Case Digest: ALBENSON ENTERPRISES CORP. vs THE COURT OF APPEALS

Sharing my personal digest on the ALBENSON ENTERPRISES CORP. vs THE COURT OF APPEALS case.

217 SCRA 16, Jan 11, 1993

I. FACTS

Petitioner Albenson Enterprises Corporation delivered to Guaranteed Industries, Inc. located at 3267 V. Mapa Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila, mild steel plates. As part payment thereof, Albenson was given Pacific Banking Corporation Check No. 136361 in the amount of P2,575.00 and drawn against the account of E.L. Woodworks. When presented for payment, the check was dishonored for the reason “Account Closed.”  Petitioner Albenson, traced the origin of the dishonored check and discovered that the president of Guaranteed, the recipient of the unpaid mild steel plates, was one “Eugenio S. Baltao.” Petitioners wrote private respondent demanding that he make good the amount of the check. Respondent Baltao, through counsel, denied that he issued the check, or that the signature appearing thereon is his.

Albenson filed a complaint against Eugenio S. Baltao for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. It appears, however, that private respondent has a namesake, his son Eugenio Baltao III, who manages a business establishment, E.L. Woodworks, on the ground floor of same building

Because of the alleged unjust filing of a criminal case against him for allegedly, respondent Baltao filed before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for damages against herein petitioners Albenson Enterprises, Jesse Yap, its owner, and Benjamin Mendiona, its employee.

II. ISSUE

Whether or not the petitioner can claim damages  under ART 19, 20, and 21 of the Civil Code or the principle of abuse of Rights.

III. HELD

NO. Petitioners could not be said to have violated the principle of abuse of right. What prompted petitioners to file the case for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 against private respondent was their failure to collect the amount of P2,575.00 due on a bounced check which they honestly believed was issued to them by private respondent. Private respondent, however, did nothing to clarify the case of mistaken identity at first hand. Instead, private respondent waited in ambush and thereafter pounced on the hapless petitioners at a time he thought was propitious by filing an action for damages. The Court will not countenance this devious. There is no proof of a sinister design on the part of petitioners to vex or humiliate private respondent by instituting the criminal case against him.

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