G.R. No. L-26292. February 18, 1970 (Case Brief / Digest)

### Title:
**Santiago Virginia Tobacco Planters Association, Inc. v. Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration and Farmers’ Virginia Tobacco Redriers, Inc.**

### Facts:
The case originates from the dispute between Santiago Virginia Tobacco Planters Association, Inc. (SVTPA) and the defendants, Philippine Virginia Tobacco Administration (PVTA) and Farmers’ Virginia Tobacco Redriers, Inc. (FVTR). SVTPA claimed that they delivered seven shipments of tobacco to FVTR, contracted by PVTA, but were not compensated. Conversely, PVTA contended that these shipments were fictitious as their records showed no receipt of such deliveries. FVTR admitted receipt of the shipments on behalf of PVTA yet argued its liability only extended to acting as an agent.

The saga unfolded when SVTPA requested payment for tobacco shipments, which was denied by PVTA on the grounds of lacking evidence of deliveries. This led SVTPA to file a complaint with the Court of First Instance of Rizal, seeking compensation for the undelivered tobacco and additional damages. In its defense, PVTA denied the alleged deliveries, while FVTR claimed it merely acted as an agent for PVTA. The trial court ruled in favor of SVTPA, a decision both defendants appealed.

### Issues:
1. Whether SVTPA presented sufficient evidence to prove the actual delivery of seven tobacco shipments to FVTR.
2. The liability of FVTR in its role as agent for PVTA concerning the alleged shipments.
3. The applicability of documents and witness testimony in proving the delivery and acceptance of the tobacco shipments.

### Court’s Decision:
The Supreme Court meticulously analyzed the evidence presented, especially focusing on the documentary proof and the procedures stipulated in the trading agreement between the parties. The Court found the plaintiff’s evidence insufficient to prove the actual delivery of tobacco shipments. It emphasized the primary role of the weighers’ tally sheets and warehouse receipts (quedans) in establishing delivery, noting their absence critically undermined SVTPA’s case. Consequently, the claim against PVTA and FVTR was dismissed, with costs to be paid jointly and severally by SVTPA and FVTR. The Court reasoned that the burden of proving the obligation lay with SVTPA, which it failed to discharge adequately.

### Doctrine:
The case reiterated the legal principle that the burden of proof in civil cases lies upon the party who would be defeated if no evidence were given on either side. It highlighted the importance of presenting direct evidence related to the specific performance or obligation in question and the inadequacy of preparatory documents or witness testimony that does not directly prove the fact in issue.

### Class Notes:
– **Burden of Proof**: It lies on the party asserting a claim to provide substantial evidence supporting its allegations.
– **Role of Documentary Evidence**: Key documents, like weighers’ tally sheets and warehouse receipts, serve as crucial evidence in cases involving claims of delivery and acceptance of goods.
– **Agency Relationship**: The responsibilities and liabilities of an agent acting on behalf of a principal must be clearly delineated and understood within the contractual context.
– **Legal Statutes and Provisions Applied**:
– **Republic Act 2265** regarding the establishment and operation of PVTA.
– Rules on **Burden of Proof in Civil Cases** as per the Rules of Court.

### Historical Background:
The case sheds light on the complexities of the tobacco trading industry in the Philippines during the 1960s, highlighting the roles of government corporations like PVTA in overseeing the industry and the relationships between various stakeholders, including farmers, traders, and processing entities. It underscores the legal challenges in proving transactions in a largely paper-driven process and the implications of failing to adhere to stipulated conditions for trade and payments.


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