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[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY.

FAJARITO 2013400059] 1
G.R. No. L-8883
July 14, 1959
ALFREDO M. VELAYO, ETC., plaintiff,
vs.
SHELL COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES ISLANDS, LTD., defendant-appellee.
ALFONSO Z. SYCIP, ET. AL., intervenors-appellants.
Sycip, Quisumbing, Salazar and Associates for appellants.Ozaeta, Lichauco and
Picazo for appellee.
BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:
On December 17, 1948, Alfredo M. Velayo as assignees of the insolvent
Commercial Airlines, Inc., instituted an action against Shell Company of the
Philippine Islands, Ltd., in the Court of First Instance of Manila for injunction and
damages (Civil Case No. 6966). On October 26, 1951, a complaint in intervention
was filed by Alfonso Sycip, Paul Sycip, and Yek Trading Corporation, and on
November 14, 1951, by Mabasa & Company.
After trial wherein plaintiff presented evidence in his behalf, but none in behalf of
intervenors, the court rendered decision dismissing plaintiff's complaint as well as
those filed by the intervenors. On March 31, 1954, counsel for plaintiff filed a notice
of appeal, appeal bond, and record on appeal in behalf only of plaintiff even if they
also represent the intervenors, which in due time were approved, the Court
instructing its clerk to forward the record on appeal to the Supreme Court together
with all the evidence presented in the case. This instruction was actually complied
with.
On August 31, 1954, the Deputy Clerk of the Supreme Court notified counsel of
plaintiff that the record as well as the evidence have already been received and that
they should file their brief within 45 days from receipt of the notice. On November 2,
1954, counsel filed their brief for appellants. On November 6, 1954, or 7 months
after the judgment had become final as against the intervenors, and 4 days after
counsel for appellants had submitted the latter's brief, counsel for intervenors filed
with the Supreme Court a petition for correction of the record on appeal in order to
enable them to insert therein the names of the intervenors as appellants, the petition
being based, among others, on the ground that the omission of the names of the
intervenors in said record on appeal was due to the mistake of the typist who
prepared it while the attorney in charge was on vacation. The petition was
vigorously opposed by counsel for defendant, contending that the same would serve
no purpose, whatsoever considering that the intervenors had not presented any
evidence in support of their claim, aside from the fact that the alleged absence of
the attorney of the intervenors cannot constitute a justification for the alleged
omission of the intervenors as appellants. On November 12, 1954, the Court denied
the petition. Counsel intervenors moved for a reconsideration of the order, but the
same was denied.
On November 19, 1954, counsel for intervenors filed with the lower court a petition
for relief under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court, wherein he reiterated the same
grounds they alleged in the petition for correction filed by them in the Supreme
Court, which petition was denied on November 27, 1954, for having been filed
outside the reglementary period fixed in said Rule 38. Counsel filed a motion for
reconsideration, which was again denied, the Court stating that "no judgment or
order has been rendered, nor any other proceeding taken by this Court on the right
of the intervenors to appeal."

On December 20, 1954, counsel filed once more a motion to amend the record on
appeal based on grounds identical with those alleged in the petition for correction
filed before the Supreme Court. On December 27, 1954, the lower court denied the
motion. On January 6, 1955, counsel filed a petition for relief from this last order
entered on December 27, 1954, to which counsel for defendant filed an opposition.
On February 5, 1955, hearing was had on both the petition for relief and the
opposition, and on February 9, 1955, the petition was denied on the ground that the
case is already before the Supreme Court on appeal. It is from this order that the
counsel for intervenors has taken the appeal now before us.
The instant appeal has no merit.
To begin with, the only remedy which appellants now seek in this appeal is the
inclusion of the intervenors as appellants in the appeal from the decision rendered
in the main case, but this remedy has already been denied twice by this Court, first,
in its resolution of November 12, 1954 denying their petition for correction of the
record on appeal, and, second, in denying their motion for reconsideration of said
resolution. It should be noted that the grounds relied upon in this appeal are the
same grounds alleged in said petition for correction.
In the second place, the intervenors have no right or reason to appeal from the
decision in the main case, it appearing that they did not introduce any evidence
during the trial in support of their complaint, which shows that their appeal would be
merely pro-forma. And, in any event, they made the attempt to amend the record on
appeal seven (7) months after the decision had become final against them.
In the third place, the intervenors have no right or reason to file a petition for relief
under Rule 38 of the Rules of Court from the order of the lower court issued on
December 27, 1954, for the reason that the same was entered upon a motion filed
by them. Indeed they cannot reasonably assert that the order was entered against
them through fraud, accident, mistake, or negligence. The fraud mentioned in Rule
38 is the fraud committed by the adverse party and certainly the same cannot be
attributed to the Court.
Finally, it appears that the main case has already been decided by this Court on the
merits on October 31, 1956, reversing the decision of the lower court and awarding
damages to plaintiff, which apparently is the very purpose which the intervenors
seek to accomplish in joining the appeal as co-appellants. This appeal, therefore,
has already become moot.
Wherefore, the order appealed from is affirmed, with costs against appellants.
[G.R. No. 122191. October 8, 1998]
SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, MILAGROS
P. MORADA and HON. RODOLFO A. ORTIZ, in his capacity as
Presiding Judge of Branch 89, Regional Trial Court of Quezon City,
respondents.
DECISION
QUISUMBING, J.:
This petition for certiorari pursuant to Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeks to
annul and set aside the Resolution[if !supportFootnotes][1][endif] dated September 27, 1995 and
the Decision[if !supportFootnotes][2][endif] dated April 10, 1996 of the Court of Appeals [if !
supportFootnotes][3][endif]
in CA-G.R. SP No. 36533,[if !supportFootnotes][4][endif] and the Orders[if !
supportFootnotes][5][endif]
dated August 29, 1994[if !supportFootnotes][6][endif] and February 2, 1995[if !

supportFootnotes][7][endif]

that were issued by the trial court in Civil Case No. Q-93-18394. [if !

supportFootnotes][8][endif]

The pertinent antecedent facts which gave rise to the instant petition, as
stated in the questioned Decision[if !supportFootnotes][9][endif], are as follows:
On January 21, 1988 defendant SAUDIA hired plaintiff as a Flight Attendant
for its airlines based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. x x x

On April 27, 1990, while on a lay-over in Jakarta, Indonesia, plaintiff went to a


disco dance with fellow crew members Thamer Al-Gazzawi and Allah
Al-Gazzawi, both Saudi nationals. Because it was almost morning
when they returned to their hotels, they agreed to have breakfast
together at the room of Thamer. When they were in te (sic) room,
Allah left on some pretext. Shortly after he did, Thamer attempted to
rape plaintiff. Fortunately, a roomboy and several security personnel
heard her cries for help and rescued her. Later, the Indonesian police
came and arrested Thamer and Allah Al-Gazzawi, the latter as an
accomplice.

When plaintiff returned to Jeddah a few days later, several SAUDIA officials
interrogated her about the Jakarta incident. They then requested her
to go back to Jakarta to help arrange the release of Thamer and Allah.
In Jakarta, SAUDIA Legal Officer Sirah Akkad and base manager
Baharini negotiated with the police for the immediate release of the
detained crew members but did not succeed because plaintiff refused
to cooperate. She was afraid that she might be tricked into something
she did not want because of her inability to understand the local
dialect. She also declined to sign a blank paper and a document
written in the local dialect. Eventually, SAUDIA allowed plaintiff to
return to Jeddah but barred her from the Jakarta flights.

Plaintiff learned that, through the intercession of the Saudi Arabian


government, the Indonesian authorities agreed to deport Thamer and
Allah after two weeks of detention. Eventually, they were again put in
service by defendant SAUDI (sic). In September 1990, defendant
SAUDIA transferred plaintiff to Manila.

On January 14, 1992, just when plaintiff thought that the Jakarta incident was
already behind her, her superiors requested her to see Mr. Ali
Meniewy, Chief Legal Officer of SAUDIA, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
When she saw him, he brought her to the police station where the
police took her passport and questioned her about the Jakarta
incident. Miniewy simply stood by as the police put pressure on her to
make a statement dropping the case against Thamer and Allah. Not
until she agreed to do so did the police return her passport and
allowed her to catch the afternoon flight out of Jeddah.

One year and a half later or on June 16, 1993, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a few
minutes before the departure of her flight to Manila, plaintiff was not
allowed to board the plane and instead ordered to take a later flight to
Jeddah to see Mr. Miniewy, the Chief Legal Officer of SAUDIA. When
she did, a certain Khalid of the SAUDIA office brought her to a Saudi
court where she was asked to sign a document written in Arabic. They
told her that this was necessary to close the case against Thamer and
Allah. As it turned out, plaintiff signed a notice to her to appear before
the court on June 27, 1993. Plaintiff then returned to Manila.

Shortly afterwards, defendant SAUDIA summoned plaintiff to report to Jeddah


once again and see Miniewy on June 27, 1993 for further
investigation. Plaintiff did so after receiving assurance from SAUDIAs
Manila manager, Aslam Saleemi, that the investigation was routinary
and that it posed no danger to her.

In Jeddah, a SAUDIA legal officer brought plaintiff to the same Saudi court on
June 27, 1993. Nothing happened then but on June 28, 1993, a Saudi
judge interrogated plaintiff through an interpreter about the Jakarta
incident. After one hour of interrogation, they let her go. At the airport,
however, just as her plane was about to take off, a SAUDIA officer told
her that the airline had forbidden her to take flight. At the Inflight
Service Office where she was told to go, the secretary of Mr. Yahya
Saddick took away her passport and told her to remain in Jeddah, at
the crew quarters, until further orders.

On July 3, 1993 a SAUDIA legal officer again escorted plaintiff to the same
court where the judge, to her astonishment and shock, rendered a
decision, translated to her in English, sentencing her to five months
imprisonment and to 286 lashes. Only then did she realize that the
Saudi court had tried her, together with Thamer and Allah, for what
happened in Jakarta. The court found plaintiff guilty of (1) adultery; (2)
going to a disco, dancing and listening to the music in violation of
Islamic laws; and (3) socializing with the male crew, in contravention
of Islamic tradition.[if !supportFootnotes][10][endif]

Facing conviction, private respondent sought the help of her employer,


petitioner SAUDIA. Unfortunately, she was denied any assistance. She then asked
the Philippine Embassy in Jeddah to help her while her case is on appeal.
Meanwhile, to pay for her upkeep, she worked on the domestic flight of SAUDIA,
while Thamer and Allah continued to serve in the international flights. [if !supportFootnotes][11]
[endif]

Because she was wrongfully convicted, the Prince of Makkah dismissed the
case against her and allowed her to leave Saudi Arabia. Shortly before her return to
Manila,[if !supportFootnotes][12][endif] she was terminated from the service by SAUDIA, without

[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY. FAJARITO 2013400059] 3


her being informed of the cause.
On November 23, 1993, Morada filed a Complaint [if !supportFootnotes][13][endif] for
damages against SAUDIA, and Khaled Al-Balawi (Al- Balawi), its country manager.
On January 19, 1994, SAUDIA filed an Omnibus Motion To Dismiss[if !
supportFootnotes][14][endif]
which raised the following grounds, to wit: (1) that the Complaint
states no cause of action against Saudia; (2) that defendant Al-Balawi is not a real
party in interest; (3) that the claim or demand set forth in the Complaint has been
waived, abandoned or otherwise extinguished; and (4) that the trial court has no
jurisdiction to try the case.
On February 10, 1994, Morada filed her Opposition (To Motion to Dismiss)[if !
supportFootnotes][15][endif]
Saudia filed a reply[if !supportFootnotes][16][endif] thereto on March 3, 1994.
On June 23, 1994, Morada filed an Amended Complaint[if !supportFootnotes][17][endif]
wherein Al-Balawi was dropped as party defendant. On August 11, 1994, Saudia
filed its Manifestation and Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint[if !supportFootnotes][18][endif].
The trial court issued an Order[if !supportFootnotes][19][endif] dated August 29, 1994
denying the Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint filed by Saudia.
From the Order of respondent Judge[if !supportFootnotes][20][endif] denying the Motion to
Dismiss, SAUDIA filed on September 20, 1994, its Motion for Reconsideration [if !
supportFootnotes][21][endif]
of the Order dated August 29, 1994. It alleged that the trial court
has no jurisdiction to hear and try the case on the basis of Article 21 of the Civil
Code, since the proper law applicable is the law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. On
October 14, 1994, Morada filed her Opposition[if !supportFootnotes][22][endif] (To Defendants
Motion for Reconsideration).
In the Reply[if !supportFootnotes][23][endif] filed with the trial court on October 24, 1994,
SAUDIA alleged that since its Motion for Reconsideration raised lack of jurisdiction
as its cause of action, the Omnibus Motion Rule does not apply, even if that ground
is raised for the first time on appeal. Additionally, SAUDIA alleged that the
Philippines does not have any substantial interest in the prosecution of the instant
case, and hence, without jurisdiction to adjudicate the same.
Respondent Judge subsequently issued another Order[if !supportFootnotes][24][endif]
dated February 2, 1995, denying SAUDIAs Motion for Reconsideration. The
pertinent portion of the assailed Order reads as follows:
Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration of defendant Saudi Arabian
Airlines filed, thru counsel, on September 20, 1994, and the
Opposition thereto of the plaintiff filed, thru counsel, on October 14,
1994, as well as the Reply therewith of defendant Saudi Arabian
Airlines filed, thru counsel, on October 24, 1994, considering that a
perusal of the plaintiffs Amended Complaint, which is one for the
recovery of actual, moral and exemplary damages plus attorneys
fees, upon the basis of the applicable Philippine law, Article 21 of the
New Civil Code of the Philippines, is, clearly, within the jurisdiction of
this Court as regards the subject matter, and there being nothing
new of substance which might cause the reversal or modification of
the order sought to be reconsidered, the motion for reconsideration
of the defendant, is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.[if !supportFootnotes][25][endif]

Consequently, on February 20, 1995, SAUDIA filed its Petition for Certiorari
and Prohibition with Prayer for Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction and/or
Temporary Restraining Order[if !supportFootnotes][26][endif] with the Court of Appeals.
Respondent Court of Appeals promulgated a Resolution with Temporary
Restraining Order[if !supportFootnotes][27][endif] dated February 23, 1995, prohibiting the
respondent Judge from further conducting any proceeding, unless otherwise
directed, in the interim.
In another Resolution[if !supportFootnotes][28][endif] promulgated on September 27,
1995, now assailed, the appellate court denied SAUDIAs Petition for the Issuance of
a Writ of Preliminary Injunction dated February 18, 1995, to wit:
The Petition for the Issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction is hereby
DENIED, after considering the Answer, with Prayer to Deny Writ of
Preliminary Injunction (Rollo, p. 135) the Reply and Rejoinder, it
appearing that herein petitioner is not clearly entitled thereto
(Unciano Paramedical College, et. Al., v. Court of Appeals, et. Al.,
100335, April 7, 1993, Second Division).

SO ORDERED.

On October 20, 1995, SAUDIA filed with this Honorable Court the instant
Petition[if !supportFootnotes][29][endif] for Review with Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order
dated October 13, 1995.
However, during the pendency of the instant Petition, respondent Court of
Appeals rendered the Decision[if !supportFootnotes][30][endif] dated April 10, 1996, now also
assailed. It ruled that the Philippines is an appropriate forum considering that the
Amended Complaints basis for recovery of damages is Article 21 of the Civil Code,
and thus, clearly within the jurisdiction of respondent Court. It further held that
certiorari is not the proper remedy in a denial of a Motion to Dismiss, inasmuch as
the petitioner should have proceeded to trial, and in case of an adverse ruling, find
recourse in an appeal.
On May 7, 1996, SAUDIA filed its Supplemental Petition for Review with
Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order[if !supportFootnotes][31][endif] dated April 30, 1996,
given due course by this Court. After both parties submitted their Memoranda, [if !
supportFootnotes][32][endif]
the instant case is now deemed submitted for decision.
Petitioner SAUDIA raised the following issues:
I
The trial court has no jurisdiction to hear and try Civil Case No. Q-93-18394 based
on Article 21 of the New Civil Code since the proper law applicable is the law of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia inasmuch as this case involves what is known in private
international law as a conflicts problem. Otherwise, the Republic of the Philippines
will sit in judgment of the acts done by another sovereign state which is abhorred.
II.

Leave of court before filing a supplemental pleading is not a jurisdictional


requirement. Besides, the matter as to absence of leave of court is now moot and
academic when this Honorable Court required the respondents to comment on
petitioners April 30, 1996 Supplemental Petition For Review With Prayer For A
Temporary Restraining Order Within Ten (10) Days From Notice Thereof. Further,
the Revised Rules of Court should be construed with liberality pursuant to Section 2,
Rule 1 thereof.
III.

Petitioner received on April 22, 1996 the April 10, 1996 decision in CA-G.R. SP NO.
36533 entitled Saudi Arabian Airlines v. Hon. Rodolfo A. Ortiz, et al. and filed its April
30, 1996 Supplemental Petition For Review With Prayer For A Temporary
Restraining Order on May 7, 1996 at 10:29 a.m. or within the 15-day reglementary
period as provided for under Section 1, Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Therefore, the decision in CA-G.R. SP NO. 36533 has not yet become final and
executory and this Honorable Court can take cognizance of this case. [if !supportFootnotes][33]
[endif]

From the foregoing factual and procedural antecedents, the following issues
emerge for our resolution:
I.
WHETHER RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN HOLDING
THAT THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF QUEZON CITY HAS
JURISDICTION TO HEAR AND TRY CIVIL CASE NO. Q-93-18394
ENTITLED MILAGROS P. MORADA V. SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES.

dated June 23, 1994:


2. Defendant SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES or SAUDIA is a foreign airlines
corporation doing business in the Philippines. It may be served with
summons and other court processes at Travel Wide Associated
Sales (Phils.), Inc., 3rd Floor, Cougar Building, 114 Valero St.,
Salcedo Village, Makati, Metro Manila.

xxxxxxxxx
6. Plaintiff learned that, through the intercession of the Saudi Arabian
government, the Indonesian authorities agreed to deport Thamer
and Allah after two weeks of detention. Eventually, they were again
put in service by defendant SAUDIA. In September 1990, defendant
SAUDIA transferred plaintiff to Manila.

7. On January 14, 1992, just when plaintiff thought that the Jakarta incident
was already behind her, her superiors requested her to see MR. Ali
Meniewy, Chief Legal Officer of SAUDIA, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
When she saw him, he brought her to the police station where the
police took her passport and questioned her about the Jakarta
incident. Miniewy simply stood by as the police put pressure on her
to make a statement dropping the case against Thamer and Allah.
Not until she agreed to do so did the police return her passport and
allowed her to catch the afternoon flight out of Jeddah.

II.

WHETHER RESPONDENT APPELLATE COURT ERRED IN RULING THAT


IN THE CASE PHILIPPINE LAW SHOULD GOVERN.

Petitioner SAUDIA claims that before us is a conflict of laws that must be


settled at the outset. It maintains that private respondents claim for alleged abuse of
rights occurred in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It alleges that the existence of a
foreign element qualifies the instant case for the application of the law of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, by virtue of the lex loci delicti commissi rule.[if !supportFootnotes]
[34][endif]

On the other hand, private respondent contends that since her Amended
Complaint is based on Articles 19 [if !supportFootnotes][35][endif] and 21[if !supportFootnotes][36][endif] of the
Civil Code, then the instant case is properly a matter of domestic law. [if !supportFootnotes][37]
[endif]

Under the factual antecedents obtaining in this case, there is no dispute that
the interplay of events occurred in two states, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia.
As stated by private respondent in her Amended Complaint[if !supportFootnotes][38][endif]

8. One year and a half later or on June 16, 1993, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a
few minutes before the departure of her flight to Manila, plaintiff was
not allowed to board the plane and instead ordered to take a later
flight to Jeddah to see Mr. Meniewy, the Chief Legal Officer of
SAUDIA. When she did, a certain Khalid of the SAUDIA office
brought her to a Saudi court where she was asked to sign a
document written in Arabic. They told her that this was necessary to
close the case against Thamer and Allah. As it turned out, plaintiff
signed a notice to her to appear before the court on June 27, 1993.
Plaintiff then returned to Manila.

9. Shortly afterwards, defendant SAUDIA summoned plaintiff to report to


Jeddah once again and see Miniewy on June 27, 1993 for further
investigation. Plaintiff did so after receiving assurance from
SAUDIAs Manila manager, Aslam Saleemi, that the investigation
was routinary and that it posed no danger to her.

[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY. FAJARITO 2013400059] 5


10. In Jeddah, a SAUDIA legal officer brought plaintiff to the same Saudi
court on June 27, 1993. Nothing happened then but on June 28,
1993, a Saudi judge interrogated plaintiff through an interpreter
about the Jakarta incident. After one hour of interrogation, they let
her go. At the airport, however, just as her plane was about to take
off, a SAUDIA officer told her that the airline had forbidden her to
take that flight. At the Inflight Service Office where she was told to
go, the secretary of Mr. Yahya Saddick took away her passport and
told her to remain in Jeddah, at the crew quarters, until further
orders.

11. On July 3, 1993 a SAUDIA legal officer again escorted plaintiff to the
same court where the judge, to her astonishment and shock,
rendered a decision, translated to her in English, sentencing her to
five months imprisonment and to 286 lashes. Only then did she
realize that the Saudi court had tried her, together with Thamer and
Allah, for what happened in Jakarta. The court found plaintiff guilty of
(1) adultery; (2) going to a disco, dancing, and listening to the music
in violation of Islamic laws; (3) socializing with the male crew, in
contravention of Islamic tradition.

12. Because SAUDIA refused to lend her a hand in the case, plaintiff sought
the help of the Philippine Embassy in Jeddah. The latter helped her
pursue an appeal from the decision of the court. To pay for her
upkeep, she worked on the domestic flights of defendant SAUDIA
while, ironically, Thamer and Allah freely served the international
flights.[if !supportFootnotes][39][endif]

Where the factual antecedents satisfactorily establish the existence of a


foreign element, we agree with petitioner that the problem herein could present a
conflicts case.
A factual situation that cuts across territorial lines and is affected by the
diverse laws of two or more states is said to contain a foreign element. The
presence of a foreign element is inevitable since social and economic affairs of
individuals and associations are rarely confined to the geographic limits of their birth
or conception.[if !supportFootnotes][40][endif]
The forms in which this foreign element may appear are many.[if !supportFootnotes][41]
[endif]
The foreign element may simply consist in the fact that one of the parties to a
contract is an alien or has a foreign domicile, or that a contract between nationals of
one State involves properties situated in another State. In other cases, the foreign
element may assume a complex form.[if !supportFootnotes][42][endif]
In the instant case, the foreign element consisted in the fact that private
respondent Morada is a resident Philippine national, and that petitioner SAUDIA is a

resident foreign corporation. Also, by virtue of the employment of Morada with the
petitioner Saudia as a flight stewardess, events did transpire during her many
occasions of travel across national borders, particularly from Manila, Philippines to
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and vice versa, that caused a conflicts situation to arise.
We thus find private respondents assertion that the case is purely domestic,
imprecise. A conflicts problem presents itself here, and the question of jurisdiction [if !
supportFootnotes][43][endif]
confronts the court a quo.
After a careful study of the private respondents Amended Complaint, [if !
supportFootnotes][44][endif]
and the Comment thereon, we note that she aptly predicated her
cause of action on Articles 19 and 21 of the New Civil Code.
On one hand, Article 19 of the New Civil Code provides;
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with justice give everyone his due and
observe honesty and good faith.

On the other hand, Article 21 of the New Civil Code provides:


Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner
that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for damages.

Thus, in Philippine National Bank (PNB) vs. Court of Appeals,[if !supportFootnotes][45]


this Court held that:
The aforecited provisions on human relations were intended to expand the
concept of torts in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy
for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for
human foresight to specifically provide in the statutes.
[endif]

Although Article 19 merely declares a principle of law, Article 21 gives flesh


to its provisions. Thus, we agree with private respondents assertion that violations of
Articles 19 and 21 are actionable, with judicially enforceable remedies in the
municipal forum.
Based on the allegations[if !supportFootnotes][46][endif] in the Amended Complaint, read
in the light of the Rules of Court on jurisdiction[if !supportFootnotes][47][endif] we find that the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City possesses jurisdiction over the subject
matter of the suit.[if !supportFootnotes][48][endif] Its authority to try and hear the case is provided
for under Section 1 of Republic Act No. 7691, to wit:
Section 1. Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, otherwise known as the
Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, is hereby amended to read as
follows:

SEC. 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases. Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive

jurisdiction:
xxxxxxxxx
(8) In all other cases in which demand, exclusive of interest, damages of whatever
kind, attorneys fees, litigation expenses, and costs or the value of the property in
controversy exceeds One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) or, in such other
cases in Metro Manila, where the demand, exclusive of the above-mentioned items
exceeds Two hundred Thousand pesos (P200,000.00). (Emphasis ours)
xxxxxxxxx
And following Section 2 (b), Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Courtthe venue,
Quezon City, is appropriate:
SEC. 2 Venue in Courts of First Instance. [Now Regional Trial Court]
(a) x x x x x x x x x

(b) Personal actions. All other actions may be commenced and tried where
the defendant or any of the defendants resides or may be found, or
where the plaintiff or any of the plaintiff resides, at the election of the
plaintiff.

Pragmatic considerations, including the convenience of the parties, also


weigh heavily in favor of the RTC Quezon City assuming jurisdiction. Paramount is
the private interest of the litigant. Enforceability of a judgment if one is obtained is
quite obvious. Relative advantages and obstacles to a fair trial are equally
important. Plaintiff may not, by choice of an inconvenient forum, vex, harass, or
oppress the defendant, e.g. by inflicting upon him needless expense or disturbance.
But unless the balance is strongly in favor of the defendant, the plaintiffs choice of
forum should rarely be disturbed.[if !supportFootnotes][49][endif]
Weighing the relative claims of the parties, the court a quo found it best to
hear the case in the Philippines. Had it refused to take cognizance of the case, it
would be forcing plaintiff (private respondent now) to seek remedial action
elsewhere, i.e. in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where she no longer maintains
substantial connections. That would have caused a fundamental unfairness to her.
Moreover, by hearing the case in the Philippines no unnecessary difficulties
and inconvenience have been shown by either of the parties. The choice of forum of
the plaintiff (now private respondent) should be upheld.
Similarly, the trial court also possesses jurisdiction over the persons of the
parties herein. By filing her Complaint and Amended Complaint with the trial court,
private respondent has voluntary submitted herself to the jurisdiction of the court.
The records show that petitioner SAUDIA has filed several motions [if !
supportFootnotes][50][endif]
praying for the dismissal of Moradas Amended Complaint. SAUDIA
also filed an Answer In Ex Abundante Cautelam dated February 20, 1995. What is
very patent and explicit from the motions filed, is that SAUDIA prayed for other
reliefs under the premises. Undeniably, petitioner SAUDIA has effectively submitted
to the trial courts jurisdiction by praying for the dismissal of the Amended Complaint
on grounds other than lack of jurisdiction.
As held by this Court in Republic vs. Ker and Company, Ltd.:[if !supportFootnotes][51]
[endif]

We observe that the motion to dismiss filed on April 14, 1962, aside from

disputing the lower courts jurisdiction over defendants person,


prayed for dismissal of the complaint on the ground that plaintiffs
cause of action has prescribed. By interposing such second ground
in its motion to dismiss, Ker and Co., Ltd. availed of an affirmative
defense on the basis of which it prayed the court to resolve
controversy in its favor. For the court to validly decide the said plea
of defendant Ker & Co., Ltd., it necessarily had to acquire jurisdiction
upon the latters person, who, being the proponent of the affirmative
defense, should be deemed to have abandoned its special
appearance and voluntarily submitted itself to the jurisdiction of the
court.

Similarly, the case of De Midgely vs. Ferandos, held that:


When the appearance is by motion for the purpose of objecting to the
jurisdiction of the court over the person, it must be for the sole and
separate purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction of the court. If his
motion is for any other purpose than to object to the jurisdiction of
the court over his person, he thereby submits himself to the
jurisdiction of the court. A special appearance by motion made for
the purpose of objecting to the jurisdiction of the court over the
person will be held to be a general appearance, if the party in said
motion should, for example, ask for a dismissal of the action upon
the further ground that the court had no jurisdiction over the subject
matter.[if !supportFootnotes][52][endif]

Clearly, petitioner had submitted to the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court
of Quezon City. Thus, we find that the trial court has jurisdiction over the case and
that its exercise thereof, justified.
As to the choice of applicable law, we note that choice-of-law problems seek
to answer two important questions: (1) What legal system should control a given
situation where some of the significant facts occurred in two or more states; and (2)
to what extent should the chosen legal system regulate the situation.[if !supportFootnotes][53]
[endif]

Several theories have been propounded in order to identify the legal system
that should ultimately control. Although ideally, all choice-of-law theories should
intrinsically advance both notions of justice and predictability, they do not always do
so. The forum is then faced with the problem of deciding which of these two
important values should be stressed.[if !supportFootnotes][54][endif]
Before a choice can be made, it is necessary for us to determine under what
category a certain set of facts or rules fall. This process is known as
characterization, or the doctrine of qualification. It is the process of deciding whether
or not the facts relate to the kind of question specified in a conflicts rule. [if !supportFootnotes]
[55][endif]
The purpose of characterization is to enable the forum to select the proper
law.[if !supportFootnotes][56][endif]
Our starting point of analysis here is not a legal relation, but a factual
situation, event, or operative fact.[if !supportFootnotes][57][endif] An essential element of conflict
rules is the indication of a test or connecting factor or point of contact. Choice-of-law

[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY. FAJARITO 2013400059] 7


rules invariably consist of a factual relationship (such as property right, contract
claim) and a connecting factor or point of contact, such as the situs of the res, the
place of celebration, the place of performance, or the place of wrongdoing. [if !
supportFootnotes][58][endif]

Note that one or more circumstances may be present to serve as the


possible test for the determination of the applicable law.[if !supportFootnotes][59][endif] These
test factors or points of contact or connecting factors could be any of the following:
(1) The nationality of a person, his domicile, his residence, his place of
sojourn, or his origin;

(2) the seat of a legal or juridical person, such as a corporation;

(3) the situs of a thing, that is, the place where a thing is, or is deemed to be
situated. In particular, the lex situs is decisive when real rights are
involved;

(4) the place where an act has been done, the locus actus, such as the
place where a contract has been made, a marriage celebrated, a
will signed or a tort committed. The lex loci actus is particularly
important in contracts and torts;

(5) the place where an act is intended to come into effect, e.g., the place of
performance of contractual duties, or the place where a power of
attorney is to be exercised;

(6) the intention of the contracting parties as to the law that should govern
their agreement, the lex loci intentionis;

(7) the place where judicial or administrative proceedings are instituted or


done. The lex forithe law of the forumis particularly important
because, as we have seen earlier, matters of procedure not going to
the substance of the claim involved are governed by it; and because
the lex fori applies whenever the content of the otherwise applicable
foreign law is excluded from application in a given case for the
reason that it falls under one of the exceptions to the applications of
foreign law; and

(8) the flag of a ship, which in many cases is decisive of practically all legal
relationships of the ship and of its master or owner as such. It also
covers contractual relationships particularly contracts of
affreightment.[if !supportFootnotes][60][endif] (Underscoring ours.)

After a careful study of the pleadings on record, including allegations in the


Amended Complaint deemed submitted for purposes of the motion to dismiss, we
are convinced that there is reasonable basis for private respondents assertion that
although she was already working in Manila, petitioner brought her to Jeddah on the
pretense that she would merely testify in an investigation of the charges she made
against the two SAUDIA crew members for the attack on her person while they were
in Jakarta. As it turned out, she was the one made to face trial for very serious
charges, including adultery and violation of Islamic laws and tradition.
There is likewise logical basis on record for the claim that the handing over
or turning over of the person of private respondent to Jeddah officials, petitioner
may have acted beyond its duties as employer. Petitioners purported act contributed
to and amplified or even proximately caused additional humiliation, misery and
suffering of private respondent. Petitioner thereby allegedly facilitated the arrest,
detention and prosecution of private respondent under the guise of petitioners
authority as employer, taking advantage of the trust, confidence and faith she
reposed upon it. As purportedly found by the Prince of Makkah, the alleged
conviction and imprisonment of private respondent was wrongful. But these capped
the injury or harm allegedly inflicted upon her person and reputation, for which
petitioner could be liable as claimed, to provide compensation or redress for the
wrongs done, once duly proven.
Considering that the complaint in the court a quo is one involving torts, the
connecting factor or point of contact could be the place or places where the tortious
conduct or lex loci actus occurred. And applying the torts principle in a conflicts
case, we find that the Philippines could be said as a situs of the tort (the place
where the alleged tortious conduct took place). This is because it is in the
Philippines where petitioner allegedly deceived private respondent, a Filipina
residing and working here. According to her, she had honestly believed that
petitioner would, in the exercise of its rights and in the performance of its duties, act
with justice, give her her due and observe honesty and good faith. Instead,
petitioner failed to protect her, she claimed. That certain acts or parts of the injury
allegedly occurred in another country is of no moment. For in our view what is
important here is the place where the over-all harm or the fatality of the alleged
injury to the person, reputation, social standing and human rights of complainant,
had lodged, according to the plaintiff below (herein private respondent). All told, it is
not without basis to identify the Philippines as the situs of the alleged tort.
Moreover, with the widespread criticism of the traditional rule of lex loci
delicti commissi, modern theories and rules on tort liability[if !supportFootnotes][61][endif] have
been advanced to offer fresh judicial approaches to arrive at just results. In keeping
abreast with the modern theories on tort liability, we find here an occasion to apply
the State of the most significant relationship rule, which in our view should be
appropriate to apply now, given the factual context of this case.
In applying said principle to determine the State which has the most

significant relationship, the following contacts are to be taken into account and
evaluated according to their relative importance with respect to the particular issue:
(a) the place where the injury occurred; (b) the place where the conduct causing the
injury occurred; (c) the domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and
place of business of the parties, and (d) the place where the relationship, if any,
between the parties is centered.[if !supportFootnotes][62][endif]
As already discussed, there is basis for the claim that over-all injury occurred
and lodged in the Philippines. There is likewise no question that private respondent
is a resident Filipina national, working with petitioner, a resident foreign corporation
engaged here in the business of international air carriage. Thus, the relationship
between the parties was centered here, although it should be stressed that this suit
is not based on mere labor law violations. From the record, the claim that the
Philippines has the most significant contact with the matter in this dispute, [if !
supportFootnotes][63][endif]
raised by private respondent as plaintiff below against defendant
(herein petitioner), in our view, has been properly established.
Prescinding from this premise that the Philippines is the situs of the tort
complaint of and the place having the most interest in the problem, we find, by way
of recapitulation, that the Philippine law on tort liability should have paramount
application to and control in the resolution of the legal issues arising out of this case.
Further, we hold that the respondent Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction over the
parties and the subject matter of the complaint; the appropriate venue is in Quezon
City, which could properly apply Philippine law. Moreover, we find untenable
petitioners insistence that [s]ince private respondent instituted this suit, she has the
burden of pleading and proving the applicable Saudi law on the matter.[if !supportFootnotes]
[64][endif]
As aptly said by private respondent, she has no obligation to plead and prove
the law of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since her cause of action is based on
Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. In her Amended Complaint
and subsequent pleadings she never alleged that Saudi law should govern this
case.[if !supportFootnotes][65][endif] And as correctly held by the respondent appellate court,
considering that it was the petitioner who was invoking the applicability of the law of
Saudi Arabia, thus the burden was on it [petitioner] to plead and to establish what
the law of Saudi Arabia is.[if !supportFootnotes][66][endif]
Lastly, no error could be imputed to the respondent appellate court in
upholding the trial courts denial of defendants (herein petitioners) motion to dismiss
the case. Not only was jurisdiction in order and venue properly laid, but appeal after
trial was obviously available, and the expeditious trial itself indicated by the nature
of the case at hand. Indubitably, the Philippines is the state intimately concerned
with the ultimate outcome of the case below not just for the benefit of all the
litigants, but also for the vindication of the countrys system of law and justice in a
transnational setting. With these guidelines in mind, the trial court must proceed to
try and adjudge the case in the light of relevant Philippine law, with due
consideration of the foreign element or elements involved. Nothing said herein, of
course, should be construed as prejudging the results of the case in any manner
whatsoever.
WHEREFORE, the instant petition for certiorari is hereby DISMISSED. Civil Case
No. Q-93-18394 entitled Milagros P. Morada vs. Saudi Arabia Airlines is hereby
REMANDED to Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 89 for further
proceedings.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 81262 August 25, 1989

GLOBE MACKAY CABLE AND RADIO CORP., and HERBERT C. HENDRY,


petitioners,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and RESTITUTO M. TOBIAS,
respondents.
Atencia & Arias Law Offices for petitioners.
Romulo C. Felizmena for private respondent.
CORTES, J.:
Private respondent Restituto M. Tobias was employed by petitioner Globe Mackay
Cable and Radio Corporation (GLOBE MACKAY) in a dual capacity as a purchasing
agent and administrative assistant to the engineering operations manager. In 1972,
GLOBE MACKAY discovered fictitious purchases and other fraudulent transactions
for which it lost several thousands of pesos.
According to private respondent it was he who actually discovered the anomalies
and reported them on November 10, 1972 to his immediate superior Eduardo T.
Ferraren and to petitioner Herbert C. Hendry who was then the Executive VicePresident and General Manager of GLOBE MACKAY.
On November 11, 1972, one day after private respondent Tobias made the report,
petitioner Hendry confronted him by stating that he was the number one suspect,
and ordered him to take a one week forced leave, not to communicate with the
office, to leave his table drawers open, and to leave the office keys.
On November 20, 1972, when private respondent Tobias returned to work after the
forced leave, petitioner Hendry went up to him and called him a "crook" and a
"swindler." Tobias was then ordered to take a lie detector test. He was also
instructed to submit specimen of his handwriting, signature, and initials for
examination by the police investigators to determine his complicity in the anomalies.
On December 6,1972, the Manila police investigators submitted a laboratory crime
report (Exh. "A") clearing private respondent of participation in the anomalies.
Not satisfied with the police report, petitioners hired a private investigator, retired
Col. Jose G. Fernandez, who on December 10, 1972, submitted a report (Exh. "2")
finding Tobias guilty. This report however expressly stated that further investigation
was still to be conducted.
Nevertheless, on December 12, 1972, petitioner Hendry issued a memorandum
suspending Tobias from work preparatory to the filing of criminal charges against
him.
On December 19,1972, Lt. Dioscoro V. Tagle, Metro Manila Police Chief Document
Examiner, after investigating other documents pertaining to the alleged anomalous
transactions, submitted a second laboratory crime report (Exh. "B") reiterating his
previous finding that the handwritings, signatures, and initials appearing in the
checks and other documents involved in the fraudulent transactions were not those
of Tobias. The lie detector tests conducted on Tobias also yielded negative results.
Notwithstanding the two police reports exculpating Tobias from the anomalies and
the fact that the report of the private investigator, was, by its own terms, not yet
complete, petitioners filed with the City Fiscal of Manila a complaint for estafa
through falsification of commercial documents, later amended to just estafa.
Subsequently five other criminal complaints were filed against Tobias, four of which
were for estafa through Falsification of commercial document while the fifth was for
of Article 290 of' the Revised Penal Code (Discovering Secrets Through Seizure of
Correspondence).lwph1.t Two of these complaints were refiled with the Judge
Advocate General's Office, which however, remanded them to the fiscal's office. All

[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY. FAJARITO 2013400059] 9


of the six criminal complaints were dismissed by the fiscal. Petitioners appealed four
of the fiscal's resolutions dismissing the criminal complaints with the Secretary of
Justice, who, however, affirmed their dismissal.
In the meantime, on January 17, 1973, Tobias received a notice (Exh. "F") from
petitioners that his employment has been terminated effective December 13, 1972.
Whereupon, Tobias filed a complaint for illegal dismissal. The labor arbiter
dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the National Labor Relations Commission
(NLRC) reversed the labor arbiter's decision. However, the Secretary of Labor,
acting on petitioners' appeal from the NLRC ruling, reinstated the labor arbiter's
decision. Tobias appealed the Secretary of Labor's order with the Office of the
President. During the pendency of the appeal with said office, petitioners and private
respondent Tobias entered into a compromise agreement regarding the latter's
complaint for illegal dismissal.
Unemployed, Tobias sought employment with the Republic Telephone Company
(RETELCO). However, petitioner Hendry, without being asked by RETELCO, wrote
a letter to the latter stating that Tobias was dismissed by GLOBE MACKAY due to
dishonesty.
Private respondent Tobias filed a civil case for damages anchored on alleged
unlawful, malicious, oppressive, and abusive acts of petitioners. Petitioner Hendry,
claiming illness, did not testify during the hearings. The Regional Trial Court (RTC)
of Manila, Branch IX, through Judge Manuel T. Reyes rendered judgment in favor of
private respondent by ordering petitioners to pay him eighty thousand pesos
(P80,000.00) as actual damages, two hundred thousand pesos (P200,000.00) as
moral damages, twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) as exemplary damages, thirty
thousand pesos (P30,000.00) as attorney's fees, and costs. Petitioners appealed
the RTC decision to the Court of Appeals. On the other hand, Tobias appealed as to
the amount of damages. However, the Court of Appeals, an a decision dated August
31, 1987 affirmed the RTC decision in toto. Petitioners' motion for reconsideration
having been denied, the instant petition for review on certiorari was filed.
The main issue in this case is whether or not petitioners are liable for damages to
private respondent.
Petitioners contend that they could not be made liable for damages in the lawful
exercise of their right to dismiss private respondent.
On the other hand, private respondent contends that because of petitioners' abusive
manner in dismissing him as well as for the inhuman treatment he got from them,
the Petitioners must indemnify him for the damage that he had suffered.
One of the more notable innovations of the New Civil Code is the codification of
"some basic principles that are to be observed for the rightful relationship between
human beings and for the stability of the social order." [REPORT ON THE CODE
COMMISSION ON THE PROPOSED CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, p. 39].
The framers of the Code, seeking to remedy the defect of the old Code which
merely stated the effects of the law, but failed to draw out its spirit, incorporated
certain fundamental precepts which were "designed to indicate certain norms that
spring from the fountain of good conscience" and which were also meant to serve
as "guides for human conduct [that] should run as golden threads through society, to
the end that law may approach its supreme ideal, which is the sway and dominance
of justice" (Id.) Foremost among these principles is that pronounced in Article 19
which provides:
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of

his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good
faith.
This article, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle of abuse
of rights, sets certain standards which must be observed not only in the exercise of
one's rights but also in the performance of one's duties. These standards are the
following: to act with justice; to give everyone his due; and to observe honesty and
good faith. The law, therefore, recognizes a primordial limitation on all rights; that in
their exercise, the norms of human conduct set forth in Article 19 must be observed.
A right, though by itself legal because recognized or granted by law as such, may
nevertheless become the source of some illegality. When a right is exercised in a
manner which does not conform with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and results
in damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer
must be held responsible. But while Article 19 lays down a rule of conduct for the
government of human relations and for the maintenance of social order, it does not
provide a remedy for its violation. Generally, an action for damages under either
Article 20 or Article 21 would be proper.
Article 20, which pertains to damage arising from a violation of law, provides that:
Art. 20. Every person who contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to
another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
However, in the case at bar, petitioners claim that they did not violate any provision
of law since they were merely exercising their legal right to dismiss private
respondent. This does not, however, leave private respondent with no relief because
Article 21 of the Civil Code provides that:
Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is
contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the
damage.
This article, adopted to remedy the "countless gaps in the statutes, which leave so
many victims of moral wrongs helpless, even though they have actually suffered
material and moral injury" [Id.] should "vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that
untold number of moral wrongs which it is impossible for human foresight to provide
for specifically in the statutes" [Id. it p. 40; See also PNB v. CA, G.R. No. L-27155,
May 18,1978, 83 SCRA 237, 247].
In determining whether or not the principle of abuse of rights may be invoked, there
is no rigid test which can be applied. While the Court has not hesitated to apply
Article 19 whether the legal and factual circumstances called for its application [See
for e.g., Velayo v. Shell Co. of the Phil., Ltd., 100 Phil. 186 (1956); PNB v. CA,
supra; Grand Union Supermarket, Inc. v. Espino, Jr., G.R. No. L-48250, December
28, 1979, 94 SCRA 953; PAL v. CA, G.R. No. L-46558, July 31,1981,106 SCRA 391;
United General Industries, Inc, v. Paler G.R. No. L-30205, March 15,1982,112
SCRA 404; Rubio v. CA, G.R. No. 50911, August 21, 1987, 153 SCRA 183] the
question of whether or not the principle of abuse of rights has been violated
resulting in damages under Article 20 or Article 21 or other applicable provision of
law, depends on the circumstances of each case. And in the instant case, the Court,
after examining the record and considering certain significant circumstances, finds
that all petitioners have indeed abused the right that they invoke, causing damage
to private respondent and for which the latter must now be indemnified.
The trial court made a finding that notwithstanding the fact that it was private
respondent Tobias who reported the possible existence of anomalous transactions,
petitioner Hendry "showed belligerence and told plaintiff (private respondent herein)

that he was the number one suspect and to take a one week vacation leave, not to
communicate with the office, to leave his table drawers open, and to leave his keys
to said defendant (petitioner Hendry)" [RTC Decision, p. 2; Rollo, p. 232]. This,
petitioners do not dispute. But regardless of whether or not it was private
respondent Tobias who reported the anomalies to petitioners, the latter's reaction
towards the former upon uncovering the anomalies was less than civil. An employer
who harbors suspicions that an employee has committed dishonesty might be
justified in taking the appropriate action such as ordering an investigation and
directing the employee to go on a leave. Firmness and the resolve to uncover the
truth would also be expected from such employer. But the high-handed treatment
accorded Tobias by petitioners was certainly uncalled for. And this reprehensible
attitude of petitioners was to continue when private respondent returned to work on
November 20, 1972 after his one week forced leave. Upon reporting for work,
Tobias was confronted by Hendry who said. "Tobby, you are the crook and swindler
in this company." Considering that the first report made by the police investigators
was submitted only on December 10, 1972 [See Exh. A] the statement made by
petitioner Hendry was baseless. The imputation of guilt without basis and the
pattern of harassment during the investigations of Tobias transgress the standards
of human conduct set forth in Article 19 of the Civil Code. The Court has already
ruled that the right of the employer to dismiss an employee should not be confused
with the manner in which the right is exercised and the effects flowing therefrom. If
the dismissal is done abusively, then the employer is liable for damages to the
employee [Quisaba v. Sta. Ines-Melale Veneer and Plywood Inc., G.R. No. L-38088,
August 30, 1974, 58 SCRA 771; See also Philippine Refining Co., Inc. v. Garcia,
G.R. No. L-21871, September 27,1966, 18 SCRA 107] Under the circumstances of
the instant case, the petitioners clearly failed to exercise in a legitimate manner their
right to dismiss Tobias, giving the latter the right to recover damages under Article
19 in relation to Article 21 of the Civil Code.
But petitioners were not content with just dismissing Tobias. Several other tortious
acts were committed by petitioners against Tobias after the latter's termination from
work. Towards the latter part of January, 1973, after the filing of the first of six
criminal complaints against Tobias, the latter talked to Hendry to protest the actions
taken against him. In response, Hendry cut short Tobias' protestations by telling him
to just confess or else the company would file a hundred more cases against him
until he landed in jail. Hendry added that, "You Filipinos cannot be trusted." The
threat unmasked petitioner's bad faith in the various actions taken against Tobias.
On the other hand, the scornful remark about Filipinos as well as Hendry's earlier
statements about Tobias being a "crook" and "swindler" are clear violations of
'Tobias' personal dignity [See Article 26, Civil Code].
The next tortious act committed by petitioners was the writing of a letter to
RETELCO sometime in October 1974, stating that Tobias had been dismissed by
GLOBE MACKAY due to dishonesty. Because of the letter, Tobias failed to gain
employment with RETELCO and as a result of which, Tobias remained unemployed
for a longer period of time. For this further damage suffered by Tobias, petitioners
must likewise be held liable for damages consistent with Article 2176 of the Civil
Code. Petitioners, however, contend that they have a "moral, if not legal, duty to
forewarn other employers of the kind of employee the plaintiff (private respondent
herein) was." [Petition, p. 14; Rollo, p. 15]. Petitioners further claim that "it is the
accepted moral and societal obligation of every man to advise or warn his
fellowmen of any threat or danger to the latter's life, honor or property. And this
includes warning one's brethren of the possible dangers involved in dealing with, or

accepting into confidence, a man whose honesty and integrity is suspect" [Id.].
These arguments, rather than justify petitioners' act, reveal a seeming obsession to
prevent Tobias from getting a job, even after almost two years from the time Tobias
was dismissed.
Finally, there is the matter of the filing by petitioners of six criminal complaints
against Tobias. Petitioners contend that there is no case against them for malicious
prosecution and that they cannot be "penalized for exercising their right and
prerogative of seeking justice by filing criminal complaints against an employee who
was their principal suspect in the commission of forgeries and in the perpetration of
anomalous transactions which defrauded them of substantial sums of money"
[Petition, p. 10, Rollo, p. 11].
While sound principles of justice and public policy dictate that persons shall have
free resort to the courts for redress of wrongs and vindication of their rights
[Buenaventura v. Sto. Domingo, 103 Phil. 239 (1958)], the right to institute criminal
prosecutions can not be exercised maliciously and in bad faith [Ventura v. Bernabe,
G.R. No. L-26760, April 30, 1971, 38 SCRA 5871.] Hence, in Yutuk V. Manila
Electric Co., G.R. No. L-13016, May 31, 1961, 2 SCRA 337, the Court held that the
right to file criminal complaints should not be used as a weapon to force an alleged
debtor to pay an indebtedness. To do so would be a clear perversion of the function
of the criminal processes and of the courts of justice. And in Hawpia CA, G.R. No. L20047, June 30, 1967. 20 SCRA 536 the Court upheld the judgment against the
petitioner for actual and moral damages and attorney's fees after making a finding
that petitioner, with persistence, filed at least six criminal complaints against
respondent, all of which were dismissed.
To constitute malicious prosecution, there must be proof that the prosecution was
prompted by a design to vex and humiliate a person and that it was initiated
deliberately by the defendant knowing that the charges were false and groundless
[Manila Gas Corporation v. CA, G.R. No. L-44190, October 30,1980, 100 SCRA
602]. Concededly, the filing of a suit by itself, does not render a person liable for
malicious prosecution [Inhelder Corporation v. CA, G.R. No. 52358, May 301983122
SCRA 576]. The mere dismissal by the fiscal of the criminal complaint is not a
ground for an award of damages for malicious prosecution if there is no competent
evidence to show that the complainant had acted in bad faith [Sison v. David, G.R.
No. L-11268, January 28,1961, 1 SCRA 60].
In the instant case, however, the trial court made a finding that petitioners acted in
bad faith in filing the criminal complaints against Tobias, observing that:
xxx
Defendants (petitioners herein) filed with the Fiscal's Office of Manila a total of six
(6) criminal cases, five (5) of which were for estafa thru falsification of commercial
document and one for violation of Art. 290 of the Revised Penal Code "discovering
secrets thru seizure of correspondence," and all were dismissed for insufficiency or
lack of evidence." The dismissal of four (4) of the cases was appealed to the
Ministry of Justice, but said Ministry invariably sustained the dismissal of the cases.
As above adverted to, two of these cases were refiled with the Judge Advocate
General's Office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines to railroad plaintiffs arrest
and detention in the military stockade, but this was frustrated by a presidential
decree transferring criminal cases involving civilians to the civil courts.
xxx
To be sure, when despite the two (2) police reports embodying the findings of Lt.
Dioscoro Tagle, Chief Document Examiner of the Manila Police Department,
clearing plaintiff of participation or involvement in the fraudulent transactions

[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY. FAJARITO 2013400059] 11


complained of, despite the negative results of the lie detector tests which
defendants compelled plaintiff to undergo, and although the police investigation was
"still under follow-up and a supplementary report will be submitted after all the
evidence has been gathered," defendants hastily filed six (6) criminal cases with the
city Fiscal's Office of Manila, five (5) for estafa thru falsification of commercial
document and one (1) for violation of Art. 290 of the Revised Penal Code, so much
so that as was to be expected, all six (6) cases were dismissed, with one of the
investigating fiscals, Asst. Fiscal de Guia, commenting in one case that, "Indeed, the
haphazard way this case was investigated is evident. Evident likewise is the flurry
and haste in the filing of this case against respondent Tobias," there can be no
mistaking that defendants would not but be motivated by malicious and unlawful
intent to harass, oppress, and cause damage to plaintiff.
xxx
[RTC Decision, pp. 5-6; Rollo, pp. 235-236].
In addition to the observations made by the trial court, the Court finds it significant
that the criminal complaints were filed during the pendency of the illegal dismissal
case filed by Tobias against petitioners. This explains the haste in which the
complaints were filed, which the trial court earlier noted. But petitioners, to prove
their good faith, point to the fact that only six complaints were filed against Tobias
when they could have allegedly filed one hundred cases, considering the number of
anomalous transactions committed against GLOBE MACKAY. However, petitioners'
good faith is belied by the threat made by Hendry after the filing of the first
complaint that one hundred more cases would be filed against Tobias. In effect, the
possible filing of one hundred more cases was made to hang like the sword of
Damocles over the head of Tobias. In fine, considering the haste in which the
criminal complaints were filed, the fact that they were filed during the pendency of
the illegal dismissal case against petitioners, the threat made by Hendry, the fact
that the cases were filed notwithstanding the two police reports exculpating Tobias
from involvement in the anomalies committed against GLOBE MACKAY, coupled by
the eventual dismissal of all the cases, the Court is led into no other conclusion than
that petitioners were motivated by malicious intent in filing the six criminal
complaints against Tobias.
Petitioners next contend that the award of damages was excessive. In the complaint
filed against petitioners, Tobias prayed for the following: one hundred thousand
pesos (P100,000.00) as actual damages; fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) as
exemplary damages; eight hundred thousand pesos (P800,000.00) as moral
damages; fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) as attorney's fees; and costs. The trial
court, after making a computation of the damages incurred by Tobias [See RTC
Decision, pp. 7-8; Rollo, pp. 154-1551, awarded him the following: eighty thousand
pesos (P80,000.00) as actual damages; two hundred thousand pesos
(P200,000.00) as moral damages; twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) as
exemplary damages; thirty thousand pesos (P30,000.00) as attorney's fees; and,
costs. It must be underscored that petitioners have been guilty of committing several
actionable tortious acts, i.e., the abusive manner in which they dismissed Tobias
from work including the baseless imputation of guilt and the harassment during the
investigations; the defamatory language heaped on Tobias as well as the scornful
remark on Filipinos; the poison letter sent to RETELCO which resulted in Tobias'
loss of possible employment; and, the malicious filing of the criminal complaints.
Considering the extent of the damage wrought on Tobias, the Court finds that,

contrary to petitioners' contention, the amount of damages awarded to Tobias was


reasonable under the circumstances.
Yet, petitioners still insist that the award of damages was improper, invoking the
principle of damnum absque injuria. It is argued that "[t]he only probable actual
damage that plaintiff (private respondent herein) could have suffered was a direct
result of his having been dismissed from his employment, which was a valid and
legal act of the defendants-appellants (petitioners herein).lwph1.t " [Petition, p.
17; Rollo, p. 18].
According to the principle of damnum absque injuria, damage or loss which does
not constitute a violation of a legal right or amount to a legal wrong is not actionable
[Escano v. CA, G.R. No. L-47207, September 25, 1980, 100 SCRA 197; See also
Gilchrist v. Cuddy 29 Phil, 542 (1915); The Board of Liquidators v. Kalaw, G.R. No.
L-18805, August 14, 1967, 20 SCRA 987]. This principle finds no application in this
case. It bears repeating that even granting that petitioners might have had the right
to dismiss Tobias from work, the abusive manner in which that right was exercised
amounted to a legal wrong for which petitioners must now be held liable. Moreover,
the damage incurred by Tobias was not only in connection with the abusive manner
in which he was dismissed but was also the result of several other quasi-delictual
acts committed by petitioners.
Petitioners next question the award of moral damages. However, the Court has
already ruled in Wassmer v. Velez, G.R. No. L-20089, December 26, 1964, 12
SCRA 648, 653, that [p]er express provision of Article 2219 (10) of the New Civil
Code, moral damages are recoverable in the cases mentioned in Article 21 of said
Code." Hence, the Court of Appeals committed no error in awarding moral damages
to Tobias.
Lastly, the award of exemplary damages is impugned by petitioners. Although Article
2231 of the Civil Code provides that "[i]n quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be
granted if the defendant acted with gross negligence," the Court, in Zulueta v. Pan
American World Airways, Inc., G.R. No. L- 28589, January 8, 1973, 49 SCRA 1,
ruled that if gross negligence warrants the award of exemplary damages, with more
reason is its imposition justified when the act performed is deliberate, malicious and
tainted with bad faith. As in the Zulueta case, the nature of the wrongful acts shown
to have been committed by petitioners against Tobias is sufficient basis for the
award of exemplary damages to the latter.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED and the decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 09055 is AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 140420
February 15, 2001
SERGIO AMONOY, petitioner,
vs.
Spouses JOSE GUTIERREZ and ANGELA FORNIDA, respondents.
PANGANIBAN, J.:
Damnum absque injuria. Under this principle, the legitimate exercise of a person's
rights, even if it causes loss to another, does not automatically result in an
actionable injury. The law does not prescribe a remedy for the loss. This principle
does not, however, apply when there is an abuse of a person's right, or when the
exercise of this right is suspended or extinguished pursuant to a court order. Indeed,

in the availment of one's rights, one must act with justice, give their due, and
observe honesty and good faith
The Case
Before us is a Petition for Review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing the
April 21, 1999 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No. 41451,
which set aside the judgment2 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tanay, Rizal. The
RTC had earlier dismissed the Complaint for damages filed by herein respondents
against petitioner. The dispositive portion of the challenged CA Decision reads as
follows:
"WHEREFORE, the appealed Decision is SET ASIDE, and in its stead judgment is
rendered ordering the defendant-appellee Sergio Amonoy to pay the plaintiffsappellants bruno and Bernadina Gutierrez as actual damages the sum of [t]wo
[h]undred [f]ifty [t]housand [p]esos (P250,000.00)."3
Likewise assailed is the October 19, 1999 CA Resolution, 4 which denied the Motion
for Reconsideration.
The Facts
The appellate court narrated the factual antecedents of this case as follows:
"This case had its roots in Special Proceedings No. 3103 of Branch I of the CFI of
Pasig, Rizal, for the settlement of the estate of the deceased Julio Cantolos,
involving six(6) parcels of land situated in Tanay Rizal. Amonoy was the counsel of
therein Francisca Catolos, Agnes Catolos, Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formida.
On 12 January 1965, the Project of Partition submitted was approved and xxx two
(2) of the said lots were adjudicated to Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formilda.
The Attorney's fees charged by Amonoy was P27,600.00 and on 20 January 1965
Asuncion Pasamba and Alfonso Formida executed a deed of real estate mortgage
on the said two (2) lots adjudicated to them, in favor of Amonoy to secure the
payment of his attorney's fees. But it was only on 6 August 1969 after the taxes had
been paid, the claims settled and the properties adjudicated, that the estate was
declared closed and terminated.
"Asuncion Pasamba died on 24 February 1969 while Alfonso Fornilda passsed
away on 2 July 1969. Among the heirs of the latter was his daughter, plaintiffappellant Angela Gutierrez.
"Because his Attorney's fess thus secured by the two lots were not paid, on 21
January 1970 Amonoy filed for their foreclosure in Civil Code4 No. 12726 entitled
Sergio Amonoy vs. Heirs of Asuncion Pasamba and Heirs of Alfonso Fornilda before
the CFI of Pasig, Rizal, and this was assigned to Branch VIII. The heirs opposed,
contending that the attorney's fees charged [were] unconscionable and that the
attorney's fees charged [were] unconscionable and that the agreed sum was only
P11,695.92. But on 28 September 1972 judgment was rendered in favor of Amonoy
requiring the heirs to pay within 90 days the P27,600.00 secured by the mortgage,
P11,880.00 as value of the harvests, and P9,645.00 as another round of attorney's
fees. Failing in that, the two (2) lots would be sold at public auction.
"They failed to pay. On 6 February 1973, the said lots were foreclosed and on 23
March 1973 the auction sale was held where Amonoy was the highest bidder at
P23,760.00. On 2 May 1973 his bid was judicially confirmed. A deficiency was
claimed and to satisfy it another execution sale was conducted, and again the
highest bidder was Amonoy at P12,137.50.
"Included in those sold was the lot on which the Gutierrez spouses had their house.
"More than a year after the Decision in Civil Code No. 12726 was rendered, the said
decedent's heirs filed on 19 December 1973 before the CFI of Pasig, Rixal[,] Civil
case No. 18731 entitled Maria Penano, et al vs. Sergio Amonoy, et al, a suit for the

annulment thereof. The case was dismissed by the CFI on 7 November 1977, and
this was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on 22 July 1981.
"Thereafter, the CFI on 25 July 1985 issued a Writ of Possession and pursuant to
which a notice to vacate was made on 26 August 1985. On Amonoy's motion of 24
April 1986, the Orders of 25 April 1986 and 6 May 1986 were issued for the
demolition of structures in the said lots, including the house of the Gutierrez
spouses.
"On 27 September 1985 the petition entitled David Fornilda, et al vs Branch 164
RTC Ivth Pasig, Deputy Sheriff Joaquin Antonil and Atty. Sergio Amonoy, G.R. No.
L-72306, was filed before the Supreme Court. Among the petitioners was the
plaintiff-appellant Angela Gutierrez. On a twin musiyun (Mahigpit na Musiyon Para
Papanagutin Kaugnay ng Paglalapastangan) with full titles as fanciful and elongated
as their Petisyung (Petisyung Makapagsuri Taglay and Pagpigil ng Utos), a
temporary restraining order was granted on 2 June 1986 enjoining the demolition of
the petitioners' houses.
"Then on 5 October 1988 a Decision was rendered in the said G.R. No. L-72306
disposing that:
"WHEREFORE, Certiorari is granted; the Order of respondent Trial Court, dated 25
July 1985, granting a Writ of Possession, as well as its Orderd, dated 25 April 1986
and 16 May 1986, directing and authorizing respondent Sheriff to demolish the
houses of petitioners Angela and Leocadia Fornilda are hereby ordered returned to
petitioners unless some of them have been conveyed to innocent third persons."5
But by the time the Supreme Court promulgated the abovementioned Decision,
respondents' house had already been destroyed, supposedly in accordance with a
Writ of Demolition ordered by the lower court.
Thus, a Complaint for damages in connection with the destruction of their house
was filed by respondents against petitioner before the RTC on December 15, 1989.
In its January 27, 1993 Decision, the RTC dismissed respondents' suit. On appeal,
the CA set aside the lower court's ruling and ordered petitioner to pay respondents
P250,000 as actual damages. Petitioner then filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
which was also denied.
The Issue
In his Memorandum,7 petitioner submits this lone issue for our consideration:
"Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct was correct in deciding that the
petition [was] liable to the respondents for damages."8
The Court's Ruling
The Petition has no merit.
Main Issue:
Petitioner's Liability
Well-settled is the maxim that damage resulting from the legitimate exercise of a
person's rights is a loss without injury- damnum absque injuria - for which the law
gives no remedy.9 In other words, one who merely exercises one's rights does no
actionable injury and cannot be held liable for damages.
Petitioner invokes this legal precept in arguing that he is not liable for the demolition
of respondents' house. He maintains that he was merely acting in accordance with
the Writ of Demolition ordered by the RTC.
We reject this submission. Damnum absque injuria finds no application to this case.
True, petitioner commenced the demolition of respondents' house on May 30, 1986
under the authority of a Writ of Demolition issued by the RTC. But the records show
that a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), enjoining the demolition of respondents'
house, was issued by the Supreme Court on June 2, 1986. The CA also found,

[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY. FAJARITO 2013400059] 13


based on the Certificate of Service of the Supreme Court process server, that a
copy of the TRO was served on petitioner himself on June 4, 1986.
Petitioner, howeverm, did not heed the TRO of this Court. We agree with the CA that
he unlawfully pursued the demolition of respondents' house well until the middle of
1987. This is clear from Respondent Angela Gutierrez's testimony. The appellate
court quoted the following pertinent portion thereof:10
"Q.
On May 30, 1986, were they able to destroy your house?
"A.
Not all, a certain portion only
xxx
xxx
xxx
"Q.
Was your house completely demolished?
"A.
No, sir.
xxx
xxx
xxx
"Q.
Until when[,] Mrs. Witness?
"A.
Until 1987.
"Q.
About what month of 1987?
"A.
Middle of the year.
"Q.
Can you tell the Honorable Court who completed the demolition?
A.
The men of Fiscal Amonoy."11
The foregoing disproves the claim of petitioner that the demolition, which allegedly
commenced only on May 30, 1986, was completed the following day. It likewise
belies his allegation that the demolitions had already ceased when he received
notice of the TRO.
Although the acts of petitioner may have been legally justified at the outsset, their
continuation after the issuance of the TRO amounted to an insidious abuse of his
right. Indubitably, his actions were tainted with bad faith. Had he not insisted on
completing the demolition, respondents would not have suffered the loss that
engendered the suit before the RTC. Verily, his acts constituted not only an abuse
of a right, but an invalid exercise of a right that had been suspended when he
received thae TRO from this Court on June 4, 1986. By then he was no longer
entitled to proceed with the demolition.
A commentator on this topic explains:
"The exercise of a right ends when the right disappears, and it disappears when it is
abused, especially to the prejudice of others. The mask of a right without the spirit of
justcie which gives it life, is repugnant to the modern concept of social law. It cannot
be said that a person exercises a right when he unnecessarily prejudices another
xxx. Over and above the specific precepts of postive law are the supreme norms of
justice xxx; and he who violates them violates the law. For this reason it is not
permissible to abuse our rights to prejudice others."12
Likewise, in Albenson Enterprises Corp. v. CA,13 the Court discussed the concept of
abuse of rights as follows:
"Artilce 19, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the principle of abuse
of rights, sets certain standards which may be observed not only in the exercise of
one's rights but also in the performance of one's duties.These standards are the
following: to act with justice; to give everyone his due; recognizes the primordial
limitation on all rights: that in their exercise, the norms of human conduct set forth in
Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for
which the wrongdoer must be held responsible xxx."
Clearly then, the demolition of respondents' house by petitioner, despite his receipt
of the TRO, was not only an abuse but also an unlawful exercise of such right. In

insisting on his alleged right, he wantonly violated this Court's Order and wittingly
caused the destruction of respondents; house.1wphi1.nt
Obviously, petitioner cannot invoke damnum absque injuria, a principle premised on
the valid exercise of a right.14 Anything less or beyond such exercise will not give
rise to the legal protection that the principle accords. And when damage or prejudice
to another is occasioned thereby, liability cannot be obscured, much less abated.
In the ultimate analysis, petitioner's liability is premised on the obligation to repair or
to make whole the damage caused to another by reason of one's act or omission,
whether done intentionally or negligently and whether or not punishable by law.15
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the appealed Decision AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 132344
February 17, 2000
UNIVERSITY OF THE EAST, petitioner,
vs.
ROMEO A. JADER, respondent.
YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
May an educational institution be held liable for damages for misleading a student
into believing that the latter had satisfied all the requirements for graduation when
such is not the case? This is the issue in the instant petition for review premised on
the following undisputed facts as summarized by the trial court and adopted by the
Court of Appeals (CA),1 to wit:
Plaintiff was enrolled in the defendants' College of Law from 1984 up to 1988. In the
first semester of his last year (School year 1987-1988), he failed to take the regular
final examination in Practice Court I for which he was given an incomplete grade
(Exhibits "2", also Exhibit "H"). He enrolled for the second semester as fourth year
law student (Exhibit "A") and on February 1, 1988 he filed an application for the
removal of the incomplete grade given him by Professor Carlos Ortega (Exhibits "H2", also Exhibit "2") which was approved by Dean Celedonio Tiongson after
payment of the required fee. He took the examination on March 28, 1988. On May
30, 1988, Professor Carlos Ortega submitted his grade. It was a grade of five (5).
(Exhibits "H-4", also Exhibits "2-L", "2-N").1wphi1.nt
In the meantime, the Dean and the Faculty Members of the College of Law met to
deliberate on who among the fourth year students should be allowed to graduate.
The plaintiff's name appeared in the Tentative List of Candidates for graduation for
the Degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) as of Second Semester (1987-1988) with the
following annotation:
JADER ROMEO A.
Def. Conflict of Laws x-1-87-88, Practice Court I Inc., 1-87-88 C-1 to submit
transcript with S.O. (Exhibits "3", "3-C-1", "3-C-2").
The 35th Investitures & Commencement Ceremonies for the candidates of Bachelor
of Laws was scheduled on the 16th of April 1988 at 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon,
and in the invitation for that occasion the name of the plaintiff appeared as one of
the candidates. (Exhibits "B", "B-6", "B-6-A"). At the foot of the list of the names of
the candidates there appeared however the following annotation:
This is a tentative list Degrees will be conferred upon these candidates who
satisfactorily complete requirements as stated in the University Bulletin and as

approved of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (Exhibit "B-7-A").


The plaintiff attended the investiture ceremonies at F. dela Cruz Quadrangle, U.E.,
Recto Campus, during the program of which he went up the stage when his name
was called, escorted by her (sic) mother and his eldest brother who assisted in
placing the Hood, and his Tassel was turned from left to right, and he was thereafter
handed by Dean Celedonio a rolled white sheet of paper symbolical of the Law
Diploma. His relatives took pictures of the occasion (Exhibits "C" to "C-6", "D-3" to
"D-11").
He tendered a blow-out that evening which was attended by neighbors, friends and
relatives who wished him good luck in the forthcoming bar examination. There were
pictures taken too during the blow-out (Exhibits "D" to "D-1").
He thereafter prepared himself for the bar examination. He took a leave of absence
without pay from his job from April 20, 1988 to September 30, 1988 (Exhibit "G") and
enrolled at the pre-bar review class in Far Eastern University. (Exhibits "F" to "F-2").
Having learned of the deficiency he dropped his review class and was not able to
take the bar examination.2
Consequently, respondent sued petitioner for damages alleging that he suffered
moral shock, mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded
feelings and sleepless nights when he was not able to take the 1988 bar
examinations arising from the latter's negligence. He prayed for an award of moral
and exemplary damages, unrealized income, attorney's fees, and costs of suit.
In its answer with counterclaim, petitioner denied liability arguing mainly that it never
led respondent to believe that he completed the requirements for a Bachelor of
Laws degree when his name was included in the tentative list of graduating
students. After trial, the lower court rendered judgment as follows:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the
plaintiff and against the defendant ordering the latter to pay plaintiff the sum of
THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY PESOS (P35,470.00) with
legal rate of interest from the filing of the complaint until fully paid, the amount of
FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) as attorney's fees and the cost of suit.
Defendant's counterclaim is, for lack of merit, hereby dismissed.
SO ORDERED.3
which on appeal by both parties was affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) with
modification. The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads:
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the lower Court's Decision is hereby
AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that defendant-appellee, in addition to the sum
adjudged by the lower court in favor of plaintiff-appellant, is also ORDERED to pay
plaintiff-appellant the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS for moral
damages. Costs against defendant-appellee.
SO ORDERED.4
Upon the denial of its motion for reconsideration, petitioner UE elevated the case to
this Court on a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, arguing that it
has no liability to respondent Romeo A. Jader, considering that the proximate and
immediate cause of the alleged damages incurred by the latter arose out of his own
negligence in not verifying from the professor concerned the result of his removal
exam.
The petition lacks merit.
When a student is enrolled in any educational or learning institution, a contract of
education is entered into between said institution and the student. The professors,
teachers or instructors hired by the school are considered merely as agents and
administrators tasked to perform the school's commitment under the contract. Since

the contracting parties are the school and the student, the latter is not duty-bound to
deal with the former's agents, such as the professors with respect to the status or
result of his grades, although nothing prevents either professors or students from
sharing with each other such information. The Court takes judicial notice of the
traditional practice in educational institutions wherein the professor directly furnishes
his/her students their grades. It is the contractual obligation of the school to timely
inform and furnish sufficient notice and information to each and every student as to
whether he or she had already complied with all the requirements for the
conferment of a degree or whether they would be included among those who will
graduate. Although commencement exercises are but a formal ceremony, it
nonetheless is not an ordinary occasion, since such ceremony is the educational
institution's way of announcing to the whole world that the students included in the
list of those who will be conferred a degree during the baccalaureate ceremony
have satisfied all the requirements for such degree. Prior or subsequent to the
ceremony, the school has the obligation to promptly inform the student of any
problem involving the latter's grades and performance and also most importantly, of
the procedures for remedying the same.
Petitioner, in belatedly informing respondent of the result of the removal
examination, particularly at a time when he had already commenced preparing for
the bar exams, cannot be said to have acted in good faith. Absence of good faith
must be sufficiently established for a successful prosecution by the aggrieved party
in a suit for abuse of right under Article 19 of the Civil Code. Good faith connotes an
honest intention to abstain from taking undue advantage of another, even though
the forms and technicalities of the law, together with the absence of all information
or belief of facts, would render the transaction unconscientious. 5 It is the school that
has access to those information and it is only the school that can compel its
professors to act and comply with its rules, regulations and policies with respect to
the computation and the prompt submission of grades. Students do not exercise
control, much less influence, over the way an educational institution should run its
affairs, particularly in disciplining its professors and teachers and ensuring their
compliance with the school's rules and orders. Being the party that hired them, it is
the school that exercises general supervision and exclusive control over the
professors with respect to the submission of reports involving the students' standing.
Exclusive control means that no other person or entity had any control over the
instrumentality which caused the damage or injury.6
The college dean is the senior officer responsible for the operation of an academic
program, enforcement of rules and regulations, and the supervision of faculty and
student services.7 He must see to it that his own professors and teachers,
regardless of their status or position outside of the university, must comply with the
rules set by the latter. The negligent act of a professor who fails to observe the rules
of the school, for instance by not promptly submitting a student's grade, is not only
imputable to the professor but is an act of the school, being his employer.
Considering further, that the institution of learning involved herein is a university
which is engaged in legal education, it should have practiced what it inculcates in its
students, more specifically the principle of good dealings enshrined in Articles 19
and 20 of the Civil Code which states:
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of
his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good
faith.
Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to
another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.

[TORTS FULL CASES: ATTY. FAJARITO 2013400059] 15


Art. 19 was intended to expand the concept of torts by granting adequate legal
remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human
foresight to provide specifically in statutory law.8 In civilized society, men must be
able to assume that others will do them no intended injury that others will commit
no internal aggressions upon them; that their fellowmen, when they act affirmatively
will do so with due care which the ordinary understanding and moral sense of the
community exacts and that those with whom they deal in the general course of
society will act in good faith. The ultimate thing in the theory of liability is justifiable
reliance under conditions of civilized society.9 Schools and professors cannot just
take students for granted and be indifferent to them, for without the latter, the former
are useless.
Educational institutions are duty-bound to inform the students of their academic
status and not wait for the latter to inquire from the former. The conscious
indifference of a person to the rights or welfare of the person/persons who may be
affected by his act or omission can support a claim for damages. 10 Want of care to
the conscious disregard of civil obligations coupled with a conscious knowledge of
the cause naturally calculated to produce them would make the erring party liable. 11
Petitioner ought to have known that time was of the essence in the performance of
its obligation to inform respondent of his grade. It cannot feign ignorance that
respondent will not prepare himself for the bar exams since that is precisely the
immediate concern after graduation of an LL.B. graduate. It failed to act seasonably.
Petitioner cannot just give out its student's grades at any time because a student
has to comply with certain deadlines set by the Supreme Court on the submission of
requirements for taking the bar. Petitioner's liability arose from its failure to promptly
inform respondent of the result of an examination and in misleading the latter into
believing that he had satisfied all requirements for the course. Worth quoting is the
following disquisition of the respondent court:
It is apparent from the testimony of Dean Tiongson that defendant-appellee
University had been informed during the deliberation that the professor in Practice
Court I gave plaintiff-appellant a failing grade. Yet, defendant-appellee still did not
inform plaintiff-appellant of his failure to complete the requirements for the degree
nor did they remove his name from the tentative list of candidates for graduation.
Worse, defendant-appellee university, despite the knowledge that plaintiff-appellant
failed in Practice Court I, again included plaintiff-appellant's name in the "tentative
list of candidates for graduation which was prepared after the deliberation and which
became the basis for the commencement rites program. Dean Tiongson reasons
out that plaintiff-appellant's name was allowed to remain in the tentative list of
candidates for graduation in the hope that the latter would still be able to remedy the

situation in the remaining few days before graduation day. Dean Tiongson, however,
did not explain how plaintiff appellant Jader could have done something to complete
his deficiency if defendant-appellee university did not exert any effort to inform
plaintiff-appellant of his failing grade in Practice Court I.12
Petitioner cannot pass on its blame to the professors to justify its own negligence
that led to the delayed relay of information to respondent. When one of two innocent
parties must suffer, he through whose agency the loss occurred must bear it. 13 The
modern tendency is to grant indemnity for damages in cases where there is abuse
of right, even when the act is not illicit. 14 If mere fault or negligence in one's acts can
make him liable for damages for injury caused thereby, with more reason should
abuse or bad faith make him liable. A person should be protected only when he acts
in the legitimate exercise of his right, that is, when he acts with prudence and in
good faith, but not when he acts with negligence or abuse.15
However, while petitioner was guilty of negligence and thus liable to respondent for
the latter's actual damages, we hold that respondent should not have been awarded
moral damages. We do not agree with the Court of Appeals' findings that
respondent suffered shock, trauma and pain when he was informed that he could
not graduate and will not be allowed to take the bar examinations. At the very least,
it behooved on respondent to verify for himself whether he has completed all
necessary requirements to be eligible for the bar examinations. As a senior law
student, respondent should have been responsible enough to ensure that all his
affairs, specifically those pertaining to his academic achievement, are in order.
Given these considerations, we fail to see how respondent could have suffered
untold embarrassment in attending the graduation rites, enrolling in the bar review
classes and not being able to take the bar exams. If respondent was indeed
humiliated by his failure to take the bar, he brought this upon himself by not verifying
if he has satisfied all the requirements including his school records, before preparing
himself for the bar examination. Certainly, taking the bar examinations does not only
entail a mental preparation on the subjects thereof; there are also prerequisites of
documentation and submission of requirements which the prospective examinee
must meet.
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION. Petitioner is ORDERED to PAY respondent the sum of Thirty-five
Thousand Four Hundred Seventy Pesos (P35,470.00), with legal interest of 6% per
annum computed from the date of filing of the complaint until fully paid; the amount
of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) as attorney's fees; and the costs of the suit.
The award of moral damages is DELEIED.1wphi1.nt
SO ORDERED.