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SECOND DIVISION Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 143.

Meanwhile, following the rules of the Philippine


SECURITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, ClearingG.R.House,
No. 170984
RCBC and SBTC stopped returning the checks
Petitioner, to each other. By way of a temporary arrangement pending
resolution
Present:of the case, the P8-million check was equally
divided between, and credited to, RCBC and SBTC. [if
!supportFootnotes][6][endif]
- versus - QUISUMBING, Acting C.J.,
Chairperson,
On May 9, 2000, the RTC of Makati City, Branch
rendered * a Decision[if !supportFootnotes][7][endif] in favor of
143, CORONA,
RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION, RCBC.CARPIO
The dispositive
MORALES, portion of the decision reads:
Respondent. PREMISESTINGA,CONSIDERED,
and the Court renders
LEONARDO-DE
judgmentCASTRO,in favor** of
JJ. plaintiff [RCBC]
x-------------------------x and finds defendant SBTC justly liable
to [RCBC] and sentences [SBTC] to pay
RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION, G.R. No.[RCBC]
170987 the amount of:
Petitioner,

- versus -
[if !supportLists]1. [endif]PhP4,000,000.00 as
and for actual damages;
SECURITY BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, Promulgated:
Respondent.
January 30, 2009
x- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - -x [if !supportLists]2. [endif]PhP100,000.00 as and
DECISION
for attorneys fees; and,
QUISUMBING, Acting C.J.:
Before us are opposing parties petitions for
review of the Decision[if !supportFootnotes][1][endif] dated March 29,
2005 and Resolution[if !supportFootnotes][2][endif] dated December
12, 2005 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 67387. The
[if !supportLists]3. [endif]the costs.
two petitions are herein consolidated as they stem from the
same set of factual circumstances.
The facts, as found by the trial and appellate
courts, are as follows:
On January 9, 1981, Security Bank and Trust
SO ORDERED.[if
Company (SBTC) issued a managers check for P8 million, !supportFootnotes][8][endif]
payable to CASH, as proceeds of the loan granted to Guidon
Construction and Development Corporation (GCDC). On the
same day, the P8-million check, along with other checks, was
deposited by Continental Manufacturing Corporation (CMC)
in its Current Account No. 0109-022888 with Rizal
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed with modification
Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC). Immediately, RCBC
the above Decision, to wit:
honored the P8-million check and allowed CMC to withdraw
WHEREFORE, the appealed Decision is AFFIRMED with
the same.[if !supportFootnotes][3][endif]
MODIFICATION. Appellant Security Bank and Trust Co. shall
On the next banking day, January 12, 1981, GCDC
pay appellee Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation not only
issued a Stop Payment Order to SBTC, claiming that the P8-
the principal amount of P4,000,000.00 but also interest
million check was released to a third party by mistake.
thereon at (6%) per annum covering appellees unearned
Consequently, SBTC dishonored and returned the managers
income on interest computed from the time of filing of the
check to RCBC. Thereafter, the check was returned back and
complaint on February 13, 1981 to the date of finality of this
forth between the two banks, resulting in automatic debits
Decision. For lack of factual and legal basis, the award of
and credits in each banks clearing balance.[if
!supportFootnotes][4][endif]
attorneys fees is DELETED.
SO ORDERED.[if !supportFootnotes][9][endif]
On February 13, 1981, RCBC filed a complaint[if
!supportFootnotes][5][endif]
Now for our resolution are the opposing parties
for damages against SBTC with the then
petitions for review on certiorari of the abovecited decision.
Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XXII. Said case was
On its part, SBTC alleges the following to support its petition:
docketed as Civil Case No. 1081 and later transferred to the
I.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED V.
GRAVELY IN REFUSING TO APPLY THE
LAW BECAUSE, IN ITS OPINION, TO
DO SO WOULD RESULT IN AN
INJUSTICE.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
GRAVELY IN FAILING TO CONSIDER
THAT THE CHECKS DEPOSITED WITH
RCBC THE PROCEEDS OF WHICH
II. WERE IMMEDIATELY WITHDRAWN TO
HONOR THE 43 CHECKS TOTALING
P49,017,669.66 DRAWN BY
CONTINENTAL MANUFACTURING
CORPORATION ON ITS CURRENT
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ACCOUNT WERE NOT ALL MANAGERS
GRAVELY IN HOLDING THAT TO CHECK[S] BUT INCLUDED ORDINARY
DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT A CHECKS IN THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF
BANK IS A HOLDER IN DUE COURSE, PhP15,436,140.81.
ONLY THE NEGOTIABLE
INSTRUMENTS LAW NEED BE APPLIED
TO THE EXCLUSION OF CENTRAL BANK
RULES AND REGULATIONS.
VI.

III.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
GRAVELY IN FAILING TO CONSIDER
THAT EACH OF THE 43 CHECKS
DRAWN BY THE CONTINENTAL
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED MANUFACTURING CORPORATION
GRAVELY IN FAILING TO NOTE THAT WERE ALL HONORED BY RCBC ON THE
THE MANAGERS CHECK IN QUESTION BASIS OF A MIXTURE OF ALL THE
WAS ACCEPTED FOR DEPOSIT BY THE MANAGERS AND ORDINARY CHECKS
RCBC AND WAS NOT ENCASHED BY DEPOSITED ON THAT DAY OF 9
THE PAYEE. JANUARY 1981.

IV. VII.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED
GRAVELY IN FAILING TO CONSIDER GRAVELY IN HOLDING THAT THE RCBC
THAT PRIOR TO THE DEPOSIT OF THE IS A HOLDER IN DUE COURSE.
CHECKS WORTH PhP53 MILLION,
RCBC WAS HOLDING 43 CHECKS
TOTALING P49,017,669.66 DRAWN BY
CONTINENTAL MANUFACTURING
CORPORATION AGAINST ITS CURRENT VIII.
ACCOUNT WHEN THE BALANCE OF
THAT ACCOUNT WAS A MERE
P573.62.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED


GRAVELY IN HOLDING THAT SBTC GRAVELY IN HOLDING SBTC LIABLE
WAITED FOR THREE (3) DAYS TO FOR THE ATTORNEYS FEES OF RCBC
NOTIFY THE RCBC OF THE STOP [SIC].[if !supportFootnotes][10][endif]
PAYMENT ORDER.

On RCBCs part, the following issues are submitted for


IX. resolution:
I.

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED


GRAVELY IN HOLDING THAT SBTC WHETHER OR NOT SBTC IS LIABLE FOR THE
SHOULD HAVE FIRST ACQUIRED MANAGERS CHECK IT ISSUED.
PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE
FACTS WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE
REQUEST FOR THE STOP PAYMENT
ORDER BEFORE HONORING SUCH
REQUEST. II.

X. WHETHER OR NOT RCBC IS ENTITLED TO


COMPENSATORY DAMAGES
EQUIVALENT TO THE INTEREST
INCOME LOST AS A RESULT OF THE
ILLEGAL REFUSAL OF SBTC TO HONOR
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS RULED ITS OWN MANAGERS CHECK, AS WELL
CORRECTLY IN REFUSING TO HOLD AS FOR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND
SBTC LIABLE FOR DAMAGE CLAIMS ATTORNEYS FEES.[if
!supportFootnotes][11][endif]
BASED SOLELY ON SPECULATION,
CONJECTURE AND GUESSWORK.

Simply stated, we find that in these consolidated petitions,


XI. the legal issues for our resolution are: (1) Is SBTC liable to
RCBC for the remaining P4 million? and (2) Is SBTC liable to
pay for lost interest income on the remaining P4 million,
exemplary damages and attorneys fees?
RCBC avers that the managers check issued by
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS RULED SBTC is substantially as good as the money it represents
CORRECTLY IN HOLDING THAT RCBC IS because by its peculiar character, its issuance has the effect
NOT ENTITLED TO EXEMPLARY of an advance acceptance. RCBC claims that it is a holder in
DAMAGES. due course when it credited the P8-million managers check to
CMCs account. Accordingly, RCBC asserts that SBTCs refusal
to honor its obligation justifies RCBC claim for lost interest
income, exemplary damages and attorneys fees.
On the other hand, SBTC contends that RCBC
violated Monetary Board Resolution No. 2202 of the Central
XII. Bank of the Philippines mandating all banks to verify the
genuineness and validity of all checks before allowing
drawings of the same. SBTC insists that RCBC should bear the
consequences of allowing CMC to withdraw the amount of
the check before it was cleared.[if !supportFootnotes][12][endif]
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED We shall rule on the issues seriatim.
At the outset, it must be noted that the of the payee and his then capacity to indorse; and engages
questioned check issued by SBTC is not just an ordinary check that on due presentment, the instrument will be accepted, or
but a managers check. A managers check is one drawn by a paid, or both, according to its tenor.[if !supportFootnotes][18][endif]
banks manager upon the bank itself. It stands on the same Concerning RCBCs claim for lost interest income
footing as a certified check,[if !supportFootnotes][13][endif] which is on the remaining P4 million, this is already covered by the
deemed to have been accepted by the bank that certified it. [if amount of damages in the form of legal interest of 6%, based
!supportFootnotes][14][endif]
As the banks own check, a managers on Article 2200[if !supportFootnotes][19][endif] and 2209[if
!supportFootnotes][20][endif]
check becomes the primary obligation of the bank and is of the Civil Code of the Philippines, as
accepted in advance by the act of its issuance.[if awarded by the Court of Appeals in its decision.
!supportFootnotes][15][endif]
In addition to the above-mentioned award of
In this case, RCBC, in immediately crediting the compensatory damages, we also find merit in the need to
amount of P8 million to CMCs account, relied on the integrity award exemplary damages in order to set an example for the
and honor of the check as it is regarded in commercial public good. The banking system has become an
transactions. Where the questioned check, which was indispensable institution in the modern world and plays a
payable to Cash, appeared regular on its face, and the bank vital role in the economic life of every civilized society.
found nothing unusual in the transaction, as the drawer Whether as mere passive entities for the safe-keeping and
usually issued checks in big amounts made payable to cash, saving of money or as active instruments of business and
RCBC cannot be faulted in paying the value of the questioned commerce, banks have attained an ubiquitous presence
check.[if !supportFootnotes][16][endif] among the people, who have come to regard them with
In our considered view, SBTC cannot escape respect and even gratitude and, above all, trust and
liability by invoking Monetary Board Resolution No. 2202 confidence. In this connection, it is important that banks
dated December 21, 1979, prohibiting drawings against should guard against injury attributable to negligence or bad
uncollected deposits. For we must point out that the Central faith on its part. As repeatedly emphasized, since the banking
Bank at that time issued a Memorandum dated July 9, 1980, business is impressed with public interest, the trust and
which interpreted said Monetary Board Resolution No. 2202. confidence of the public in it is of paramount importance.
In its pertinent portion, said Memorandum reads: Consequently, the highest degree of diligence is expected,
MEMORANDUM TO ALL BANKS and high standards of integrity and performance are required
July 9, 1980 of it. SBTC having failed in this respect, the award of
exemplary damages to RCBC in the amount of P50,000.00 is
For the guidance of all concerned, Monetary warranted.[if !supportFootnotes][21][endif]
Board Resolution No. 2202 dated Pursuant to current jurisprudence, with the
December 31, 1979 prohibiting, as a finding of liability for exemplary damages, attorneys fees in
matter of policy, drawing against the amount of P25,000.00[if !supportFootnotes][22][endif] must also be
uncollected deposit effective July 1, awarded against SBTC and in favor of RCBC.
1980, uncollected deposits WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision dated March 29, 2005 and
representing managers cashiers/ Resolution dated December 12, 2005 of the Court of Appeals
treasurers checks, treasury warrants, in CA-G.R. CV No. 67387 is hereby AFFIRMED with
postal money orders and duly funded MODIFICATION. Security Bank and Trust Company is ordered
on us checks which may be permitted to pay Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation: (1) the
at the discretion of each bank, covers remaining P4,000,000.00, with legal interest thereon at six
drawings against demand deposits as percent (6%) per annum from the time of filing of the
well as withdrawals from savings complaint on February 13, 1981 to the date of finality of this
deposits.[if !supportFootnotes][17][endif] Decision; (2) exemplary damages of P50,000.00; and (3)
attorneys fees of P25,000.00.
No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.

Thus, it is clear from the July 9, 1980


Memorandum that banks were given the discretion to allow
immediate drawings on uncollected deposits of managers
checks, among others. Consequently, RCBC, in allowing the
immediate withdrawal against the subject managers check,
only exercised a prerogative expressly granted to it by the
Monetary Board.
Moreover, neither Monetary Board Resolution
No. 2202 nor the July 9, 1980 Memorandum alters the
extraordinary nature of the managers check and the relative
rights of the parties thereto. SBTCs liability as drawer remains
the same by drawing the instrument, it admits the existence