157 SCRA 188



BDO drew  checks payable to member establishments.  Subsequently, the checks  were  deposited  in  Trencio’s  account  with  Equitable.    The  checks were  sent  for  clearing  and  was  thereafter  cleared.    Afterwards,  BDO discovered that the indorsements in the back of the checks were forged.  It then  demanded  that  Equitable  credit  its  account  but  the  latter  refused  to do so.  This prompted BDO to file a complaint against Equitable and PCHC.  The trial court and RTC held in favor of the Equitable and PCHC.   


First,  PCHC  has  jurisdiction  over  the  case  in  question.    The  articles  of incorporation of PHHC extended its operation to clearing checks and other clearing items.  No doubt transactions on non-negotiable checks are within the ambit of its jurisdiction.  Further, the participation of the two banks in the clearing operations is submission to the jurisdiction of the PCHC.
Petitioner  is  likewise  estopped  from  raising  the  non-negotiability  of  the checks  in  issue.    It  stamped  its  guarantee  at  the  back  of the  checks  and subsequently  presented  it  for  clearing  and  it  was  in  the  basis  of  these endorsements  by  the  petitioner  that  the  proceeds  were  credited  in  its
clearing account.  The petitioner cannot now deny its liability as it assumed the  liability  of  an  indorser  by  stamping  its  guarantee  at  the  back  of  the checks.   
Furthermore, the bank cannot escape liability of an indorser of a check and which may turn out to be a forged indorsement.  Whenever a bank treats the signature at the back of the checks as indorsements and thus logically guarantees  the  same  as  such  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  said  bank  had considered the checks as negotiable.
A   long   line   of   cases   also   held   that   in   the   matter   of   forgery   in endorsements,  it  is  the  collecting  bank  that  generally  suffers  the  loss because  it  had  the  dutyh  to  ascertain  the  genuineness  of  all  prior indorsements considering that the act of presenting the check for payment
to the drawee is an assertion that the party making the presentment has done its duty to ascertain the genuineness of the indorsements.