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G.R. No.

115849

January 24, 1996

The dispositive portion of the trial court's2 decision dated July 10, 1991, on the other hand, is as follows: WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants as follows: 1. Declaring the existence of a perfected contract to buy and sell over the six (6) parcels of land situated at Don Jose, Sta. Rosa, Laguna with an area of 101 hectares, more or less, covered by and embraced in Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-106932 to T-106937, inclusive, of the Land Records of Laguna, between the plaintiffs as buyers and the defendant Producers Bank for an agreed price of Five and One Half Million (P5,500,000.00) Pesos; 2. Ordering defendant Producers Bank of the Philippines, upon finality of this decision and receipt from the plaintiffs the amount of P5.5 Million, to execute in favor of said plaintiffs a deed of absolute sale over the aforementioned six (6) parcels of land, and to immediately deliver to the plaintiffs the owner's copies of T.C.T. Nos. T-106932 to T- 106937, inclusive, for purposes of registration of the same deed and transfer of the six (6) titles in the names of the plaintiffs; 3. Ordering the defendants, jointly and severally, to pay plaintiffs Jose A. Janolo and Demetrio Demetria the sums of P200,000.00 each in moral damages; 4. Ordering the defendants, jointly and severally, to pay plaintiffs the sum of P100,000.00 as exemplary damages ; 5. Ordering the defendants, jointly and severally, to pay the plaintiffs the amount of P400,000.00 for and by way of attorney's fees; 6. Ordering the defendants to pay the plaintiffs, jointly and severally, actual and moderate damages in the amount of P20,000.00; With costs against the defendants. After the parties filed their comment, reply, rejoinder, sur-rejoinder and reply to sur-rejoinder, the petition was given due course in a Resolution

FIRST PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL BANK (Formerly Producers Bank of the Philippines) and MERCURIO RIVERA, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, CARLOS EJERCITO, in substitution of DEMETRIO DEMETRIA, and JOSE JANOLO,respondents. DECISION PANGANIBAN, J.: In the absence of a formal deed of sale, may commitments given by bank officers in an exchange of letters and/or in a meeting with the buyers constitute a perfected and enforceable contract of sale over 101 hectares of land in Sta. Rosa, Laguna? Does the doctrine of "apparent authority" apply in this case? If so, may the Central Bank-appointed conservator of Producers Bank (now First Philippine International Bank) repudiate such "apparent authority" after said contract has been deemed perfected? During the pendency of a suit for specific performance, does the filing of a "derivative suit" by the majority shareholders and directors of the distressed bank to prevent the enforcement or implementation of the sale violate the ban against forum-shopping? Simply stated, these are the major questions brought before this Court in the instant Petition for review oncertiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, to set aside the Decision promulgated January 14, 1994 of the respondent Court of Appeals1 in CA-G.R CV No. 35756 and the Resolution promulgated June 14, 1994 denying the motion for reconsideration. The dispositive portion of the said Decision reads: WHEREFORE, the decision of the lower court is MODIFIED by the elimination of the damages awarded under paragraphs 3, 4 and 6 of its dispositive portion and the reduction of the award in paragraph 5 thereof to P75,000.00, to be assessed against defendant bank. In all other aspects, said decision is hereby AFFIRMED. All references to the original plaintiffs in the decision and its dispositive portion are deemed, herein and hereafter, to legally refer to the plaintiff-appellee Carlos C. Ejercito. Costs against appellant bank.

dated January 18, 1995. Thence, the parties filed their respective memoranda and reply memoranda. The First Division transferred this case to the Third Division per resolution dated October 23, 1995. After carefully deliberating on the aforesaid submissions, the Court assigned the case to the undersigned ponente for the writing of this Decision. The Parties Petitioner First Philippine International Bank (formerly Producers Bank of the Philippines; petitioner Bank, for brevity) is a banking institution organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. Petitioner Mercurio Rivera (petitioner Rivera, for brevity) is of legal age and was, at all times material to this case, Head-Manager of the Property Management Department of the petitioner Bank. Respondent Carlos Ejercito (respondent Ejercito, for brevity) is of legal age and is the assignee of original plaintiffs-appellees Demetrio Demetria and Jose Janolo. Respondent Court of Appeals is the court which issued the Decision and Resolution sought to be set aside through this petition. The Facts The facts of this case are summarized in the respondent Court's Decision3 as follows: (1) In the course of its banking operations, the defendant Producer Bank of the Philippines acquired six parcels of land with a total area of 101 hectares located at Don Jose, Sta. Rose, Laguna, and covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T106932 to T-106937. The property used to be owned by BYME Investment and Development Corporation which had them mortgaged with the bank as collateral for a loan. The original plaintiffs, Demetrio Demetria and Jose O. Janolo, wanted to purchase the property and thus initiated negotiations for that purpose. (2) In the early part of August 1987 said plaintiffs, upon the suggestion of BYME investment's legal counsel, Jose Fajardo, met with defendant Mercurio Rivera, Manager of the Property Management Department of the defendant bank. The meeting was held pursuant to plaintiffs' plan to buy the property (TSN of

Jan. 16, 1990, pp. 7-10). After the meeting, plaintiff Janolo, following the advice of defendant Rivera, made a formal purchase offer to the bank through a letter dated August 30, 1987 (Exh. "B"), as follows: August 30, 1987 The Producers Bank of the Philippines Makati, Metro Manila Attn. Mr. Mercurio Q. Rivera Manager, Property Management Dept. Gentleman: I have the honor to submit my formal offer to purchase your properties covered by titles listed hereunder located at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, with a total area of 101 hectares, more or less. TCT NO. T-106932 T-106933 T-106934 T-106935 T-106936 T-106937 AREA 113,580 sq. m. 70,899 sq. m. 52,246 sq. m. 96,768 sq. m. 187,114 sq. m. 481,481 sq. m.

My offer is for PESOS: THREE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P3,500,000.00) PESOS, in cash. Kindly contact me at Telephone Number 921-1344. (3) On September 1, 1987, defendant Rivera made on behalf of the bank a formal reply by letter which is hereunder quoted (Exh. "C"): September 1, 1987

JP M-P GUTIERREZ ENTERPRISES 142 Charisma St., Doa Andres II Rosario, Pasig, Metro Manila Attention: JOSE O. JANOLO Dear Sir: Thank you for your letter-offer to buy our six (6) parcels of acquired lots at Sta. Rosa, Laguna (formerly owned by Byme Industrial Corp.). Please be informed however that the bank's counter-offer is at P5.5 million for more than 101 hectares on lot basis. We shall be very glad to hear your position on the on the matter. Best regards. (4) On September 17, 1987, plaintiff Janolo, responding to Rivera's aforequoted reply, wrote (Exh. "D"): September 17, 1987 Producers Bank Paseo de Roxas Makati, Metro Manila Attention: Mr. Mercurio Rivera Gentlemen: In reply to your letter regarding my proposal to purchase your 101-hectare lot located at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, I would like to amend my previous offer and I now propose to buy the said lot at P4.250 million in CASH.. Hoping that this proposal meets your satisfaction. (5) There was no reply to Janolo's foregoing letter of September 17, 1987. What took place was a meeting on September 28, 1987 between the plaintiffs and Luis Co, the Senior Vice-President of defendant bank. Rivera as well as Fajardo, the BYME lawyer,

attended the meeting. Two days later, or on September 30, 1987, plaintiff Janolo sent to the bank, through Rivera, the following letter (Exh. "E"): The Producers Bank of the Philippines Paseo de Roxas, Makati Metro Manila Attention: Mr. Mercurio Rivera Re: 101 Hectares of Land in Sta. Rosa, Laguna Gentlemen: Pursuant to our discussion last 28 September 1987, we are pleased to inform you that we are accepting your offer for us to purchase the property at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, formerly owned by Byme Investment, for a total price of PESOS: FIVE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND (P5,500,000.00). Thank you. (6) On October 12, 1987, the conservator of the bank (which has been placed under conservatorship by the Central Bank since 1984) was replaced by an Acting Conservator in the person of defendant Leonida T. Encarnacion. On November 4, 1987, defendant Rivera wrote plaintiff Demetria the following letter (Exh. "F"): Attention: Atty. Demetrio Demetria Dear Sir: Your proposal to buy the properties the bank foreclosed from Byme investment Corp. located at Sta. Rosa, Laguna is under study yet as of this time by the newly created committee for submission to the newly designated Acting Conservator of the bank. For your information.

(7) What thereafter transpired was a series of demands by the plaintiffs for compliance by the bank with what plaintiff considered as a perfected contract of sale, which demands were in one form or another refused by the bank. As detailed by the trial court in its decision, on November 17, 1987, plaintiffs through a letter to defendant Rivera (Exhibit "G") tendered payment of the amount of P5.5 million "pursuant to (our) perfected sale agreement." Defendants refused to receive both the payment and the letter. Instead, the parcels of land involved in the transaction were advertised by the bank for sale to any interested buyer (Exh, "H" and "H-1"). Plaintiffs demanded the execution by the bank of the documents on what was considered as a "perfected agreement." Thus: Mr. Mercurio Rivera Manager, Producers Bank Paseo de Roxas, Makati Metro Manila Dear Mr. Rivera: This is in connection with the offer of our client, Mr. Jose O. Janolo, to purchase your 101-hectare lot located in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, and which are covered by TCT No. T-106932 to 106937. From the documents at hand, it appears that your counter-offer dated September 1, 1987 of this same lot in the amount of P5.5 million was accepted by our client thru a letter dated September 30, 1987 and was received by you on October 5, 1987. In view of the above circumstances, we believe that an agreement has been perfected. We were also informed that despite repeated follow-up to consummate the purchase, you now refuse to honor your commitment. Instead, you have advertised for sale the same lot to others. In behalf of our client, therefore, we are making this formal demand upon you to consummate and execute the necessary actions/documentation within three (3) days from your receipt hereof. We are ready to remit the agreed amount of P5.5 million at your advice. Otherwise, we shall be constrained to file the necessary court action to protect the interest of our client.

We trust that you will be guided accordingly. (8) Defendant bank, through defendant Rivera, acknowledged receipt of the foregoing letter and stated, in its communication of December 2, 1987 (Exh. "I"), that said letter has been "referred . . . to the office of our Conservator for proper disposition" However, no response came from the Acting Conservator. On December 14, 1987, the plaintiffs made a second tender of payment (Exh. "L" and "L-1"), this time through the Acting Conservator, defendant Encarnacion. Plaintiffs' letter reads: PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES Paseo de Roxas, Makati, Metro Manila Attn.: Atty. NIDA ENCARNACION Central Bank Conservator We are sending you herewith, in - behalf of our client, Mr. JOSE O. JANOLO, MBTC Check No. 258387 in the amount of P5.5 million as our agreed purchase price of the 101-hectare lot covered by TCT Nos. 106932, 106933, 106934, 106935, 106936 and 106937 and registered under Producers Bank. This is in connection with the perfected agreement consequent from your offer of P5.5 Million as the purchase price of the said lots. Please inform us of the date of documentation of the sale immediately. Kindly acknowledge receipt of our payment. (9) The foregoing letter drew no response for more than four months. Then, on May 3, 1988, plaintiff, through counsel, made a final demand for compliance by the bank with its obligations under the considered perfected contract of sale (Exhibit "N"). As recounted by the trial court (Original Record, p. 656), in a reply letter dated May 12, 1988 (Annex "4" of defendant's answer to amended complaint), the defendants through Acting Conservator Encarnacion repudiated the authority of defendant Rivera and claimed that his dealings with the plaintiffs, particularly his counter-offer of P5.5 Million are unauthorized or illegal. On that basis, the defendants justified the refusal of the tenders of

payment and the non-compliance with the obligations under what the plaintiffs considered to be a perfected contract of sale. (10) On May 16, 1988, plaintiffs filed a suit for specific performance with damages against the bank, its Manager Rivers and Acting Conservator Encarnacion. The basis of the suit was that the transaction had with the bank resulted in a perfected contract of sale, The defendants took the position that there was no such perfected sale because the defendant Rivera is not authorized to sell the property, and that there was no meeting of the minds as to the price. On March 14, 1991, Henry L. Co (the brother of Luis Co), through counsel Sycip Salazar Hernandez and Gatmaitan, filed a motion to intervene in the trial court, alleging that as owner of 80% of the Bank's outstanding shares of stock, he had a substantial interest in resisting the complaint. On July 8, 1991, the trial court issued an order denying the motion to intervene on the ground that it was filed after trial had already been concluded. It also denied a motion for reconsideration filed thereafter. From the trial court's decision, the Bank, petitioner Rivera and conservator Encarnacion appealed to the Court of Appeals which subsequently affirmed with modification the said judgment. Henry Co did not appeal the denial of his motion for intervention. In the course of the proceedings in the respondent Court, Carlos Ejercito was substituted in place of Demetria and Janolo, in view of the assignment of the latters' rights in the matter in litigation to said private respondent. On July 11, 1992, during the pendency of the proceedings in the Court of Appeals, Henry Co and several other stockholders of the Bank, through counsel Angara Abello Concepcion Regala and Cruz, filed an action (hereafter, the "Second Case") purportedly a "derivative suit" with the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 134, docketed as Civil Case No. 92-1606, against Encarnacion, Demetria and Janolo "to declare any perfected sale of the property as unenforceable and to stop Ejercito from enforcing or implementing the sale"4 In his answer, Janolo argued that the Second Case was barred by litis pendentia by virtue of the case then pending in the Court of Appeals. During the pre-trial conference in the Second Case, plaintiffs filed a Motion for Leave of Court to Dismiss the Case Without Prejudice. "Private respondent opposed this motion on the ground, among others, that plaintiff's act of forum shopping justifies the

dismissal of both cases, with prejudice."5 Private respondent, in his memorandum, averred that this motion is still pending in the Makati RTC. In their Petition6 and Memorandum7, petitioners summarized their position as follows: I. The Court of Appeals erred in declaring that a contract of sale was perfected between Ejercito (in substitution of Demetria and Janolo) and the bank. II. The Court of Appeals erred in declaring the existence of an enforceable contract of sale between the parties. III. The Court of Appeals erred in declaring that the conservator does not have the power to overrule or revoke acts of previous management. IV. The findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals do not conform to the evidence on record. On the other hand, petitioners prayed for dismissal of the instant suit on the ground8 that: I. Petitioners have engaged in forum shopping. II. The factual findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals are supported by the evidence on record and may no longer be questioned in this case. III.

The Court of Appeals correctly held that there was a perfected contract between Demetria and Janolo (substituted by; respondent Ejercito) and the bank. IV. The Court of Appeals has correctly held that the conservator, apart from being estopped from repudiating the agency and the contract, has no authority to revoke the contract of sale. The Issues From the foregoing positions of the parties, the issues in this case may be summed up as follows: 1) Was there forum-shopping on the part of petitioner Bank? 2) Was there a perfected contract of sale between the parties? 3) Assuming there was, was the said contract enforceable under the statute of frauds? 4) Did the bank conservator have the unilateral power to repudiate the authority of the bank officers and/or to revoke the said contract? 5) Did the respondent Court commit any reversible error in its findings of facts? The First Issue: Was There Forum-Shopping? In order to prevent the vexations of multiple petitions and actions, the Supreme Court promulgated Revised Circular No. 28-91 requiring that a party "must certify under oath . . . [that] (a) he has not (t)heretofore commenced any other action or proceeding involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency; (b) to the best of his knowledge, no such action or proceeding is pending" in said courts or agencies. A violation of the said circular entails sanctions that include the summary dismissal of the multiple petitions or complaints. To be sure, petitioners have included a VERIFICATION/CERTIFICATION in their Petition stating "for the record(,) the pendency of Civil Case No. 92-1606 before the Regional

Trial Court of Makati, Branch 134, involving a derivative suit filed by stockholders of petitioner Bank against the conservator and other defendants but which is the subject of a pending Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice.9 Private respondent Ejercito vigorously argues that in spite of this verification, petitioners are guilty of actual forum shopping because the instant petition pending before this Court involves "identical parties or interests represented, rights asserted and reliefs sought (as that) currently pending before the Regional Trial Court, Makati Branch 134 in the Second Case. In fact, the issues in the two cases are so interwined that a judgement or resolution in either case will constitute res judicata in the other." 10 On the other hand, petitioners explain 11 that there is no forum-shopping because: 1) In the earlier or "First Case" from which this proceeding arose, the Bank was impleaded as a defendant, whereas in the "Second Case" (assuming the Bank is the real party in interest in a derivative suit), it wasplaintiff; 2) "The derivative suit is not properly a suit for and in behalf of the corporation under the circumstances"; 3) Although the CERTIFICATION/VERIFICATION (supra) signed by the Bank president and attached to the Petition identifies the action as a "derivative suit," it "does not mean that it is one" and "(t)hat is a legal question for the courts to decide"; 4) Petitioners did not hide the Second Case at they mentioned it in the said VERIFICATION/CERTIFICATION. We rule for private respondent. To begin with, forum-shopping originated as a concept in private international law.12, where non-resident litigants are given the option to choose the forum or place wherein to bring their suit for various reasons or excuses, including to secure procedural advantages, to annoy and harass the defendant, to avoid overcrowded dockets, or to select a more friendly venue. To combat these less than honorable excuses, the principle of forum non conveniens was developed whereby a court, in conflicts of law cases, may refuse impositions on its jurisdiction where it

is not the most "convenient" or available forum and the parties are not precluded from seeking remedies elsewhere. In this light, Black's Law Dictionary 13 says that forum shopping "occurs when a party attempts to have his action tried in a particular court or jurisdiction where he feels he will receive the most favorable judgment or verdict." Hence, according to Words and Phrases14, "a litigant is open to the charge of "forum shopping" whenever he chooses a forum with slight connection to factual circumstances surrounding his suit, and litigants should be encouraged to attempt to settle their differences without imposing undue expenses and vexatious situations on the courts". In the Philippines, forum shopping has acquired a connotation encompassing not only a choice of venues, as it was originally understood in conflicts of laws, but also to a choice of remedies. As to the first (choice of venues), the Rules of Court, for example, allow a plaintiff to commence personal actions "where the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found, or where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiffs resides, at the election of the plaintiff" (Rule 4, Sec, 2 [b]). As to remedies, aggrieved parties, for example, are given a choice of pursuing civil liabilities independently of the criminal, arising from the same set of facts. A passenger of a public utility vehicle involved in a vehicular accident may sue on culpa contractual, culpa aquiliana or culpa criminal each remedy being available independently of the others although he cannot recover more than once. In either of these situations (choice of venue or choice of remedy), the litigant actually shops for a forum of his action, This was the original concept of the term forum shopping. Eventually, however, instead of actually making a choice of the forum of their actions, litigants, through the encouragement of their lawyers, file their actions in all available courts, or invoke all relevant remedies simultaneously. This practice had not only resulted to (sic) conflicting adjudications among different courts and consequent confusion enimical (sic) to an orderly administration of justice. It had created extreme inconvenience to some of the parties to the action. Thus, "forum shopping" had acquired a different concept which is unethical professional legal practice. And this necessitated or had given rise to the formulation of rules and canons discouraging or altogether prohibiting the practice. 15

What therefore originally started both in conflicts of laws and in our domestic law as a legitimate device for solving problems has been abused and mis-used to assure scheming litigants of dubious reliefs. To avoid or minimize this unethical practice of subverting justice, the Supreme Court, as already mentioned, promulgated Circular 28-91. And even before that, the Court had prescribed it in the Interim Rules and Guidelines issued on January 11, 1983 and had struck down in several cases 16 the inveterate use of this insidious malpractice. Forum shopping as "the filing of repetitious suits in different courts" has been condemned by Justice Andres R. Narvasa (now Chief Justice) in Minister of Natural Resources, et al., vs. Heirs of Orval Hughes, et al.,"as a reprehensible manipulation of court processes and proceedings . . ." 17 when does forum shopping take place? There is forum-shopping whenever, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another. The principle applies not only with respect to suits filed in the courts but also in connection with litigations commenced in the courts while an administrative proceeding is pending, as in this case, in order to defeat administrative processes and in anticipation of an unfavorable administrative ruling and a favorable court ruling. This is specially so, as in this case, where the court in which the second suit was brought, has no jurisdiction.18 The test for determining whether a party violated the rule against forum shopping has been laid dawn in the 1986 case of Buan vs. Lopez 19, also by Chief Justice Narvasa, and that is, forum shopping exists where the elements oflitis pendentia are present or where a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other, as follows: There thus exists between the action before this Court and RTC Case No. 86-36563 identity of parties, or at least such parties as represent the same interests in both actions, as well as identity of rights asserted and relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts, and the identity on the two preceding particulars is such that any judgment rendered in the other action, will, regardless of which party is successful, amount to res adjudicata in the action under consideration: all the requisites, in fine, of auter action pendant. xxx xxx xxx

As already observed, there is between the action at bar and RTC Case No. 86-36563, an identity as regards parties, or interests represented, rights asserted and relief sought, as well as basis thereof, to a degree sufficient to give rise to the ground for dismissal known as auter action pendant or lis pendens. That same identity puts into operation the sanction of twin dismissals just mentioned. The application of this sanction will prevent any further delay in the settlement of the controversy which might ensue from attempts to seek reconsideration of or to appeal from the Order of the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. 86-36563 promulgated on July 15, 1986, which dismissed the petition upon grounds which appear persuasive. Consequently, where a litigant (or one representing the same interest or person) sues the same party against whom another action or actions for the alleged violation of the same right and the enforcement of the same relief is/are still pending, the defense of litis pendencia in one case is bar to the others; and, a final judgment in one would constitute res judicata and thus would cause the dismissal of the rest. In either case, forum shopping could be cited by the other party as a ground to ask for summary dismissal of the two 20 (or more) complaints or petitions, and for imposition of the other sanctions, which are direct contempt of court, criminal prosecution, and disciplinary action against the erring lawyer. Applying the foregoing principles in the case before us and comparing it with the Second Case, it is obvious that there exist identity of parties or interests represented, identity of rights or causes and identity of reliefs sought. Very simply stated, the original complaint in the court a quo which gave rise to the instant petition was filed by the buyer (herein private respondent and his predecessors-in-interest) against the seller (herein petitioners) to enforce the alleged perfected sale of real estate. On the other hand, the complaint 21 in the Second Case seeks to declare such purported sale involving the same real property "as unenforceable as against the Bank", which is the petitioner herein. In other words, in the Second Case, the majority stockholders, in representation of the Bank, are seeking to accomplish what the Bank itself failed to do in the original case in the trial court. In brief, the objective or the relief being sought, though worded differently, is the same, namely, to enable the petitioner Bank to escape from the obligation to sell the property to respondent. In Danville Maritime, Inc. vs. Commission on Audit.22, this Court ruled that the filing by a party of two apparently different actions, but with the same objective,constituted forum shopping:

In the attempt to make the two actions appear to be different, petitioner impleaded different respondents therein PNOC in the case before the lower court and the COA in the case before this Court and sought what seems to be different reliefs. Petitioner asks this Court to set aside the questioned letterdirective of the COA dated October 10, 1988 and to direct said body to approve the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by and between the PNOC and petitioner, while in the complaint before the lower court petitioner seeks to enjoin the PNOC from conducting a rebidding and from selling to other parties the vessel "T/T Andres Bonifacio", and for an extension of time for it to comply with the paragraph 1 of the memorandum of agreement and damages. One can see that although the relief prayed for in the two (2) actions are ostensibly different, the ultimate objective in both actions is the same, that is, approval of the sale of vessel in favor of petitioner and to overturn the letter-directive of the COA of October 10, 1988 disapproving the sale. (emphasis supplied). In an earlier case 23 but with the same logic and vigor, we held: In other words, the filing by the petitioners of the instant special civil action for certiorari and prohibition in this Court despite the pendency of their action in the Makati Regional Trial Court, is a species of forum-shopping. Both actions unquestionably involve the same transactions, the same essential facts and circumstances. The petitioners' claim of absence of identity simply because the PCGG had not been impleaded in the RTC suit, and the suit did not involve certain acts which transpired after its commencement, is specious. In the RTC action, as in the action before this Court, the validity of the contract to purchase and sell of September 1, 1986, i.e., whether or not it had been efficaciously rescinded, and the propriety of implementing the same (by paying the pledgee banks the amount of their loans, obtaining the release of the pledged shares, etc.) were the basic issues. So, too, the relief was the same: the prevention of such implementation and/or the restoration of the status quo ante. When the acts sought to be restrained took place anyway despite the issuance by the Trial Court of a temporary restraining order, the RTC suit did not become functus oficio. It remained an effective vehicle for obtention of relief; and petitioners' remedy in the premises was plain and patent: the filing of an amended and supplemental pleading in the RTC suit, so as to include the PCGG as defendant and seek nullification of the acts sought to

be enjoined but nonetheless done. The remedy was certainly not the institution of another action in another forum based on essentially the same facts, The adoption of this latter recourse renders the petitioners amenable to disciplinary action and both their actions, in this Court as well as in the Court a quo, dismissible. In the instant case before us, there is also identity of parties, or at least, of interests represented. Although the plaintiffs in the Second Case (Henry L. Co. et al.) are not name parties in the First Case, they represent the same interest and entity, namely, petitioner Bank, because: Firstly, they are not suing in their personal capacities, for they have no direct personal interest in the matter in controversy. They are not principally or even subsidiarily liable; much less are they direct parties in the assailed contract of sale; and Secondly, the allegations of the complaint in the Second Case show that the stockholders are bringing a "derivative suit". In the caption itself, petitioners claim to have brought suit "for and in behalf of the Producers Bank of the Philippines" 24. Indeed, this is the very essence of a derivative suit: An individual stockholder is permitted to institute a derivative suit on behalf of the corporation wherein he holdsstock in order to protect or vindicate corporate rights, whenever the officials of the corporation refuse to sue, or are the ones to be sued or hold the control of the corporation. In such actions, the suing stockholder is regarded as a nominal party, with the corporation as the real party in interest. (Gamboa v. Victoriano, 90 SCRA 40, 47 [1979]; emphasis supplied). In the face of the damaging admissions taken from the complaint in the Second Case, petitioners, quite strangely, sought to deny that the Second Case was a derivative suit, reasoning that it was brought, not by the minority shareholders, but by Henry Co et al., who not only own, hold or control over 80% of the outstanding capital stock, but also constitute the majority in the Board of Directors of petitioner Bank. That being so, then they really represent the Bank. So, whether they sued "derivatively" or directly, there is undeniably an identity of interests/entity represented. Petitioner also tried to seek refuge in the corporate fiction that the personality Of the Bank is separate and distinct from its shareholders.

But the rulings of this Court are consistent: "When the fiction is urged as a means of perpetrating a fraud or an illegal act or as a vehicle for the evasion of an existing obligation, the circumvention of statutes, the achievement or perfection of a monopoly or generally the perpetration of knavery or crime, the veil with which the law covers and isolates the corporation from the members or stockholders who compose it will be lifted to allow for its consideration merely as an aggregation of individuals." 25 In addition to the many cases 26 where the corporate fiction has been disregarded, we now add the instant case, and declare herewith that the corporate veil cannot be used to shield an otherwise blatant violation of the prohibition against forum-shopping. Shareholders, whether suing as the majority in direct actions or as the minority in a derivative suit, cannot be allowed to trifle with court processes, particularly where, as in this case, the corporation itself has not been remiss in vigorously prosecuting or defending corporate causes and in using and applying remedies available to it. To rule otherwise would be to encourage corporate litigants to use their shareholders as fronts to circumvent the stringent rules against forum shopping. Finally, petitioner Bank argued that there cannot be any forum shopping, even assuming arguendo that there is identity of parties, causes of action and reliefs sought, "because it (the Bank) was the defendant in the (first) case while it was the plaintiff in the other (Second Case)",citing as authority Victronics Computers, Inc., vs. Regional Trial Court, Branch 63, Makati, etc. et al., 27 where Court held: The rule has not been extended to a defendant who, for reasons known only to him, commences a new action against the plaintiff instead of filing a responsive pleading in the other case setting forth therein, as causes of action, specific denials, special and affirmative defenses or even counterclaims, Thus, Velhagen's and King's motion to dismiss Civil Case No. 91-2069 by no means negates the charge of forum-shopping as such did not exist in the first place. (emphasis supplied) Petitioner pointed out that since it was merely the defendant in the original case, it could not have chosen the forum in said case. Respondent, on the other hand, replied that there is a difference in factual setting between Victronics and the present suit. In the former, as underscored in the above-quoted Court ruling, the defendants did not file

anyresponsive pleading in the first case. In other words, they did not make any denial or raise any defense or counter-claim therein In the case before us however, petitioners filed a responsive pleading to the complaint as a result of which, the issues were joined. Indeed, by praying for affirmative reliefs and interposing counterclaims in their responsive pleadings, the petitioners became plaintiffs themselves in the original case, giving unto themselves the very remedies they repeated in the Second Case. Ultimately, what is truly important to consider in determining whether forum-shopping exists or not is the vexation caused the courts and parties-litigant by a party who asks different courts and/or administrative agencies to rule on the same or related causes and/or to grant the same or substantially the same reliefs, in the process creating the possibility of conflicting decisions being rendered by the different fora upon the same issue. In this case, this is exactly the problem: a decision recognizing the perfection and directing the enforcement of the contract of sale will directly conflict with a possible decision in the Second Case barring the parties front enforcing or implementing the said sale. Indeed, a final decision in one would constitute res judicata in the other 28. The foregoing conclusion finding the existence of forum-shopping notwithstanding, the only sanction possible now is the dismissal of both cases with prejudice, as the other sanctions cannot be imposed because petitioners' present counsel entered their appearance only during the proceedings in this Court, and the Petition's VERIFICATION/CERTIFICATION contained sufficient allegations as to the pendency of the Second Case to show good faith in observing Circular 28-91. The Lawyers who filed the Second Case are not before us; thus the rudiments of due process prevent us from motu propio imposing disciplinary measures against them in this Decision. However, petitioners themselves (and particularly Henry Co, et al.) as litigants are admonished to strictly follow the rules against forumshopping and not to trifle with court proceedings and processes They are warned that a repetition of the same will be dealt with more severely. Having said that, let it be emphasized that this petition should be dismissed not merely because of forum-shopping but also because of the substantive issues raised, as will be discussed shortly. The Second Issue: Was The Contract Perfected?

The respondent Court correctly treated the question of whether or not there was, on the basis of the facts established, a perfected contract of sale as the ultimate issue. Holding that a valid contract has been established, respondent Court stated: There is no dispute that the object of the transaction is that property owned by the defendant bank as acquired assets consisting of six (6) parcels of land specifically identified under Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-106932 to T-106937. It is likewise beyond cavil that the bank intended to sell the property. As testified to by the Bank's Deputy Conservator, Jose Entereso, the bank was looking for buyers of the property. It is definite that the plaintiffs wanted to purchase the property and it was precisely for this purpose that they met with defendant Rivera, Manager of the Property Management Department of the defendant bank, in early August 1987. The procedure in the sale of acquired assets as well as the nature and scope of the authority of Rivera on the matter is clearly delineated in the testimony of Rivera himself, which testimony was relied upon by both the bank and by Rivera in their appeal briefs. Thus (TSN of July 30, 1990. pp. 19-20): A: The procedure runs this way: Acquired assets was turned over to me and then I published it in the form of an inter-office memorandum distributed to all branches that these are acquired assets for sale. I was instructed to advertise acquired assets for sale so on that basis, I have to entertain offer; to accept offer, formal offer and upon having been offered, I present it to the Committee. I provide the Committee with necessary information about the property such as original loan of the borrower, bid price during the foreclosure, total claim of the bank, the appraised value at the time the property is being offered for sale and then the information which are relative to the evaluation of the bank to buy which the Committee considers and it is the Committee that evaluate as against the exposure of the bank and it is also the Committee that submit to the Conservator for final approval and once approved, we have to execute the deed of sale and it is the Conservator that sign the deed of sale, sir. The plaintiffs, therefore, at that meeting of August 1987 regarding their purpose of buying the property, dealt with and talked to the right person. Necessarily, the agenda was the price of the property, and plaintiffs were dealing with the bank official

authorized to entertain offers, to accept offers and to present the offer to the Committee before which the said official is authorized to discuss information relative to price determination. Necessarily, too, it being inherent in his authority, Rivera is the officer from whom official information regarding the price, as determined by the Committee and approved by the Conservator, can be had. And Rivera confirmed his authority when he talked with the plaintiff in August 1987. The testimony of plaintiff Demetria is clear on this point (TSN of May 31,1990, pp. 27-28): Q: When you went to the Producers Bank and talked with Mr. Mercurio Rivera, did you ask him point-blank his authority to sell any property? A: No, sir. Not point blank although it came from him, (W)hen I asked him how long it would take because he was saying that the matter of pricing will be passed upon by the committee. And when I asked him how long it will take for the committee to decide and he said the committee meets every week. If I am not mistaken Wednesday and in about two week's (sic) time, in effect what he was saying he was not the one who was to decide. But he would refer it to the committee and he would relay the decision of the committee to me. Q Please answer the question. A He did not say that he had the authority (.) But he said he would refer the matter to the committee and he would relay the decision to me and he did just like that. "Parenthetically, the Committee referred to was the Past Due Committee of which Luis Co was the Head, with Jose Entereso as one of the members. What transpired after the meeting of early August 1987 are consistent with the authority and the duties of Rivera and the bank's internal procedure in the matter of the sale of bank's assets. As advised by Rivera, the plaintiffs made a formal offer by a letter dated August 20, 1987 stating that they would buy at the price of P3.5 Million in cash. The letter was for the attention of Mercurio Rivera who was tasked to convey and accept such offers. Considering an aspect of the official duty of Rivera as

some sort of intermediary between the plaintiffs-buyers with their proposed buying price on one hand, and the bank Committee, the Conservator and ultimately the bank itself with the set price on the other, and considering further the discussion of price at the meeting of August resulting in a formal offer of P3.5 Million in cash, there can be no other logical conclusion than that when, on September 1, 1987, Rivera informed plaintiffs by letter that "the bank's counter-offer is at P5.5 Million for more than 101 hectares on lot basis," such counter-offer price had been determined by the Past Due Committee and approved by the Conservator after Rivera had duly presented plaintiffs' offer for discussion by the Committee of such matters as original loan of borrower, bid price during foreclosure, total claim of the bank, and market value. Tersely put, under the established facts, the price of P5.5 Million was, as clearly worded in Rivera's letter (Exh. "E"), the official and definitive price at which the bank was selling the property. There were averments by defendants below, as well as before this Court, that the P5.5 Million price was not discussed by the Committee and that price. As correctly characterized by the trial court, this is not credible. The testimonies of Luis Co and Jose Entereso on this point are at best equivocal and considering the gratuitous and self-serving character of these declarations, the bank's submission on this point does not inspire belief. Both Co ad Entereso, as members of the Past Due Committee of the bank, claim that the offer of the plaintiff was never discussed by the Committee. In the same vein, both Co and Entereso openly admit that they seldom attend the meetings of the Committee. It is important to note that negotiations on the price had started in early August and the plaintiffs had already offered an amount as purchase price, having been made to understand by Rivera, the official in charge of the negotiation, that the price will be submitted for approval by the bank and that the bank's decision will be relayed to plaintiffs. From the facts, the official bank price. At any rate, the bank placed its official, Rivera, in a position of authority to accept offers to buy and negotiate the sale by having the offer officially acted upon by the bank. The bank cannot turn around and later say, as it now does, that what Rivera states as the bank's action on the matter is not in fact so. It is a familiar doctrine, the doctrine of ostensible authority, that if a corporation knowingly permits one of its officers, or any other agent, to do acts within the scope of an apparent authority, and thus holds him out to the public as possessing power to do those acts, the corporation will, as against any one who has in good faith dealt

with the corporation through such agent, he estopped from denying his authority (Francisco v. GSIS, 7 SCRA 577, 583-584; PNB v. Court of Appeals, 94 SCRA 357, 369-370; Prudential Bank v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 103957, June 14, 1993). 29 Article 1318 of the Civil Code enumerates the requisites of a valid and perfected contract as follows: "(1) Consent of the contracting parties; (2) Object certain which is the subject matter of the contract; (3) Cause of the obligation which is established." There is no dispute on requisite no. 2. The object of the questioned contract consists of the six (6) parcels of land in Sta. Rosa, Laguna with an aggregate area of about 101 hectares, more or less, and covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-106932 to T-106937. There is, however, a dispute on the first and third requisites. Petitioners allege that "there is no counter-offer made by the Bank, and any supposed counter-offer which Rivera (or Co) may have made is unauthorized. Since there was no counter-offer by the Bank, there was nothing for Ejercito (in substitution of Demetria and Janolo) to accept." 30 They disputed the factual basis of the respondent Court's findings that there was an offer made by Janolo for P3.5 million, to which the Bank counter-offered P5.5 million. We have perused the evidence but cannot find fault with the said Court's findings of fact. Verily, in a petition under Rule 45 such as this, errors of fact if there be any - are, as a rule, not reviewable. The mere fact that respondent Court (and the trial court as well) chose to believe the evidence presented by respondent more than that presented by petitioners is not by itself a reversible error. In fact, such findings merit serious consideration by this Court, particularly where, as in this case, said courts carefully and meticulously discussed their findings. This is basic. Be that as it may, and in addition to the foregoing disquisitions by the Court of Appeals, let us review the question of Rivera's authority to act and petitioner's allegations that the P5.5 million counter-offer was extinguished by the P4.25 million revised offer of Janolo. Here, there are questions of law which could be drawn from the factual findings of the respondent Court. They also delve into the contractual elements of consent and cause. The authority of a corporate officer in dealing with third persons may be actual or apparent. The doctrine of "apparent authority", with special

reference to banks, was laid out in Prudential Bank vs. Court of Appeals31, where it was held that: Conformably, we have declared in countless decisions that the principal is liable for obligations contracted by the agent. The agent's apparent representation yields to the principal's true representation and the contract is considered as entered into between the principal and the third person (citing National Food Authority vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 184 SCRA 166). A bank is liable for wrongful acts of its officers done in the interests of the bank or in the course of dealings of the officers in their representative capacity but not for acts outside the scape of their authority (9 C.J.S., p. 417). A bank holding out its officers and agents as worthy of confidence will not be permitted to profit by the frauds they may thus be enabled to perpetrate in the apparent scope of their employment; nor will it be permitted to shirk its responsibility for such frauds even though no benefit may accrue to the bank therefrom (10 Am Jur 2d, p. 114). Accordingly, a banking corporation is liable to innocent third persons where the representation is made in the course of its business by an agent acting within the general scope of his authority even though, in the particular case, the agent is secretly abusing his authority and attempting to perpetrate a fraud upon his principal or some other person, for his own ultimate benefit (McIntosh v. Dakota Trust Co., 52 ND 752, 204 NW 818, 40 ALR 1021). Application of these principles is especially necessary because banks have a fiduciary relationship with the public and their stability depends on the confidence of the people in their honesty and efficiency. Such faith will be eroded where banks do not exercise strict care in the selection and supervision of its employees, resulting in prejudice to their depositors. From the evidence found by respondent Court, it is obvious that petitioner Rivera has apparent or implied authority to act for the Bank in the matter of selling its acquired assets. This evidence includes the following: (a) The petition itself in par. II-i (p. 3) states that Rivera was "at all times material to this case, Manager of the Property Management

Department of the Bank". By his own admission, Rivera was already the person in charge of the Bank's acquired assets (TSN, August 6, 1990, pp. 8-9); (b) As observed by respondent Court, the land was definitely being sold by the Bank. And during the initial meeting between the buyers and Rivera, the latter suggested that the buyers' offer should be no less than P3.3 million (TSN, April 26, 1990, pp. 1617); (c) Rivera received the buyers' letter dated August 30, 1987 offering P3.5 million (TSN, 30 July 1990, p.11); (d) Rivera signed the letter dated September 1, 1987 offering to sell the property for P5.5 million (TSN, July 30, p. 11); (e) Rivera received the letter dated September 17, 1987 containing the buyers' proposal to buy the property for P4.25 million (TSN, July 30, 1990, p. 12); (f) Rivera, in a telephone conversation, confirmed that the P5.5 million was the final price of the Bank (TSN, January 16, 1990, p. 18); (g) Rivera arranged the meeting between the buyers and Luis Co on September 28, 1994, during which the Bank's offer of P5.5 million was confirmed by Rivera (TSN, April 26, 1990, pp. 34-35). At said meeting, Co, a major shareholder and officer of the Bank, confirmed Rivera's statement as to the finality of the Bank's counter-offer of P5.5 million (TSN, January 16, 1990, p. 21; TSN, April 26, 1990, p. 35); (h) In its newspaper advertisements and announcements, the Bank referred to Rivera as the officer acting for the Bank in relation to parties interested in buying assets owned/acquired by the Bank. In fact, Rivera was the officer mentioned in the Bank's advertisements offering for sale the property in question (cf. Exhs. "S" and "S-1"). In the very recent case of Limketkai Sons Milling, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, et. al.32, the Court, through Justice Jose A. R. Melo, affirmed the doctrine of apparent authority as it held that the apparent authority of the

officer of the Bank of P.I. in charge of acquired assets is borne out by similar circumstances surrounding his dealings with buyers. To be sure, petitioners attempted to repudiate Rivera's apparent authority through documents and testimony which seek to establish Rivera's actual authority. These pieces of evidence, however, are inherently weak as they consist of Rivera's self-serving testimony and various inter-office memoranda that purport to show his limited actual authority, of which private respondent cannot be charged with knowledge. In any event, since the issue is apparent authority, the existence of which is borne out by the respondent Court's findings, the evidence of actual authority is immaterial insofar as the liability of a corporation is concerned 33. Petitioners also argued that since Demetria and Janolo were experienced lawyers and their "law firm" had once acted for the Bank in three criminal cases, they should be charged with actual knowledge of Rivera's limited authority. But the Court of Appeals in its Decision (p. 12) had already made a factual finding that the buyers had no notice of Rivera's actual authority prior to the sale. In fact, the Bank has not shown that they acted as its counsel in respect to any acquired assets; on the other hand, respondent has proven that Demetria and Janolo merely associated with a loose aggrupation of lawyers (not a professional partnership), one of whose members (Atty. Susana Parker) acted in said criminal cases. Petitioners also alleged that Demetria's and Janolo's P4.25 million counter-offer in the letter dated September 17, 1987 extinguished the Bank's offer of P5.5 million 34 .They disputed the respondent Court's finding that "there was a meeting of minds when on 30 September 1987 Demetria and Janolo through Annex "L" (letter dated September 30, 1987) "accepted" Rivera's counter offer of P5.5 million under Annex "J" (letter dated September 17, 1987)",citing the late Justice Paras35, Art. 1319 of the Civil Code 36 and related Supreme Court rulings starting with Beaumont vs. Prieto 37. However, the above-cited authorities and precedents cannot apply in the instant case because, as found by the respondent Court which reviewed the testimonies on this point, what was "accepted" by Janolo in his letter dated September 30, 1987 was the Bank's offer of P5.5 million as confirmed and reiterated to Demetria and Atty. Jose Fajardo by Rivera and Co during their meeting on September 28, 1987. Note that the said letter of September 30, 1987 begins with"(p)ursuant to our discussion last 28 September 1987 . . .

Petitioners insist that the respondent Court should have believed the testimonies of Rivera and Co that the September 28, 1987 meeting "was meant to have the offerors improve on their position of P5.5. million."38However, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found petitioners' testimonial evidence "not credible", and we find no basis for changing this finding of fact. Indeed, we see no reason to disturb the lower courts' (both the RTC and the CA) common finding that private respondents' evidence is more in keeping with truth and logic that during the meeting on September 28, 1987, Luis Co and Rivera "confirmed that the P5.5 million price has been passed upon by the Committee and could no longer be lowered (TSN of April 27, 1990, pp. 34-35)"39. Hence, assuming arguendo that the counter-offer of P4.25 million extinguished the offer of P5.5 million, Luis Co's reiteration of the said P5.5 million price during the September 28, 1987 meeting revived the said offer. And by virtue of the September 30, 1987 letter accepting thisrevived offer, there was a meeting of the minds, as the acceptance in said letter was absolute and unqualified. We note that the Bank's repudiation, through Conservator Encarnacion, of Rivera's authority and action, particularly the latter's counter-offer of P5.5 million, as being "unauthorized and illegal" came only on May 12, 1988 or more than seven (7) months after Janolo' acceptance. Such delay, and the absence of any circumstance which might have justifiably prevented the Bank from acting earlier, clearly characterizes the repudiation as nothing more than a last-minute attempt on the Bank's part to get out of a binding contractual obligation. Taken together, the factual findings of the respondent Court point to an implied admission on the part of the petitioners that the written offer made on September 1, 1987 was carried through during the meeting of September 28, 1987. This is the conclusion consistent with human experience, truth and good faith. It also bears noting that this issue of extinguishment of the Bank's offer of P5.5 million was raised for the first time on appeal and should thus be disregarded. This Court in several decisions has repeatedly adhered to the principle that points of law, theories, issues of fact and arguments not adequately brought to the attention of the trial court need not be, and ordinarily will not be, considered by a reviewing court, as

they cannot be raised for the first time on appeal (Santos vs. IAC, No. 74243, November 14, 1986, 145 SCRA 592).40 . . . It is settled jurisprudence that an issue which was neither averred in the complaint nor raised during the trial in the court below cannot be raised for the first time on appeal as it would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice and due process (Dihiansan vs. CA, 153 SCRA 713 [1987]; Anchuelo vs. IAC, 147 SCRA 434 [1987]; Dulos Realty & Development Corp. vs. CA, 157 SCRA 425 [1988]; Ramos vs. IAC, 175 SCRA 70 [1989]; Gevero vs. IAC, G.R. 77029, August 30, 1990).41 Since the issue was not raised in the pleadings as an affirmative defense, private respondent was not given an opportunity in the trial court to controvert the same through opposing evidence. Indeed, this is a matter of due process. But we passed upon the issue anyway, if only to avoid deciding the case on purely procedural grounds, and we repeat that, on the basis of the evidence already in the record and as appreciated by the lower courts, the inevitable conclusion is simply that there was a perfected contract of sale. The Third Issue: Is the Contract Enforceable? The petition alleged42: Even assuming that Luis Co or Rivera did relay a verbal offer to sell at P5.5 million during the meeting of 28 September 1987, and it was this verbal offer that Demetria and Janolo accepted with their letter of 30 September 1987, the contract produced thereby would be unenforceable by action there being no note, memorandum or writing subscribed by the Bank to evidence such contract. (Please see article 1403[2], Civil Code.) Upon the other hand, the respondent Court in its Decision (p, 14) stated: . . . Of course, the bank's letter of September 1, 1987 on the official price and the plaintiffs' acceptance of the price on September 30, 1987, are not, in themselves, formal contracts of sale. They are however clear embodiments of the fact that a contract of sale was perfected between the parties, such contract being binding in whatever form it may have been entered into (case citations omitted). Stated simply, the banks' letter of September 1, 1987, taken together with plaintiffs' letter dated

September 30, 1987, constitute in law a sufficient memorandum of a perfected contract of sale. The respondent Court could have added that the written communications commenced not only from September 1, 1987 but from Janolo's August 20, 1987 letter. We agree that, taken together, these letters constitute sufficient memoranda since they include the names of the parties, the terms and conditions of the contract, the price and a description of the property as the object of the contract. But let it be assumed arguendo that the counter-offer during the meeting on September 28, 1987 did constitute a "new" offer which was accepted by Janolo on September 30, 1987. Still, the statute of frauds will not apply by reason of the failure of petitioners to object to oral testimony proving petitioner Bank's counter-offer of P5.5 million. Hence, petitioners by such utter failure to object are deemed to have waived any defects of the contract under the statute of frauds, pursuant to Article 1405 of the Civil Code: Art. 1405. Contracts infringing the Statute of Frauds, referred to in No. 2 of article 1403, are ratified by the failure to object to the presentation of oral evidence to prove the same, or by the acceptance of benefits under them. As private respondent pointed out in his Memorandum, oral testimony on the reaffirmation of the counter-offer of P5.5 million is a plenty and the silence of petitioners all throughout the presentation makes the evidence binding on them thus; A Yes, sir, I think it was September 28, 1987 and I was again present because Atty. Demetria told me to accompany him we were able to meet Luis Co at the Bank. xxx xxx xxx

A The 5.5 million pesos and Mr. Luis Co said that the amount cited by Mr. Mercurio Rivera is the final price and that is the price they intends (sic) to have, sir. Q What do you mean?. A That is the amount they want, sir. Q What is the reaction of the plaintiff Demetria to Luis Co's statement (sic) that the defendant Rivera's counter-offer of 5.5 million was the defendant's bank (sic) final offer? A He said in a day or two, he will make final acceptance, sir. Q What is the response of Mr. Luis Co?. A He said he will wait for the position of Atty. Demetria, sir. [Direct testimony of Atty. Jose Fajardo, TSN, January 16, 1990, at pp. 1821.] Q What transpired during that meeting between you and Mr. Luis Co of the defendant Bank? A We went straight to the point because he being a busy person, I told him if the amount of P5.5 million could still be reduced and he said that was already passed upon by the committee. What the bank expects which was contrary to what Mr. Rivera stated. And he told me that is the final offer of the bank P5.5 million and we should indicate our position as soon as possible. Q What was your response to the answer of Mr. Luis Co? A I said that we are going to give him our answer in a few days and he said that was it. Atty. Fajardo and I and Mr. Mercurio [Rivera] was with us at the time at his office. Q For the record, your Honor please, will you tell this Court who was with Mr. Co in his Office in Producers Bank Building during this meeting? A Mr. Co himself, Mr. Rivera, Atty. Fajardo and I.

Q Now, what transpired during this meeting with Luis Co of the Producers Bank? A Atty. Demetria asked Mr. Luis Co whether the price could be reduced, sir. Q What price?

Q By Mr. Co you are referring to? A Mr. Luis Co. Q After this meeting with Mr. Luis Co, did you and your partner accede on (sic) the counter offer by the bank? A Yes, sir, we did.? Two days thereafter we sent our acceptance to the bank which offer we accepted, the offer of the bank which is P5.5 million. [Direct testimony of Atty. Demetria, TSN, 26 April 1990, at pp. 34-36.] Q According to Atty. Demetrio Demetria, the amount of P5.5 million was reached by the Committee and it is not within his power to reduce this amount. What can you say to that statement that the amount of P5.5 million was reached by the Committee? A It was not discussed by the Committee but it was discussed initially by Luis Co and the group of Atty. Demetrio Demetria and Atty. Pajardo (sic) in that September 28, 1987 meeting, sir. [Direct testimony of Mercurio Rivera, TSN, 30 July 1990, pp. 14-15.] The Fourth Issue: May the Conservator Revoke the Perfected and Enforceable Contract. It is not disputed that the petitioner Bank was under a conservator placed by the Central Bank of the Philippines during the time that the negotiation and perfection of the contract of sale took place. Petitioners energetically contended that the conservator has the power to revoke or overrule actions of the management or the board of directors of a bank, under Section 28-A of Republic Act No. 265 (otherwise known as the Central Bank Act) as follows: Whenever, on the basis of a report submitted by the appropriate supervising or examining department, the Monetary Board finds that a bank or a non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions is in a state of continuing inability or unwillingness to maintain a state of liquidity deemed adequate to protect the interest of depositors and creditors, the Monetary Board may appoint a conservator to take charge of the assets, liabilities, and the management of that institution, collect all

monies and debts due said institution and exercise all powers necessary to preserve the assets of the institution, reorganize the management thereof, and restore its viability. He shall have the power to overrule or revoke the actions of the previous management and board of directors of the bank or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions, any provision of law to the contrary notwithstanding, and such other powers as the Monetary Board shall deem necessary. In the first place, this issue of the Conservator's alleged authority to revoke or repudiate the perfected contract of sale was raised for the first time in this Petition as this was not litigated in the trial court or Court of Appeals. As already stated earlier, issues not raised and/or ventilated in the trial court, let alone in the Court of Appeals, "cannot be raised for the first time on appeal as it would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice and due process."43 In the second place, there is absolutely no evidence that the Conservator, at the time the contract was perfected, actually repudiated or overruled said contract of sale. The Bank's acting conservator at the time, Rodolfo Romey, never objected to the sale of the property to Demetria and Janolo. What petitioners are really referring to is the letter of Conservator Encarnacion, who took over from Romey after the sale was perfected on September 30, 1987 (Annex V, petition) which unilaterally repudiated not the contract but the authority of Rivera to make a binding offer and which unarguably came months after the perfection of the contract. Said letter dated May 12, 1988 is reproduced hereunder: May 12, 1988 Atty. Noe C. Zarate Zarate Carandang Perlas & Ass. Suite 323 Rufino Building Ayala Avenue, Makati, Metro-Manila Dear Atty. Zarate: This pertains to your letter dated May 5, 1988 on behalf of Attys. Janolo and Demetria regarding the six (6) parcels of land located at Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

We deny that Producers Bank has ever made a legal counteroffer to any of your clients nor perfected a "contract to sell and buy" with any of them for the following reasons. In the "Inter-Office Memorandum" dated April 25, 1986 addressed to and approved by former Acting Conservator Mr. Andres I. Rustia, Producers Bank Senior Manager Perfecto M. Pascua detailed the functions of Property Management Department (PMD) staff and officers (Annex A.), you will immediately read that Manager Mr. Mercurio Rivera or any of his subordinates has no authority, power or right to make any alleged counteroffer. In short, your lawyer-clients did not deal with the authorized officers of the bank. Moreover, under Sec. 23 and 36 of the Corporation Code of the Philippines (Bates Pambansa Blg. 68.) and Sec. 28-A of the Central Bank Act (Rep. Act No. 265, as amended), only the Board of Directors/Conservator may authorize the sale of any property of the corportion/bank.. Our records do not show that Mr. Rivera was authorized by the old board or by any of the bank conservators (starting January, 1984) to sell the aforesaid property to any of your clients. Apparently, what took place were just preliminary discussions/consultations between him and your clients, which everyone knows cannot bind the Bank's Board or Conservator. We are, therefore, constrained to refuse any tender of payment by your clients, as the same is patently violative of corporate and banking laws. We believe that this is more than sufficient legal justification for refusing said alleged tender. Rest assured that we have nothing personal against your clients. All our acts are official, legal and in accordance with law. We also have no personal interest in any of the properties of the Bank. Please be advised accordingly. Very truly yours, (Sgd.) Leonida T. Encarnacion LEONIDA T. EDCARNACION Acting Conservator

In the third place, while admittedly, the Central Bank law gives vast and far-reaching powers to the conservator of a bank, it must be pointed out that such powers must be related to the "(preservation of) the assets of the bank, (the reorganization of) the management thereof and (the restoration of) its viability." Such powers, enormous and extensive as they are, cannot extend to the post-facto repudiation of perfected transactions, otherwise they would infringe against the non-impairment clause of the Constitution 44. If the legislature itself cannot revoke an existing valid contract, how can it delegate such non-existent powers to the conservator under Section 28-A of said law? Obviously, therefore, Section 28-A merely gives the conservator power to revoke contracts that are, under existing law, deemed to be defective i.e., void, voidable, unenforceable or rescissible. Hence, the conservator merely takes the place of a bank's board of directors. What the said board cannot do such as repudiating a contract validly entered into under the doctrine of implied authority the conservator cannot do either. Ineluctably, his power is not unilateral and he cannot simply repudiate valid obligations of the Bank. His authority would be only to bring court actions to assail such contracts as he has already done so in the instant case. A contrary understanding of the law would simply not be permitted by the Constitution. Neither by common sense. To rule otherwise would be to enable a failing bank to become solvent, at the expense of third parties, by simply getting the conservator to unilaterally revoke all previous dealings which had one way or another or come to be considered unfavorable to the Bank, yielding nothing to perfected contractual rights nor vested interests of the third parties who had dealt with the Bank. The Fifth Issue: Were There Reversible Errors of Facts? Basic is the doctrine that in petitions for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, findings of fact by the Court of Appeals are not reviewable by the Supreme Court. In Andres vs. Manufacturers Hanover & Trust Corporation, 45, we held: . . . The rule regarding questions of fact being raised with this Court in a petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court has been stated in Remalante vs. Tibe, G.R. No. 59514, February 25, 1988, 158 SCRA 138, thus: The rule in this jurisdiction is that only questions of law may be raised in a petition for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised

Rules of Court. "The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in cases brought to it from the Court of Appeals is limited to reviewing and revising the errors of law imputed to it, its findings of the fact being conclusive " [Chan vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-27488, June 30, 1970, 33 SCRA 737, reiterating a long line of decisions]. This Court has emphatically declared that "it is not the function of the Supreme Court to analyze or weigh such evidence all over again, its jurisdiction being limited to reviewing errors of law that might have been committed by the lower court" (Tiongco v. De la Merced, G. R. No. L-24426, July 25, 1974, 58 SCRA 89; Corona vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-62482, April 28, 1983, 121 SCRA 865; Baniqued vs. Court of Appeals, G. R. No. L-47531, February 20, 1984, 127 SCRA 596). "Barring, therefore, a showing that the findings complained of are totally devoid of support in the record, or that they are so glaringly erroneous as to constitute serious abuse of discretion, such findings must stand, for this Court is not expected or required to examine or contrast the oral and documentary evidence submitted by the parties" [Santa Ana, Jr. vs. Hernandez, G. R. No. L-16394, December 17, 1966, 18 SCRA 973] [at pp. 144-145.] Likewise, in Bernardo vs. Court of Appeals 46, we held: The resolution of this petition invites us to closely scrutinize the facts of the case, relating to the sufficiency of evidence and the credibility of witnesses presented. This Court so held that it is not the function of the Supreme Court to analyze or weigh such evidence all over again. The Supreme Court's jurisdiction is limited to reviewing errors of law that may have been committed by the lower court. The Supreme Court is not a trier of facts. . . . As held in the recent case of Chua Tiong Tay vs. Court of Appeals and Goldrock Construction and Development Corp. 47: The Court has consistently held that the factual findings of the trial court, as well as the Court of Appeals, are final and conclusive and may not be reviewed on appeal. Among the exceptional circumstances where a reassessment of facts found by the lower courts is allowed are when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures; when the inference made is manifestly absurd, mistaken or impossible; when there is grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts; when the judgment is premised on a misapprehension of facts; when the findings went beyond the

issues of the case and the same are contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellee. After a careful study of the case at bench, we find none of the above grounds present to justify the re-evaluation of the findings of fact made by the courts below. In the same vein, the ruling of this Court in the recent case of South Sea Surety and Insurance Company Inc. vs.Hon. Court of Appeals, et al. 48 is equally applicable to the present case: We see no valid reason to discard the factual conclusions of the appellate court, . . . (I)t is not the function of this Court to assess and evaluate all over again the evidence, testimonial and documentary, adduced by the parties, particularly where, such as here, the findings of both the trial court and the appellate court on the matter coincide. (emphasis supplied) Petitioners, however, assailed the respondent Court's Decision as "fraught with findings and conclusions which were not only contrary to the evidence on record but have no bases at all," specifically the findings that (1) the "Bank's counter-offer price of P5.5 million had been determined by the past due committee and approved by conservator Romey, after Rivera presented the same for discussion" and (2) "the meeting with Co was not to scale down the price and start negotiations anew, but a meeting on the already determined price of P5.5 million" Hence,citing Philippine National Bank vs. Court of Appeals 49, petitioners are asking us to review and reverse such factual findings. The first point was clearly passed upon by the Court of Appeals 50, thus: There can be no other logical conclusion than that when, on September 1, 1987, Rivera informed plaintiffs by letter that "the bank's counter-offer is at P5.5 Million for more than 101 hectares on lot basis, "such counter-offer price had been determined by the Past Due Committee and approved by the Conservator after Rivera had duly presented plaintiffs' offer for discussion by the Committee . . . Tersely put, under the established fact, the price of P5.5 Million was, as clearly worded in Rivera's letter (Exh. "E"), the official and definitive price at which the bank was selling the property. (p. 11, CA Decision) xxx xxx xxx

. . . The argument deserves scant consideration. As pointed out by plaintiff, during the meeting of September 28, 1987 between the plaintiffs, Rivera and Luis Co, the senior vice-president of the bank, where the topic was the possible lowering of the price, the bank official refused it and confirmed that the P5.5 Million price had been passed upon by the Committee and could no longer be lowered (TSN of April 27, 1990, pp. 34-35) (p. 15, CA Decision). The respondent Court did not believe the evidence of the petitioners on this point, characterizing it as "not credible" and "at best equivocal and considering the gratuitous and self-serving character of these declarations, the bank's submissions on this point do not inspire belief." To become credible and unequivocal, petitioners should have presented then Conservator Rodolfo Romey to testify on their behalf, as he would have been in the best position to establish their thesis. Under the rules on evidence 51, such suppression gives rise to the presumption that his testimony would have been adverse, if produced. The second point was squarely raised in the Court of Appeals, but petitioners' evidence was deemed insufficient by both the trial court and the respondent Court, and instead, it was respondent's submissions that were believed and became bases of the conclusions arrived at. In fine, it is quite evident that the legal conclusions arrived at from the findings of fact by the lower courts are valid and correct. But the petitioners are now asking this Court to disturb these findings to fit the conclusion they are espousing, This we cannot do. To be sure, there are settled exceptions where the Supreme Court may disregard findings of fact by the Court of Appeals 52. We have studied both the records and the CA Decision and we find no such exceptions in this case. On the contrary, the findings of the said Court are supported by a preponderance of competent and credible evidence. The inferences and conclusions are seasonably based on evidence duly identified in the Decision. Indeed, the appellate court patiently traversed and dissected the issues presented before it, lending credibility and dependability to its findings. The best that can be said in favor of petitioners on this point is that the factual findings of respondent Court did not correspond to petitioners' claims, but were closer to the evidence as presented in the trial court by private respondent. But this alone is no reason to reverse or ignore such factual findings, particularly where, as in this case, the trial court and the appellate court were in common agreement thereon.

Indeed, conclusions of fact of a trial judge as affirmed by the Court of Appeals are conclusive upon this Court, absent any serious abuse or evident lack of basis or capriciousness of any kind, because the trial court is in a better position to observe the demeanor of the witnesses and their courtroom manner as well as to examine the real evidence presented. Epilogue. In summary, there are two procedural issues involved forum-shopping and the raising of issues for the first time on appeal [viz., the extinguishment of the Bank's offer of P5.5 million and the conservator's powers to repudiate contracts entered into by the Bank's officers] which per se could justify the dismissal of the present case. We did not limit ourselves thereto, but delved as well into the substantive issues the perfection of the contract of sale and its enforceability, which required the determination of questions of fact. While the Supreme Court is not a trier of facts and as a rule we are not required to look into the factual bases of respondent Court's decisions and resolutions, we did so just the same, if only to find out whether there is reason to disturb any of its factual findings, for we are only too aware of the depth, magnitude and vigor by which the parties through their respective eloquent counsel, argued their positions before this Court. We are not unmindful of the tenacious plea that the petitioner Bank is operating abnormally under a government-appointed conservator and "there is need to rehabilitate the Bank in order to get it back on its feet . . . as many people depend on (it) for investments, deposits and well as employment. As of June 1987, the Bank's overdraft with the Central Bank had already reached P1.023 billion . . . and there were (other) offers to buy the subject properties for a substantial amount of money." 53 While we do not deny our sympathy for this distressed bank, at the same time, the Court cannot emotionally close its eyes to overriding considerations of substantive and procedural law, like respect for perfected contracts, non-impairment of obligations and sanctions against forum-shopping, which must be upheld under the rule of law and blind justice. This Court cannot just gloss over private respondent's submission that, while the subject properties may currently command a much higher price, it is equally true that at the time of the transaction in 1987, the price agreed upon of P5.5 million was reasonable, considering that the Bank

acquired these properties at a foreclosure sale for no more than P3.5 million 54. That the Bank procrastinated and refused to honor its commitment to sell cannot now be used by it to promote its own advantage, to enable it to escape its binding obligation and to reap the benefits of the increase in land values. To rule in favor of the Bank simply because the property in question has algebraically accelerated in price during the long period of litigation is to reward lawlessness and delays in the fulfillment of binding contracts. Certainly, the Court cannot stamp its imprimatur on such outrageous proposition. WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the questioned Decision and Resolution, the Court hereby DENIES the petition. The assailed Decision is AFFIRMED. Moreover, petitioner Bank is REPRIMANDED for engaging in forum-shopping and WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely. Costs against petitioners. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, C.J., Davide Jr., Melo and Francisco, JJ., concur. G.R. No. 100701 March 28, 2001

No. 6 and non-payment of holiday pay. In addition, private respondent prayed for damages.2 On 31 March 1989, Labor Arbiter Nieves V. de Castro found private respondent's claims to be unmeritorious and dismissed its complaint.3 In a complete reversal, however, the NLRC4 granted all of private respondent's claims, except for damages.5 The dispositive portion of the NLRC's decision provides WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appealed Decision is, as it is hereby, SET ASIDE and another one issued ordering respondent- appellee to pay complainant-appellant: 1. The unpaid bonus (mid-year and Christmas bonus) and 13th month pay; 2. Wage differentials under Wage Order No. 6 for November 1, 1984 and the corresponding adjustment thereof; and 3. Holiday pay under Article 94 of the Labor Code, but not to exceed three (3) years. The rest of the claims are dismissed for lack of merit. SO ORDERED. Petition filed a Motion for Partial Reconsideration, which was denied by the NLRC in a Resolution issued on 18 June 1991. Hence, recourse to this Court. Petitioner contends that the NLRC gravely abused its discretion in ruling as it did for the succeeding reasons stated in its Petition 1. On the alleged diminution of benefits, the NLRC gravely abused its discretion when (1) it contravened the Supreme Court decision in Traders Royal Bank v. NLRC, et al., G.R. No. 88168, promulgated on August 30, 1990, (2) its ruling is not justified by law and Art. 100 of the Labor Code, (3) its ruling is contrary to the CBA, and (4) the so-called "company practice invoked by it has no legal and moral bases" (p. 2, Motion for Partial Reconsideration, Annex "H");

PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION and PRODUCERS BANK EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION,1respondents. GONZAGA-REYES, J.: Before us is a special civil action for certiorari with prayer for preliminary injunction and/or restraining order seeking the nullification of (1) the decision of public respondent in NLRC-NCR Case No. 02-00753-88, entitled "Producers Bank Employees Association v. Producers Bank of the Philippines," promulgated on 30 April 1991, reversing the Labor Arbiter's dismissal of private respondent's complaint and (2) public respondent's resolution dated 18 June 1991 denying petitioner's motion for partial reconsideration.
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The present petition originated from a complaint filed by private respondent on 11 February 1988 with the Arbitration Branch, National Capital Region, National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC), charging petitioner with diminution of benefits, non-compliance with Wage Order

2. On the alleged non-compliance with Wage Order No. 6, the NLRC again gravely abused its discretion when it patently and palpably erred in holding that it is "more inclined to adopt the stance of appellant (private respondent UNION) in this issue since it is more in keeping with the law and its implementing provisions and the intendment of the parties as revealed in their CBA" without giving any reason or justification for such conclusions as the stance of appellant (private respondent UNION) does not traverse the clear and correct finding and conclusion of the Labor Arbiter. Furthermore, the petitioner, under conservatorship and distressed, is exempted under Wage Order No. 6. Finally, the "wage differentials under Wage Order No. 6 for November 1, 1984 and the corresponding adjustment thereof" (par. 2, dispositive portion, NLRC Decision), has prescribed (p. 12, Motion for Partial Reconsideration, Annex "H").

2. When P.D. 851, the law granting a 13th month pay, took effect, the basic pay previously being given as part of the Christmas bonus was applied as compliance to it (P.D. 851), the allowances remained as Christmas bonus; 3. From 1981 up to 1983, the bank continued giving one month basic pay as mid-year bonus, one month basic pay as 13th month pay but the Christmas bonus was no longer based on the allowance but on the basic pay of the employees which is higher; 4. In the early part of 1984, the bank was placed under conservatorship but it still provided the traditional mid-year bonus; 5. By virtue of an alleged Monetary Board Resolution No. 1566, bank only gave a one-half (1/2) month basic pay as compliance of the 13th month pay and none for the Christmas bonus. In a tabular form, here are the bank's violations: MID- YEAR BONUS one mo. basic [one mo. basic] one-half mo. basic one-half mo. basic one-half mo. basic CHRISTMAS BONUS one mo. basic -none-noneone-half mo. basic one-half mo. basic

3. On the alleged non-payment of legal holiday pay, the NLRC again YEAR gravely abused its discretion when it patently and palpably erred in approving and adopting "the position of appellant (private respondent previous years UNION)" without giving any reason or justification therefor which position does not squarely traverse or refute the Labor Arbiter's correct finding 1984 and ruling (p. 18, Motion for Partial Reconsideration, Annex "H").6 1985 On 29 July 1991, the Court granted petitioner's prayer for a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents from executing the 30 April 1991 1986 Decision and 18 June 1991 Resolution of the NLRC.7 1987 Coming now to the merits of the petition, the Court shall discuss the issues ad seriatim. Bonuses As to the bonuses, private respondent declared in its position papers filed with the NLRC that 1. Producers Bank of the Philippines, a banking institution, has been providing several benefits to its employees since 1971 when it started its operation. Among the benefits it had been regularly giving is a mid-year bonus equivalent to an employee's one-month basic pay and a Christmas bonus equivalent to an employee's one whole month salary (basic pay plus allowance);

13TH MO. PAY

one mo. Basi

one-half mo. Ba

one-half mo. Ba

one mo. Basi

one mo. basic

Private respondent argues that the mid-year and Christmas bonuses, by reason of their having been given for thirteen consecutive years, have ripened into a vested right and, as such, can no longer be unilaterally withdrawn by petitioner without violating Article 100 of Presidential Decree No. 4429 which prohibits the diminution or elimination of benefits already being enjoyed by the employees. Although private respondent concedes that the grant of a bonus is discretionary on the part of the employer, it argues that, by reason of its long and regular concession, it may become part of the employee's regular compensation.10

On the other hand, petitioner asserts that it cannot be compelled to pay the alleged bonus differentials due to its depressed financial condition, as evidenced by the fact that in 1984 it was placed under conservatorship by the Monetary Board. According to petitioner, it sustained losses in the millions of pesos from 1984 to 1988, an assertion which was affirmed by the labor arbiter. Moreover, petitioner points out that the collective bargaining agreement of the parties does not provide for the payment of any mid-year or Christmas bonus. On the contrary, section 4 of the collective bargaining agreement states that Acts of Grace. Any other benefits or privileges which are not expressly provided in this Agreement, even if now accorded or hereafter accorded to the employees, shall be deemed purely acts of grace dependent upon the sole judgment and discretion of the BANK to grant, modify or withdraw .11 A bonus is an amount granted and paid to an employee for his industry and loyalty which contributed to the success of the employer's business and made possible the realization of profits. It is an act of generosity granted by an enlightened employer to spur the employee to greater efforts for the success of the business and realization of bigger profits.12 The granting of a bonus is a management prerogative, something given in addition to what is ordinarily received by or strictly due the recipient.13 Thus, a bonus is not a demandable and enforceable obligation,14 except when it is made part of the wage, salary or compensation of the employee.15 However, an employer cannot be forced to distribute bonuses which it can no longer afford to pay. To hold otherwise would be to penalize the employer for his past generosity. Thus, in Traders Royal Bank v. NLRC,16 we held that It is clear x x x that the petitioner may not be obliged to pay bonuses to its employees. The matter of giving them bonuses over and above their lawful salaries and allowances is entirely dependent on the profits, if any, realized by the Bank from its operations during the past year. From 1979-1985, the bonuses were less because the income of the Bank had decreased. In 1986, the income of the Bank was only 20.2 million pesos, but the Bank still gave out the usual two (2) months basic mid-year and two months gross year-end bonuses. The petitioner pointed out, however, that the Bank

weakened considerably after 1986 on account of political developments in the country. Suspected to be a Marcos-owned or controlled bank, it was placed under sequestration by the present administration and is now managed by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG). In light of these submissions of the petitioner, the contention of the Union that the granting of bonuses to the employees had ripened into a company practice that may not be adjusted to the prevailing financial condition of the Bank has no legal and moral bases. Its fiscal condition having declined, the Bank may not be forced to distribute bonuses which it can no longer afford to pay and, in effect, be penalized for its past generosity to its employees. Private respondent's contention, that the decrease in the midyear and year-end bonuses constituted a diminution of the employees' salaries, is not correct, for bonuses are not part of labor standards in the same class as salaries, cost of living allowances, holiday pay, and leave benefits, which are provided by the Labor Code. This doctrine was reiterated in the more recent case of Manila Banking Corporation v. NLR17 wherein the Court made the following pronouncements By definition, a "bonus" is a gratuity or act of liberality of the giver which the recipient has no right to demand as a matter of right. It is something given in addition to what is ordinarily received by or strictly due the recipient. The granting of a bonus is basically a management prerogative which cannot be forced upon the employer who may not be obliged to assume the onerous burden of granting bonuses or other benefits aside from the employee's basic salaries or wages, especially so if it is incapable of doing so. xxx xxx xxx Clearly then, a bonus is an amount given ex gratia to an employee by an employer on account of success in business or realization of profits. How then can an employer be made liable to pay additional benefits in the nature of bonuses to its employees

when it has been operating on considerable net losses for a given period of time? Records bear out that petitioner Manilabank was already in dire financial straits in the mid-80's. As early as 1984, the Central Bank found that Manila bank had been suffering financial losses. Presumably, the problems commenced even before their discovery in 1984. As earlier chronicled, the Central Bank placed petitioner bank under comptrollership in 1984 because of liquidity problems and excessive interbank borrowings. In 1987, it was placed under receivership and ordered to close operation. In 1988, it was ordered liquidated. It is evident, therefore, that petitioner bank was operating on net losses from the years 1984, 1985 and 1986, thus, resulting to its eventual closure in 1987 and liquidation in 1988. Clearly, there was no success in business or realization of profits to speak of that would warrant the conferment of additional benefits sought by private respondents. No company should be compelled to act liberally and confer upon its employees additional benefits over and above those mandated by law when it is plagued by economic difficulties and financial losses. No act of enlightened generosity and self-interest can be exacted from near empty , if not empty coffers. It was established by the labor arbiter18 and the NLRC19 and admitted by both parties20 that petitioner was placed under conservatorship by the Monetary Board, pursuant to its authority under Section 28-A of Republic Act No. 265,21 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 72,22 which provides Sec.28-A. Appointment of conservator. - Whenever, on the basis of a report submitted by the appropriate supervising and examining department, the Monetary Board finds that a bank is in a state of continuing inability or unwillingness to maintain a condition of solvency and liquidity deemed adequate to protect the interest of depositors and creditors, the Monetary Board may appoint a conservator to take charge of the assets, liabilities, and the management of that banking institution, collect all monies and debts due said bank and exercise all powers necessary to preserve the assets of the bank, reorganize the management thereof and restore its viability .He shall have the power to overrule or revoke "the actions of the previous management and board of directors of the bank, any provision of law to the contrary

notwithstanding, and such other powers as the Monetary Board shall deem necessary.
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xxx xxx xxx Under Section 28-A, the Monetary Board may place a bank under the control of a conservator when it finds that the bank is continuously unable or unwilling to maintain a condition of solvency or liquidity .In Central Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals,23 the Court declared that the order placing petitioner herein under conservatorship had long become final and its validity could no longer be litigated upon. Also, in the same case, the Court found that sometime in August, 1983, some news items triggered a bank-run in petitioner which resulted in continuous overdrawings on petitioner's demand deposit account with the Central Bank; the over- drawings reached P143.955 million by 17 January 1984; and as of 13 February 1990, petitioner had over-drawings of up to P1.233 billion, which evidences petitioner's continuing inability to maintain a condition of solvency and liquidity, thus justifying the conservatorship. Our findings in the Central Bank case coincide with petitioner's claims that it continuously suffered losses from 1984 to 1988 as follows YEAR 1984 1985 1986 1987 January-February 1988 NET LOSSES IN MILLIONS OF PESOS P 144.418 P 144.940 P 132.940 P 84.182 P 9.271

These losses do not include the interest expenses on the overdraft loan of the petitioner to the Central Bank, which interest as of July 31, 1987, amounted to P610.065 Million, and penalties on reserve deficiencies which amounted to P89.029 Million. The principal balance of the overdraft amounted to P971.632 Million as of March 16, 1988.24

Petitioner was not only experiencing a decline in its profits, but was YEAR reeling from tremendous losses triggered by a bank-run which began in 1983. In such a depressed financial condition, petitioner cannot be legally 1984 compelled to continue paying the same amount of bonuses to its employees. Thus, the conservator was justified in reducing the mid-year 1985 and Christmas bonuses of petitioner's employees. To hold otherwise would be to defeat the reason for the conservatorship which is to 1986 preserve the assets and restore the viability of the financially precarious bank. Ultimately, it is to the employees' advantage that the 1987 conservatorship achieve its purposes for the alternative would be petitioner's closure whereby employees would lose not only their benefits, 1988 but their jobs as well. 13th Month Pay With regard to the 13th month pay, the NLRC adopted the position taken by private respondent and held that the conservator was not justified in diminishing or not paying the 13th month pay and that petitioner should have instead applied for an exemption, in accordance with section 7 of Presidential Decree No. 851 (PD 851), as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1364, but that it did not do so.25 The NLRC held that the actions of the conservator ran counter to the provisions of PD 851.
26

MID- YEAR BONUS 1 month basic month basic month basic 1/2 month basic 1/2 month basic

13th MONTH PAY None None 1/2 month basic month basic month basic

CHRISTMAS BONUS month basic month basic 1 month basic 1 month basic 1 month basic

Petitioner argues that it is not covered by PD 851 since the mid-year and Christmas bonuses it has been giving its employees from 1984 to 1988 exceeds the basic salary for one month (except for 1985 where a total of one month basic salary was given). Hence, this amount should be applied towards the satisfaction of the 13th month pay, pursuant to Section 2 of PD 851.28

PD 851, which was issued by President Marcos on 16 December 1975, requires all employers to pay their employees receiving a basic salary of In its position paper, private respondent claimed that petitioner made not more than P 1,000 a month,29 regardless of the nature of the the following payments to its members employment, a 13th month pay, not later than December 24 of every year.30 However, employers already paying their employees a 13th month th MID-YEAR BONUS 13 MONTH PAY CHRISTMAS BONUS pay or its equivalent are not covered by the law. Under the Revised Guidelines on the Implementation of the 13th-Month Pay Law,31 the term 1 month basic month basic None "equivalent" shall be construed to include Christmas bonus, mid-year bonus, cash bonuses and other payments amounting to not less than month basic month basic None 1/12 of the basic salary. The intention of the law was to grant some relief - not to all workers - but only to those not actually paid a 13thmonth salary month basic 1 month basic month basic or what amounts to it, by whatever name called. It was not envisioned that a double burden would be imposed on the employer already paying month basic 1 month basic month basic his employees a 13th month pay or its equivalent whether out of pure generosity or on the basis of a binding agreement. To impose upon an employer already giving his employees the equivalent of a 13th month pay would be to penalize him for his liberality and in all probability, the employer would react by withdrawing the bonuses or resist further 27 However, in its Memorandum filed before this Court, private respondent voluntary grants for fear that if and when a law is passed giving the same revised its claims as follows benefits, his prior concessions might not be given due credit.32

In the case at bar, even assuming the truth of private respondent's claims as contained in its position paper or Memorandum regarding the payments received by its members in the form of 13th month pay, midyear bonus and Christmas bonus, it is noted that, for each and every year involved, the total amount given by petitioner would still exceed, or at least be equal to, one month basic salary and thus, may be considered as an "equivalent" of the 13thmonth pay mandated by PD 851. Thus, petitioner is justified in crediting the mid-year bonus and Christmas bonus as part of the 13th month pay. Wage Order No. 6 Wage Order No.6, which came into effect on 1 November 1984, increased the statutory minimum wage of workers, with different increases being specified for agricultural plantation and non-agricultural workers. The bone of contention, however, involves Section 4 thereof which reads All wage increase in wage and/or allowance granted by employers between June 17, 1984 and the effectivity of this Order shall be credited as compliance with the minimum wage and allowance adjustments prescribed herein, provided that where the increases are less than the applicable amount provided in this Order, the employer shall pay the difference. Such increases shall not include anniversary wage increases provided in collective bargaining agreements unless the agreement expressly provide otherwise. On 16 November 1984, the parties entered into a collective bargaining agreement providing for the following salary adjustments Article VIII. Section 1. Salary Adjustments. - Cognizant of the effects of, among others, price increases of oil and other commodities on the employees' wages and earnings, and the certainty of continued governmental or statutory actions adjusting employees' minimum wages, earnings, allowances, bonuses and other fringe benefits, the parties have formulated and agreed on the following highly substantial packaged increases in salary and allowance which take into account and cover (a) any deflation in income of employees because of such price increases and inflation and (b) the expected governmental response thereto in

the form of statutory adjustments in wages, allowances and benefits, during the next three (3) years of this Agreement: (i) Effective March 1, 1984 - P225.00 per month as salary increase plus P100.00 per month as increase in allowance to employees within the bargaining unit on March 1, 1984. (ii) Effective March 1,1985 -P125.00 per month as salary increase plus P100.00 per month as increase in allowance to employees within the bargaining unit on March 1,1985. (iii) Effective March 1,1986 -P125.00 per month as salary increase plus P100.00 per month as increase in allowance to employees within the bargaining unit on March 1, 1986. In addition, the collective bargaining agreement of the parties also included a provision on the chargeability of such salary or allowance increases against government-ordered or legislated income adjustments Section 2. Pursuant to the MOLE Decision dated October 2, 1984 and Order dated October 24, 1984, the first-year salary and allowance increases shall be chargeable against adjustments under Wage Order No. 5, which took effect on June 16, 1984. The charge ability of the foregoing salary increases against government-ordered or legislated income adjustments subsequent to Wage Order No. 5 shall be determined on the basis of the provisions of such government orders or legislation. Petitioner argues that it complied with Wage Order No. 6 because the first year salary and allowance increase provided for under the collective bargaining agreement can be credited against the wage and allowance increase mandated by such wage order. Under Wage Order No. 6, all increases in wages or allowances granted by the employer between 17 June 1984 and 1 November 1984 shall be credited as compliance with the wage and allowance adjustments prescribed therein. Petitioner asserts that although the collective bargaining agreement was signed by the parties on 16 November. 1984, the first year salary and allowance increase was made to take effect retroactively, beginning from 1 March 1984 until 28 February 1985. Petitioner maintains that this period encompasses the period of creditability provided for under Wage Order No. 6 and that, therefore, the balance remaining after applying the first year salary and allowance increase in the collective bargaining

agreement to the increase mandated by Wage Order No. 5, in the amount of P125.00, should be made chargeable against the increase prescribed by Wage Order No. 6, and if not sufficient, petitioner is willing to pay the difference.33 On the other hand, private respondent contends that the first year salary and allowance increases under the collective bargaining agreement cannot be applied towards the satisfaction of the increases prescribed by Wage Order No. 6 because the former were not granted within the period of creditability provided for in such wage order. According to private respondent, the significant dates with regard to the granting of the first year increases are 9 November 1984 the date of issuance of the MOLE Resolution, 16 November 1984 - the date when the collective bargaining agreement was signed by the parties and 1 March 1984 the retroactive date of effectivity of the first year increases. Private respondent points out that none of these dates fall within the period of creditability under Wage Order No. 6 which is from 17 June 1984 to 1 November 1984. Thus, petitioner has not complied with Wage Order No. 6.34 The creditability provision in Wage Order No. 6 is based on important public policy, that is, the encouragement of employers to grant wage and allowance increases to their employees higher than the minimum rates of increases prescribed by statute or administrative regulation. Thus, we held in Apex Mining Company, Inc. v. NLRC35 that [t]o obliterate the creditability provisions in the Wage Orders through interpretation or otherwise, and to compel employers simply to add on legislated increases in salaries or allowances without regard to what is already being paid, would be to penalize employers who grant their workers more than the statutorily prescribed minimum rates of increases. Clearly, this would be counter-productive so far as securing the interest of labor is concerned. The creditability provisions in the Wage Orders prevent the penalizing of employers who are industry leaders and who do not wait for statutorily prescribed increases in salary or allowances and pay their workers more than what the law or regulations require. Section 1 of Article VIII of the collective bargaining agreement of the parties states that "...the parties have formulated and agreed on the following highly substantial packaged increases in salary and allowance which take into account and cover (a) any deflation in income of employees because of such price increases and inflation and (b) the expected governmental response thereto in the form of statutory

adjustments in wages, allowances and benefits, during the next three (3) years of this Agreement..." The unequivocal wording of this provision manifests the clear intent of the parties to apply the wage and allowance increases stipulated in the collective bargaining agreement to any statutory wage and allowance, adjustments issued during the effectivity of such agreement from 1 March 1984 to 28 February 1987. Furthermore, contrary to private respondent's contentions, there is nothing in the wording of Section 2 of Article VIII of the collective bargaining agreement that would prevent petitioner from crediting the first year salary and allowance increases against the increases prescribed by Wage Order No. 6. It would be inconsistent with the above stated rationale underlying the creditability provision of Wage Order No. 6 if, after applying the first year increase to Wage Order No. 5, the balance was not made chargeable to the increases under Wage Order No. 6 for the fact remains that petitioner actually granted wage and allowance increases sufficient to cover the increases mandated by Wage Order No. 5 and part of the increases mandated by Wage Order No. 6. Holiday Pay Article 94 of the Labor Code provides that every worker shall be paid his regular daily wage during regular holidays36 and that the employer may require an employee to work on any holiday but such employee shall be paid a compensation equivalent to twice his regular rate. In this case, the Labor Arbiter found that the divisor used by petitioner in arriving at the employees' daily rate for the purpose of computing salary-related benefits is 314.37This finding was not disputed by the NLRC.38 However, the divisor was reduced to 303 by virtue of an inter-office memorandum issued on 13 August 1986, to wit To increase the rate of overtime pay for rank and filers, we are pleased to inform that effective August 18, 1986, the acting Conservator approved the use of 303 days as divisor in the computation of Overtime pay. The present Policy of 314 days as divisor used in the computation for cash conversion and determination of daily rate, among others, still remain, Saturdays, therefore, are still considered paid rest days. Corollarily, the Acting Conservator also approved the increase of meal allowance from P25.00 to P30.00 for a minimum of four (4) hours of work for Saturdays.

Proceeding from the unambiguous terms of the above quoted memorandum, the Labor Arbiter observed that the reduction of the divisor to 303 was for the sole purpose of increasing the employees' overtime pay and was not meant to replace the use of 314 as the divisor in the computation of the daily rate for salary-related benefits.39 Private respondent admits that, prior to 18 August 1986, petitioner used a divisor of 314 in arriving at the daily wage rate of monthly-salaried employees. Private respondent also concedes that the divisor was changed to 303 for purposes of computing overtime pay only. In its Memorandum, private respondent states that 49. The facts germane to this issue are not debatable. The Memorandum Circular issued by the Acting Conservator is clear. Prior to August 18,1986, the petitioner bank used a divisor of 314 days in arriving at the daily wage rate of the monthly-salaried employees. Effective August 18, 1986, this was changed. It adopted the following formula: Basic salary x 12 months = Daily Wage Rate 303 days 50. By utilizing this formula even up to the present, the conclusion is inescapable that the petitioner bank is not actually paying its employees the regular holiday pay mandated by law. Consequently, it is bound to pay the salary differential of its employees effective November 1, 1974 up to the present. xxx xxx xxx

In Union of Filipro Employees v. Vivar, ]r.41 the Court held that "[t]he divisor assumes an important role in determining whether or not holiday pay is already included in the monthly paid employee's salary and in the computation of his daily rate." This was also our ruling in Chartered Bank Employees Association v. Ople,42 as follows It is argued that even without the presumption found in the rules and in the policy instruction, the company practice indicates that the monthly salaries of the employees are so computed as to include the holiday pay provided by law. The petitioner contends otherwise. One strong argument in favor of the petitioner's stand is the fact that the Chartered Bank, in computing overtime compensation for its employees, employs a "divisor" of 251 days. The 251 working days divisor is the result of subtracting all Saturdays, Sundays and the ten (10) legal holidays form the total number of calendar days in a year. If the employees are already paid for all nonworking days, the divisor should be 365 and not 251. Apparently, the divisor of 314 is arrived at by subtracting all Sundays from the total number of calendar days in a year, since Saturdays are considered paid rest days, as stated in the inter-office memorandum. Thus, the use of 314 as a divisor leads to the inevitable conclusion that the ten legal holidays are already included therein. We agree with the labor arbiter that the reduction of the divisor to 303 was done for the sole purpose of increasing the employees' overtime pay, and was not meant to exclude holiday pay from the monthly salary of petitioner's employees. In fact, it was expressly stated in the interoffice memorandum - also referred to by private respondent in its pleadings - that the divisor of 314 will still be used in the computation for cash conversion and in the determination of the daily rate. Thus, based on the records of this case and the parties' own admissions, the Court holds that petitioner has complied with the requirements of Article 94 of the Labor Code.
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54. Since it is a question of fact, the Inter-office Memorandum dated August 13,1986 (Annex "E") provides for a divisor of 303 days in computing overtime pay. The clear import of this document is that from the 365 days in a year, we deduct 52 rest days which gives a total of 313 days. Now, if 313 days is the number of working days of the employees then, there is a disputable presumption that the employees are paid their holiday pay. However, this is not so in the case at bar. The bank uses 303 days as its divisor. Hence, it is not paying its employees their corresponding holiday pay.40

Damages As to private respondent's claim for damages, the NLRC was correct in ruling that there is no basis to support the same.

WHEREFORE, for the reasons above stated, the 30 April 1991 Decision of public respondent in NLRC-NCR Case No. 02-00753-88, entitled "Producers Bank Employees Association v. Producers Bank of the Philippines," and its 18 June 1991 - Resolution issued in the same case are hereby SET ASIDE, with the exception of public respondent's ruling on damages. SO ORDERED. G.R. No. 150886 February 16, 2007

management of the bank had been accordingly informed of the need to infuse additional capital to place the bank in a solvent financial condition and was given adequate time within which to make the required infusion and that no infusion of adequate fresh capital was made, the Board decided as follows: 1. To prohibit the bank from doing business in the Philippines and to place its assets and affairs under receivership in accordance with Section 30 of [RA 7653]; 2. To designate the [PDIC] as receiver of the bank;

RURAL BANK OF SAN MIGUEL, INC. and HILARIO P. SORIANO, in his capacity as majority stockholder in the Rural Bankof San Miguel, Inc., Petitioners, vs. MONETARY BOARD, BANGKO SENTRAL NG PILIPINAS and PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, Respondents. DECISION CORONA, J.: This is a petition for review on certiorari1 of a decision2 and resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated March 28, 2000 and November 13, 2001, respectively, in CA-G.R. SP No. 57112. Petitioner Rural Bank of San Miguel, Inc. (RBSM) was a domestic corporation engaged in banking. It started operations in 1962 and by year 2000 had 15 branches in Bulacan.4 Petitioner Hilario P. Soriano claims to be the majority stockholder of its outstanding shares of stock.5 On January 21, 2000, respondent Monetary Board (MB), the governing board of respondent Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), issued Resolution No. 105 prohibiting RBSM from doing business in the Philippines, placing it under receivership and designating respondent Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) as receiver: On the basis of the comptrollership/monitoring report as of October 31, 1999 as reported by Mr. Wilfredo B. Domo-ong, Director, Department of Rural Banks, in his memorandum dated January 20, 2000, which report showed that [RBSM] (a) is unable to pay its liabilities as they become due in the ordinary course of business; (b) cannot continue in business without involving probable losses to its depositors and creditors; that the

xxx xxx xxx6 On January 31, 2000, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Branch 22 to nullify and set aside Resolution No. 105.7 However, on February 7, 2000, petitioners filed a notice of withdrawal in the RTC and, on the same day, filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition in the CA. On February 8, 2000, the RTC dismissed the case pursuant to Section 1, Rule 17 of the Rules of Court.8 The CAs findings of facts were as follows. To assist its impaired liquidity and operations, the RBSM was granted emergency loans on different occasions in the aggregate amount of P375 [million]. As early as November 18, 1998, Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) advised RBSM that it will terminate the clearing of RBSMs checks in view of the latters frequent clearing losses and continuing failure to replenish its Special Clearing Demand Deposit with LBP. The BSP interceded with LBP not to terminate the clearing arrangement of RBSM to protect the interests of RBSMs depositors and creditors. After a year, or on November 29, 1999, the LBP informed the BSP of the termination of the clearing facility of RBSM to take effect on December 29, 1999, in view of the clearing problems of RBSM. On December 28, 1999, the MB approved the release of P26.189 [million] which is the last tranche of the P375 million emergency loan for the sole purpose of servicing and meeting the withdrawals of its depositors. Of theP26.180 million, xxx P12.6 million xxx was not used to

service withdrawals [and] remains unaccounted for as admitted by [RBSMs Treasury Officer and Officer-in-Charge of Treasury]. Instead of servicing withdrawals of depositors, RBSM paid Forcecollect Professional Solution, Inc. and Surecollect Professional, Inc., entities which are owned and controlled by Hilario P. Soriano and other RBSM officers. On January 4, 2000, RBSM declared a bank holiday. RBSM and all of its 15 branches were closed from doing business. Alarmed and disturbed by the unilateral declaration of bank holiday, [BSP] wanted to examine the books and records of RBSM but encountered problems. Meanwhile, on November 10, 1999, RBSMs designated comptroller, Ms. Zenaida Cabais of the BSP, submitted to the Department of Rural Banks, BSP, a Comptrollership Report on her findings on the financial condition and operations of the bank as of October 31, 1999. Another set of findings was submitted by said comptroller [and] this second report reflected the financial status of RBSM as of December 31, 1999. The findings of the comptroller on the financial state of RBSM as of October 31, 1999 in comparison with the financial condition as of December 31, 1999 is summed up pertinently as follows: FINANCIAL CONDITION OF RBSM As of Oct. 31, 1999 As of Dec. 31, 1999 Total obligations/ Liabilities P1,076,863,000.00 1,009,898,000.00 796,930,000.00 212,968,000.00 8,266,450.00

1) Deposits of 20,000 depositors P578,201,000.00 2) Borrowings from BSP P320,907,000.00 3) Unremitted withholding and gross receipt taxes P57,403,000.00.9 Based on these comptrollership reports, the director of the Department of Rural Banks Supervision and Examination Sector, Wilfredo B. Domo-ong, made a report to the MB dated January 20, 2000.10 The MB, after evaluating and deliberating on the findings and recommendation of the Department of Rural Banks Supervision and Examination Sector, issued Resolution No. 105 on January 21, 2000.11 Thereafter, PDIC implemented the closure order and took over the management of RBSMs assets and affairs. In their petition12 before the CA, petitioners claimed that respondents MB and BSP committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing Resolution No. 105. The petition was dismissed by the CA on March 28, 2000. It held, among others, that the decision of the MB to issue Resolution No. 105 was based on the findings and recommendations of the Department of Rural Banks Supervision and Examination Sector, the comptroller reports as of October 31, 1999 and December 31, 1999 and the declaration of a bank holiday. Such could be considered as substantial evidence.13 Pertinently, on June 9, 2000, on the basis of reports prepared by PDIC stating that RBSM could not resume business with sufficient assurance of protecting the interest of its depositors, creditors and the general public, the MB passed Resolution No. 966 directing PDIC to proceed with the liquidation of RBSM under Section 30 of RA 7653.14 Hence this petition. It is well-settled that the closure of a bank may be considered as an exercise of police power.15 The action of the MB on this matter is final and executory.16 Such exercise may nonetheless be subject to judicial inquiry and can be set aside if found to be in excess of jurisdiction or with such grave abuse of discretion as to amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction.17 Petitioners argue that Resolution No. 105 was bereft of any basis considering that no complete examination had been conducted before it was issued. This case essentially boils down to one core issue: whether Section 30 of RA 7653 (also known as the New Central Bank Act) and

Realizable Assets 898,588,000.00 Deficit Cash on Hand 178,275,000.00 101,441.547.00

Required Capital Infusion P252,120,000.00 Capital Infusion P5,000,000.00 (On Dec. 20, 1999) Actual Breakdown of Total Obligations:

applicable jurisprudence require a current and completeexamination of the bank before it can be closed and placed under receivership. Section 30 of RA 7653 provides: SECTION 30. Proceedings in Receivership and Liquidation. Whenever, upon report of the head of the supervising or examining department, the Monetary Board finds that a bank or quasi-bank: (a) is unable to pay its liabilities as they become due in the ordinary course of business: Provided, That this shall not include inability to pay caused by extraordinary demands induced by financial panic in the banking community; (b) has insufficient realizable assets, as determined by the [BSP] to meet its liabilities; or (c) cannot continue in business without involving probable losses to its depositors or creditors; or (d) has willfully violated a cease and desist order under Section 37 that has become final, involving acts or transactions which amount to fraud or a dissipation of the assets of the institution; in which cases, the Monetary Board may summarily and without need for prior hearing forbid the institution from doing business in the Philippines and designate the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver of the banking institution. xxx xxx xxx The actions of the Monetary Board taken under this section or under Section 29 of this Act shall be final and executory, and may not be restrained or set aside by the court except on petition for certiorari on the ground that the action taken was in excess of jurisdiction or with such grave abuse of discretion as to amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The petition for certiorari may only be filed by the stockholders of record representing the majority of the capital stock within ten (10) days from receipt by the board of directors of the institution of the order directing receivership, liquidation or conservatorship. (Emphasis supplied) xxx xxx xxx

Petitioners contend that there must be a current, thorough and complete examination before a bank can be closed under Section 30 of RA 7653. They argue that this section should be harmonized with Sections 25 and 28 of the same law: SECTION 25. Supervision and Examination. The [BSP] shall have supervision over, and conduct periodic or special examinations of, banking institutions and quasi-banks, including their subsidiaries and affiliates engaged in allied activities. xxx xxx xxx SECTION 28. Examination and Fees. The supervising and examining department head, personally or by deputy, shall examine the books of every banking institution once in every twelve (12) months, and at such other time as the Monetary Board by an affirmative vote of five (5) members may deem expedient and to make a report on the same to the Monetary Board: Provided that there shall be an interval of at least twelve (12) months between annual examinations. (Emphasis supplied) xxx xxx xxx According to the petitioners, it is clear from these provisions that the "report of the supervising or examining department" required under Section 30 refers to the report on the examination of the bank which, under Section 28, must be made to the MB after the supervising or examining head conducts an examination mandated by Sections 25 and 28.18 They cite Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank v. Monetary Board, Central Bank of the Philippines19 wherein the Court ruled: There is no question that under Section 29 of the Central Bank Act, the following are the mandatory requirements to be complied with before a bank found to be insolvent is ordered closed and forbidden to do business in the Philippines: Firstly, an examination shall be conducted by the head of the appropriate supervising or examining department or his examiners or agents into the condition of the bank; secondly, it shall be disclosed in the examination that the condition of the bank is one of insolvency, or that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors; thirdly, the department head concerned shall inform the Monetary Board in writing, of the facts; and lastly, the Monetary Board shall find the statements of the department head to be true.20 (Emphasis supplied)

Petitioners assert that an examination is necessary and not a mere report, otherwise the decision to close a bank would be arbitrary. Respondents counter that RA 7653 merely requires a report of the head of the supervising or examining department. They maintain that the term "report" under Section 30 and the word "examination" used in Section 29 of the old law are not synonymous. "Examination" connotes in-depth analysis, evaluation, inquiry or investigation while "report" connotes a simple disclosure or narration of facts for informative purposes.21 Petitioners contention has no merit. Banco Filipino and other cases petitioners cited22 were decided using Section 29 of the old law (RA 265): SECTION 29. Proceedings upon insolvency. Whenever, upon examination by the head of the appropriate supervising or examining department or his examiners or agents into the condition of any bank or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions, it shall be disclosed that the condition of the same is one of insolvency, or that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors, it shall be the duty of the department head concerned forthwith, in writing, to inform the Monetary Board of the facts. The Board may, upon finding the statements of the department head to be true, forbid the institution to do business in the Philippines and designate an official of the Central Bank or a person of recognized competence in banking or finance, as receiver to immediately take charge of its assets and liabilities, as expeditiously as possible collect and gather all the assets and administer the same for the benefits of its creditors, and represent the bank personally or through counsel as he may retain in all actions or proceedings for or against the institution, exercising all the powers necessary for these purposes including, but not limited to, bringing and foreclosing mortgages in the name of the bank or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasibanking functions. (Emphasis supplied) xxx xxx xxx Thus in Banco Filipino, we ruled that an "examination [conducted] by the head of the appropriate supervising or examining department or his examiners or agents into the condition of the bank"23 is necessary before the MB can order its closure. However, RA 265, including Section 29 thereof, was expressly repealed by RA 7653 which took effect in 1993. Resolution No. 105 was issued on

January 21, 2000. Hence, petitioners reliance on Banco Filipino which was decided under RA 265 was misplaced. In RA 7653, only a "report of the head of the supervising or examining department" is necessary. It is an established rule in statutory construction that where the words of a statute are clear, plain and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation:24 This plain meaning rule or verba legis derived from the maxim index animi sermo est (speech is the index of intention) rests on the valid presumption that the words employed by the legislature in a statute correctly express its intention or will and preclude the court from construing it differently. The legislature is presumed to know the meaning of the words, to have used words advisedly, and to have expressed its intent by use of such words as are found in the statute. Verba legis non est recedendum, or from the words of a statute there should be no departure.25 The word "report" has a definite and unambiguous meaning which is clearly different from "examination." A report, as a noun, may be defined as "something that gives information" or "a usually detailed account or statement."26On the other hand, an examination is "a search, investigation or scrutiny."27 This Court cannot look for or impose another meaning on the term "report" or to construe it as synonymous with "examination." From the words used in Section 30, it is clear that RA 7653 no longer requires that an examination be made before the MB can issue a closure order. We cannot make it a requirement in the absence of legal basis. Indeed, the court may consider the spirit and reason of the statute, where a literal meaning would lead to absurdity, contradiction, injustice, or would defeat the clear purpose of the lawmakers.28 However, these problems are not present here. Using the literal meaning of "report" does not lead to absurdity, contradiction or injustice. Neither does it defeat the intent of the legislators. The purpose of the law is to make the closure of a bank summary and expeditious in order to protect public interest. This is also why prior notice and hearing are no longer required before a bank can be closed.29 Laying down the requisites for the closure of a bank under the law is the prerogative of the legislature and what its wisdom dictates. The

lawmakers could have easily retained the word "examination" (and in the process also preserved the jurisprudence attached to it) but they did not and instead opted to use the word "report." The insistence on an examination is not sanctioned by RA 7653 and we would be guilty of judicial legislation were we to make it a requirement when such is not supported by the language of the law. What is being raised here as grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondents was the lack of an examination and not the supposed arbitrariness with which the conclusions of the director of the Department of Rural Banks Supervision and Examination Sector had been reached in the report which became the basis of Resolution No. 105.
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Costs against petitioners. SO ORDERED. G.R. No. 70054 December 11, 1991 BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, petitioner, vs. THE MONETARY BOARD, CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, JOSE B. FERNANDEZ, CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA, ARNULFO B. AURELLANO and RAMON V. TIAOQUI, respondents. G.R. No. 68878 December 11, 1991 BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, petitioner, vs. HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and CELESTINA S. PAHIMUNTUNG, assisted by her husband,respondents. G.R. No. 77255-58 December 11, 1991 TOP MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS CORPORATION AND PILAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, The Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, Ex-Officio Sheriff REGALADO E. EUSEBIO, BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA AND SYCIP, SALAZAR, HERNANDEZ AND GATMAITAN, respondents. G.R. No. 78766 December 11, 1991 EL GRANDE CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, THE EXECUTIVE JUDGE of The Regional Trial Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff REGALADO E. EUSEBIO, BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA AND SYCIP, SALAZAR, FELICIANO AND HERNANDEZ, respondents. G.R. No. 78767 December 11, 1991

The absence of an examination before the closure of RBSM did not mean that there was no basis for the closure order. Needless to say, the decision of the MB and BSP, like any other administrative body, must have something to support itself and its findings of fact must be supported by substantial evidence. But it is clear under RA 7653 that the basis need not arise from an examination as required in the old law. We thus rule that the MB had sufficient basis to arrive at a sound conclusion that there were grounds that would justify RBSMs closure. It relied on the report of Mr. Domo-ong, the head of the supervising or examining department, with the findings that: (1) RBSM was unable to pay its liabilities as they became due in the ordinary course of business and (2) that it could not continue in business without incurring probable losses to its depositors and creditors.30 The report was a 50-page memorandum detailing the facts supporting those grounds, an extensive chronology of events revealing the multitude of problems which faced RBSM and the recommendations based on those findings. In short, MB and BSP complied with all the requirements of RA 7653. By relying on a report before placing a bank under receivership, the MB and BSP did not only follow the letter of the law, they were also faithful to its spirit, which was to act expeditiously. Accordingly, the issuance of Resolution No. 105 was untainted with arbitrariness. Having dispensed with the issue decisive of this case, it becomes unnecessary to resolve the other minor issues raised.31 WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED. The March 28, 2000 decision and November 13, 2001 resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 57112 are AFFIRMED.

METROPOLIS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, JOSE B. FERNANDEZ, JR., CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA, ARNULFO AURELLANO AND RAMON TIAOQUI, respondents. G.R. No. 78894 December 11, 1991 BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, petitioner vs. COURT OF APPEALS, THE CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, JOSE B. FERNANDEZ, JR., CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA, ARNULFO B. AURELLANO AND RAMON TIAOQUI, respondents. G.R. No. 81303 December 11, 1991 PILAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MANUEL M. COSICO, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 136 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES AND CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA,respondents. G.R. No. 81304 December 11, 1991 BF HOMES DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, CENTRAL BANK AND CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA, respondents. G.R. No. 90473 December 11, 1991 EL GRANDE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS, THE EXECUTIVE JUDGE of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, CLERK OF COURT and Ex-Officio Sheriff ADORACION VICTA, BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, CARLOTA P. VALENZUELA AND SYCIP, SALAZAR, HERNANDEZ AND GATMAITAN, respondents. Panganiban, Benitez, Barinaga & Bautista Law Offices collaborating counsel for petitioner.

Florencio T. Domingo, Jr. and Crisanto S. Cornejo for intervenors.

MEDIALDEA, J.:p This refers to nine (9) consolidated cases concerning the legality of the closure and receivership of petitioner Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank (Banco Filipino for brevity) pursuant to the order of respondent Monetary Board. Six (6) of these cases, namely, G.R. Nos. 68878, 77255-68, 78766, 81303, 81304 and 90473 involve the common issue of whether or not the liquidator appointed by the respondent Central Bank (CB for brevity) has the authority to prosecute as well as to defend suits, and to foreclose mortgages for and in behalf of the bank while the issue on the validity of the receivership and liquidation of the latter is pending resolution in G.R. No. 7004. Corollary to this issue is whether the CB can be sued to fulfill financial commitments of a closed bank pursuant to Section 29 of the Central Bank Act. On the other hand, the other three (3) cases, namely, G.R. Nos. 70054, which is the main case, 78767 and 78894 all seek to annul and set aside M.B. Resolution No. 75 issued by respondents Monetary Board and Central Bank on January 25, 1985.

The antecedent facts of each of the nine (9) cases are as follows: G.R No. 68878 This is a motion for reconsideration, filed by respondent Celestina Pahimuntung, of the decision promulgated by thisCourt on April 8, 1986, granting the petition for review on certiorari and reversing the questioned decision of respondent appellate court, which annulled the writ of possession issued by the trial court in favor of petitioner. The respondent-movant contends that the petitioner has no more personality to continue prosecuting the instant case considering that petitioner bank was placed under receivership since January 25, 1985 by the Central Bank pursuant to the resolution of the Monetary Board. G.R. Nos. 77255-58

Petitioners Top Management Programs Corporation (Top Management for brevity) and Pilar Development Corporation (Pilar Development for brevity) are corporations engaged in the business of developing residential subdivisions. Top Management obtained a loan of P4,836,000 from Banco Filipino as evidenced by a promissory note dated January 7, 1982 payable in three years from date. The loan was secured by real estate mortgage in its various properties in Cavite. Likewise, Pilar Development obtained loans from Banco Filipino between 1982 and 1983 in the principal amounts of P6,000,000, P7,370,000 and P5,300,000 with maturity dates on December 28, 1984, January 5, 1985 and February 16, 1984, respectively. To secure the loan, Pilar Development mortgaged to Banco Filipino various properties in Dasmarias, Cavite. On January 25, 1985, the Monetary Board issued a resolution finding Banco Filipino insolvent and unable to do business without loss to its creditors and depositors. It placed Banco Filipino under receivership of Carlota Valenzuela, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank. On March 22, 1985, the Monetary Board issued another resolution placing the bank under liquidation and designating Valenzuela as liquidator. By virtue of her authority as liquidator, Valenzuela appointed the law firm of Sycip, Salazar, et al. to represent Banco Filipino in all litigations. On March 26, 1985, Banco Filipino filed the petition for certiorari in G.R. No. 70054 questioning the validity of the resolutions issued by the Monetary Board authorizing the receivership and liquidation of Banco Filipino. In a resolution dated August 29, 1985, this Court in G.R. No. 70054 resolved to issue a temporary restraining order, effective during the same period of 30 days, enjoining the respondents from executing further acts of liquidation of the bank; that acts such as receiving collectibles and receivables or paying off creditors' claims and other transactions pertaining to normal operations of a bank are not enjoined. The Central Bank is ordered to designate a comptroller for Banco Filipino. Subsequently, Top Management failed to pay its loan on the due date. Hence, the law firm of Sycip, Salazar, et al. acting as counsel for Banco Filipino under authority of Valenzuela as liquidator, applied for extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage over Top Management's properties.

Thus, the Ex-Officio Sheriff of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite issued a notice of extra-judicial foreclosure sale of the properties on December 16, 1985. On December 9, 1985, Top Management filed a petition for injunction and prohibition with the respondent appellate court docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 07892 seeking to enjoin the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, the ex-officio sheriff of said court and Sycip, Salazar, et al. from proceeding with foreclosure sale. Similarly, Pilar Development defaulted in the payment of its loans. The law firm of Sycip, Salazar, et al. filed separate applications with the exofficio sheriff of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite for the extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgage over its properties. Hence, Pilar Development filed with the respondent appellate court a petition for prohibition with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction docketed as CA-G.R SP Nos. 08962-64 seeking to enjoin the same respondents from enforcing the foreclosure sale of its properties. CA-G.R. SP Nos. 07892 and 08962-64 were consolidated and jointly decided. On October 30, 1986, the respondent appellate court rendered a decision dismissing the aforementioned petitions. Hence, this petition was filed by the petitioners Top Management and Pilar Development alleging that Carlota Valenzuela, who was appointed by the Monetary Board as liquidator of Banco Filipino, has no authority to proceed with the foreclosure sale of petitioners' properties on the ground that the resolution of the issue on the validity of the closure and liquidation of Banco Filipino is still pending with this Court in G.R. 70054. G.R. No. 78766 Petitioner El Grande Development Corporation (El Grande for brevity) is engaged in the business of developing residential subdivisions. It was extended by respondent Banco Filipino a credit accommodation to finance its housing program. Hence, petitioner was granted a loan in the amount of P8,034,130.00 secured by real estate mortgages on its various estates located in Cavite. On January 15, 1985, the Monetary Board forbade Banco Filipino to do business, placed it under receivership and designated Deputy Governor

Carlota Valenzuela as receiver. On March 22, 1985, the Monetary Board confirmed Banco Filipino's insolvency and designated the receiver Carlota Valenzuela as liquidator. When petitioner El Grande failed to pay its indebtedness to Banco Filipino, the latter thru its liquidator, Carlota Valenzuela, initiated the foreclosure with the Clerk of Court and Ex-officio sheriff of RTC Cavite. Subsequently, on March 31, 1986, the ex-officio sheriff issued the notice of extra-judicial sale of the mortgaged properties of El Grande scheduled on April 30, 1986. In order to stop the public auction sale, petitioner El Grande filed a petition for prohibition with the Court of Appeals alleging that respondent Carlota Valenzuela could not proceed with the foreclosure of its mortgaged properties on the ground that this Court in G.R. No. 70054 issued a resolution dated August 29, 1985, which restrained Carlota Valenzuela from acting as liquidator and allowed Banco Filipino to resume banking operations only under a Central Bank comptroller. On March 2, 1987, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision dismissing the petition. Hence this petition for review on certiorari was filed alleging that the respondent court erred when it held in its decision that although Carlota P. Valenzuela was restrained by this Honorable Court from exercising acts in liquidation of Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank, she was not legally precluded from foreclosing the mortgage over the properties of the petitioner through counsel retained by her for the purpose. G.R. No. 81303 On November 8, 1985, petitioner Pilar Development Corporation (Pilar Development for brevity) filed an action against Banco Filipino, the Central Bank and Carlota Valenzuela for specific performance, docketed as Civil Case No. 12191. It appears that the former management of Banco Filipino appointed Quisumbing & Associates as counsel for Banco Filipino. On June 12, 1986 the said law firm filed an answer for Banco Filipino which confessed judgment against Banco Filipino. On June 17, 1986, petitioner filed a second amended complaint. The Central Bank and Carlota Valenzuela, thru the law firm Sycip, Salazar, Hernandez and Gatmaitan filed an answer to the complaint.

On June 23, 1986, Sycip, et al., acting for all the defendants including Banco Filipino moved that the answer filed by Quisumbing & Associates for defendant Banco Filipino be expunged from the records. Despite opposition from Quisumbing & Associates, the trial court granted the motion to expunge in an order dated March 17, 1987. Petitioner Pilar Development moved to reconsider the order but the motion was denied. Petitioner Pilar Development filed with the respondent appellate court a petition for certiorari and mandamus to annul the order of the trial court. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision dismissing the petition. A petition was filed with this Court but was denied in a resolution dated March 22, 1988. Hence, this instant motion for reconsideration. G.R. No. 81304 On July 9, 1985, petitioner BF Homes Incorporated (BF Homes for brevity) filed an action with the trial court to compel the Central Bank to restore petitioner's; financing facility with Banco Filipino. The Central Bank filed a motion to dismiss the action. Petitioner BF Homes in a supplemental complaint impleaded as defendant Carlota Valenzuela as receiver of Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank. On April 8, 1985, petitioner filed a second supplemental complaint to which respondents filed a motion to dismiss. On July 9, 1985, the trial court granted the motion to dismiss the supplemental complaint on the grounds (1) that plaintiff has no contractual relation with the defendants, and (2) that the Intermediate Appellate Court in a previous decision in AC-G.R. SP. No. 04609 had stated that Banco Filipino has been ordered closed and placed under receivership pending liquidation, and thus, the continuation of the facility sued for by the plaintiff has become legally impossible and the suit has become moot. The order of dismissal was appealed by the petitioner to the Court of Appeals. On November 4, 1987, the respondent appellate court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the order of the trial court. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari was filed, alleging that the respondent court erred when it found that the private respondents should not be the ones to respond to the cause of action asserted by the

petitioner and the petitioner did not have any cause of action against the respondents Central Bank and Carlota Valenzuela. G.R. No. 90473 Petitioner El Grande Development Corporation (El Grande for brevity) obtained a loan from Banco Filipino in the amount of P8,034,130.00, secured by a mortgage over its five parcels of land located in Cavite which were covered by Transfer Certificate of Title Nos. T-82187, T109027, T-132897, T-148377, and T-79371 of the Registry of Deeds of Cavite. When Banco Filipino was ordered closed and placed under receivership in 1985, the appointed liquidator of BF, thru its counsel Sycip, Salazar, et al. applied with the ex-officio sheriff of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage constituted over petitioner's properties. On March 24, 1986, the ex-officio sheriff issued a notice of extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the properties of petitioner. Thus, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for prohibition with prayer for writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the respondents from foreclosing the mortgage and to nullify the notice of foreclosure. On June 16, 1989, respondent Court of Appeals rendered a decision dismissing the petition. Not satisfied with the decision, petitioner filed the instant petition for review on certiorari. G.R. No. 70054 Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank was authorized to operate as such under M.B. Resolution No. 223 dated February 14, 1963. It commenced operations on July 9, 1964. It has eighty-nine (89) operating branches, forty-six (46) of which are in Manila, with more than three (3) million depositors. As of July 31, 1984, the list of stockholders showed the major stockholders to be: Metropolis Development Corporation, Apex Mortgage and Loans Corporation, Filipino Business Consultants, Tiu Family Group, LBH Inc. and Anthony Aguirre.

Petitioner Bank had an approved emergency advance of P119.7 million under M.B. Resolution No. 839 dated June 29, 1984. This was augmented with a P3 billion credit line under M.B. Resolution No. 934 dated July 27, 1984. On the same date, respondent Board issued M.B. Resolution No. 955 placing petitioner bank under conservatorship of Basilio Estanislao. He was later replaced by Gilberto Teodoro as conservator on August 10, 1984. The latter submitted a report dated January 8, 1985 to respondent Board on the conservatorship of petitioner bank, which report shall hereinafter be referred to as the Teodoro report. Subsequently, another report dated January 23, 1985 was submitted to the Monetary Board by Ramon Tiaoqui, Special Assistant to the Governor and Head, SES Department II of the Central Bank, regarding the major findings of examination on the financial condition of petitioner BF as of July 31, 1984. The report, which shall be referred to herein as the Tiaoqui Report contained the following conclusion and recommendation: The examination findings as of July 31, 1984, as shown earlier, indicate one of insolvency and illiquidity and further confirms the above conclusion of the Conservator. All the foregoing provides sufficient justification for forbidding the bank from engaging in banking. Foregoing considered, the following are recommended: 1. Forbid the Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank to do business in the Philippines effective the beginning of office January 1985, pursuant to Sec. 29 of R.A No. 265, as amended; 2. Designate the Head of the Conservator Team at the bank, as Receiver of Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank, to immediately take charge of the assets and liabilities, as expeditiously as possible collect and gather all the assets and administer the same for the benefit of all the creditors, and exercise all the powers

necessary for these purposes including but not limited to bringing suits and foreclosing mortgages in the name of the bank. 3. The Board of Directors and the principal officers from Senior Vice Presidents, as listed in the attached Annex "A" be included in the watchlist of the Supervision and Examination Sector until such time that they shall have cleared themselves. 4. Refer to the Central Bank's Legal Department and Office of Special Investigation the report on the findings on Banco Filipino for investigation and possible prosecution of directors, officers, and employees for activities which led to its insolvent position. (pp- 61-62, Rollo) On January 25, 1985, the Monetary Board issued the assailed MB Resolution No. 75 which ordered the closure of BF and which further provides: After considering the report dated January 8, 1985 of the Conservator for Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank that the continuance in business of the bank would involve probable loss to its depositors and creditors, and after discussing and finding to be true the statements of the Special Assistant to the Governor and Head, Supervision and Examination Sector (SES) Department II as recited in his memorandum dated January 23, 1985, that the Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank is insolvent and that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors and creditors, and in pursuance of Sec. 29 of RA 265, as amended, the Board decided: 1. To forbid Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank and all its branches to do business in the Philippines;

2. To designate Mrs. Carlota P. Valenzuela, Deputy Governor as Receiver who is hereby directly vested with jurisdiction and authority to immediately take charge of the bank's assets and liabilities, and as expeditiously as possible collect and gather all the assets and administer the same for the benefit of its creditors, exercising all the powers necessary for these purposes including but not limited to, bringing suits and foreclosing mortgages in the name of the bank; 3. To designate Mr. Arnulfo B. Aurellano, Special Assistant to the Governor, and Mr. Ramon V. Tiaoqui, Special Assistant to the Governor and Head, Supervision and Examination Sector Department II, as Deputy Receivers who are likewise hereby directly vested with jurisdiction and authority to do all things necessary or proper to carry out the functions entrusted to them by the Receiver and otherwise to assist the Receiver in carrying out the functions vested in the Receiver by law or Monetary Board Resolutions; 4. To direct and authorize Management to do all other things and carry out all other measures necessary or proper to implement this Resolution and to safeguard the interests of depositors, creditors and the general public; and 5. In consequence of the foregoing, to terminate the conservatorship over Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank. (pp. 10-11, Rollo, Vol. I) On February 2, 1985, petitioner BF filed a complaint docketed as Civil Case No. 9675 with the Regional Trial Court of Makati to set aside the action of the Monetary Board placing BF under receivership.

On February 28, 1985, petitioner filed with this Court the instant petition for certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking to annul the resolution of January 25, 1985 as made without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion, to order respondents to furnish petitioner with the reports of examination which led to its closure and to afford petitioner BF a hearing prior to any resolution that may be issued under Section 29 of R.A. 265, also known as Central Bank Act. On March 19, 1985, Carlota Valenzuela, as Receiver and Arnulfo Aurellano and Ramon Tiaoqui as Deputy Receivers of Banco Filipino submitted their report on the receivership of BF to the Monetary Board, in compliance with the mandate of Sec. 29 of R.A. 265 which provides that the Monetary Board shall determine within sixty (60) days from date of receivership of a bank whether such bank may be reorganized/permitted to resume business or ordered to be liquidated. The report contained the following recommendation: In view of the foregoing and considering that the condition of the banking institution continues to be one of insolvency, i.e., its realizable assets are insufficient to meet all its liabilities and that the bank cannot resume business with safety to its depositors, other creditors and the general public, it is recommended that: 1. Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank be liquidated pursuant to paragraph 3, Sec. 29 of RA No. 265, as amended; 2. The Legal Department, through the Solicitor General, be authorized to file in the proper court a petition for assistance in th liquidation of the Bank; 3. The Statutory Receiver be designated as the Liquidator of said bank; and 4. Management be instructed to inform the stockholders of Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank of the Monetary Board's decision liquidate the Bank. (p. 167, Rollo, Vol. I) On July 23, 1985, petitioner filed a motion before this Court praying that a restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to enjoin respondents from causing the dismantling of BF signs in its main office and 89 branches. This Court issued a resolution on August 8, 1985 ordering the issuance of the aforesaid temporary restraining order.

On August 20, 1985, the case was submitted for resolution. In a resolution dated August 29, 1985, this Court Resolved direct the respondents Monetary Board and Central Bank hold hearings at which the petitioner should be heard, and terminate such hearings and submit its resolution within thirty (30) days. This Court further resolved to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining the respondents from executing further acts of liquidation of a bank. Acts such as receiving collectibles and receivables or paying off creditors' claims and other transactions pertaining to normal operations of a bank were no enjoined. The Central Bank was also ordered to designate comptroller for the petitioner BF. This Court also ordered th consolidation of Civil Cases Nos. 8108, 9676 and 10183 in Branch 136 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati. However, on September 12, 1985, this Court in the meantime suspended the hearing it ordered in its resolution of August 29, 1985. On October 8, 1985, this Court submitted a resolution order ing Branch 136 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati the presided over by Judge Ricardo Francisco to conduct the hear ing contemplated in the resolution of August 29, 1985 in the most expeditious manner and to submit its resolution to this Court. In the Court's resolution of February 19, 1987, the Court stated that the hearing contemplated in the resolution of August 29, 1985, which is to ascertain whether substantial administrative due process had been observed by the respondent Monetary Board, may be expedited by Judge Manuel Cosico who now presides the court vacated by Judge Ricardo Francisco, who was elevated to the Court of Appeals, there being no legal impediment or justifiable reason to bar the former from conducting such hearing. Hence, this Court directed Judge Manuel Cosico to expedite the hearing and submit his report to this Court. On February 20, 1988, Judge Manuel Cosico submitted his report to this Court with the recommendation that the resolutions of respondents Monetary Board and Central Bank authorizing the closure and liquidation of petitioner BP be upheld. On October 21, 1988, petitioner BF filed an urgent motion to reopen hearing to which respondents filed their comment on December 16, 1988. Petitioner filed their reply to respondent's comment of January 11, 1989. After having deliberated on the grounds raised in the pleadings, this Court in its resolution dated August 3, 1989 declared that its intention as

expressed in its resolution of August 29, 1985 had not been faithfully adhered to by the herein petitioner and respondents. The aforementioned resolution had ordered a healing on the reports that led respondents to order petitioner's closure and its alleged pre-planned liquidation. This Court noted that during the referral hearing however, a different scheme was followed. Respondents merely submitted to the commissioner their findings on the examinations conducted on petitioner, affidavits of the private respondents relative to the findings, their reports to the Monetary Board and several other documents in support of their position while petitioner had merely submitted objections to the findings of respondents, counter-affidavits of its officers and also documents to prove its claims. Although the records disclose that both parties had not waived crossexamination of their deponents, no such cross-examination has been conducted. The reception of evidence in the form of affidavits was followed throughout, until the commissioner submitted his report and recommendations to the Court. This Court also held that the documents pertinent to the resolution of the instant petition are the Teodoro Report, Tiaoqui Report, Valenzuela, Aurellano and Tiaoqui Report and the supporting documents which were made as the bases by the reporters of their conclusions contained in their respective reports. This Court also Resolved in its resolution to re-open the referral hearing that was terminated after Judge Cosico had submitted his report and recommendation with the end in view of allowing petitioner to complete its presentation of evidence and also for respondents to adduce additional evidence, if so minded, and for both parties to conduct the required cross-examination of witnesses/deponents, to be done within a period of three months. To obviate all doubts on Judge Cosico's impartiality, this Court designated a new hearing commissioner in the person of former Judge Consuelo Santiago of the Regional Trial Court, Makati, Branch 149 (now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals). Three motions for intervention were filed in this case as follows: First, in G.R. No. 70054 filed by Eduardo Rodriguez and Fortunate M. Dizon, stockholders of petitioner bank for and on behalf of other stockholders of petitioner; second, in G.R. No. 78894, filed by the same stockholders, and, third, again in G.R. No. 70054 by BF Depositors' Association and others similarly situated. This Court, on March 1, 1990, denied the aforesaid motions for intervention. On January 28, 1991, the hearing commissioner, Justice Consuelo Santiago of the Court of Appeals submitted her report and recommendation (to be hereinafter called, "Santiago Report") on the following issues stated therein as follows:

l) Had the Monetary Board observed the procedural requirements laid down in Sec. 29 of R.A. 265, as amended to justify th closure of the Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank? 2) On the date of BF's closure (January 25, 1985) was its condition one of insolvency or would its continuance in business involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors? The commissioner after evaluation of the evidence presented found and recommended the following: 1. That the TEODORO and TIAOQUI reports did not establish in accordance with See. 29 of the R.A. 265, as amended, BF's insolvency as of July 31, 1984 or that its continuance in business thereafter would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors. On the contrary, the evidence indicates that BF was solvent on July 31, 1984 and that on January 25, 1985, the day it was closed, its insolvency was not clearly established; 2. That consequently, BF's closure on January 25, 1985, not having satisfied the requirements prescribed under Sec. 29 of RA 265, as amended, was null and void. 3. That accordingly, by way of correction, BF should be allowed to re-open subject to such laws, rules and regulations that apply to its situation. Respondents thereafter filed a motion for leave to file objections to the Santiago Report. In the same motion, respondents requested that the report and recommendation be set for oral argument before the Court. On February 7, 1991, this Court denied the request for oral argument of the parties.

On February 25, 1991, respondents filed their objections to the Santiago Report. On March 5, 1991, respondents submitted a motion for oral argument alleging that this Court is confronted with two conflicting reports on the same subject, one upholding on all points the Monetary Board's closure of petitioner, (Cosico Report dated February 19, 1988) and the other (Santiago Report dated January 25, 1991) holding that petitioner's closure was null and void because petitioner's insolvency was not clearly established before its closure; and that such a hearing on oral argrument will therefore allow the parties to directly confront the issues before this Court. On March 12, 1991 petitioner filed its opposition to the motion for oral argument. On March 20, 1991, it filed its reply to respondents' objections to the Santiago Report. On June 18, 1991, a hearing was held where both parties were heard on oral argument before this Court. The parties, having submitted their respective memoranda, the case is now submitted for decision. G.R. No. 78767 On February 2, 1985, Banco Filipino filed a complaint with the trial court docketed as Civil Case No. 9675 to annul the resolution of the Monetary Board dated January 25, 1985, which ordered the closure of the bank and placed it under receivership. On February 14, 1985, the Central Bank and the receivers filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the receivers had not authorized anyone to file the action. In a supplemental motion to dismiss, the Central Bank cited the resolution of this Court dated October 15, 1985 in G.R. No. 65723 entitled, "Central Bank et al. v. Intermediate Appellate Court" whereby We held that a complaint questioning the validity of the receivership established by the Central Bank becomes moot and academic upon the initiation of liquidation proceedings. While the motion to dismiss was pending resolution, petitioner herein Metropolis Development Corporation (Metropolis for brevity) filed a motion to intervene in the aforestated civil case on the ground that as a stockholder and creditor of Banco Filipino, it has an interest in the subject of the action.

On July 19, 1985, the trial court denied the motion to dismiss and also denied the motion for reconsideration of the order later filed by Central Bank. On June 5, 1985, the trial court allowed the motion for intervention. Hence, the Central Bank and the receivers of Banco Filipino filed a petition for certiorari with the respondent appellate court alleging that the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion in not dismissing Civil Case No. 9675. On March 17, 1986, the respondent appellate court rendered a decision annulling and setting aside the questioned orders of the trial court, and ordering the dismissal of the complaint filed by Banco Filipino with the trial court as well as the complaint in intervention of petitioner Metropolis Development Corporation. Hence this petition was filed by Metropolis Development Corporation questioning the decision of the respondent appellate court. G.R. No. 78894 On February 2, 1985, a complaint was filed with the trial court in the name of Banco Filipino to annul the resolution o the Monetary Board dated January 25, 1985 which ordered the closure of Banco Filipino and placed it under receivership. The receivers appointed by the Monetary Board were Carlota Valenzuela, Arnulfo Aurellano and Ramon Tiaoqui. On February 14, 1985, the Central Bank and the receiver filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the receiver had not authorized anyone to file the action. On March 22, 1985, the Monetary Board placed the bank under liquidation and designated Valenzuela as liquidator and Aurellano and Tiaoqui as deputy liquidators. The Central Bank filed a supplemental motion to dismiss which was denied. Hence, the latter filed a petition forcertiorari with the respondent appellate court to set aside the order of the trial court denying the motion to dismiss. On March 17, 1986, the respondent appellate court granted the petition and dismissed the complaint of Banco Filipino with the trial court. Thus, this petition for certiorari was filed with the petitioner contending that a bank which has been closed and placed under receivership by the

Central Bank under Section 29 of RA 265 could file suit in court in its name to contest such acts of the Central Bank, without the authorization of the CB-appointed receiver. After deliberating on the pleadings in the following cases: 1. In G.R. No. 68878, the respondent's motion for reconsideration; 2. In G.R. Nos. 77255-58, the petition, comment, reply, rejoinder and surrejoinder; 2. In G.R. No. 78766, the petition, comment, reply and rejoinder; 3. In G.R. No. 81303, the petitioner's motion for reconsideration; 4. In G.R.No. 81304, the petition, comment and reply; 5. Finally, in G.R. No. 90473, the petition comment and reply. We find the motions for reconsideration in G.R. Nos. 68878 and 81303 and the petitions in G.R. Nos. 77255-58, 78766, 81304 and 90473 devoid of merit. Section 29 of the Republic Act No. 265, as amended known as the Central Bank Act, provides that when a bank is forbidden to do business in the Philippines and placed under receivership, the person designated as receiver shall immediately take charge of the bank's assets and liabilities, as expeditiously as possible, collect and gather all the assets and administer the same for the benefit of its creditors, and represent the bank personally or through counsel as he may retain in all actions or proceedings for or against the institution, exercising all the powers necessary for these purposes including, but not limited to, bringing and foreclosing mortgages in the name of the bank. If the Monetary Board shall later determine and confirm that banking institution is insolvent or cannot resume business safety to depositors, creditors and the general public, it shall, public interest requires, order its liquidation and appoint a liquidator who shall take over and continue the functions of receiver

previously appointed by Monetary Board. The liquid for may, in the name of the bank and with the assistance counsel as he may retain, institute such actions as may necessary in the appropriate court to collect and recover a counts and assets of such institution or defend any action ft against the institution. When the issue on the validity of the closure and receivership of Banco Filipino bank was raised in G.R. No. 70054, pendency of the case did not diminish the powers and authority of the designated liquidator to effectuate and carry on the a ministration of the bank. In fact when We adopted a resolute on August 25, 1985 and issued a restraining order to respondents Monetary Board and Central Bank, We enjoined me further acts of liquidation. Such acts of liquidation, as explained in Sec. 29 of the Central Bank Act are those which constitute the conversion of the assets of the banking institution to money or the sale, assignment or disposition of the s to creditors and other parties for the purpose of paying debts of such institution. We did not prohibit however acts a as receiving collectibles and receivables or paying off credits claims and other transactions pertaining to normal operate of a bank. There is no doubt that the prosecution of suits collection and the foreclosure of mortgages against debtors the bank by the liquidator are among the usual and ordinary transactions pertaining to the administration of a bank. their did Our order in the same resolution dated August 25, 1985 for the designation by the Central Bank of a comptroller Banco Filipino alter the powers and functions; of the liquid insofar as the management of the assets of the bank is concerned. The mere duty of the comptroller is to supervise counts and finances undertaken by the liquidator and to d mine the propriety of the latter's expenditures incurred behalf of the bank. Notwithstanding this, the liquidator is empowered under the law to continue the functions of receiver is preserving and keeping intact the assets of the bank in substitution of its former management, and to prevent the dissipation of its assets to the detriment of the creditors of the bank. These powers and functions of the liquidator in directing the operations of the bank in place of the former management or former officials of the bank include the retaining of counsel of his choice in actions and proceedings for purposes of administration. Clearly, in G.R. Nos. 68878, 77255-58, 78766 and 90473, the liquidator by himself or through counsel has the authority to bring actions for foreclosure of mortgages executed by debtors in favor of the bank. In G.R. No. 81303, the liquidator is likewise authorized to resist or defend suits instituted against the bank by debtors and creditors of the bank and by other private persons. Similarly, in G.R. No. 81304, due to the aforestated reasons, the Central Bank cannot be compelled to fulfill

financial transactions entered into by Banco Filipino when the operations of the latter were suspended by reason of its closure. The Central Bank possesses those powers and functions only as provided for in Sec. 29 of the Central Bank Act. While We recognize the actual closure of Banco Filipino and the consequent legal effects thereof on its operations, We cannot uphold the legality of its closure and thus, find the petitions in G.R. Nos. 70054, 78767 and 78894 impressed with merit. We hold that the closure and receivership of petitioner bank, which was ordered by respondent Monetary Board on January 25, 1985, is null and void. It is a well-recognized principle that administrative and discretionary functions may not be interfered with by the courts. In general, courts have no supervising power over the proceedings and actions of the administrative departments of the government. This is generally true with respect to acts involving the exercise of judgment or discretion, and findings of fact. But when there is a grave abuse of discretion which is equivalent to a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment or where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner, then there is a justification for the courts to set aside the administrative determination reached (Lim, Sr. v. Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources, L26990, August 31, 1970, 34 SCRA 751) The jurisdiction of this Court is called upon, once again, through these petitions, to undertake the delicate task of ascertaining whether or not an administrative agency of the government, like the Central Bank of the Philippines and the Monetary Board, has committed grave abuse of discretion or has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed order. Coupled with this task is the duty of this Court not only to strike down acts which violate constitutional protections or to nullify administrative decisions contrary to legal mandates but also to prevent acts in excess of authority or jurisdiction, as well as to correct manifest abuses of discretion committed by the officer or tribunal involved. The law applicable in the determination of these issues is Section 29 of Republic Act No. 265, as amended, also known as the Central Bank Act, which provides: SEC. 29. Proceedings upon insolvency. Whenever, upon examination by the head of the appropriate supervising or examining department or his examiners or agents into the condition of any bank or non-bank

financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions, it shall be disclosed that the condition of the same is one of insolvency, or that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors, it shall be the duty of the department head concerned forthwith, in writing, to inform the Monetary Board of the facts. The Board may, upon finding the statements of the department head to be true, forbid the institution to do business in the Philippines and designate an official of the Central Bank or a person of recognized competence in banking or finance, as receiver to immediately take charge of its assets and liabilities, as expeditiously as possible collect and gather all the assets and administer the same for the benefit's of its creditors, and represent the bank personally or through counsel as he may retain in all actions or proceedings for or against the institution, exercising all the powers necessary for these purposes including, but not limited to, bringing and foreclosing mortgages in the name of the bank or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions. The Monetary Board shall thereupon determine within sixty days whether the institution may be reorganized or otherwise placed in such a condition so that it may be permitted to resume business with safety to its depositors and creditors and the general public and shall prescribe the conditions under which such resumption of business shall take place as well as the time for fulfillment of such conditions. In such case, the expenses and fees in the collection and administration of the assets of the institution shall be determined by the Board and shall be paid to the Central Bank out of the assets of such institution. If the Monetary Board shall determine and confirm within the said period that the bank or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions is insolvent or cannot resume business with safety to its depositors, creditors, and the general public, it shall, if the public interest requires, order its liquidation, indicate the manner of its liquidation and approve a liquidation plan which may, when warranted, involve disposition of any or all assets in consideration for the assumption of equivalent liabilities. The liquidator designated as

hereunder provided shall, by the Solicitor General, file a petition in the regional trial court reciting the proceedings which have been taken and praying the assistance of the court in the liquidation of such institutions. The court shall have jurisdiction in the same proceedings to assist in the adjudication of the disputed claims against the bank or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions and in the enforcement of individual liabilities of the stockholders and do all that is necessary to preserve the assets of such institutions and to implement the liquidation plan approved by the Monetary Board. The Monetary Board shall designate an official of the Central bank or a person of recognized competence in banking or finance, as liquidator who shall take over and continue the functions of the receiver previously appointed by the Monetary Board under this Section. The liquidator shall, with all convenient speed, convert the assets of the banking institutions or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking function to money or sell, assign or otherwise dispose of the same to creditors and other parties for the purpose of paying the debts of such institution and he may, in the name of the bank or nonbank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions and with the assistance of counsel as he may retain, institute such actions as may be necessary in the appropriate court to collect and recover accounts and assets of such institution or defend any action filed against the institution: Provided, However, That after having reasonably established all claims against the institution, the liquidator may, with the approval of the court, effect partial payments of such claims for assets of the institution in accordance with their legal priority. The assets of an institution under receivership or liquidation shall be deemed in custodia legis in the hands of the receiver or liquidator and shall from the moment of such receivership or liquidation, be exempt from any order of garnishment, levy, attachment, orexecution. The provisions of any law to the contrary notwithstanding, the actions of the Monetary Board under this Section, Section 28-A, an the second paragraph of Section 34 of this Act shall be final an executory, and can be set aside by a court only if there is convince proof, after hearing,

that the action is plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith: Provided, That the same is raised in an appropriate pleading filed by the stockholders of record representing the majority of th capital stock within ten (10) days from the date the receiver take charge of the assets and liabilities of the bank or non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions or, in case of conservatorship or liquidation, within ten (10) days from receipt of notice by the said majority stockholders of said bank or non-bank financial intermediary of the order of its placement under conservatorship o liquidation. No restraining order or injunction shall be issued by an court enjoining the Central Bank from implementing its actions under this Section and the second paragraph of Section 34 of this Act in th absence of any convincing proof that the action of the Monetary Board is plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith and the petitioner or plaintiff files a bond, executed in favor of the Central Bank, in an amount be fixed by the court. The restraining order or injunction shall be refused or, if granted, shall be dissolved upon filing by the Central Bank of a bond, which shall be in the form of cash or Central Bank cashier's check, in an amount twice the amount of the bond of th petitioner or plaintiff conditioned that it will pay the damages which the petitioner or plaintiff may suffer by the refusal or the dissolution of the injunction. The provisions of Rule 58 of the New Rules of Court insofar as they are applicable and not inconsistent with the provision of this Section shall govern the issuance and dissolution of the re straining order or injunction contemplated in this Section. xxx xxx xxx Based on the aforequoted provision, the Monetary Board may order the cessation of operations of a bank in the Philippine and place it under receivership upon a finding of insolvency or when its continuance in business would involve probable loss its depositors or creditors. If the Monetary Board shall determine and confirm within sixty (60) days that the bank is insolvent or can no longer resume business with safety to its depositors, creditors and the general public, it shall, if public interest will be served, order its liquidation. Specifically, the basic question to be resolved in G.R. Nos. 70054, 78767 and 78894 is whether or not the Central Bank and the Monetary Board

acted arbitrarily and in bad faith in finding and thereafter concluding that petitioner bank is insolvent, and in ordering its closure on January 25, 1985. As We have stated in Our resolution dated August 3, 1989, the documents pertinent to the resolution of these petitions are the Teodoro Report, Tiaoqui Report, and the Valenzuela, Aurellano and Tiaoqui Report and the supporting documents made as bases by the supporters of their conclusions contained in their respective reports. We will focus Our study and discussion however on the Tiaoqui Report and the Valenzuela, Aurellano and Tiaoqui Report. The former recommended the closure and receivership of petitioner bank while the latter report made the recommendation to eventually place the petitioner bank under liquidation. This Court shall likewise take into consideration the findings contained in the reports of the two commissioners who were appointed by this Court to hold the referral hearings, namely the report by Judge Manuel Cosico submitted February 20, 1988 and the report submitted by Justice Consuelo Santiago on January 28, 1991. There is no question that under Section 29 of the Central Bank Act, the following are the mandatory requirements to be complied with before a bank found to be insolvent is ordered closed and forbidden to do business in the Philippines: Firstly, an examination shall be conducted by the head of the appropriate supervising or examining department or his examiners or agents into the condition of the bank; secondly, it shall be disclosed in the examination that the condition of the bank is one of insolvency, or that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors; thirdly, the department head concerned shall inform the Monetary Board in writing, of the facts; and lastly, the Monetary Board shall find the statements of the department head to be true. Anent the first requirement, the Tiaoqui report, submitted on January 23, 1985, revealed that the finding of insolvency of petitioner was based on the partial list of exceptions and findings on the regular examination of the bank as of July 31, 1984 conducted by the Supervision and Examination Sector II of the Central Bank of the PhilippinesCentral Bank (p. 1, Tiaoqui Report). On December 17, 1984, this list of exceptions and finding was submitted to the petitioner bank (p. 6, Tiaoqui Report) This was attached to the letter dated December 17, 1984, of examiner-in-charge Dionisio Domingo of SES Department II of the Central Bank to Teodoro Arcenas, president of petitione bank, which disclosed that the examination of the petitioner

bank as to its financial condition as of July 31, 1984 was not yet completed or finished on December 17, 1984 when the Central Bank submitted the partial list of findings of examination to th petitioner bank. The letter reads: In connection with the regular examination of your institution a of July 31, 1984, we are submitting herewith a partial list of our exceptions/findings for your comments. Please be informed that we have not yet officially terminated our examination (tentatively scheduled last December 7, 1984) and that we are still awaiting for the unsubmitted replies to our previous letters requests. Moreover, other findings/ observations are still being summarized including the classification of loans and other risk assets. These shall be submitted to you in due time (p. 810, Rollo, Vol. III; emphasis ours). It is worthy to note that a conference was held on January 21, 1985 at the Central Bank between the officials of the latter an of petitioner bank. What transpired and what was agreed upon during the conference was explained in the Tiaoqui report. ... The discussion centered on the substantial exposure of the bank to the various entities which would have a relationship with the bank; the manner by which some bank funds were made indirectly available to several entities within the group; and the unhealth financial status of these firms in which the bank was additionally exposed through new funds or refinancing accommodation including accrued interest. Queried in the impact of these clean loans, on the bank solvency Mr. Dizon (BF Executive Vice President) intimated that, collectively these corporations have large undeveloped real estate properties in the suburbs which can be made answerable for the unsecured loans a well as the Central Bank's credit accommodations. A formal reply of the bank would still be forthcoming. (pp. 5859, Rollo, Vol. I; emphasis ours) Clearly, Tiaoqui based his report on an incomplete examination of petitioner bank and outrightly concluded therein that the latter's financial

status was one of insolvency or illiquidity. He arrived at the said conclusion from the following facts: that as of July 31, 1984, total capital accounts consisting of paid-in capital and other capital accounts such as surplus, surplus reserves and undivided profits aggregated P351.8 million; that capital adjustments, however, wiped out the capital accounts and placed the bank with a capital deficiency amounting to P334.956 million; that the biggest adjustment which contributed to the deficit is the provision for estimated losses on accounts classified as doubtful and loss which was computed at P600.4 million pursuant to the examination. This provision is also known as valuation reserves which was set up or deducted against the capital accounts of the bank in arriving at the latter's financial condition. Tiaoqui however admits the insufficiency and unreliability of the findings of the examiner as to the setting up of recommended valuation reserves from the assets of petitioner bank. He stated: The recommended valuation reserves as bases for determining the financial status of the bank would need to be discussed with the bank, consistent with standard examination procedure, for which the bank would in turn reply. Also, the examination has not been officially terminated. (p. 7. Tiaoqui report; p. 59, Rollo, Vol. I) In his testimony in the second referral hearing before Justice Santiago, Tiaoqui testified that on January 21, 1985, he met with officers of petitioner bank to discuss the advanced findings and exceptions made by Mr. Dionisio Domingo which covered 70%-80% of the bank's loan portfolio; that at that meeting, Fortunato Dizon (BF's Executive Vice President) said that as regards the unsecured loans granted to various corporations, said corporations had large undeveloped real estate properties which could be answerable for the said unsecured loans and that a reply from BF was forthcoming, that he (Tiaoqui) however prepared his report despite the absence of such reply; that he believed, as in fact it is stated in his report, that despite the meeting on January 21, 1985, there was still a need to discuss the recommended valuation reserves of petitioner bank and; that he however, did not wait anymore for a discussion of the recommended valuation reserves and instead prepared his report two days after January 21, 1985 (pp. 3313-3314, Rollo). Records further show that the examination of petitioner bank was officially terminated only when Central Bank Examination-charge Dionisio Domingo submitted his final report of examination on March 4,1985.

It is evident from the foregoing circumstances that the examination contemplated in Sec. 29 of the CB Act as a mandatory requirement was not completely and fully complied with. Despite the existence of the partial list of findings in the examination of the bank, there were still highly significant items to be weighed and determined such as the matter of valuation reserves, before these can be considered in the financial condition of the bank. It would be a drastic move to conclude prematurely that a bank is insolvent if the basis for such conclusion is lacking and insufficient, especially if doubt exists as to whether such bases or findings faithfully represent the real financial status of the bank. The actuation of the Monetary Board in closing petitioner bank on January 25, 1985 barely four days after a conference with the latter on the examiners' partial findings on its financial position is also violative of what was provided in the CB Manual of Examination Procedures. Said manual provides that only after the examination is concluded, should a pre-closing conference led by the examiner-in-charge be held with the officers/representatives of the institution on the findings/exception, and a copy of the summary of the findings/violations should be furnished the institution examined so that corrective action may be taken by them as soon as possible (Manual of Examination Procedures, General Instruction, p. 14). It is hard to understand how a period of four days after the conference could be a reasonable opportunity for a bank to undertake a responsive and corrective action on the partial list of findings of the examiner-in-charge. We recognize the fact that it is the responsibility of the Central Bank of the Philippines to administer the monetary, banking and credit system of the country and that its powers and functions shall be exercised by the Monetary Board pursuant to Rep. Act No. 265, known as the Central Bank Act. Consequently, the power and authority of the Monetary Board to close banks and liquidate them thereafter when public interest so requires is an exercise of the police power of the state. Police power, however, may not be done arbitratrily or unreasonably and could be set aside if it is either capricious, discriminatory, whimsical, arbitrary, unjust or is tantamount to a denial of due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution (Central Bank v. Court of Appeals, Nos. L-50031-32, July 27, 1981, 106 SCRA 143). In the instant case, the basic standards of substantial due process were not observed. Time and again, We have held in several cases, that the procedure of administrative tribunals must satisfy the fundamentals of fair play and that their judgment should express a well-supported conclusion.

In the celebrated case of Ang Tibay v. Court of Industrial Relations, 69 Phil. 635, this Court laid down several cardinal primary rights which must be respected in a proceeding before an administrative body. However, as to the requirement of notice and hearing, Sec. 29 of RA 265 does not require a previous hearing before the Monetary Board implements the closure of a bank, since its action is subject to judicial scrutiny as provided for under the same law (Rural Bank of Bato v. IAC, G.R. No. 65642, October 15, 1984, Rural Bank v. Court of Appeals, G.R. 61689, June 20, 1988,162 SCRA 288). Notwithstanding the foregoing, administrative due process does not mean that the other important principles may be dispensed with, namely: the decision of the administrative body must have something to support itself and the evidence must be substantial. Substantial evidence is more than a mere scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion (Ang Tibay vs. CIR, supra). Hence, where the decision is merely based upon pieces of documentary evidence that are not sufficiently substantial and probative for the purpose and conclusion they are presented, the standard of fairness mandated in the due process clause is not met. In the case at bar, the conclusion arrived at by the respondent Board that the petitioner bank is in an illiquid financial position on January 23, 1985, as to justify its closure on January 25, 1985 cannot be given weight and finality as the report itself admits the inadequacy of its basis to support its conclusion. The second requirement provided in Section 29, R.A. 265 before a bank may be closed is that the examination should disclose that the condition of the bank is one of insolvency. As to the concept of whether the bank is solvent or not, the respondents contend that under the Central Bank Manual of Examination Procedures, Central Bank examiners must recommend valuation reserves, when warranted, to be set up or deducted against the corresponding asset account to determine the bank's true condition or net worth. In the case of loan accounts, to which practically all the questioned valuation reserves refer, the manual provides that: 1. For doubtful loans, or loans the ultimate collection of which is doubtful and in which a substantial loss is probable but not yet definitely ascertainable as to extent, valuation reserves of fifty per cent (50%) of the accounts should be recommended to be set up.

2. For loans classified as loss, or loans regarded by the examiner as absolutely uncollectible or worthless, valuation reserves of one hundred percent (100%) of the accounts should be recommended to be set up (p. 8, Objections to Santiago report). The foregoing criteria used by respondents in determining the financial condition of the bank is based on Section 5 of RA 337, known as the General Banking Act which states: Sec. 5. The following terms shall be held to be synonymous and interchangeable: ... f. Unimpaired Capital and Surplus, "Combined capital accounts," and "Net worth," which terms shall mean for the purposes of this Act, the total of the "unimpaired paidin capital, surplus, and undivided profits net of such valuation reserves as may be required by the Central Bank." There is no doubt that the Central Bank Act vests authority upon the Central Bank and Monetary Board to take charge and administer the monetary and banking system of the country and this authority includes the power to examine and determine the financial condition of banks for purposes provided for by law, such as for the purpose of closure on the ground of insolvency stated in Section 29 of the Central Bank Act. But express grants of power to public officers should be subjected to a strict interpretation, and will be construed as conferring those powers which are expressly imposed or necessarily implied (Floyd Mechem, Treatise on the Law of Public Offices and Officers, p. 335). In this case, there can be no clearer explanation of the concept of insolvency than what the law itself states. Sec. 29 of the Central Bank Act provides that insolvency under the Act, shall be understood to mean that "the realizable assets of a bank or a non-bank financial intermediary performing quasi-banking functions as determined by the Central Bank are insufficient to meet its liabilities." Hence, the contention of the Central Bank that a bank's true financial condition is synonymous with the terms "unimpaired capital and surplus," "combined capital accounts" and net worth after deducting valuation reserves from the capital, surplus and unretained earnings, citing Sec. 5 of RA 337 is misplaced.

Firstly, it is clear from the law that a solvent bank is one in which its assets exceed its liabilities. It is a basic accounting principle that assets are composed of liabilities and capital. The term "assets" includes capital and surplus" (Exley v. Harris, 267 p. 970, 973, 126 Kan., 302). On the other hand, the term "capital" includes common and preferred stock, surplus reserves, surplus and undivided profits. (Manual of Examination Procedures, Report of Examination on Department of Commercial and Savings Banks, p. 3-C). If valuation reserves would be deducted from these items, the result would merely be the networth or the unimpaired capital and surplus of the bank applying Sec. 5 of RA 337 but not the total financial condition of the bank. Secondly, the statement of assets and liabilities is used in balance sheets. Banks use statements of condition to reflect the amounts, nature and changes in the assets and liabilities. The Central Bank Manual of Examination Procedures provides a format or checklist of a statement of condition to be used by examiners as guide in the examination of banks. The format enumerates the items which will compose the assets and liabilities of a bank. Assets include cash and those due from banks, loans, discounts and advances, fixed assets and other property owned or acquired and other miscellaneous assets. The amount of loans, discounts and advances to be stated in the statement of condition as provided for in the manual is computed after deducting valuation reserves when deemed necessary. On the other hand, liabilities are composed of demand deposits, time and savings deposits, cashier's, manager's and certified checks, borrowings, due to head office, branches; and agencies, other liabilities and deferred credits (Manual of Examination Procedure, p. 9). The amounts stated in the balance sheets or statements of condition including the computation of valuation reserves when justified, are based however, on the assumption that the bank or company will continue in business indefinitely, and therefore, the networth shown in the statement is in no sense an indication of the amount that might be realized if the bank or company were to be liquidated immediately (Prentice Hall Encyclopedic Dictionary of Business Finance, p. 48). Further, based on respondents' submissions, the allowance for probable losses on loans and discounts represents the amount set up against current operations to provide for possible losses arising from noncollection of loans and advances, and this account is also referred to as valuation reserve (p. 9, Objections to Santiago report). Clearly, the statement of condition which contains a provision for recommended valuation reserves should not be used as the ultimate basis to determine the solvency of an institution for the purpose of termination of its operations.

Respondents acknowledge that under the said CB manual, CB examiners must recommend valuation reserves,when warranted, to be set up against the corresponding asset account (p. 8, Objections to Santiago report). Tiaoqui himself, as author of the report recommending the closure of petitioner bank admits that the valuation reserves should still be discussed with the petitioner bank in compliance with standard examination procedure. Hence, for the Monetary Board to unilaterally deduct an uncertain amount as valuation reserves from the assets of a bank and to conclude therefrom without sufficient basis that the bank is insolvent, would be totally unjust and unfair. The test of insolvency laid down in Section 29 of the Central Bank Act is measured by determining whether the realizable assets of a bank are leas than its liabilities. Hence, a bank is solvent if the fair cash value of all its assets, realizable within a reasonable time by a reasonable prudent person, would equal or exceed its total liabilities exclusive of stock liability; but if such fair cash value so realizable is not sufficient to pay such liabilities within a reasonable time, the bank is insolvent. (Gillian v. State, 194 N.E. 360, 363, 207 Ind. 661). Stated in other words, the insolvency of a bank occurs when the actual cash market value of its assets is insufficient to pay its liabilities, not considering capital stock and surplus which are not liabilities for such purpose (Exley v. Harris, 267 p. 970, 973,126 Kan. 302; Alexander v. Llewellyn, Mo. App., 70 S.W. 2n 115,117). In arriving at the computation of realizable assets of petitioner bank, respondents used its books which undoubtedly are not reflective of the actual cash or fair market value of its assets. This is not the proper procedure contemplated in Sec. 29 of the Central Bank Act. Even the CB Manual of Examination Procedures does not confine examination of a bank solely with the determination of the books of the bank. The latter is part of auditing which should not be confused with examination. Examination appraises the soundness of the institution's assets, the quality and character of management and determines the institution's compliance with laws, rules and regulations. Audit is a detailed inspection of the institution's books, accounts, vouchers, ledgers, etc. to determine the recording of all assets and liabilities. Hence, examination concerns itself with review and appraisal, while audit concerns itself with verification (CB Manual of Examination Procedures, General Instructions, p. 5). This Court however, is not in the position to determine how much cash or market value shall be assigned to each of the assets and liabilities of the bank to determine their total realizable value. The proper determination of these matters by using the actual cash value criteria belongs to the field of fact-finding expertise of the Central Bank and the

Monetary Board. Notwithstanding the fact that the figures arrived at by the respondent Board as to assets and liabilities do not truly indicate their realizable value as they were merely based on book value, We will however, take a look at the figures presented by the Tiaoqui Report in concluding insolvency as of July 31, 1984 and at the figures presented by the CB authorized deputy receiver and by the Valenzuela, Aurellano and Tiaoqui Report which recommended the liquidation of the bank by reason of insolvency as o January 25,1985. The Tiaoqui report dated January 23, 1985, which was based on partial examination findings on the bank's condition as of July 31, 1984, states that total liabilities of P5,282.1 million exceeds total assets of P4,947.2 million after deducting from the assets valuation reserves of P612.2 million. Since, as We have explained in our previous discussion that valuation reserves can not be legally deducted as there was no truthful and complete evaluation thereof as admitted by the Tiaoqui report itself, then an adjustment of the figures win show that the liabilities of P5,282.1 million will not exceed the total assets which will amount to P5,559.4 if the 612.2 million allotted to valuation reserves will not be deducted from the assets. There can be no basis therefore for both the conclusion of insolvency and for the decision of the respondent Board to close petitioner bank and place it under receivership. Concerning the financial position of the bank as of January 25, 1985, the date of the closure of the bank, the consolidated statement of condition thereof as of the aforesaid date shown in the Valenzuela, Aurellano and Tiaoqui report on the receivership of petitioner bank, dated March 19, 1985, indicates that total liabilities of 4,540.84 million does not exceed the total assets of 4,981.53 million. Likewise, the consolidated statement of condition of petitioner bank as of January 25, 1985 prepared by the Central Bank Authorized Deputy Receiver Artemio Cruz shows that total assets amounting to P4,981,522,996.22 even exceeds total liabilities amounting to P4,540,836,834.15. Based on the foregoing, there was no valid reason for the Valenzuela, Aurellano and Tiaoqui report to finally recommend the liquidation of petitioner bank instead of its rehabilitation. We take note of the exhaustive study and findings of the Cosico report on the petitioner bank's having engaged in unsafe, unsound and fraudulent banking practices by the granting of huge unsecured loans to several subsidiaries and related companies. We do not see, however, that this has any material bearing on the validity of the closure. Section 34 of the RA 265, Central Bank Act empowers the Monetary Board to take action under Section 29 of the Central Bank Act when a bank "persists in carrying on its business in an unlawful or unsafe manner." There was no

showing whatsoever that the bank had persisted in committing unlawful banking practices and that the respondent Board had attempted to take effective action on the bank's alleged activities. During the period from July 27, 1984 up to January 25, 1985, when petitioner bank was under conservatorship no official of the bank was ever prosecuted, suspended or removed for any participation in unsafe and unsound banking practices, and neither was the entire management of the bank replaced or substituted. In fact, in her testimony during the second referral hearing, Carlota Valenzuela, CB Deputy Governor, testified that the reason for petitioner bank's closure was not unsound, unsafe and fraudulent banking practices but the alleged insolvency position of the bank (TSN, August 3, 1990, p. 3316, Rollo, Vol. VIII). Finally, another circumstance which point to the solvency of petitioner bank is the granting by the Monetary Board in favor of the former a credit line in the amount of P3 billion along with the placing of petitioner bank under conservatorship by virtue of M.B. Resolution No. 955 dated July 27, 1984. This paved the way for the reopening of the bank on August 1, 1984 after a self-imposed bank holiday on July 23, 1984. On emergency loans and advances, Section 90 of RA 265 provides two types of emergency loans that can be granted by the Central Bank to a financially distressed bank: Sec. 90. ... In periods of emergency or of imminent financial panic which directly threaten monetary and banking stability, the Central Bank may grant banking institutions extraordinary advances secured by any assets which are defined as acceptable by by a concurrent vote of at least five members of the Monetary Board. While such advances are outstanding, the debtor institution may not expand the total volume of its loans or investments without the prior authorization of the Monetary Board. The Central Bank may, at its discretion, likewise grant advances to banking institutions, even during normal periods, for the purpose of assisting a bank in a precarious financial condition or under serious financial pressures brought about by unforeseen events, or events which, though foreseeable, could not be prevented by the bank concerned. Provided, however, That the Monetary Board has ascertained that the bank is not insolvent and has clearly realizable assets to secure the advances. Provided, further, That a concurrent vote of at least five

members of the Monetary Board is obtained. (Emphasis ours) The first paragraph of the aforequoted provision contemplates a situation where the whole banking community is confronted with financial and economic crisis giving rise to serious and widespread confusion among the public, which may eventually threaten and gravely prejudice the stability of the banking system. Here, the emergency or financial confusion involves the whole banking community and not one bank or institution only. The second situation on the other hand, provides for a situation where the Central Bank grants a loan to a bank with uncertain financial condition but not insolvent. As alleged by the respondents, the following are the reasons of the Central Bank in approving the resolution granting the P3 billion loan to petitioner bank and the latter's reopening after a brief self-imposed banking holiday: WHEREAS, the closure by Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank of its Banking offices on its own initiative has worked serious hardships on its depositors and has affected confidence levels in the banking system resulting in a feeling of apprehension among depositors and unnecessary deposit withdrawals; WHEREAS, the Central Bank is charged with the function of administering the banking system; WHEREAS, the reopening of Banco Filipino would require additional credit resources from the Central Bank as well as an independent management acceptable to the Central Bank; WHEREAS, it is the desire of the Central Bank to rapidly diffuse the uncertainty that presently exists; ... (M.B. Min. No. 35 dated July 27, 1984 cited in Respondents' Objections to Santiago Report, p. 26; p. 3387, Rollo, Vol. IX; Emphasis ours). A perusal of the foregoing "Whereas" clauses unmistakably show that the clear reason for the decision to grant the emergency loan to petitioner bank was that the latter was suffering from financial distress and severe

bank "run" as a result of which it closed on July 23, 1984 and that the release of the said amount is in accordance with the Central Bank's full support to meet Banco Filipino's depositors' withdrawal requirements (Excerpts of minutes of meeting on MB Min. No. 35, p. 25, Rollo, Vol. IX). Nothing therein shows that an extraordinary emergency situation exists affecting most banks, not only as regards petitioner bank. This Court thereby finds that the grant of the said emergency loan was intended from the beginning to fall under the second paragraph of Section 90 of the Central Bank Act, which could not have occurred if the petitioner bank was not solvent. Where notwithstanding knowledge of the irregularities and unsafe banking practices allegedly committed by the petitioner bank, the Central Bank even granted financial support to the latter and placed it under conservatorship, such actuation means that petitioner bank could still be saved from its financial distress by adequate aid and management reform, which was required by Central Bank's duty to maintain the stability of the banking system and the preservation of public confidence in it (Ramos v. Central Bank, No. L-29352, October 4, 1971, 41 SCRA 565). In view of the foregoing premises, We believe that the closure of the petitioner bank was arbitrary and committed with grave abuse of discretion. Granting in gratia argumenti that the closure was based on justified grounds to protect the public, the fact that petitioner bank was suffering from serious financial problems should not automatically lead to its liquidation. Section 29 of the Central Bank provides that a closed bank may be reorganized or otherwise placed in such a condition that it may be permitted to resume business with safety to its depositors, creditors and the general public. We are aware of the Central Bank's concern for the safety of Banco Filipino's depositors as well as its creditors including itself which had granted substantial financial assistance up to the time of the latter's closure. But there are alternatives to permanent closure and liquidation to safeguard those interests as well as those of the general public for the failure of Banco Filipino or any bank for that matter may be viewed as an irreversible decline of the country's entire banking system and ultimately, it may reflect on the Central Bank's own viability. For one thing, the Central Bank and the Monetary Board should exercise strict supervision over Banco Filipino. They should take all the necessary steps not violative of the laws that will fully secure the repayment of the total financial assistance that the Central Bank had already granted or would grant in the future. ACCORDINGLY, decision is hereby rendered as follows:

1. The motion for reconsideration in G.R. Nos. 68878 and 81303, and the petitions in G.R. Nos. 77255-58, 78766, 81304 and 90473 are DENIED; 2. The petitions in G.R. No. 70054, 78767 and 78894 are GRANTED and the assailed order of the Central Bank and the Monetary Board dated January 25, 1985 is hereby ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE. The Central Bank and the Monetary Board are ordered to reorganize petitioner Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank and allow the latter to resume business in the Philippines under the comptrollership of both the Central Bank and the Monetary Board and under such conditions as may be prescribed by the latter in connection with its reorganization until such time that petitioner bank can continue in business with safety to its creditors, depositors and the general public. SO ORDERED. Narvasa, C.J., Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Bidin and Regalado, JJ., concur. Paras, Feliciano, Padilla, Davide, Jr. and Nocon, JJ., took no part. G.R. No. L-61689 June 20, 1988 RURAL BANK OF BUHI, INC., and HONORABLE JUDGE CARLOS R. BUENVIAJE, petitioners, vs. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES and CONSOLACION ODRA,respondents. Manuel B. Tomacruz and Rustico Pasilavan for petitioners. I.B. Regalado, Jr. and Pacifica T. Torres for respondents.

mandatory injunction to restrain respondents from enforcing aforesaid orders and decision of the respondent Court, and to give due course to the petitioners' complaint in IR-428, pending before Hon. Judge Carlos R. Buenviaje of Branch VII, CFI, Camarines Sur. The decretal portion of the appealed decision reads: DAHIL DITO, ang utos ng pinasasagot sa Hukom noong ika-9 ng Marso, 1982, ay isinasang-tabi. Kapalit nito, isang utos and ipinalabas na nag-uutos sa pinasasagot sa Hukom na itigil ang anumang pagpapatuloy o pagdidinig kaugnay sa usaping IR-428 na pinawawalang saysay din ng Hukumang ito. SIYANG IPINAG-UUTOS. The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: The petitioner Rural Bank of Buhi, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as Buhi) is a juridical entity existing under the laws of the Philippines. Buhi is a rural bank that started its operations only on December 26,1975 (Rollo, p. 86). In 1980, an examination of the books and affairs of Buhi was ordered conducted by the Rural Banks and Savings and Loan Association (DRBSLA), Central Bank of the Philippines, which by law, has charge of the supervision and examination of rural banks and savings and loan associations in the Philippines. However, said petitioner refused to be examined and as a result thereof, financial assistance was suspended. On January 10, 1980, a general examination of the bank's affairs and operations was conducted and there were found by DRBSLA represented by herein respondent, Consolacion V. Odra, Director of DRBSLA, among others, massive irregularities in its operations consisting of loans to unknown and fictitious borrowers, where the sum of P 1,704,782.00 was past due and another sum of P1,130,000.00 was also past due in favor of the Central Bank (Rollo, p. 86). The promissory notes evidencing these loans were rediscounted with the Central Bank for cash. As a result thereof, the bank became insolvent and prejudiced its depositors and creditors. Respondent, Consolacion V. Odra, submitted a report recommending to the Monetary Board of the Central Bank the placing of Buhi under receivership in accordance with Section 29 of Republic Act No. 265, as

PARAS, J.: This is a petition for review on certiorari with preliminary mandatory injunction seeking the reversal of the orders of the Court of Appeals dated March 19, 1982 and March 24, 1982 and its decision * (HATOL) promulgated on June 17,1982 in CA-G.R. No. 13944 entitled "Banko Central ng Pilipinas at Consolacion Odra Laban Kina Rural Bank of Buhi (Camarines Sur), Inc." and praying for a restraining order or a preliminary

amended, the designation of the Director, DRBSLA, as receiver thereof. On March 28, 1980, the Monetary Board, finding the report to be true, adopted Resolution No. 583 placing Buhi, petitioner herein, under receivership and designated respondent, Consolacion V. Odra, as Receiver, pursuant to the provisions of Section 29 of Republic Act No. 265 as amended (Rollo, p. 111). In a letter dated April 8, 1980, respondent Consolacion V. Odra, as receiver, implemented and carried out said Monetary Board Resolution No. 583 by authorizing deputies of the receiver to take control, possession and charge of Buhi, its assets and liabilities (Rollo, p. 109). Imelda del Rosario, Manager of herein petitioner Buhi, filed a petition for injunction with Restraining Order dated April 23, 1980, docketed as Special Proceedings IR-428 against respondent Consolacion V. Odra and DRBSLA deputies in the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, Branch VII, Iriga City, entitled Rural Bank of Buhi vs. Central Bank, which assailed the action of herein respondent Odra in recommending the receivership over Buhi as a violation of the provisions of Sections 28 and 29 of Republic Act No. 265 as amended, and Section 10 of Republic Act No. 720 (The Rural Banks Act) and as being ultra vires and done with grave abuse of discretion and in excess of jurisdiction (Rollo, p. 120). Respondents filed their motion to dismiss dated May 27, 1980 alleging that the petition did not allege a cause of action and is not sufficient in form and substance and that it was filed in violation of Section 29, Republic Act No. 265 as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1007 (Rollo, p. 36). Petitioners, through their counsel, filed an opposition to the motion to dismiss dated June 17, 1980 averring that the petition alleged a valid cause of action and that respondents have violated the due process clause of the Constitution (Rollo, p. 49). Later, respondents filed a reply to the opposition dated July 1, 1980, claiming that the petition is not proper; that Imelda del Rosario is not the proper representative of the bank; that the petition failed to state a cause of action; and, that the provisions of Section 29 of Republic Act No. 265 had been faithfully observed (Rollo, p. 57). On August 22, 1980, the Central Bank Monetary Board issued a Resolution No. 1514 ordering the liquidation of the Rural Bank of Buhi (Rollo, p. 108).

On September 1, 1981, the Office of the Solicitor General, in accordance with Republic Act No. 265, Section 29, filed in the same Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, Branch VII, a petition for Assistance in the Liquidation of Buhi, which petition was docketed as SP-IR-553, pursuant to the Monetary Board Resolution No. 1514 (Rollo, pp. 89; 264). Meanwhile, respondent Central Bank filed on September 15, 1981, in Civil Case No. IR-428 a Supplemental Motion To Dismiss on the ground that the receivership of Buhi, in view of the issuance of the Monetary Board Resolution No. 1514 had completely become moot and academic (Rollo, p. 68) and the fact that Case SP-IR-553 for the liquidation of Buhi was already pending with the same Court (Rollo, p. 69). On October 16, 1981, petitioners herein filed their amended complaint in Civil Case No. IR-428 alleging that the issuance of Monetary Board Resolution No. 583 was plainly arbitrary and in bad faith under aforequoted Section 29 of Republic Act No. 265 as amended, among others (Rollo, p. 28). On the same day, petitioner herein filed a rejoinder to its opposition to the motion to dismiss (Rollo, p. 145). On March 9,1982, herein petitioner Judge Buenviaje, issued an order denying the respondents' motion to dismiss, supplemental motion to dismiss and granting a temporary restraining order enjoining respondents from further managing and administering the Rural Bank of Buhi and to deliver the possession and control thereof to the petitioner Bank under the same conditions and with the same financial status as when the same was taken over by herein respondents (defendants) on April 16, 1980 and further enjoining petitioner to post a bond in the amount of three hundred thousand pesos (P300,000.00) (Rollo, p. 72). The dispositive portion of said decision reads: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to dismiss, in the light of petitioners' opposition, for want of sufficient merit is denied. Respondents are hereby directed to file their answer within ten (10) days from receipt of a copy of this order. (Rollo, p. 4). On March 11, 1982, petitioner Buhi through counsel, conformably with the above-mentioned order, filed a Motion to Admit Bond in the amount of P300,220.00 (Rollo, pp. 78-80).

On March 15,1982, herein petitioner Judge issued the order admitting the bond of P300,220.00 filed by the petitioner, and directing the respondents to surrender the possession of the Rural Bank of Buhi, together with all its equipments, accessories, etc. to the petitioners (Rollo, p. 6). Consequently, on March 16, 1982, herein petitioner Judge issued the writ of execution directing the Acting Provincial Sheriff of Camarines Sur to implement the Court's order of March 9, 1982 (Rollo, p. 268). Complying with the said order of the Court, the Deputy Provincial Sheriff went to the Buhi premises to implement the writ of execution but the vault of the petitioner bank was locked and no inventory was made, as evidenced by the Sheriffs Report (Rollo, pp. 83-84). Thus, the petitioner herein filed with the Court an "Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Allow Sheriff Calope to Force Open Bank Vault" on the same day (Rollo, p. 268). Accordingly, on March 17, 1982, herein petitioner Judge granted the aforesaid Ex-Parte Motion to Force Open the Bank Vault (Rollo, p. 269). On March 18, 1982, counsel for petitioner filed another "Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Order Manager of City Trust to Allow Petitioner to Withdraw Rural Bank Deposits" while a separate "Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Order Manager of Metrobank to Release Deposits of Petitioners" was filed on the same date. The motion was granted by the Court in an order directing the Manager of Metro Bank-Naga City (Rollo, p. 269) to comply as prayed for. In view thereof, herein respondents filed in the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction docketed as CAG.R. No. 13944 against herein petitioners, seeking to set aside the restraining order and reiterating therein that petitioner Buhi's complaint in the lower court be dismissed (Rollo, p. 270). On March 19, 1982, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution (KAPASIYAHAN) in tagalog, restraining the Hon. Judge Carlos R. Buenviaje, from enforcing his order of March 9,1982 and suspending further proceedings in Sp. Proc. No. IR-428 pending before him while giving the Central Bank counsel, Atty. Ricardo Quintos, authority to carry out personally said orders and directing the "Punong Kawani" of the Court of Appeals to send telegrams to the Office of the President and the Supreme Court (Rollo, p. 168). Herein petitioners did not comply with the Court of Appeals' order of March 19, 1982, but filed instead on March 21, 1982 a motion for reconsideration of said order of the Court of Appeals, claiming that the

lower court's order of March 9, 1982 referred only to the denial of therein respondents' motion to dismiss and supplemental motion to dismiss and that the return of Buhi to the petitioners was already an accomplished fact. The motion was denied by the respondent court in a resolution dated June 1, 1982 (Rollo, p. 301). In view of petitioners' refusal to obey the Court of Appeals' Order of March 19, 1982, herein respondents filed with the Court of Appeals a Motion to Cite Petitioners in Contempt, dated April 22, 1982 (Rollo, p. 174). The Court of Appeals issued on May 24, 1982 an order requiring herein petitioner Rural Bank of Buhi, Inc., through its then Acting Manager, Imelda del Rosario and herein petitioner Judge Carlos Buenviaje, as well as Manuel Genova and Rodolfo Sosa, to show cause within ten (10) days from notice why they should not be held in contempt of court and further directing the Ministry of National Defense or its representative to cause the return of possession and management of the Rural Bank to the respondents Central Bank and Consolacion Odra (Rollo, p. 180). On June 9, 1982, petitioners filed their objection to respondents' motion for contempt dated June 5, 1982 claiming that the properties, subject of the order, had already been returned to the herein petitioners who are the lawful owners thereof and that the returning could no longer be undone (Rollo, p. 181). Later, petitioners filed another motion dated June 17, 1982 for the reconsideration of the resolution of June 1, 1982 of the Court of Appeals alleging that the same contravened and departed from the rulings of the Supreme Court that consummated acts or acts already done could no longer be the subject of mandatory injunction and that the respondent Court of Appeals had no jurisdiction to issue the order unless it was in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, claiming that the case (CA-G.R. No. 13944) did not come to it on appeal (Rollo, p. 302). As aforestated, on June 17, 1982, respondent Court of Appeals rendered its decision (HATOL) setting aside the lower court's restraining order dated March 9,1982 and ordering the dismissal of herein petitioners' amended complaint in Civil Case No. IR-428 (Rollo, p. 186). On July 9, 1982, petitioners (respondents in CA-G.R. No. 13944) filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision dated June 17, 1982 insofar

as the complaint with the lower court (Civil Case No. IR-428 was ordered dismissed (Rollo, p. 305). On August 23, 1982, the respondent Court of Appeals issued its Resolution denying for lack of merit, herein petitioners' motion for reconsideration of the resolution issued by the respondent Court of Appeals on June 1, 1982 and set on August 31, 1982 the hearing of the motion to cite the respondents in CA-G.R. No. SP-13944 (herein petitioner) for contempt (Rollo, p. 193). At said hearing, counsel for Rural Bank of Buhi agreed and promised in open court to restore and return to the Central Bank the possession and control of the Bank within three (3) days from August 31, 1982. However on September 3,1982, Rosalia Guevara, Manager thereof, vigorously and adamantly refused to surrender the premises unless she received a written order from the Court. In a subsequent hearing of the contempt incident, the Court of Appeals issued its Order dated October 13,1982, but Rosalia Guevara still refused to obey, whereupon she was placed under arrest and the Court of Appeals ordered her to be detained until she decided to obey the Court's Order (Rollo, pp. 273-274). Earlier, on September 14, 1982 petitioners had filed this petition even while a motion for reconsideration of the decision of June 17,1982 was still pending consideration in the Court of Appeals. In the resolution of October 20, 1982, the Second Division of this Court without giving due course to the petition required respondents to COMMENT (Rollo, p. 225). Counsel for respondents manifested (Rollo, p. 226) that they could not file the required comment because they were not given a copy of the petition. Meanwhile, they filed an urgent motion dated October 28, 1982 with the Court of Appeals to place the bank through its representatives in possession of the Rural Bank of Buhi (Camarines Sur), Inc. (Rollo, p. 237). On December 9, 1982, petitioners filed a Supplemental Petition with urgent motion for the issuance of a restraining order dated December 2, 1982 praying that the restraining order be issued against respondent court (Rollo, p. 229).

In the resolution of December 15,1982, the Court resolved to require petitioners to furnish the respondents with a copy of the petition and to require the respondents to comment on both the original and the supplemental petitions (Rollo, p. 243). In a resolution of February 21, 1983, the Court NOTED Rosalia V. Guevara's letter dated February 4, 1983 (Rollo, p. 252) addressed to Hon. Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando, requesting that she be allowed to file a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus (Rollo, p. 256). At the hearing of the said petition on February 23, 1983 where the counsel of both parties appeared, this Court noted the Return of the Writ of Habeas Corpus as well as the release of petitioner Rosalia V. Guevara from detention by the National Bureau of Investigation. After hearing aforesaid counsel and petitioner herself, and it appearing that the latter had resigned since January 18,1983 as Manager of the Rural Bank of Buhi, Inc. and that the Central Bank might avail of more than adequate legal measures to take over the management, possession and control of the said bank (and not through contempt proceedings and detention and confinement of petitioner), with Assistant Solicitor General Andin manifesting that respondents were not insisting on the continued detention of petitioner, the Court Resolved to SET the petitioner at liberty and to consider the contempt incident closed (Rollo, p. 339). On April 11, 1983, respondents filed their comment on the original and supplemental petitions. Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals, acting on respondents' urgent motion filed on October 28, 1982 ordered on April 13, 1983 the return to the petitioners (herein respondents) or their duly authorized representatives of the possession, management and control of subject Rural Bank (Rollo, p. 319), together with its properties. On April 28, 1983, petitioner filed an urgent motion: (1) to give due course to the petition and (2) for immediate issuance of a Restraining Order against the respondent court to prevent it from enforcing its aforesaid resolution dated April 13, 1983 and from further proceeding in AC-G.R. No. 13944-SP (Rollo, p. 315). On May 16, 1983, this Court resolved to deny the petition for lack of merit (Rollo, p. 321). On July 25, 1983, petitioners filed their verified Motion for Reconsideration (Rollo, p. 337) praying that the HATOL dated June 17,

1982 of the Court of Appeals be set aside as null and void and that Special Proceedings No. IR-428 of CFI-Camarines Sur, Iriga City, Branch VII, be ordered remanded to the RTC of Camarines Sur, Iriga City, for further proceedings. A Motion for Early Resolution was filed by herein petitioners on March 12,1984 (Rollo, p. 348). Petitioners raised the following legal issues in their motion for reconsideration: I. UNDER SEC. 29, R.A. 265, AS AMENDED, MAY THE MONETARY BOARD (MB) OF THE CENTRAL BANK (CB) PLACE A RURAL BANK UNDER RECEIVERSHIP WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE TO SAID RURAL BANK TO ENABLE IT TO BE HEARD ON THE GROUND RELIED UPON FOR SUCH RECEIVERSHIP? II. UNDER THE SAME SECTION OF SAID LAW, WHERE THE MONETARY BOARD (MB) OF THE CENTRAL BANK (CB) HAS PLACED A RURAL BANK UNDER RECEIVERSHIP, IS SUCH ACTION OF THE MONETARY BOARD (MB) SUBJECT TO JUDICIAL REVIEW? IF SO, WHICH COURT MAY EXERCISE SUCH POWER AND WHEN MAY IT EXERCISE THE SAME? III. UNDER THE SAID SECTION OF THE LAW, SUPPOSE A CIVIL CASE IS INSTITUTED SEEKING ANNULMENT OF THE RECEIVERSHIP ON THE GROUND OF ARBITRARINESS AND BAD FAITH ON THE PART OF THE MONETARY BOARD (MB), MAY SUCH CASE BE DISMISSED BY THE IAC (THEN CA) ON THE GROUND OF INSUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE EVEN IF THE TRIAL COURT HAS NOT HAD A CHANCE YET TO RECEIVE EVIDENCE AND THE PARTIES HAVE NOT YET PRESENTED EVIDENCE EITHER IN THE TRIAL COURT OR IN SAID APPELLATE COURT? (Rollo, pp. 330-331). I. Petitioner Rural Bank's position is to the effect that due process was not observed by the Monetary Board before said bank was placed under receivership. Said Rural Bank claimed that it was not given the chance to deny and disprove such claim of insolvency and/or any other ground which the Monetary Board used in justification of its action. Relative thereto, the provision of Republic Act No. 265 on the proceedings upon insolvency reads:

SEC. 29. Proceedings upon insolvency. Whenever, upon examination by the head of the appropriate supervising and examining department or his examiners or agents into the condition of any banking institution, it shall be disclosed that the condition of the same is one of insolvency, or that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors, it shall be the duty of the department head concerned forthwith, in writing, to inform the Monetary Board of the facts, and the Board may, upon finding the statements of the department head to be true, forbid the institution to do business in the Philippines and shall designate an official of the Central Bank, or a person of recognized competence in banking, as receiver to immediately take charge of its assets and liabilities, as expeditiously as possible collect and gather all the assets and administer the same for the benefit of its creditors, exercising all the powers necessary for these purposes including, but not limited to, bringing suits and foreclosing mortgages in the name of the banking institution. The Monetary Board shall thereupon determine within sixty days whether the institution may be recognized or otherwise placed in such a condition so that it may be permitted to resume business with safety to its depositors and creditors and the general public and shall prescribe the conditions under which such redemption of business shall take place as the time for fulfillment of such conditions. In such case, the expenses and fees in the collection and administration of the assets of the institution shall be determined by the Board and shall be paid to the Central Bank out of the assets of such banking institution. If the Monetary Board shall determine and confirm within the said period that the banking institution is insolvent or cannot resume business with safety to its depositors, creditors and the general public, it shall, if the public interest requires, order its liquidation, indicate the manner of its liquidation and approve a liquidation plan. The Central Bank shall, by the Solicitor General, file a petition in the Court of First Instance reciting the proceedings which have been taken and praying the assistance of the court in the liquidation of the banking institution. The

Court shall have jurisdiction in the same proceedings to adjudicate disputed claims against the bank and enforce individual liabilities of the stockholders and do all that is necessary to preserve the assets of the banking institution and to implement the liquidation plan approved by the Monetary Board. The Monetary Board shall designate an official of the Central Bank or a person of recognized competence in banking, as liquidator who shall take over the functions of the receiver previously appointed by the Monetary Board under this Section. The liquidator shall, with all convenient speed, convert the assets of the banking institution to money or sell, assign or otherwise dispose of the same to creditors and other parties for the purpose of paying the debts of such bank and he may, in the name of the banking institution, institute such actions as may be necessary in the appropriate court to collect and recover accounts and assets of the banking institution. The provisions of any law to the contrary notwithstanding the actions of the Monetary Board under this Section and the second paragraph of Section 34 of this Act shall be final and executory, and can be set aside by the court only if there is convincing proof that the action is plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith. No restraining order or injunction shall be issued by the court enjoining the Central Bank from implementing its actions under this Section and the second paragraph of Section 34 of this Act, unless there is convincing proof that the action of the Monetary Board is plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith and the petitioner or plaintiff files with the clerk or judge of the court in which the action is pending a bond executed in favor of the Central Bank, in an amount to be fixed by the court. The restraining order or injunction shall be refused or, if granted, shall be dissolved upon filing by the Central Bank of a bond, which shall be in the form of cash or Central Bank cashier's check, in an amount twice the amount of the bond of the petitioner, or plaintiff conditioned that it will pay the damages which the petitioner or plaintiff may suffer by the refusal or the dissolution of the injunction. The provisions of Rule 58 of the New Rules of Court insofar as they are applicable and not inconsistent with the provisions of this Section shall

govern the issuance and dissolution of the restraining order or injunction contemplated in this Section. Insolvency, under this Act, shall be understood to mean the inability of a banking institution to pay its liabilities as they fall due in the usual and ordinary course of business: Provided, however, that this shall not include the inability to pay of an otherwise non-insolvent bank caused by extraordinary demands induced by financial panic commonly evidenced by a run on the banks in the banking community. The appointment of a conservator under Section 28-A of this Act or the appointment of receiver under this Section shall be vested exclusively with the Monetary Board, the provision of any law, general or special, to the contrary not withstanding. It will be observed from the foregoing provision of law, that there is no requirement whether express or implied, that a hearing be first conducted before a banking institution may be placed under receivership. On the contrary, the law is explicit as to the conditions prerequisite to the action of the Monetary Board to forbid the institution to do business in the Philippines and to appoint a receiver to immediately take charge of the bank's assets and liabilities. They are: (a) an examination made by the examining department of the Central Bank; (b) report by said department to the Monetary Board; and (c) prima facie showing that the bank is in a condition of insolvency or so situated that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors. Supportive of this theory is the ruling of this Court, which established the authority of the Central Bank under the foregoing circumstances, which reads: As will be noted, whenever it shall appear prima facie that a banking institution is in "a condition of insolvency" or so situated "that its continuance in business would involved probable loss to its depositors or creditors," the Monetary Board has authority: First, to forbid the institution to do business and appoint a receiver therefor; and

Second, to determine, within 60 days, whether or not: 1) the institution may be reorganized and rehabilitated to such an extent as to be permitted to resume business with safety to depositors, creditors and the general public; or 2) it is indeed insolvent or cannot resume business with safety to depositors, creditors and the general public, and public interest requires that it be liquidated. In this latter case (i.e., the bank can no longer resume business with safety to depositors, creditors and the public, etc.) its liquidation will be ordered and a liquidator appointed by the Monetary Board. The Central Bank shall thereafter file a petition in the Regional Trial Court praying for the Court's assistance in the liquidation of the bank." ... (Salud vs. Central Bank, 143 SCRA 590 [1986]). Petitioner further argues, that there is also that constitutional guarantee that no property shall be taken without due process of law, so that Section 29, R.A. 265, as amended, could not have intended to disregard and do away with such constitutional requirement when it conferred upon the Monetary Board the power to place Rural Banks under receivership (Rollo, p. 333). The contention is without merit. It has long been established and recognized in this jurisdiction that the closure and liquidation of a bank may be considered as an exercise of police power. Such exercise may, however, be subject to judicial inquiry and could be set aside if found to be capricious, discriminatory, whimsical, arbitrary, unjust or a denial of the due process and equal protection clauses of the Constitution (Central Bank vs. Court of Appeals, 106 SCRA 155 [1981]). The evident implication of the law, therefore, is that the appointment of a receiver may be made by the Monetary Board without notice and hearing but its action is subject to judicial inquiry to insure the protection of the banking institution. Stated otherwise, due process does not necessarily require a prior hearing; a hearing or an opportunity to be heard may be subsequent to the closure. One can just imagine the dire consequences of a prior hearing: bank runs would be the order of the

day, resulting in panic and hysteria. In the process, fortunes may be wiped out, and disillusionment will run the gamut of the entire banking community. In Mendiola vs. Court of Appeals, (106 SCRA 130), the Supreme Court held: The pivotal issue raised by petitioner is whether or not the appointment of a receiver by the Court of First Instance on January 14, 1969 was in order. Respondent Court correctly stated that the appointment of a receiver pendente lite is a matter principally addressed to and resting largely on the sound discretion of the court to which the application is made. This Tribunal has so held in a number of cases. However, receivership being admittedly a harsh remedy, it should be granted with extreme caution. Sound reasons for receivership must appear of record, and there should be a clear showing of a necessity therefor. Before granting the remedy, the court is advised to consider the consequence or effects thereof in order to avoid irreparable injustice or injury to others who are entitled to as much consideration as those seeking it. xxx xxx xxx This is not to say that a hearing is an indispensable requirement for the appointment of a receiver. As petitioner correctly contends in his first assignment of error, courts may appoint receivers without prior presentation of evidence and solely on the basis of the averments of the pleadings. Rule 59 of the Revised Rules of Court allows the appointment of a receiver upon an ex parte application. There is no question that the action of the Monetary Board in this regard may be subject to judicial review. Thus, it has been held that the courts may interfere with the Central Bank's exercise of discretion in determining whether or not a distressed bank shall be supported or liquidated. Discretion has its limits and has never been held to include arbitrariness, discrimination or bad faith (Ramos vs. Central Bank of the Philippines, 41 SCRA 567 [1971]).

It has likewise been held that resolutions of the Monetary Board under Section 29 of the Central Bank Act, such as: forbidding bank institutions to do business on account of a "condition of insolvency" or because its continuance in business would involve probable loss to depositors or creditors; or appointing a receiver to take charge of the bank's assets and liabilities, or determining whether the bank may be rehabilitated or should be liquidated and appointing a liquidator for that purpose, are under the law "final and executory" and may be set aside only on one ground, that is "if there is convincing proof that the action is plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith" (Salud vs. Central Bank, supra). There is no dispute that under the above-quoted Section 29 of the Central Bank Act, the Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction to adjudicate the question of whether or not the action of the Monetary Board directing the dissolution of the subject Rural Bank is attended by arbitrariness and bad faith. Such position has been sustained by this Court in Salud vs. Central Bank of the Philippines (supra). In the same case, the Court ruled further that a banking institution's claim that a resolution of the Monetary Board under Section 29 of the Central Bank Act should be set aside as plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith, may be asserted as an affirmative defense (Sections 1 and 4[b], Rule 6, Rules of Court) or a counterclaim (Section 6, Rule 6; Section 2, Rule 72 of the Rules of Court) in the proceedings for assistance in liquidation or as a cause of action in a separate and distinct action where the latter was filed ahead of the petition for assistance in liquidation (ibid; Central Bank vs. Court of Appeals, 106 SCRA 143 [1981]). III. It will be noted that in the issuance of the Order of the Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur, Branch VII, Iriga City, dated March 9, 1982 (Rollo, pp. 72-77), there was no trial on the merits. Based on the pleadings filed, the Court merely acted on the Central Bank's Motion to Dismiss and Supplemental Motion to Dismiss, denying both for lack of sufficient merit. Evidently, the trial court merely acted on an incident and has not as yet inquired, as mandated by Section 29 of the Central Bank Act, into the merits of the claim that the Monetary Board's action is plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith. It has not appreciated certain facts which would render the remedy of liquidation proper and rehabilitation improper, involving as it does an examination of the probative value of the evidence presented by the parties properly belonging to the trial court and not properly cognizable on appeal (Central Bank vs. Court of Appeals, supra, p. 156).

Still further, without a hearing held for both parties to substantiate their allegations in their respective pleadings, there is lacking that "convincing proof" prerequisite to justify the temporary restraining order (mandatory injunction) issued by the trial court in its Order of March 9, 1982. PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision of the Court of Appeals is MODIFIED; We hereby order the remand of this case to the Regional Trial Court for further proceedings, but We LIFT the temporary restraining order issued by the trial court in its Order dated March 9, 1982. SO ORDERED. G.R. No. 76118 March 30, 1993 THE CENTRAL BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES and RAMON V. TIAOQUI, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and TRIUMPH SAVINGS BANK, respondents. Sycip, Salazar, Hernandez & Gatmaitan for petitioners. Quisumbing, Torres & Evangelista for Triumph Savings Bank.

BELLOSILLO, J.: May a Monetary Board resolution placing a private bank under receivership be annulled on the ground of lack of prior notice and hearing? This petition seeks review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R. S.P. No. 07867 entitled "The Central Bank of the Philippines and Ramon V. Tiaoqui vs. Hon. Jose C. de Guzman and Triumph Savings Bank," promulgated 26 September 1986, which affirmed the twin orders of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City issued 11 November 1985 1 denying herein petitioners' motion to dismiss Civil Case No. Q45139, and directing petitioner Ramon V. Tiaoqui to restore the private management of Triumph Savings Bank (TSB) to its elected board of directors and officers, subject to Central Bank comptrollership. 2

The antecedent facts: Based on examination reports submitted by the Supervision and Examination Sector (SES), Department II, of the Central Bank (CB) "that the financial condition of TSB is one of insolvency and its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors and creditors," 3 the Monetary Board (MB) issued on 31 May 1985 Resolution No. 596 ordering the closure of TSB, forbidding it from doing business in the Philippines, placing it under receivership, and appointing Ramon V. Tiaoqui as receiver. Tiaoqui assumed office on 3 June 1985. 4 On 11 June 1985, TSB filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, docketed as Civil Case No. Q-45139, against Central Bank and Ramon V. Tiaoqui to annul MB Resolution No. 596, with prayer for injunction, challenging in the process the constitutionality of Sec. 29 of R.A. 269, otherwise known as "The Central Bank Act," as amended, insofar as it authorizes the Central Bank to take over a banking institution even if it is not charged with violation of any law or regulation, much less found guilty thereof. 5 On 1 July 1985, the trial court temporarily restrained petitioners from implementing MB Resolution No. 596 "until further orders", thus prompting them to move for the quashal of the restraining order (TRO) on the ground that it did not comply with said Sec. 29, i.e., that TSB failed to show convincing proof of arbitrariness and bad faith on the part of petitioners;' and, that TSB failed to post the requisite bond in favor of Central Bank. On 19 July 1985, acting on the motion to quash the restraining order, the trial court granted the relief sought and denied the application of TSB for injunction. Thereafter, Triumph Savings Bank filed with Us a petition for certiorariunder Rule 65 of the Rules of Court 6 dated 25 July 1985 seeking to enjoin the continued implementation of the questioned MB resolution. Meanwhile, on 9 August 1985; Central Bank and Ramon Tiaoqui filed a motion to dismiss the complaint before the RTC for failure to state a cause of action, i.e., it did not allege ultimate facts showing that the action was plainly arbitrary and made in bad faith, which are the only grounds for the annulment of Monetary Board resolutions placing a bank under conservatorship, and that TSB was without legal capacity to sue except through its receiver.7 On 9 September 1985, TSB filed an urgent motion in the RTC to direct receiver Ramon V. Tiaoqui to restore TSB to its private management. On

11 November 1985, the RTC in separate orders denied petitioners' motion to dismiss and ordered receiver Tiaoqui to restore the management of TSB to its elected board of directors and officers, subject to CB comptrollership. Since the orders of the trial court rendered moot the petition for certiorari then pending before this Court, Central Bank and Tiaoqui moved on 2 December 1985 for the dismissal of G.R. No. 71465 which We granted on 18 December 1985. 8 Instead of proceeding to trial, petitioners elevated the twin orders of the RTC to the Court of Appeals on a petition for certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65. 9 On 26 September 1986, the appellate court, upheld the orders of the trial court thus Petitioners' motion to dismiss was premised on two grounds, namely, that the complaint failed to state a cause of action and that the Triumph Savings Bank was without capacity to sue except through its appointed receiver. Concerning the first ground, petitioners themselves admit that the Monetary Board resolution placing the Triumph Savings Bank under the receivership of the officials of the Central Bank was done without prior hearing, that is, without first hearing the side of the bank. They further admit that said resolution can be the subject of judicial review and may be set aside should it be found that the same was issued with arbitrariness and in bad faith. The charge of lack of due process in the complaint may be taken as constitutive of allegations of arbitrariness and bad faith. This is not of course to be taken as meaning that there must be previous hearing before the Monetary Board may exercise its powers under Section 29 of its Charter. Rather, judicial review of such action not being foreclosed, it would be best should private respondent be given the chance to show and prove arbitrariness and bad faith in the issuance of the questioned resolution, especially so in the light of the statement of private respondent that neither the bank itself nor its officials were even informed of any charge of violating banking laws.

In regard to lack of capacity to sue on the part of Triumph Savings Bank, we view such argument as being specious, for if we get the drift of petitioners' argument, they mean to convey the impression that only the CB appointed receiver himself may question the CB resolution appointing him as such. This may be asking for the impossible, for it cannot be expected that the master, the CB, will allow the receiver it has appointed to question that very appointment. Should the argument of petitioners be given circulation, then judicial review of actions of the CB would be effectively checked and foreclosed to the very bank officials who may feel, as in the case at bar, that the CB action ousting them from the bank deserves to be set aside. xxx xxx xxx
On the questioned restoration order, this Court must say that it finds nothing whimsical, despotic, capricious, or arbitrary in its issuance, said action only being in line and congruent to the action of the Supreme Court in the Banco Filipino Case (G.R. No. 70054) where management of the bank was restored to its duly elected directors and officers, but subject to the Central Bank comptrollership. 10

(3) in holding that the owners and former officers of an insolvent bank may still act or sue in the name and corporate capacity of such bank, even after it had been ordered closed and placed under receivership. 11

The respondents, on the other hand, allege inter alia that in the Banco Filipino case, 12 We held that CB violated the rule on administrative due process laid down in Ang Tibay vs. CIR (69 Phil. 635) and Eastern Telecom Corp. vs. Dans, Jr. (137 SCRA 628) which requires that prior notice and hearing be afforded to all parties in administrative proceedings. Since MB Resolution No. 596 was adopted without TSB being previously notified and heard, according to respondents, the same is void for want of due process; consequently, the bank's management should be restored to its board of directors and officers. 13 Petitioners claim that it is the essence of Sec. 29 of R.A. 265 that prior notice and hearing in cases involving bank closures should not be required since in all probability a hearing would not only cause unnecessary delay but also provide bank "insiders" and stockholders the opportunity to further dissipate the bank's resources, create liabilities for the bank up to the insured amount of P40,000.00, and even destroy evidence of fraud or irregularity in the bank's operations to the prejudice of its depositors and creditors. 14 Petitioners further argue that the legislative intent of Sec. 29 is to repose in the Monetary Board exclusive power to determine the existence of statutory grounds for the closure and liquidation of banks, having the required expertise and specialized competence to do so. The first issue raised before Us is whether absence of prior notice and hearing may be considered acts of arbitrariness and bad faith sufficient to annul a Monetary Board resolution enjoining a bank from doing business and placing it under receivership. Otherwise stated, is absence of prior notice and hearing constitutive of acts of arbitrariness and bad faith? Under Sec. 29 of R.A. 265, 15 the Central Bank, through the Monetary Board, is vested with exclusive authority to assess, evaluate and determine the condition of any bank, and finding such condition to be one of insolvency, or that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors, forbid the bank or non-bank financial institution to do business in the Philippines; and shall designate an official of the CB or other competent person as receiver to immediately take charge of its assets and liabilities. The fourth paragraph, 16which was then in effect at the time the action was commenced, allows the filing of a case

On 15 October 1986, Central Bank and its appointed receiver, Ramon V. Tiaoqui, filed this petition under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court praying that the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 07867 be set aside, and that the civil case pending before the RTC of Quezon City, Civil Case No. Q-45139, be dismissed. Petitioners allege that the Court of Appeals erred (1) in affirming that an insolvent bank that had been summarily closed by the Monetary Board should be restored to its private management supposedly because such summary closure was "arbitrary and in bad faith" and a denial of "due process"; (2) in holding that the "charge of lack of due process" for "want of prior hearing" in a complaint to annul a Monetary Board receivership resolution under Sec. 29 of R.A. 265 "may be taken as . . allegations of arbitrariness and bad faith"; and

to set aside the actions of the Monetary Board which are tainted with arbitrariness and bad faith. Contrary to the notion of private respondent, Sec. 29 does not contemplate prior notice and hearing before a bank may be directed to stop operations and placed under receivership. When par. 4 (now par. 5, as amended by E.O. 289) provides for the filing of a case within ten (10) days after the receiver takes charge of the assets of the bank, it is unmistakable that the assailed actions should precede the filing of the case. Plainly, the legislature could not have intended to authorize "no prior notice and hearing" in the closure of the bank and at the same time allow a suit to annul it on the basis of absence thereof. In the early case of Rural Bank of Lucena, Inc. v. Arca [1965], 17 We held that a previous hearing is nowhere required in Sec. 29 nor does the constitutional requirement of due process demand that the correctness of the Monetary Board's resolution to stop operation and proceed to liquidation be first adjudged before making the resolution effective. It is enough that a subsequent judicial review be provided. Even in Banco Filipino, 18 We reiterated that Sec. 29 of R.A. 265 does not require a previous hearing before the Monetary Board can implement its resolution closing a bank, since its action is subject to judicial scrutiny as provided by law. It may be emphasized that Sec. 29 does not altogether divest a bank or a non-bank financial institution placed under receivership of the opportunity to be heard and present evidence on arbitrariness and bad faith because within ten (10) days from the date the receiver takes charge of the assets of the bank, resort to judicial review may be had by filing an appropriate pleading with the court. Respondent TSB did in fact avail of this remedy by filing a complaint with the RTC of Quezon City on the 8th day following the takeover by the receiver of the bank's assets on 3 June 1985. This "close now and hear later" scheme is grounded on practical and legal considerations to prevent unwarranted dissipation of the bank's assets and as a valid exercise of police power to protect the depositors, creditors, stockholders and the general public. In Rural Bank of Buhi, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 19 We stated that . . . due process does not necessarily require a prior hearing; a hearing or an opportunity to be heard may

be subsequent to the closure. One can just imagine the dire consequences of a prior hearing: bank runs would be the order of the day, resulting in panic and hysteria. In the process, fortunes may be wiped out and disillusionment will run the gamut of the entire banking community. We stressed in Central Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals 20 that . . . the banking business is properly subject to reasonable regulation under the police power of the state because of its nature and relation to the fiscal affairs of the people and the revenues of the state (9 CJS 32). Banks are affected with public interest because they receive funds from the general public in the form of deposits. Due to the nature of their transactions and functions, a fiduciary relationship is created between the banking institutions and their depositors. Therefore, banks are under the obligation to treat with meticulous care and utmost fidelity the accounts of those who have reposed their trust and confidence in them (Simex International [Manila], Inc., v. Court of Appeals, 183 SCRA 360 [1990]). It is then the Government's responsibility to see to it that the financial interests of those who deal with the banks and banking institutions, as depositors or otherwise, are protected. In this country, that task is delegated to the Central Bank which, pursuant to its Charter (R.A. 265, as amended), is authorized to administer the monetary, banking and credit system of the Philippines. Under both the 1973 and 1987 Constitutions, the Central Bank is tasked with providing policy direction in the areas of money, banking and credit; corollarily, it shall have supervision over the operations of banks (Sec. 14, Art. XV, 1973 Constitution, and Sec. 20, Art. XII, 1987 Constitution). Under its charter, the CB is further authorized to take the necessary steps against any banking institution if its continued operation would cause prejudice to its depositors, creditors and the general public as well. This power has been expressly recognized by this Court. In Philippine Veterans Bank Employees Union-NUBE v. Philippine Veterans Banks (189 SCRA 14 [1990], this Court held that:

. . . [u]nless adequate and determined efforts are taken by the government against distressed and mismanaged banks, public faith in the banking system is certain to deteriorate to the prejudice of the national economy itself, not to mention the losses suffered by the bank depositors, creditors, and stockholders, who all deserve the protection of the government. The government cannot simply cross its arms while the assets of a bank are being depleted through mismanagement or irregularities. It is the duty of the Central Bank in such an event to step in and salvage the remaining resources of the bank so that they may not continue to be dissipated or plundered by those entrusted with their management. Section 29 of R.A. 265 should be viewed in this light; otherwise, We would be subscribing to a situation where the procedural rights invoked by private respondent would take precedence over the substantive interests of depositors, creditors and stockholders over the assets of the bank. Admittedly, the mere filing of a case for receivership by the Central Bank can trigger a bank run and drain its assets in days or even hours leading to insolvency even if the bank be actually solvent. The procedure prescribed in Sec. 29 is truly designed to protect the interest of all concerned, i.e., the depositors, creditors and stockholders, the bank itself, and the general public, and the summary closure pales in comparison to the protection afforded public interest. At any rate, the bank is given full opportunity to prove arbitrariness and bad faith in placing the bank under receivership, in which event, the resolution may be properly nullified and the receivership lifted as the trial court may determine. The heavy reliance of respondents on the Banco Filipino case is misplaced in view of factual circumstances therein which are not attendant in the present case. We ruled in Banco Filipino that the closure of the bank was arbitrary and attendant with grave abuse of discretion, not because of the absence of prior notice and hearing, but that the Monetary Board had no sufficient basis to arrive at a sound conclusion of

insolvency to justify the closure. In other words, the arbitrariness, bad faith and abuse of discretion were determined only after the bank was placed under conservatorship and evidence thereon was received by the trial court. As this Court found in that case, the Valenzuela, Aurellano and Tiaoqui Reports contained unfounded assumptions and deductions which did not reflect the true financial condition of the bank. For instance, the subtraction of an uncertain amount as valuation reserve from the assets of the bank would merely result in its net worth or the unimpaired capital and surplus; it did not reflect the total financial condition of Banco Filipino. Furthermore, the same reports showed that the total assets of Banco Filipino far exceeded its total liabilities. Consequently, on the basis thereof, the Monetary Board had no valid reason to liquidate the bank; perhaps it could have merely ordered its reorganization or rehabilitation, if need be. Clearly, there was in that case a manifest arbitrariness, abuse of discretion and bad faith in the closure of Banco Filipino by the Monetary Board. But, this is not the case before Us. For here, what is being raised as arbitrary by private respondent is the denial of prior notice and hearing by the Monetary Board, a matter long settled in this jurisdiction, and not the arbitrariness which the conclusions of the Supervision and Examination Sector (SES), Department II, of the Central Bank were reached. Once again We refer to Rural Bank of Buhi, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 21 and reiterate Our pronouncement therein that . . . the law is explicit as to the conditions prerequisite to the action of the Monetary Board to forbid the institution to do business in the Philippines and to appoint a receiver to immediately take charge of the bank's assets and liabilities. They are: (a) an examination made by the examining department of the Central Bank; (b) report by said department to the Monetary Board; and (c) prima facieshowing that its continuance in business would involve probable loss to its depositors or creditors. In sum, appeal to procedural due process cannot just outweigh the evil sought to be prevented; hence, We rule that Sec. 29 of R.A. 265 is a sound legislation promulgated in accordance with the Constitution in the exercise of police power of the state. Consequently, the absence of notice and hearing is not a valid ground to annul a Monetary Board resolution placing a bank under receivership. The absence of prior notice and hearing cannot be deemed acts of arbitrariness and bad faith. Thus, an MB resolution placing a bank under receivership, or conservatorship

for that matter, may only be annulled after a determination has been made by the trial court that its issuance was tainted with arbitrariness and bad faith. Until such determination is made, the status quo shall be maintained, i.e., the bank shall continue to be under receivership. As regards the second ground, to rule that only the receiver may bring suit in behalf of the bank is, to echo the respondent appellate court, "asking for the impossible, for it cannot be expected that the master, the CB, will allow the receiver it has appointed to question that very appointment." Consequently, only stockholders of a bank could file an action for annulment of a Monetary Board resolution placing the bank under receivership and prohibiting it from continuing operations. 22 In Central Bank v. Court of Appeals, 23 We explained the purpose of the law . . . in requiring that only the stockholders of record representing the majority of the capital stock may bring the action to set aside a resolution to place a bank under conservatorship is to ensure that it be not frustrated or defeated by the incumbent Board of Directors or officers who may immediately resort to court action to prevent its implementation or enforcement. It is presumed that such a resolution is directed principally against acts of said Directors and officers which place the bank in a state of continuing inability to maintain a condition of liquidity adequate to protect the interest of depositors and creditors. Indirectly, it is likewise intended to protect and safeguard the rights and interests of the stockholders. Common sense and public policy dictate then that the authority to decide on whether to contest the resolution should be lodged with the stockholders owning a majority of the shares for they are expected to be more objective in determining whether the resolution is plainly arbitrary and issued in bad faith. It is observed that the complaint in this case was filed on 11 June 1985 or two (2) years prior to 25 July 1987 when E.O. 289 was issued, to be effective sixty (60) days after its approval (Sec. 5). The implication is that before E.O . 289, any party in interest could institute court proceedings to question a Monetary Board resolution placing a bank under receivership. Consequently, since the instant complaint was filed by parties representing themselves to be officers of respondent Bank (Officer-in-

Charge and Vice President), the case before the trial court should now take its natural course. However, after the effectivity of E.O. 289, the procedure stated therein should be followed and observed. PREMISES considered, the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 07867 is AFFIRMED, except insofar as it upholds the Order of the trial court of 11 November 1985 directing petitioner RAMON V. TIAOQUI to restore the management of TRIUMPH SAVINGS BANK to its elected Board of Directors and Officers, which is hereby SET ASIDE. Let this case be remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for further proceedings to determine whether the issuance of Resolution No. 596 of the Monetary Board was tainted with arbitrariness and bad faith and to decide the case accordingly. SO ORDERED. G.R. No. 112830 February 1, 1996

JERRY ONG, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and RURAL BANK OF OLONGAPO, INC., represented by its Liquidator, GUILLERMO G. REYES, JR. and Deputy Liquidator ABEL ALLANIGUE, respondents. DECISION BELLOSILLO, J.: The jurisdiction of a regular court over a bank undergoing liquidation is the issue in this petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals.1 On 5 February 1991 Jerry Ong filed with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a petition for the surrender of TCT Nos. 13769 and 13770 pursuant to the provisions of Secs. 63(b) and 107 of P.D. 15292 against Rural Bank of Olongapo, Inc. (RBO), represented by its liquidator Guillermo G. Reyes, Jr. and deputy liquidator Abel Allanigue.3 The petition averred inter alia that 2. The RBO was the owner in fee simple of two parcels of land including the improvements thereon situated in Tagaytay City . . . particularly described in TCT Nos. 13769 and 13770 . . . .

3. Said parcels of land were duly mortgaged by RBO in favor of petitioner on December 29, 1983 to guarantee the payment of Omnibus Finance, Inc., which is likewise now undergoing liquidation proceedings of its money market obligations to petitioner in the principal amount of P863,517.02 . . . . 4. Omnibus Finance, Inc., not having seasonably settled its obligations to petitioner, the latter proceeded to effect the extrajudicial foreclosure of said mortgages, such that on March 23, 1984, the City Sheriff of Tagaytay City issued a Certificate of Sale in favor of petitioner . . . . 5. Said Certificate of Sale . . . was duly registered with the Registry of Deeds of Tagaytay City on July 16, 1985, as shown in the certified true copies of the aforementioned titles . . . . 6. Respondents failed to seasonably redeem said parcels of land, for which reason, petitioner has executed an Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership which, to date, has not been submitted to the Registry of Deeds of Tagaytay City, in view of the fact that possession of the aforesaid titles or owner's duplicate certificates of title remains with the RBO. 7. To date, petitioner has not been able to effect the registration of said parcels of land in his name in view of the persistent refusal of respondents, despite demand, to surrender RBO's copies of its owner's certificates of title for the parcels of land covered by TCT Nos. 13769 and 13770.4 Respondent RBO filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of res judicata alleging that petitioner had earlier sought a similar relief from Br. 18 of the Regional Trial Court of Tagaytay City, which case was dismissed with finality on appeal before the Court of Appeals. In a supplemental motion to dismiss, respondent RBO contended that it was undergoing liquidation and, pursuant to prevailing jurisprudence, it is the liquidation court which has exclusive jurisdiction to take cognizance of petitioner's claim. On 7 May 1991 the trial court denied the motion to dismiss because it found that the causes of action in the previous and present cases were different although it was silent on the jurisdictional issue. Accordingly, respondent RBO filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was

similarly rejected in the order of June 11 1991 holding that: (a) subject parcels of land were sold to petitioner through public bidding on 23 March 1984 and, consequently, said pieces of realty were no longer part of the assets of respondent RBO; and, (b) in the same token, subject lots were no longer considered assets of respondent RBO when its liquidation was commenced by the Central Bank on 9 November 1984 and when the petition for assistance in its liquidation was approved by the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City on 30 May 1985. On 5 July 1991 respondent RBO filed a manifestation and urgent motion for reconsideration arguing that the validity of the certificate of sale issued to petitioner was still at issue in another case between them and therefore the properties covered by said certificate were still part and parcel of its assets. Still unpersuaded by respondent RBO's arguments, the trial court denied reconsideration in its order of 18 September 1991 prompting the bank to elevate the case to respondent Court of Appeals by way of a petition forcertiorari and prohibition. On 12 February 1992 respondent court rendered a decision annulling the challenged order of the court a quo dated 19 June 1991 which sustained the jurisdiction of the trial court as well as the order of 18 September 1991 denying reconsideration thereof. Moreover, the trial judge was ordered to dismiss Civil Case No. Q-91-8019 without prejudice to the right of petitioner to file his claim in the liquidation proceedings (Sp. Proc. No. 170-0-85) pending before Br. 73 of the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City.5 In reversing the trial court the appellate court noted that Sec. 29, par. 3, of R.A. 265 as amended by P.D. 18276does not limit the jurisdiction of the liquidation court to claims against the assets of the insolvent bank. The provision is general in that it clearly and unqualifiedly states that the liquidation court shall have jurisdiction to adjudicate disputed claims against the bank. "Disputed claims" refer to all claims, whether they be against the assets of the insolvent bank, for specific performance, breach of contract, damages, or whatever. To limit the jurisdiction of the liquidation court to those claims against the asset's of the bank is to remove significantly and without basis the cases that may be brought against a bank in case of insolvency. Respondent court also noted that the certificates of title are still in the name of respondent RBO. As far as third persons are concerned (and these include claimants in the liquidation court), registration is the operative act which would convey title to the property.

Petitioner submits that Civil Case No. Q-91-8019 may proceed independently of Sp. Proc. No. 170-0-85. He argues that the disputed parcels of land have been extrajudicially foreclosed and the corresponding certificate of sale issued in his favor; that considering that respondent RBO failed to redeem said properties he should now be allowed to consolidate his title thereto; that respondent RBO's mortgage of TCT Nos. 13769 and 13770 in favor of petitioner and its subsequent foreclosure are presumed valid and regular; and, that the liquidation court has no jurisdiction over subject parcels of land since they are no longer assets of respondent RBO. We find no merit in the petition. Section 29, par. 3, of R.A. 265 as amended by P. D. 1827 provides If the Monetary Board shall determine and confirm within (sixty days) that the bank . . . is insolvent or cannot resume business with safety to its depositors, creditors and the general public, it shall, if the public interest requires, order its liquidation, indicate the manner of its liquidation and approve a liquidation plan. The Central Bank shall, by the Solicitor General, file a petition in the Court of First Instance 7 reciting the proceedings which have been taken and praying the assistance of the court in the liquidation of such institution. The court shall have jurisdiction in the same proceedings to adjudicate disputed claims against the bank . . . . and enforce individual liabilities of the stockholders and do all that is necessary to preserve the assets of such institution and to implement the liquidation plan approved by the Monetary Board (emphasis supplied). Applying the aforequoted provision in Hernandez v. Rural Bank of Lucena, Inc., 8 this Court ruled The fact that the insolvent bank is forbidden to do business, that its assets are turned over to the Superintendent of Banks, as a receiver, for conversion into cash, and that its liquidation is undertaken with judicial intervention means that, as far as lawful and practicable, all claims against the insolvent bank should be filed in the liquidation proceeding (emphasis supplied). We explained therein the rationale behind the provision, i.e., the judicial liquidation is intended to prevent multiplicity of actions against the insolvent bank. It is a pragmatic arrangement designed to establish due process and orderliness in the liquidation of the bank, to obviate the

proliferation of litigations and to avoid injustice and arbitrariness. The lawmaking body contemplated that for convenience only one court, if possible, should pass upon the claims against the insolvent bank and that the liquidation court should assist the Superintendent of Banks and regulate his operations. The phrase "(T)he court shall have jurisdiction in the same proceedings to adjudicate disputed claims against the bank" appears to have misled petitioner. He argues that to the best of his personal knowledge there is no pending action filed before any court or agency which contests his right over subject properties. Thus his petition before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City cannot be considered a "disputed claim" as contemplated by law. It is not necessary that a claim be initially disputed in a court or agency before it is filed with the liquidation court. As may be gleaned in the Hernandez case, the term "disputed claim" in the provision simply connotes that [i]n the course of the liquidation, contentious cases might arise wherein a full-dress hearing would be required and legal issues would have to be resolved. Hence, it would be necessary in justice to all concerned that a Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) . . . assist and supervise the liquidation and . . . . act as umpire or arbitrator in the allowance and disallowance of claims. Petitioner must have overlooked the fact that since respondent RBO is insolvent other claimants not privy to their transaction may be involved. As far as those claimants are concerned, in the absence of certificates of title in the name of petitioner, subject lots still form part of the assets of the insolvent bank. On the basis of the Hernandez case as well as Sec. 29, par. 3, of R.A. 265 as amended by P.D. 1827, respondent Court of Appeals was correct in holding that the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Br. 79, did not have jurisdiction over the petition, much less in ordering the dismissal of Civil Case No. Q-91-8019, without prejudice to petitioner's right to file his claim in Sp. Proc. No. 170-0-85 before the Regional Trial Court of Olongapo City, Br. 73.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of respondent Court of Appeals dated 12 February 1992 is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED.
8. Alfeo Vivas v Monetary Board http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2013/august2013/191424.pdf 9. Merchants Rural Bank of Talavera v Monetary Board http://ca.judiciary.gov.ph/cardis/SP93118.pdf