Travel-On Inc vs CA (210 SCRA 351)

Travel-On Inc vs Court of Appeals
210 SCRA 351 [G.R. No. L-56169 June 26, 1992]

Facts: Petitioner Travel-On. Inc. (“Travel-On”) is a travel agency selling airline tickets on commission basis for and in behalf of different airline companies. Private respondent Arturo S. Miranda had a revolving credit line with petitioner. He procured tickets from petitioner on behalf of airline passengers and derived commissions therefrom. On 14 June 1972, Travel-On filed suit before the Court of First Instance (“CFI”) of Manila to collect on six (6) checks issued by private respondent with a total face amount of P115,000.00. The complaint, with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment and attorney’s fees, averred that from 5 August 1969 to 16 January 1970, petitioner sold and delivered various airline tickets to respondent at a total price of P278,201.57; that to settle said account, private respondent paid various amounts in cash and in kind, and thereafter issued six (6) postdated checks amounting to P115,000.00 which were all dishonored by the drawee banks. Travel-On further alleged that in March 1972, private respondent made another payment of P10,000.00 reducing his indebtedness to P105,000.00. The writ of attachment was granted by the court a quo. In his answer, private respondent admitted having had transactions with Travel-On during the period stipulated in the complaint. Private respondent, however, claimed that he had already fully paid and even overpaid his obligations and that refunds were in fact due to him. He argued that he had issued the postdated checks for purposes of accommodation, as he had in the past accorded similar favors to petitioner. During the proceedings, private respondent contested several tickets alleged to have been erroneously debited to his account. He claimed reimbursement of his alleged over payments, plus litigation expenses, and exemplary and moral damages by reason of the allegedly improper attachment of his properties. 

Issue: Whether or not petitioner is an accommodated party.

Held: No. In accommodation transactions recognized by the Negotiable Instruments Law, an accommodating party lends his credit to the accommodated party, by issuing or indorsing a check which is held by a payee or indorsee as a holder in due course, who gave full value therefor to the accommodated party. The latter, in other words, receives or realizes full value which the accommodated party then must repay to the accommodating party, unless of course the accommodating party intended to make a donation to the accommodated party. But the accommodating party is bound on the check to the holder in due course who is necessarily a third party and is not the accommodated party. Having issued or indorsed the check, the accommodating party has warranted to the holder in due course that he will pay the same according to its tenor.

Travel-On was entitled to the benefit of the statutory presumption that it was a holder in due course, that the checks were supported by valuable consideration. Private respondent maker of the checks did not successfully rebut these presumptions. The only evidence aliunde that private respondent offered was his own self-serving uncorroborated testimony. He claimed that he had issued the checks to Travel-On as payee to “accommodate” its General Manager who allegedly wished to show those checks to the Board of Directors of Travel-On to “prove” that Travel-On’s account receivables were somehow “still good.” It will be seen that this claim was in fact a claim that the checks were merely simulated, that private respondent did not intend to bind himself thereon. Only evidence of the clearest and most convincing kind will suffice for that purpose; no such evidence was submitted by private respondent. The latter’s explanation was denied by Travel-On’s General Manager; that explanation, in any case, appears merely contrived and quite hollow to us. Upon the other hand, the “accommodation” or assistance extended to Travel-On’s passengers abroad as testified by petitioner’s General Manager involved, not the accommodation transactions recognized by the NIL, but rather the circumvention of then existing foreign exchange regulations by passengers booked by Travel-On, which incidentally involved receipt of full consideration by private respondent.

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