BANKING.docx

Iii the honorable court of appeals erred in not

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III THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT HOLDING THAT AS SHOWN OVERWHELMINGLY BY THE EVIDENCE, THE DISHONOR OF THE DEMAND DRAFT AS DUE TO PRIVATE RESPONDENT'S NEGLIGENCE AND NOT THE DRAWEE BANK. 8 The petitioners contend that due to the fiduciary nature of the relationship between the respondent bank and its clients, the respondent should have exercised a higher degree of diligence than that expected of an ordinary prudent person in the handling of its affairs as in the case at bar. The appellate court, according to petitioners, erred in applying the standard of diligence of an ordinary prudent person only. Petitioners also claim that the respondent bank violate Section 61 of the Negotiable Instruments Law 9 which provides the warranty of a drawer that "xxx on due presentment, the instrument will be accepted or paid, or both, according to its tenor xxx." Thus, the petitioners argue that respondent bank should be held liable for damages for violation of this warranty. The petitioners pray this Court to re-examine the facts to cite certain instances of negligence. It is our view and we hold that there is no reversible error in the decision of the appellate court. Section 1 of Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court provides that "(T)he petition (for review) shall raise only questions of law which must be distinctly set forth." Thus, we have ruled that factual findings of the Court of Appeals are conclusive on the parties and not reviewable by this Court – and they carry even more weight when the Court of Appeals affirms the factual findings of the trial court. 10 The courts a quo found that respondent bank did not misrepresent that it was maintaining a deposit account with Westpac-Sydney. Respondent bank's assistant cashier explained to Godofredo Reyes, representing PRCI and petitioner Gregorio H. Reyes, how the transfer of Australian dollars would be effected through Westpac-New York where the respondent bank has a dollar account to Westpac-Sydney where the subject foreign exchange demand draft (FXDD No. 209968) could be encashed by the payee, the 20 th Asian Racing Conference Secretariat. PRCI and its Vice-President for finance, petitioner Gregorio H. Reyes, through their said representative, agreed to that arrangement or procedure. In other words, the petitioners are estopped from denying the said arrangement or procedure. Similar arrangements have been a long standing practice in banking to facilitate international commercial transactions. In fact, the SWIFT cable message sent by respondent bank to the drawee bank, Westpac-Sydney, stated that it may claim reimbursement from its New
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York branch, Westpac-New York, where respondent bank has a deposit dollar account. The facts as found by the courts a quo show that respondent bank did not cause an erroneous transmittal of its SWIFT cable message to Westpac-Sydney. It was the erroneous decoding of the cable message on the part of Westpac- Sydney that caused the dishonor of the subject foreign exchange demand draft. An employee of Westpac-
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