LINGAYEN GULF ELECTRIC POWER COMPANY, INC. v. IRINEO BALTAZAR
G.R. No. L-4824, June 30, 1953
Corporation Law Case Digest by John Paul C. Ladiao (15 March 2016)
(Topic: Trust Fund Doctrine)
The plaintiff, Lingayen Gulf Electric Power Company is a domestic corporation with an authorized capital stock of P300,000 divided into 3,000 shares with a par value of P100 per share. The defendant, Irineo Baltazar appears to have subscribed for 600 shares on account of which he had paid upon the organization of the corporation the sum of P15,000. (See Exhibit A, page 2). After incorporation, the defendant made further payments on account of his subscription, leaving a balance of P18,500 unpaid for, which amount, the plaintiff now claims in this action.
On July 23, 1946, a majority of the stockholders of the corporation, among them the herein defendant, held a meeting and adopted stockholders' resolution No. 17. By said resolution, it was agreed upon by the stockholders present to call the balance of all unpaid subscribed capital stock as of July 23, 1946, the first 50 per cent payable within 60 days beginnning August 1, 1946, and the remaining 50 per cent payable within 60 days beginning October 1, 1946. The resolution also provided, that all unpaid subscription after the due dates of both calls would be subject to 12 per cent interest per annum. Lastly, the resolution provided, that after the expiration of 60 days' grace which would be on December 1, 1946, for the first call, and on February 1, 1947, for the second call, all subscribed stocks remaining unpaid would revert to the corporation. (See Exhibit F and Exhibit I)..
On December 19, 1947, the defendant wrote another letter to the members of the Board of Directors of the plaintiff corporation, offering to withdraw completely from the corporation by selling out to the corporation all his shares of stock in the total amount of P23,000. (See Exhibit 8). Apparently this offer of the defendant was left unacted upon by the plaintiff.
In an exhaustive and well prepared decision, Judge M. Mejia of the lower court found that the call for payment embodied in resolution No. 17 of July 23, 1946 was null and void for lack of publication; consequently, he dismissed the complaint as premature.
Whether or not defendant released from the obligation of the unpaid balance of his subscription by virtue of stockholders' resolution?
The notice must also be published once a week for four successive weeks in some newspaper of general circulation devoted to the publication of general news published at the place where the principal office of the corporation is established or located, and posted in some prominent place at the works of the corporation if any such there be.
It is again insisted that plaintiffs cannot recover because the suit was not proceeded by a call or assessment against the defendant as a subscriber, and that until this is done no right of action accrues. In a suit by a solvent going corporation to collect a subscription, and in certain suits provided by statute this would be true;
a valid and binding subscription for stock of a corporation cannot be cancelled so as to release the subscriber from liability thereon without the consent of all the stockholders or subscribers.