Services, Inc. (TWSI). The destination[s] are Hongkong, Tokyo,San Francisco, U.S.A., for the amount of P25,000.00 percomputation of said defendant Claudia Tagunicar (Exhs. C &C-1). The purpose of this trip is to go to Fairfield, New Jersey,U.S.A. to buy to two (2) lines of infrared heating systemprocessing textured plastic articleA few days before the scheduled flight of plaintiffs,their son, Adrian Yu, called the Pan Am office to verify thestatus of the flight. According to said Adrian Yu, personnel of defendant Pan Am told him over the phone that plaintiffs'booking[s] are confirmed.On July 23, 1978, plaintiffs left for Hongkong andstayed there for five (5) days. They left Hongkong for Tokyoon July 28, 1978. Upon their arrival in Tokyo, they called upPan-Am office for reconfirmation of their flight to SanFrancisco. Said office, however, informed them that theirnames are not in the manifest. Since plaintiffs were supposedto leave on the 29th of July, 1978, and could not remain in Japan for more than 72 hours, they were constrained to agreeto accept airline tickets for Taipei instead, per advise of JALofficials. This is the only option left to them becauseNorthwest Airlines was then on strike, hence, there was nochance for the plaintiffs to obtain airline seats to the UnitedStates within 72 hours. Plaintiffs paid for these tickets.Upon reaching Taipei, there were no flight[s]available for plaintiffs, thus, they were forced to return backto Manila on August 3, 1978, instead of proceeding to theUnited States. [Japan] Air Lines (JAL) refunded the plaintiffsthe difference of the price for Tokyo-Taipei [and] Tokyo-SanFrancisco (Exhs. I & J) in the total amount of P2,602.00.In view of their failure to reach Fairfield, New Jersey,Radiant Heat Enterprises, Inc. cancelled Yu Eng Cho's optionto buy the two lines of infra-red heating system (Exh. K). Theagreement was for him to inspect the equipment and makefinal arrangement[s] with the said company not later thanAugust 7, 1978. From this business transaction, plaintiff YuEng Cho expected to realize a profit of P300,000.00 toP400,000.00.Defendant Tagunicar claims that on July 13, 1978, afew days before the scheduled flight, plaintiff Yu Eng Chopersonally went to her office, pressing her about their flight.She called up defendant Julieta Canilao, and the latter toldher "o sige Claudia, confirm na." She even noted this in herindex card (Exh. L), that it was Julieta who confirmed thebooking (Exh. L-1). It was then that she allegedly attachedthe confirmation stickers (Exhs. 2, 2-B TWSI) to the tickets. These stickers came from TWSI.Defendant Tagunicar alleges that it was only in thefirst week of August, 1978 that she learned from Adrian Yu,son of plaintiffs, that the latter were not able to take theflight from Tokyo to San Francisco, U.S.A. After a few days,said Adrian Yu came over with a gentleman and a lady, whoturned out to be a lawyer and his secretary. Defendant Tagunicar claims that plaintiffs were asking for her help sothat they could file an action against Pan-Am. Because of plaintiffs' promise she will not be involved, she agreed to signthe affidavit prepared by the lawyer.A complaint for damages was filed by petitionersagainst private respondents Pan American World Airways,Inc. (Pan Am), Tourist World Services, Inc. (TWSI), JulietaCanilao (Canilao), and Claudia Tagunicar (Tagunicar) forexpenses allegedly incurred such as costs of tickets and hotelaccommodations when petitioners were compelled to stay inHongkong and then in Tokyo by reason of the non-confirmation of their booking with Pan-Am. In a Decisiondated November 14, 1991, the Regional Trial Court of Manila,Branch 3, held the defendants jointly and severally liable,except defendant Julieta CanilaoOnly respondents Pan Am and Tagunicarappealed to the Court of Appeals. On 11 August 1995, theappellate court rendered judgment modifying the amount of damages awarded, holding private respondent Tagunicarsolely liable therefor, and absolving respondents Pan Am and TWSI from any and all liability.ISSUE:Whether here is no agency relationship among PAN-AM, TWSI and Tagunicar are contrary to the judicialadmissions of PAN-AM, TWSI and Tagunicar and likewisecontrary to the findings of fact of the trial court.HELD:By the contract of agency, a person binds himself torender some service or to do something in representation oron behalf of another, with the consent or authority of thelatter.
The elements of agency are: (1) consent, express orimplied, of the parties to establish the relationship; (2) theobject is the execution of a juridical act in relation to a thirdperson; (3) the agent acts as a representative and not forhimself; (4) the agent acts within the scope of his authority.
It is a settled rule that persons dealing with an assumedagent are bound at their peril, if they would hold the principalliable, to ascertain not only the fact of agency but also thenature and extent of authority, and in case either iscontroverted, the burden of proof is upon them to establishit.In the case at bar, petitioners rely on the affidavit of respondent Tagunicar where she stated that she is anauthorized agent of TWSI. This affidavit, however, has weakprobative value in light of respondent Tagunicar's testimonyin court to the contrary. Affidavits, being taken
, arealmost always incomplete and often inaccurate, sometimesfrom partial suggestion, or for want of suggestion andinquiries. Their infirmity as a species of evidence is a matterof judicial experience and are thus considered inferior to thetestimony given in court.
Further, affidavits are notcomplete reproductions of what the declarant has in mindbecause they are generally prepared by the administeringofficer and the affiant simply signs them after the same havebeen read to her.
Respondent Tagunicar testified that heraffidavit was prepared and typewritten by the secretary of petitioners' lawyer, Atty. Acebedo, who both came withAdrian Yu, son of petitioners, when the latter went to see herat her office. This was confirmed by Adrian Yu who testifiedthat Atty. Acebedo brought his notarial seal and notarized theaffidavit of the same day.
The circumstances under whichsaid affidavit was prepared put in doubt petitioners' claimthat it was executed voluntarily by respondent Tagunicar. Itappears that the affidavit was prepared and was based onthe answers which respondent Tagunicar gave to thequestions propounded to her by Atty. Acebedo.
Theynever told her that the affidavit would be used in a case to befiled against her.
They even assured her that she wouldnot be included as defendant if she agreed to execute theaffidavit.
Respondent Tagunicar was prevailed upon bypetitioners' son and their lawyer to sign the affidavit despiteher objection to the statement therein that she was an agentof TWSI. They assured her that "it is immaterial"
and that"if we file a suit against you we cannot get anything fromyou."
This purported admission of respondent Tagunicarcannot be used by petitioners to prove their agencyrelationship. At any rate, even if such affidavit is to be givenany probative value, the existence of the agency relationshipcannot be established on its sole basis. The declarations of the agent alone are generally insufficient to establish the factor extent of his authority.
In addition, as between thenegative allegation of respondents Canilao and Tagunicar