Philippine Education Co. Inc. v. Soriano [G.R. No. L-22405. June 30, 1971]

24 Mar


Enrique Montinola sought to purchase from the Manila Post Office ten (10) money orders each payable to E.P. Montinola. After the postal teller had made out money orders, Montinola offered to pay for them with a private checks were not generally accepted in payment of money orders, the teller advised him to see the Chief of the Money Order Division, but instead of doing so, Montinola managed to leave building with his own check and the ten(10) money orders without the knowledge of the teller. Upon discovery of the disappearance of the unpaid money orders, an urgent message was sent to all postmasters, and the following day notice was likewise served upon all banks, instructing them not to pay anyone of the money orders aforesaid if presented for payment. The Bank of America received a copy of said notice three days later. It debited appellant’s account with the same amount and gave it advice thereof by means of a debit memo.


Whether or not postal money orders are negotiable instruments.


NO. Postal money orders are not negotiable instruments. Our postal statutes were patterned after statutes in force in the United States. For this reason, ours are generally construed in accordance with the construction given in the United States to their own postal statutes, in the absence of any special reason justifying a departure from this policy or practice. The weight of authority in the United States is that postal money orders are not negotiable instruments, the reason behind this rule being that, in establishing and operating a postal money order system, the government is not engaging in commercial transactions but merely exercises a governmental power for the public benefit.It is to be noted in this connection that some of the restrictions imposed upon money orders by postal laws and regulations are inconsistent with the character of negotiable instruments. For instance, such laws and regulations usually provide for not more than one endorsement; payment of money orders may be withheld under a variety of circumstances.


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