Bank of the Philippine Islands v. Lee

G.R. No. 190144, 1 August 2012

FACTS:

On April 26, 1988, Carlito Lee filed a complaint for sum of money with damages and application for the issuance of a writ of attachment against Trendline and Buelva before the RTC, seeking to recover his total investment in the amount of P5.8 million. Lee alleged that he was enticed to invest his money with Trendline upon Buelva’s misrepresentation that she was its duly licensed investment consultant or commodity saleswoman. His investments, however, were lost without any explanation from Trendline and Buelva.

The RTC issued a writ of attachment whereby the savings accounts of Trendline with Citytrust Bank were garnished. Meanwhile, Citytrust and BPI merged, with the latter as the surviving corporation. The Articles of Merger provide that all liabilities and obligations of Citytrust shall be transferred to BPI.

Thereafter, Lee moved for the execution and enforcement of the garnishment of Trendline’s Citytrust deposits. This was denied by the RTC because BPI already took over the said deposits from Citytrust and the fact that BPI was not a party to the case.

ISSUE:

Whether or not BPI is a party-in-interest in the case filed by Lee upon the approval of its Merger with Citytrust.

RULING:

The court DENIED the petition and AFFIRMED assailed the February 11, 2009 Decision and October 29, 2009 Resolution of the Court of Appeals. Citytrust, upon service of the notice of garnishment, became a “virtual party” to or a “forced intervenor” in the case. As such, it became bound by the orders and processes issued by the trial court despite not having been properly impleaded therein.

Consequently, by virtue of its merger with BPI. BPI, as the surviving corporation, effectively became the garnishee, thus the “virtual party” to the civil case. Although Citytrust was dissolved, no winding up of its affairs or liquidation of its assets, privileges, powers and liabilities took place. As the surviving corporation, BPI simply continued the combined businesses of the two banks and absorbed all the rights, privileges, assets, liabilities and obligations of Citytrust, including the latter’s obligation over the garnished deposits of the defendants.

*Case Digest by Jelyn C. Ondong, Refresher, Andres Bonifacio College, SY: 2019-2020

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