MONTINOLA V. PNB
88 PHIL 178
Ramos, as a disbursing officer of an army division of the USAFE, made cash advancements w/ the Provincial Treasurer of Lanao. In exchange, the Prov’l Treasurer of Lanao gave him a P500,000 check. Thereafter, Ramos presented the check to Laya for encashment. Laya in his capacity as Provincial Treasurer of Misamis Oriental as drawer, issued a check to Ramos in the sum of P100000, on the Philippines National Bank as drawee; the P400000 value of the check was paid in military notes.
Ramos was unable to encash the said check for he was captured by the Japanese. But after his release, he sold P30000 of the check to Montinola for P90000 Japanese Military notes, of which only P45000 was paid by the latter. The writing made by Ramos at the back of the check was to the effect that he was assigning only P30000 of the value of the document with an instruction to the bank to pay P30000 to Montinola and to deposit the balance to Ramos's credit. This writing was, however, mysteriously obliterated and in its place, a supposed indorsement appearing on the back of the check was made for the whole amount of the check. At the time of the transfer of this check to Montinola, the check was long overdue by about 2-1/2 years.
Montinola instituted an action against the PNB and the Provincial Treasurer of Misamis Oriental to collect the sum of P100,000, the amount of the aforesaid check. There now appears on the face of said check the words in parenthesis "Agent, Phil. National Bank" under the signature of Laya purportedly showing that Laya issued the check as agent of the Philippine National Bank.
The words "Agent, Phil. National Bank" now appearing on the face of the check were added or placed in the instrument after it was issued by the Provincial Treasurer Laya to Ramos. The check was issued by only as Provincial Treasurer and as an official of the Government, which was under obligation to provide the USAFE with advance funds, and not as agent of the bank, which had no such obligation. The addition of those words was made after the check had been transferred by Ramos to Montinola. The insertion of the words "Agent, Phil. National Bank," which converts the bank from a mere drawee to a drawer and therefore changes its liability, constitutes a material alteration of the instrument without the consent of the parties liable thereon, and so discharges the instrument