FAT v. ONLINE (G.R. No. 171238; February 2, 2011)


FACTS: Petitioner F.A.T. Kee Computer Systems, Inc. (FAT KEE) is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of selling computer equipment and conducting maintenance services for the units it sold. ONLINE is also a domestic corporation principally engaged in the business of selling computer units, parts and software.

ONLINE sold computer printers to FAT KEE. However, FAT KEE failed to pay its obligations to ONLINE without any valid reason. ONLINE filed a Complaint for Sum of Money against FAT KEE.

During the trial FAT KEE insisted that the conversion rate they agreed upon was P34:US$1 and not P40 as insisted by ONLINE.

The RTC dismissed the complaint of ONLINE for the latter’s failure to establish its claim. The appellate court reversed and set aside the Decision of the RTC. The CA ruled that even granting that FAT KEE was of the impression that P34:$1 was the applicable rate for its obligation, ONLINE cannot be put in estoppel as this was immediately rectified by ONLINE.

ISSUES: Does the non-attachment of the relevant portions of the TSN render the petition of FAT KEE fatally defective?

Is ONLINE estopped as to the conversion rate used?

HELD: First issue: Rule 45, Section 4 of the Rules of Court indeed requires the attachment to the petition for review on certiorari “such material portions of the record as would support the petition.” However, such a requirement was not meant to be an ironclad rule such that the failure to follow the same would merit the outright dismissal of the petition.Second issue: One who claims the benefit of an estoppel on the ground that he has been misled by the representations of another must not have been misled through his own want of reasonable care and circumspection. A lack of diligence by a party claiming an estoppel is generally fatal. Thus, after participating in the meeting on January 15, 1998, submitting its own proposals and further negotiating for the lowering of the exchange rate, FAT KEE cannot anymore insist that it was completely under the impression that the applicable exchange rate was P34:US$1. DENIED.

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