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TITLE: KAREN E. SALVACION, minor, thru Federico N. Salvacion, Jr.

, father and Natural Guardian,


and Spouses FEDERICO N. SALVACION, JR., and EVELINA E. SALVACION vs. CENTRAL BANK OF THE
PHILIPPINES

REFERENCE: G.R. No. 94723 August 21, 1997

TOPIC: FOREIGN CURRENCY DEPOSITS

FACTS

Greg Bartelli, an American tourist, was arrested for committing four counts of rape and serious
illegal detention against Karen Salvacion. Police recovered from him several dollar checks and a dollar
account in the China Banking Corp. He was, however, able to escape from prison.

In a civil case filed against him, the trial court awarded Salvacion moral, exemplary and
attorney’s fees amounting to almost P1,000,000.00.

Salvacion tried to execute the judgment on the dollar deposit of Bartelli with the China Banking
Corp. but the latter refused arguing that Section 11 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 exempts foreign
currency deposits from attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court,
legislative body, government agency or any administrative body whatsoever.

Salvacion therefore filed this action for declaratory relief in the Supreme Court.

ISSUE

Whether or not Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and Section 8 of RA 6426, as
amended by PD 1246, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency Deposit Act be made applicable to a
foreign transient?

RULING

NO.

The provisions of Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246, insofar as it amends
Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6426, are hereby held to be INAPPLICABLE to this case because of its
peculiar circumstances. Respondents are hereby required to comply with the writ of execution issued
in the civil case and to release to petitioners the dollar deposit of Bartelli in such amount as would
satisfy the judgment.

Supreme Court ruled that the questioned law makes futile the favorable judgment and award of
damages that Salvacion and her parents fully deserve. It then proceeded to show that the economic
basis for the enactment of RA No. 6426 is not anymore present; and even if it still exists, the
questioned law still denies those entitled to due process of law for being unreasonable and
oppressive. The intention of the law may be good when enacted. The law failed to anticipate the
iniquitous effects producing outright injustice and inequality such as the case before us.
The SC adopted the comment of the Solicitor General who argued that the Offshore Banking System
and the Foreign Currency Deposit System were designed to draw deposits from foreign lenders and
investors and, subsequently, to give the latter protection. However, the foreign currency deposit
made by a transient or a tourist is not the kind of deposit encouraged by PD Nos. 1034 and 1035 and
given incentives and protection by said laws because such depositor stays only for a few days in the
country and, therefore, will maintain his deposit in the bank only for a short time. Considering that
Bartelli is just a tourist or a transient, he is not entitled to the protection of Section 113 of Central
Bank Circular No. 960 and PD No. 1246 against attachment, garnishment or other court processes.

Further, the SC said: “In fine, the application of the law depends on the extent of its justice. Eventually,
if we rule that the questioned Section 113 of Central Bank Circular No. 960 which exempts from
attachment, garnishment, or any other order or process of any court, legislative body, government
agency or any administrative body whatsoever, is applicable to a foreign transient, injustice would
result especially to a citizen aggrieved by a foreign guest like accused Greg Bartelli. This would negate
Article 10 of the New Civil Code which provides that “in case of doubt in the interpretation or
application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.”