FIRESTONE TIRE V. CA
353 SCRA 601
FACTS:Fojas Arca and Firestone Tire entered into a franchising agreement wherein the former had the privilege to purchase on credit the latter’s products. In paying for these products, the former could pay through special withdrawal slips. In turn, Firestone would deposit these slips with Citibank. Citibank would then honor and pay the slips. Citibank automatically credits the account of Firestone then merely waited for the same to be honored and paid by Luzon Development Bank. As this was the circumstances,
Firestone believed in the sufficient funding of the slips until there was a time that Citibank informed it that one of the slips was dishonored. It wrote then a demand letter to Fojas Arca for the payment and damages but the latter refused to pay, prompting Firestone to file an action against
The withdrawal slips, at the outset, are non-negotiable. Hence, the rule on immediate notice of dishonor is non-applicable to the case at hand. Thus, the bank was under no obligation to give immediate notice that it wouldn't make payment on the subject withdrawal slips. Citibank should have known that withdrawal slips are not negotiable instruments. It couldn't expect then the slips be treated like checks by other entities. Payment or notice of dishonor from respondent bank couldn't be expected immediately in contrast to the situation involving checks.
In the case at bar, Citibank relied on the fact that LDB honored and paid the withdrawal slips which made it automatically credit the account of Firestone with the amount of the subject withdrawal slips then merely waited for LDB to honor and pay the same. It bears stressing though that Citibank couldn't have missed the non-negotiable character of the slips. The essence of negotiability which characterizes a negotiable paper as a credit instrument lies in its freedom to be a substitute for money. The withdrawal slips in question lacked this character.
The withdrawal slips deposited were not checks as Firestone admits and Citibank generally was not bound to accept the withdrawal slips as a valid mode of deposit. Nonetheless, Citibank erroneously accepted the same as such and thus, must bear the risks attendant to the acceptance of the instruments. Firestone and Citibank could not now shift the risk to LDB for their committed mistake.