Patrimonio Digest | Negotiable Instrument | Cheque

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  G.R. No. 187769ALVIN PATRIMONIO, Petitioner, VS. NAPOLEON GUTIERREZ and OTAVIO MARASIGAN III, Re! ondent!. #$ne %, &'1% FACTS:Alvin Patrimonio, a professional basketball player, and Nap Gutierrez, a prominent sports columnist, entered into a venture Slam !unk Corporation to produce mini#concerts and s$o%s related to basketball& 'n t$e course of business, Alvin pre#si(nedseveral c$ecks to ans%er for t$e e)penses of t$e company& T$ou($ si(ned, t$eses c$ecks $ad no payee*s name, date, or amount& T$ese blank c$ecks %ere entrusted to Nap %it$ speci+c instruction not to +ll t$em out %it$out notice to and approval byAlvin so t$at Alvin could verify t$e validity of t$e payment and make t$e proper arran(ements to fund t$e account& Nap secured a loan from arasi(an Alvin*s teammate of P-..,...&.. alle(edly for Alvin*s construction of $is $ouse, Gutierrez  T$is %as done %it$out t$e kno%led(e also assured arasi(an t$at $e %ould be paid/0 interest per mont$ from arc$ to ay 1223& arasi(an (ave in to Gutierrez* re4uest and (ave $im p-..,...&..& T$ereafter, Gutierrez delivered to arasi(an a blank c$eck %$ic$ Patrimonio pre#si(ned %it$ Pilipinas 5ank and %$erein %$ic$ %it$t$e blank portions +lled out %it$ t$e %ords 6Cas$6 6T%o 7undred T$ousand Pesos 8nly6, and t$e amount of 6P-..,...&..6 9$en it %as deposited to t$e dra%ee bank,it %as dis$onoured for reason ACC8;NT C<8S=!>, t$e account $avin( been closed since arc$, 122?&arasi(an sou($t recovery to Gutierrez, to no avail& 7e t$en sent several demand letters for t$e payment of P-..,...&.. but $is demands %ere un$eeded& arasi(an t$en +led a case for violation of 5P -- a(ainst t$e petitioner& Patrimonio on t$e ot$er $and +led a case for !eclaration of Nullity of <oan and !ama(es a(ainst Gutierrez and arasi(an& 7e denied $avin( aut$orised t$e loan or t$e c$eck*s ne(otiation& 7e averred t$at $e is not a party to t$e loan bet%een Gutierrez and arasi(an& T$e @TC ruled in favour of arasi(an and ordered Patrimonio to pay t$e face value of t$e c$eck, %it$ a ri($t of reimbursement from Gutierrez& T$e court $eld t$at arasi(an is a $older in due course of t$e c$eck& 'n issuin( t$e pre#si(ned c$eck, Patrimonio $ad t$e intention of issuin( a ne(otiable instrument, alt$ou($ %it$ speci+c instruction to Gutierrez not to issue it %it$out $is kno%led(e and consent, %$ic$ t$e former abused&Gutierrez appealed t$e case to t$e Court of Appeals, %$ic$ turned do%n $is appeal& Alt$ou($ it a(reed %it$ Patrimonio t$at arasi(an is not a $older in due course of t$e c$eck, it still found Patrimonio liable for t$e loan, as it is an obli(ation arisin( from la%& 't ruled t$at Gutierrez acted %it$in $is aut$ority in +llin( up t$e c$eck&Patrimonio t$en elevated $is case to t$e Supreme Court&'SS;=: 9$et$er or not arasi(an is a $older in due course t$us may $old Petitioner liable  7=<!: N8& Section 13 of t$e Ne(otiable 'nstruments <a% provides for %$en blanks may be +lled& T$is provision applies to an incomplete but delivered instrument& ;nder t$is rule, if t$e maker or dra%er delivers a pre#si(ned blank paper to anot$er person for t$e purpose of convertin( it into a ne(otiable instrument, t$at person is deemed to $ave prima facie aut$ority to +ll it up& 't merely re4uires t$at t$e instrument be in t$e possession of a person ot$er t$an t$e dra%er or maker and from suc$ possession, to(et$er %it$ t$e fact t$at t$e instrument is %antin( in a material particular, t$e la% presumes a(ency to +ll up t$e blanks& 'n order $o%ever t$at one %$o is not a $older in due course can enforce t$e instrument a(ainst a party prior to t$e instrument*s completion, t%o re4uisites muste)ist: 1 T$at t$e blank must be +lled strictly in accordance %it$ t$e aut$ority (iven and - 't must be +lled up %it$in a reasonable time& 'f it %as proven t$at t$e instrument $ad not been +lled up strictly in accordance %it$ t$e aut$ority (iven and %it$in a reasonable time, t$e maker can set t$is up as a personal defense and avoid liability& 7o%ever, if t$e $older is a $older in due course, t$ere is a conclusive presumption t$at aut$ority to +ll it up $ad been (iven and t$at t$e same %as not in e)cess of aut$ority& 'n t$e present case, t$e petitioner contends t$at t$ere is no le(al basis to $old $im liable bot$ under t$e contract and loan and under t$e c$eck because t$e subBect c$eck %as not completely +lled out strictly under t$e aut$ority $e $as (iven and because arasi(an %as not a $older indue course& Also, Gutierrez %as only aut$orized to use t$e c$eck for business e)penses t$us, $e e)ceeded t$e aut$ority %$en $e used t$e c$eck to pay t$e loan $e supposedly contracted for t$e construction of petitioners $ouse& T$is is a clear violation of t$e petitioners instruction to use t$e c$ecks for t$e e)penses of Slam !unk& 't cannot t$erefore be validly concluded t$at t$e c$eck %as completed strictlyin accordance %it$ t$e aut$ority (iven by t$e petitioner& T$erefore, petitioner can validly set up t$e personal defense t$at t$e blanks %ere not +lled up in accordance %it$ t$e aut$ority $e (ave& Conse4uently, arasi(an $as no ri($t to enforce payment a(ainst t$e petitioner and t$e latter cannot be obli(ed to pay t$e face value of t$e c$eck&&
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