January 2014 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Commercial Law

Here are select January 2014 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on commercial law:

Corporations; liability of corporate officers. As a general rule, the officer cannot be held personally liable with the corporation, whether civilly or otherwise, for the consequences his acts, if acted for and in behalf of the corporation, within the scope of his authority and in good faith. Rodolfo Laborte, et al. v. Pagsanjan Tourism Consumers’ Cooperative, et al., G.R. No. 183860, January 15, 2014.

Banks; degree of diligence. Being a banking institution, DBP owed it to Guariña Corporation toexercise the highest degree of diligence, as well as to observe the high standards of integrity and performance in all its transactionsbecause its business was imbued with public interest. The high standards were also necessary to ensure public confidence in the banking system. Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) v. Guariña Agricultural and Realty Development Corporation, G.R. No. 160758. January 15, 2014.

(Hector thanks Camille Maria L. Castolo for her assistance to Lexoterica.)

December 2013 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Commercial Law

Here are select December 2013 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on commercial law:

Corporations; doctrine of apparent authority. The doctrine of apparent authority provides that a corporation will be estopped from denying the agent’s authority if it knowingly permits one of its officers or any other agent to act within the scope of an apparent authority, and it holds him out to the public as possessing the power to do those acts.  The doctrine of apparent authority does not apply if the  principal did not commit any acts or conduct which a third party knew and relied upon in good faith as a result of the exercise of reasonable prudence. Moreover, the agent’s acts or conduct must have produced a change of  position to the third party’s detriment. Advance Paper Corporation and George Haw, in his capacity as President of Advance Paper Corporation v. Arma Traders Corporation, Manuel Ting, et al., G.R. No. 176897, December 11, 2013.

Corporations; doctrine of apparent authority . In People’s Aircargo and Warehousing Co., Inc. v. Court of  Appeals,  we ruled that the doctrine of apparent authority is applied when the petitioner, through its president Antonio Punsalan Jr., entered into the First Contract without first securing board approval. Despite such lack of  board approval, petitioner did not object to or repudiate said contract, thus “clothing” its president with the power to bind the corporation. “Inasmuch as a corporate president is often given general supervision and control over corporate operations, the strict rule that said officer has no inherent power to act for the corporation is slowly giving way to the realization that such officer has certain limited powers in the transaction of the usual and ordinary business of the corporation.”

In the absence of a charter or bylaw provision to the contrary, the president is presumed to have the authority to act within the domain of the general objectives of its business and within the scope of his or her usual duties. Advance Paper Corporation and George Haw, in his capacity as President of Advance Paper Corporation v. Arma Traders Corporation, Manuel Ting, et al., G.R. No. 176897, December 11, 2013.

(Hector thanks Miracle Rodriguez and Camille Maria M. Castolo for their assistance to Lexoterica.)

September 2013 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Commercial Law

Here are select September 2013 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on commercial law:

Checks; negotiable instruments. The check delivered to was made payable to cash. Under the Negotiable Instruments Law, this type of check was payable to the bearer and could be negotiated by mere delivery without the need of an indorsement. People of the Philippines v. Gilbert Reyes Wagas, G.R. No. 157943, September 4, 2013.

Insurance contracts; contract of adhesion. A contract of insurance is a contract of adhesion. When the terms of the insurance contract contain limitations on liability, courts should construe them in such a way as to preclude the insurer from non-compliance with his obligation. Alpha Insurance and Surety Co. v. Arsenia Sonia Castor, G.R. No. 198174, September 2, 2013.

Sale; subdivision lots. Presidential Decree No. 957 is a law that regulates the sale of subdivision lots and condominiums in view of the increasing number of incidents wherein “real estate subdivision owners, developers, operators, and/or sellers have reneged on their representations and obligations to provide and maintain properly” the basic requirements and amenities, as well as of reports of alarming magnitude of swindling and fraudulent manipulations perpetrated by unscrupulous subdivision and condominium sellers and operators, such as failure to deliver titles to the buyers or titles free from liens and encumbrances.

Presidential Decree No. 957 authorizes the suspension and revocation of the registration and license of the real estate subdivision owners, developers, operators, and/or sellers in certain instances, as well as provides the procedure to be observed in such instances; it prescribes administrative fines and other penalties in case of violation of, or non-compliance with its provisions. San Miguel Properties, Inc. v. Secretary of Justice, et al., G.R. No. 166836, September 4, 2013.

(Hector thanks Carlos Manuel D. Prado for his assistance to Lexoterica.)

August 2013 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Commercial Law

Here are select August 2103 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on commercial law:

Insurance; prohibition against removal of property. Here, by the clear and express condition in the renewal policy, the removal of the insured property to any building or place required the consent of Malayan. Any transfer effected by the insured, without the insurer’s consent, would free the latter from any liability.

Insurance; rescission. Considering that the original policy was renewed on an “as is basis,” it follows that the renewal policy carried with it the same stipulations and limitations. The terms and conditions in the renewal policy provided, among others, that the location of the risk insured against is at the Sanyo factory in PEZA. The subject insured properties, however, were totally burned at the Pace Factory. Although it was also located in PEZA, Pace Factory was not the location stipulated in the renewal policy. There being an unconsented removal, the transfer was at PAP’s own risk. Consequently, it must suffer the consequences of the fire. Thus, the Court agrees with the report of Cunningham Toplis Philippines, Inc., an international loss adjuster which investigated the fire incident at the Pace Factory, which opined that “[g]iven that the location of risk covered under the policy is not the location affected, the policy will, therefore, not respond to this loss/claim.” It can also be said that with the transfer of the location of the subject properties, without notice and without Malayan’s consent, after the renewal of the policy, PAP clearly committed concealment, misrepresentation and a breach of a material warranty.

Accordingly, an insurer can exercise its right to rescind an insurance contract when the following conditions are present, to wit:

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July 2013 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Commercial Law

Here are select July 2013 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on commercial law:

Banks; outsourcing of functions. D.O. No. 10 is but a guide to determine what functions may be contracted out, subject to the rules and established jurisprudence on legitimate job contracting and prohibited labor only contracting.41 Even if the Court considers D.O. No. 10 only, BPI would still be within the bounds of D.O. No. 10 when it contracted out the subject functions. This is because the subject functions were not related or not integral to the main business or operation of the principal which is the lending of funds obtained in the form of deposits.42 From the very definition of “banks” as provided under the General Banking Law, it can easily be discerned that banks perform only two (2) main or basic functions – deposit and loan functions. Thus, cashiering, distribution and bookkeeping are but ancillary functions whose outsourcing is sanctioned under CBP Circular No. 1388 as well as D.O. No. 10. Even BPI itself recognizes that deposit and loan functions cannot be legally contracted out as they are directly related or integral to the main business or operation of banks. The CBP’s Manual of Regulations has even categorically stated and emphasized on the prohibition against outsourcing inherent banking functions, which refer to any contract between the bank and a service provider for the latter to supply, or any act whereby the latter supplies, the manpower to service the deposit transactions of the former. BPI Employees Union-Davao City-Fubu (BPIEU-Davao City-Fubu) v. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), et al., G.R. No. 174912, July 24, 2013.

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June 2013 Philippine Supreme Court Decisions on Commercial Law

Here are select June 2013 rulings of the Supreme Court of the Philippines on commercial law:

Corporation; derivative suit. A derivative suit is an action brought by a stockholder on behalf  of  the  corporation  to  enforce  corporate  rights  against  the corporation’s directors, officers or other insiders. Under Sections 23 and 36 of the Corporation Code, the directors or officers, as provided under the by-laws, have the right to decide whether or not a corporation should sue. Since these directors or officers will never be willing to sue themselves, or impugn their wrongful or fraudulent decisions, stockholders are permitted by law to bring an action in the name of the corporation to hold these directors and officers accountable. In derivative suits, the real party in interest is the corporation, while the stockholder is a mere nominal party.  Juanito Ang, for and in behalf of Sunrise Marketing (Bacolod), Inc. v. Sps. Roberto and Rachel Ang, G.R. No. 201675, June 19, 2013.

Corporation; shares of stock. In a sale of shares of stock, physical delivery of a stock certificate is one of the essential requisites for the transfer of ownership of the stocks purchased.

Here, FEGDI clearly failed to deliver the stock certificates, representing the shares of stock purchased by Vertex, within  a reasonable time from the point the shares should have been delivered.  This was a substantial breach of their contract that entitles Vertex the right to rescind the sale under Article 1191 of the Civil Code.  It is not entirely  correct to say that a sale had already been consummated as Vertex already  enjoyed the rights a shareholder can exercise.  The enjoyment of these rights cannot suffice where the law, by its express terms, requires a specific form to transfer ownership.  Fil-Estate Gold and Development, Inc., et al. v. Vertex Sales and Trading, Inc., G.R. No. 202079, June 10, 2013.

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