2014 (Commercial Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 24

[Answer / discuss the question below. Or see 2014 bar exam Commercial Law Instructions; 2014 Commercial Law essay and multiple choice Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 29; See also 2014 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


A criminal complaint for violation of B.P. 22 was filed by Foton Motors (Foton), an entity engaged in the business of car dealership, against Pura Felipe (Pura) with the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City. The Office found probable cause to indict Pura and filed an information before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Quezon City, for her issuance of a postdated check in the amount of P1,020,000.00 which was subsequently dishonored upon presentment due to “Stop Payment.”

Pura issued the check because her son, Freddie, attracted by a huge discount of P220,000.00, purchased a Foton Blizzard 4×2 from Foton. The term of the transaction was Cash-on-Delivery and no downpayment was required. The car was delivered on May 14, 1997, but Freddie failed to pay upon delivery. Despite non-payment, Freddie took possession of the vehicle.

Pura was eventually acquitted of the charge of violating B.P. 22 but was found civilly liable for the amount of the check plus legal interest. Pura appealed the decision as regards the civil liability, claiming that there was no privity of contract between Foton and Pura. No civil liability could be adjudged against her because of her acquittal from the criminal charge. It was Freddie who was civilly liable to Foton, Pura claimed. Pura added that she could not be an accommodation party either because she only came in after Freddie failed to pay the purchase price, or six (6) months after the execution of the contract between Foton and Freddie. Her liability was limited to her act of issuing a worthless check, but by her acquittal in the criminal charge, there was no more basis for her to be held civilly liable to Foton. Pura’s act of issuing the subject check did not, by itself, assume the obligation of Freddie to Foton or automatically make her a party to the contract. Is Pura liable? (5%)

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