Caltex (Phil.) v CA; G.R. No. 97753; 10 Aug 1992; 212 SCRA 448

in Legal Chyme by

On various dates, respondent bank issued 280 certificates of time deposits (CTDs) in favor of one Angel dela Cruz. Sometime later, dela Cruz informed respondent bank of the loss of the CTDs, which he actually delivered to petitioner in connection with his purchases of fuel products. After dela Cruz executed and delivered the required Affidavit of Loss, respondent bank replaced the lost CTDs which the former used to negotiate and obtain a loan. Respondent bank rejected petitioner’s demand and claim for payment of the value of the CTDs and later applied the time deposits to the payment of dela Cruz’ loan when it matured and fell due.

Whether or not the CTDs are negotiable instruments.

YES. The accepted rule is that the negotiability or non-negotiability of an instrument is determined from the writing, that is, from the face of the instrument itself. In the construction of a bill or note, the intention of the parties is to control, if it can be legally ascertained. While the writing may be read in the light of surrounding circumstances in order to more perfectly understand the intent and meaning of the parties, yet as they have constituted the writing to be the only outward and visible expression of their meaning, no other words are to be added to it or substituted in its stead. The documents provide that the amounts deposited shall be repayable to the depositor, who is the “bearer” of the documents at the time of presentment.

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