TAN v. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
G.R. No. 95696, March 3, 1992
Corporation Law Case Digest by John Paul C. Ladiao (15 March 2016)
(Topic: Consideration for Stocks and Transfer)
Respondent corporation was registered on October 1, 1979. As incorporator, petitioner had four hundred (400) shares of the capital stock standing in his name at the par value of P100.00 per share, evidenced by Certificate of Stock No. 2. He was elected as President and subsequently reelected, holding the position as such until 1982 but remained in the Board of Directors until April 19, 1983 as director.
On January 31, 1981, while petitioner was still the president of the respondent corporation, two other incorporators, namely, Antonia Y. Young and Teresita Y. Ong, assigned to the corporation their shares, represented by certificate of stock No. 4 and 5 after which, they were paid the corresponding 40% corporate stock-in-trade.
Petitioner's certificate of stock No. 2 was cancelled by the corporate secretary and respondent Patricia Aguilar by virtue of Resolution No. 1981 (b), which was passed and approved while petitioner was still a member of the Board of Directors of the respondent corporation.
Due to the withdrawal of the aforesaid incorporators and in order to complete the membership of the five (5) directors of the board, petitioner sold fifty (50) shares out of his 400 shares of capital stock to his brother Angel S. Tan. Another incorporator, Alfredo B. Uy, also sold fifty (50) of his 400 shares of capital stock to Teodora S. Tan and both new stockholders attended the special meeting, Angel Tan was elected director and on March 27, 1981, the minutes of said meeting was filed with the SEC. These facts stand unchallenged.
Whether or not the cancellation and transfer of petitioner's shares and Certificate of Stock No. 2 as well as the issuance and cancellation of Certificate of Stock No. 8 was patently and palpably unlawful, null and void, invalid and fraudulent?
Under the instant case, the fact of the matter is, the new holder, Angel S. Tan has already exercised his rights and prerogatives as stockholder and was even elected as member of the board of directors in the respondent corporation with the full knowledge and acquiescence of petitioner. Due to the transfer of fifty (50) shares, Angel S. Tan was clothed with rights and responsibilities in the board of the respondent corporation when he was elected as officer thereof.
Besides, in Philippine jurisprudence, a certificate of stock is not a negotiable instrument. "Although it is sometime regarded as quasi-negotiable, in the sense that it may be transferred by endorsement, coupled with delivery, it is well-settled that it is non-negotiable, because the holder thereof takes it without prejudice to such rights or defenses as the registered owner/s or transferror's creditor may have under the law, except insofar as such rights or defenses are subject to the limitations imposed by the principles governing estoppel."
To follow the argument put up by petitioner which was upheld by the Cebu SEC Extension Office Hearing Officer, Felix Chan, that the cancellation of Stock Certificate Nos. 2 and 8 was null and void for lack of delivery of the cancelled "mother" Certificate No. 2 whose endorsement was deliberately withheld by petitioner, is to prescribe certain restrictions on the transfer of stock in violation of the corporation law itself as the only law governing transfer of stocks. While Section 47(s) grants a stock corporations the authority to determine in the by-laws "the manner of issuing certificates" of shares of stock, however, the power to regulate is not the power to prohibit, or to impose unreasonable restrictions of the right of stockholders to transfer their shares.