G.R. No. 75414, 4 June 1990
On December 11, 1984, private respondent G.A. Yupangco and Co. Inc. (G.A. Yupangco) filed an action with respondent trial court for collection of a sum of money with prayer for damages and preliminary attachment against Alemar’s Bookstore, a business entity owned and managed by petitioner Alemar’s Sibal & Sons, Inc. (Alemar’s).
On January 31, 1986, the branch manager of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, after having previously stopped payment of the cashier’s check issued to satisfy the August 30, 1985 money judgment, allowed the encashment of said check in the amount of P62,240.
Ledesma, Saludo and Associates, as intervenor-movant, filed an omnibus motion informing the respondent trial court that the petitioner Alemar’s has been placed under rehabilitation receivership by the Securities and Exchange Commission and that movant has been appointed as its receiver.
An injunction was filed by Alemar to suspend the collection of Yupangco.
Whether or not the non-payment is justified since Alemar is under rehabilitation.
It must be stressed that the SEC had earlier ordered the suspension of all actions for claims against Alemar’s in order that all the assets of said petitioner could be inventoried and kept intact for the purpose of ascertaining an equitable scheme of distribution among its creditors.
During rehabilitation receivership, the assets are held in trust for the equal benefit of all creditors to preclude one from obtaining an advantage or preference over another by the expediency of an attachment, execution or otherwise. For what would prevent an alert creditor, upon learning of the receivership, from rushing posthaste to the courts to secure judgments for the satisfaction of its claims to the prejudice of the less alert creditors.
As between creditors, the key phrase is “equality is equity.” 11 When a corporation threatened by bankruptcy is taken over by a receiver, all the creditors should stand on an equal footing. Not anyone of them should be given any preference by paying one or some of them ahead of the others. This is precisely the reason for the suspension of all pending claims against the corporation under receivership. Instead of creditors vexing the courts with suits against the distressed firm, they are directed to file their claims with the receiver who is a duly appointed officer of the SEC.
When respondent court ruled in favor of G.A. Yupangco in the collection case, it only determined the exact extent of petitioner’s indebtedness and in no way gave G.A. Yupangco a priority over the other creditors. However, it clearly exceeded its jurisdiction when it allowed G.A. Yupangco to encash the check of P62,240.00 pursuant to the writ of execution. In so doing, respondent court gave G.A. Yupangco an undue preference by reducing the assets of the petitioner corporation for its sole benefit to the grave damage and prejudice of the other creditors, and thus frustrating the very purpose for which petitioner has been placed under receivership.
*Case Digest by Claudette Anne G. Sayson JD IV, S.Y. 2019-2020