Principal generally chargeable with knowledge or notice received by agent

It may be argued that petitioner knew of the compromise agreement since the principal is chargeable with and bound by the knowledge of or notice to his agent received while the agent was acting as such. But the general rule is intended to protect those who exercise good faith and not as a shield for unfair dealing. Hence there is a well-established exception to the general rule as where the conduct and dealings of the agent are such as to raise a clear presumption that he will not communicate to the principal the facts in controversy. The logical reason for this exception is that where the agent is committing a fraud, it would be contrary to common sense to presume or to expect that he would communicate the facts to the principal. Verily, when an agent is engaged in the perpetration of a fraud upon his principal for his own exclusive benefit, he is not really acting for the principal but is really acting for himself, entirely outside the scope of his agency. Indeed, the basic tenets of agency rest on the highest considerations of justice, equity and fair play, and an agent will not be permitted to pervert his authority to his own personal advantage, and his act in secret hostility to the interests of his principal transcends the power afforded him. [G.R. No. 114311. November 29, 1996]

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