The Court of Appeals First Division has affirmed the decision of the Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 138, requiring businessman William Tiu Lim’s Mega Fishing Corp., to settle a debt of P1.8 million to its supplier.
This amount encompasses unpaid deliveries of canned products, along with a 6% annual interest rate and associated legal expenses.
The origin of this dispute lies in an original equipment manufacturer processing agreement inked between Mega Fishing and Mofels Food International Corp. back in January 2012. Initially intended for a one-year duration, the agreement was eventually extended under the same terms until 2016.
Despite receiving P1.95 million worth of products from Mofels Food between April and November 2016, Mega Fishing remitted only P144,849.60. A formal demand to settle the remaining P1.8 million was sent but went unanswered, prompting Mofels Food to file a legal complaint in July 2020.
Mega Fishing’s defense contended that the OEM processing agreement had concluded and that its bills had been settled.
The company further argued that the case should have been filed in Navotas City, not Makati. After the case was referred to the Philippine Mediation Center, a resolution was not reached.
Upon examination of evidence and a pre-trial conference, acting presiding Justice Fernanda Lampas Peralta rendered a 16-page decision on October 10, 2023, upholding the trial court’s findings that the debt was valid, noting that Mega Fishing had failed to provide evidence of payment.
The company claimed that the deliveries were subpar and unfit for consumption, justifying their refusal to pay. However, the court found this argument baseless.
Mofels Food presented invoices, delivery receipts, billing statements, and an account statement showing unpaid deliveries. Peralta maintained that, in civil cases, the factual findings of the court are final if supported by clear and convincing evidence, and there was no compelling reason to overturn the decision.