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Case Digest

Case Digest

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Published by Elaine Bercenio

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Published by: Elaine Bercenio on Jun 19, 2012
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G.R No. 70766 November 9, 1988AMERICAN EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL INC., petitioner,VS.INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT AND JOSE M. ALEJANDRINO, respondents,
FACTS:The case is an appeal to reduce
the amount of moral and exemplary damages in Civil CaseNo. 8882-P of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal, Seventh Judicial District, to P240,000and P100,000 respectively, and the latter, dated April 29, 1985, restoring the amount of thedamages awarded by the trial court: P2,000,000 as moral damages and P400,000 as exemplarydamages with interest thereon at 12% per annum from notice of judgment, plus costs of suit.In November 1979, petitioner mailed to Alejandrino at his Philippine address a bill for US $70(joining fee of US $35 and a December 1979 account of US $35). When it did not receive anypayment, petitioner sent Alejandrino another statement of account in January 1980. As therewas still no remittance made, petitioner cancelled Alejandrino's account in February 1980.Alejandrino knew of this cancellation. However, on May 2, 1980, Alejandrino received from theManila office of petitioner, thru a private courier service, another statement of account. Thishappened because the Hongkong office did not inform the Manila office of the status ofAlejandrino's account. Alejandrino sent to petitioner a check for US $70. Petitioner received theamount but it did not reinstate Alejandrino's account. Instead it merely entered the payment as acredit in said account. Alejandrino was not informed about this action taken by petitioner.
InAugust 1980, Alejandrino received the July 1980 statement of account for US $70.Having previously paid a similar bill in May 1980, and not having ever used his creditcard before, Alejandrino wrote petitioner inquiring what the bill was for. He did notreceive any reply.ISSUE:
(a) Whether the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to take cognizance of petitioner's motion, filedon May 15, 1985, for extension of time to file a petition for review of the Court of Appeals'resolution dated April 29, 1985, in view of Section 39 of B. P. Blg. 129, in relation to Section5(2), Art. VIII of the 1987 Constitution; and (b) whether this Court has jurisdiction to entertain thepetition for review filed in this case, without leave of court, -by waiving the requirement ofSection 2, Rule 45, of the Rules of Court, and without the petition containing an assignment oferrors.RULING:On May 7, 1985, petitioner received a copy of the, Court of Appeals' resolution dated April 29,1985 which am . the original decision of February 7, 1985 by restoring the damages granted bythe trial court. Eight (8) days afterwards on May 15, 1985, within the reglementary period,petitioner filed with this Court a motion for extension of 30 days counted from May 16, 1985within which to file its petition for review on June 10, 1985. This Court gave due course to thepetition for review in its resolution dated October 28, 1985.The petition for review was seasonably filed. There is no infirmity in its filing. The appeal onquestions of law to this Court thru a petition for review on certiorari is governed by Rule 45 ofthe Rules of Court and Section 25 of the Interim Rules, and not by B.P. Blg. 129. In fact, theSupreme Court is outside the scope of B.P. Blg. 129. Besides, there is nothing sacred about theprocedure of pleadings.This Court may go beyond the pleadings when the interest of justice sowarrants. It has the prerogative to suspend its rule for the same purpose. In the language of Mr.Justice Moreland, "a litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply schooledand skilled in the subtle art of movement and position, entraps and destroys the other. It israther, a contest in which each contending party fully and fairly lays before the court the facts inissue and then, brushing aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and
 
technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done upon the merits. Technicality, when itdeserts its proper office as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance and chief enemy,deserves scant consideration from courts."WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Court (IAC) is herebySET ASIDE, and a new one is hereby rendered, ordering petitioner to pay private respondentthe sum of One Hundred Thousand (P100,000.00) Pesos as moral damages, with six (6%)percent interest thereon computed from the finality of this decision until paid. No costs.
G.R. No. 72275 November 13, 1991PACIFIC BANKING CORPORATION,
petitioner,vs.
HON INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT AND ROBERTO REGALA, JR.,
respondents
.
 
FACTS:The case is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the IntermediateAppellate Court. In the case, Cecilia Regala obtained a Pacific Credit Card and herspouse, Roberto Regala signed as her guarantor. The holder of the card purchasedgoods and/or services under the pacificard amounting to P92, 803.98. Despite theexecution of demand from the bank, the couple did not comply. The trial court
renders judgment for the plaintiff and against the defendants condemning the latter, jointly and severally,to pay said plaintiff the amount of P92,803.98, with interest thereon at 14% per annum,compounded annually, from the time of demand on November 17, 1978 until said principalamount is fully paid; plus 15% of the principal obligation as and for attorney's fees and expenseof suit; and the costs.The defendants appealed to the Intermediate Appellate Court. Wherein the said court modifiedonly as to appellant Roberto Regala, Jr., so as to make him liable only for the purchases madeby defendant Celia Aurora Syjuco Regala with the use of the Pacificard from October 29, 1975up to October 29, 1976 up to the amount of P2,000.00 per month only, with interest from thefiling of the complaint up to the payment at the rate of 14% per annum without pronouncementas to costs.ISSUE:Whether or not, Roberto Regalado as a guarantor is limited to pay up to only P2000 per monthin the liability of his spouse to the said bank,DECISION:The undertaking signed by Roberto Regala, Jr. although denominated "Guarantor'sUndertaking," was in substance a contract of surety. As distinguished from a contract ofguaranty where the guarantor binds himself to the creditor to fulfill the obligation of the principaldebtor only in case the latter should fail to do so, in a contract of suretyship, the surety bindshimself solidarily with the principal debtor. It is true that under Article 2054 of the Civil Code, "(A)guarantor may bind himself for less, but not for more than the principal debtor, both as regardsthe amount and the onerous nature of the conditions. It is likewise not disputed by the partiesthat the credit limit granted to Celia Regala was P2,000.00 per month and that Celia Regalasucceeded in using the card beyond the original period of its effectivity, October 29, 1979. Wedo not agree however, that Roberto Jr.'s liability should be limited to that extent.A guarantor or surety does not incur liability unless the principal debtor is held liable. It is in thissense that a surety, although solidarily liable with the principal debtor, is different from thedebtor. It does not mean, however, that the surety cannot be held liable to the same extent as
 
the principal debtor. The nature and extent of the liabilities of a guarantor or a surety isdetermined by the clauses in the contract of suretyship.ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED. The questioned decision of respondent appellatecourt is SET ASIDE and the decision of the trial court is REINSTATED.
G.R. No. 152609 June 29, 2005
 
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE,
Petitioner,vs.
AMERICAN EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL, INC. (PHILIPPINE BRANCH),
Respondent.FACTS:American Express International, Inc. is a Philippine branch of American Express International,Inc., a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the State ofDelaware, U.S.A., with office in the Philippines. It is a servicing unit of American ExpressInternational, Inc. - Hongkong Branch (Amex-HK) and is engaged primarily to facilitate thecollections of Amex-HK receivables from card members situated in the Philippines and paymentto service establishments in the Philippines.Amex Philippines registered itself with the Bureau ofInternal Revenue (BIR), Revenue District Office No. 47 (East Makati) as a value-added tax(VAT) taxpayer effective March 1988 and was issued VAT Registration Certificate No. 088445bearing VAT Registration No. 32A-3-004868.On April 13, 1999, [respondent] filed with the BIR aletter-request for the refund of its 1997 excess input taxes in the amount of P3,751,067.04,which amount was arrived at after deducting from its total input VAT paid ofP3,763,060.43 itsapplied output VAT liabilities only for the third and fourth quarters of 1997 amounting toP5,193.66 and P6,799.43, respectively.The Court of tax appeal finds the [petition] meritorious and in accordance with law. Accordingly,[petitioner] is hereby
ORDERED
to
REFUND
to [respondent] the amount of P3, 352,406.59
representing the latter’s excess input VAT paid for the year 1997
. Thus, the Court of Appealaffirmed the decision of the CTA.ISSUE:Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed reversible error in holding that respondent isentitled to the refund of the amount of P3, 352,406.59 allegedly representing excess input VATfor the year 1997.DECISION:The legislature is presumed to have reenacted the law with full knowledge of the contents of therevenue regulations then in force regarding the VAT, and to have approved or confirmed thembecause they would carry out the legislative purpose. The particular provisions of theregulations we have mentioned earlier are, therefore, re-enforced. "When a statute issusceptible of the meaning placed upon it by a ruling of the government agency charged with itsenforcement and the [l]egislature thereafter [reenacts] the provisions [without] substantialchange, such action is to some extent confirmatory that the ruling carries out the legislativepurpose."
 In sum, having resolved that transactions of respondent are zero-rated, the Court upholds the
former’s entitlement to the refund as determined by the appellate court. Moreover, there is no
conflict between the decisions of the CTA and CA. This Court respects the findings andconclusions of a specialized court like the CTA "which, by the nature of its functions, isdedicated exclusively to the study and consideration of tax cases and has necessarilydeveloped an expertise on the subject."
 Furthermore, under a zero-rating scheme, the sale or exchange of a particular service iscompletely freed from the VAT, because the seller is entitled to recover, by way of a refund or

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