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1. G.R. No.

July 25, 2011
Philippine National Bank, petitioner vs.
F.F. CRUZ and CO., INC., respondent,
This petition for review arose from a case for damages filed by FF Cruz against PNB. Plaintif
FF Cruz has open an account at PNB-Timog Ave. Branch, wherein its president and its
secretary-treasurer were the named signatories. Plaintif FF Cruz, avers that PNB has been
negligent to deduct the cashiers and managers checks amounting to Php9,950,000.00 and
Php3,260,000.00, respectively, as the same were unauthorized and fraudulently made by
the company accountant Aurea Caparas as both the president and the secretary were out of
the country at that time. The plaintif seeks to credit back and restore to its account the
value of the checks, to which the defendant bank refused as the defendant bank alleged
that it exercised due diligence in handling the account of FF Cruz, as the application of said
checks have passed a through standard bank procedures and it was only after finding that it
has no infirmity that the checks were given due course. The trial court rendered a Decision
against defendant bank for not calling or personally verifying from the authorized signatories
the legitimacy of the subject withdrawals considering that they were huge amounts. For this
reason, defendant PNB had the last clear chance to prevent the unauthorized debits from
the FF Cruz account. And thus, PNB should bear the whole loss. On appeal, the Court of
Appeal, affirmed the Decision of the trial court with modification on the award for damages
that PNB should only pay 60% of the actual damage and the Plaintif FF Cruz should bear the
remaining 40% for its contributory negligence by giving authority to its company accountant
to transact with defendant bank PNB. Petitioner PNB appealed the Court of Appeals
Whether or not the principle of last clear chance principle is applicable to held the defendant
bank liable for damages.
The Court ruled that the finding of the appellate court that PNB failed to make a proper
verification as the managers check do not bear the signature of the bank verifier, thus
casting doubt as whether the signatures were indeed underwent the proper verification. In
view of the foregoing, the Court ruled that PNB was negligent in handling the FF Cruz
account specifically with respect to PNBs failure to detect the forgeries in subject
application for managers check which could have prevented the loss. It further states, that
PNB failed to meet the high standard of diligence required by the circumstances to prevent
the fraud, where the banks negligence is the proximate cause of the loss and the depositor
is guilty of contributory negligence, the damage between the bank and the depositor, a 6040 ratio applies. Wherefore, the petition was denied and the CAs Decision is affirmed.