Caltex Philippines v. Court of Appeals

G.R. No. 97753, 10 August 1992, 212 SCRA 448

FACTS:

On various dates, defendant, a commercial banking institution, through its Sucat Branch issued 280 certificates of time deposit (CTDs) in favor of one Angel dela Cruz who deposited with herein defendant the aggregate amount of P1,120,000.00.

Angel dela Cruz delivered the said certificates of time (CTDs) to herein plaintiff in connection with his purchased of fuel products from the latter. Sometime in March 1982, Angel dela Cruz informed Mr. Timoteo Tiangco, the Sucat Branch Manger, that he lost all the certificates of time deposit in dispute. On March 18, 1982, Angel dela Cruz executed and delivered to defendant bank the required Affidavit of Loss.

On November 26, 1982, defendant received a letter from herein plaintiff formally informing it of its possession of the CTDs in question and of its decision to pre-terminate the same.

On December 8, 1982, plaintiff was requested by herein defendant to furnish the former “a copy of the document evidencing the guarantee agreement with Mr. Angel dela Cruz” as well as “the details of Mr. Angel dela Cruz” obligation against which plaintiff proposed to apply the time deposits.

Accordingly, defendant bank rejected the plaintiff’s demand and claim for payment of the value of the CTDs in a letter dated February 7, 1983.

In April 1983, the loan of Angel dela Cruz with the defendant bank matured and fell due and on August 5, 1983, the latter set-off and applied the time deposits in question to the payment of the matured loan.

In view of the foregoing, plaintiff filed the instant complaint, praying that defendant bank be ordered to pay it the aggregate value of the certificates of time deposit of P1,120,000.00 plus accrued interest and compounded interest therein at 16% per annum, moral and exemplary damages as well as attorney’s fees.

ISSUE:

Whether the CTD’s are negotiable.

RULING:

Yes. Section 1 Act No. 2031, otherwise known as the Negotiable Instruments Law, enumerates the requisites for an instrument to become negotiable, viz:

(a) It must be in writing and signed by the maker or drawer;
(b) Must contain an unconditional promise or order to pay a sum certain in money;
(c) Must be payable on demand, or at a fixed or determinable future time;
(d) Must be payable to order or to bearer; and
(e) Where the instrument is addressed to a drawee, he must be named or otherwise indicated therein with reasonable certainty.

The CTDs in question undoubtedly meet the requirements of the law for negotiability. The parties’ bone of contention is with regard to requisite (d) set forth above. It is noted that Mr. Timoteo P. Tiangco, Security Bank’s Branch Manager way back in 1982, testified in open court that the depositor reffered to in the CTDs is no other than Mr. Angel de la Cruz.

The documents provide that the amounts deposited shall be repayable to the depositor. And who, according to the document, is the depositor? It is the “bearer.” The documents do not say that the depositor is Angel de la Cruz and that the amounts deposited are repayable specifically to him. Rather, the amounts are to be repayable to the bearer of the documents or, for that matter, whosoever may be the bearer at the time of presentment.

*Case digest by Paul Jason G. Acasio, JD-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020

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