Philippine Airlines vs. Court of Appeals [GR 49188, 30 January 1990] En Banc, Gutierrez Jr.

(J): 7 concur, 3 dissent in separate opinions where 4 joined Facts: On 8 November 1967, Amelia Tan, under the name and style of Able Printing Press commenced a complaint for damages before the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila (Civil Case 71307). After trial, the CFI of Manila, Branch 13,then presided over by the late Judge Jesus P. Morfe rendered judgment on 29 June 1972, in favor of Tan, orderingPhilippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) to pay Tan the amount of P75,000.00 as actual damages, with legal interest thereon fromTan's extra-judicial demand made by the letter of 20 July 1967; P18,200.00, representing the unrealized profit of 10%included in the contract price of P200,000.00 plus legal interest thereon from 20 July 1967; P20,000.00 as and for moraldamages, with legal interest thereon from 20 July 1967; P5,000.00 damages as and for attorney's fee; with costs againstPAL. On 28 July 1972, PAL filed its appeal with the Court of Appeals (CA-GR 51079-R). On 3 February 1977, theappellate court rendered its decision, affirming but modifying the CFI's decision, ordering PAL to pay the sum of P25,000.00 as damages and P5,000.00 as attorney's fee. Notice of judgment was sent by the Court of Appeals to the trialcourt and on dates subsequent thereto, a motion for reconsideration was filed by Tan, duly opposed by PAL. On 23 May1977, the Court of Appeals rendered its resolution denying Tan's motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. No further appeal having been taken by the parties, the judgment became final and executory and on 31 May 1977, judgment wascorrespondingly entered in the case.The case was remanded to the trial court for execution and on 2 September 1977, Tan filed a motion praying for theissuance of a writ of execution of the judgment rendered by the Court of Appeals. On 11 October 1977, the trial court,presided over by Judge Ricardo D. Galano, issued its order of execution with the corresponding writ in favor of Tan. Thewrit was duly referred to Deputy Sheriff Emilio Z. Reyes of Branch 13 of the Court of First Instance of Manila for enforcement. 4 months later, on 11 February 1978, Tan moved for the issuance of an alias writ of execution stating thatthe judgment rendered by the lower court, and affirmed with modification by the Court of Appeals, remained unsatisfied.On 1 March 1978, PAL filed an opposition to the motion for the issuance of an alias writ of execution stating that it hadalready fully paid its obligation to Tan through the deputy sheriff of the court, Reyes, as evidenced by cash vouchersproperly signed and receipted by said Emilio Z. Reyes. On 3 March 1978, the Court of Appeals denied the issuance of thealias writ for being premature, ordering the executing sheriff Reyes to appear with his return and explain the reason for hisfailure to surrender the amounts paid to him by PAL. However, the order could not be served upon Deputy Sheriff Reyeswho had absconded or disappeared. On 28 March 1978, motion for the issuance of a partial alias writ of execution wasfiled by Tan. On 19 April 1978, Tan filed a motion to withdraw "Motion for Partial Alias Writ of Execution" with SubstituteMotion for Alias Writ of Execution. On 1 May 1978, the Judge issued an order granting the motion, and issuing the aliaswrit of execution. On 18 May 1978, PAL received a copy of the first alias writ of execution issued on the same daydirecting Special Sheriff Jaime K. del Rosario to levy on execution in the sum of P25,000.00 with legal interest thereonfrom 20 July 1967 when Tan made an extrajudicial demand through a letter. Levy was also ordered for the further sum of P5,000.00 awarded as attorney's fees. On 23 May 1978, PAL filed an urgent motion to quash the alias writ of executionstating that no return of the writ had as yet been made by Deputy Sheriff Reyes and that the judgment debt had alreadybeen fully satisfied by PAL as evidenced by the cash vouchers signed and receipted by the server of the writ of execution,Deputy Sheriff Reyes. On 26 May 1978, Special Sheriff del Rosario

and if it is not possible to deliver such currency. She filed her complaint in 1967. the action derived from the original obligation shall be held inabeyance. or any person authorized to receive it. in her name. either express or implied. Almost 22 years later. Article 1249 of the Civil Code provides that "The payment of debts in moneyshall be made in the currency stipulated. Ms." In the absence of an agreement. to substitutesomething in lieu of cash as medium of payment of his debt. Manila. In general. . Amelia Tan was found to have been wronged by PAL. through its manager and garnishedPAL's deposit in the said bank in the total amount of P64.the delivery of such an instrument does not. or his successor in interest. a public officer has no authority to accept anything other than money in payment of an obligationunder a judgment being executed. is not legal tender. operate as payment. must be made to the proper person.Through absolutely no fault of her own. Ms. per se. Mere delivery of checks does not discharge the obligation under a judgment. without need of her going to court to enforce her rights. or when through the fault of thecreditor they have been impaired. before 1967. Held: Under the initial judgment. unless authorized to do so by law or by consent of the obligee. Tan has not seen a centavo of what the courts have solemnly declared as rightfully hers. whether a manager's check or ordinary check. the acceptance by the sheriff of PAL's checks does not. Far East Bank and Trust Company. Strictly speaking.408. Binondo. technically. Tan won her case. Consequently. In the meantime. by itself.The obligation is not extinguished and remains suspended until the payment by commercial document is actually realized. payment means the discharge of a debt or obligation in money and unless the parties so agree. Tan has been deprived of what. The delivery of promissory notes payable to order. PAL filed the petition for certiorari. or bills of exchange or other mercantiledocuments shall produce the effect of payment only when they have been cashed. Issue: Whether the payment made to the absconding sheriff by check in his name operate to satisfy the judgment debt. Ms. Since a negotiable instrument is only a substitute for money and not money. After 10 years of protracted litigation in the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeals. the payment to the abscondingsheriff by check in his name did not operate as a satisfaction of the judgment debt. A check. Article 1240 of the Civil Code provides that"Payment shall be made to the person in whose favor the obligation has been constituted. and an offer of a check in payment of a debt is not a valid tender of payment and maybe refused receipt by the obligee or creditor. And all because PAL did not issue thechecks intended for her. except at his own peril.operate as a discharge of the judgment debt." Further. a payment. then in the currency which islegal tender in the Philippines. Rosario Branch. she should have been paid fromthe start. a debtor has no rights. in order to beeffective to discharge an obligation.served a notice of garnishment on the depositorybank of PAL. Under the peculiar circumstances of the case.00 as of 16 May 1978.