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Caltex Inc. v. Court of Appeals [G.R. No. 97753. August 10, 1992]

24 Mar

FACTS

On various dates, Security Bank and Trust Company (SBTC), through its Sucat Branch issued 280 certificates of time deposit (CTD) in favor of one Angel dela Cruz who later lost them.

Date of Maturity FEB. 23, 1984 FEB 22, 1982, 19____ 

This is to Certify that B E A R E R has deposited in this Bank the sum of PESOS: FOUR THOUSAND ONLY, SECURITY BANK SUCAT OFFICE P4,000& 00 CTS Pesos, Philippine Currency, repayable to said depositor 731 days. after date, upon presentation and surrender of this certificate, with interest at the rate of 16% per cent per annum. 

(Sgd. Illegible)

Caltex (Phils.) Inc. went to the SBTCSucat branch and presented for verification the CTDs declared lost by Angel dela Cruz alleging that the same were delivered to herein plaintiff “as security for purchases made with Caltex Philippines, Inc.” by said depositor. SBTC rejected Caltex’s demand and claim. Caltex sued SBTC but case was dismissed rationalizing that CTD’s are non-negotiable instruments.

ISSUE

Whether or not Certificate of Time Deposit (CTD) is a negotiable instrument.

RULING

YES. The CTDs in question undoubtedly meet the requirements of the law for negotiability under Section 1 of the Negotiable Instruments Law. The accepted rule is that the negotiability or non-negotiability of an instrument is determined from the writing, that is, from the face of the instrument itself.  In the construction of a bill or note, the intention of the parties is to control, if it can be legally ascertained. Here, if it was really the intention of respondent bank to pay the amount to Angel de la Cruz only, it could have with facility so expressed that fact in clear and categorical terms in the documents, instead of having the word “BEARER” stamped on the space provided for the name of the depositor in each CTD.

While the writing may be read in the light of surrounding circumstances in order to more perfectly understand the intent and meaning of the parties, yet as they have constituted the writing to be the only outward and visible expression of their meaning, no other words are to be added to it or substituted in its stead.

 

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