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BPI EXPRESS CARD CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS and RICARDO J.

MARASIGAN, G.R. No. 120639. September 25, 1998, J. Kapunan


Settled is the doctrine that a check is only a substitute for money and not
money, the delivery of such an instrument does not, by itself operate as payment.
This is especially true in the case of a postdated check.
FACTS:
Ricardo Marasigan private respondent is complimentary member of BPI
Express Card Corp (BECC). It was stated in their contract that non-payment of due
bill automatically suspends his credit card. Due to professional and personal reasons
he defaulted in payment. Instead of automatically suspending the credit card BPI
Express and Marasigan made arrangement that Private respondent Marasigan
should pay immediately in cash his obligations. However, instead of paying in
cash Marasigan paid in postdated check.
With the belief that he already settled his obligations, using the credit card he
treated his colleagues at Caf Adriatico using his credit card which was denied by
the caf. Felt embarrassed he filed in court for damages. BPI claimed on the other
hand that Marasigan violated their arrangement when he did not pay in cash.
ISSUE:
Whether the payment through a postdated check extinguishes Marasigans
obligation payable in cash as provided in their arrangement with BPI?
RULING:
No. Clearly, the purpose of the arrangement between the parties was for the
immediate payment of the private respondent's outstanding account, in order that
his credit card would not be suspended. As agreed upon by the parties, on the
following day, private respondent did issue a check for P15, 000. However, the
check was postdated 15 December 1989. Settled is the doctrine that a check is only
a substitute for money and not money, the delivery of such an instrument does not,
by itself operate as payment. This is especially true in the case of a postdated
check.
Thus, the issuance by the private respondent of the postdated check was not
effective payment. It did not comply with his obligation under the arrangement with
Miss Lorenzo. Petitioner Corporation was therefore justified in suspending his credit
card.