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131086, December 14, 2001

The facts of the case are as follows: Eddie C. Olalia was issued a credit card by BPI Express Card Corporation (BECC). In January 1991, Olalias card expired and a renewal card was issued. BECC also issued an extension card in the name of Olalias ex-wife, Cristina G. Olalia. BECC sent a letter to Olalia demanding payment of the amount of P13,883.87 representing purchases made under his own credit card and the amount of P101,844.54 representing purchases made under the extension card. Olalia denied liability alleging that he did not apply for nor receive the extension card. Moreover, his wife, from whom he was already divorced, left for the States in 1986 and has since resided there. BECC filed an action for collection against Olalia. BECC alleged that the extension card was delivered to and received by Olalia as evidenced by his signature in the Renewal Card Acknowledgment Receipt. The issue is whether or not Olalia can be held liable for the purchases made using the extension card. The Supreme Court held that Olalia cannot be held liable. Under the terms and conditions governing the issuance and use of the BPI Express Credit Card, there are two requirements before an extension/supplementary card is issued: They are: (1) payment of the necessary fee, and (2) submission of an application for the purpose. None of these requirements were shown to have been complied with by Olalia. In Olalias applications for the original as well as the renewal card, he never applied for an extension card in the name his wife. BECC also failed to show any receipt for any fee given in payment for the purpose of securing an extension card. The Renewal Card Acknowledgment Receipt is not sufficient proof that the requirements for the issuance of the extension card have been complied with. Contracts of this nature are contracts of adhesion, so-called because their terms are prepared by only one party while the other merely affixes his signature signifying his adhesion thereto. As such, their terms are construed strictly against the party who drafted it.