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BPI v.

CA
G.R. No. 136202
January 25, 2007
Related topic: Sec. 49, NIL (Delivery without endorsement of an order instrument)
FACTS:
Salazar had in her possession three crossed checks with an aggregate amount of P267,
692.50. These checks were payable to the order of JRT Construction and Trading which was the
name of Templonuevos business. Despite lack of knowledge and endorsement of Templonuevo,
Salazar was able to deposit the checks in her personal savings account with BPI and encash the
same. The three checks were deposited in three dierent occasions over the span of eight
months. A year after the last encashment, Templonuevo protested the purportedly unauthorized
encashments and demanded from BPI the aggregate amount of the checks.
BPI complied with Templonuevos demand. Since the money could no longer be debited
from the account of Salazar where she deposited the checks, they froze her other account with
them. Later on, BPI issued a cashiers check in favor of Templonuevo for the aggregate amount
and debited P267, 707.70 from Salazars account representing the aggregate amount and the
bank charges for the cashiers check.
Salazar filed a complaint against BPI. Trial court ruled in favor of her which was armed
by CA.
Hence, this petition.
ISSUE/S:
1. Did BPI have the authority to unilaterally withdraw from Salazars account the amount it has
previously paid upon certain unendorsed order instrument?
2. Did BPI act judiciously in debiting Salazars account?
HELD:
1. Yes.
Records show that no prior arrangement existed between Salazar and Templonuevo
regarding the transfer of ownership of the checks. This fact is crucial as Salazars entitlement to
the value of the instruments is based on the assumption that she is a transferee within the
contemplation of Section 49 of the NIL.
Section 49 of the NIL contemplates a situation where the payee or endorsee delivers a
negotiable instrument for value without endorsing it. The underlying premise of this provision,
however, is that a valid transfer of ownership of the negotiable instrument in question has taken
place. Transferees in this situation do not enjoy the presumption of ownership in favor of holders
since they are neither payees nor endorsees of such instruments. Mere possession of a
negotiable instrument does not in itself conclusively establish either the right of the possessor to
receive payment, or of the right of one who has made payment to be discharged from liability.
Something more than mere possession is necessary to authorize payment to such possessor.

Prepared by: Daniel John A. Fordan

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The one-year delay of Templonuevo in asserting ownership over the checks is not enough to
prove that there has a valid transfer of ownership has taken place.
Salazar failed to discharge the burden of presumption of ownership in Templonuevos
favor as the designated payee. Thus, the return of the check proceeds to Templonuevo was
therefore warranted.
It is immaterial that the account debited by BPI was dierent from the original account to
which the proceeds of the check were credited because both belonged to Salazar anyway.
2. No.
Solely upon the prompting of Templonuevo, BPI debited the account of Salazar without
even serving due notice upon her. Consequently, this caused damage to Salazar such as having
checks she issued dishonored because she was not given prior notice of the deduction from her
account.
As such, the award of damages must be sustained.

Prepared by: Daniel John A. Fordan

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