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TitleCountry Bankers Insurance Corporation vs Antonio Lagman
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Carina Amor Claveria.

19. COUNTRY BANKERS INSURANCE CORPORATION VS ANTONIO
LAGMAN
GR NO 165487; July 13, 2011
PEREZ J:

FACTS:
Nelson Santos (Santos) applied for a license with the National

Food Authority (NFA) to engage in the business of storing not more
than 30,000 sacks of palay valued at P5,250,000.00 in his warehouse
at Barangay Malacampa, Camiling, Tarlac. Under Act No. 3893 or the
General Bonded Warehouse Act, as amended, the approval for said
license was conditioned upon posting of a cash bond, a bond secured
by real estate, or a bond signed by a duly authorized bonding
company, the amount of which shall be fixed by the NFA Administrator
at not less than thirty-three and one third percent (33 1/3%) of the
market value of the maximum quantity of rice to be received.


Accordingly, Country Bankers Insurance Corporation (Country
Bankers) issued Warehouse Bond No. 03304for P1,749,825.00 on 5
November 1989 and Warehouse Bond No. 02355[for P749,925.00 on 13
December 1989 (1989 Bonds) through its agent, Antonio Lagman
(Lagman). Santos was the bond principal, Lagman was the surety and
the Republic of the Philippines, through the NFA was the obligee. In
consideration of these issuances, corresponding Indemnity Agreements
were executed by Santos, as bond principal, together with Ban Lee Lim
Santos (Ban Lee Lim), Rhosemelita Reguine (Reguine) and Lagman, as
co-signors. The latter bound themselves jointly and severally liable to
Country Bankers for any damages, prejudice, losses, costs, payments,
advances and expenses of whatever kind and nature, including
attorneys fees and legal costs, which it may sustain as a consequence
of the said bond; to reimburse Country Bankers of whatever amount it
may pay or cause to be paid or become liable to pay thereunder; and
to pay interest at the rate of 12% per annum computed and
compounded monthly, as well as to pay attorneys fees of 20% of the
amount due it.


Santos then secured a loan using his warehouse receipts as
collateral. When the loan matured, Santos defaulted in his payment.
The sacks of palay covered by the warehouse receipts were no longer
found in the bonded warehouse. By virtue of the surety bonds, Country
Bankers was compelled to pay P1,166,750.37.


Consequently, Country Bankers filed a complaint for a sum of
money docketed as Civil Case No. 95-73048 before the Regional Trial

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Court (RTC) of Manila. In his Answer, Lagman alleged that the 1989
Bonds were valid only for 1 year from the date of their issuance, as
evidenced by receipts; that the bonds were never renewed and revived
by payment of premiums; that on 5 November 1990, Country Bankers
issued Warehouse Bond No. 03515 (1990 Bond) which was also valid
for one year and that no Indemnity Agreement was executed for the
purpose; and that the 1990 Bond supersedes, cancels, and renders no
force and effect the 1989 Bonds.

The bond principals, Santos and Ban Lee Lim, were not served with
summons because they could no longer be found. The case was
eventually dismissed against them without prejudice. The other co-
signor, Reguine, was declared in default for failure to file her answer.

On 21 September 1998, the trial court rendered judgment declaring
Reguine and Lagman jointly and severally liable to pay Country
Bankers the amount of P2,400,499.87. CA reversed the decision of RTC

ISSUE:
Whether the 1989 Bonds have expired and the 1990 Bond novates the
1989 Bonds.

HELD:
NO. The Court of Appeals held that the 1989 bonds were effective only
for one (1) year, as evidenced by the receipts on the payment of
premiums

RATIO:
The official receipts in question serve as proof of payment of the
premium for one year on each surety bond. It does not, however,
automatically mean that the surety bond is effective for only one (1)
year. In fact, the effectivity of the bond is not wholly dependent on the
payment of premium. Section 177 of the Insurance Code expresses:
Sec. 177. The surety is entitled to payment of the premium as soon as
the contract of suretyship or bond is perfected and delivered to the
obligor. No contract of suretyship or bonding shall be valid and binding
unless and until the premium therefor has been paid, except where the
obligee has accepted the bond, in which case the bond becomes valid
and enforceable irrespective of whether or not the premium has been
paid by the obligor to the surety:Provided, That if the contract of
suretyship or bond is not accepted by, or filed with the obligee, the
surety shall collect only reasonable amount, not exceeding fifty per
centum of the premium due thereon as service fee plus the cost of
stamps or other taxes imposed for the issuance of the contract or
bond: Provided, however, That if the non-acceptance of the bond be
due to the fault or negligence of the surety, no such service fee,

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