BANKING.docx

They claimed that they had travelled to bangkok

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respondent's release to them of five US$100 bills that later on turned out to be counterfeit. They claimed that they had travelled to Bangkok, Thailand after withdrawing US$1,000.00 in US$100 notes from their dollar account at the respondent's Pateros branch; that while in Bangkok, they had exchanged five US$100 bills into Baht, but only four of the US$100 bills had been accepted by the foreign exchange dealer because the fifth one was "no good;" that unconvinced by the reason for the rejection, they had asked a companion to exchange the
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same bill at Norkthon Bank in Bangkok; that the bank teller thereat had then informed them and their companion that the dollar bill was fake; that the teller had then confiscated the US$100 bill and had threatened to report them to the police if they insisted in getting the fake dollar bill back; and that they had to settle for a Foreign Exchange Note receipt. 3 The petitioners claimed that later on, they had bought jewelry from a shop owner by using four of the remaining US$100 bills as payment; that on the next day, however, they had been confronted by the shop owner at the hotel lobby because their four US$100 bills had turned out to be counterfeit; that the shop owner had shouted at them: "You Filipinos, you are all cheaters!;" and that the incident had occurred within the hearing distance of tel low travelers and several foreigners. The petitioners continued that upon their return to the Philippines, they had confronted the manager of the respondent's Pateros branch on the fake dollar bills, but the latter had insisted that the dollar bills she had released to them were genuine inasmuch as the bills had come from the head office; that in order to put the issue to rest, the counsel of the petitioners had submitted the subject US$100 bills to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for examination; that the BSP had certified that the four US$100 bills were near perfect genuine notes; 4 and that their counsel had explained by letter their unfortunate experience caused by the respondent's release of the fake US dollar bills to them, and had demanded moral damages of P10 Million and exemplary damages. 5 The petitioners then sent a written notice to the respondent, attaching the BSP certification and informing the latter that they were giving it five days within which to comply with their demand, or face court action. 6 In response, the respondent's counsel wrote to the petitioners on March 1996 expressing sympathy with them on their experience but stressing that the respondent could not absolutely guarantee the genuineness of each and every foreign currency note that passed through its system; that it had also been a victim like them; and that it had exercised the diligence required in dealing with foreign currency notes and in the selection and supervision of its employees. 7 Prior to the filing of the suit in the RTC, the petitioners had two meetings with the respondent's representatives. In the course of the two meetings, the latter's representatives reiterated their sympathy and regret over the troublesome experience that the petitioners had encountered,
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