.

Alpha Insurance moved to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, giving as reason
that (1) the same was filed more than one year after plaintiff made claim for loss, contrary to the
eighth condition of the bond.

ISSUE: Whether or not the condition of the bond in question, limiting the period for bringing action
to one year is valid.

HELD: No. A fidelity bond is, in effect, in the nature of a contract of insurance against loss from
misconduct, and is governed by the same principles of interpretation. Consequently, the condition of
the bond in question, limiting the period for bringing action thereon, is subject to the provisions of
Section 61-A of the Insurance Act (No. 2427).

Since a "cause of action" requires, as essential elements, not only a legal right of the plaintiff
and a correlative obligation of the defendant but also "an act or omission of the defendant in violation
of said legal right", the cause of action does not accrue until the party obligated refuses, expressly or
impliedly, to comply with its duty (in this case, to pay the amount of the bond). The year for instituting
action in court must be reckoned, therefore, from the time of appellee's refusal to comply with its
bond; it can not be counted from the creditor's filing of the claim of loss, for that does not import that
the surety company will refuse to pay. In so far, therefore, as condition eight of the bond requires
action to be filed within one year from the filing of the claim for loss, such stipulation contradicts the
public policy expressed in Section 61-A of the Philippine Insurance Act. Condition eight of the bond,
therefore, is null and void, and the appellant is not bound to comply with its provisions.