Metrobank v. Court of Appeals

194 SCRA 168 (1991)

FACTS:

In January 1979, a certain Eduardo Gomez opened an account with Golden Savings and deposited over a period of two months 38 treasury warrants with a total value of P1,755,228.37. They were all drawn by the Philippine Fish Marketing Authority and purportedly signed by its General Manager and countersigned by its Auditor.

Six of these were directly payable to Gomez while the others appeared to have been indorsed by their respective payees, followed by Gomez as second indorser. All these warrants were subsequently indorsed by Gloria Castillo as Cashier of Golden Savings and deposited to its Savings Account No. 2498 in the Metrobank branch in Calapan, Mindoro.

Golden Savings subsequently allowed Gomez to make withdrawals from his own account, eventually collecting the total amount of P1,167,500.00 from the proceeds of the apparently cleared warrants.

On July 21, 1979, Metrobank informed Golden Savings that 32 of the warrants had been dishonored by the Bureau of Treasury on July 19, 1979, and demanded the refund by Golden Savings of the amount it had previously withdrawn, to make up the deficit in its account.

The demand was rejected. Metrobank then sued Golden Savings in the Regional Trial Court of Mindoro. After trial, judgment was rendered in favor of Golden Savings, which, however, filed a motion for reconsideration even as Metrobank filed its notice of appeal.

ISSUE:

Whether the treasury warrants are negotiable instruments.

RULING:

No. The treasury warrants are not negotiable instruments. Clearly stamped on their face is the word: nonnegotiable.

Moreover, and this is equal significance, it is indicated that they are payable from a particular fund, to wit, Fund 501. An instrument to be negotiable instrument must contain an unconditional promise or orders to pay a sum certain in money. As provided by Sec 3 of NIL an unqualified order or promise to pay is unconditional though coupled with:

1st, an indication of a particular fund out of which reimbursement is to be made or a particular account to be debited with the amount; or 2nd, a statement of the transaction which give rise to the instrument. But an order to promise to pay out of particular fund is not unconditional. The indication of Fund 501 as the source of the payment to be made on the treasury warrants makes the order or promise to pay “not conditional” and the warrants themselves non-negotiable. There should be no question that the exception on Section 3 of NIL is applicable in the case at bar.

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

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