TEOFISTO GUINGONA, JR. vs. THE CITY FISCAL OF MANILA, G.R. No. L-60033 April 4, 1984

Facts:

From 1979 to 1981, Private respondent David invested with the Nation Savings and Loan Association, (hereinafter called NSLA) the sum of money though the inducement of an Australian national who was allegedly a close associate of petitioner Guingona Jr., then NSLA President, petitioner Martin. That on March 21, 1981 NSLA was placed under receivership by the Central Bank, which led to the filing of claims for his investments. David received a report from the Central Bank that only partial amount of those investments were entered in the records of NSLA; that, therefore, the respondents claimed that the petitioner misappropriated the balance of the investments. David filed a criminal case for estafa.

Petitioners, countered that because NSLA was urgently in need of funds and at David’s insistence, his investments were treated as special- accounts with interest above the legal rate, and recorded in separate confidential documents only a portion of which were to be reported because he did not want the Australian government to tax his total earnings (nor) to know his total investments; that all transactions with David were recorded except the sum of US$15,000.00 which was a personal loan of Santos; that the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation had already reimbursed David within the legal limits; that majority of the stockholders of NSLA had filed Special Proceedings in the Court of First Instance to contest its (NSLA’s) closure; that after NSLA was placed under receivership, Martin executed a promissory note in David’s favor and caused the transfer to him of a nine and on behalf (9 1/2) carat diamond ring with a net value of P510,000.00; and, that the liabilities of NSLA to David were civil in nature.”

Petitioner, Guingona, Jr., in his counter-affidavit states that he had no hand whatsoever in the transactions between David and NSLA; that he assumed a portion the liabilities of NSLA to David because of the latter’s insistence that he placed his investments with NSLA because of his faith in Guingona, Jr.; that in a Promissory Note dated June 17, 1981, he bound himself to pay David the sums of P668.307.01 and US$37,500.00 in stated installments; that he secured payment of those amounts with second mortgages over two (2) parcels of land under a deed of Second Real Estate Mortgage in which it was provided that the mortgage over one (1) parcel shall be cancelled upon payment of one-half of the obligation to David; that he paid P200,000.00 and tendered another P300,000.00 which David refused to accept, hence, he filed Civil Case in the Court of First Instance of Rizal at Quezon City, to effect the release of the mortgage over one (1) of the two parcels of land conveyed to David under second mortgages.”

note in favor of private respondent acknowledging an indebtedness of Pl,336,614.02 and US$75,000.00 (p. 80, rec.). This promissory note was based on the statement of account as of June 30, 1981 prepared by the private respondent (p. 81, rec.). The amount of indebtedness assumed appears to be bigger than the original claim because of the added interest and the inclusion of other deposits of private respondent’s sister in the amount of P116,613.20.

The public Respondent took cognizance of the complaint, to which the petitioner Appeal the case directly to the Supreme Court as a pure question of Law.

Issue:

Whether the investment of David constitute a contract of Deposit in accordance to the Civil Code?

Held:

No, It must be pointed out that when private respondent David invested his money on nine. and savings deposits with the aforesaid bank, the contract that was perfected was a contract of simple loan or mutuum and not a contract of deposit. Thus, Article 1980 of the New Civil Code provides that Fixed, savings, and current deposits of-money in banks and similar institutions shall be governed by the provisions concerning simple loan.

It should be noted that fixed, savings, and current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions are hat true deposits. are considered simple loans and, as such, are not preferred credits. Bank deposits are in the nature of irregular deposits. They are really ‘loans because they earn interest. All kinds of bank deposits, whether fixed, savings, or current are to be treated as loans and are to be covered by the law on loans. Current and saving deposits, are loans to a bank because it can use the same.

Hence, the relationship between the private respondent and the Nation Savings and Loan Association is that of creditor and debtor; consequently, the ownership of the amount deposited was transmitted to the Bank upon the perfection of the contract and it can make use of the amount deposited for its banking operations, such as to pay interests on deposits and to pay withdrawals. While the Bank has the obligation to return the amount deposited, it has, however, no obligation to return or deliver the same money that was deposited. And, the failure of the Bank to return the amount deposited will not constitute estafa through misappropriation punishable under Article 315, par. l(b) of the Revised Penal Code, but it will only give rise to civil liability over which the public respondents have no- jurisdiction.

In order that a person can be convicted under the above-quoted provision, it must be proven that he has the obligation to deliver or return the some money, goods or personal property that he received Petitioners had no such obligation to return the same money, i.e., the bills or coins, which they received from private respondents. This is so because as clearly as stated in criminal complaints, the related civil complaints and the supporting sworn statements, the sums of money that petitioners received were loans.

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