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Republic of the Philipppines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION [G.R. No. 133632.

February 15, 2002] BPI INVESTMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ALS MANAGEMENT & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondents. DECISION QUISUMBING, J.:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary This petition for certiorari assails the decision dated February 28, 1997, of the Court of Appeals and its resolution dated April 21, 1998, in CA-G.R. CV No. 38887. The appellate court affirmed the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 151, in (a) Civil Case No. 11831, for foreclosure of mortgage by petitioner BPI Investment Corporation (BPIIC for brevity) against private respondents ALS Management and Development Corporation and Antonio K. Litonjua,[1] consolidated with (b) Civil Case No. 52093, for damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction by the private respondents against said petitioner.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The trial court had held that private respondents were not in default in the payment of their monthly amortization, hence, the extrajudicial foreclosure conducted by BPIIC was premature and made in bad faith. It awarded private respondents the amount of P300,000 for moral damages, P50,000 for exemplary damages, and P50,000 for attorneys fees and expenses for litigation. It likewise dismissed the foreclosure suit for being premature.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The facts are as follows:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Frank Roa obtained a loan at an interest rate of 16 1/4% per annum from Ayala Investment and Development Corporation (AIDC), the predecessor of petitioner BPIIC, for the construction of a house on his lot in New Alabang Village, Muntinlupa. Said house and lot were mortgaged to AIDC to secure the loan. Sometime in 1980, Roa sold the house and lot to private respondents ALS and Antonio Litonjua for P850,000. They paid P350,000 in cash and assumed the P500,000 balance of Roas indebtedness with AIDC. The latter, however, was not willing to extend the old interest rate to private respondents and proposed to grant them a new loan of P500,000 to be applied to Roas debt and secured by the same property, at an interest rate of 20% per annum and service fee of 1% per annum on the outstanding principal balance payable within ten years in equal monthly amortization of P9,996.58 and penalty interest at the rate of 21% per annum per day from the date the amortization became due and payable.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

Consequently, in March 1981, private respondents executed a mortgage deed containing the above stipulations with the provision that payment of the monthly amortization shall commence on May 1, 1981. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On August 13, 1982, ALS and Litonjua updated Roas arrearages by paying BPIIC the sum of P190,601.35. This reduced Roas principal balance to P457,204.90 which, in turn, was liquidated when BPIIC applied thereto the proceeds of private respondents loan of P500,000. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On September 13, 1982, BPIIC released to private respondents P7,146.87, purporting to be what was left of their loan after full payment of Roas loan.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In June 1984, BPIIC instituted foreclosure proceedings against private respondents on the ground that they failed to pay the mortgage indebtedness which from May 1, 1981 to June 30, 1984, amounted to Four Hundred Seventy Five Thousand Five Hundred Eighty Five and 31/100 Pesos (P475,585.31). A notice of sheriffs sale was published on August 13, 1984.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On February 28, 1985, ALS and Litonjua filed Civil Case No. 52093 against BPIIC. They alleged, among others, that they were not in arrears in their payment, but in fact made an overpayment as of June 30, 1984. They maintained that they should not be made to pay amortization before the actual release of the P500,000 loan in August and September 1982. Further, out of the P500,000 loan, only the total amount of P464,351.77 was released to private respondents. Hence, applying the effects of legal compensation, the balance of P35,648.23 should be applied to the initial monthly amortization for the loan.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On August 31, 1988, the trial court rendered its judgment in Civil Case Nos. 11831 and 52093, thus:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of ALS Management and Development Corporation and Antonio K. Litonjua and against BPI Investment Corporation, holding that the amount of loan granted by BPI to ALS and Litonjua was only in the principal sum of P464,351.77, with interest at 20% plus service charge of 1% per annum, payable on equal monthly and successive amortizations at P9,283.83 for ten (10) years or one hundred twenty (120) months. The amortization schedule attached as Annex A to the Deed of Mortgage is correspondingly reformed as aforestated.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The Court further finds that ALS and Litonjua suffered compensable damages when BPI caused their publication in a newspaper of general circulation as defaulting debtors, and therefore orders BPI to pay ALS and Litonjua the following sums:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary a) P300,000.00 for and as moral damages;chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary b) P50,000.00 as and for exemplary damages;chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary c) P50,000.00 as and for attorneys fees and expenses of

litigation.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The foreclosure suit (Civil Case No. 11831) is hereby DISMISSED for being premature.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Costs against BPI.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SO ORDERED.[2]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals. However, private respondents appeal was dismissed for non-payment of docket fees.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On February 28, 1997, the Court of Appeals promulgated its decision, the dispositive portion reads:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary WHEREFORE, finding no error in the appealed decision the same is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SO ORDERED.[3]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In its decision, the Court of Appeals reasoned that a simple loan is perfected only upon the delivery of the object of the contract. The contract of loan between BPIIC and ALS & Litonjua was perfected only on September 13, 1982, the date when BPIIC released the purported balance of the P500,000 loan after deducting therefrom the value of Roas indebtedness. Thus, payment of the monthly amortization should commence only a month after the said date, as can be inferred from the stipulations in the contract. This, despite the express agreement of the parties that payment shall commence on May 1, 1981. From October 1982 to June 1984, the total amortization due was only P194,960.43. Evidence showed that private respondents had an overpayment, because as of June 1984, they already paid a total amount of P201,791.96. Therefore, there was no basis for BPIIC to extrajudicially foreclose the mortgage and cause the publication in newspapers concerning private respondents delinquency in the payment of their loan. This fact constituted sufficient ground for moral damages in favor of private respondents.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner BPIIC was likewise denied, hence this petition, where BPIIC submits for resolution the following issues:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary I. WHETHER OR NOT A CONTRACT OF LOAN IS A CONSENSUAL CONTRACT IN THE LIGHT OF THE RULE LAID DOWN IN BONNEVIE VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 125 SCRA 122.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary II. WHETHER OR NOT BPI SHOULD BE HELD LIABLE FOR MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEYS FEES IN THE FACE OF IRREGULAR PAYMENTS MADE BY ALS AND OPPOSED TO THE RULE LAID DOWN IN SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 120 SCRA 707.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On the first issue, petitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that

1982. Therefore. and a loan contract is perfected at the time the contract of mortgage is executed conformably with our ruling in Bonnevie v. Petitioner claims that a contract of loan is a consensual contract. The contract in Bonnevie declared by this Court as a perfected consensual contract falls under the first clause of Article 1934. the consideration for BPIIC in entering into the loan contract is the promise of private respondents to pay the monthly amortization. private respondents assert that based on Article 1934 of the Civil Code. when the full loan was released to private respondents. A loan contract is not a consensual contract but a real contract. even though the loan contract was signed on March 31. that the loan contract was perfected on March 31. 1981 but the contract of loan itself was only perfected upon the delivery of the full loan to private respondents on September 13.000 loan. In the present case. They submit that petitioner misread Bonnevie. According to petitioner. where the obligation or promise of each party is the consideration of the other party. arguendo. hence a real contract. transferring the title of the property to ALS. the loan contract in this case was perfected only on September 13. petitioner claims. they did not incur in delay when they did not commence paying the monthly amortization on May 1. private respondents were only able to do so in August 1982. private respondents were required to reduce Frank Roas loan below said amount. 1981 of the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Roa in favor of ALS. [4] a simple loan is perfected upon the delivery of the object of the contract. neither party incurs in delay if the other does not comply or is not ready to comply in a proper manner with what is incumbent upon him.[5] Petitioner misapplied Bonnevie. the loan contract was perfected on March 31.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary We agree with private respondents. the date when the mortgage deed was executed. As BPIIC only agreed to extend a P500. 1982. the amortization and interests on the loan should be computed from said date. According to private respondents. a perfected loan agreement imposes reciprocal obligations. still no default took place. it is the promise of BPIIC to deliver the money. according to private respondents.because a simple loan is perfected upon the delivery of the object of the contract. 1981. 1981.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In their comment. For the latter.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Private respondents further maintain that even granting. chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Petitioner also argues that while the documents showed that the loan was released only on August 1982. In reciprocal obligations. it was perfected only on September 13. the loan was actually released on March 31. This finds support in the registration on March 31. In this case. It is an accepted promise to deliver something by way of simple loan. 1981. Civil Code. when BPIIC issued a cancellation of mortgage of Frank Roas loan. To give meaning to Article 1934. hence. 1982. Moreover. It is perfected only upon the delivery of the object of the contract. 1982 when petitioner fully complied with its obligation under the loan contract. and ALS executing the Mortgage Deed in favor of BPIIC. 125 SCRA 122. 1981. private respondents conclude. as it was only on September 13. Court of Appeals.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary . 1981. In this case. Bonnevie must be construed to mean that the contract to extend the loan was perfected on March 31. and their payment did not start a month thereafter. the delay in the release of the loan should be attributed to private respondents.

In Saura Import and Export Co. We recognized in this case. Consequently. Development Bank of the Philippines. 1981. However. Following the intentions of the parties on the commencement of the monthly amortization. and ALS and Litonjua. Later.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Other points raised by petitioner in connection with the first issue. Thereafter. The latter approved the application through a board resolution. However. petitioner instituted an action for damages. [7]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary We also agree with private respondents that a contract of loan involves a reciprocal obligation. the loan was not released. the starting date is October 13. said contract does not constitute the real contract of loan which requires the delivery of the object of the contract for its perfection and which gives rise to obligations only on the part of the borrower. 1982. petitioner applied for a loan of P500. are factual. It invoked our ruling in Social .[10] factual matters need not tarry us now. the court did not award it damages. the promise of BPIIC to extend and deliver the loan is upon the consideration that ALS and Litonjua shall pay the monthly amortization commencing on May 1. was perfected only on September 13.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary On the second issue. 1982 for it was only then when it complied with its obligation under the loan contract. default sets in. a perfected consensual contract which under normal circumstances could have made the bank liable for not releasing the loan. petitioner claims that it should not be held liable for moral and exemplary damages for it did not act maliciously when it initiated the foreclosure proceedings.[6]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In the present case. 1982. 1982 and not May 1. one month after the supposed release of the loan. on the other. can give rise to an action for damages.[9] Only when a party has performed his part of the contract can he demand that the other party also fulfills his own obligation and if the latter fails. petitioner could only demand for the payment of the monthly amortization after September 13. Since petitioner has not shown that the instant case is one of the exceptions to the basic rule that only questions of law can be raised in a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Therefore. on the one hand. It merely exercised its right under the mortgage contract because private respondents were irregular in their monthly amortization. It is a basic principle in reciprocal obligations that neither party incurs in delay. private respondents obligation to pay commenced only on October 13. the loan contract between BPI. 1981. in computing the amount due as of the date when BPIIC extrajudicially caused the foreclosure of the mortgage. the corresponding mortgage was executed and registered. as found by the Court of Appeals. since the fault was attributable to petitioner therein. a month after the perfection of the contract. However. 44 SCRA 445. wherein the obligation or promise of each party is the consideration for that of the other.000 with respondent bank. as shown above. vs.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary A perfected consensual contract. because of acts attributable to petitioner. the date of the second release of the loan.[8] As averred by private respondents. On these points we are bound by the findings of the appellate and trial courts. if the other does not comply or is not ready to comply in a proper manner with what is incumbent upon him. such as the date of actual release of the loan and whether private respondents were the cause of the delay in the release of the loan. Inc.

the decision dated February 28.[11]chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary However. Buena. we can not properly declare BPIIC in bad faith. in our view. and De Leon. Court said:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary of Appeals.000 in favor of private respondents as attorneys fees. without checking and correspondingly adjusting its records on the amount actually released to private respondents and the date when it was released. Such negligence resulted in damage to private respondents.000 is sufficient.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Private respondents counter that BPIIC was guilty of bad faith and should be liable for said damages because it insisted on the payment of amortization on the loan even before it was released.. Conformably with our ruling in SSS. Costs against petitioner. JJ. 1997. 1998.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Lastly. it did not make the corresponding deduction in the monthly amortization to conform to the actual amount of loan released.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary WHEREFORE. 120 SCRA 707. we should rule out the award of moral and exemplary damages. said Court reduced those damages by only P5. except that. as in SSS where we awarded attorneys fees because private respondents were compelled to litigate.000 is UPHELD.000. where we Nor can the SSS be held liable for moral and temperate damages.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary But as admitted by private respondents themselves. the amount of P25.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary SO ORDERED. As concluded by the Court of Appeals the negligence of the appellant is not so gross as to warrant moral and temperate damages. concur. Mendoza. they were irregular in their payment of monthly amortization. are AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION as to the award of damages. The award of moral and exemplary damages in favor of private respondents is DELETED. Further. Additionally. BPIIC was negligent in relying merely on the entries found in the deed of mortgage. Jr. for which an award of nominal damages should be given in recognition of their rights which were violated by BPIIC. Neither can we agree with the findings of both the Trial Court and respondent Court that the SSS had acted maliciously or in bad faith.Security System vs.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary Bellosillo. .00 instead of eliminating them. of the Court of Appeals and its resolution dated April 21. (Chairman). Consequently.[12] For this purpose. but the award to them of attorneys fees in the amount of P50. petitioner is ORDERED to pay private respondents P25.000 as nominal damages. we sustain the award of P50. and it immediately initiated foreclosure proceedings when private respondents failed to make timely payment. The SSS was of the belief that it was acting in the legitimate exercise of its right under the mortgage contract in the face of irregular payments made by private respondents and placed reliance on the automatic acceleration clause in the contract.. The filing alone of the foreclosure application should not be a ground for an award of moral damages in the same way that a clearly unfounded civil action is not among the grounds for moral damages.

After perusing the Informations in these cases. Pototan. The cases were docketed as Criminal Cases No. to the damage and prejudice of the said bank in the aforesaid amount. represented by the Office of the Solicitor General. and helping one another. except for the amounts. Iloilo. respectively.00). 173654-765. Iloilo. Philippine Currency. unlawfully and feloniously take. No. steal and carry away the sum of FIFTEEN THOUSAND PESOS (P15. RESPONDENT. Inc. Province of Iloilo. dismissing the 112 cases of Qualified Theft filed against respondents Teresita Puig and Romeo Porras.: This is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court with petitioner People of the Philippines. J. praying for the reversal of the Orders dated 30 January 2006 and 9 June 2006 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of the 6th Judicial Region. with grave abuse of confidence. the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutor's Office filed before Branch 68 of the RTC in Dumangas. 2002. The following are the factual antecedents: On 7 November 2005. Philippines. 112 cases of Qualified Theft against respondents Teresita Puig (Puig) and Romeo Porras (Porras) who were the Cashier and Bookkeeper. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. the trial court did not find the existence of probable cause that would have necessitated the issuance of a warrant of arrest based on the following grounds: . and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. 05-3054 to 05-3165. PETITIONERS. did then and there willfully. and denying petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration. confederating.R. conspiring. to wit: INFORMATION That on or about the 1st day of August. August 28.. The allegations in the Informations[1] filed before the RTC were uniform and pro-forma. in the Municipality of Pototan. of private complainant Rural Bank of Pototan. VS. in Criminal Cases No. Dumangas. Inc. without the knowledge and/or consent of the management of the Bank and with intent of gain. date and time of commission. Iloilo. 2008] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. TERESITA PUIG AND ROMEO PORRAS.THIRD DIVISION [G. above-named [respondents].000. being the Cashier and Bookkeeper of the Rural Bank of Pototan. 05-3054 to 053165. Branch 68.

who are the owners of the money allegedly taken by respondents and hence. and current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions shall be governed by the provisions concerning simple loans." Corollary thereto. and that it be directed to proceed with Criminal Cases No. Petitioner explains that under Article 1980 of the New Civil Code. it posits that the depositors who place their money with the bank are considered creditors of the bank. AND THE QUALIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF GRAVE ABUSE OF CONFIDENCE. The Order dated January 30. Petitioner went directly to this Court via Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45. the RTC dismissed the cases on 30 January 2006 and refused to issue a warrant of arrest against Puig and Porras. an Order[3] denying petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration was issued by the RTC. making the money taken by respondents as belonging to the . 2006 STANDS in all respects." It added that allowing the 112 cases for Qualified Theft filed against the respondents to push through would be violative of the right of the respondents under Section 14(2). are the real partiesin-interest. raising the sole legal issue of: WHETHER OR NOT THE 112 INFORMATIONS FOR QUALIFIED THEFT SUFFICIENTLY ALLEGE THE ELEMENT OF TAKING WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE OWNER. 05-3054 to 05-3165. "fixed. The bank acquires ownership of the money deposited by its clients. Following Section 6. by the petitioner. finding as follows: Accordingly. and is bound to pay to the creditor an equal amount of the same kind and quality. and (2) the Informations are bereft of the phrase alleging "dependence. Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.(1) the element of `taking without the consent of the owners' was missing on the ground that it is the depositors-clients. A Motion for Reconsideration[2] was filed on 17 April 2006. On 9 June 2006. which filed the complaint in these cases. guardianship or vigilance between the respondents and the offended party that would have created a high degree of confidence between them which the respondents could have abused." Thus. and not the Bank. Article III of the 1987 Constitution which states that in all criminal prosecutions. the accused shall enjoy the right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. DENIED. as it hereby. savings. Article 1953 of the same Code provides that "a person who receives a loan of money or any other fungible thing acquires the ownership thereof. Petitioner prays that judgment be rendered annulling and setting aside the Orders dated 30 January 2006 and 9 June 2006 issued by the trial court. the prosecution's Motion for Reconsideration should be.

.[4] in which this Court held: There must be allegation in the information and proof of a relation. the RTC judge found the allegations in the Information inadequate. Respondents further claim that the Department of Justice (DOJ). respectively. and that they took various amounts of money with grave abuse of confidence. since the owner of the money is not the Bank. We find merit in the petition. Koc Song. between the respondents and the offended party that has created a high degree of confidence between them. Petitioner also insists that the Informations sufficiently allege all the elements of the crime of qualified theft. by reason of dependence. He ruled that the Information failed to state facts constituting the qualifying circumstance of grave abuse of confidence and the element of taking without the consent of the owner. Parenthetically. They challenge the petition on the ground that a Petition for Review on Certiorari via Rule 45 is the wrong mode of appeal because a finding of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest presupposes evaluation of facts and circumstances. Qualified Theft. which is the Bank. to the damage and prejudice of the bank. citing that a perusal of the Informations will show that they specifically allege that the respondents were the Cashier and Bookkeeper of the Rural Bank of Pototan. is the principal party to file a Petition for Review on Certiorari. therefore. which is not proper under said Rule. because of this defect. and without the knowledge and consent of the bank. At this point. makes the issue of sufficiency of the allegations in the Informations the focal point of discussion. there is no basis for the existence of probable cause which will justify the issuance of the warrant of arrest. Inc. This. through the Secretary of therefore. The dismissal by the RTC of the criminal cases was allegedly due to insufficiency of the Informations and. which the respondents abused. Petitioner assails the dismissal contending that the Informations for Qualified Theft sufficiently state facts which constitute (a) the qualifying circumstance of grave abuse of confidence. as defined and punished under Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code. He also cites People v. guardianship or vigilance. and (b) the element of taking. In determining the existence of probable cause to issue a warrant of arrest. with intent to gain and without the consent of the owner. but the depositors therein. respondents raise procedural issues. is . it needs stressing that the RTC Judge based his conclusion that there was no probable cause simply on the insufficiency of the allegations in the Informations concerning the facts constitutive of the elements of the offense charged. considering that the incident was indorsed by the DOJ.

That the said property belongs to another. . That it be done without the owner's consent. Rule 110 of the Rules of Court requires.) Theft. Qualified Theft. The elements of the crime under this Article are: Intent to gain.committed as follows. or any other calamity. Absence of violence or intimidation against persons or force upon things. Section 6. volcanic eruption. or if the property stolen is motor vehicle. Personal property belonging to another. (Emphasis supplied. the following elements must concur: Taking of personal property. . That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation against persons.The crime of theft shall be punished by the penalties next higher by two degrees than those respectively specified in the next preceding article. mail matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation. inter alia. vehicular accident or civil disturbance. 310. that the information must state the acts or omissions complained of as constitutive of the offense. fish taken from a fishpond or fishery or if property is taken on the occasion of fire. Unlawful taking. On the sufficiency of the Information. earthquake. nor of force upon things. as defined in Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code. To fall under the crime of Qualified Theft. typhoon. That it be done with grave abuse of confidence. That the said taking be done with intent to gain. viz: ART. if committed by a domestic servant. or with grave abuse of confidence. requires the physical taking of another's property without violence or intimidation against persons or force upon things.

savings. Cashiers. to the damage and prejudice of the Bank. A person who receives a loan of money or any other fungible thing acquires the ownership thereof. and the court to render judgment properly. but from established jurisprudence. provide as follows: Article 1953. being the Cashier and Bookkeeper of the Rural Bank of Pototan. as appropriately pointed out by petitioner. we cite Roque v. Banks. with grave abuse of confidence. on the other hand.[5] The portion of the Information relevant to this discussion reads: [A]bove-named [respondents]. in the municipality of . this Court has firmly established the nature of possession by the Bank of the money deposits therein.[6] where the accused teller was convicted for Qualified Theft based on this Information: That on or about the 16th day of November. It is evident that the Information need not use the exact language of the statute in alleging the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. confederating. as sufficient to make out a case of Qualified Theft. The acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense and the qualifying and aggravating circumstances must be stated in ordinary and concise language and not necessarily in the language used in the statute but in terms sufficient to enable a person of common understanding to know what offense is being charged as well as its qualifying and aggravating circumstances and for the court to pronounce judgment. Iloilo. and current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions shall be governed by the provisions concerning loan. In a long line of cases involving Qualified Theft. Bookkeepers and other employees of a Bank who come into possession of the monies deposited therein enjoy the confidence reposed in them by their employer. and is bound to pay to the creditor an equal amount of the same kind and quality. Fixed. Section 9. The test is whether it enables a person of common understanding to know the charge against him. Pototan. People. Articles 1953 and 1980 of the New Civil Code. and the duties being performed by its employees who have custody of the money or have come into possession of it. without the knowledge and/or consent of the management of the Bank x x x.On the manner of how the Information should be worded. where monies are deposited. is enlightening: Section 9. without particularly referring to it as owner of the money deposits. Cause of the accusation. and helping one another. Inc. Article 1980. It is beyond doubt that tellers. 1989. Rule 110 of the Rules of Court. conspiring. The relationship between banks and depositors has been held to be that of creditor and debtor. are considered the owners thereof. For a graphic illustration. This is very clear not only from the express provisions of the law.. The Court has consistently considered the allegations in the Information that such employees acted with grave abuse of confidence.

HELEN U.00. the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank (PCIB). the Court held that: [S]ince the teller occupies a position of confidence. 1992.000.00. In convicting the therein appellant. Philippines. take. when in truth and in fact said Antonio Salazar did not withdr[a]w the said amount of P10. and as such was authorized and reposed with the responsibility to receive and collect capital contributions from its member/contributors of said corporation. Pampanga. Appellant could not have committed the crime had he not been holding the position of Luneta Branch Operation Officer which gave him not only sole access to the bank vault xxx. he being the Branch Operation Officer of the said complainant and as such he had free access to the place where the said amount of money was kept. the above-named accused ASUNCION GALANG ROQUE. and the bank places money in the teller's possession due to the confidence reposed on the teller. steal and carry away the amount of P10. The .[8] the Branch Operations Officer was convicted of the crime of Qualified Theft based on the Information as herein cited: That in or about and during the period compressed between January 24. Manila represented by its Branch Manager. with grave abuse of confidence and without the knowledge and consent of said corporation. did then and there willfully. Philippine Currency. said accused.Floridablanca. unlawfully and feloniously.00). Philippine currency.000. is Qualified Theft.00 to the damage and prejudice of BABSLA in the total amount of P10. Philippine currency.000. by making it appear that a certain depositor by the name of Antonio Salazar withdrew from his Savings Account No. and having collected and received in her capacity as teller of the BABSLA the sum of TEN THOUSAND PESOS (P10. Floridablanca. the felony of qualified theft would be committed.00. to the damage and prejudice of the said owner in the aforesaid amount of P6. both dates inclusive. Luneta Branch. province of Pampanga. steal and carry away the following. Sison. herein accused acted with grave abuse of confidence and unfaithfulness.00 in different denominations belonging to the PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK (PCIBank for brevity).000. 1359.000. That in the commission of the said offense. with intent of gain and without the knowledge and consent of the owner thereof. (BABSLA) with office address at Basa Air Base. to wit: Cash money amounting to P6. with intent of gain. being then employed as teller of the Basa Air Base Savings and Loan Association Inc.[7] Also in People v. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of his Honorable Court.000. the said accused did then and there wilfully. in the City of Manila. FARGAS. 1992 and February 13. The judgment of conviction elaborated thus: The crime perpetuated by appellant against his employer. unlawfully and feloniously take.000.000.

the Bank acquires ownership of the money deposited by its clients. The Court held therein that when the defendant. whenever legally feasible. removed the money and appropriated it to his own use without the consent of the Bank. the Information which alleged grave abuse of confidence by accused herein is even more precise.[11] Conspicuously. In summary. guardianship or vigilance. As regards the respondents who were employed as Cashier and Bookkeeper of the Bank in this case. "of a relation by reason of dependence. through the OSG.[10] in addition to People v. suffice it to state that the rule is wellsettled that in appeals by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. described the nature of possession by the Bank. who are entrusted with the possession of money of the Bank due to the confidence reposed in them. The money in this case was in the possession of the defendant as receiving teller of the bank. with grave abuse of confidence. as this is exactly the requirement of the law in qualifying the crime of Theft. Inc. The Informations. if a criminal case is dismissed by the trial court or if there is an acquittal. The Court thus enunciated: In a criminal case in which the offended party is the State. without necessarily stating the phrase being assiduously insisted upon by respondents. by the State only. which respondents abused. there was taking as contemplated in the crime of Qualified Theft."[12] and without employing the word "owner" in lieu of the "Bank" were considered to have satisfied the test of sufficiency of allegations. the interest of the private complainant or the offended party is limited to the civil liability arising therefrom. sufficiently allege all the essential elements constituting the crime of Qualified Theft. People v. x x x. therefore. On the alleged wrong mode of appeal by petitioner. Hence. Hajime Umezawa[13] is instructive. a reconsideration of the order of dismissal or acquittal may be undertaken. in all of the foregoing cases. and the employees of the Bank.[9] From another end. and it was this trust and confidence which he exploited to enrich himself to the damage and prejudice of PCIB x x x. insofar as the criminal aspect thereof is concerned and may be made only by the public prosecutor. the ruling in Mobilia Products. between the respondents and the offended party that has created a high degree of confidence between them. or in the case of an appeal. v. only errors of . where the Informations merely alleged the positions of the respondents. and the possession of the defendant was the possession of the Bank. occupy positions of of the PCIB reposed its trust and confidence in the appellant as its Luneta Branch Operation Officer. Sison. there is even no reason to quibble on the allegation in the Informations that they acted with grave abuse of confidence. In fact. Locson. with intent to gain and without the knowledge and consent of the Bank. On the theory of the defense that the DOJ is the principal party who may file the instant petition. that the crime was committed with grave abuse of confidence.

Iloilo. Pursuant to Section 6. G. JJ. inclusive. the Petition for Review on Certiorari is hereby GRANTED. No. J. Makasiar. indeed. and Leonardo-De Castro. Austria-Martinez. is directed to proceed with the trial of Criminal Cases No. a closer look at the records of the preliminary investigation conducted will show that. conversely. committed the offense charged. let it be stated that while it is truly imperative upon the fiscal or the judge. 05-3054 to 05-3165 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.versus AMADO FRANCO and COURT OF APPEALS. Petitioner. . (Chairperson). Driokno.[14] and herein petitioner certainly raised a question of law. Ynares-Santiago. Reyes.[15] as reiterated in Allado v. [Back to Main] THIRD DIVISION BPI FAMILY BANK. The RTC Judge of Branch 68.R. Let the corresponding Warrants of Arrest issue against herein respondents TERESITA PUIG and ROMEO PORRAS. 05-3054 to 05-3165.[17] The records reasonably indicate that the respondents may have. The Orders dated 30 January 2006 and 9 June 2006 of the RTC dismissing Criminal Cases No. concur. Soliven v. even if we go beyond the allegations of the Informations in these may be raised. premises considered. . the judge shall issue a warrant of arrest only upon a finding of probable cause after personally evaluating the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence. as the case may be. WHEREFORE. it is also equally imperative upon the judge to proceed with the case upon a showing that there is a prima facie case against the respondents. Before closing. SO ORDERED. with reasonable dispatch. As an aside. indeed.[16] explained that probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest is the existence of such facts and circumstances that would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent person to believe that an offense has been committed by the person sought to be arrested. Rule 112 of the Rules of Court.. to relieve the respondents from the pain of going through a trial once it is ascertained that no probable cause exists to form a sufficient belief as to the guilt of the respondents. No pronouncement as to costs. in Dumangas. 123498 Present: YNARES-SANTIAGO. probable cause exists for the indictment of herein respondents.

Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals (CA) Decision[1][2] of the Regional Trial Court.000. J. San Francisco del Monte (SFDM) branch. in a series of transactions. CHICO-NAZARIO. .00 check was part of the P80. the funding for the P2. to mature one year thence. 1989. 1989.[3] some of whom opened and maintained separate accounts with BPI-FB.R.00 with a maturity date of August 31. 2007 x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION NACHURA. NACHURA.: Banks are exhorted to treat the accounts of their depositors with meticulous care and utmost fidelity.[7] who was looking for a conduit bank to facilitate Tevesteco’s business transactions. The total amount of P2. In turn. in Civil Case No.000. CV No.000.000.000. JJ. while the time deposit account had P1. namely. The current and savings accounts were respectively funded with an initial deposit of P500.000. Promulgated: November 23. who was then BPI-FB SFDM’s Branch Manager. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ. Inc. Manila (Manila RTC). We reiterate this exhortation in the case at bench.00.[4] savings. Tevesteco Arrastre-Stevedoring Co. First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC) also opened a time deposit account with the same branch of BPI-FB with a deposit of P100. Soon thereafter.[5] and time deposit. Subsequently. Franco opened three accounts. on August 31. to Jaime Sebastian.000.. Branch 55.00 each. 43424 which affirmed with modification the judgment This case has its genesis in an ostensible fraud perpetrated on the petitioner BPI Family Bank (BPI-FB) allegedly by respondent Amado Franco (Franco) in conspiracy with other individuals. and REYES.00 debited by BPI-FB from FMIC’s time deposit account and credited to Tevesteco’s current account pursuant to an Authority to Debit purportedly signed by FMIC’s officers.[6] with BPI-FB. 90-53295. On August 15.00 used to open these accounts is traceable to a check issued by Tevesteco allegedly in consideration of Franco’s introduction of Eladio Teves.000. or on August 25. in CA-G.Respondents. 1990. (Tevesteco) opened a savings and current account with BPI-FB.000.000. a current. 1989. Chairperson.000.

subject to its immediate return upon issuance of a certificate of deposit which Quiaoit needed in connection with his visa application at the Taiwan Embassy. that Franco was impleaded in the Makati case. On May 17. 1990. BPI-FB deducted the amount of P63.[12] In the meantime. with Franco demanding the release to him of the funds in his savings and current accounts. Unfortunately. which had been filed by BPI-FB against Franco et al.000. through the service of a copy of the Second Amended Complaint in Civil Case No. 89-4996. including the P2.” With respect to Franco’s savings account. personally declared his signature therein to be a forgery. two checks[13] drawn by Franco against his BPI-FB current account were dishonored upon presentment for payment. instructed Jesus Arangorin[10] to debit Franco’s savings and current accounts for the amounts remaining therein. Franco filed a Motion to Discharge Attachment which the Makati RTC granted on May 16. BPI-FB. Franco had yet to be impleaded in the Makati case where the writ of attachment was issued.[15] In fact.[16] Immediately. 1990.[9] upon being shown the Authority to Debit. Franco pre-terminated his time deposit account.189. had already been debited because of FMIC’s forgery claim.[8] On September 4.It appears.[11] However.00 paid to Franco.000.54 representing Tevesteco’s total withdrawals from its account.455. The Order Lifting the Order of Attachment was served on BPI-FB on even date. Antonio Ong.54. upon receipt of such copy. thru its Senior Vice-President. As such. and to preserve Franco’s deposits. however. the dishonored checks were issued by Franco and presented for payment at BPIFB prior to Franco’s receipt of notice that his accounts were under garnishment.00 from the remaining balance of the time deposit account representing advance interest paid to him. On September 8. whereby P400. BPI-FB’s new manager. Sebastian retained custody of Quiaoit’s savings account passbook to ensure that no withdrawal would be effected therefrom. Notably.000. and stamped with a notation “account under garnishment.00 from his savings account was temporarily transferred to Domingo Quiaoit’s savings account. as previously stated.410. [14] to recover the P37. As part of the arrangement. BPI-FB’s computer at the SFDM Branch indicated that the current account record was “not on file. 1990. 1989 was served on BPIFB. it appears that Franco agreed to an arrangement. 1989. Franco’s time deposit account could not be debited due to the capacity limitations of BPI-FB’s computer. impelled by the need to protect its interests in light of FMIC’s forgery claim. It was only on May 15. could not forthwith comply with the demand as the funds. Tevesteco had already effected several withdrawals from its current account (to which had been credited the P80.. Severino Coronacion. Jesus Arangorin.00 covered by the forged Authority to Debit) amounting to P37. that the signatures of FMIC’s officers on the Authority to Debit were forged.410. 89-4996 (Makati Case). 1989.” Apparently. Franco’s current account was garnished by virtue of an Order of Attachment issued by the Regional Trial Court of Makati (Makati RTC) in Civil Case No.455.000. as a favor to Sebastian. at the time the Notice of Garnishment dated September 27. .000.

and Jaime Sebastian.000. spoke volumes of Franco’s participation in the fraudulent transaction. as in the case of Franco. et al. likewise filed suit. 1993. Edgardo Buenaventura.[23] However.[21] we ruled that BPI-FB had no right to freeze Buenaventura. and in BPI Family Savings Bank. some of which we had already resolved. as well as attorney’s fees. (2) the balance[26] on his savings account. First Metro Investment Corporation. Consequently.000.000. when the case was elevated to this Court docketed as BPI Family Bank v. BPI-FB was found liable to FMIC for the debited amount in its time deposit. were also prevented from effecting withdrawals[20] from their current account with BPI-FB.00 debited from its account. were acquitted of the crime of Estafa as defined and penalized under Article 351.).000. Bonifacio Market. the Manila RTC rendered judgment.00 check proceeding from the P80. along with the other accused.000. in addition to damages.99 plus interest at 17% per annum from August 29.000. on the other. insisting that it was correct in freezing the accounts of Franco and refusing to release his deposits. BPI-FB traversed this complaint. and (4) the payment of actual. 1990 with the Manila RTC the subject suit. 2(a) of the Revised Penal Code.[18] we upheld the finding of the courts below that BPI-FB failed to exercise the degree of diligence required by the nature of its obligation to treat the accounts of its depositors with meticulous care. the 17% shall itself earn interest at 12% from October 4. recipients of a Meanwhile.000. Franco. Caloocan City Branch. BPI-FB asseverated that the claimed consideration of P2. et al. claiming that it had a better right to the amounts which consisted of part of the money allegedly fraudulently withdrawn from it by Tevesteco and ending up in Franco’s accounts. Inc. the civil case[24] remains under litigation and the respective rights and liabilities of the parties have yet to be adjudicated. In a related case. 1989 until fully paid. v. Edsa. Likewise. Buenaventura et al. in light of BPI-FB’s refusal to heed Franco’s demands to unfreeze his accounts and release his deposits therein. on the one hand.[19]P500. the latter filed on June 4. 1991.00 for the introduction facilitated by Franco between George Daantos and Eladio Teves..[22] In the criminal case. BPI-FB filed separate civil and criminal cases against those believed to be the perpetrators of the multi-million peso scam. Myrna Lizardo and Yolanda Tica (Buenaventura. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: .[17] The case eventually reached this Court.00 mistakenly credited to Tevesteco. (3) the advance interest[27] paid to him which had been deducted when he pre-terminated his time deposit account. Thus. On August 4. Buenaventura. Franco prayed for the following reliefs: (1) the interest on the remaining balance[25] of his current account which was eventually released to him on October 31.332. plus interest thereon. except for Manuel Bienvenida who was still at large.These transactions spawned a number of cases. 1989 until fully restored. FMIC filed a complaint against BPI-FB for the recovery of the amount of P80.321. It was ordered to pay P65. In turn. moral and exemplary damages. par. In his complaint.’s accounts and adjudged BPI-FB liable therefor.

000. in view of all the foregoing.WHEREFORE.23 representing the balance on [Franco’s] savings account as of May 18. (2) Franco is entitled to interest on his current account. both parties filed their respective appeals before the CA. ordering the latter to pay to the former the following sums: 1.000. and 4.000. contrary to the appellate court’s ruling.000. 1990 to October 31. 1991.00 to P75. deleting the award of nominal damages (in view of the award of moral and exemplary damages) and increasing the award of attorney’s fees from P30. P200.973.00 by way of attorney’s fees. the appellate court decreed. (3) Franco can recover the P400. In affirming with modification the lower court’s decision. Franco confined his appeal to the Manila RTC’s denial of his claim for moral and exemplary damages. The counterclaim of the defendant is DISMISSED for lack of factual and legal anchor.000.00 representing the legal rate of interest on the amount of P450. The petition is partly meritorious.00 deposit in Quiaoit’s savings account.00 as exemplary damages.00 as nominal damages. 3. Costs against [BPI-FB]. (4) the dishonor of Franco’s checks was not legally in order. BPI-FB ascribes error to the CA when it ruled that: (1) Franco had a better right to the deposits in the subject accounts which are part of the proceeds of a forged Authority to Debit.000.[28] Unsatisfied with the decision. 1990.500. However. 2. SO ORDERED. P10. together with the interest thereon in accordance with the bank’s guidelines on the payment therefor.000. to wit: WHEREFORE. foregoing considered. We are in full accord with the common ruling of the lower courts that BPI-FB cannot unilaterally freeze Franco’s accounts and preclude him from withdrawing his deposits. and (6) BPI-FB’s counterclaim has no factual and legal anchor. and for moral and exemplary damages.00 from May 18. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of [Franco] and against [BPI-FB].[29] In this recourse. and the diminutive award of attorney’s fees.00.000. P76.00 as moral damages and P100. (5) BPI-FB is liable for interest on Franco’s time deposit.00 representing the interest deducted from the time deposit of plaintiff-appellant.189. P498. Cost against [BPI-FB]. P30. the appealed decision is hereby AFFIRMED with modification ordering [BPI-FB] to pay [Franco] P63. we hold that Franco is not entitled to . SO ORDERED.

and considering that it was able to recover possession of the same when the money was redeposited by Franco.[32] The quality of being fungible depends upon the possibility of the property. the movable property mentioned in Article 559 of the Civil Code pertains to a specific or determinate thing. If the possessor of a movable lost or of which the owner has been unlawfully deprived.[30] A determinate or specific thing is one that is individualized and can be identified or distinguished from others of the same kind. The possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title. BPI-FB cites Article 559 of the Civil Code. Nevertheless. this is what BPI-FB did in filing the Makati Case against Franco. is no exception.[34] and this characteristic is all the more manifest in the instant case which involves money in a banking transaction gone awry. the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor. without other evidence of its title. even if of traceable origin. the latter would have the right to keep possession of the property and preclude Z from recovering possession thereof. [33] Significantly. the value thereof. it had the right to set up its ownership thereon and freeze Franco’s accounts. BPI-FB contends that its position is not unlike that of an owner of personal property who regains possession after it is stolen.[35] Money. i. To begin with. BPI-FB gives the following example: where X’s television set is stolen by Y who thereafter sells it to Z. et al. may recover it from the person in possession of the same. being substituted by others of the same kind.e. and subsequently traced to Franco’s account. It staked its claim on the money itself which passed from one account to another. which had passed through various transactions in the general course of banking business. and to illustrate this point. BPI-FB’s argument is unsound. It bears emphasizing that money bears no earmarks of peculiar ownership.unearned interest on the time deposit as well as to moral and exemplary damages. the deposit in Franco’s accounts consists of money which. First. is generic and fungible. and where Z unwittingly entrusts possession of the TV set to X. On the issue of who has a better right to the deposits in Franco’s accounts. because of its nature or the will of the parties. In fact. one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof. To bolster its position. . BPIFB simply claims ownership of the equivalent amount of money.[31] In this case. albeit characterized as a movable. has acquired it in good faith at a public sale. commencing with the forged Authority to Debit. which it had mistakenly debited from FMIC’s account and credited to Tevesteco’s. not having a distinct individuality. Its primary function is to pass from hand to hand as a medium of exchange. BPI-FB urges us that the legal consequence of FMIC’s forgery claim is that the money transferred by BPI-FB to Tevesteco is its own. which provides: Article 559. while Article 559 permits an owner who has lost or has been unlawfully deprived of a movable to recover the exact same thing from the current possessor..

or any bank for that matter. can cause the depositor not a little embarrassment if not also financial loss and perhaps even civil and criminal litigation. with equal faith. and as promptly as possible. Whether as mere passive entities for the safekeeping and saving of money or as active instruments of business and commerce. banks have become an ubiquitous presence among the people. most of all. or asking for the release of the funds in his savings account. confident that the bank will deliver it as and to whomever directs. v. In every case. BPI-FB ultimately acquired ownership of Franco’s deposits. The ordinary person. but not as a legal consequence of its unauthorized transfer of FMIC’s deposits to Tevesteco’s account. Court of Appeals[38] continues to resonate. confidence. There is no doubt that BPI-FB owns the deposited monies in the accounts of Franco.[36] As there is a debtor-creditor relationship between a bank and its depositor. who have come to regard them with respect and even gratitude and. BPI-FB conveniently forgets that the deposit of money in banks is governed by the Civil Code provisions on simple loan or mutuum. ostensibly based on Article 559.Thus. This has to be done if the account is to reflect at any given time the amount of money the depositor can dispose of as he sees fit. usually maintains a modest checking account for security and convenience in the settling of his monthly bills and the payment of ordinary expenses. BPI-FB does not have a unilateral right to freeze the accounts of Franco based on its mere suspicion that the funds therein were proceeds of the multimillion peso scam Franco was allegedly involved in. The bank must record every single transaction accurately. x x x. knowing that they will be safe in its custody and will even earn some interest for him. Thus. More importantly. but such ownership is coupled with a corresponding obligation to pay him an equal amount on demand. when Franco issued checks drawn against his current account. he had every right as creditor to expect that those checks would be honored by BPI-FB as debtor. even the humble wage-earner has not hesitated to entrust his life’s savings to the bank of his choice. the depositor expects the bank to treat his account with the utmost fidelity. down to the last centavo. To grant BPI-FB. the right to take whatever action it pleases on deposits which it supposes are derived from shady transactions. Inc. Thus.[37] Although BPI-FB owns the deposits in Franco’s accounts. The point is that as a business affected with public interest and because of the nature of . A blunder on the part of the bank. BPI-FB’s illustrative example. whether such account consists only of a few hundred pesos or of millions. thus: The banking system is an indispensable institution in the modern world and plays a vital role in the economic life of every civilized nation. would open the floodgates of public distrust in the banking industry. inasmuch as what is involved is not a specific or determinate personal property. such as the dishonor of the check without good reason. it cannot prevent him from demanding payment of BPI-FB’s obligation by drawing checks against his current account. is inapplicable to the instant case. Our pronouncement in Simex International (Manila).

Ineluctably. which made possible the present predicament. always having in mind the fiduciary nature of their relationship. the Makati RTC is vested with the authority to determine the legal consequences of BPI-FB’s non-compliance with the Order Lifting the Order of Attachment. from the time BPI-FB refused Franco’s demand for the release of the deposits in his current account.00 from FMIC’s to Tevesteco’s account. However. BPI-FB. The Manila RTC’s order to pay interests on Franco’s current account arose from BPI-FB’s unjustified refusal to comply with its obligation to pay Franco pursuant to their contract of mutuum. Considering that there is as yet no indubitable evidence establishing Franco’s participation in the forgery. After all. It insists that the transaction with Quiaoit was not specifically alleged in . must bear the resulting loss or inconvenience. Third. Sebastian and himself. Having failed to detect the forgery in the Authority to Debit and in the process inadvertently facilitate the FMIC-Tevesteco transfer.00 from Franco’s savings account to Quiaoit’s account. interest at the rate of 12% began to accrue thereon. As to the award to Franco of the deposits in Quiaoit’s account. Second. it boggles the mind why BPI-FB.its functions. The argument is tenuous. we find no reason to depart from the factual findings of both the Manila RTC and the CA. or prevent withdrawals from their respective accounts without the appropriate court writ or a favorable final judgment.000. this was the core issue raised by Franco in his complaint before the Manila RTC. With respect to its liability for interest on Franco’s current account.[39] Undeniably. he remains an innocent party. 1990. Noteworthy is the fact that Quiaoit himself testified that the deposits in his account are actually owned by Franco who simply accommodated Jaime Sebastian’s request to temporarily transfer P400. from May 17. when FMIC’s account was a time deposit and it had already paid advance interest to FMIC. effected the transfer of P80.000. [41] BPI-FB makes capital of Franco’s belated allegation relative to this particular arrangement. We agree with the succinct holding of the appellate court in this respect. even without delving into the authenticity of the signature in the Authority to Debit. is duty bound to know the signatures of its customers. x x x.000. Further. In other words. specifically. as the trustee in the fiduciary relationship. BPI-FB cannot now shift liability thereon to Franco and the other payees of checks issued by Tevesteco. the bank is under obligation to treat the accounts of its depositors with meticulous care. is a matter that ought to be taken up in that court. such authority does not preclude the Manila RTC from ruling on BPI-FB’s liability to Franco for payment of interest based on its continued and unjustified refusal to perform a contractual obligation upon demand. the latter. BPI-FB argues that its non-compliance with the Makati RTC’s Order Lifting the Order of Attachment and the legal consequences thereof. [40] His testimony cannot be characterized as hearsay as the records reveal that he had personal knowledge of the arrangement made between Franco. As between him and BPI-FB.

However. The court may grant a continuance to enable the amendment to be made. If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is now within the issues made by the pleadings. 1989. (Emphasis supplied) In all. Fourth. to notice. Yet. it should be remembered that the enforcement of a writ of attachment cannot be made without including in the main suit the owner of the property attached by virtue thereof.” . they shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings. 1989. 1989 was legally in order in view of the Makati RTC’s supplemental writ of attachment issued on September 14. Franco was entitled.00 begs the issue. Section 5. It should be noted that the strict requirement on service of court papers upon the parties affected is designed to comply with the elementary requisites of due process. unequivocally disclaimed ownership of the funds in his account.000. it was premature for BPI-FB to freeze Franco’s accounts without even awaiting service of the Makati RTC’s Notice of Garnishment on Franco.[42] Rule 13 of the Rules of Court. if the requirements of due process are to be observed. on the defendant within the Philippines. the court may allow the pleadings to be amended and shall do so with liberality if the presentation of the merits of the action and the ends of substantial justice will be subserved thereby. Additionally. Rule 10 of the Rules of Court provides: Section 5.— When issues not raised by the pleadings are tried with the express or implied consent of the parties. but failure to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these issues. several days after the two checks he issued were dishonored by BPI-FB on September 20 and 21. The argument is specious. Notwithstanding all the foregoing. we perceive BPI-FB’s clever but transparent ploy to circumvent Section 4. or contemporaneously accompanied. Rule 13 of the Rules of Court specifically provides that “no levy or attachment pursuant to the writ issued x x x shall be enforced unless it is preceded. Such amendment of the pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues may be made upon motion of any party at any time.Franco’s complaint before the Manila RTC. Amendment to conform to or authorize presentation of evidence. Verily. as a matter of right. BPI-FB continues to insist that the dishonor of Franco’s checks respectively dated September 11 and 18. he received a copy of the Notice of Garnishment only on September 27. the application for attachment. BPI-FB’s argument that this case is not the right forum for Franco to recover the P400. To reiterate. Quiaoit. 1989. Franco’s action for the recovery of his deposits appropriately covers the deposits in Quiaoit’s account. Section 5. it need not be served with the Notice of Garnishment before it could place Franco’s accounts under garnishment. Clearly. it appears that BPI-FB had impliedly consented to the trial of this issue given its extensive cross-examination of Quiaoit. and pointed to Franco as the actual owner thereof. even after judgment. by service of summons. testifying during the trial. It posits that as the party that applied for the writ of attachment before the Makati RTC. In this argument. together with a copy of the complaint.

The remedy of freezing the account. it is not liable for the unearned interest on the time deposit. it partakes of the nature of fraud. we find it proper to reinstate the ruling of the trial court. Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence. and allow only the recovery of nominal damages in the amount of P10. (3) misrepresented that Franco’s current account was not on file. we retain the CA’s award of P75. Fifth.000.[44] We have held that it is a breach of a known duty through some motive of interest or ill will. there was no legal basis for BPI-FB to dishonor the checks issued by Franco. therefore. there was no denial whatsoever by BPI-FB of the existence of the accounts.[43] Effectively.00. We have had occasion to hold that in the absence of fraud or bad faith.[47] moral .Franco was impleaded as party-defendant only on May 15.00 despite the fact that the ostensible owner. the CA attributed bad faith to BPI-FB because it (1) completely disregarded its obligation to Franco. bad faith. that BPI-FB acted out of the impetus of self-protection and not out of malevolence or ill will. (Emphasis supplied. However. we are guided by Article 2201 of the Civil Code which provides: Article 2201. and (4) refused to return the P400. The Makati RTC had yet to acquire jurisdiction over the person of Franco when BPI-FB garnished his accounts. For the same reason. As the trial court found. 1990. the Makati RTC had no authority yet to bind the deposits of Franco through the writ of attachment.000. (2) misleadingly claimed that Franco’s deposits were under garnishment. In contracts and quasi-contracts. In this regard. and for moral as well as exemplary damages.[46] and with no other goal but to ensure the integrity of the accounts. as the trial court did. In granting Franco’s prayer for interest on his time deposit account and for moral and exemplary damages. the obligor shall be responsible for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the nonperformance of the obligation. or the garnishment. Quiaoit. The computer-generated document which indicated that the current account was “not on file” resulted from the prior debit by BPIFB of the deposits. malice or wanton attitude. we cannot attribute to BPI-FB fraud or even a motive of self-enrichment.[45] In the instant case. Anent the CA’s finding that BPI-FB was in bad faith and as such liable for the advance interest it deducted from Franco’s time deposit account. and consequently.000.) We find. or even the outright refusal to honor any transaction thereon was resorted to solely for the purpose of holding on to the funds as a security for its intended court action. wanted the amount returned to Franco. the damages for which the obligor who acted in good faith is liable shall be those that are the natural and probable consequences of the breach of the obligation.00 as attorney’s fees. BPI-FB was not in the corrupt state of mind contemplated in Article 2201 and should not be held liable for all damages now being imputed to it for its breach of obligation. and which the parties have foreseen or could have reasonable foreseen at the time the obligation was constituted. In case of fraud. it imports a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of wrong.

000.00 was part of Franco’s savings account. or identify any particular circumstance in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. As for the dismissal of BPI-FB’s counter-claim.[48] An award of moral damages contemplates the existence of the following requisites: (1) there must be an injury clearly sustained by the claimant. or compensatory damages before the court may even consider the question of whether exemplary damages should be awarded to him. Accordingly.[53] we.00 as actual damages.000. Therefore. temperate. 1995 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that the award of unearned interest on the time deposit and of moral and exemplary damages is DELETED. Franco should show that he is entitled to moral. that BPI-FB is not entitled to recover P3.[55] In the case at bench. The Court of Appeals Decision dated November 29. we uphold the Manila RTC’s ruling. whether physical. This refusal constrained Franco to incur expenses and litigate for almost two (2) decades in order to protect his interests and recover his deposits.[49] Franco could not point to. The award is reasonable in view of the complexity of the issues and the time it has taken for this case to be resolved. neither can exemplary damages be granted. BPI-FB cannot be held liable for moral damages under Article 2220 of the Civil Code for breach of contract. (2) there must be a culpable act or omission factually established. While it is a sound policy not to set a premium on the right to litigate.00 as attorney’s fees.damages cannot be awarded. the denial of its counter-claim is in order. find that Franco is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees for having been compelled to go to court in order to assert his right. of its own making. not having acted in bad faith. WHEREFORE. and (4) the award for damages is predicated on any of the cases stated in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. BPI-FB refused to unfreeze the deposits of Franco despite the Makati RTC’s Order Lifting the Order of Attachment and Quiaoit’s unwavering assertion that the P400. Attorney’s fees may be awarded when a party is compelled to litigate or incur expenses to protect his interest. as already pointed out.[52] As there is no basis for the award of moral damages. or the party liable for it.800.[56] Sixth. .[50] upon which to base his claim for moral damages. Thus.000. but error alone is not a ground for granting such damages. (3) the wrongful act or omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by the claimant. as affirmed by the CA.00 as attorney’s fees.000. Thus.[51] We also deny the claim for exemplary damages. mental or psychological. this Court deems it just and equitable to grant Franco P75. One may err. BPI-FB’s alleged loss of profit as a result of Franco’s suit is.[54] or when the court deems it just and equitable. No pronouncement as to costs. and that the adverse result of an action does not per se make the action wrongful. the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. we affirm the CA’s grant of P75. however.

INC. the group arrived at the Coster Diamond House in Amsterdam around 10 minutes before 9:00 a. the last day of the tour. or 15 minutes before the tour group was slated to depart from the store. and she found a diamond close enough in approximation that she decided to buy. Petitioner. The following day. Pantaleon also selected for purchase a pendant and a chain.00. the store clerk informed Pantaleon that his AmexCard had not yet been approved. AMERICAN EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL. they failed to engage in any sight-seeing.826. who had already boarded the tour bus. and asked Pantaleon to sign the charge slip.5 karat diamond brilliant cut. Pantaleon had already planned to purchase even before the tour began a 2.m. $13.. No. vs. Pantaleon asked the store clerk to cancel the sale. DECISION TINGA. the second to the last day of the tour. his wife Julialinda. lawyer Polo Pantaleon.R. Ltd. Mrs.m.. The group had agreed that the visit to Coster should end by 9:30 a. Respondent. The sales clerk took the card’s imprint. As the group had arrived late in the city. The tour group arrived in Amsterdam in the afternoon of 25 October 1991.3 all of which totaled U. 2009 POLO S. PANTALEON.1 Afterwards. daughter Anna Regina and son Adrian Roberto..SO ORDERED. it was agreed upon that they would start early the next day to see the entire city before ending the tour. and listened to a lecture on the art of diamond polishing that lasted for around ten minutes.. The .m.S. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. To pay for these purchases. soon returned to Coster and informed the other members of the Pantaleon family that the entire tour group was waiting for them. As it was already 9:40 a. the group was led to the store’s showroom to allow them to select items for purchase. joined an escorted tour of Western Europe organized by Trafalgar Tours of Europe. The charge purchase was then referred electronically to respondent’s Amsterdam office at 9:20 a.. Pantaleon presented his American Express credit card together with his passport to the Coster sales clerk. J. 174269 May 8. The group was ushered into Coster shortly before 9:00 a. to allow enough time to take in a guided city tour of Amsterdam. Instead. and he was already worried about further inconveniencing the tour group.m.m. This occurred at around 9:15 a. His son.m.: The petitioner. in October of 1991.2 Mrs. Ten minutes later.

m. several minutes after petitioner had already left Coster. Pantaleon sent a letter7 through counsel to the respondent. and 78 minutes from the time the purchases were electronically transmitted by the jewelry store to respondent’s Amsterdam office..00 using his AmEx card.000. On 4 March 1992. While in the United States. then referred to respondent’s Manila office at 9:33 a. the store manager informed Pantaleon that respondent had demanded bank references. Coster decided to release the items even without respondent’s approval of the purchase. .8 In response. Pantaleon ended up weeping.000.475. After 15 minutes. P100."10 Since respondent refused to accede to Pantaleon’s demand for an apology. Pantaleon purchased golf equipment amounting to US $1. Pantaleon used the card to purchase children’s shoes worth $87. On 30 October 1991.00 at a store in Boston. but he cancelled his credit card purchase and borrowed money instead from a friend.00.000.m. After the star-crossed tour had ended. On 3 November 1991. after more than 30 minutes had transpired without the purchase having been approved. and P50.m.9 stating among others that the delay in authorizing the purchase from Coster was attributable to the circumstance that the charged purchase of US $13.00. Amsterdam time. Pantaleon continued to use his AmEx card. or around 45 minutes after Pantaleon had presented his AmexCard. the aggrieved cardholder instituted an action for damages with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City. humiliation and embarrassment he and his family thereby suffered" for respondent’s refusal to provide credit authorization for the aforementioned purchases. respondent sent a letter dated 24 March 1992. It is alleged that their offers of apology were met by their tourmates with stony silence.m. as exemplary damages. and it took 20 minutes before this transaction was approved by respondent. and 30 minutes after the tour group was supposed to have left the store.00 "was out of the usual charge purchase pattern established.000.6 The Approval Code was transmitted to respondent’s Amsterdam office at 10:38 a. Pantaleon supplied the names of his depositary banks. as moral damages.5 Mrs..m. Amsterdam time. At around 10:00 a. demanding an apology for the "inconvenience. several times without hassle or manager though asked plaintiff to wait a few more minutes.00. P500.000. the Pantaleon family proceeded to the United States before returning to Manila on 12 November 1992. as they had to catch a 3:00 p. The spouses Pantaleon returned to the bus. the Makati City RTC rendered a decision 13 in favor of Pantaleon. then finally approved at 10:19 a. then instructed his daughter to return to the bus and apologize to the tour group for the delay.826..11 Pantaleon prayed that he be awarded P2. Branch 145. Belgium to London. after coming back to Manila. as attorney’s fees. while her husband had to take a tranquilizer to calm his nerves.12 On 5 August 1996.m.00 as litigation expenses. It later emerged that Pantaleon’s purchase was first transmitted for approval to respondent’s Amsterdam office at 9:20 a.4 The tour group’s visible irritation was aggravated when the tour guide announced that the city tour of Amsterdam was to be canceled due to lack of remaining time. but with two other incidents similar to the Amsterdam brouhaha. ferry at Calais.

First. he was "making his very first single charge purchase of US$13. respondent had been in clear delay with respect to the three subject transactions. had committed a breach of its obligations to Pantaleon. Pantaleon submits that even assuming that respondent had not been in breach of its obligations. praying that the trial court award the increased amount of moral and exemplary damages he had prayed for. Respondent filed a Notice of Appeal. In addition. the Court of Appeals conceded that there had been delay on the part of respondent in approving the purchases. The requisites of mora accipiendi are: an offer of performance by the debtor who has the required capacity.14 The RTC denied Pantaleon’s motion for partial reconsideration.00 as moral damages. which were "not in accordance with the charge pattern" petitioner had established for himself.01 as expenses of litigation." and "the record of [petitioner]’s past spending with [respondent] at the time does not favorably support his ability to pay for such purchase.000. the debtor delays performance. as exemplified by the fact that at Coster. Hence. malice. Edgardo Jaurigue. in connection with the aforementioned transactions. the offer must be to comply with the prestation as it should be performed.000. the appellate court ruled that the delay was not attended by bad faith. argues petitioner. which relates to delay on the part of the obligee in accepting the performance of the obligation by the obligor. it ruled that respondent "had exercised diligent efforts to effect the approval" of the purchases."17 On the premise that there was an obligation on the part of respondent "to approve or disapprove with dispatch the charge purchase. is in relying on the invocation by respondent of "just cause" for the delay. since while just cause is determinative of mora accipiendi. while Pantaleon moved for partial reconsideration.233. However. holding that respondent had not breached its obligations to petitioner. P100. P300. and thereafter gave due course to respondent’s Notice of Appeal.000.18 Petitioner asserts that the Court of Appeals had wrongly applied the principle of mora accipiendi." Based on that standard. it is not so with the case of mora solvendi. that the normal approval time for purchases was "a matter of seconds. As it appears. this petition. Second.00 as attorney’s fees. . The key question is whether respondent. and the creditor judicially or extrajudicially requires the debtor’s performance. The RTC had concluded. For its part.awarding him P500. the Court of Appeals rendered a decision16 reversing the award of damages in favor of Pantaleon." Petitioner correctly cites that under mora solvendi. it still remained liable for damages under Article 21 of the Civil Code.15 On 18 August 2006. and P85. or gross negligence.19 The error of the appellate court. respondent characterizes the depiction by petitioner of its obligation to him as "to approve purchases instantaneously or in a matter of seconds. and the creditor refuses the performance without just cause." petitioner argues that the failure to timely approve or disapprove the purchase constituted mora solvendi on the part of respondent in the performance of its obligation. the three requisites for a finding of default are that the obligation is demandable and liquidated.00 as exemplary damages. it made two critical conclusions in favor of respondent.826. based on the testimonial representations of Pantaleon and respondent’s credit authorizer.

Herein. Generally.. approvals of his charge purchases were always obtained in a matter of seconds. as it remained pending the approval or consent of the respondent credit card company. we will have to first recognize that there was indeed an obligation on the part of respondent to act on petitioner’s purchases with "timely dispatch.20 with the card company as the creditor extending loans and credit to the card holder. insofar as it has the obligation to the customer as creditor/obligee to act promptly on its purchases on credit. the bank is deemed as the debtor while the depositor is considered as the creditor. such delay would not have been in the acceptance of the performance of the debtor’s obligation (i. If there was delay on the part of respondent in its normal role as creditor to the cardholder. to our mind. Ma’am. thus: As to the first issue. amply established that the tardiness on the part of respondent in acting on petitioner’s purchase at Coster did constitute culpable delay on its part in complying with its obligation to act promptly on its customer’s purchase request. Plaintiff testified that his personal experience with the use of the card was that except for the three charge purchases subject of this case. the repayment of the debt). The findings of the trial court. whether such action be favorable or unfavorable. Such delay would not fall under mora accipiendi. Ultimately. within a period significantly less than the one hour it apparently took before the purchase at Coster was finally approved.e. in order for us to appreciate that respondent was in mora solvendi. both parties have testified that normal approval time for purchases was a matter of seconds.We can see the possible source of confusion as to which type of mora to appreciate. This relationship already takes exception to the general rule that as between a bank and its depositors. We quote the trial court." or for the purposes of this case. – Yes. but it would be delay in the extension of the credit in the first place. Still. – You also testified that on normal occasions. the relationship between a credit card provider and its card holders is that of creditor-debtor. Both parties likewise presented evidence that the processing and approval of plaintiff’s charge purchase at the Coster Diamond House was way beyond the normal approval time . Defendant’s credit authorizer Edgardo Jaurique likewise testified: Q. such as the actual purchases on credit. to again shift perspectives and again see the credit card company as the debtor/obligor. who as debtor is obliged to repay the creditor. 21 Petitioner is asking us. the normal approval time for charges would be 3 to 4 seconds? A. not baselessly. which contemplates that the obligation of the debtor. the establishment of the debt itself (purchases on credit of the jewelry) had not yet been perfected. petitioner’s perspective appears more sensible than if we were to still regard respondent as the creditor in the context of this cause of action. has already been constituted.

xxx To repeat.m. By Jack Manila. all times Phoenix. patently unreasonable length of time to approve or disapprove a credit card purchase. the approval was conditional as it directed in computerese [sic] "Positive Identification of Card holder necessary further charges require bank information due to high exposure. or 2:38. In sequence expressed in Phoenix time from 01:20 when the charge purchased was referred for authorization. defendants own record shows: 01:22 – the authorization is referred to Manila Amexco 01:32 – Netherlands gives information that the identification of the cardmember has been presented and he is buying jewelries worth US $13.826. 01:33 – Netherlands asks "How long will this take?" 02:08 – Netherlands is still asking "How long will this take?" The Court is convinced that defendants delay constitute[s] breach of its contractual obligation to act on his use of the card abroad "with special handling.826. Plaintiff testified that he presented his AmexCard to the sales clerk at Coster. and return to the store. Amsterdam time. withdraw money over the counter.m. ID seen. 01:52 and 02:08. unconcerned. Cardmember buying jewels. the Credit Authorization System (CAS) record on the Amsterdam transaction shows how Amexco Netherlands viewed the delay as unusually frustrating." there really is no strict. And even then. much less one specifically contracted upon by the parties. yet it sat on its hand. Phoenix time..m. It is long enough time for the customer to walk to a bank a kilometer away. Manila Amexco could be unaware of the need for speed in resolving the charge purchase referred to it." The delay in the processing is apparent to be undue as shown from the frantic successive queries of Amexco Amsterdam which reads: "US$13." and one hour appears to be an awfully long..m. and that the defendant relayed its approval to Coster at 10:38 a. Phoenix time.of a "matter of seconds". at 9:15 a. Advise how long will this take?" They were sent at 01:33. the Credit Authorization System (CAS) record of defendant at Phoenix Amex shows that defendant’s Amsterdam office received the request to approve plaintiff’s charge purchase at 9:20 a. legally determinative point of demarcation on how long must it take for a credit card company to approve or disapprove a customer’s purchase."22 (Citations omitted) xxx Notwithstanding the popular notion that credit card purchases are approved "within seconds. In fact.. 01:45. Amsterdam time or 01:20. no approval had yet been received. . 01:37. 01:40. Yet this is one of those instances when "you’d know it when you’d see it. or a total time lapse of one hour and [18] minutes. and by the time he had to leave the store at 10:05 a.

The findings of the trial court are ample in establishing the bad faith and unjustified neglect of respondent.24 xxx The delay committed by defendant was clearly attended by unjustified neglect and bad faith. is silent as to the amount of time it should take defendant to grant authorization for a charge purchase.23 Wrote the trial court: While it is true that the Cardmembership Agreement. and duly advised him that resolving the same could take some time. or at least abuse of its rights. and the court should find that under the circumstances.Notably. In that way. which can be delivered and accepted quickly. whether favorably or unfavorably. since it alleges to have consumed more than one hour to simply go over plaintiff’s past credit history with defendant. The culpable failure of respondent herein is not the failure to timely approve petitioner’s purchase. Specially so with cards used abroad which requires "special handling". This Court also takes note of the fact that there is nothing in plaintiff’s billing history that would warrant the imprudent suspension of action by defendant in processing the purchase. Moral damages avail in cases of breach of contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith. meaning with priority. petitioner was left uncomfortably dangling in the chilly autumn winds in a foreign land and soon forced to confront the wrath of foreign folk. this particular action would have never seen the light of day. Edgardo Jaurique. to the Court’s mind. if not the obligation. and that the cardholder is within his means to make such transaction. . We do not wish do dispute that respondent has the right. Petitioner and his family would have returned to the bus without delay – internally humiliated perhaps over the rejection of his card – yet spared the shame of being held accountable by newly-made friends for making them miss the chance to tour the city of Amsterdam. defendant acknowledged that the normal time for approval should only be three to four seconds. Instead. it would be so inconvenient to use that buyers and consumers would be better off carrying bundles of currency or traveller’s checks. attributable in particular to the "dilly-dallying" of respondent’s Manila credit authorizer. Otherwise. petitioner would have had informed basis on whether or not to pursue the transaction at Coster. Such right was not accorded to plaintiff in the instances complained off for reasons known only to defendant at that time. Even assuming that respondent’s credit authorizers did not have sufficient basis on hand to make a judgment. such damages are due. petitioner frames the obligation of respondent as "to approve or disapprove" the purchase "in timely dispatch." and not "to approve the purchase instantaneously or within seconds." Certainly. which defendant prepared. when all such data are already stored and readily available from its computer. the object of credit or charge cards would be lost. had respondent disapproved petitioner’s purchase "within seconds" or within a timely manner. his payment record and his credit and bank references. but the more elemental failure to timely act on the same. This. under the contract. given the attending circumstances. amounts to a wanton and deliberate refusal to comply with its contractual obligations. to verify whether the credit it is extending upon on a particular purchase was indeed contracted by the cardholder. we see no reason why respondent could not have promptly informed petitioner the reason for the delay.

92-1665 is hereby REINSTATED. WHEREFORE.00 for moral damages is excessive under the circumstances. Q. There is no hard-and-fast rule in determining what would be a fair and reasonable amount of moral damages. sir.27 Those circumstances are fairly unusual. We sustain the amount of moral damages awarded to petitioner by the RTC. the petition is GRANTED. – But did you discover that he did not have any outstanding account? A. The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati. led to the particular injuries under Article 2217 of the Civil Code for which moral damages are remunerative. and the amount awarded by the trial court of P500.01 as expenses of litigation. for which culpability lies under Article 1170. Costs against respondent. it must be commensurate to the loss or injury suffered. however.25 It should be emphasized that the reason why petitioner is entitled to damages is not simply because respondent incurred delay. – Yes.000. and the amount of P300.Defendant’s witness Jaurique admits: Q.000.233. and should not give rise to a general entitlement for damages under a more mundane set of facts. as concluded by the RTC.00 as attorney’s fees. mental anguish. SO ORDERED. Jaurique further testified that there were no "delinquencies" in plaintiff’s account.000.000.000. so this decision should not be cause for relief for those who time the length of their credit card transactions with a stopwatch.00 appropriate. we deem exemplary damages available under the circumstances. The somewhat unusual attending circumstances to the purchase at Coster – that there was a deadline for the completion of that purchase by petitioner before any delay would redound to the injury of his several traveling companions – gave rise to the moral shock. DANTE O. TINGA Associate Justice .00 in moral damages more seemly. since each case must be governed by its own peculiar facts. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.28 Petitioner’s original prayer for P5. There is similarly no cause though to disturb the determined award of P100.1avvphi1 Likewise. Mr. serious anxiety. and P85. – Nothing in arrears at that time.26 Moral damages do not avail to soothe the plaints of the simply impatient. Branch 145 in Civil Case No. wounded feelings and social humiliation sustained by the petitioner. – You were well aware of this fact on this very date? A. but because the delay.