International Express Travel vs CA (343 SCRA 674)

International Express Travel And Tour Services Inc. vs Court of Appeals
343 SCRA 674 [GR No. 119002 October 19, 2000]

Facts: On June 30, 1989, petitioner International Express Travel and Tours Services Inc., through its managing director, wrote a letter to the Philippine Football Federation through its President Henri Kahn, wherein the former offered its services as a travel agency to the latter. The offer was accepted. Petitioner secured the airline tickets for the trips of the athletes and officials of the Federation to the South East Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur as well as various other trips to the People’s Republic of China and Brisbane. The total cost of the tickets amounted to Php449,654.83. For the tickets received, the Federation made two partial payments, both in September of 1989 in the total amount of Php176,467.50. On October 4, 1989, petitioner wrote the Federation, through the private respondent a demand letter requesting for the amount of Php265,844.33. On October 30, 1989, the Federation, through the project gintong alay, paid the amount of Php31,603. On December 27, 1989, Henri Kahn issued a personal check in the amount of Php50,000 as partial payment for the outstanding balance of the Federation. Thereafter, no further payments were made despite repeated demands. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether or not private respondent can be made personally liable for the liabilities of the Philippines Football Federation.

Held: Yes. A voluntary unincorporated association, like defendant Federation has no power to enter into, or to ratify a contract. The contract entered into by its officers or agents on behalf of such association is binding or, as enforceable against it. The officers or agents are themselves personally liable.

In attempting to prove the juridical existence of the Federation, Henri Kahn attached to his motion for reconsideration before the trial court a  copy of the constitution and by-laws of the Philippine Football Federation. Unfortunately, the same does not prove that said Federation has indeed been recognized and accredited by either the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation or the Department of Youth and Sports Development. Accordingly, we rule that the Philippine Football Federation is not a national sports association within the purview of the aforementioned laws and does not have corporate existence of its own.

Thus being said, it follows that private respondent Henri Kahn should be liable for the unpaid obligations of the unincorporated Philippine Football Federation. It is a settled principle in corporation law that any person acting or purporting to act on behalf of the corporation which has no valid existence assumed such privileges and becomes personally liable for contract entered into or for other acts performed as such agent.

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