Karen E. Salvacion vs. Central Bank of the Philippines.

G.R. No. 94723, August 21, 1997

FACTS:

Greg Bartelli, an American tourist, lured petitioner Karen Salvacion, then 12 years old, to go with him to his apartment. Greg Bartelli detained Karen Salvacion for four days and raped the child three times each day. 

Greg Bartelli was charged for Serious Illegal Detention and for four (4) counts of Rape. On the same day, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court of Makati for damages with preliminary attachment against Greg Bartelli. 

A notice of garnishment was served to China Banking Corporation, where the dollar account of the private respondent was deposited. However,  The defendant  – China Banking Corporation, invoked Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 to the effect that the dollar deposits of defendant Greg Bartelli are exempt from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body, whatsoever.

The Trial Court rendered judgment a favorable judgment in the Civil Case for damages in the amount of more than P1,000,000.00,

ISSUE: 

Whether the dollar bank deposit of Greg Bartelli in China Bank Corporation be exempted from attachment, garnishment or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body.

HELD: 

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NO. The provisions of Section 133 of CB Circular No. 960 are inapplicable because of its peculiar circumstances and the Court requires respondents to comply with the writ to execution and to release to petitioners the dollar deposit of respondent Greg Bartelli y Northcott in such amount as would justify the judgment.

The application of the law depends on the extent of its justice. If the Court  rule that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 which exempts from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign transient, injustice would result especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest like accused Greg Bartelli. This would negate Article 10 of the New Civil Code which provides that “in case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail. “Ninguno non deue enriquecerse tortizeramente con dano de otro.” Simply stated, when the statute is silent or ambiguous, this is one of those fundamental solutions that would respond to the vehement urge of conscience.

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