PNB vs Picornell 46 Phil 716, 26 Sept 1922, G.R. No. L-18751

Picornell, following instruction of Hyndman, Tavera & Ventura (HTV), bought in bales of tobacco; that Picornell obtained from the branch of the National Bank in Cebu a sum of of money to the value of the tobacco, together with his commission, drawn the following bill of exchange. The invoice and bill of lading were delivered to the National Bank with the understanding that the bank should not delivered them to HTV except upon payment of the bill; The invoice and bill of lading was delivered and accepted by HTV who proceeded to the examination of the tobacco. HTV wrote and cable to Picornell, notifying him that of the tobacco received, there was a certain portion which was no use and was damaged. After a number of communication between Picornell and HTV, HTV refuse to pay the bill and instruct the bank to dispose and sell the tobacco. The Bank sold the tobacco for the amount less of the bill it advanced. The bank demand payment for the said balance which Picornell and HTV refused to pay, hence this case.

Whether Picornell and HTV are liable to reimburse the bank on the bill it advanced to pay for the Tobacco.

Yes, HTV cannot escape liability in view of section 28 of the Negotiable Instruments Law. The drawee by acceptance becomes liable to the payee or his indorsee, and also to the drawer himself. But the drawer and acceptor are the immediate parties to the consideration, and if the acceptance be without consideration, the drawer cannot recover of the acceptor. The payee holds a different relation; he is a stranger to the transaction between the drawer and the acceptor, and is, therefore, in a legal sense a remote party. In a suit by him against the acceptor, the question as to the consideration between the drawer and the acceptor cannot be inquired into. The payee or holder gives value to the drawer, and if he is ignorant of the equities between the drawer and the acceptor, he is in the position on a bona fide indorsee. Hence, it is no defense to a suit against the acceptor of a draft which has been discounted, and upon which money has been advance by the plaintiff, that the draft was accepted or the accommodation of the drawer.

As to Bartolome Picornell, he warranted, as drawer of the bill, that it would be accepted upon proper presentment and paid in due course, and as it was not paid, he became liable to the payment of its value to the holder thereof, which is the plaintiff bank. The fact that Picornell was a commission agent of HTV, in the purchase of the tobacco, does not necessarily make him an agent of the company in its obligations arising from the drawing of the bill by him. His acts in negotiating the bill constitute a different contract from that made by his having purchased the tobacco on behalf of HTV. Furthermore, he cannot exempt himself from responsibility by the fact of his having been a mere agent of this company, because nothing to this effect was indicated or added to his signature on signing the bill.


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