G.R. No. 109937, 21 March 1994

FACTS:

In May 1987, Juan B. Dans, together with his wife Candida, his son and daughter-in-law, applied for a loan of P500,000.00 with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Basilan Branch. Dans, then 76 years of age, was advised by DBP to obtain a mortgage redemption insurance (MRI) with the DBP Mortgage Redemption Insurance Pool (DBP MRI Pool).

A loan, in the reduced amount of P300,000.00, was approved by DBP on August 4, 1987 and released on August 11, 1987. From the proceeds of the loan. On August 15, 1987, Dans accomplished and submitted the “MRI Application for Insurance” and the “Health Statement for DBP MRI Pool.

On August 20, 1987, the MRI premium of Dans, less the DBP service fee of 10 percent, was credited by DBP to the savings account of the DBP MRI Pool. Accordingly, the DBP MRI Pool was advised of the credit.

On September 3, 1987, Dans died of cardiac arrest. The DBP, upon notice, relayed this information to the DBP MRI Pool. On September 23, 1987, the DBP MRI Pool notified DBP that Dans was not eligible for MRI coverage, being over the acceptance age limit of 60 years at the time of application.

On October 21, 1987, DBP apprised Candida Dans of the disapproval of her late husband’s MRI application. The DBP offered to refund the premium of P1,476.00 which the deceased had paid, but Candida Dans refused to accept the same, demanding payment of the face value of the MRI or an amount equivalent to the loan. She, likewise, refused to accept an ex gratia settlement of P30,000.00, which the DBP later offered.

On February 10, 1989, Candida Dans filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court, Branch I, Basilan, against DBP and the insurance pool for “Collection of Sum of Money with Damages.” Respondent Estate alleged that Dans became insured by the DBP MRI Pool when DBP, with full knowledge of Dans’ age at the time of application, required him to apply for MRI, and later collected the insurance premium thereon. Respondent Estate therefore prayed:

(1) that the sum of P139,500.00, which it paid under protest for the loan, be reimbursed;
(2) that the mortgage debt of the deceased be declared fully paid; and
(3) that damages be awarded.

On March 10, 1990, the trial court rendered a decision in favor of respondent Estate and against DBP. The DBP MRI Pool, however, was absolved from liability, after the trial court found no privity of contract between it and the deceased. The trial court declared DBP in estoppel for having led Dans into applying for MRI and actually collecting the premium and the service fee, despite knowledge of his age ineligibility.

ISSUE:

Whether or not DBP is liable for the Collection of Sum of Money with Damages against Dans.

RULING:

The court ruled out in favor of Dans. DBP is not authorized to accept applications for MRI when its clients are more than 60 years of age. Knowing all the while that Dans was ineligible for MRI coverage because of his advanced age, DBP exceeded the scope of its authority when it accepted Dan’s application for MRI by collecting the insurance premium, and deducting its agent’s commission and service fee. The liability of an agent who exceeds the scope of his authority depends upon whether the third person is aware of the limits of the agent’s powers. There is no showing that Dans knew of the limitation on DBP’s authority to solicit applications for MRI.

*Case digest by Jelyn C. Ondong, JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020