G.R. No. L-25172, 24 May 1974
Sometime in November 1952 the respondent, then general manager of the Ace Advertising, proposed to the board of directors that an employee, Ricardo Taylor, be sent to the United States to take up special studies in television but the board failed to act on the proposal. Still, respondent sent Taylor abroad, on September 1953, and assured J. Antonio Araneta, company director, that the trip will be funded by other parties, as respondent later confirmed in a memorandum. From September 1, 1953 to March 15, 1954, Taylor continued receiving his salaries while abroad. His salaries was ordered and approved by the respondent and were included in the semi-monthly payroll checks of the corporation employees. Three of the checks were signed by the company treasurer, who also put up part of the bill connected with Taylor’s trip and handed him letters for delivery in the US. A total of P5,043.20 was disbursed by Ace Advertising for Taylor’s travel and studies. The company filed a complaint for recovery of sum, with the court of first instance in Manila, alleging they had no knowledge of the engagement neither they authorized nor ratified it. The respondent denied all charges, also alleging that it was for the company’s benefit. A 3rd-party complaint was filed against Vicente Araneta, company treasurer, for signing the checks, and Ricardo Taylor. Vicente Araneta and respondent claimed they signed the documents in good faith.
The trial court ordered the respondent to pay the sum disbursed by Ace Advertising, P5,043.20, and dismissed the third-party complaint. The respondent appealed and the CA affirmed the trial court’s decision but reversed the judgment on the 3rd-party case stating that Vicente Araneta and Taylor were complicit in the unauthorized disbursement of corporate moneys jointly with the appellant.
Whether or not respondent is guilty of a quasi-delict.
Yes. The Court upheld the decision of the CA. The Court agrees that the respondent neglected to perform his duties properly, to the damage of the firm of which he was an officer and affirmed that the acts of the respondent, Vicente Araneta, and Ricardo Taylor affirm their guilt of unauthorized disbursement of corporate moneys, without evidence to prove otherwise. And as it was an unauthorized act of expenditure of corporate funds, and it was these three without whose acts the same could not have happened, the juridical situation was a simple quasi-delict by them committed upon the corporation, for which solidary liability should have been imposed upon all in the first place, Art. 2194, New Civil Code; and only De Joya having been sued and made liable by the corporation, it was the right of the latter to ask that his two joint tortfeasors be made to shoulder their proportional responsibility.
* Case digest by Suzeyne Garcia, LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018