G.R. No. L-49188, 30 January 1990
This is a petition to review on certiorari the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 07695 entitled “Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. Hon. Judge Ricardo D. Galano, et al.”, dismissing the petition for certiorari against the order of the Court of First Instance of Manila which issued an alias writ of execution against the petitioner.
The petition involving the alias writ of execution had its beginnings on November 8, 1967, when respondent Amelia Tan, under the name and style of Able Printing Press commenced a complaint for damages before the Court of First Instance of Manila. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 71307, entitled Amelia Tan, et al. v. Philippine Airlines, Inc.
After trial, the Court of First Instance of Manila, Branch 13, then presided over by the late Judge Jesus P. Morfe rendered judgment on June 29, 1972, in favor of private respondent Amelia Tan and against petitioner Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL). On July 28, 1972, the petitioner filed its appeal with the Court of Appeals. The case was docketed as CA-G.R. No. 51079-R. With further court proceedings having been done, respondent Tan moved for the issuance of an alias writ of execution stating that the judgment rendered by the lower court, and affirmed with modification by the Court of Appeals, remained unsatisfied.
On March 3,1978, the Court of Appeals denied the issuance of the alias writ for being premature, ordering the executing sheriff Emilio Z. Reyes to appear with his return and explain the reason for his failure to surrender the amounts paid to him by petitioner PAL. However, the order could not be served upon Deputy Sheriff Reyes who had absconded or disappeared.
On May 23, 1978, the petitioner filed an urgent motion to quash the alias writ of execution stating that no return of the writ had as yet been made by Deputy Sheriff Emilio Z. Reyes and that the judgment debt had already been fully satisfied by the petitioner as evidenced by the cash vouchers signed and receipted by the server of the writ of execution, Deputy Sheriff Emilio Z. Reyes.
On May 26,1978, the respondent Jaime K. del Rosario served a notice of garnishment on the depository bank of petitioner, Far East Bank and Trust Company, Rosario Branch, Binondo, Manila, through its manager and garnished the petitioner’s deposit in the said bank in the total amount of P64,408.00 as of May 16, 1978.
Hence, this petition for certiorari filed by the Philippine Airlines, Inc.
Whether or not payment of judgment to the implementing officer as directed in the writ of execution constitutes satisfaction of judgment?
The payment made by the petitioner to the absconding sheriff was not in cash or legal tender but in checks. The checks were not payable to Amelia Tan or Able Printing Press but to the absconding sheriff.
Under the peculiar circumstances of this case, the payment to the absconding sheriff by check in his name did not operate as a satisfaction of the judgment debt. In general, a payment, in order to be effective to discharge an obligation, must be made to the proper person. Article 1240 of the Civil Code provides:
Payment shall be made to the person in whose favor the obligation has been constituted, or his successor in interest, or any person authorized to receive it. (Emphasis supplied)
Thus, payment must be made to the obligee himself or to an agent having authority, express or implied, to receive the particular payment (Ulen v. Knecttle 50 Wyo 94, 58 [2d] 446, 111 ALR 65). Payment made to one having apparent authority to receive the money will, as a rule, be treated as though actual authority had been given for its receipt.
Likewise, if payment is made to one who by law is authorized to act for the creditor, it will work a discharge (Hendry v. Benlisa 37 Fla. 609, 20 SO 800,34 LRA 283). The receipt of money due on a judgment by an officer authorized by law to accept it will, therefore, satisfy the debt (See 40 Am Jm 729, 25; Hendry v. Benlisa supra; Seattle v. Stirrat 55 Wash. 104 p. 834,24 LRA [NS] 1275).
It is, indeed, out of the ordinary that checks intended for a particular payee are made out in the name of another. Making the checks payable to the judgment creditor would have prevented the encashment or the taking of undue advantage by the sheriff, or any person into whose hands the checks may have fallen, whether wrongfully or in behalf of the creditor.
The issuance of the checks in the name of the sheriff clearly made possible the misappropriation of the funds that were withdrawn. Having failed to employ the proper safeguards to protect itself, the judgment debtor whose act made possible the loss had but itself to blame.
*Case digest by Mary Tweetie Antonette G. Semprun, JD-IV, Andres Bonifacio College, SY: 2019-2020