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University of the Cordilleras COLLEGE OF LAW Baguio City

Atty. Stephanie Rachel P. Castro, Professor


TORTS AND DAMAGES
Case Digests
3rd Year Special Section
STUDENT NAME 1. PASCUA, JAYBEE D. 2. DAMPAG, JONELLA 3. APPAG, ANNIELYN 4. AGPAD
, AMALIA 5. SANTUCAY, ANNABEL 6. ELAD, MARCIAL 7. GANO, JEVAN KLAIRE 8. URBANO-B
ALMEO, MAURYNE FE 9. LAURENA, AUGUSTU RAY ANTHONY 10. SANTOS, RYAN 11. VALDEZ, L
UIGI 12. ATANACIO, ZINNIA FARICA MAY 13. LACMAA, FRECHIE 14. TAMANG, SWITLE MAE
A. 15. URBANOZO, LAIRD DIONEL N. 16. DELA ROSA, JOHN ROME 17. BARCELON, FREDERIC
K 18. MANGANIP, WINNIE 19. TABUZO, MAE ABEGAIL 20. CASIL, LEO ANGELO 21. RODRIGU
EZ-ARORONG, LALAINE 22. PUBLICO, LOVELI ANNE 23. BARONA, SHERIELYN 24. HIRANG, L
EOMARIE 25. BALAGOT, JESSIE 26. BASUNGIT, ANTONIO 27. PIAGA, RICHARD 28. APIDCHO
R, EMERSON 29. PACIO, MANUEL 30. BAYTAN, ROGELIO
DIGESTED CASES 1-8 9-16 17-24 25-32 33-41 42-50 51-59 60-68 69-77 78-86 87-95 96
-104 105-113 114-122 123-131 132-139 140-149 150-158 159-167 168-176 177-185 186
-190, 1, 1-3 4-12 13-21 22-30 31-39 40-48 49-57 58-67 68-76
TABLE OF CONTENTS I. QUASI-DELICT 1. NAGUIAT VS. NLRC, 269 SCRA 564(1997) 2. PNB
VS. CA, ET AL. 83 SCRA 237 3. SILA VS. PERALTA, 110 PHIL 57 4. ALBENSON ENTERPR
ISES CORP. VS. CA, 217 SCRA 16(1993) 5. ELCANO AND ELCANO VS. HILL AND HILL, 77
SCRA 98 6. VIRATA VS OCHOA, 81 SCRA 472 7. ANDAMO VS. CA 191 SCRA 195 8. DULAY V
S. CA, APRIL 31, 1995 9. WYLIE VS. RARANG, 209 SCRA 327 10. PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION
, INC. VS IAC, 148 SCRA 353(1987) 11. QUISABA VS. STA INES-MELALE VENEER AND PLY
WOOD, INC., 58 SCRA 771 12. GATCHALIAN VS. DELIM, 203 SCRA 126, 137 (1991) 13. T
UPAS VS. CA, 193 SCRA 597, 602 (1991) 14. GILCHRIST VS. CUDDY, 29 PHIL. 542 (191
5) 15. GELUZ VS. CA, 2 SCRA 802 (1961) 16. PNB VS. CA, 83 SCRA 237(1978) 17. NATL
IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION VS. IAC, 214 SCRA 35(1992) 18. PHILIP S. YU VS. HONOR
ABLE CA, 217 SCRA 328(1993) 19. GILCHRIST VS. CUDDY, 24 PHIL 471 (1913) 20. ILOL
ILO COLD STORES CO. VS. MUNICIPAL COUNSEL, 24 PHIL 471 21. DE AYALA VS. BARRETTO
, 33 PHIL 538 22. SANRAFAEL HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC. VS. CITY OF MANILA, 46
SCRA 40 23. TAYLOR VS. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, 16 PHIL 8 24. ALGARRA VS. SANDEJ
AS. 27 PHIL. 284 25. TAYAG, SR. VS. ALCANTARA, 98 SCRA 723 26. VERAGARA VS. CA,
154 SCRA 564 27. ANDAMO VS. IAC, 191 SCRA 195 28. PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE VS. CA,
269 SCRA 695 29. RAKES VS. ATLANTIC GULF AND PACIFIC CO., 7 PHIL 359 30. BARRED
O AND GARCIA VS. ALMARIO, 73 PHIL 607 31. DIANA AND DIANA VS. BATANGAS TRANSPORT
ATION CO., 93 PHIL 391 32. CARPIO VS. DAROJA, 180 SCRA 1 33. FAR EAST BANK AND T
RUST CO. VS. CA, 240 SCRA 348 34. LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY ET SL. VS. MARJOR
IE NATIVIDAD, ET AL., FEBRUARY 6, 2003 35. AIR FRANCE VS. CARRASCOSO, SEPTEMBER
28, 1966 36. LAYUGAN VS. IAP, 167 SCRA 363 37. VALENZUELA VS. CA, 253 SCRA 303 3
8. ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL VS. CA, 194 SCRA 341, 356-357(1991) 39. VALENZUELA VS
. CA, 253 SCRA 303 40. ONG VS. METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT, 104 PHIL 398 41. CIV
IL AERONAUTICS ADM. VS. CA, & ERNEST E. SIMKE, NOV. 8, 1998 42. FAR EASTERN SHIP
PING COMPANY VS. CA, 297 SCRA 30 43. PEOPLE VS. RAMIREZ, 48 PHIL 204 44. ADZUARA
VS. CA, 301 SCRA 657 45. MCKEE VS. IAC, 211 SCRA 517 46. MANILA ELECTRIC CO., V
S. REMOQUILLO, 99 PHIL 117(1956)
47. BULILAN VS. COMMISSIO ON AUDIT, 285 SCRA 445(1998) 48. ASTUDILLO VS. MANILA
ELECTRIC CO., 55 PHIL 427 49. NATL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION VS. IAC, 214 SCRA 35
(1992) 50. UNITES STATES VS. CLEMENTE, 24 PHIL 178 51. VALENZUELA VS. CA, 253 SC
RA 303, 1996 52. PLDT COMPANY, INC. VS. CA, G.R. 57079, SEPT. 29, 1989 53. PHILI
PPINE NATIONAL RAILWAY VS. IAC, 217 SCRA 409(1993) 54. TAYLOR VS. MANILA ELECTRI
C RAILROD AND LIGHT CO., 16 PHIL 8 55. JARCO MARKETING CORP. VS. HON. CA, G.R. 1
29792, DEC. 21, 1999 56. JULIAN DEL ROSARIO VS. MANILA ELECTRIC CO., 57 PHIL 478
(1932) 57. FEDERICO YLARDE VS. EDGARDO AQUINO, 163 SCRA 697(1988) 58. FAR EASTER
N SHIPPING CO. VS. CA, 297 SCRA 30(1998) 59. CULION ICE AND ELECTRIC CO. VS. PHI
L. MOTORS CORP., 955 PHIL 129(1930) 60. E.M. WRIGHT VS. MANILA ELECTRIC R.R. & L
IGHT CO., G.R. 7760(1914) 61. PRECIOLITA V. CORLISS VS. THE MANILA RAILROAD CO.,
27 SCRA 674(1969) 62. VICTORINO CUSI & PILAR POBRE VS. PHIL. NATL RAILWAYS, G.R.
L-29889, MAY 31, 1979 63. MARINDUQUE IRON MINES AGENTS, INC. VS. THE WORKMENS CO
MPENSATION COMMISSION, 99 PHIL 480 (1956) 64. CIPRIANO VS. CA, 263 SCRA 71(1996)
65. F.F CRUZ AND COM.,INC VA. CA, 164 SCRA 733(1988) 66. HONORIA DELGADO VDA. D
E GRAGORIO VS. GO CHONG BING, 102 PHIL 556(1957) 67. SANITARY STEAM LAUNDRY, INC
. VS. CA, 300 SCRA 20(1998) 68. VDA. DE GREGORIO VS. GO CHING BING, 102 PHIL 556
(1957) 69. NEGROS NAVIGATIO CO., INC. VS. CA, G.R. 110398, NOV. 7, 1997 70. BENG
UET ELECTRIC COOP., INC. VS. CA, G.R. 127326, DEC 23, 1999 71. MA-AO SUGAR CENTR
AL CO. INC. VS. CA, G.R. 83491, AUG. 27, 1990 72. ROGELIO RAMOS VS. CA, G.R. 124
354, DEC. 29, 1999 73. D.M. CONSUNJI, INC. VS. CA, G.R. 137873, APL 20, 2001 74.
BATIQUIN VS. CA, 258 SCRA 334 (1996) 75. CEBU SHIPYARD AND ENGINEERING WORKS VS
. WILLIAM LINES, G.R. 132607, MAY 5, 1999 76. GOTESCO INVESTMENT CORP. VS. CHATT
O, 210 SCRA 18(1992) 77. DRA. ABDULIA RODRIGUEZ VS. CA, G.R. 121964, JUNE 17, 19
97 78. WINDVALLEY SHIPPING CO. VS. CA, G.R. 119602, OCT 6, 2000 79. ESPIRITU VS.
PHIL. POWER AND DEV. CO., G.R. L-3240-R, SEPT 20, 1949 80. RADIO COMMUNICATIONS
OF THE PHILIPPINES INC. VS. CA, G.R. L-44748, AUG. 29, 1986 81. CUSTODIO VS. CA
, 253 SCRA 483 82. CABIGAO VS. UNIV. OF THE EAST, C.A. G.R. 33554-R, AUG 224, 19
73 83. DANGWA TRASPORTATION CO., INC. VS CA, 202 SCRA 575 84. LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT
AUTHORITY VS. NATIVIDAD, G.R. 145804, FEB 6, 2003 85. HIDALGO ENTERPRISES VS. B
ALANDAN, 91 PHIL 488(1952) 86. ANDAMO VS. IAC, 191 SCRA 195 (1990) 87. ROMMAN EN
TERPRISES, INC. VS. CA, G.R. 125018, APL 6, 2000 88. JULITA VDA. DE SEVERO VS. F
ELECIANO, 157 SCRA 446 (1988) 89. PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE VS. CA, 269 SCRA 695(19
97) 90. METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST CO. VS. CA, 237 SCRA 761(1994) 91. PILIPINAS B
ANK OF COMMERCE VS. CA, 269 SCRA 695(1997)
92. TABACALERA INSURANCE CO. VS. NORTH FRONT SHIPPING SERVICES INC., 272 SCRA 57
2(1997) 93. BALIWAG TRANSIT, INC. VS CA, 256 SCRA 746(1996) 94. FABRE JR VS. CA,
259 SCRA 426 (1996) 95. REYES VS. SISTERS OF MERCY HOSPITAL, 341 SCRA 760(2000)
96. DR. NINEVETCH CUZ VS. CA, 282 SCRA 188(1997) 97. ROGELIO RAMOS VS. CA, G.R.
124354, DEC 29, 1999 98. GARCIA-RUEDA vs. PASCASIO, 278 SCRA 769 99. DOMINGA RO
QUE vs. MAGTANGGOL C. GUNIGUNDO, 89 SCRA 178(1979) 100. RAYNERA vs. HICETA , G.R
. No. 120027, April 21, 1999 101. PLDT vs. CA, G.R. No. L-57079, September 29, 1
989 102. KIM vs. PHILIPPINE AERIAL TAXI CO., 58 Phil. 838 103. PHIL. COMMERCIAL
INTL BANK vs. CA, G.R. No. 121413, Jan 29, 2001 104. NPC vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 22
2 SCRA 415 105. SOUTHEASTERN COLLEGE, INC. vs. CA, G.R. 126389, July 10, 1998 10
6. ILOCOS NORTE ELECTRIC COMPANY vs. CA, 179 SCRA 5(1989) 107. PLEASANTVILLE DEVT
CORPORATION vs. CA, 253 SCRA 10(1996) 108. YOBIDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 281 SCR
A 1(1997) 109. KRAMER, JR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 178 SCRA 518(1989) 110. RAYNERA
vs. HICETA, 306 SCRA 102(1999) 111. PHIL. RABBIT BUS LINES, INC. vs. IAC, G.R.
Nos. 66102-04, Aug 30, 1990 112. FILOMENO URBANO, vs. HON. IAC AND PEOPLE, G.R.
No. 72964, January 7, 1988 113. GLAN PEOPLE S LUMBER AND HARDWARE vs. IAC, G.R.
70493, May 18, 1989 114. ROGELIO ENGADA vs. HON. CA, G.R. No. 140698. June 20, 2
003 115. PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC. VS. MARICAR BAESA, G.R. NOS. 79050-51. NO
VEMBER 14, 1989 116. LBC AIR CARGO, INC., VS. HON. CA. 241 SCRA 619(1995) 117. S
AUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 297 SCRA 469(1998) 118. GLOBE MACKAY
CABLE AND RADIO CORP vs. THE HON. CA, 176 SCRA 778(1989) 119. LLORENTE vs. THE
SANDIGANBAYAN, 202 SCRA 309(1991) 120. ARTURO VALENZUELA vs. THE HON. CA, G.R. N
o. 83122 (1990), 190 SCRA 1 121. AMONOY vs. GUTIERREZ, G.R. No. 140420. February
15, 2001 122. JOSUE ARLEGUI vs. HON. CA, G.R. No. 126437 , March 6, 2002 123. P
ETROPHIL CORP vs. CA, G.R. No. 122796, December 10, 2001 124. VIRGINIA M. ANDRAD
E vs. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. 127932, 2001 125. UNI. OF THE EAST vs. JADER, G.R.
No. 132344, Feb 17, 2000 126. GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH vs. HON. CA, G.R. No. 97336 F
eb 19, 1993 127. MARILYN L. BERNARDO vs. NLRC, March 15, 1996 128. DRILON vs. CO
URT OF APPEALS, 270 SCRA 211(1997) 129. PONCE vs. LEGASPI, 208 SCRA 377(1992) 13
0. YASOA vs. RODENCIO ET. AL, G.R. No. 156339, October 6, 2004 131. PATRICIO vs.
LEVISTE, G.R. No. L-51832 April 26, 1989 132. MARIA FORD VS COURT OF APPEALS, G.
R. NO. 51171-72(1990) 133. ERLINDA ILUSIO VS ERLINDA BIDNER, G.R. No. 139789(200
0) 134. BLAS OPLE VS. RUBEN TORRES, G.R. NO. 127685, JULY 23, 1998 135. AYER PRO
DUCTIONS PTY. VS. CAPULONG, G.R. No. 820380, APL 29, 1988 136. RODRIGO CONCEPCIO
N VS CA, G.R. 120706, JAN 31, 2000 137. MVRS VS. ISLAMIC DAWAH COUNCIL, 396 SCRA
210(2003) 138. INTL SCHOOL ALLIANCE OF EDUCATORS VS. QUISUMBING AND INTERNATIONAL
SCHOOL, G.R. 128846(2000)
139. BIBOSO VS. JUDGE OSMUNDO M. VILLANUEVA, 2001 140. PHIL. AEOLUS AUTO-MOTIVE
UNITED CORP. VS. NLRC, G.R. 124617, 2000 141. OBRA VS CA, G.R. NO. 120852, OCTOB
ER 28, 1999 142. SERRANO VS NIRC, G.R. NO. 117040, JANUARY 27, 2000 143. ABERCA
VS MAJ. GEN. FABIAN VER, G.R. NO. L-96866, APRIL 15, 1988 144. ALONZO VS CA, 241
SCRA 51, 1995 145. SAZON VS CA, 255 SCRA 692, 1996 146. BORJAL VS CA, G.R. NO.
126466, JANUARY 14, 1999 147. OCCENA VS ICAMINA, 181 SCRA 328(1990) 148. PEOPLE
VS DEVARAS, 228 SCRA 482(1993) 149. PEOPLE VS BAYOTAS, 236 SCRA 239(1994) 150. V
ILLEGAS vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 217 SCRA 148(1997) 151. AVELINO CASUPANAN vs. MARI
O LLAVORE LAROYA, G.R. 14539(1992) 152. RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING CORP. vs. PEOPLE,
G.R. 129029(2000) 153. RUBEN MANIAGO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. 104392(1996) 154
. TAMARGO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 209 SCRA 518(1992) 155. LIBI VS IAC, 214 SCRA 16
(1992) 156. ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL VS. CA, 194 SCRA 341(1991) 157. SOLIMAN VS..
TUAZON, 209 SCRA 47(1992) 158. JOSE S. AMADORA vs. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R. L-477
45(1988) 159. PHIL. SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION VS. CA, 205 SCRA 729 160.
ST. MARYS ACADEMY vs. WILLIAM CARPITANOS, Feb. 6, 2002, G.R. No. 143363. 161. VIC
TORY LINER, INC. vs.HEIRS OF ANDRES MALECDAN, December 27, 2002, G. R. No. 15427
8 162. MARTIN vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 205 SCRA 591(1992) 163. CARTICIANO v. NUVAL,
September 28, 2000, G.R. No. 138054. 164. FGU INSURANCE CORPORATION VS.CA, 287
SCRA 719(1998) 165. PILIPINAS SHELL PETROLEUM CORP. vs. CA, 221 SCRA 389 (1993)
166. NPC vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 294 SCRA 209(1998) 167. FILAMER CHRISTIAN INSTITU
TE vs. IAC, 212 SCRA 637(1992) 168. METRO MANILA TRANSIT CORP vs. CA, G.R. 14108
9(2002) 169. SANITARY STEAM LAUNDRY, INC. vs. CA, 300 SCRA 20(1998) 170. ERNESTO
PLEYTO vs. MARIA D. LOMBOY, G.R. No. 148737. June 16, 2004 171. ERNESTO SYKI vs
. SALVADOR BEGASA, G.R. No. 149149. October 23, 2003 172. FIGURACION VDA. DE MAG
LANA, vs. CONSOLACION, G.R. No. 60506, August 6, 1992 173. CONRADO AGUILAR, SR.
vs. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, G.R. No. 128705. June 29, 2001 174. EQUITABLE LEASI
NG CORP. VS. LUCITA SUYON, G.R. 143360, 2002 175. 1ST MALAYAN LEASING AND FINANC
E CORP vs. CA, 209 SCRA 660(1992) 176. NOSTRADAMUS VILLANUEVA VS. DOMINGO, GR NO
. 144274. SEPT 20, 2004 177. ABELARDO LIM VS CA, G.R. 125817(2002) 178. CARPIO V
S DOROJA, 180 SCRA 1(1989) 179. FRANCO VS IAC, 178 SCRA 331(198) 180. YONAHA VS
CA, 255 SCRA 397(1996) 181. GUILATCO VS CITY OF DAGUPAN, G.R. 61516(1989) 182. P
URITA MIRANDA VESTIL VS IAC, G.R. 74431(1989) 183. THE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION OF
EL DEPOSITO, BARRIO CORAZON DE JESUS, SAN JUAN RIZAL VS. LOOD, 47 SCRA 174 184.
FARRALES VS CITY MAYOR OF BAGUIO, 44 SCRA 239
185. SANGALANG VS IAC, 1989 186. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILIPPINES, INC., vs. CA, 2
27 SCRA 293(1993) 187. VIRGILIO M. DEL ROSARIO VS. CA, G.R. NO. 118325, JAN. 29,
1997 188. PHILIP S. YU VS. CA, G.R. NO. 86683 JANUARY 21, 1993 189. SO PING BUN
vs. CA, G.R. No. 120554 September 21, 1999 190. GARCIA vs. CORONA, 321 SCRA 218
(1999) II. DAMAGES 1. PEOPLE vs. BALLESTEROS, 285 SCRA 438(1998) 1. BARITUA vs.
COURT OF APPEALS , 267 SCRA 331(1997) 2. HEIRS OF SIMEON BORLADO vs. COURT OF AP
PEALS, 363 SCRA 753 3. CUSTODIO vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 252 SCRA 483(1996) 4. PHIL
IPPINE RACING CLUB, vs. BONIFACIO, 109 SCRA 233 5. AUYONG HIAN vs. COURT OF TAX
APPEALS, 59 SCRA 110 6. FAROLAN vs. SOLMAC MARKETING CORPORATION, 1991 7. SABA V
S. COURT OF APPEALS, 189 SCRA 50(1990) 8. SPOUSES CRISTINO and BRIGIDA CUSTODIO
vs. CA, 253 SCRA 483 9. CASTRO vs. ACRO TAXICAB CO., INC., 82 SCRA 369 10. PNOC
SHIPPING AND TRANSPORT CORP. vs. HON. CA, 297 SCRA 402(1998) 11. INTEGRATED PACK
AGING CORP vs. COURT OF APPEALS, 333 SCRA 170(2000) 12. KIERULF vs. COURT OF APP
EALS, 269 SCRA 433; March 13, 1997 13. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, vs.C
A, (249 SCRA 331) (1995) 14. LUFTHANZA GERMAN AIRLINES VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 243
SCRA 600(1995) 15. BARZAGA, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, (258 SCRA105) (1997) 16. PEOP
LE vs. GUTIERREZ , (258SCRA70) (1996) 17. GATCHALIAN V DELIM, 203 SCRA 126FELICI
ANO; October 21, 1991 18. RAAGAS vs TRAYA (22 SCRA 839) (1968) 19. FUENTES VS CO
URT OF APPEALS (323 PHIL 508) (1996) 20. SUMMA INSURANCE CORPORATION vs. CA (310
Phil. 367) (1996) 21. TALISAY SILAY V ASSOCIACION (247 SCRA 361) (1996) 22. DAY
WALT vs. LA CORPORACION DE LOS PADRES AGUSTINOS RECOLETOS, 69 Phil 587 23. CHING
vs. COURT OF APPEALS, (181 SCRA 455, January 11, 1990) 24. LUZON CONCRETE PRODU
CTS, INC., vs. COURT OF APPEALS, (135 SCRA 455) 25. KAIRUZ vs. PACIO, 108 PHIL.
1097 26. ROGELIO E. RAMOS vs. CA, [G.R. No. 124354. December 29, 1999]. 27. SPS.
RENATO S. ONG VS. CA, [G.R. NO. 117103. JANUARY 21, 1999] 28. MANZANARES vs. MO
RETA, (38 Phil 823) 29. GREGORIO PESTAO V. SPOUSES PAZ, G.R. NO. 139875 - DECEMBE
R 4, 2000 30. MONZON, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (169 SCRA 76 [1989]) 31.
PEOPLE VS SUITOS, 220 SCRA 420(1993) 32. PEOPLE VS CORDERO, 263 SCRA 122(1996) 3
3. PEOPLE VS ARINGUE, 283 SCRA 291(1997) 34. PEOPLE VS GALVEZ, 355 SCRA 256(2001
)
35. PLEYTO VS LOMBOY, G.R. NO. 148737, JUNE 16, 2004 36. PEOPLE VS MATARO, G.R.
NO. 130378(2001) 37. PEOPLE VS NULLAN, 305 SCRA 679(1999) 38. PEOPLE VS LISTERIO
, GR. NO. 122099, JULY 5, 2000 39. PEOPLE VS SANCHEZ, 313 SCRA 694(1999) 40. PEO
PLE vs. EFREN MINDANAO, G.R. 123095, JULY 6, 2000 41. PEOPLE vs. VERDE, 302 SCRA
690(1999) 42. PEOPLE vs. Pedro Perreras, G.R. 139622, JULY 31, 2000 43. PEOPLE
vs. UGANAP, G.R. 130605, JUNE 19, 2001 44. SMITH BELL DODWELL SHIPPING AGENCY CO
RP. vs. BORJA , G.R. 143008(2002) 45. PEOPLE vs. ELGER GUZMAN, G.R. 132750(2001)
46. PEOPLE vs. MAYOR ANTONIO L. SANCHEZ, G.R. 121039(2001) 47. PESTAO vs. Spouse
s SUMAYANG, G.R. 139875(2000) 48. CONSOLIDATED DAIRY PRODUCTS CO vs. COURT OF ,
210 SCRA 810(1992) 49. ALGARRA VS. SANDEJAS, 27 PHIL. 284 50. QUIRANTE VS. IAC,
G.R. 73886(1989) 51. AGUSTIN VS. CA, JUNE 6, 1990 52. BICARME VS. CA, JUNE 6, 19
90 53. PEOPLE VS. BERGANTE, 286 SCRA 629(1998) 54. CRISMINA GARMENTS, INC., VS.
CA, G.R. 12872(1999) 55. BAUTISTA VS. MANGALDAN RURAL BANK, INC., 230 SCRA 16(19
94) 56. ZENITH INSURANCE CORPORATION. VS. CA, 185 SCRA 398(1990) 57. COMPAIA MARI
TIMA VS. ALLIED FREE WORKERS UNION, 77 SCRA 24 58. DEL ROSARIO VS COURT OF APPEA
LS, 267 SCRA 58(1997) 59. PEOPLE VS BUGAYONG, G.R.NO. 126518(1998) 60. ST. PETER
MEMORIAL PARK, INC. VS CLEOFAS, 92 SCRA 389 61. EXPERT TRAVEL AND TOURS, INC. V
S COURT OF APPEALS, G.R.N NO. 130030 62. J MARKETING CORPORATION VS SIA JR., 258 S
CRA 580(1998) 63. INDUSTRIAL INSURANCE CO. VS PABLO BONDAD, G.R.NO. 136722(2000)
64. TRIPLE EIGHT INTEGRATED SERVICES INC. VS. NLRC, 299 SCRA 608(1998) 65. NESC
ITO C. HILARIO VS NLRC, 252 SCRA 555(1996) 66. ARCONA VS. COURT OF APPEALS, G.R.
NO. 134784(2002) 67. GREGORIO FULE VS. COURT OF APPEALS, 286 SCRA 698(1998) 68.
SUMALPONG, vs.COURT OF APPEALS, 268 SCRA 764(1997) 69. PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PH
ILS V CA (SPS CHUA), G.R. 111584(2001) 70. PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILS V CA (SPS
CHUA), G.R. 111584, 96 PHIL 321 71. ABS-CBN V CA, G.R. 128690(1999) 72. NPC v.
PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC, 369 SCRA 629(2001) 73. GERALDEZ V. COURT OF APPEALS, 2
30 SCRA 320 (1994) 74. PEOPLE vs. CRISTOBAL, 252 SCRA 507(1996) 75. PEOPLE VS. M
ATRIMONIO, 215 SCRA 613(1992) 76. SARMIENTO VS. EMPLOYEES COMPENSATION COMMISSION
, 161 SRCA 312
I.
QUASI-DELICT
1. NAGUIAT vs. NLRC FACTS: Clark Field Taxi, Inc. held a concessionaires contract
with the Army Air Force Exchange Services for the operation of taxi services wi
thin Clark Air Base. Sergio Naguiat was the president of CFTI while Antolin Nagu
iat was its vice president. Like Naguiat Enterprises, Inc. which was a trading f
irm, it was also a family-owned corporation. Respondents were employed by the CF
TI as taxicab drivers. They were required to pay a daily boundary fee of US$26.5
0 (for those on duty from 1AM-12N) or US$27 (for those on duty from 12N to 12 MN
). Incidental expenses were maintained by the drivers (including gasoline expens
es). Drivers worked 3-4 times a week depending on the availability of vehicles a
nd earned no less than US$15.00 a day. In excess of that amount, they had to mak
e cash deposits to the company which they could withdraw every fifteen days. AAF
ES was dissolved because of the phase-out of the military bases in Clark and the
services of the respondents were officially terminated on November 26, 1991. AA
FES Taxi Drivers Association, the drivers union, and CFTI held negotiations as r
egards separation benefits. They arrived at an agreement that the separated driv
ers would be given P500 for ever year as severance pay. Most of the drivers acce
pted this but some refused to do so. Those who did not accept the initial severa
nce pay disaffiliated themselves with drivers union and through the National Org
anization of Workingmen, they filed a complaint against Sergio Naguiat under the
name and style Naguiat Enterprises, AAFES and AAFES union. The labor arbiter or
dered the petitioner to pay the drivers P1,200 for every year of service for hum
anitarian consideration, setting aside the earlier agreement between the CFTI an
d the drivers union. It also rejected the idea that the CFTI was forced to close
it business due to great financial losses and lose opportunity since at the tim
e of its closure it was profitably earning. The labor arbiter however did not aw
ard separation pay because to impose a monetary obligation to an employer whose p
rofitable business was abruptly shot (sic) shot down by force majeure would be u
nfair and unjust. The NLRC modified the decision of the labor arbiter after respo
ndents appealed by granting separation pay to the private respondents. It said t
hat half of the monthly salary should be US$120 which should be paid in Philippi
ne pesos. Naguiat Enterprieses should be joined with Sergio and Antolin Naguiat
as jointly and severally liable. ISSUE: Whether or not there was corporate tort
committed by the corporation and their respective officers? DECISION OF THE SUPR
EME COURT: No. Our jurisprudence is wanting as to the definite scope of "corpora
te tort." Essentially, "tort" consists in the violation of a right given or the
omission of a duty imposed by law. Simply stated, tort is a breach of a legal du
ty. Article 283 of the Labor Code mandates the employer to grant separation pay
to employees in case of closure or cessation of operations of establishment or u
ndertaking not due to serious business losses or financial reverses, which is th
e condition obtaining at bar. CFTI failed to comply with this law-imposed duty o
r obligation. Consequently, its
stockholder who was actively engaged in the management or operation of the busin
ess should be held personally liable. 2. PNB vs. CA FACTS: Mrs. Tapnio had an ex
port sugar quota of 1,000 piculs for the agricultural year 1956-1957 which she d
id not need. She agreed to allow Mr. Jacobo C. Tuazon to use said quota for the
consideration of P2,500.00. This agreement was called a contract of lease of sug
ar allotment. At the time of the agreement, Mrs. Tapnio was indebted to the Phil
ippine National Bank at San Fernando, Pampanga. Her indebtedness was known as a
crop loan and was secured by a mortgage on her standing crop including her sugar
quota allocation for the agricultural year corresponding to said standing crop.
This arrangement was necessary in order that when Mrs. Tapnio harvests, the P.N
.B., having a lien on the crop, may effectively enforce collection against her.
Her sugar cannot be exported without sugar quota allotment Sometimes, however, a
planter harvest less sugar than her quota, so her excess quota is utilized by a
nother who pays her for its use. This is the arrangement entered into between Mr
s. Tapnio and Mr. Tuazon regarding the former s excess quota for 1956-1957. Sinc
e the quota was mortgaged to the P.N.B., the contract of lease had to be approve
d by said Bank, The same was submitted to the branch manager at San Fernando, Pa
mpanga. The latter required the parties to raise the consideration of P2.80 per
picul or a total of P2,800.00 informing them that "the minimum lease rental acce
ptable to the Bank, is P2.80 per picul." In a letter addressed to the branch man
ager on August 10, 1956, Mr. Tuazon informed the manager that he was agreeable t
o raising the consideration to P2.80 per picul. He further informed the manager
that he was ready to pay said amount as the funds were in his folder which was k
ept in the bank. When the branch manager of the Philippine National Bank at San
Fernando recommended the approval of the contract of lease at the price of P2.80
per picul), whose recommendation was concurred in by the Vice-president of said
Bank, J. V. Buenaventura, the board of directors required that the amount be ra
ised to 13.00 per picul. This act of the board of directors was communicated to
Tuazon, who in turn asked for a reconsideration thereof. On November 19, 1956, t
he branch manager submitted Tuazon s request for reconsideration to the board of
directors with another recommendation for the approval of the lease at P2.80 pe
r picul, but the board returned the recommendation unacted upon, considering tha
t the current price prevailing at the time was P3.00 per picul. The parties were
notified of the refusal on the part of the board of directors of the Bank to gr
ant the motion for reconsideration. The matter stood as it was until February 22
, 1957, when Tuazon wrote a letter (Exh. 10-Bank informing the Bank that he was
no longer interested to continue the deal, referring to the lease of sugar quota
allotment in favor of defendant Rita Gueco Tapnio. The result is that the latte
r lost the sum of P2,800.00 which she should have received from Tuazon and which
she could have paid the Bank to cancel off her indebtedness,
The court below held, and in this holding we concur that failure of the negotiat
ion for the lease of the sugar quota allocation of Rita Gueco Tapnio to Tuazon w
as due to the fault of the directors of the Philippine National Bank, The refusa
l on the part of the bank to approve the lease at the rate of P2.80 per picul wh
ich, as stated above, would have enabled Rita Gueco Tapnio to realize the amount
of P2,800.00 which was more than sufficient to pay off her indebtedness to the
Bank, and its insistence on the rental price of P3.00 per picul thus unnecessari
ly increasing the value by only a difference of P200.00. inevitably brought abou
t the rescission of the lease contract to the damage and prejudice of Rita Gueco
Tapnio in the aforesaid sum of P2,800.00. This decision of the of the trial cou
rt was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is lia
ble for the damage caused due to the disapproval of the lease by the Board of Di
rectors of petitioner. DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT: YES. While petitioner had
the ultimate authority of approving or disapproving the proposed lease since the
quota was mortgaged to the Bank, the latter certainly cannot escape its respons
ibility of observing, for the protection of the interest of private respondents,
that degree of care, precaution and vigilance which the circumstances justly de
mand in approving or disapproving the lease of said sugar quota. The law makes i
t imperative that every person "must in the exercise of his rights and in the pe
rformance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe ho
nesty and good faith, 4 This petitioner failed to do. Certainly, it knew that th
e agricultural year was about to expire, that by its disapproval of the lease pr
ivate respondents would be unable to utilize the sugar quota in question. In fai
ling to observe the reasonable degree of care and vigilance which the surroundin
g circumstances reasonably impose, petitioner is consequently liable for the dam
ages caused on private respondents. Under Article 21 of the New Civil Code, "any
person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contra
ry to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the
damage." The afore-cited provisions on human relations were intended to expand t
he concept of torts in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for t
he untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to spec
ifically provide in the statutes. A corporation is civilly liable in the same ma
nner as natural persons for torts, because "generally speaking, the rules govern
ing the liability of a principal or master for a tort committed by an agent or s
ervant are the same whether the principal or master be a natural person or a cor
poration, and whether the servant or agent be a natural or artificial person. Al
l of the authorities agree that a principal or master is liable for every tort w
hich he expressly directs or authorizes, and this is just as true of a corporati
on as of a natural person, A corporation is liable, therefore, whenever a tortio
us act is committed by an officer or agent under express direction or authority
from the stockholders or members acting as a body, or, generally, from the direc
tors as the governing body." 3. SILVA vs. PERALTA FACTS: At the outbreak of the
war in 1941, the defendant Esther Peralta she resided with her sister, Mrs. Pedr
o Pia, in Maco, Tagum, Mabini Davao. Saturnino Silva, then an American citizen a
nd an officer of the United States Army and married to one Prescilla Isabel of A
ustralia, had been ordered to sent to the Philippines during the enemy
occupation to help unite the guerillas in their fight for freedom. He was the co
mmanding officer of the 130th Regiment general headquarters at Magugpo, Tagum, D
avao. Sometime during the year 1944, Florence, a younger sister of the defendant
, was accused of having collaborated with the enemy, and for this she was arrest
ed, and accompanied by Esther, brought to Anibongan and later to the general hea
dquarters at Magugpo for investigation that Silva first met Esther Florence was
exonorated of the charges made against her and was ordered released, but with th
e advice that she should not return to Maco for the time being. Heeding such adv
ice, Florence and her sister, appellee herein, went to live with the spouses Mr.
and Mrs. Camilo Doctolero at Tipas, Magugpo, Davao. Silva started to frequent t
he house of the Doctoleros, and soon professed love for Esther. Having been made
to believe that he was single, she accepted his marriage proposal; and the two
were married on January 14, 1945 by one Father Cote on the occasion of a house b
lessing. No documents of marriage were prepared nor executed, allegedly because
there were no available printed forms for the purpose. Hence, the lovers lived t
ogether as husband and wife. From the "marriage", a child, named Saturnino Silva
, Jr., was born. On May 8, 1945, Silva sustained serious wounds in the battle of
Ising, for which reason, he was transferred to Leyte, and later to the United S
tates, he divorced Precilla Isabel and later, on May 9, 1948, contracted marriag
e with plaintiff Elenita Ledesma Silva. Upon his return to the Philippines, appe
llee Esther Peralta demanded support for their child, and, his refusal, institut
ed a suit for support in the Court of First Instance of Manila. Thereupon, the p
resent action was filed against Esther, and another suit against her was institu
ted in Cotabato. The Trial Court awarded damages in favor of the defendant thus
the plaintiffs-appellant appeal on both questions of fact and law from the decis
ion of the Court of First Instance of Davao to the Supreme Court, the amount inv
olved being more than P200,000.00. ISSUE: Whether or not damages awarded to appe
llee are a natural and direct consequence of Silva s deceitful maneuvers in maki
ng love to appellee, and inducing her to yield to his advances and live with him
as his wife. DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT: YES. It is to be noted that while t
he latter s liability was extra-contractual in origin, still, under the Civil Co
de in 1889, the damages resulting from a tort are measured in the same manner as
those due from a contractual debtor in bad faith, since he must answer for such
damages, whether he had forseen them or not, just as he must indemnify not only
for damnum emergens but also for lacrum cessans, as required by Article 1106. A
rticle 1002 of the 1889 Civil Code of Spain formulated no standard for measuring
quasi-delictual damages, the article merely prescribing that the guilty party "
shall be liable for the damages so done". This indefiniteness led modern civil l
aw writers to hold that the standards set is articles 1106 and 1107, placed in t
he general rules on obligations, "rigen por igual para las contractuales y las e
xtras contractuales, las pre establecidas y las que borten ex-lege de actos ilic
itos". (Roces, Notes to Fisher)" Los Daos Civiles y su Reparacion,"(1927).
It is well to note in this connection, that Silva s act in hiding from appellee
that he could not legally marry her, because, he allegedly have an Australian wi
fe, was not mere negligence, but actual fraud (dolo) practiced upon the appellee
. Consequently, he should stand liable for any and all damages arising therefrom
, which include the expense of maintaining the offspring and the expenses of lit
igation to protect the child s right s and the loss of the mother s own earnings
. This is a liability that flows even from Articles 1902 and 1107 (par. 2) of 18
89 (Arts. 2176 and 2202 of the New Code). Art. 1902. Any person who by an act or
omission causes damage to another by his fault or negligence shall be liable fo
r the damage as done. Art. 1107. In case of fraud (dolo) the debtor shall be lia
ble for all losses and damages which clearly arise from the failure to fulfill t
he obligation. 4. ALBENSON vs. CA FACTS: In September, October, and November 198
0, petitioner Albenson Enterprises Corporation (Albenson for short) delivered to
Guaranteed Industries, Inc. (Guaranteed for short) the mild steel plates which
the latter ordered. As part payment thereof, Albenson was given Pacific Banking
Corporation Check No. 136361 in the amount of P2,575.00 and drawn against the ac
count of E.L. Woodworks. When presented for payment, the check was dishonored fo
r the reason "Account Closed." Thereafter, petitioner Albenson, through counsel,
traced the origin of the dishonored check. From the records of the Securities a
nd Exchange Commission (SEC), Albenson discovered that the president of Guarante
ed, the recipient of the unpaid mild steel plates, was one "Eugenio S. Baltao."
Upon further inquiry, Albenson was informed by the Ministry of Trade and Industr
y that E.L. Woodworks, a single proprietorship business, was registered in the n
ame of one "Eugenio Baltao". In addition, upon verification with the drawee bank
, Pacific Banking Corporation, Albenson was advised that the signature appearing
on the subject check belonged to one "Eugenio Baltao." After obtaining the fore
going information, Albenson, through counsel, made an extrajudicial demand upon
private respondent Eugenio S. Baltao, president of Guaranteed, to replace and/or
make good the dishonored check. Respondent Baltao, through counsel, denied that
he issued the check, or that the signature appearing thereon is his. He further
alleged that Guaranteed was a defunct entity and hence, could not have transact
ed business with Albenson. On February 14, 1983, Albenson filed with the Office
of the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal a complaint against Eugenio S. Baltao for viol
ation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. Submitted to support said charges was an affi
davit of petitioner Benjamin Mendiona, an employee of Albenson. On September 5,
1983, Assistant Fiscal Ricardo Sumaway filed an information against Eugenio S. B
altao for Violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22. In filing said information, Fis
cal Sumaway claimed that he had given Eugenio S. Baltao opportunity to submit co
ntroverting evidence, but the latter failed to do so and therefore, was deemed t
o have waived his right.
Respondent Baltao, claiming ignorance of the complaint against him, immediately
filed with the Provincial Fiscal of Rizal a motion for reinvestigation, alleging
that it was not true that he had been given an opportunity to be heard in the p
reliminary investigation conducted by Fiscal Sumaway, and that he never had any
dealings with Albenson or Benjamin Mendiona, consequently, the check for which h
e has been accused of having issued without funds was not issued by him and the
signature in said check was not his. On January 30, 1984, Provincial Fiscal Maur
o M. Castro of Rizal reversed the finding of Fiscal Sumaway and exonerated respo
ndent Baltao. He also instructed the Trial Fiscal to move for dismissal of the i
nformation filed against Eugenio S. Baltao. Fiscal Castro found that the signatu
re in PBC Check No. 136361 is not the signature of Eugenio S. Baltao. Because of
the alleged unjust filing of a criminal case against him for allegedly issuing
a check which bounced in violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22, respondent Balta
o filed before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City a complaint for damages a
gainst herein petitioners Albenson Enterprises, Jesse Yap, its owner, and Benjam
in Mendiona, its employee. Regional Trial Court petitioner to pay private respon
dent, among others, the sum of P100,000.00 as moral damages and attorney s fees
in the amount of P100,000.00. Dissatisfied to the decision, they appealed the ca
se before the court of Appeals but the Court of Appeals affirmed the said decisi
on of the Trial Court with modification. ISSUE: Whether or not because of the ma
licious prosecution of criminal case filed by the petitioners against the privat
e respondent, petitioner can be held liable for damages to private respondents b
ased on Article 19, 20 and 21. DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT: NO. The criminal c
omplaint filed against private respondent after the latter refused to make good
the amount of the bouncing check despite demand was a sincere attempt on the par
t of petitioners to find the best possible means by which they could collect the
sum of money due them. A person who has not been paid an obligation owed to him
will naturally seek ways to compel the debtor to pay him. It was normal for pet
itioners to find means to make the issuer of the check pay the amount thereof. I
n the absence of a wrongful act or omission or of fraud or bad faith, moral dama
ges cannot be awarded and that the adverse result of an action does not per se m
ake the action wrongful and subject the actor to the payment of damages, for the
law could not have meant to impose a penalty on the right to litigate (Rubio vs
. Court of Appeals, 141 SCRA 488 [1986]). Article 19, known to contain what is c
ommonly 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 p
erformance of one s duties. These standards are the following: to act with justi
ce; to give everyone his due; and to observe honesty and good faith. The law, th
erefore, recognizes the primordial limitation on all rights: that in their exerc
ise, the norms of human conduct set forth in Article 19 must be observed. A righ
t, though by itself legal because recognized or granted by law as such, may neve
rtheless become the source of some illegality. When a right is exercised in a ma
nner which does not conform with the norms enshrined in Article 19 and results i
n damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer
must be held responsible. Although the requirements of each provision is differe
nt, these three (3) articles are all related to each other. As the eminent Civil
ist Senator Arturo Tolentino puts it: "With this article
(Article 21), combined with articles 19 and 20, the scope of our law on civil wr
ongs has been very greatly broadened; it has become much more supple and adaptab
le than the Anglo-American law on torts. It is now difficult to conceive of any
malevolent exercise of a right which could not be checked by the application of
these articles" (Tolentino, 1 Civil Code of the Philippines 72). There is howeve
r, no hard and fast rule which can be applied to determine whether or not the pr
inciple of abuse of rights may be invoked. The question of whether or not the pr
inciple of abuse of rights has been violated, resulting in damages under Article
s 20 and 21 or other applicable provision of law, depends on the circumstances o
f each case. (Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 176
SCRA 778 [1989]). The elements of an abuse of right under Article 19 are the fo
llowing: (1) There is a legal right or duty; (2) which is exercised in bad faith
; (3) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another. Article 20 speaks
of the general sanction for all other provisions of law which do not especially
provide for their own sanction. Thus, anyone who, whether willfully or negligent
ly, in the exercise of his legal right or duty, causes damage to another, shall
indemnify his victim for injuries suffered thereby. Article 21 deals with acts c
ontra bonus mores, and has the following elements: 1) There is an act which is l
egal; 2) but which is contrary to morals, good custom, public order, or public p
olicy; 3) and it is done with intent to injure. Certainly, petitioners could not
be said to have violated the aforestated principle of abuse of right. What prom
pted petitioners to file the case for violation of Batas Pambansa Bilang 22 agai
nst private respondent was their failure to collect the amount of P2,575.00 due
on a bounced check which they honestly believed was issued to them by private re
spondent. 5. ELCANO vs. HILL FACTS: Reginald Hill was a married minor living and
getting subsistence from his father, co-defendant Marvin. He killed Agapito Elc
ano, son of petitioners, for which he was criminally prosecuted. However, he was
acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal because of "lack of inten
t to kill, coupled with mistake." Subsequently, petitioners filed a civil action
for recovery of damages against defendants, which the latter countered by a mot
ion to dismiss. However the trial court dismissed the same. Hence this appeal. I
SSUES: 1) Whether or not the action for recovery of damages against Reginald and
Marvin Hill is barred by res judicata. 2) Whether or not there is vicarious lia
bility on the part Reginalds father, Marvin. DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT: NO.Th
e acquittal of Reginald Hill in the criminal case has not extinguished his liabi
lity for quasi-delict, hence that acquittal is not a bar to the instant action a
gainst him.
There is need for a reiteration and further clarification of the dual character,
criminal and civil, of fault or negligence as a source of obligation, which was
firmly established in this jurisdiction in Barredo vs. Garcia (73 Phil. 607). I
n this jurisdiction, the separate individuality of a cuasi-delito or culpa aquil
iana, under the Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized, even with rega
rd to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have been prosecuted and con
victed in a criminal case and for which, after such a conviction, he could have
been sued for civil liability arising from his crime. (p. 617, 73 Phil.) Notably
, Article 2177 of the New Civil Code provides that: Responsibility for fault or n
egligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from the
civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff
cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. Cons
equently, a separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act, w
hether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provide
d that the offended party is not allowed, if he is actually charged also crimina
lly, to recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such eventualit
y only to the bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two cases
vary. In other words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e)
of Section 3, Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Articl
e 100 of the Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act co
nsidered as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a
declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened
or has not been committed by the accused. Marvin Hill vicariously liable. Howev
er, since Reginald has come of age, as a matter of equity, the formers liability
is now merely subsidiary. Under Art. 2180, the father and in case of his death o
r incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by the minor ch
ildren who live in their company. In the case at bar, Reginald, although married
, was living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the time of the
killing. The joint and solidary liability of parents with their offending child
ren is in view of the parental obligation to supervise minor children in order t
o prevent damage to third persons. On the other hand, the clear implication of A
rt. 399, in providing that a minor emancipated by marriage may not sue or be sue
d without the assistance of the parents is that such emancipation does not carry
with it freedom to enter into transactions or do not any act that can give rise
to judicial litigation. 6. VIRATA vs. OCHOA FACTS: Arsenio Virata died as a res
ult of having been bumped while walking along Taft Avenue by a passenger jeepney
driven by Maximo Borilla and registered in the name of Victoria Ochoa. An actio
n for homicide through reckless imprudence was instituted against Maximo Borilla
in the CFI of Rizal.
Atty. Francisco, the private prosecutor, made a reservation to file separately t
he civil action for damages against the driver for his criminal liability, which
he later on withdrew and presented evidence on the damages. The Heirs of Arseni
o Virata again reserved their right to institute a separate civil action. They c
ommenced an action for damages based on quasi-delict against the driver Maximo B
orilla and the registered owner of the vehicle, Victoria Ochoa. Private responde
nts filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that there is another action pending
for the same cause. The CFI acquitted Borilla on the ground that he caused the
injury by accident. The motion to dismiss was granted. ISSUE: Whether or not the
Heirs of Arsenio Virata can prosecute an action for damages based on quasi-deli
ct against Maximo Borilla and Victoria Ochoa, driver and owner, respectively on
the passenger jeepney that bumped Arsenio Virata? DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT:
YES. In negligence cases, the aggrieved parties may choose between an action un
der the Revised Penal Code or of quasi-delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Co
de. What is prohibited by Article 2177 of the Civil Code is to recover twice for
the same negligent act. In this case, the petitioners are not seeking to recove
r twice for the same negligent act. Before the Criminal Case was decided, they m
anifested in the said case that they were filing a separate civil action for dam
ages against the owner and driver of the passenger jeepney based on quasi-delict
. Acquittal from an accusation of criminal negligence, whether on reasonable dou
bt or not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action, not for civil liabil
ity arising from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or cu
lpa aquiliana. The source of damages sought to be enforced in the Civil Case is q
uasi-delict, not an act or omission punishable by law. Under Art. 1157 of the Ci
vil Code, quasi-delict and an act or omission punishable by law are two differen
t sources of obligation. Moreover, for petitioners to prevail in the Civil Case,
they have only to establish their cause of action by preponderance of evidence.
7. ANDAMO vs. IAC FACTS: Petitioner spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo are t
he owners of a parcel of land situated in Biga (Biluso) Silang, Cavite which is
adjacent to that of private respondent, Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette,
Inc., a religious corporation. Within the land of respondent corporation, waterp
aths and contrivances, including an artificial lake, were constructed, which all
egedly inundated and eroded petitioners land, caused a young man to drown, dama
ged petitioners crops and plants, washed away
costly fences, endangered the lives of petitioners and their laborers during rai
ny and stormy seasons, and exposed plants and other improvements to destruction.
In July 1982, petitioners instituted a criminal action against Efren Musngi, Or
lando Sapuay and Rutillo Mallillin, officers and directors of respondent corpora
tion, for destruction by means of inundation under Article 324 of the Revised Pe
nal Code. On February 22, 1983, petitioners filed a civil case for damages with
prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against respondent c
orporation. Hearings were conducted including ocular inspections on the land. On
April 26, 1984, the trial court issued an order suspending further hearings in
the civil case until after judgment in the related Criminal Case. And later on d
ismissed the Civil Case for lack of jurisdiction, as the criminal case which was
instituted ahead of the civil case was still unresolved.The decision was based
on Section 3 (a), Rule III of the Rules of Court which provides that "criminal a
nd civil actions arising from the same offense may be instituted separately, but
after the criminal action has been commenced the civil action cannot be institu
ted until final judgment has been rendered in the criminal action." Petitioners
appealed from that order to the Intermediate Appellate Court. On February 17, 19
86, respondent Appellate Court affirmed the order of the trial court. A motion f
or reconsideration filed by petitioners was denied by the Appellate Court. ISSUE
: Whether or not a corporation, which has built through its agents, waterpaths,
water conductors and contrivances within its land, thereby causing inundation an
d damage to an adjacent land, can be held civilly liable for damages under Artic
les 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts such that the resulting civ
il case can proceed independently of the criminal case DECISION OF THE SUPREME C
OURT: Yes. A careful examination of the complaint shows that the civil action is
one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasidelicts. All the ele
ments of a quasidelict are present, to wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintif
f, (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some other person for whose acts
he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect between the fault o
r negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by the plaintiff. The wat
erpaths and contrivances built by respondent corporation are alleged to have inu
ndated the land of petitioners. There is therefore, an assertion of a causal con
nection between the act of building these waterpaths and the damage sustained by
petitioners. Such action if proven constitutes fault or negligence which may be
the basis for the recovery of damages. In the case of Samson vs. Dionisio, the
Court applied Article 1902, now Article 2176 of the Civil Code and held that "an
y person who without due authority constructs a bank or dike, stopping the flow
or communication between a creek or a lake and a river, thereby causing loss and
damages to a third party who, like the rest of the residents, is entitled to th
e use and enjoyment of the stream or lake, shall be liable to the payment of an
indemnity for loss and damages to the injured party.
While the property involved in the cited case belonged to the public domain and
the property subject of the instant case is privately owned, the fact remains th
at petitioners complaint sufficiently alleges that petitioners have sustained a
nd will continue to sustain damage due to the waterpaths and contrivances built
by respondent corporation. Indeed, the recitals of the complaint, the alleged pr
esence of damage to the petitioners, the act or omission of respondent corporati
on supposedly constituting fault or negligence, and the causal connection betwee
n the act and the damage, with no pre-existing contractual obligation between th
e parties make a clear case of a quasi delict or culpa aquiliana. It must be str
essed that the use of one s property is not without limitations. Article 431 of
the Civil Code provides that "the owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in su
ch a manner as to injure the rights of a third person." SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM
NON LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have mutual and reciprocal duties wh
ich require that each must use his own land in a reasonable manner so as not to
infringe upon the rights and interests of others. Although we recognize the righ
t of an owner to build structures on his land, such structures must be so constr
ucted and maintained using all reasonable care so that they cannot be dangerous
to adjoining landowners and can withstand the usual and expected forces of natur
e. If the structures cause injury or damage to an adjoining landowner or a third
person, the latter can claim indemnification for the injury or damage suffered.
Article 2176 1of the Civil Code imposes a civil liability on a person for damag
e caused by his act or omission constituting fault or negligence. Article 2176,
whenever it refers to "fault or negligence", covers not only acts "not punishabl
e by law" but also acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary
or negligent. Consequently, a separate civil action lies against the offender i
n a criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or
acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed, (if the tortfeasor
is actually charged also criminally), to recover damages on both scores, and wou
ld be entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of the two, assuming
the awards made in the two cases vary. The distinctness of quasi-delicta is sho
wn in Article 21772 of the Civil Code. According to the Report of the Code Commi
ssion "the foregoing provision though at first sight startling, is not so novel
or extraordinary when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil neglige
nce. The former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a distin
ct and independent negligence, which is a "culpa aquiliana" or quasi-delict, of
ancient origin, having always had its own foundation and individuality, separate
from criminal negligence. 8. DULAY vs. CA FACTS: On December 7, 1988, an alterc
ation between Benigno Torzuela and Atty. Napoleon Dulay occurred at the "Big Ban
g Sa Alabang," Alabang Village, Muntinlupa as a result of which Benigno Torzuela
, the security guard on duty at the said carnival, shot and killed Atty. Napoleo
n Dulay.
Herein petitioner Maria Benita A. Dulay, widow of the deceased Napoleon Dulay, i
n her own behalf and in behalf of her minor children, filed an action for damage
s against Benigno Torzuela and herein private respondents Safeguard Investigatio
n and Security Co., Inc., ("SAFEGUARD") and/or Superguard Security Corp. ("SUPER
GUARD"), alleged employers of defendant Torzuela. Private respondent SUPERGUARD
filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the complaint does not state a vali
d cause of action. SUPERGUARD claimed that Torzuela s act of shooting Dulay was
beyond the scope of his duties, and that since the alleged act of shooting was c
ommitted with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil liability therefor is governed
by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, which states: Art. 100. Civil liabili
ty of a person guilty of a felony. Every person criminally liable for a felony i
s also civilly liable. Respondent SUPERGUARD further alleged that a complaint fo
r damages based on negligence under Article 2176 of the New Civil Code, such as
the one filed by petitioners, cannot lie, since the civil liability under Articl
e 2176 applies only to quasioffenses under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code
. In addition, the private respondent argued that petitioners filing of the com
plaint is premature considering that the conviction of Torzuela in a criminal ca
se is a condition sine qua non for the employer s subsidiary liability. Responde
nt SAFEGUARD also filed a motion praying that it be excluded as defendant on the
ground that defendant Torzuela is not one of its employees Petitioners opposed
both motions, stating that their cause of action against the private respondents
is based on their liability under Article 2180 of the New Civil Code, which pro
vides: Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable not only
for one s own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is r
esponsible. Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees
and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even thou
gh the former are not engaged in any business or an industry. Respondent Judge R
egino issued an order granting SUPERGUARD S motion to dismiss and SAFEGUARD S mo
tion for exclusion as defendant. Petitioner appealed the same to the Court of Ap
peals but Court Appeals Eight Division affirmed the decision of the Regional Tri
al Court. ISSUE: Whether or not the civil action contemplated in Article 2177 is
not applicable to acts committed with deliberate intent, but only applies to qu
asi-offenses under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code. DECISION OF THE SUPREM
E COURT: NO. Contrary to the theory of private respondents, there is no justific
ation for limiting the scope of Article 2176 of the Civil Code to acts or omissi
ons resulting from negligence. Well-entrenched is the doctrine that article 2176
covers not only acts committed with negligence, but also acts which are volunta
ry and
intentional. As far back as the definitive case of Elcano v. Hill (77 SCRA 98 [1
977]), this Court already held that: . . . Article 2176, where it refers to "fau
lt or negligence," covers not only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts cr
iminal in character; whether intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequentl
y, a separate civil action against the offender in a criminal act, whether or no
t he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the o
ffended party is not allowed, if he is actually charged also criminally, to reco
ver damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such eventuality only to th
e bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In ot
her words, the extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e) of Section
3, Rule 111, refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the
Revised Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as
quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration i
n the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or has not be
en committed by the accused. Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Gar
cia, that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be pun
ishable by law. (Emphasis supplied) The same doctrine was echoed in the case of
Andamo v. Intermediate Appellate Court (191 SCRA 195 [1990]), wherein the Court
held: Article 2176, whenever it refers to "fault or negligence," covers not only
acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or negligent. Con
sequently, a civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act, whether o
r not he is prosecuted or found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended
party is not allowed, (if the tortfeasor is actually also charged criminally), t
o recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such eventuality only
to the bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary.
[citing Virata v. Ochoa, 81 SCRA 472] (Emphasis supplied) Private respondents s
ubmit that the word "intentional" in the Andamo case is inaccurate obiter, and s
hould be read as "voluntary" since intent cannot be coupled with negligence as d
efined by Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code. In the absence of more substant
ial reasons, this Court will not disturb the above doctrine on the coverage of A
rticle 2176. Private respondents also contend that their liability is subsidiary
under the Revised Penal Code; and that they are not liable for Torzuela s act w
hich is beyond the scope of his duties as a security guard. It having been estab
lished that the instant action is not exdelicto, petitioners may proceed directl
y against Torzuela and the private respondents. Under Article 2180 of the New Ci
vil Code as aforequoted, when an injury is caused by the negligence of the emplo
yee, there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on th
e part of the master or employer either in the selection of the servant or emplo
yee, or in supervision over him after selection or both (Layugan v. Intermediate
Appellate Court, 167 SCRA 363 [1988]). The liability of the employer under Arti
cle 2180 is direct and immediate; it is not conditioned upon prior recourse agai
nst the negligent employee and a prior showing of the insolvency of such employe
e (Kapalaran Bus Lines v. Coronado, 176 SCRA 792 [1989]). Therefore, it is incum
bent upon the private respondents to prove that they exercised the diligence of
a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of their employee.
Since Article 2176 covers not only acts of negligence but also acts which are in
tentional and voluntary, it was therefore erroneous on the part of the trial cou
rt to dismiss petitioner s complaint simply because it failed to make allegation
s of attendant negligence attributable to private respondents. Cases 1-8 PASCUA,
JAYBEE D. 9. WYLIE V. RARANG FACTS: Petitioners Wylie and Williams were the ass
istant administrative officer and commanding officer, respectively, of the US Na
val base in Subic. Respondent Aurora Rarang was an employee in the Office of the
Provost Marshal assigned as the merchandise control guard. Wylie, as one of his
duties, supervised the publication of the Plan of the Day a daily publication tha
t featured among others, an action line inquiry. On Feb. 3, 1978, an inquiry was p
ublished saying that confiscated goods were being consumed or used for personal
benefit by the merchandise control inspector and that a certain Auring was, in her
self, a disgrace to the office. Rarang, being the only person named Auring in th
e said office, went to press an action for damages against Wylie and Williams an
d the US Naval Base. (That Rarang was indeed the Auring mentioned in the inquiry
was proven by the apology letter issued by Wylie for the inadvertent publicatio
n.)She alleged that the article constituted false, injurious, and malicious defa
mation and libel tending to impeach her honesty, virtue and reputation exposing
her to public hatred, contempt and ridicule. Defendants alleged that (1) defenda
nts acted in performance of their official functions as officers of the US Navy
and are thus immune from suit (2) US Naval Base is immune from suit being an ins
trumentality of the US Government and (3) the RTC has no jurisdiction over the s
ubject matter and the parties involved. Lower court ruling: defendants pay damag
es because acts were not official acts of the US government, but personal and to
rtious acts (which are not included in the rule that a sovereign country cant be
sued without its consent). Suit against US Naval Base was dismissed. Defendants
appealed the decision to the CA but the same was denied. ISSUE: Whether or not U
S officers who commit a crime or tortious act while discharging official functio
ns are still covered by the principle of state immunity from suit. SC RULING: No
. Our laws and, we presume, those of the United States do not allow the commissi
on of crimes in the name of official duty. The general rule is that public offic
ials can be held personally accountable for acts claimed to have been performed
in connection with official duties where they have acted ultra vires or where th
ere is showing of bad faith. Immunity from suit cannot institutionalize irrespon
sibility and non-accountability nor grant a privileged status not claimed by any
other official of the Republic. Under Art. 2176 of the civil code, whoever by a
ct or omission, causes damage to another, there being fault or negligence is obl
iged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-ex
isting contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is
governed by the provisions of this Chapter. Indeed the imputation of theft cont
ained in the POD dated February 3, 1978 is defamation against the character and
reputation of the private respondent. Petitioner
Wylie himself admitted that the Office of the Provost Marshal explicitly recomme
nded the deletion of the name Auring if the article were published. The petition
ers, however, were negligent because under their direction they issued the publi
cation without deleting the name "Auring." Such act or omission is ultra vires a
nd cannot be part of official duty. It was a tortious act which ridiculed the pr
ivate respondent. The petitioners, alone, in their personal capacities are liabl
e for the damages they caused the private respondent 10. PHOENIX CONSTRUCTION IN
C V IAC FACTS: 1:30 am, 15 November 1975 - Leonardo Dionisio, driving his Volksw
agen car, was on his way home to Makati from a cocktails-and-dinner meeting with
his boss where had taken "a shot or two" of liquor. He was crossing the interse
ction of General Lacuna and General Santos Streets at Bangkal, Makati, not far f
rom his home, when his car headlights (in his allegation) suddenly failed. He sw
itched his headlights on "bright" and thereupon a Ford dump truck looming some 2
1/2meters away from his car. The dump truck, owned and registered by Phoenix Con
struction Inc. was parked askew (partly blocking the way of oncoming traffic) on
the right hand side of General Lacuna Street facing the oncoming traffic. There
were neither lights nor any so-called "early warning" reflector devices set any
where near the dump truck. The dump truck had earlier that evening been driven h
ome by Carbonel, its regular driver. Dionisio claimed that he tried to avoid a c
ollision by swerving his car to the left but it was too late and his car smashed
into the dump truck. As a result of the collision, Dionisio suffered some physi
cal injuries including some permanent facial scars, a "nervous breakdown" and lo
ss of two gold bridge dentures.- Dionisio commenced an action for damages claimi
ng that the legal and proximate cause of his injuries was the negligent manner i
n which Carbonel had parked the dump truck. Phoenix and Carbonel countered that
the proximate cause of Dionisio s injuries was his own recklessness in driving f
ast at the time of the accident, while under the influence of liquor, without hi
s headlights on and without a curfew pass. Phoenix also sought to establish that
it had exercised due care in the selection and supervision of the dump truck dr
iver. CFI RULING : ruled in favor of Dionisio IAC Ruling : affirmed TC but modif
ied amounts. ISSUE: Whether or not last clear chance doctrine should be applied
therefore exculpating Phoenix from paying any damages. SC RULING: NO- We hold th
at private respondent Dionisio s negligence was "only contributory," that the "i
mmediate and proximate cause" of the injury remained the truck driver s "lack of
due care" and that consequently respondent Dionisio may recover damages though
such damages are subject to mitigation by the courts (Article2179, Civil Code of
the Philippines). Phoenix and Carbonel also ask us to apply what they refer to
as the "last clear chance" doctrine. The theory here of petitioners is that whil
e the petitioner truck driver was negligent, private respondent Dionisio had the
"last clear chance" of avoiding the accident and hence his injuries and that Di
onisio having failed to take that "last clear chance" must bear his own injuries
alone. The last clear chance doctrine of the common
law was imported into our jurisdiction by Picart vs. Smith but it is a matter fo
r debate whether, or to what extent, it has found its way into the Civil Code of
the Philippines. The historical function of that doctrine in the common law was
to mitigate the harshness of another common law doctrine or rule-that of contri
butory negligence. The common law rule of contributory negligence prevented any
recovery at all by a plaintiff who was also negligent, even if the plaintiff s n
egligence was relatively minor as compared with the wrongful act or omission of
the defendant. The common law notion of last clear chance permitted courts to gr
ant recovery to a plaintiff who had also been negligent provided that the defend
ant had the last clear chance to avoid the casualty and failed to do so. Accordi
ngly, it is difficult to see what role, if any, the common law last clear chance
doctrine has to play in a jurisdiction where the common law concept of contribu
tory negligence as an absolute bar to recovery by the plaintiff, has itself been
rejected, as it has been in A2179 CC- Is there perhaps a general concept of "la
st clear chance" that may be extracted from its common law matrix and utilized a
s a general rule in negligence cases in a civil law jurisdiction like ours? We d
o not believe so. Under Art. 2179, the task of a court, in technical terms, is t
o determine whose negligence-the plaintiff s or the defendant s-was the legal or
proximate cause of the injury. That task is not simply or even primarily an exe
rcise in chronology or physics, as the petitioners seem to imply by the use of t
erms like "last" or "intervening" or "immediate." The relative location in the c
ontinuum of time of the plaintiff s and the defendant s negligent acts or omissi
ons, is only one of the relevant factors that may be taken into account. Of more
fundamental importance is the nature of the negligent act or omission of each p
arty and the character and gravity of the risks created by such actor omission f
or the rest of the community. The petitioners urge that the truck driver (and th
erefore his employer) should be absolved from responsibility for his own prior n
egligence because the unfortunate plaintiff failed to act with that increased di
ligence which had become necessary to avoid the peril precisely created by the t
ruck driver s own wrongful act or omission, To accept this proposition is to com
e too close to wiping out the fundamental principle of law that a man must respo
nd for the foreseeable consequences of his own negligent act or omission. Our la
w on quasi-delicts seeks to reduce the risks and burdens of living in society an
d to allocate them among the members of society. To accept the petitioners prop
osition must tend to weaken the very bonds of society. CA decision is modified b
y reducing the aggregate amount of compensatory damages, loss of expected income
and moral damages Dionisio is entitled to by 20% of such amount. 11. QUISABA VS
. STA. INES-MELALE VENEER AND PLYWOOD, INC FACTS: Petitioner Jovito Quisaba was
in the employ of the defendant Corporation for 18 years but was temporarily reli
eved as internal auditor due to his refusal to purchase logs for the companys pla
nt as instructed by the companys Vice President, Robert Hyde which he claims to b
e inconsistent with his position as an internal auditor. Petitioner then filed a
complaint with the CFI of Davao for moral damages, Exemplary damages, terminati
on pay, and attorneys fees against the respondent corporation. Respondent filed t
heir answer and moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdic
tion of the CFI asserting that the proper forum is the NLRC since it involves em
ployer- employee relationship.
CFI : granted the motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint basically i
nvolves an employer employee relationship. ISSUE: Whether a complaint for moral
damages, exemplary damages, termination pay and attorneys fees, arising from an e
mployers constructive dismissal of an employee, is exclusively cognizable by the
regular courts of justice or by the National Labor Relations Commission. SC RULI
NG: It is cognizable by the regular courts of justice. Although the acts complai
ned seemingly appear to constitute matters involving employee-employer relations a
s Quisabas dismissal was the severance of a pre-existing employeremployee relatio
n, his complaint is grounded not on his dismissal per se, as in fact he does not
ask for reinstatement or backwages, but on the manner of his dismissal and the
consequent effects of such dismissal. The right of the respondents to dismiss Qu
isaba should not be confused with the manner in which the right was exercised an
d the effects flowing therefrom. If the dismissal was done anti-socially or oppr
essively, as the complaint alleges, then the respondents violated article 1701 o
f the Civil Code which prohibits acts of oppression either capital or labor agai
nst the other, in Article 21, which makes the person liable for damages if he wi
lfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals,
good custom or public policy, the sanction for which, by way of moral damages is
provided in Article 2219 no. 10. ACCORDINGLY, the order of the lower court is s
et aside and this case is hereby ordedre remanded to the court a quo for further
proceedings in accordance with the law. Costs against the private respondents.
12. GATCHALIAN V. DELIM FACTS: On July 11, 1973, petitioner Reynalda Gatchalian
boarded as paying passenger a minibus owned by respondents. While the bus was ru
nning along the highway, a snapping sound was heard, and after a short while, the
bus bumped a cement flower pot, turned turtle and fell into a ditch. The passeng
ers were confined in the hospital, and their bills were paid by respondents spous
e on July 14. Before Mrs. Delim left, she had the injured passengers sign an alr
eady prepared affidavit waiving their claims against respondents. Petitioner was
among those who signed. Notwithstanding the said document, petitioner filed a c
laim to recover actual and moral damages for loss of employment opportunities, m
ental suffering and inferiority complex caused by the scar on her forehead. Resp
ondents raised in defense force majeure and the waiver signed by petitioner. The
trial court upheld the validity of the waiver and dismissed the complaint. The
appellate court ruled that the waiver was invalid, but also that the petitioner
is not entitled to damages. ISSUE: (1) Whether the respondent was negligent. (2)
Whether the petitioner is entitled to actual and moral damages. SC RULING: (1)
In case of death or injuries to passengers, a statutory presumption arises that
the common carrier was at fault or had acted negligently "unless it proves that
it [had] observed extraordinary diligence as prescribed in Articles 1733 and 175
5." To overcome this presumption, the common carrier must show to the court that
it had exercised extraordinary diligence to present the injuries. The standard
of extraordinary diligence imposed upon common carriers is considerably more dem
anding than the standard of ordinary diligence. A common carrier is bound to car
ry its passengers safely "as far as human care and foresight can provide, using
the utmost diligence of a very cautious person, with due regard to all the circu
mstances". The records before the Court are bereft of any evidence showing that
respondent had exercised the extraordinary diligence required by law. The obviou
s continued failure of respondent to look after the roadworthiness and safety of
the bus, coupled with the driver s refusal or neglect to stop the mini-bus afte
r he had heard once again the "snapping sound" and the cry of alarm from one of
the passengers, constituted wanton disregard of the physical safety of the passe
ngers, and hence gross negligence on the part of respondent and his driver. (2)
At the time of the accident, she was no longer employed in a public school. Her
employment as a substitute teacher was occasional and episodic, contingent upon
the availability of vacancies for substitute teachers. She could not be said to
have in fact lost any employment after and by reason of the accident. She may no
t be awarded damages on the basis of speculation or conjecture. Petitioner s cla
im for the cost of plastic surgery for removal of the scar on her forehead, is a
nother matter. A person is entitled to the physical integrity of his or her body
; if that integrity is violated or diminished, actual injury is suffered for whi
ch actual or compensatory damages are due and assessable. Petitioner Gatchalian
is entitled to be placed as nearly as possible in the condition that she was bef
ore the mishap. A scar, especially one on the face of the woman, resulting from
the infliction of injury upon her, is a violation of bodily integrity, giving ri
se to a legitimate claim for restoration to her conditio ante. Moral damages may
be awarded where gross negligence on the part of the common carrier is shown. C
onsidering the extent of pain and anxiety which petitioner must have suffered as
a result of her physical injuries including the permanent scar on her forehead,
we believe that the amount of P30,000.00 would be a reasonable award. Petitione
r s claim for P1,000.00 as attorney s fees is in fact even more modest. 13. TUPA
S VS. CA 14. GILCHRIST V. CUDDY FACTS: Cuddy was the owner of the film Zigomar.
On April 24, He rented it to C. S. Gilchrist for a week for P125. A few days to
the date of delivery, Cuddy sent the money back to Gilchrist. Cuddy then rented
the film to Espejo and his partner Zaldarriaga for P350 for the week knowing tha
t it was rented to someone else and that Cuddy accepted it because he was paying
about three times as much as he had contracted with Gilchrist but they didn t k
now the identity of the other party. Gilchrist filed for injunction against thes
e parties. The trial court and CA granted that there is a contract between Gilch
rist and Cuddy.
ISSUE: Whether or not Espejo and his partner Zaldarriaga should be liable for da
mages though they do not know the identity of Gilchrist. SC RULING: YES. Judgmen
t is affirmed, that Cuddy was liable in an action for damages for the breach of
that contract, and there can be no doubt. The mere right to compete could not ju
stify the appellants in intentionally inducing Cuddy to take away the appellee s
contractual rights. Everyone has a right to enjoy the fruits and advantages of
his own enterprise, industry, skill and credit. He has no right to be free from
malicious and wanton interference, disturbance or annoyance. If disturbance or l
oss come as a result of competition, or the exercise of like rights by others, i
t is damnum absque injuria(loss without injury), unless some superior right by c
ontract or otherwise is interfered with. Cuddy contract on the part of the appel
lants was a desire to make a profit by exhibiting the film in their theater. The
re was no malice beyond this desire; but this fact does not relieve them of the
legal liability for interfering with that contract and causing its breach. Liabi
lity of the appellants arises from unlawful acts and not from contractual obliga
tions, as they were under no such obligations to induce Cuddy to violate his con
tract with Gilchrist. So that if the action of Gilchrist had been one for damage
s, it would be governed by chapter 2, title 16, book 4 of the Civil Code. Articl
e 1902 of that code provides that a person who, by act or omission, causes damag
es to another when there is fault or negligence, shall be obliged to repair the
damage do done. There is nothing in this article which requires as a condition p
recedent to the liability of a tort-feasor that he must know the identity of a p
erson to whom he causes damages. An injunction is a "special remedy" which was t
here issued by the authority and under the seal of a court of equity, and limite
d, as in order cases where equitable relief is sought, to cases where there is n
o "plain, adequate, and complete remedy at law," which "will not be granted whil
e the rights between the parties are undetermined, except in extraordinary cases
where material and irreparable injury will be done," which cannot be compensate
d in damages, and where there will be no adequate remedy, and which will not, as
a rule, be granted, to take property out of the possession of one party and put
it into that of another whose title has not been established by law . Irreparab
le injury does not meant such injury as is beyond the possibility of repair, or
beyond possible compensation in damages, nor necessarily great injury or great d
amage, but that species of injury, whether great or small, that ought not to be
submitted to on the one hand or inflicted on the other; and, because it is so la
rge on the one hand, or so small on the other, is of such constant and frequent
recurrence that no fair or reasonable redress can be had therefor in a court of
law. Gilchrist was facing the immediate prospect of diminished profits by reason
of the fact that the appellants had induced Cuddy to rent to them the film Gilc
hrist had counted upon as his feature film. It is quite apparent that to estimat
e with any decree of accuracy the damages which Gilchrist would likely suffer fr
om such an event would be quite difficult if not impossible. So far as the preli
minary injunction issued against the appellants is concerned, which prohibited t
hem from exhibiting the Zigomar during the week which Gilchrist desired to exhib
it it, we are of the opinion that the circumstances justified the issuance of th
at injunction in the discretion of the court. The remedy by injunction cannot be
used to restrain a legitimate competition, though such competition would involv
e the violation of a contract.
15. GELUZ V. CA FACTS: Nita Villanueva came to know the defendant (Antonio Geluz
) for the first time in 1948-- thru her aunt. In 1950, she became pregnant by he
r present husband before they were legally married. To conceal her pregnancy fro
m her parent, she had herself aborted by defendant. After the marriage with the
plaintiff, she again became pregnant. As she was employed in the COMELEC and her
pregnancy proved to be inconvenient, she had herself aborted again by defendant
in Oct 1953. Less than 2 years later, she again became pregnant. On February 21
, 1955, she again repaired to the defendant s clinic. Nita was again aborted of
a 2-month old foetus, in consideration of the sum of P50. It is the third and la
st abortion that constitutes plaintiffs basis in filing this action and award of
damages. The CA and the trial court predicated the award of damages upon the pro
visions of the initial par. of Art. 2206 of the NCC. ISSUE: Whether or not there
can be recovery for damages resulting to the death or abortion of an unborn chi
ld. SC RULING: This award, we believe, to be error for the said art., in fixing
an award for the death of a person, does not cover the case of an unborn foetus
that is not endowed w/ personality. Parents of unborn foetus cannot sue for dama
ges on its behalf. A husband of a woman who voluntarily procured her abortion co
uld not recover damages from the physician who caused the same. (1) Since an act
ion for pecuniary damages on account of personal injury or death pertains primar
ily to the injured, no such right of action could derivatively accrue to the par
ents or heirs of an unborn child. In fact, even if a cause of action did accrue
on behalf of the unborn child, the same was extinguished by its pre-natal death,
since no transmission to anyone can take place from one that lacked juridical p
ersonality (or juridical capacity, as distinguished from capacity to act). It is
no answer to invoke the provisional personality of a conceived child (conceptus
pro nato habetur) under Article 40 of the Civil Code, because that same article
expressly limits such provisional personality by imposing the condition that th
e child should be subsequently born alive: "provided it be born later with the c
ondition specified in the following article." In the present case, there is no d
ispute that the child was dead when separated from its mother s womb. (2) This i
s not to say that the parents are not entitled to collect any damages at all. Bu
t such damages must be those inflicted directly upon them, as distinguished from
the injury or violation of the rights of the deceased, his right to life and ph
ysical integrity. Because the parents cannot expect either help, support or serv
ices from an unborn child, they would normally be limited to moral damages for t
he illegal arrest of the normal development of the spes hominis that was the foe
tus, i.e., on account of distress and anguish attendant to its loss, and the dis
appointment of their parental expectations (Art. 2217, CC), as well as to exempl
ary damages, if the circumstances should warrant them (Art. 2230, CC). But in th
is case, there is no basis for an award of moral damages, evidently because the
husband s indifference to the previous abortions clearly indicates that he was u
nconcerned with the frustration of his parental hopes and affection.
Art. 41. For civil purposes, the foetus is considered born if it is alive at the
time it is completely delivered from the mother s womb. However, if the foetus
had an intrauterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it
dies within twentyfour hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb.
16. PNB vs. CA FACTS: Plaintiff, Philamgen as surety, issued a bond in favor of
Tapnio, to secure the latters obligation to PNB of the sum of P2371.79 plus 12%
interest. Philamgen paid the said amount to PNB and seek indemnity from Tapnio.
Tapnio refused to pay alleging that he was not liable to the bank because due to
the negligence of the latter the contract of lease with Tuazon was rescind whic
h amounts to P2, 800.Tapnio mortgage his standing crops and sugar quota to PNB.
Tapnio agreed to lease the sugar quota, in excess of his need to Tuazon which wa
s approved by the branch and vice president of the PNB in the amount of P2.80 pe
r picul. However, the banks board of directors disapproved the lease, stating tha
t the amount should be P3.00 per picul, its market value. Tuazon ask for reconsi
deration to the board which was not acted by the board, so the lease was not con
summated resulting to the loss of P2,800, which could have been earned by Tapnio
. The Trial court and CA ruled that the bank was liable to Tapnio. Thus, this pe
tition. ISSUE: Whether or not PNB is liable to Tapnio. SC RULING: Yes, PNB is li
able to Tapnio. PNB argue that it has a right both under its own Charter and und
er the Corporation Law, to approve or disapprove the said lease of sugar quota a
nd in the exercise of that authority. The SC said that time is of the essence in
the approval of the lease of sugar quota allotments, since the same must be uti
lized during the milling season. There was no proof that there was any other per
son at that time willing to lease the sugar quota allotment of private responden
ts for a price higher than P2.80 per picul. Also, Considering that all the accou
nts of Rita Gueco Tapnio with the Bank were secured by chattel mortgage on stand
ing crops, assignment of leasehold rights and interests on her properties, and s
urety bonds and that she had apparently "the means to pay her obligation to the
Bank, there was NO REASONABLE BASIS for the Board of Directors of petitioner to
have rejected the lease agreement. While petitioner had the ultimate authority o
f approving or disapproving the proposed lease since the quota was mortgaged to
the Bank, the latter certainly cannot escape its responsibility of observing, fo
r the protection of the interest of private respondents. The law makes it impera
tive that every person "must in the exercise of his rights and in the performanc
e of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and and good faith. Ce
rtainly, it knew that the agricultural year was about to expire, that by its dis
approval of the lease private respondents would be unable to utilize the sugar q
uota in question. Under Article 21 of the New Civil Code, "any person who wilful
ly 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 gran
ts adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossib
le for human foresight to specifically provide in the statutes. Cases 9-16
DAMPAG, JONELLA L. 17. NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION VS. IAC FACTS: Private
respondents Andres Ventura, Antonio Fajardo, Marcelo Fajardo ,Alfonso Ventura a
nd Florentino Ventura are leasehold tenants of a parcel of the land consisting o
f about five (5) hectare of Riceland situated at sitio Dagat-dagatan,STO.Rosa,Nu
eva Ecija,Sometime in 1967,petitioner NIA constractedan irrigation canal on the
property of Isabel and Virginia Tecson which passed through the private responde
nts landholding as said irrigation canal traverses the Cinco-cinco creek which ab
ut said landholding.The irrigation canal has two (2)outlets which provide privat
e respondents landholding with water coming from said canal and at the same time
serve to drain the excess water of said landholdings. On February 13, 1975, priv
ate respondents filed a complaint per the abatement of nuisance with damages aga
inst pititioners NIA and or the administrator of the NIA alleging that the two o
utlet were with gates to regulate the flow of water from the canal to their land
holdings which resulted to the inundation of said landholdings causing the power
to sustain damages consisting in the destruction of the planted palay crops and
also prevented them from planting on their landholdings. Ruling of the Trial Co
urt: The court finds the complaint meritorious. However,since there were typhoon
s and plant pests that reduced the harvests of the plaintiffs and that there wer
e benefits that accrued to the plaintiffs by reason of said irrigation canal, th
e civil liability of the defendant should naturally be reduced. Wherefore,judgme
nt is hereby entered:1)Ordering the defendant to pay the plaintiffs the sum of 3
5,000.00 representing damages;2)Ordering defendant to pay 5,000.00 for attorneys
fees and the cost of the suit. Not satisfied with said decision,petitioners elev
ated the matter to the appellate court which rendered a decision on Feb.27,1986
affirming in toto the decision of the trial court. Ruling of the Intermediate Ap
pellate Court: It has been established that the plaintiffs landholdings were act
ually inundated. The testimonies by all the plaintiffs with respect to the amoun
t of the loss they suffered were not impugned by any contradictory evidence of t
he defendant .To our mind,the testimonies are sufficient proof to make the grant
of damages valid and proper.Besides, the amount awarded by the lower court is j
ust and reasonable considering the circumstances of the case. ISSUE: The petitio
ners contended that the respondent appellate court erred in affirming the decisi
on of the trial court because NIA is immune from suit for quasi-delict or tort,
and assuming NIA could be sued, it is not liable for tort since it did not not a
ct through a special agent as required under paragraph 6,Article 2180 of the civ
il code of the Philippines. RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT: Petitioners are in erro
r. As correctly ruled by the court below the NIA is not immune from suit, by vir
tue of the express provision of P.D. 552.
A reading of section 2,sub-paragraph(j) of P.D. NO.552 amending R.A NO.3601 show
s the granting to NIA the power to exercise all the powers of a corporation unde
r the Corporation Law, insofar as they are not inconsistent with the provisions
of this act. Paragraph 4 of said law also provide that petitioner NIA may sue an
d be sued in court for all kinds of an, actions ,whether contractual or quasi-co
ntractual, in the recovery of compensation and damages as in the instant case co
nsidering that private respondents action is based on damages caused by the negli
gence of petitioners. This court had previously held that the NIA is a governmen
t agency with a juridical personality separate and distinct from the government.
It is not mere agency of the government but a corporate body performing proprie
tary function as it has its own assets and liabilities as well as its own corpor
ate powers to be exercised by a Board of Directors. Paragraph 6,Article 2180 sta
tes that: The state is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special
agent; but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom the task
done properly pertains, in which case what is provided in Article 2176 shall be
applicable. Article 2176:Whoever by acts or omission causes damage to another, th
ere being fault or negligence,is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault
or negligence, if here is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parti
es, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this chapter.
Wherefore, this petition for review on certiorari is hereby denied for lack of m
erit. 18. YU VS.COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Petitioner, the exclusive distributor of
the House of Mayfair wall covering products in the Philippines, cried foul when
his former dealer of the same goods, herein private respondent, purchased the m
erchandise from the house of Mayfair in England through FNF Trading in West Germ
any and sold said merchandise in the Philippines. Both the court of origin and t
he appellate court rejected petitioners thesis that private respondent was engage
d in a sinister form of unfair competition within the context of Article 28 of t
he New Civil Code. Hence, the petition at bar. In the suit for injunction which
petitioner filed before the RTC of the National Capital Judicial Region (Manila)
, petitioner pressed the idea that he was practically by-passed and that private
respondent acted in correct with the FNF Trading in misleading Mayfair into bel
ieving that the goods ordered by the trading firm were intended for shipment to
Nigeria although they were actually shipped to and sold in the Philippines. Priv
ate respondent professed ignorance of the exclusive contract in favor of the pet
itioner. Even then, private respondent responded by asserting that petitioners u
nderstanding with Mayfair is binding only between the parties thereto. Petitione
r impressed before the lower court that he is seeking to enjoin the sale and dis
tribution by private respondent of the same goods in the market. Ruling of the T
rial Court: There is no privity of contract between the plaintiff and the defend
ant; that the controversy in this case arose from a breach of contract by the FN
F Trading of Germany, for having shipped goods it has purchased from the house o
f
Mayfair to the Philippines; It appears to the court that to restrain the defenda
nt from selling the goods it has ordered from the FNF Trading of Germany , would
be without legal justification. Wherefore, the motion for the issuance of preli
minary injunction for restrain the defendant from selling the goods it has order
ed from the FNF trading of Germany is hereby Denied. The indifference of the tri
al court towards petitioners supplication occasioned the filing of a petition fo
r review on certiorari with the CA. Ruling of the CA: the CA concurred with the
trial court stating that petitioner was not able to demonstrate the unequivocal
right which he sought to protect and that private respondent is a complete stran
ger vis-a-vis the covenant between petitioner and Mayfair. ISSUE: Did the respon
dent appellate court correctly agree with the lower court in disallowing the vis
it solicited by herein petitioner? RULING OF THE SUPREME COURT: Verily, injuncti
on is the appropriate remedy to prevent a wrongful interference with contracts w
here the legal remedy is insufficient and the resulting injury is irreparable (G
ilchrist VS. Cuddy, 29 Phil.542); 4-A Padilla, Civil Code Annotated, 1988 Ed; p.
90). The liability of private respondent, if any, does not emanate from the four
corners of the contract for undoubtedly, Unisia merchandising Co.,Inc. is not a
party thereto but its accountability is . an independent act generative of civil
liability? Wherefore, the petition is hereby Granted the decision of the CA are
hereby reversed and set aside. Let this case be remanded to the court of origin
for issuance of a preliminary injunction. 19. GILCHRIST VS. CUDDY FACTS: C.S Gi
lchrist, the plaintiff, proprietor of the Eagle Theater of Iloilo, contracted wi
th E.A. Cuddy, one of the defendants, of manila, for a film entitled Zigomar or E
elskin, 3d series to be exhibite in his theater in Iloilo during the week beginn
ing may 26,1913. Later, the defendants Espejo and Zaldarriaga,who were also oper
ating a theater in Iloilo ,representing Pathe Freres, also obtained from Cuddy a
contract for the exhibition of the film aforesaid in their theater in Iloilo du
ring the same week. The plaintiff commenced this action against Cuddy and the de
fendants Espejo and Zaldarriaga for the specific performance of the contract wit
h Cuddy. The complaint prays the court, by a mandatory injunction, order Cuddy t
o deliver , on the 24th of may,1913, is accordance with the aforesaid contract;
the said film to the plaintiff Gilchrist, in accordance with the terms of the ag
reement, so that plaintiff can exhibit the same during the last week beginning m
ay 26,1913, in the Eagle theater, in Iloilo; that the court issue a preliminary
injunctions against the defendant Espejo and Zaldariaga prohibiting them from re
ceiving, exhibiting, or using said film in Iloilo during the last week of may, 1
913, or at any other time prior to the delivery to the plaintiff;
that, on the trial said injunction be maid perpetual and that Cuddy be ordered a
nd commanded to specifically perform his contract with the plaintiff. Ruling of
the Trial Court: The court entered an order which provided that Cuddy should not
send said film Zigomar to the defendants Espejo and Zaldarriaga and that he sho
uld send its to the plaintiff, Gilchrist. Defendant Espejo and Zaldarriaga havin
g received due notice of the issuance of the mandatory injunction and restrainin
g order, appeared before the court and move that the court vacate such order pro
hibiting them from receiving and exhibiting the film. Ruling of the CA: The cour
t sustained their objection and declined to dismiss the action as to them, the c
ourt denied the defendants the relief asked for and dismissed their claim for da
mages. They thereupon took an appeal from that order. ISSUE: Does the fact that
the appellant did not know at the time the identity of the original lessee of th
e film militate against Gilchrist right to a preliminary injunction, although he
appellants incurred civil liability for such interference? RULING OF THE SUPREM
E COURT: In the examination of the adjudicated cases, where in injunctions have
been issued to restrain wrongful interference with contracts by strangers to suc
h contracts, we have been unable to find any case where this prices question was
involved , as in all of those cases which we have examined, the identity of bot
h of contracting parties was known to the tort-feasors. We might say, however, t
hat this fact does not seem to have been a controlling feature in those cases. T
here is nothing in section 164 of the code of civil procedure which indicates, e
ven remotely, that before on injunction may issue restraining the wrongful inter
ference with contracts by strangers ,the strangers must know the identity of bot
h parties. In the case at bar, the only motive for the interference with the Gil
christ Cuddy contract on the part of the appellants was a desire to make a profi
t by exhibiting the film in their theater. There was no malice beyond this desir
e ; but this fact does not relieve them of the legal liability for interfering w
ith the contract and causing its breach. It is therefore, clear under above auth
orities, that they were liable to Gilchrist for the damages caused by their acts
, unless they are relieved from such liability by reason of the fact that they d
id not know at the time the identity of the original lessee of the film. 20. ILO
ILO COLD STORAGE CO. VS. MUNICIPAL COUNCIL FACTS: The plaintiff, upon authority
granted by the defendant, constructed an ice and cold storage plant in the city
of Iloilo. Sometime after the plant had been completed and was in operation, nea
rby residents made complaints to the defendant that the smoke from the plant was
very injurious to their health and comfort. Thereupon the defendant appointed a
committee to investigate and report upon the matters contained in said complain
ts. The committee reported that the complaints were well founded.
The defendant council then passed a resolution which reads in part as follows.tha
t after the approval by the honorable provincial board of this resolution , a pe
riod of one month will be granted to the said entity , the Iloilo Ice and Cold s
torage company , in which to proceed with the elevation of said smokestacks, and
if not done the municipal president will execute the order requiring the closin
g or suspension of operation of said establishment. Upon notice and after heavin
g, a preliminary injunction was issued. Subsequently thereto the dependent answe
red the allegations in the complaint and prays that it be absolved from the comp
laint and the plaintiff be declared to have no right to the remedy asked, and th
at the preliminary injunction issued I this case be set aside, with the cost aga
inst the plaintiff. The plaintiff demurred to this answered, and this answer, an
d this demurred was sustained. Ruling of the trial court: the defendant will ame
nd his answer within 5 days or the injunction will be permanently granted as pra
yed for, with costs to the defendant. To this order the defendant excepted and n
ot desiring to amend its answer, appealed to this court. ISSUE: Is the municipal
council has the power to declare the plant of the petitioner a nuisance and aba
tes. HELD: The municipal council is under section 39(j) of the municipal code, s
pecifically empowered to declare and abate nuisances. A nuisance is according to
Blackstone, anything that worketh hurt, inconvenience , or damage they arise fro
m pursuing particular trades or industries in populous neighborhoods; from acts
of public indecency ,keeping disorderly houses and houses of ill fame, gambling
houses. Nuisances have been divided into 2 classes: nuisance per se and nuisance
per accidens. Nuisance per se belong those which are unquestionably and under a
ll circumstances, Nuisances, such as gambling houses of ill fame, etc. The numbe
r of nuisances are such because of particular facts and circumstances surroundin
g the otherwise harmless cause of the nuisance. In the present case it is certai
n that the ice factory of the plaintiff is not a nuisance per se. It is a legiti
mate industry, beneficial to the people and conducive to their health and comfor
t. If it be in fact a nuisance due to the manner of its operation, that question
cannot determined by a mere resolution of the board. It is said that plaintiff
cannot be compelled to build its smoke stock higher if said stock is in fact a n
uisance for the reason that the stock was built under authority granted by the d
efendant and in accordance with the prescribe requirements. For the foregoing re
ason the order sustaining the plaintiff demurrer to the defendant answer is reve
rsed. The record will be returned to the court when it came with
instructions to proceed with the trial of the cause in accordance with this open
ion. No costs will be allowed in this instance. So ordered order reversed. 21. D
E AYALA VS. BARRETTO FACTS: This is a suit for a permanent injunction against th
e erection and operation of a combined brewery and ice plant on Calle General So
lano in the city of Manila, on the ground that it will be a nuisance. From a jud
gment denying the relief prayed for, the plaintiffs have appealed. The twenty-tw
o plaintiffs are either residents or property owners on Calle General Solano. Tw
elve of them are actual residents of the street and of these twelve, six are les
sees of the property owned by other plaintiffs. General Solano has long been a f
ashionable residence street and the dwellings located upon it are large and expe
nsive. At the present day, however, some of these residences are being used for
other purposes. There are now upon this street a coal yard, a warehouse, and a c
igarette factory, all very near the proposed location of the defendants brewery,
and there are also a public school and a club on the street. ISSUE: Is Calle Gen
eral Solano is a strictly residential street, and that the proposed plant to be
operated will create such nuisance? HELD: Under these facts we do not think that
it can be said with entire correctness that the street in question is a strictl
y residential street. That it is not purely a residence street is clear, and tha
t there are numerous businesses near it in nearly every direction is also clear.
There is no doubt that the appropriateness of the locality selected by the defe
ndants as the site of their proposed plant must have considerable bearing upon t
he question whether the plant will create a nuisance. It appears that the locali
ty in question is gradually being transformed from a fashionable residence distr
ict into an industrial center. We think that the preponderating weight of eviden
ce is to the effect that the new brewery will be operated with a minimum of offe
nse to nearby residents, and that in view of the semi-industrial character of th
e locality, what noise, etc., is produced, cannot be held to be unreasonable. It
is possible that plaintiffs, or some of them, might prove damages by reason of
property depreciation. But at all the events, this is not a proper case for the
issuance of the extra-ordinary remedy of injunction. The judgment appealed from
is affirmed, with costs against the appellants. SO ORDERED. 22. SAN RAFAEL HOME
OWNERS ASSOCIATION INC. VS. CITY OF MANILA FACTS: Civil case no.65992 and civil
case no. 66179, the first prohibition with preliminary injunction and the second
for prohibition and mandamus with preliminary injunction were filed in the Cour
t of first instance of Manila by the San Rafael Homeowners Association, Inc. and
others. The respondents were the City of Manila and the members of the city off
icials. The petitioners sought to restrain the respondents from conducting a pub
lic bidding for the construction and establishment of an incinerator-thermal pla
nt as a system of garbage and refuse disposal in the City of Manila on the groun
d that an incinerator is a nuisance per se. The records shows that since 1955 th
e City of Manila had been conducting studies on the problem of garbage
and refuse disposal. In 1961 a pilot composting plant was in operation at the No
rth Harbor. On November 15,1965 city ordinance no. 5274 was enacted, Authorizing
the establishment , equipping and construction of a garbage and refuse disposal
plant and appropriating the sum of 15,000.00 for that purpose. The two cases were
heard jointly, and from the decision of the court a quo dismissing them the pet
itioners brought an instant appeal. In their brief the petitioners cite numerous
errors in the decision of the lower court. The main points, however are that th
e advertised bidding for an incinerator was in excess of the respondents authori
ty because an incinerator is a nuisance per se and because its establishment wou
ld violate ordinance no. 5274, the City charter of Manila, the revised administr
ative code, an the local autonomy. ISSUE: Whether or not the argument of the pet
itioners that composting is better than incineration as a method of garbage and
refuse disposal and that incineration will prove to be a nuisance is meritorious
? HELD: It is, to our mind, entirely pointless to go into an academic discussion
of the relative merits of the composting and the incineration methods of garbar
ge and refuse disposal for purposes of deciding whether or not at this stage pro
hibition should issue to stop the bidding called for by the respondents. The ins
tant petitions for that purpose are premature. Certainly this court cannot and s
hould not substitute its judgment this early for that of the respondents, and on
a purely theoretical basis rule that the bids submitted should not be opened, o
r if opened should not be accepted, because not one of the plants therein offere
d to be established would serve the purpose envisaged and because, if so establi
shed, it would so pollute the environment as to constitute a nuisance. If and wh
en such a result becomes a reality, or at least an imminent threat, that will be
the time the petitioners may come to court .That they are not successful now wi
ll not preclude them from doing so, because a continuing nuisance calls for a co
ntinuing remedy. Wherefore, we find the present appeal to be without merit, and
hereby affirm the judgment of the court a quo, with costs against the petitioner
s-appellants. Judgment affirmed. 23. TAYLOR VS. MANILA ELECTRIC RAILROAD AND LIG
HT CO. FACTS: An action to recover damages for the loss of an eye and other inju
ries, instituted by David Taylor, a minor, by his father, his nearest relative.
The defendant is a foreign corporation engaged in the operation of a street rail
way and an electric light system in the city of Manila.The plaintiff, David Tayl
or, was at the time when he received the injuries complained of,15 years of age.
On the 30th of September , 1905 David together with his companion Manuel Clapar
ols went to the companys premises and found some twenty or thirty brass fulminati
ng caps scattered on the ground. They tried to break the cap with a stone and ha
mmer but failed, so they opened one of the caps with a knife and finding that it
was filed with a yellowish substance they lighted it with a match and explosion
followed causing them more or less injuries and to the removal of the right eye
of David. So this action arises and the trial court ruled in favor of the plain
tiff. RULING OF THE LOWER COURT: The claim of the plaintiff shows that evidence
in the record sufficiently establishes the contrary, and justifies the court in
drawing the reasonable inference that the caps found on its premises were its pr
operty.Thus,
applying the provisions of the Articles 1089 of the Civil Code read together wit
h articles 1902,1903, and 1908 of that Code, the company is liable for the damag
e which was occurred. Not satisfied with the decision of lower court, counsel fo
r defendant and appellant rests his appeal strictly upon his contention that the
facts proven at the trial do not establish the liability of the company under t
he provisions of these articles. ISSUE: Whether or not David is entitled to dama
ges HELD: In the case at bar, we are satisfied that the plaintiff in this case h
ad sufficient capacity and understanding to be sensible of the danger to which h
e exposed himself when he put the match to the contents of the cap; that he was
sui juris in the sense that his age and his experience qualified him to understa
nd and appreciate the necessity for the exercise of that degree of caution which
would have avoided the injury resulted from his own deliberate act; and that th
e injury incurred by him must be held to have been the direct and immediate resu
lt of his own willful and reckless act, so that while it may be true that these
injuries would not have been incurred but for the negligent act of the defendant
in leaving the caps exposed on its premises, nevertheless plaintiffs own act was
the proximate and principal cause of the accident which inflicted the injury .W
e think it is quite clear that the immediate cause of the explosion ,the acciden
t which resulted in plaintiffs injury ,was his own act in putting a match to the
contents of the cap, and that having contributed to the principal occurrence, as
one of its determining factors, he can not recover. Twenty days after the date o
f this decision let judgment be entered reversing the judgment of the court belo
w, without costs to either party in this instance, and 10 days thereafter let th
e record be returned to the court wherein it originated, where judgment will be
entered in favor of the defendant for the costs in first instance and the compla
int dismissed without day. SO ORDERED. Judgment reversed. 24. ALGARRA VS. SANDEJ
AS FACTS : Plaintiff received personal injuries as a result of defendants neglige
nt act and was incapacitated for two months. Plaintiff was a commission agent, h
ad about twenty regular customers, who purchased his wares in small quantities,
necessitating regular and frequent deliveries. Being unable to attend to their w
ants during the two months he was incapacitated, his regular customers turned th
eir trade to other competing agents. On recovering, he had lost all but four reg
ular customers, whose purchases netted him about seven pesos per month. It took
him four years to build up his patronage to its proportions at the time of the a
ccident. At that time this trade netted him about fifty pesos per month. RULING
OF THE LOWER COURT: Under this state of facts, the lower court, while recognizin
g the justness of the claim, refused to allow him anything for injury to his bus
iness due to his enforced absence therefrom, stating that the civil liability is
almost always limited to indemnity for damage to the party aggrieved for the ti
me during which he was incapacitated for work.
ISSUE: Whether this damage to his business can be so nearly ascertained as to ju
stify a court in awarding any amount whatever HELD: When it is shown that a plai
ntiffs business is a going concern with a fairly steady average profit on the inv
estment, it may be assumed that had the interruption to the business through def
endants wrongful act not occurred, it would have continued producing this averag
e income so long as is usual with things of that nature. When in addition to the
previous average income of the business it is further shown what the reduced re
ceipts of the business are immediately after the cause of the interruption has b
een removed , there can be no manner of doubt that a loss of profits has resulte
d from the wrongful act of the defendant. In the present case ,we not only have
the value of plaintiffs business to him just prior to the accident, but we also h
ave its value to him after the accident. At the trial, he testified that his wif
e had earned about 15 pesos during the 2 months that he was disabled. That this
almost total destruction of his business was directly chargeable to defendants wr
ongful act there can be no manner of doubt; and the mere fact that the loss can
not be ascertained with absolute accuracy, is no reason for denying plaintiffs cl
aim altogether as it would be a reproach to the law if he could not recover dama
ges at all. Wherefore ,the judgment of the lower court is set aside, and the pla
intiff is awarded the following damages: ten pesos for medical expenses; one hun
dred pesos for the two months of his enforce absence from his business ; and two
hundred and fifty pesos for the damage done to his business in the way of loss
of profits ,or a total of three hundred and sixty pesos .No cost will be allowed
in this instance. Judgment set aside, damages allowed. Cases 17-24 APPAG, ANNIE
LYN D. 25. TAYAG VS. ALCANTARA FACTS: Pedro Tayag, Sr. on his way home was ridin
g a bicycle along Mcarthur Highway at Bo. San Rafael, Tarlac when he was bumped
and hit by a Philippine Rabbit Bus bearing a body number 1107 and a plate number
YL604PUB74 which was being driven by Romeo Villa. As a result, Pedro Tayag, Sr.
suffered injuries which caused his instant death. The heirs of Pedro Tayag then
filed a case against the bus company and the driver in a Civil Case No. 5114. Ph
ilippine Rabbit filed a motion to suspend the civil case on the ground that the
criminal case against the driver is still pending. When the driver was acquitted
on the criminal case, the bus company filed a motion to dismiss the civil case
which was granted by the Hon. Judge Alcantara. This now led to the petition for
certiorari by the plaintiff. ISSUE: Whether or not the Hon. Judge Alcantara acte
d without or in excess of his jurisdiction in dismissing the civil case.
HELD: Yes. Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising
from the act or commission complained of as a felony. such civil action may proc
eed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of th
e latter. All the essential averments for a quasi delictual action are present,
namely: (1) an act or omission constituting fault or negligence on the part of p
rivate respondent; (2) damage caused by the said act or commission; (3) direct c
ausal relation between the damage and the act or commission; and (4) no pre-exis
ting contractual relation between the parties. The petitioners cause of action
being based on a quasi delict the acquittal of the driver, private respondent Ro
meo Villa, of the crime charged in Criminal Case No. 836 is not a bar to the pro
secution of Civil Case No. 5114 for damages based on quasi-delict. In the light
of the foregoing, We hold that respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discre
tion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in dismissing Civil Case No. 5114. 26. VE
RGARA vs. CA, AMADEO AZARCON FACTS:Martin Belmonte was driving a truck belonging
to Vicente Vergara when it rammed head-on to the store-residence of Amadeo Azarco
n causing damage amounting to Php53,024.22. Vergara alleged that what happened w
as an act of God being that the cargo truck had mechanical problem in a way that
the steering wheel refused to respond causing the driver to lost control. The t
rial court decided in favor of Amadeo Azarcon which was affirmed in too by the C
A ordering Vergara and the insurance company to pay jointly and severally Amadeo
Azarcon. Thus the appeal to the Supreme Court. ISSUE: Whether or not the trial
court is correct in holding the owner Vergara liable for fault and negligence. H
ELD: Yes. It was established by competent evidence that the requisites of a quas
i-delict are present in the case at bar. These requisites are: (1) damages to th
e plaintiff; (2) negligence, by act or omission, of which defendant, or some per
son for whose acts he must respond, was guilty; and (3) the connection of cause
and effect between such negligence and the damages. Contrary to the claim of the
petitioner, a mishap caused by defective brakes can not be considered as fortui
tous in character. Certainly, the defects were curable and the accident preventa
ble. Furthermore, the petitioner failed to adduce any evidence to overcome the d
isputable presumption of negligence on his part in the selection and supervision
of his driver. 27. ANDAMO vs. IAC FACTS: Spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo
owned a land adjacent to the property of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Sale
tte, Inc. The missionaries constructed
in the property waterpaths, contrivances and artificial lake which inundated and
eroded the property of the Andamos casuing the death of a man and damaged the c
rops therein and endangered the life of the workers of the Andamos. The Andamos
then filed a criminal case against the missionaries then later on filed a civil
case praying for preliminary injunction. The lower court, deciding on the opposi
tion of the missionaries, suspended the further hearing on the civil case and th
en finally basing on Sec. 3, Rule 11 of Rules of Court dismissed the same for la
ck of jurisdiction since the criminal case was still unresolved. The appellate c
ourt affirmed the decision and denied the motion for reconsideration. Thus this
appeal. ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal of the civil case based on Sec. 3, R
ule 11 of the Rules of Court was proper. HELD: It is not proper. Section 3 (a),
Rule III of the Rules of Court which provides that "criminal and civil actions a
rising from the same offense may be instituted separately, but after the crimina
l action has been commenced the civil action cannot be instituted until final ju
dgment has been rendered in the criminal action." A careful examination of the a
forequoted complaint shows that the civil action is one under Articles 2176 and
2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts. All the elements of a quasi-delict are
present, to wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence
of the defendant, or some other person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) t
he connection of cause and effect between the fault or negligence of the defenda
nt and the damages incurred by the plaintiff. In the case of Samson vs. Dionisio
, the Court applied Article 1902, now Article 2176 of the Civil Code and held th
at "any person who without due authority constructs a bank or dike, stopping the
flow or communication between a creek or a lake and a river, thereby causing lo
ss and damages to a third party who, like the rest of the residents, is entitled
to the use and enjoyment of the stream or lake, shall be liable to the payment
of an indemnity for loss and damages to the injured party. WHEREFORE, the assail
ed decision dated February 17, 1986 of the then Intermediate Appellate Court aff
irming the order of dismissal of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, Branch 18 (
Tagaytay City) dated August 17, 1984 is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. 28. PHILI
PPINE BANK OF COMMERCE VS. CA FACTS: Rommelss Marketing Corporation ( RMC ) maint
ained 2 separate accounts with the Philippine Bank of Commerce in Pasig Branch.
For one ( 1 ) years, the RMC has been entrusting funds in the amount of Php304,9
79.74 to Irene Yabut, the company secretary, for the purpose of depositing the s
aid funds in the companys account under PBC. Unknown to the knowledge of the comp
any, Irene Yabut has been depositing the funds in the account of his husband Cot
as. When depositing, Yabut will fill-up the deposit slip with its duplicate wher
e the original copy contains the name account number of her husband while the du
plicate contains the companys account number but the name was left blank but stil
l the teller validated the deposit slip. The RMC then filed an action to recover
the money.
The trial court found PBC negligent ordering it together with the teller, Mabaya
d, to pay jointly and severally the following: 304,979.72 representing the lost
deposit plus interest; 14% thereof as exemplary damages; and 25% of the total am
ount due as attorneys fees. The appellate court affirmed the decision of the RTC.
Thus the present case at the Supreme Court. ISSUE: Whether or not PBC is liable
for the lost deposits due to the negligent act of its teller Mabayad. HELD: Art.
2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there being fault or
negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if
there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties, is called a
quasidelict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. In the case at be
nch, there is no dispute as to the damage suffered by the private respondent (pl
aintiff in the trial court) RMC in the amount of P304,979.74. It is in ascribing
fault or negligence which caused the damage where the parties point to each oth
er as the culprit. It was this negligence of Ms. Azucena Mabayad, coupled by the
negligence of the petitioner bank in the selection and supervision of its bank
teller, which was the proximate cause of the loss suffered by the private respon
dent, and not the latter s act of entrusting cash to a dishonest employee, as in
sisted by the petitioners. Furthermore, under the doctrine of "last clear chance
" (also referred to, at times as "supervening negligence" or as "discovered peri
l"), petitioner bank was indeed the culpable party. This doctrine, in essence, s
tates that where both parties are negligent, but the negligent act of one is app
reciably later in time than that of the other, or when it is impossible to deter
mine whose fault or negligence should be attributed to the incident, the one who
had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so
is chargeable with the consequences thereof. The foregoing notwithstanding, it c
annot be denied that, indeed, private respondent was likewise negligent in not c
hecking its monthly statements of account. Had it done so, the company would hav
e been alerted to the series of frauds being committed against RMC by its secret
ary. The damage would definitely not have ballooned to such an amount if only RM
C, particularly Romeo Lipana, had exercised even a little vigilance in their fin
ancial affairs. This omission by RMC amounts to contributory negligence which sh
all mitigate the damages that may be awarded to the private respondent 23 under
Article 2179 of the New Civil Code, to wit: . . . When the plaintiff s own negli
gence was the immediate and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover dam
ages. But if his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate c
ause of the injury being the defendant s lack of due care, the plaintiff may rec
over damages, but the courts shall mitigate the damages to be awarded. In view o
f this, we believe that the demands of substantial justice are satisfied by allo
cating the damage on a 60-40 ratio. Thus, 40% of the damage awarded by the respo
ndent appellate court, except the award of P25,000.00 attorney s fees, shall be
borne by private respondent RMC; only the balance of 60% needs to be paid by the
petitioners. The award of attorney s fees shall be borne exclusively by the pet
itioners. WHEREFORE, the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is modified
by reducing the amount of actual damages private respondent is entitled to by 4
0%. Petitioners may recover from Ms. Azucena Mabayad the amount they would pay t
he private respondent. Private respondent shall have recourse against Ms. Irene
Yabut. In all other respects, the appellate court s decision is AFFIRMED. 29. RA
KES vs. ATLANTIC GULF and PACIFIC CO. FACTS: M.H. Rakes who was under the employ
ment of Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Company was at work transporting iron rails fr
om the barge from the harbor to the companys yard in Manila. During the process,
the track sagged, the tie broke, the car carrying the said iron rails either can
ted thus the rails slid off hitting the leg of Rakes causing it to be amputated.
Rakes then filed an action against Atlantic for their negligence. The trial cou
rt decided in favor of Rakes ordering the Atlantic to pay Rakes the amount of Ph
p5,000.00. The Atlantic then filed a petition alleging therein that the remedy f
or injuries through negligence lies only in a criminal action and the negligence
of Rakes was the cause of his injury for having noticed the depression in the t
rack he still continued his work and that he walked at the side of the car inste
ad of along the boards. The appellate court affirmed the said decision. ISSUE: W
hether or not the action of Rakes is considered negligent thus contributed to hi
s injury exempting the Atlantic from any liability. HELD: Although the defendants
negligence may have been the primary cause of the injury complained of, yet an a
ction for such injury cannot be maintained if the proximate and immediate cause
of the injury can be traced to the want of ordinary care and caution in the pers
on injured; subject to this qualification, which has grown up in recent years (h
aving been first enunciated in Davies vs. Mann, 10 M. & W., 546) that the contri
butory negligence of the party injured will not defeat the action if it be shown
that the defendant might, by the exercise of reasonable care and prudence, have
avoided the consequences of the injured partys negligence. Difficulty seems to b
e apprehended in deciding which acts of the injured party shall be considered im
mediate causes of the accident. The test is simple. Distinction must be between
the accident and the injury, between the event itself, without which there could
have been no accident, and those acts of the victim not entering into it, indep
endent of it, but contributing under review was the displacement of the crosspie
ce or the failure to replace it. This produced the event giving occasion for dam
ages that is, the shrinking of the track and the sliding of the iron rails. To t
his event, the act of the plaintiff in walking by the side of the car did not co
ntribute, although it was an element of the damage which came to himself. Had th
e crosspiece been out of place wholly or partly thorough his act of omission of
duty, the last would have been one of the determining causes of the event or acc
ident, for which he would have been responsible. Where he contributes to the pri
ncipal occurrence, as one of its determining factors, he cannot recover. Where,
in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes only to his own injury, he ma
y recover the amount that the defendant responsible for the event
should pay for such injury, less a sum deemed a suitable equivalent for his own
imprudence. Accepting, though with some hesitation, the judgment of the trial co
urt, fixing the damage incurred by the plaintiff at 5,000 pesos, the equivalent
of 2,500 dollars, United States money, we deduct therefrom 2,500 pesos, the amou
nt fairly attributable to his negligence, and direct judgment to be entered in f
avor of the plaintiff for the resulting sum of 2,500 pesos, with cost of both in
stances, and ten days hereafter let the case be remanded to the court below for
proper action. So ordered. 30. BARREDO and GARCIA vs. ALMARIO FACTS: A taxi cab
owned by Fausto Barredo and was being driven by Pedro Fontanilla collided head-o
n to a carretela being guided by Pedro Dimapilis. The carretela was overturned i
nflicting injuries to the passenger Fausto Garcia who later on died because of t
he injury sustained in the collision. A criminal action was filed against Fontan
illa in which he was convicted to an indeterminate sentence which was affirmed b
y the Court of Appeals. The parents of Faustino then filed a separate civil acti
on against Barredo and Fontanilla where the trial court ruled in favor of the pa
rents of Faustino. The appellate affirmed the decision stating therein that ther
e is no proof that Barredo exercised the diligence f a good father of a family t
o prevent the damage. Thus this appeal to the Supreme Court where Barredo allege
d that his liability is only subsidiary and as there has been no civil action ag
ainst Fontanilla, the criminally liable person, Barredo cannot be held responsib
le. ISSUE: Whether or not Barredo is liable being the owner of the taxicab and m
aking him responsible to the acts of his driver. HELD: ART. 1902. Any person who
by an act or omission causes damage to another by his fault or negligence shall
be liable for the damage so done. ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the next p
receding article is enforcible, not only for personal acts and omissions, but al
so for those of persons for whom another is responsible. The legal provisions, a
uthors, and cases already invoked should ordinarily be sufficient to dispose of
this case. But inasmuch as we are announcing doctrines that have been little und
erstood in the past, it might not be inappropriate to indicate their foundations
. Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in article 365 punishes not only reckless but
also simple negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civ
il Code refer only to fault or negligence not punished by law, according to the
literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa
aquiliana would have very little scope and application in actual life. Death or
injury to persons and damage to property through any degree of negligence even
the slightest would have to be indemnified only through the principle of civil l
iability arising from a crime. Secondly, to find the accused guilty in a crimina
l case, proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil cas
e, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant pay in damages.
There are numerous cases of criminal negligence which can not be shown beyond r
easonable doubt, but can be proved by a preponderance of
evidence. In such cases, the defendant can and should be made responsible in a c
ivil action under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Otherwise, there woul
d be many instances of unvindicated civil wrongs. Ubi jus ibi remedium. Thirdly,
to hold that there is only one way to make defendants liability effective, and t
hat is, to sue the driver and exhaust his (the latters) property first, would be
tantamount to compelling the plaintiff to follow a devious and cumbersome method
of obtaining relief. True, there is such a remedy under our laws, but there is
also a more expeditious way, which is based on the primary and direct responsibi
lity of the defendant under article 1903 of the Civil Code. At this juncture, it
should be said that the primary and direct responsibility of employers and thei
r presumed negligence are principles calculated to protect society. Workmen and
employees should be carefully chosen and supervised in order to avoid injury to
the public. It is the masters or employers who principally reap the profits resu
lting from the services of these servants and employees. It is but right that th
ey should guarantee the latters careful conduct for the personnel and patrimonial
safety of others. In the present case, we are asked to help perpetuate this usu
al course. But we believe it is high time we pointed out to the harm done by suc
h practice and to restore the principle of responsibility for fault or negligenc
e under articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to its full rigor. It is high ti
me we caused the stream of quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own na
tural channel, so that its waters may no longer be diverted into that of a crime
under the Penal Code. This will, it is believed, make for the better safeguardi
ng of private rights because it re- establishes an ancient and additional remedy
, and for the further reason that an independent civil action, not depending on
the issues, limitations and results of a criminal prosecution, and entirely dire
cted by the party wronged or his counsel, is more likely to secure adequate and
efficacious redress. In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Court of Appe
als should be and is hereby affirmed, with costs against the defendant- petition
er. 31. DIANA and DIANA vs. BATANGAS TRANSPORTATION CO. FACTS: Florencio Diana a
nd some other passengers died while riding in Truck No. 14 owned Batangas Transp
ortation Co. and being driven by Vivencio Bristol when it rammed into a ditch at
Bay Laguna. Bristol was then charged with multiple homicide through reckless im
prudence and was convicted thus ordering him and Batangas Transportation Co. to
indemnify the heirs of the deceased. The heirs then filed a civil case to recove
r from the Batangas Transportation for the negligent act of their driver. A writ
of execution was issued but Bristol was unable to comply with his obligation an
d the Batangas Transportation failed also to comply under its subsidiary liabili
ty. The lower court dismissed the civil case acting on the motion to dismiss of
the Batangas Transporation basing it on Rule 8, Sec. 1 (d) of Rule of Court alle
ging that the criminal action for the same caus of action was still pending. The
court of appeals did not take on the case on the ground that is poses merely a
question of law.
ISSUE: Whether or not the dismissal of the civil action by the lower court under
Rule 8 of the Rules of Court is correct. HELD: No its not correct. The requireme
nts for the application of Rule 8, Sec. 1 (d) are: 1.) Identity of parties or at
least such as representing the same interest in both actions. 2.) Identity of r
ights asserted and relief prayed for the relief being founded on the same facts.
3.) The identity on the two preceding particulars should be such that any judgm
ent which may be rendered on the other action will be regardless of which party
if successful, amount to res judicata in the action under consideration. Conside
ring the distinguishing characteristics of the two cases, which involve two diff
erent remedies, it can hardly be said that there is identity of reliefs in both
actions as to make the present case fall under the operation of Rule 8, section
1(d) of the Rules of Court. In other words, it is a mistake to say that the pres
ent action should be dismissed because of the pendency of another action between
the same parties involving the same cause. Evidently, both cases involve differ
ent causes of action. In fact, when the Court of Appeals dismissed the action ba
sed on culpa aquiliana (civil case No. 8023), this distinction was stressed. It
was there said that the negligent act committed by defendant s employee is not a
quasi crime, for such negligence is punishable by law. What plaintiffs should h
ave done was to institute an action under article 103 of the Revised Penal Code
(CA-G.R. No. 3632-R). And this is what plaintiffs have done. To deprive them now
of this remedy, after the conviction of defendant s employee, would be to depri
ve them altogether of the indemnity to which they are entitled by law and by a c
ourt decision, which injustice it is our duty to prevent. Wherefore, the order a
ppealed from is reversed and the case is hereby remanded to the lower court for
further proceedings. No pronouncement as to costs. 32. CARPIO vs. DOROJA FACTS:
Edwin Ramires, while driving a passenger Fuso Jitney which was owned and operate
d by Eduardo Toribio, bumped Dionision Carpio while crossing the street which ca
used him a fractured left clavicle and other injuries. An action for reckless im
prudence resulting to serious physical injuries was filed against Ramires where
he pleaded guilty to the lower offense. He was then sentenced to suffer I month
imprisonment and to indemnify Carpio in the amount of Php45.00 representing the
can of tomatoes, Php200.00 which he paid in the hospital, and Php1,500.00 as att
orneys fees. The civil aspect was appealed where the appellate court modified gra
nting the victim to recover moral damages in the amount of Php5,000.00 at the sa
me time affirming the other civil liabilities. A writ of execution was then serv
ed but the driver was insolvent thus Carpio moved for the imposition of the subs
idiary liability of the owner-operator but the trial judge denied alleging that
the appellate court made no mention of the subsidiary liability of the owner and
that Carpio failed to raise the matter in his appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the denial for the writ of execution against the owner in
performance of his subsidiary liability was proper. HELD: The present case is ne
ither an action for culpa-contractual nor for culpaaquiliana. This is basically
an action to enforce the civil liability arising from crime under Art. 100 of th
e Revised Penal Code. In no case can this be regarded as a civil action for the
primary liability of the employer under Art. 2180 of the New Civil Code, i.e., a
ction for culpa-aquiliana. The argument that the owner-operator cannot be held s
ubsidiarily liable because the matter of subsidiary liability was not raised on
appeal and in like manner, the appellate court s decision made no mention of suc
h subsidiary liability is of no moment. As already discussed, the filing of a se
parate complaint against the operator for recovery of subsidiary liability is no
t necessary since his liability is clear from the decision against the accused.
Such being the case, it is not indispensable for the question of subsidiary liab
ility to be passed upon by the appellate court. Such subsidiary liability is alr
eady implied from the appellate court s decision. The position taken by the resp
ondent appellate court that to grant the motion for subsidiary writ of execution
would in effect be to amend its decision which has already become final and exe
cutory cannot be sustained. Compelling the owner-operator to pay on the basis of
his subsidiary liability does not constitute an amendment of the judgment becau
se in an action under Art. 103 of the Revised Penal Code, once all the requisite
s as earlier discussed are met, the employer becomes ipso facto subsidiarily lia
ble, without need of a separate action. Such being the case, the subsidiary liab
ility can be enforced in the same case where the award was given, and this does
not constitute an act of amending the decision. It becomes incumbent upon the co
urt to grant a motion for subsidiary writ of execution (but only after the emplo
yer has been heard), upon conviction of the employee and after execution is retu
rned unsatisfied due to the employee s insolvency. WHEREFORE, the order of respo
ndent court disallowing the motion for subsidiary writ of execution is hereby SE
T ASIDE. The Court a quo is directed to hear and decide in the same proceeding t
he subsidiary liability of the alleged owner-operator of the passenger jitney. C
osts against private respondent. Cases 25-32 AGPAD, AMALIA B. 33. FAR EAST BANK
AND TRUST COMPANY vs. CA, et al. FACTS: Luis Luna has a FAREASTCARD issued by Fa
r East Bank and Trust Company. with a supplemental card issued to Clarita S. Lun
a. Clarita lost her credit card and informed Far East. She submitted an affidavi
t of loss. In cases of this nature, the bank would record the lost card, along w
ith the principal card, as a "Hot Card" or "Cancelled Card" in its master file.
When Luis had lunch for a close friend at a restaurant in a hotel, the card was
not honored then Luis was forced to pay in cash so he felt embarrassed. Luis Lun
a demanded from Far East the payment of damages. The vice-president of the bank,
expressed the bank s apologies to Luis in a letter. A letter was also sent to t
he restaurant to assure that Luis was "very valued clients" of Far East. The hot
el wrote back to say that the credibility of Luis had never been "in question."
Still evidently feeling aggrieved Luis filed a complaint for damages. RTC found
Far East liable and ordered to pay Luna. The CA affirmed the decision of the tri
al court. ISSUE: Whether or not this is an action for quasi-delict. HELD: No. Th
e Court has not in the process overlooked another rule that a quasi-delict can b
e the cause for breaching a contract that might thereby permit the application o
f applicable principles on tort even where there is a pre-existing contract betw
een the plaintiff and the defendant (Phil. Airlines vs. Court of Appeals, 106 SC
RA 143; Singson vs. Bank of Phil. Islands, 23 SCRA 1117; and Air France vs. Carr
ascoso, 18 SCRA 155). This doctrine, unfortunately, cannot improve Luna s case f
or it can aptly govern only where the act or omission complained of would consti
tute an actionable tort independently of the contract. The test (whether a quasi
-delict can be deemed to underlie the breach of a contract) can be stated thusly
: Where, without a pre-existing contract between two parties, an act or omission
can nonetheless amount to an actionable tort by itself, the fact that the parti
es are contractually bound is no bar to the application of quasi-delict provisio
ns to the case. Here, Luna s damage claim is predicated solely on their contract
ual relationship; without such agreement, the act or omission complained of cann
ot by itself be held to stand as a separate cause of action or as an independent
actionable tort. WHEREFORE, the appealed decision is MODIFIED by deleting the a
ward of moral and exemplary damages to Luna; in its stead, Far East is ordered t
o pay an amount of P5,000.00 by way of nominal damages. 34. LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT A
UTHORITY & RODOLFO ROMAN vs. NAVIDAD FACTS: About half an hour past 7pm, Nicanor
Navidad, then drunk, entered the EDSA LRT station. While Navidad was standing o
n the platform near the LRT tracks, Junelito Escartin, the security guard, emplo
yed by Prudent Security Agency, approached Navidad. A misunderstanding ensued th
at led to a fist fight. No evidence was adduced to indicate how the fight starte
d or who, between the two, delivered the first blow or how Navidad later fell on
the LRT tracks. When Navidad fell, an LRT train, operated by Rodolfo Roman, was
coming in that struck him and killed him instantaneously. The widow of Nicanor,
Marjorie Navidad, filed a complaint for damages against Junelito Escartin, Rodo
lfo Roman, the LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization, Inc., and Prudent for the d
eath of her husband. Prudent denied liability and averred that it had exercised
due diligence in the selection and supervision of its security guards.
Trial Court found in favor of Natividad and against Prudent Security and Junelit
o Escartin ordering the jointly and severally payment of actual damages , compen
satory damages, indemnity for the death of Nicanor, moral damages, attorneys fee
s, and costs of suit. But the Court of Appeals exonerated Prudent from any liabi
lity for the death of Nicanor and, instead, held the LRTA and Roman jointly and
severally liable. ISSUE: Whether or not Prudent Security is liable for negligenc
e of its employee Escartin. HELD: No. If at all, that liability could only be fo
r tort under the provisions of Article 2176 and related provisions, in conjuncti
on with Article 2180, of the Civil Code. The premise, however, for the employers
liability is negligence or fault on the part of the employee. Once such fault is
established, the employer can then be made liable on the basis of the presumpti
on juris tantum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris famil
ies in the selection and supervision of its employees. The liability is primary
and can only be negated by showing due diligence in the selection and supervisio
n of the employee, a factual matter that has not been shown. Absent such a showi
ng, one might ask further, how then must the liability of the common carrier, on
the one hand, and an independent contractor, on the other hand, be described? I
t would be solidary. A contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when t
he same act or omission causes the injury, one resulting in culpa contractual an
d the other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194 of the Civil Code can well apply. I
n fine, a liability for tort may arise even under a contract, where tort is that
which breaches the contract. Stated differently, when an act which constitutes
a breach of contract would have itself constituted the source of a quasi-delictu
al liability had no contract existed between the parties, the contract can be sa
id to have been breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply. T
here is nothing to link Prudent to the death of Nicanor, for the reason that the
negligence of its employee, Escartin, has not been duly proven. WHEREFORE, the
assailed decision of the appellate court is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION as to awa
rd of damages and Rodolfo Roman is absolved from liability. 35. AIR FRANCE vs. C
ARRASCOSO et al. FACTS: Rafael Carrascoso, a civil engineer, was a member of a g
roup of 48 Filipino pilgrims that left Manila for Lourdes. Air France, through i
ts authorized agent, Philippine Air Lines, Inc., issued to a "first class" round
trip airplane ticket for Carrascoso from Manila to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok
, he travelled in "first class", but at Bangkok, the Manager of the airline forc
ed him to vacate the "first class" seat because, in the words of the witness Ern
esto G. Cuento, there was a "white man", who, the Manager alleged, had a "better
right" to the seat. When asked to vacate his "first class" seat he refused, and
told the Manager that his seat would be taken over his dead body; a commotion e
nsued, and, according to said Cuento, "many of the Filipino passengers got nervo
us in the tourist class; when they found out that Mr. Carrascoso was having a ho
t discussion with the manager, they came all across to Mr. Carrascoso and pacifi
ed Mr. Carrascoso to give his seat to the white man" and he reluctantly gave his
"first class" seat in the plane.
The CFI ordered Air France to pay Carrascoso moral damages, exemplary damages, a
nd the difference in fare between first class and tourist class for the trip Ban
gkok-Rome. The CA affirmed the decision. ISSUE: WON moral damages could be recov
ered from AirFrance, granted that their employee was accused of the tortuous act
. HELD: Yes. The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act of its emplo
yees need not be essayed. It is well settled in law. For the willful malevolent
act of petitioner s manager, petitioner, his employer, must answer. Article 21 o
f the Civil Code says: ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury t
o another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
shall compensate the latter for the damage. In parallel circumstances, we applie
d the foregoing legal precept; and, we held that upon the provisions of Article
2219 (10), Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable. Wherefore, the judgment of
the Court of Appeals does not suffer from reversible error. We accordingly vote
to affirm the same. 36. LAYUGAN vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, et. Al. FACTS
: While Pedro Layugan and companion were repairing the tire of their cargo truck
which was parked along the right side of the National Highway, Godofredo Isidro
truck driven recklessly by Daniel Serrano bumped them. As a result, Layugan was
injured and hospitalized and spent P10, 000.00 and will incur more expenses for
recuperating. He would be deprived of lifetime income of P70, 000.00 and has pa
id his lawyer P10, 000.00. Trial Court: Isidro was found liable. Intermediate Ap
pellate Court: It reversed the decision of the trial court and dismissed the com
plaint, the third-party complaint, and the counter- claims of both appellants. I
SSUE: Whether or not Isidro was liable by the negligence of Serrano. HELD: Yes.
It is clear that the driver did not know his responsibilities because he apparen
tly did not check his vehicle before he took it on the road. If he did he could
have discovered earlier that the brake fluid pipe on the right was cut, and coul
d have repaired it and thus the accident could have been avoided. Moreover, to o
ur mind, the fact that the Isidro used to instruct his driver to be careful in h
is driving, that the driver was licensed, and the fact that he had no record of
any accident, as found by the court, are not sufficient to destroy the finding o
f negligence of the Regional Trial Court given the facts established at the tria
l. Isidro or his mechanic, who must be competent, should have conducted a thorou
gh inspection of his vehicle before allowing his driver to drive it. In the ligh
t of the circumstances obtaining in the case, we hold that Isidro failed to prov
e that the diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision of his empl
oyees which would exculpate him from solidary liability with his driver toLayuga
n. But even if we concede that the diligence of a good father of a family was ob
served by Isidro in the supervision of his driver, there is not an iota of evide
nce on record of the observance by
Isidro of the same quantum of diligence in the supervision of his mechanic, if a
ny, who would be directly in charge in maintaining the road worthiness of his (I
sidro s) truck. But that is not all. There is paucity of proof that Isidro exerc
ised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection of his driver,
Daniel Serrano, as well as in the selection of his mechanic, if any, in order to
insure the safe operation of his truck and thus prevent damage to others. Accor
dingly, the responsibility of Isidro as employer treated in Article 2180, paragr
aph 5, of the Civil Code has not ceased. Wherefore, decision of the trial court
is hereby REINSTATED in toto. 37. VALENZUELA vs. C.A., et al. FACTS: At around 2
:00 in the morning, Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving from her restaurant to he
r home. She was travelling with a companion, Cecilia Ramon. She noticed somethin
g wrong with her tires; she stopped at a lighted place where there were people,
to verify whether she had a flat tire and to solicit help if needed. Having been
verified, she parked along the sidewalk, about 1 feet away, put on her emergenc
y lights, alighted from the car, and went to the rear to open the trunk. She was
standing at the left side of the rear of her car pointing to the tools to a man
who will help her fix the tire when she was suddenly bumped by a car driven by
Richard Li and registered in the name of defendant Alexander Commercial, Inc. Va
lenzuela was thrown against the windshield of the car Li and then fell to the gr
ound. She was pulled out from under defendants car. Plaintiffs left leg was seve
red up to the middle of her thigh, with only some skin and sucle connected to th
e rest of the body. Lower court sustained the plaintiffs submissions and found de
fendant Richard Li guilty of gross negligence and liable for damages under Artic
le 2176 of the Civil Code. Court of Appeals found Li grossly negligent that ther
e was ample basis from the evidence of record for the trial courts finding that
the Valenzuelas car was properly parked at the right, beside the sidewalk when it
was bumped by Lis car. ISSUE: Whether or not Valenzuela was guilty of contributo
ry negligence. HELD: No. Contributory negligence is conduct on the part of the i
njured party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which f
alls below the standard to which he is required to conform for his own protectio
n. While the emergency rule applies to those cases in which reflective thought o
r the opportunity to adequately weigh a threatening situation is absent, the con
duct which is required of an individual in such cases is dictated not exclusivel
y by the suddenness of the event which absolutely negates thoughtful care, but b
y the over-all nature of the circumstances. A woman driving a vehicle suddenly c
rippled by a flat tire on a rainy night will not be faulted for stopping at a po
int which is both convenient for her to do so and which is not a hazard to other
motorists. She is not expected to run the entire boulevard in search for a park
ing zone or turn on a dark Street or alley where she would likely find no one to
help her. It would be hazardous for her not to stop and assess the emergency (s
imply because the entire length of Aurora Boulevard is a no-parking zone) becaus
e the hobbling vehicle would be both a threat to her safety and to other motoris
ts. In the instant case, Valenzuela, upon reaching that portion of Aurora Boulev
ard close to A. Lake St., noticed that she had a flat tire. To avoid putting her
self
and other motorists in danger, she did what was best under the situation. As nar
rated by respondent court: She stopped at a lighted place where there were peopl
e, to verify whether she had a flat tire and to solicit help if needed. Having b
een told by the people present that her rear right tire was flat and that she ca
nnot reach her home she parked along the sidewalk, about 1 feet away, behind a T
oyota Corona Car." In fact, respondent court noted, Pfc. Felix Ramos, the invest
igator on the scene of the accident confirmed that Valenzuelas car was parked ve
ry close to the sidewalk. The sketch which he prepared after the incident showed
Valenzuelas car partly straddling the sidewalk, clear and at a convenient dista
nce from motorists passing the right lane of Aurora Boulevard. This fact was its
elf corroborated by the testimony of witness Rodriguez. Under the circumstances
described, Valenzuela did exercise the standard reasonably dictated by the emerg
ency and could not be considered to have contributed to the unfortunate circumst
ances which eventually led to the amputation of one of her lower extremities. Th
e emergency which led her to park her car on a sidewalk in Aurora Boulevard was
not of her own making, and it was evident that she had taken all reasonable prec
autions. Obviously in the case at bench, the only negligence ascribable was the
negligence of Li on the night of the accident. Negligence, as it is commonly und
erstood is conduct which creates an undue risk of harm to others." It is the fai
lure to observe that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the circums
tances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury. We stressed, in
Corliss vs. Manila Railroad Company, that negligence is the want of care require
d by the circumstances. The circumstances established by the evidence adduced in
the court below plainly demonstrate that Li was grossly negligent in driving hi
s Mitsubishi Lancer. It bears emphasis that he was driving at a fast speed at ab
out 2:00 A.M. after a heavy downpour had settled into a drizzle rendering the st
reet slippery. There is ample testimonial evidence on record to show that he was
under the influence of liquor. Under these conditions, his chances of effective
ly dealing with changing conditions on the road were significantly lessened. As
Prosser and Keaton emphasize: Under present day traffic conditions, any driver o
f an automobile must be prepared for the sudden appearance of obstacles and pers
ons on the highway, and of other vehicles at intersections, such as one who sees
a child on the curb may be required to anticipate its sudden dash into the stre
et, and his failure to act properly when they appear may be found to amount to n
egligence. Lis obvious unpreparedness to cope with the situation confronting him
on the night of the accident was clearly of his own making. Wherefore, the deci
sion of the Regional Trial Court is reinstated. 38. ST. FRANCIS HIGH SCHOOL vs.
C.A. FACTS: Ferdinand Castillo, then a freshman high school student, wanted to j
oin a school picnic of another class. Ferdinand s parents, Dr. Romulo and Lilia
Castillo, because of
short notice, did not allow their son to join but merely allowed him to bring fo
od to the teachers for the picnic, with the directive that he should go back hom
e after doing so. However, because of persuasion of the teachers, Ferdinand went
on with them to the beach. During the picnic, one of the female teachers was ap
parently drowning. Some of the students, including Ferdinand, came to her rescue
, but in the process, it was Ferdinand himself who drowned. He died. Trial court
found the teachers failed to exercise the diligence required of them by law und
er the circumstances to guard against the harm they had foreseen but dismissed t
he complaint against the school. Court of Appeals found the teachers and the sch
ool liable. ISSUE: (A) Whether or not there was negligence attributable to the d
efendants. (B) Whether or not Art. 2180, in relation to Art. 2176 of the New Civ
il Code is applicable to the case at bar. HELD: (A) No. no negligence could be a
ttributable to the petitioners-teachers to warrant the award of damages to the r
espondents-spouses. Petitioners Connie Arquio the class adviser of I-C, the sect
ion where Ferdinand belonged, did her best and exercised diligence of a good fat
her of a family to prevent any untoward incident or damages to all the students
who joined the picnic. In fact, Connie invited co-petitioners Tirso de Chavez an
d Luisito Vinas who are both P.E. instructors and scout masters who have knowled
ge in First Aid application and swimming. Moreover, even respondents witness, S
egundo Vinas, testified that "the defendants (petitioners herein) had life saver
s especially brought by the defendants in case of emergency." (p. 85, Rollo) The
records also show that both petitioners Chavez and Vinas did all what is humanl
y possible to save the child. (B) No. Respondent Court of Appeals committed an e
rror in applying Article 2180 of the Civil Code in rendering petitioner school l
iable for the death of respondent s son. Article 2180, par. 4 states that: The o
bligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one s own acts or o
missions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. Employers s
hall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers a
cting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not e
ngaged in any business or industry. Under this paragraph, it is clear that befor
e an employer may be held liable for the negligence of his employee, the act or
omission which caused damage or prejudice must have occurred while an employee w
as in the performance of his assigned tasks. In the case at bar, the teachers/pe
titioners were not in the actual performance of their assigned tasks. The incide
nt happened not within the school premises, not on a school
day and most importantly while the teachers and students were holding a purely p
rivate affair, a picnic. It is clear from the beginning that the incident happen
ed while some members of the I-C class of St. Francis High School were having a
picnic at Talaan Beach. This picnic had no permit from the school head or its pr
incipal, Benjamin Illumin because this picnic is not a school sanctioned activit
y neither is it considered as an extracurricular activity. Wherefore, petitioner
s are not guilty of any fault or negligence, hence, no moral damages can be asse
ssed against them. 39. VALENZUELA vs. C.A., et al., 253 SCRA 303, same(37) 40. O
NG, et al. vs. METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT FACTS: Dominador Ong (14 years old) a
nd his two brothers went to the swimming pool operated by MetropolitanWater Dist
rict (MWD). After paying the entrance fee, the three proceeded to the small pool
. Later, Dominador told his brothers that hell just be going to the locker room t
o drink a bottle of Coke. No one saw him returned. Later, one bather noticed som
eone at the bottom of the big pool and another notified the lifeguard in attenda
nt (Abao), who immediately dove into the water. The body was later identified as
Dominadors. He was attempted to be revived multiple times but of no avail. Lower
court found that the action of plaintiffs is untenable and dismissed the complai
nt. ISSUE: Whether or not the death of minor Dominador Ong can be attributed to
the negligence of Metropolitan and/or its employees. HELD: No. The existence of
fault or negligence on the part of the employees is belied by the written statem
ents of two witnesses. Nowhere in said statements do they state that the lifegua
rd was chatting with the security guard at the gate of the swimming pool or was
reading a comic magazine when the alarm was given for which reason he failed to
immediately respond to the alarm. On the contrary, what Ruben Ong particularly e
mphasized therein was that after the lifeguard heard the shouts for help, the la
tter immediately dived into the pool to retrieve the person under water who turn
ed out to be his brother. There is sufficient evidence to show that Metropolitan
has taken all necessary precautions to avoid danger to the lives of its patrons
or prevent accident which may cause their death. Thus, it has been shown that t
he swimming pools are provided with a ring buoy, toy roof, towing line, oxygen r
esuscitator and a first aid medicine kit. The bottom of the pools is painted wit
h black colors so as to insure clear visibility. There is on display in a conspi
cuous place within the area certain rules and regulations governing the use of t
he pools. Metropolitan employs six lifeguards who are all trained as they had ta
ken a course for that purpose and were issued certificates of proficiency. These
lifeguards work on schedule prepared by their chief and arranged in such a way
as to have two guards at a time on duty to look after the safety of the bathers.
There is a
male nurse and a sanitary inspector with a clinic provided with oxygen resuscita
tor. And there are security guards who are available always in case of emergency
. The record also shows that after retrieving the body from the pool, lifeguard
Abao immediately gave him manual artificial respiration. Soon thereafter, the nur
se and sanitary inspector came with an oxygen resuscitator. When they found that
the pulse of the boy was abnormal, the inspector immediately injected him with
camphorated oil. When the manual artificial respiration proved ineffective they
applied the oxygen resuscitator until its contents were exhausted. And while all
these efforts were being made, they sent for Dr. Ayuyao but already dead. All o
f the foregoing shows all humanly possible under the circumstances to restore li
fe to minor Ong was done and for that reason it is unfair to hold it liable for
his death. We do not see how the doctrine of last clear chance may apply. As the
doctrine usually is stated, a person who has the last clear chance or opportuni
ty of avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent o
r the negligence of a third person which is imputed to his opponent, is consider
ed in law solely responsible for the consequences of the accident. Since it is n
ot known how minor Ong came into the big swimming pool and it being apparent tha
t he went there without any companion in violation of one of the regulations of
Metropolitan as regards the use of the pools, and it appearing that lifeguard Ab
anio responded to the call for help as soon as his attention was called to it an
d immediately after retrieving the body all efforts at the disposal of Metropoli
tan had been put into play in order to bring him back to life, it is clear that
there is no room for the application of the doctrine now invoked by appellants t
o impute liability to Metropolitan. Wherefore, decision of the lower court is af
firmed. 41. CIVIL AERONAUTICS ADMINISTRATION vs. COURT OF APPEALS, et al. FACTS:
Ernest Simke is a naturalized Filipino citizen and the Honorary Consul General
of Israel in the Philippines. One afternoon, he, with several other persons, wen
t to the Manila International Airport to meet his future son-in-law. He and his
group proceeded to the viewing deck or terrace of the airport. While walking on
the terrace, Simke slipped over an elevation about four (4) inches high at the f
ar end of the terrace. He fell on his back and broke his thigh bone. The next da
y, he was operated. CFI rendered in Simkes favor prompting petitioner to appeal t
o the Court of Appeals. The latter affirmed the trial court s decision. ISSUE: W
hether or not there was negligent on the part of Civil Aeronautics. HELD: Yes. T
he inclination itself is an architectural anomaly for it is neither a ramp becau
se a ramp is an inclined surface in such a way that it will prevent people or pe
destrians from sliding. But if, it is a step then it will not serve its purpose,
for pedestrian purposes.
The legal foundation of CAA s liability for quasi-delict can be found in Article
2176 of the Civil Code. As the CAA knew of the existence of the dangerous eleva
tion which it claims though, was made precisely in accordance with the plans and
specifications of the building for proper drainage of the open terrace, its fai
lure to have it repaired or altered in order to eliminate the existing hazard co
nstitutes such negligence as to warrant a finding of liability based on quasi-de
lict upon CAA. Contributory negligence under Article 2179 of the Civil Code cont
emplates a negligent act or omission on the part of the plaintiff, which althoug
h not the proximate cause of his injury, contributed to his own damage, the prox
imate cause of the plaintiffs own injury being the defendant s lack of due care.
In the instant case, no contributory negligence can be imputed to the private r
espondent, considering the following test formulated in the early case of Picart
v. Smith, 37 Phil. 809 (1918): The test by which to determine the existence of
negligence in a particular case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant in d
oing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and caution which an ord
inarily prudent man would have used in the same situation? If not, then he is gu
ilty of negligence. The law here in effect adopts the standard supposed to be su
pplied by the imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of the Roman law.
The existence of the negligence in a given case is not determined by reference t
o the personal judgment of the actor in the situation before him. The law consid
ers what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in the man of ordinary int
elligence and prudence and determines liability by that. The question as to what
would constitute the conduct of a prudent man in a given situation must of cour
se be always determined in the light of human experience and in view of the fact
s involved in the particular case. Abstract speculations cannot be here of much
value but this much can be profitably said: Reasonable men-govern their conduct
by the circumstances which are before them or known to them. They are not, and a
re not supposed to be omniscient of the future. Hence they can be expected to ta
ke care only when there is something before them to suggest or warn of danger. C
ould a prudent man, in the case under consideration, foresee harm as a result of
the course actually pursued If so, it was the duty of the actor to take precau
tions to guard against that harm. Reasonable foresight of harm, followed by the
ignoring of the suggestion born of this prevision, is always necessary before ne
gligence can be held to exist. Simke could not have reasonably foreseen the harm
that would befall him, considering the attendant factual circumstances. Even if
he had been looking where he was going, the step in question could not easily b
e noticed because of its construction. As the trial court found: In connection w
ith the incident testified to, a sketch, shows a section of the floorings oil wh
ich plaintiff had tripped, This sketch reveals two pavements adjoining each othe
r, one being elevated by four and one-fourth inches than the other. From the arc
hitectural standpoint the higher, pavement is a step. However, unlike a step com
monly seen around, the edge of the elevated pavement slanted outward as one walk
s to one interior of the terrace. The length of the inclination between the edge
s of the two pavements is three inches. Obviously, plaintiff had stepped on the
inclination because had his foot landed on the lower pavement he would not have
lost his balance. The same sketch shows that both pavements including the inclin
ed portion are tiled in red
cement, the lines of the tilings are continuous. It would therefore be difficult
for a pedestrian to see the inclination especially where there are plenty of pe
rsons in the terrace as was the situation when plaintiff fell down. There was no
warning sign to direct one s attention to the change in the elevation of the fl
oorings. Wherefore, decision of lower court is affirmed. Cases 33-41 SANTUCAY, A
NNABEL R. 42. FAR EASTERN SHIPPING COMPANY vs. CA FACTS: On June 20, 1980, the M
/V PAVLODAR, flying under the flagship of the USSR, owned and operated by the Fa
r Eastern Shipping Company (FESC), arrived at the Port of Manila from Vancouver,
British Columbia at about 7:00 o clock in the morning. The vessel wasB assigned
Berth 4 of the Manila International Port, as its berthing space. Captain Robert
o Abellana was tasked by the Philippine Port Authority to supervise the berthing
of the vessel. Appellant Senen Gavino was assigned by the Appellant Manila Pilo
ts Association(MPA) to conduct docking maneuvers for the safe berthing of the v
essel to Berth No. 4.- Gavino boarded the vessel at the quarantine anchorage and
stationed himself in the bridge, with the master of the vessel, Victor Kavankov
, beside him. After a briefing of Gavino by Kavankov of the particulars of the v
essel and its cargo, the vessel lifted anchor from the quarantine anchorage and
proceeded to the Manila International Port. The sea was calm and the wind was id
eal for docking maneuvers.When the vessel reached the landmark (the bigchurch by
the Tondo North Harbor) onehalf mile fromthe pier, Gavino ordered the engine st
opped. When the vessel was already about 2,000 feet from the pier,Gavino ordered
the anchor dropped. Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on th
e bow. The left anchor, with 2 shackles, were dropped. However, the anchor did n
ot take hold as expected. The speed of the vessel did not slacken. A commotion e
nsued between the crew members. A brief conference ensued between Kavankov and t
he crew members. When Gavino inquired what was all the commotion about, Kavankov
assured Gavino that there was nothing to it.- After Gavino noticed that the anc
hor did not take hold ,he ordered the engines halfastern. Abellana, who was then
on the pier a pron noticed that the vessel was approaching the pier fast. Kavan
kov likewise noticed that the anchor did not take hold. Gavino thereafter gave t
he "full-astern" code. Before the right anchor and additional shackles could be
dropped, the bow of the vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing conside
rable damage to the pier. The vessel sustained damage too. Kavankov filed his se
a protest. Gavino submitted his report to the Chief Pilot who referred the repor
t to the Philippine Ports Authority. Abellana likewise submitted his report of t
he incident.- The rehabilitation of the damaged pier cost the Philippine Ports A
uthority the amount of P1,126,132.25. RULLING BY THE TRIAL COURT: The trial cour
t ordered the defendants therein jointly and severally to pay the PPA the amount
of P1,053,300.00 representing actual damages and the costs of suit. RULLING BY
THE CA:Respondent appellate court affirmed the findings of the court a quo excep
t that if found no employer-employee relationship existing between herein privat
e
respondents Manila Pilots Association (MPA) and Capt. Gavino. This being so, it
ruled instead that the liability of MPA is anchored, not on Article 2180 of the
Civil Code, but on the provisions of Customs Administrative Order No. 15-65, an
d accordingly modified said decision of the trial court by holding MPA, along wi
th its co-defendants therein, still solidarily liable to PPA but entitled MPA to
reimbursement from Capt. Gavino for such amount of the adjudged pecuniary liabi
lity in excess of the amount equivalent to seventy-five percent (75%) of its pre
scribed reserve fund. ISSUE: WON both the pilot and the master were negligent RU
LLING BY THE SC: YES.- The SC started by saying that in a collision between a st
ationary object and a moving object, there is a presumption of fault against the
moving object (basedon common sense and logic). It then went on to determine wh
o between the pilot and the master was negligent. PILOT - A pilot, in maritime l
aw, is a person duly qualified, and licensed, to conduct a vessel into or out of
ports, or in certain waters. He is an expert whos supposed to know the seabed, e
tc. that a master of a ship may not know because the pilot is familiar with the
port. He is charged to perform his duties with extraordinary care because the sa
fety of people and property on the vessel and on the dock are at stake.- Capt. G
avino was found to be negligent. The court found that his reaction time (4 minut
es) to the anchor not holding ground and the vessel still going too fast was too
slow. As an expert he shouldve been reacting quickly to any such happenings. MAS
TER - In compulsory pilotage, the pilot momentarily becomes the master of the ve
ssel. The master, however may intervene or countermand the pilot if he deems the
re is danger to the vessel because of the incompetence of the pilot or if the pi
lot is drunk.- Based on Capt. Kavankovs testimony, he never sensed the any danger
even when the anchor didnt hold and they were approaching the dock too fast. He
blindly trusted the pilot. This is negligence on his part.He was right beside th
e pilot during the docking, so he could see and hear everything that the pilot w
as seeing and hearing.- The masters negligence translates to unseaworthiness of t
he vessel, and in turn means negligence on the part of FESC. CONCURRENT TORTFEAS
ORS - As a general rule, that negligence in order to render a person liable need
not be the sole cause of an injury. It is sufficient that his negligence, concu
rring with one or more efficient causes other than plaintiff s, is the proximate
cause of the injury. Accordingly, where several causes combine to produce injur
ies, person is not relieved from liability because he is responsible for only on
e of them, it being sufficient that the negligence of the person charged with in
jury is an efficient cause without which the injury would not have resulted to a
s great an extent, and that such cause is not attributable to the person injured
. It is no defense to one of the concurrent tortfeasors that the injury would no
t have resulted from his negligence alone, without the negligence or wrongful ac
ts of the other concurrent tortfeasor. Where several causes producing an injury
are concurrent and each is an efficient cause without which the injury would not
have happened, the injury may be attributed to all or any of the causes and rec
overy may be had against any or all of the responsible persons although under th
e circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of them was more culpable, a
nd that the duty owed by them to the
injured person was not the same. No actor s negligence ceases to be a proximate
cause merely because it does not exceed the negligence of other actors. Each wro
ng doer is responsible for the entire result and is liable as though his acts we
re the sole cause of the injury.- There is no contribution between joint tortfea
sors whose liability is solidary since both of them are liable for the total dam
age. Where the concurrent or successive negligent acts or omissions of two or mo
re persons, although acting independently, are in combination the direct and pro
ximate cause of a single injury to a third person, it is impossible to determine
in what proportion each contributed to the injury and either of them is respons
ible for the whole injury. Where their concurring negligence resulted in injury
or damage to a third party, they become joint tortfeasors and are solidarily lia
ble for the resulting damage under Article 2194 of the Civil Code. WHEREFORE, in
view of all of the foregoing, the consolidated petitions for review are DENIED
and the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto. Counsel f
or FESC, the law firm of Del Rosario and Del Rosario, specifically its associate
, Atty. Herbert A. Tria, is REPRIMANDED and WARNED that a repetition of the same
or similar acts of heedless disregard of its undertakings under the Rules shall
be dealt with more severely. The original members of the legal team of the Offi
ce of the Solicitor General assigned to this case, namely, Assistant Solicitor G
eneral Roman G. Del Rosario and Solicitor Luis F. Simon, are ADMONISHED and WARN
ED that a repetition of the same or similar acts of unduly delaying proceedings
due to delayed filing of required pleadings shall also be dealt with more string
ently. The Solicitor Genral is DIRECTED to look into the circumstances of this c
ase and to adopt provident measures to avoid a repetition of this incident and w
hich would ensure prompt compliance with orders of this Court regarding the time
ly filing of requisite pleadings, in the interest of just, speedy and orderly ad
ministration of justice. Let copies of this decision be spread upon the personal
records of the lawyers named herein in the Office of the Bar Confidant. SO ORDE
RED. 43. PEOPLE vs. PEDRO RAMIREZ FACTS: On the night of February 18, 1923, Bart
olome Quiaoit invited Pedro Ramirez, the accused, Victoriano Ranga, the deceased
, and Agustin Menor to hunt in the mount Balitok of the municipality of Nueva Er
a, Province of Ilocos Norte. The three proceeded to hunt, leaving Bartolome Quia
oit in a hut approximately 1 kilometer from the place where the act complained o
f took place. Upon the hunters having arrived at a place in mount Balitok, Pedro
Ramirez, who was carrying the shotgun of Bartolome Quiaoit with a lantern, happ
ened to hunt a deer, and then he told his companions to stay there and watch ove
r the prey while he entered the forest to get it. Thus Victoriano Ranga and Agus
to Menor were waiting when suddenly the report of the shotgun was heard hitting
Victoriano Ranga in the eye and the right temple, who thereafter died on that ni
ght as a result of the wounds.chan
RULLING BY THE TRIAL COURT: Ramirez was sentenced by the Court of First Instance
of Ilocos Norte, for the crime of homicide, to the penalty of fourteen years, e
ight months and one day of reclusion temporal, to indemnify the mother of the de
ceased in the sum of P500 and to pay the costs. ISSUE IN THE SC: Whether or not
there existed no motive whatever for resentment on the part of the defendant aga
inst the offended party and had exercised all the necessary diligence to avoid e
very undesirable accident. RULLING BY THE SC: The defense alleges that the trial
court must have solved the reasonable doubt in favor of the defendant. After co
nsidering carefully the evidence and all the circumstances of the case, we are o
f the opinion and so hold that the defendant is guilty of the crime of homicide
through reckless imprudence, and must be punished under paragraph 1 of article 5
68 of the Penal Code. Wherefore the penalty of one year and one day of prision c
orreccional, with the accessories prescribed by the law, must be imposed upon hi
m, and with modification, the judgment appealed from is affirmed in all other re
spects, with the costs against the appellant. So ordered. 44. ADZUARA vs. COURT
OF APPEALS FACTS OF THE CASE: On 17 December 1990, at half past 1:00 o clock in
the morning, Xerxes Adzuara y Dotimas, then a law student, and his friends Rene
Gonzalo and Richard Jose were cruising in a 4-door Colt Galant sedan along the s
tretch of Quezon Avenue coming from the direction of EDSA towards Delta Circle a
t approximately 40 kilometers per hour.Upon reaching the intersection of 4th Wes
t Street their car collided with a Toyota Corona sedan owned and driven by Grego
rio Martinez. Martinez had just attended a Loved Flock meeting with his daughter
Sahlee and was coming from the eastern portion of Quezon Avenue near Delta Circ
le. He was then executing a U-turn at the speed of 5 kph at the north-west porti
on of Quezon Avenue going to Manila when the accident occurred. Sahlee Martinez
sustained physical injuries which required confinement and medical attendance at
the National Orthopaedic Hospital for five (5) days. Both petitioner and Martin
ez claimed that their lanes had green traffic lights although the investigating
policeman Marcelo Sabido declared that the traffic light was blinking red and or
ange when he arrived at the scene of the accident an hour later. On 12 July 1991
petitioner was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City with reck
less imprudence resulting in damage to property with less serious physical injur
ies under Art. 365 of the Revised Penal Code. On 11 December 1991, before the pr
esentation of evidence, private complainant Martinez manifested his intention to
institute a separate civil action for damages against petitioner. RULING BY THE
TRIAL COURT: The Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, convicted Xerxes Adzuara
after trial and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment of two (2) months and fifte
en (15) days of arresto mayor and to pay a fine of P50,000.00, with subsidiary i
mprisonment in case of insolvency.
RULING BY THE COURT OF APPEALS: The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of th
e trial court but deleted the fine of P50,000.00. ISSUE ON THE SC: What degree o
f care and vigilance then did the circumstances require at half past 1:00 o cloc
k in the morning along an almost deserted avenue. RULING BY THE SC: In the insta
nt case, nothing on record shows that the facts were not properly evaluated by t
he court a quo. As such, we find no reason to disturb their findings. It bears t
o stress that the appreciation of petitioner s post-collision behavior serves on
ly as a means to emphasize the finding of negligence which is readily establishe
d by the admission of petitioner and his friend Renato that they saw the car of
Martinez making a U-turn but could not avoid the collision by the mere applicati
on of the brakes. Negligence is the want of care required by the circumstances.
It is a relative or comparative, not an absolute, term and its application depen
ds upon the situation of the parties and the degree of care and vigilance which
the circumstances reasonably require. What degree of care and vigilance then did
the circumstances require? At half past 1:00 o clock in the morning along an al
most deserted avenue, ordinary care and vigilance would suffice. This may consis
t of keeping a watchful eye on the road ahead and observing the traffic rules on
speed, right of way and traffic light. The claim of petitioner that Martinez ma
de a swift U-turn which caused the collision is not credible since a Uturn is do
ne at a much slower speed to avoid skidding and overturning, compared to running
straight ahead. Nonetheless, no evidence was presented showing skid marks cause
d by the car driven by Martinez if only to demonstrate that he was driving at a
fast clip in negotiating the U-turn. On the other hand, the speed at which petit
ioner drove his car appears to be the prime cause for his inability to stop his
car and avoid the collision. His assertion that he drove at the speed of 40 kph.
is belied by Martinez who testified that when he looked at the opposite lane fo
r any oncoming cars, he saw none; then a few seconds later, he was hit by Adzuar
a s car. The extent of the damage on the car of Martinez and the position of the
cars after the impact further confirm the finding that petitioner went beyond t
he speed limit required by law and by the circumstances. It is a rule that a mot
orist crossing a thru-stop street has the right of way over the one making a U-t
urn. But if the person making a U-turn has already negotiated half of the turn a
nd is almost on the other side so that he is already visible to the person on th
e thru-street, the latter must give way to the former. Petitioner was on the thr
u-street and had already seen the Martinez car.He should have stopped to allow M
artinez to complete the U-turn having, as it were, the last clear chance to avoi
d the accident which he ignored. In fact, he never stopped. Rather, he claimed t
hat on the assumption that he was negligent, the other party was also guilty of
contributory negligence since his car had no lights on. The negligence of Martin
ez however has not been satisfactorily shown. Petitioner insists that the traffi
c light facing him at the intersection was green which only indicated that he ha
d the right of way. But the findings of the court a quo on the matter countervai
l this stance, hence, we see no reason to disturb them. To weaken the evidence o
f the prosecution, petitioner assails the testimony of Martinez as being replete
with inconsistencies. The records however reveal that these inconsistencies ref
er only to minor points which indicate veracity rather than
prevarication by the witness. They tend to bolster the probative value of the te
stimony in question as they erase any suspicion of being rehearsed. Finally, pet
itioner claims that the medical certificate presented by the prosecution was unc
orroborated by actual testimony of the physician who accomplished the same and a
s such has no probative value insofar as the physical injuries suffered by Sahle
e are concerned. Regretfully, we cannot agree. The fact of the injury resulting
from the collision may be proved in other ways such as the testimony of the inju
red person. In the case at bar, Sahlee Martinez testified that her injuries as d
escribed in the medical certificate were caused by the vehicular accident of 17
December 1990. This declaration was corroborated by Gregorio. This, no less, is
convincing proof. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The decision of the Court o
f Appeals of 22 November 1995 finding petitioner XERXES ADZUARA Y DOTIMAS guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged and sentencing him to suffer an im
prisonment of two (2) months and fifteen (15) days of arresto mayor medium is AF
FIRMED. Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED. 45. MCKEE vs. IAC FACTS: To avoid
hitting 2 boys who suddenly darted from the right side of the road and into the
lane of the car, Jose Koh blew the horn of his car, swerved to the left and ente
red the lane of the truck. He attempted to return to his lane but before he coul
d do so, he already collided with the cargo truck.-Truck and Ford collided in Pu
long Pulo Bridge along MacArthur Highway. 3 people in the Ford escort died inclu
ding the driver, Jose Koh. RULLING BY THE TRIAL COURT: The trial court dismissed
petitioners complaints in Civil Case No. 4477 and Civil Case No. 4478 of the t
hen Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of Pampanga entitled "Car
men Dayrit Koh, Leticia Koh, Julieta Koh Tuquero, Araceli Koh McKee and Elizabet
h Koh Turla vs. Jaime Tayag and Rosalinda Manalo," and "George McKee and Araceli
Koh McKee vs. Jaime Tayag and Rosalinda Manalo," respectively, and granted the
private respondents counterclaim for moral damages, attorney s fees and litigat
ion expenses. RULLING BY THE IAC: On 29 November 1983, respondent Court, by then
known as the Intermediate Appellate Court, promulgated its consolidated decisio
n in A.C.-G.R. CV Nos. 69040 and 69041,the dispositive portion of which reads: W
HEREFORE, the decision appealed from it hereby reversed and set aside and anothe
r one is rendered, ordering defendants-appellees to pay plaintiffs-appellants. I
SSUE: WON the owners of the cargo truck (Tayag and Manalo)are liable for the res
ulting damages RULLING BY THE SC: YES, The Court rules that it was the truck dri
ver s negligence in failing to exert ordinary care to avoid the collision which
was, in law, the proximate cause of the collision. As employers of the truck dri
ver, Manalo and Tayag are, under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, directly and pr
imarily liable for the resulting damages. The presumption that they are negligen
t flows from the negligence of their employee. That presumption, however, is onl
y juris tantum, not juris et de jure. Their only possible
defense is that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family to
prevent the damage. Article 2180 reads as follows: The obligation imposed by Ar
ticle 2176 is demandable not only for one s own acts or omissions, but also for
those of persons for whom one is responsible. Employers shall be liable for the
damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope
of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business
or industry. The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the
persons herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good fa
ther of a family to prevent damage. The diligence of a good father referred to m
eans the diligence in the selection and supervision of employees. The answers of
the private respondents in Civil Cases Nos. 4477 and 4478 did not interpose thi
s defense. Neither did they attempt to prove it. The diligence of a good father
referred to means the diligence in the selection and supervision of employees. 6
0 The answers of the private respondents in Civil Cases Nos. 4477 and 4478 did n
ot interpose this defense. Neither did they attempt to prove it. The respondent
Court was then correct in its Decision of 29 November 1983 in reversing the deci
sion of the trial court which dismissed Civil Cases Nos. 4477 and 4478. Its assa
iled Resolution of 3 April 1984 finds no sufficient legal and factual moorings.
In the light of recent decisions of this Court, 61 the indemnity for death must,
however, be increased from P12,000.00 to P50,000.00. WHEREFORE, the instant pet
ition is GRANTED. The assailed Resolution of the respondent Court of 3 April 198
4 is SET ASIDE while its Decision of 29 November 1983 in C.A.-G.R. CV Nos. 69040
-41 is REINSTATED, subject to the modification that the indemnity for death is i
ncreased from P12,000.00 to P50,000.00 each for the death of Jose Koh and Kim Ko
h McKee. Costs against private respondents. SO ORDERED. 46. MANILA ELECTRIC COMP
AN vs. REMOQUILLO FACTS: On August 22, 1950, Efren Magno went to the 3-story hou
se of Antonio Pealoza, his stepbrother, located on Rodriguez Lanuza Street, Manil
a, to repair a media agua said to be in a leaking condition. The media agua was just
below the window of the third story. Standing on said media agua, Magno received
from his son thru that window a 3 X 6 galvanized iron sheet to cover the leaking p
ortion, turned around and in doing so the lower end of the iron sheet came into
contact with the electric wire of the Manila Electric Company (later referred to
as the Company) strung parallel to the edge of the media agua and 2 1/2 feet from
it, causing his death by electrocution. RULLING BY THE TRIAL COURT: After heari
ng, the trial court rendered judgment in favor to the respondents P10,000 as com
pensatory damages;P784 as actual damages,ryP2,000 as moral and exemplary damages
; and P3,000 as attorneys fees, with costs.
RULLING BY THE COURT OF APPEALS: On appeal to the Court of Appeals, the latter a
ffirmed the judgment with slight modification by reducing the attorneys fees from
P3,000 to P1,000 with costs. ISSUE: WON Manila Electric is guilty of negligence
. RULLING BY THE SC: NO- It was the victim who was guilty of negligence the liab
ility of electric companies for damages or personal injury is governed by the ru
les of negligence, nevertheless such companies are not insurers of the safety of
the public. Reasoning - The death of Magno was primarily caused by his own negl
igence, and in some measure by the too close proximity of the media agua to the el
ectric wire of the company by reason of the violation of the original permit giv
en by the city and the subsequent approval of said illegal construction of the me
dia agua. Had the house owner followed the terms of the permit given him by the c
ity for the construction of hismedia agua, the distance from the wires to the edge
of said media agua would have been 3ft and 11 3/8inches.- The company cannot be e
xpected to be always on the lookout for any illegal construction which reduces t
he distance between its wires and said construction, and to change the installat
ion of its wires so as to preserve said distance.- The violation of the permit f
or the construction was not the direct cause of the accident. It merely contribu
ted to it. The real cause of the accident or death was the reckless or negligent
act of Magno himself. It is to be presumed that due to his age and experience h
e was qualified to do so. He had training and experience for the job. He could n
ot have been entirely a stranger to electric wires and the danger lurking in the
m.- To hold the defendant liable in damages for the death of Magno, such suppose
d negligence of the company must have been the proximate and principal cause of
the accident We realize that the stringing of wires of such high voltage (3,600
volts), un insulated and so close to houses is a constant source of danger, even
death, especially to persons who having occasion to be near said wires, do not
adopt the necessary precautions. But maybe, the City of Manila authorities and t
he electric company could get together and devise means of minimizing this dange
r to the public. Just as the establishment of pedestrian lanes in city thoroughf
ares may greatly minimize danger to pedestrians because drivers of motor vehicle
s may expect danger and slow down or even stop and take other necessary precauti
on upon approaching said lanes, so, a similar way may possibly be found. Since t
hese high voltage wires cannot be properly insulated and at reasonable cost, the
y might perhaps be strung only up to the outskirts of the city where there are f
ew houses and few pedestrians and there step-down to a voltage where the wires c
arrying the same to the city could be properly insulated for the better protecti
on of the public. In view of all the foregoing, the appealed decision of the Cou
rt of Appeals is hereby reversed and the complaint filed against the Company is
hereby dismissed. No costs. 47. BULILAN VS. COMMISSION OF AUDIT 48. ASTUDILLO vs
. MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY
FACTS: The district of Intramuros, Manila, is surrounded by a wall with openings
at intervals for ingress or egress. One of these openings toward Manila Bay is
known as the Santa Lucia Gate. Above the gate and between the wall and a street
is a considerable space sodded with grass with the portion directly over the gat
e paved with stone. This has become a public place where persons come to stroll,
to rest, and enjoy themselves. Near this place is an electric light pole with t
he corresponding wires. The pole was located close enough to the public place ab
ove described that a person by reaching his arm out of the full length would be
able to hold of one of the wires. At about 6 oclock in the evening of August 14,
1923, a group of boys came to this place. One of these boys for some unknown rea
son, placing one foot on a projection reached out and grasped a charged electric
wire. Death resulted almost instantly. This action was instituted by the mother
of the deceased boy to recover damages from the electric company. RULLING BY TH
E TRIAL COURT: The trial court judgment was rendered in favor of the plaintiff a
nd against the defendant for the sum of P15,000, and costs. ISSUE: WON the actio
n should be dismissed due to thecontributory negligence of the plaintiffs RULING
BY THE SC: NO- The death of the child was the result of fault and negligence in
permitting hot water to flow through the public streets, there to endanger the
lives of passers-by who were unfortunately enough to fall into it- The mother an
d her child had a perfect right to be on the principal street of Tacloban, Leyte
, on the evening when the religious procession was held.- There was nothing abno
rmal in allowing the child to run along a few paces in advance of the mother. No
one could foresee the coincidence of an automobile appearing and of a frightene
d child running and falling into a ditch filled with hot water. The contributory
negligence of the child and her mother, if any, does not operate as a bar to re
covery, but in its strictest sense could only result in reduction of the damages
. We, therefore, conclude that the plaintiff is entitled to damages. But the evi
dence indicative of the true measure of those damages is sadly deficient. All th
at we know certainly is that the deceased was less than 20 years of age, a stude
nt, and working in the Ateneo de Manila, but at what wages we are not told. We a
re also shown that approximately P200 was needed to defray the travel and funera
l expenses. As would happen in the case of a jury who have before them one of th
e parents, her position to life, and the age and sex of the child, varying opini
ons, have been disclosed in the court regarding the estimate of the damages with
reference to the next of kin. Various sums have been suggested, beginning as lo
w as P1,000 and extending as high as P5,000. A majority of the court finally arr
ived at the sum of P1,500 as appropriate damages in this case. The basis of this
award would be the P1,000 which have been allowed in other cases for the death
of young children without there having been tendered any special proof of the am
ount of damages suffered, in connection with which should be taken into account
the more mature age of the boy in the case at bar, together with the particular
expenses caused by his death. (Manzanares vs Moreta [1918], 38 Phil., 821; Berna
l and Enverso vs. House and Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant [1930], 54 Phil., 327;
Cuison vs. Norton & Harrison Co. [1930], p. 18, ante.) In the light of the fore
going, the various errors assigned by the appellant will in the main be overrule
d, but as above indicated, the judgment will be modified by allowing the
plaintiff to recover from the defendant the sum of P1,500, and the costs of both
instances. 49. NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION VS. IAC FACTS: Private respon
dents Andres Ventura, Antonio Fajardo, Marcelo Fajardo, Alfonso Ventura and Flor
entino Ventura are leasehold tenants situated in Nueava Ecija. In 1967, petition
er NIA constructed an irrigation canal on the property of Isabel and Virginia Te
cson which passed through the private respondents landholdings as said canal trav
erses the Cinco Cinco creek which abuts the landholding. On Febuary 13,1975, priv
ate respondents filed a complaint for the abatement of the nuisance with damages
against petitioners NIA in which the said canal resulted to the inundation of s
aid landholdings causing damages in the destruction of the planted palay crops a
nd also prevented them from planting on their landholdings, RULLING BY THE TRIAL
COURT: The trial court finds the complaint meritorious ordering the defendants
to pay for the damages and the cost of suit. RULLING BY THE APPELLATE COURT: Aff
irming in toto the decision of the trial court. ISSUE: W/N the petitioners are l
iable for the damages caused by their negligent act. RULING BY THE SC: With rega
rds to petitioners contention that the respondent appellate court erred in awardi
ng damages to prive respondents, we find the courts decision in accordance with t
he evidence and the law. As correctly held by the appelleate court: It has been e
stablished that the platiffs landholdings were actually inundated. The testimonie
s by all the plaintiffs with respect to the amount of the loss they suffered wer
e not impugned by any contradictory evidences of the defendant. To our mind, the
se testimonies are sufficient proof to make the grant of damages valid and prope
r. Besides, the amount awarded by the lower court is but just and reasonable con
sidering the circumstances of the case. WHEREFORE, this petition for review on ce
rtiorari is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. SO ORDERED. 50. UNITED STATES vs. C
LEMENTE FACTS: That on the 17th day of June, 1912, in the city of Manila, Enriqu
e Clemente, at the time being and acting as motorman of a street car No. 111 upo
n the line PasayCervantes of the Manila Electric Railroad and Light Company, a c
orporation duly organized and doing business in the city of Manila, Philippine I
slands, and then and there directing and operating said street car, as the motor
man thereof, upon and along Dakota Street in said city, and then and there being
under the obligation as such motorman of said street car to conduct and direct
the same with due care and caution, in order to avoid any accident which might o
ccur to the vehicles and pedestrians who were passing upon and over said Dakota
Street, with reckless imprudence and with
inexcusable negligence and in violation of the ordinance pertaining to the matte
r, conducted and directed said street car, without paying any attention to the p
edestrians who were crossing said street of his lack of care and reckless neglig
ence he directed and conducted street car No. 111 against and over the body and
head of Juan Garcia, a child 3 years of age, who was then and there passing acro
ss the said Dakota Street, dragging the body of said child over said street-car
track for a considerable distance, fracturing and destroying its skull and causi
ng instant death. RULING BY THE TRIALCOURT: Enrique Clemente, not guilty as char
ged in the complaint of homicide through reckless negligence or rather through f
earful negligence, but find him guilty of a violation of the regulations through
imprudence and negligence, which resulted in the death of the child as alleged
in the complaint, and sentence him to five months of arresto mayor, and to pay t
he costs of the action. RULING BY THE SC: We are aware that the crime of homicid
e through an act of simple negligence which violates an ordinance of regulation
is not necessarily included in the crime of homicide through reckless negligence
. The latter crime might possibly be committed without the violation of an ordin
ance or regulation. In that event it would not include the crime of homicide thr
ough an act of simple negligence which violates an ordinance or regulation. The
courts have not yet gone so far as to hold that, where there is an acquittal of
the greater crime and a conviction of a lesser crime not included in the greater
and not charged in the information, an appeal from a conviction of the lesser c
rime opens the way to a conviction of the greater crime in the appellate court i
f the evidence is there found sufficient; nor has there been such holding in a c
ase where two crimes, neither one included in the other, were charged in the sam
e information, and an acquittal was had as to the higher and a conviction as to
the lower. In the case at bar, however, we have both the higher and the lower de
grees of the same crime charged in the information. We have, also, a case in whi
ch the commission of the homicide was accompanied by a violation of the ordinanc
e, and in which, therefore, the crime of homicide through an act of negligence w
hich violates an ordinance was included in the crime of homicide by an act of re
ckless negligence. This is a case where, as a matter of fact, the one was includ
ed in the other. Under the authorities, therefore, an appeal from a conviction o
f the lower grade opens the whole case for reconsideration by this court upon al
l the evidence, and requires us in the performance of our duty to pronounce such
a judgment in the premises as in conscience we ought. The judgment of the court
below is reversed, and the accused is hereby convicted of the crime of homicide
committed through reckless negligence, and is hereby sentenced to one year and
one day of prision correccional with the accessories provided by law, with costs
. Cases 42-50 ELAD, MARCIAL A. 51. VALENZUELA vs COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Ma. Lou
rdes Valenzuela was driving when she realized she had a flat tire. She parked al
ong the sidewalk of Aurora Blvd., alighted from the car, put on her emergency
lights and went to the rear to open the trunk. She was standing at the left side
of the rear of her car pointing to the tools to a man who will help her fix the
tire when she was suddenly bumped by a car driven by defendant Richard Li and r
egistered in the name of defendant Alexander Commercial, Inc. Because of the imp
act plaintiff was thrown against the windshield of the car of the defendant, whi
ch was destroyed, and then fell to the ground. She was pulled out from under def
endant s car. Plaintiff s left leg was severed up to the middle of her thigh. Sh
e was confined in the hospital for twenty (20) days and was eventually fitted wi
th an artificial leg. She filed a claim for damages against defendant. Lis alibi
was that he was driving at 55kph when he was suddenly confronted with a speeding
car coming from the opposite direction. He instinctively swerved to the right t
o avoid colliding with the oncoming vehicle, and bumped plaintiff s car, which h
e did not see because it was midnight blue in color, with no parking lights or e
arly warning device, and the area was poorly lighted. Defendants counterclaimed
for damage, alleging that plaintiff was the one who was reckless or negligent. T
he RTC found Li guilty of gross negligence; Alexander and Li solidarily liable.
Later, the CA affirmed but absolved Alexander. ISSUES: 1. WON Li was grossly neg
ligent in driving the company issued car. 2. WON Valenzuela was guilty of contri
butory negligence HELD: Obviously in the case at bench, the only negligence ascr
ibable was the negligence of Li on the night of the accident. Negligence, as it
is commonly understood is conduct which creates an undue risk of harm to others.
It is the failure to observe that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance whi
ch the circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury. We
stressed, in Corliss vs. Manila Railroad Company, that negligence is the want o
f care required by the circumstances. The circumstances established by the evide
nce adduced in the court below plainly demonstrate that Li was grossly negligent
in driving his Mitsubishi Lancer. It bears emphasis that he was driving at a fa
st speed at about 2:00 A.M. after a heavy downpour had settled into a drizzle re
ndering the street slippery. There is ample testimonial evidence on record to sh
ow that he was under the influence of liquor. Under these conditions, his chance
s of effectively dealing with changing conditions on the road were significantly
lessened. We agree with the respondent court that Valenzuela was not guilty of
contributory negligence. Courts have traditionally been compelled to recognize t
hat an actor who is confronted with an emergency is not to be held up to the sta
ndard of conduct normally applied to an individual who is in no such situation.
The law takes stock of impulses of humanity when placed in threatening or danger
ous situations and does not require the same standard of thoughtful and reflecti
ve care from persons confronted by unusual and oftentimes threatening conditions
. Under the emergency rule adopted by this Court in Gan vs Court of Appeals, an
individual who suddenly finds himself in a situation of danger and is required t
o act without much time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid
the impending danger, is not guilty of negligence if he fails to undertake what
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a better solution, unless the
emergency was brought by his own negligence.
Under the circumstances described, Valenzuela did exercise the standard reasonab
ly dictated by the emergency and could not be considered to have contributed to
the unfortunate circumstances which eventually led to the amputation of one of h
er lower extremities. The emergency which led her to park her car on a sidewalk
in Aurora Boulevard was not of her own making, and it was evident that she had t
aken all reasonable precautions. 52. PHIL. LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE CO. vs COURT
OF APPEALS FACTS: On July 30, 1968, the jeep of Esteban spouses ran over amound
of earth and fell into an open trench, anexcavation allegedly undertaken by PLD
T for theinstallation of its underground conduit system. Thecomplaint alleged th
at respondent Antonio Esteban failed to notice the open trench which was left un
covered because of the creeping darkness and the lack of any warning light or si
gns. Gloria Esteban allegedly sustained injuries on her arms, legs and face, lea
ving a permanent scar on her cheek, while the respondent husband suffered cut li
ps. In addition, the windshield of the jeep was shattered. PLDT, in its answer,
denies liability on the contention that the injuries sustained by respondent spo
uses were the result of their own negligence and that the entity which should be
held responsible, if at all, is L.R. Barte and Company, an independent contract
or which undertook the said construction work. The R TC ruled in favor of Esteba
n spouses whereas the CA reversing the decision of the lower court and dismissin
g the complaint of respondent spouses. It held that respondent Esteban spouses w
ere negligent and consequently absolved petitioner PLDT from the claim for damag
es. ISSUE: WON PLDT is liable to respondent Esteban spouses. HELD: The above fin
dings clearly show that the negligence of respondent Antonio Esteban was not onl
y contributory to his injuries and those of his wife but goes to the very cause
of the occurrence of the accident, as one of its determining factors, and thereb
y precludes their right to recover damages. 30 The perils of the road were known
to, hence appreciated and assumed by, private respondents. By exercising reason
able care and prudence, respondent Antonio Esteban could have avoided the injuri
ous consequences of his act, even assuming arguendo that there was some alleged
negligence on the part of petitioner. As opined in some quarters, the omission t
o perform a duty, such as the placing of warning signs on the site of the excava
tion, constitutes the proximate cause only when the doing of the said omitted ac
t would have prevented the injury. Furthermore, respondent Antonio Esteban had t
he last clear chance or opportunity to avoid the accident, notwithstanding the n
egligence he imputes to petitioner PLDT. As a resident of Lacson Street, he pass
ed on that street almost every day and had knowledge of the presence and locatio
n of the excavations there. It was his negligence that exposed him and his wife
to danger; hence he is solely responsible for the consequences of his imprudence
. 53. PHIL. NATIONAL RAILWAYS vs. INTERMIDIATE APPELATE COURT FACTS: The case ar
ose from a collision of a passenger express train of defendant Philippine Nation
al Railways, (PNR) coming from San Fernando, La Union and bound for Manila and a
passenger bus of Baliwag Transit, Inc. which was on its way to Hagonoy,
Bulacan, from Manila, but upon reaching the railroad crossing at Barrio Balungao
, Calumpit, Bulacan at about 1:30 in the afternoon of August 10, 1974, got stall
ed and was hit by defendant s express train causing damages to plaintiff s bus a
nd its passengers, eighteen (18) of whom died and fifty-three (53) others suffer
ed physical injuries. Plaintiff alleging that the proximate cause of the collisi
on was the negligence and imprudence of defendant PNR, and its locomotive engine
er, Honorio Cirbado, in operating its passenger train in a busy intersection wit
hout any bars, semaphores, signal lights, flagman or switchman to warn the publi
c of approaching train that would pass through the crossing, filed the instant a
ction for Damages against defendants. The defendants, in their Answer traversed
the material allegation of the Complaint and as affirmative defense alleged that
the collision was caused by the negligence, imprudence and lack of foresight of
plaintiff s bus driver, Romeo Hughes. The trial court held by imputing negligen
ce on the part of the train engineer and his employer. CA affirmed. ISSUES: 1. W
ON, both drivers are negligent; that likewise which of said companies was neglig
ent at said railroad intersection. 2. WON, BTI has exercised the diligence of a
good father of the family in the selection and supervision of its employees. HEL
D: Contributory negligence may not be ascribed to the bus driver; it was evident
that he had taken the necessary precautions before passing over the railway tra
ck; if the bus was hit, it was for reasons beyond the control of the bus driver
because he had no place to go. The failure of the Philippine National Railways t
o put a cross bar, or signal light, flagman or switchman, or semaphores is evide
nce of negligence and disregard of the safety of the public, even if there is no
law or ordinance requiring it, because public safety demands that said devices
or equipments be installed, in the light of aforesaid jurisprudence. In the opin
ion of this Court the X sign or the presence of "STOP, LOOK, LISTEN" warnings wo
uld not be sufficient protection of the motoring public as well as the pedestria
ns, in the said intersection. Likewise, it was established that the weather cond
ition was characterized with intermittent rain which should have prompted the tr
ain engineer to exercise extra precaution. Also, the train reached Calumpit, Bul
acan ahead of scheduled arrival thereat, indicating that the train was travellin
g more than the normal speed of 30 kilometers per hour. If the train were really
running at 30 kilometers per hour when it was approaching the intersection, it
would probably not have travelled 190 meters more from the place of the accident
(page 10, Brief for Petitioners). All of these factors, taken collectively, eng
endered the concrete and yes, correct conclusion that the train engineer was neg
ligent who, moreover, despite the last opportunity within his hands vis-a-vis th
e weather condition including the presence of people near the intersection, coul
d have obviated the impending collision had he slackened his speed and applied t
he brakes (Picart vs. Smith, 37 Phil. 809 [1918]). Concerning the exercise of di
ligence normally expected of an employer in the selection and supervision of its
employees, respondent court expressed the view that PNR was remiss on this scor
e since it allowed Honorio Cabardo, who finished only primary education and beca
me an engineer only through sheer experience, to operate the
locomotive, not to mention the fact that such plea in avoidance was not asserted
in the answer and was thus belatedly raised on appeal. 54. TAYLOR vs MANILA ELE
CTRIC RAILROAD AND LIGHT CO FACTS: The defendant is a foreign corporation engage
d in the operation of a street railway and an electric light system in the city
of Manila. The plaintiff, David Taylor, was at the time when he received the inj
uries complained of, 15 years of age. On September 30, 1905, plaintiff, with a b
oy named Manuel Claparols, 12, crossed the footbridge to the Isla del Provisor,
to visit one Murphy, an employee of the defendant, who promised to make them a c
ylinder for a miniature engine. Upon inquiry that Mr.Murphy was not in his quart
ers, the boys, impelled apparently by youthful curiosity, spent some time in wan
dering about the company s premises. Here they found some 20 or 30 brass fulmina
ting caps scattered on the ground. They opened one of the caps with a knife, and
finding that it was filled with a yellowish substance they got matches, and Dav
id held the cap while Manuel applied a lighted match to the contents. An explosi
on followed, causing more or less serious injuries to all three. David was struc
k in the face by several particles of the metal capsule, one of which injured hi
s right eye to such an extent as to necessitate its removal by the surgeons. No
measures seems to have been adopted by the defendant company to prohibit or prev
ent visitors from entering and walking about its premises unattended, when they
felt disposed so to do. The trial court s decision, awarding damages to the plai
ntiff, upon the provisions of article 1089 of the Civil Code read together with
articles 1902, 1903, and 1908 of that code. ISSUE: WON the defendants negligence
is the proximate cause of plaintiff s injuries. HELD: We are of opinion that und
er all the circumstances of this case the negligence of the defendant in leaving
the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause of the injury rece
ived by the plaintiff, which therefore was not, properly speaking, attributable t
o the negligence of the defendant, and, on the other hand, we are satisfied that
plaintiffs action in cutting open the detonating cap and putting a match to its c
ontents was the proximate cause of the explosion and of the resultant injuries i
nflicted upon the plaintiff, and that the defendant, therefore, is not civilly r
esponsible for the injuries thus incurred. We are satisfied that the plaintiff i
n this case had sufficient capacity and understanding to be sensible of the dang
er to which he exposed himself when he put the match to the contents of the cap;
that he was sui juris in the sense that his age and his experience qualified hi
m to understand and appreciate the necessity for the exercise of that degree of
caution which would have avoided the injury which resulted from his own delibera
te act; and that the injury incurred by him must be held to have been the direct
and immediate result of his own willful and reckless act, so that while it may
be true that these injuries would not have been incurred but for the negligence
act of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises, nevertheless p
laintiff s own act was the proximate and principal cause of the accident which i
nflicted the injury. 55. JARCO MARKETING CORPORATION vs HON. COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS: Petitioner Jarco Marketing Corporation is the owner of Syvels Department S
tore, Makati City. On May 9, 1983, Criselda and Zhieneth were at the 2nd floor o
f Syvels Dept. Store. Criselda momentarily let go of her daughters hand to sign he
r credit card slip at the payment and verification counter. She suddenly felt a
gust of wind and heard a loud thud. She looked behind her and saw her daughter o
n the floor, pinned by the gift wrapping counter. Zhieneth was crying and scream
ing for help. Criselda was able to ask people to help her and bring her daughter
to the hospital. She was operated on immediately at the hospital. She died 14 d
ays later, on the hospital bed. She was 6 years old. The cause of her death was
attributed to the injuries she sustained. The Aguilars demanded from the petition
ers the reimbursement of hospital and medical bills, and wake and funeral expense
s. Petitioners refused to pay. So the Aguilars filed a complaint for damages. The
trial court dismissed the complaint and counterclaim after finding that the pre
ponderance of evidence favored petitioner. The Court of Appeals, however, decide
d in favor of private respondents and reversed the appealed judgment. It found t
hat petitioners were negligent in maintaining a structurally dangerous counter.
ISSUE: (1) whether the death of ZHIENETH was accidental or attributable to negli
gence; (2) In case of a finding of negligence, whether the same was attributable
to private respondents for maintaining a defective counter or to CRISELDA and Z
HIENETH for failing to exercise due and reasonable care while inside the store p
remises. HELD: Accident and negligence are intrinsically contradictory; one cann
ot exist with the other. Accident occurs when the person concerned is exercising
ordinary care, which is not caused by fault of any person and which could not h
ave been prevented by any means suggested by common prudence. The test in determ
ining the existence of negligence is enunciated in the landmark case of Picart v
. Smith, thus: Did the defendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that rea
sonable care and caution which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in t
he same situation? If not, then he is guilty of negligence. We rule that the tra
gedy which befell ZHIENETH was no accident and that ZHIENETHs death could only be
attributed to negligence.Without doubt, petitioner Panelo and another store sup
ervisor were personally informed of the danger posed by the unstable counter. Ye
t, neither initiated any concrete action to remedy the situation nor ensure the
safety of the stores employees and patrons as a reasonable and ordinary prudent m
an would have done. Thus, as confronted by the situation petitioners miserably f
ailed to discharge the due diligence required of a good father of a family. Anen
t the negligence imputed to ZHIENETH, we apply the conclusive presumption that f
avors children below nine (9) years old in that they are incapable of contributo
ry negligence. Even if we attribute contributory negligence to ZHIENETH and assu
me that she climbed over the counter, no injury should have occurred if we accep
t petitioners theory that the counter was stable and sturdy. For if that was the
truth, a frail six-year old could not have caused the counter to collapse. CRISE
LDA too, should be absolved from any contributory negligence. At this precise mo
ment, it was reasonable and usual for CRISELDA to let go of her child. Further,
at the time ZHIENETH was pinned down by the counter, she was just a foot away fr
om her mother; and the gift-wrapping counter was just four meters away from CRIS
ELDA. The
time and distance were both significant. ZHIENETH was near her mother and did no
t loiter as petitioners would want to impress upon us. She even admitted to the
doctor who treated her at the hospital that she did not do anything; the counter
just fell on her. 56. JULIAN DEL ROSARIO vs MANILA ELECTRIC CO. FACTS: This act
ion was instituted by Julian del Rosario for the purpose of recovering damages f
rom Meralco for the death of his son, Alberto, resulting from a shock from a wir
e used by the defendant for the transmission of electricity. Aug 4, 1930, shortl
y after 2 oclock in the afternoon trouble developed in an overhead wire conductin
g electricity for lightning purposes in the City of Manila. The wire soon parted
and one of the charged ends fell to the ground in shrubbery close to the way. T
he lightning company received a telephonic report of this incident at 2.25 p.m.
and promised to send an inspector. At 4 p.m., the neighboring school turned out
and as the children went home one of the boys, of the age 9 years, touched the w
ire with his hand and received a shock which resulted in his death. The CFI rend
ers decision in favor of Manila Electric. Co. ISSUE: WON Manila Electric Co. is
liable. HELD: We are of the opinion that the presumption of negligence on the pa
rt of the company from the breakage of this wire has been overcome, and the defe
ndant is in our opinion responsible for the accident. Furthermore, when notice r
eceived at the Malabon station at 2.25pm, somebody should have been dispatched t
o the scene of the trouble at once, or other measures taken to guard the point o
f danger; but more than an hour and a half passed before anyone representing the
company appeared on the scene, and in the meantime this child had been claimed
as a victim. The circumstances that the boy who was killed touched the wire afte
r one of his companions had warned him not to do so, did not relieve the company
of responsibility, owing to his immature years and natural curiosity of a child
to do something out of ordinary. 57. FEDERICO YLARDE vs EDGARDO AQUINO FACTS: S
oriano was the school principal and Aquino was a teacher. The school was littere
d with concrete blocks. Teacher Banez started burying them. Aquino gathered 18 m
ale pupils to help. He ordered them to dig but work wasnt finished. The following
day, Aquino called 4 of the 18 pupils to continue. Aquino continued digging whi
le the pupils remained inside the pit throwing out the loose soil. Aquino left t
he children to level the loose soil and borrowed a key from Banez. Aquino told t
he kids not to touch the stone. 3 of the 4 kids jumped into the pit. The remaini
ng Abaga jumped on the concrete block causing it to slide down. The 2 kids were
able to escape but student Ylarde sustained injuries. Three days later, he died.
Parents filed suit against Aquino and Soriano. Lower court dismissed the case a
nd CA affirmed and said child Ylarde was negligent. ISSUE: WON Aquino and Sorian
o can be held liable for damages.
HELD: As regards the principal, we hold that he cannot be made responsible for t
he death of the child Ylarde, he being the head of an academic school and not a
school of arts and trades. This is in line with our ruling in Amadora vs. Court
of Appeals, wherein this Court thoroughly discussed the doctrine that under Arti
cle 2180 of the Civil Code, it is only the teacher and not the head of an academ
ic school who should be answerable for torts committed by their students. This C
ourt went on to say that in a school of arts and trades, it is only the head of
the school who can be held liable. From a review of the record of this case, it
is very clear that private respondent Aquino acted with fault and gross negligen
ce when he: (1) failed to avail himself of services of adult manual labourers an
d instead utilized his pupils aged ten to eleven to make an excavation near the
one-ton concrete stone which he knew to be a very hazardous task; (2) required t
he children to remain inside the pit even after they had finished digging, knowi
ng that the huge block was lying nearby and could be easily pushed or kicked asi
de by any pupil who by chance may go to the perilous area; (3) ordered them to l
evel the soil around the excavation when it was so apparent that the huge stone
was at the brink of falling; (4) went to a place where he would not be able to c
heck on the children s safety; and (5) left the children close to the excavation
, an obviously attractive nuisance. The negligent act of private respondent Aqui
no in leaving his pupils in such a dangerous site has a direct causal connection
to the death of the child Ylarde. Left by them, it was but natural for the chil
dren to play around. Tired from the strenuous digging, they just had to amuse th
emselves with whatever they found. Driven by their playful and adventurous insti
ncts and not knowing the risk they were facing three of them jumped into the hol
e while the other one jumped on the stone. Since the stone was so heavy and the
soil was loose from the digging, it was also a natural consequence that the ston
e would fall into the hole beside it, causing injury on the unfortunate child ca
ught by its heavy weight. Everything that occurred was the natural and probable
effect of the negligent acts of private respondent Aquino. Needless to say, the
child Ylarde would not have died were it not for the unsafe situation created by
private respondent Aquino which exposed the lives of all the pupils concerned t
o real danger. 58. FAR EASTERN SHIPPING vs COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: M/V PAVLODAR
was owned and operated by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.. It arrived at the port o
f Manila from Columbia. Capt. Abellana was tasked by Philippine Port Authority t
o supervise the berthing. Senen Gavino was assigned by Manila Pilots Association
to conduct docking maneuvers for the safe berthing of the vessel to Berth 4. Gav
ino boarded the vessel with Victor Kavankov, the master vessel. The vessel then
anchor and proceeded to the Manila International Port. The vessel reached the la
ndmark and Gavino ordered the engine stopped. When the vessel was about 2,000 ft
. from the pier, Gavino ordered the anchor dropped and the two shackles were dro
pped. However, the anchor did not take hold as expected and the speed of the ves
sel did not slacken causing a commotion to ensue. After Gavino noticed that the
anchor did not take hold, he ordered the engines half- astern. Abellana, who was
then at pier apron noticed the vessel was approaching fast. Gavino thereafter g
ave full- astern but before the right anchor and shackles could be dropped, the
vessel rammed into the apron of the pier causing damage to the peir. The vessel
sustained damage too. The PPA filed before the trial court for a sum of money ag
ainst Far Eastern, Gavino and MPA. The trial
court renders decision in favor of PPA. The CA affirmed the findings of the cour
t with modifications. ISSUE: WON, FESC, Gavino, and MPA are solidarily liable. H
ELD: Those who undertake any work calling for special skills are required not on
ly to exercise reasonable care in what they do but also possess a standard minim
um of special knowledge and ability- every man who offers his services to anothe
r, and is employed, assumes to exercise in the employment such skills he possess
es, with a reasonable degree of diligence. Where several causes producing an inj
ury are concurrent and each is an efficient cause without which the injury would
not have happened, the injury may be attributed to all or any of the causes and
recovery may be had against any or all of the responsible persons although unde
r circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of them was culpable, and th
at the duty owed by them to the injured person was not the same. No actors neglig
ence ceases to be a proximate cause merely because it does not exceed the neglig
ence of other actors. Each wrongdoer is responsible for the entire result and is
liable as though his acts were the sole cause of the injury. There is no contri
bution between the tortfeasors whose liability is solidary since both of them ar
e liable for the total damage. As a general rule, the owners or those in possess
ion and control of a vessel are liable for all natural and proximate damages cau
sed to persons or property by reason of her negligent management or navigation.
59. CULION ICE, FISH AND ELECTRIC CO. vs PHIL. MOTORS CORPORATION FACTS: The pla
intiff and defendant are domestic corporations; H.D. Cranston was the representa
tive of the plaintiff. Plaintiff was the registered owner of the motor schooner
Gwendoline, which was used in the fishing trade in the Philippine Islands. In Ja
nuary, 1925, Cranston decided, if practicable, to have the engine on the Gwendol
ine changed from a gasoline consumer to a crude oil burner. He therefore made kn
own his desire to McLeod & Co., thru Mc Kellar, and was told that he might make
inquiries of the Philippine Motors Corporations. Cranston had a conference with
PMC thru Quest, its manager, who agreed to do the job, with the understanding th
at payment should be made upon completion of the work. As a result of the afores
aid interview, work of effecting the change in the engine was begun and conducte
d under the supervision of Quest. Quest then installed a new carburetor. The res
ult of this experiment was satisfactory. In the course of the preliminary work u
pon the carburetor and its connections, it was observed that the carburetor was
flooding; this was called to Quest s attention. After preliminary experiments an
d adjustments had been made, the boat was taken out into the bay for a trial run
. The first part of the course was covered without any untoward development. As
the boat was coming in from this run, the engine stopped, and connection again h
ad to be made with the gasoline line to get a new start. After this had been don
e, the mechanic, switched to the tube connecting with the new mixture. A moment
later a back fire occurred in the cylinder chamber. This caused a flame to shoot
back into the carburetor, and instantly the carburetor and adjacent parts were
covered
with a mass of flames, which the members of the crew were unable to subdue. They
were therefore compelled, as the fire spread, to take to a boat, and their esca
pe was safely affected, but the Gwendoline was reduced to a mere hulk. The salva
ge from, the wreck, when sold, brought only the sum of P150. The value of the bo
at, before the accident occurred, as the court found, was P10, 000 ISSUE: WON de
fendant is liable for the loss of the boat. HELD: The trial judge seems to have
proceeded on the idea that, inasmuch as Quest had control of the Gwendoline duri
ng the experimental run, the defendant corporation was in the position of a bail
ee and that, as a consequence, the burden of proof was on the defendant to excul
pate itself from responsibility by proving that the accident was not due to the
fault of Quest. We are unable to accede to this point of view. Certainly, Quest
was not in charge of the navigation of the boat on this trial run. His employmen
t contemplated the installation of new parts in the engine only, and it seems ra
ther strained to hold that the defendant corporation had thereby become bailee o
f the boat. As a rule workmen who make repairs on a ship in its owner s yard, or
a mechanic who repairs a coach without taking it to his shop, are not bailees,
and their rights and liabilities are determined by the general rules of law, und
er their contract. The true bailee acquires possession and what is usually spoke
n of as special property in the chattel bailed. As a consequence of such possess
ion and special property, the bailee is given a lien for his compensation. These
ideas seem to be incompatible with the situation now under consideration. But t
hough defendant cannot be held liable in the supposition that the burden of proo
f had not been sustained by it in disproving the negligence of its manager, we a
re nevertheless of the opinion that the proof shows by a clear preponderance tha
t the accident to the Gwendoline and the damages resulting there from are charge
able to the negligence or lack of skill of Quest. Cases 51-59 GANO, JEVAN KLAIRE
L. 60. E. M. WRIGHT vs MANILA ELECTRIC R.R. & LIGHT CO. FACTS: This is an actio
n brought to recover damages for injuries sustained in an accident which occurre
d in Caloocan on the night of August 8, 1909. The defendant is a corporation eng
aged in operating an electric street railway in the city of Manila and its subur
bs, including the municipality of Caloocan. The plaintiff s residence in Calooca
n fronts on the street along which defendant s tracks run, so that to enter his
premises from the street plaintiff is obliged to cross defendant s tracks. On th
e night mentioned plaintiff drove home in a calesa and in crossing the tracks to
enter his premises the horse stumbled, leaped forward, and fell, causing the ve
hicle with the rails, resulting in a sudden stop, threw plaintiff from the vehic
le and caused the injuries complained of. It is admitted that the defendant was
negligent in maintaining its tracks as described, but it is contended that the p
laintiff was also negligent in that he was intoxicated to such an extent at the
time of the accident that he was unable to take care of himself properly and tha
t such intoxication was the primary cause of the accident.
Trial Court: both parties were negligent, but that the plaintiff s negligence wa
s not as great as defendant s and under the authority of the case of Rakes vs. A
. G. & P. Co. (7 Phil. Rep., 359) apportioned the damages and awarded plaintiff
a judgment of P1,000. ISSUE: Whether or not the plaintiff was negligent. SC: No.
As is clear from reading the opinion, no facts are stated therein which warrant
the conclusion that the plaintiff was negligent. The conclusion that if he had
been sober he would not have been injured is not warranted by the facts as found
. It is impossible to say that a sober man would not have fallen from the vehicl
e under the conditions described. A horse crossing the railroad tracks with not
only the rails but a portion of the ties themselves aboveground, stumbling by re
ason of the unsure footing and falling, the vehicle crashing against the rails w
ith such force as to break a wheel, this might be sufficient to throw a person f
rom the vehicle no matter what his condition; and to conclude that, under such c
ircumstances, a sober man would not have fallen while a drunken man did, is to d
raw a conclusion which enters the realm of speculation and guesswork. It having
been found that the plaintiff was not negligent, it is unnecessary to discuss th
e question presented by the appellant company with reference to the applicabilit
y of the case of Rakes vs. A. G. & P. Co., above; and we do not find facts in th
e opinion of the court below which justify a larger verdict than the one found.
61. PRECIOLITA V. CORLISS vs THE MANILA RAILROAD CO. FACTS: On the evening of Fe
b 21, 1957, at the railroad crossing in Balibago, Angeles, Pampanga, in front of
the Clark Air Force Base, the jeep that Ralph W. Corliss was driving collided c
ollided with a locomotive of defendant-appellee Manila Railroad Company. Before
the locomotive, which had been previously inspected and found to be in good cond
ition approached, the crossing, that is, about 300 meters away, the defendant bl
ew the siren and repeated it in compliance with the regulations until he saw the
jeep suddenly spurt and that although the locomotive was running between 20 and
25 kilometers an hour and although he had applied the brakes, the jeep was caug
ht in the middle of the tracks. Trial court: Dismissed the complaint for recover
y of damages filed by plaintiff-appellant, Preciolita V. Corliss. The lower cour
t, after summarizing the evidence, concluded that the deceased "in his eagerness
to beat, so to speak, the oncoming locomotive, took the risk and attempted to r
each the other side, but unfortunately he became the victim of his own miscalcul
ation." ISSUE: Wether or not the decision of the lower court is correct. SC: Yes
. Mr. Justice Cardozo said that bear witness to the need for caution in framing s
tandards of behavior that amount to rules of law.... Extraordinary situations ma
y not wisely or fairly be subjected to tests or regulations that are fitting for
the commonplace or normal." What Justice Cardozo announced would merely emphasi
ze what was set forth earlier that each and every, case on questions of negligen
ce is to be decided in accordance with
the peculiar circumstances that present themselves. There can be no hard and fas
t rule. There must be that observance of that degree of care, precaution, and vi
gilance which the situation demands. Thus defendant-appellee acted. It is undeni
able then that no negligence can rightfully be imputed to it. What commends itse
lf for acceptance is this conclusion arrived at by the lower court: "Predicated
on the testimonies of the plaintiff s witnesses, on the knowledge of the decease
d and his familiarity with the setup of the checkpoint, the existence of the tra
cks; and on the further fact that the locomotive had blown its siren or whistle,
which was heard by said witnesses, it is clear that Corliss Jr. was so sufficie
ntly warned in advance of the oncoming train that it was incumbent upon him to a
void a possible accident and this consisted simply in stopping his vehicle befor
e the crossing and allowing the train to move on. A prudent man under similar ci
rcumstances would have acted in this manner. This, unfortunately, Corliss, Jr. f
ailed to do." WHEREFORE, the decision of the lower court of November 29, 1962 di
smissing the complaint, is affirmed. Without pronouncement as to costs. 62. VICT
ORINO CUSI and PILAR POBRE vs PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS FACTS: On the night o
f October 5, 1963, plaintiffs-appellees attended a birthday party inside the Uni
ted Housing Subdivision in Paranaque, Rizal. After the party which broke up at a
bout 11 o clock that evening, the plaintiffs-appellees proceeded home in their V
auxhall car with Victorino Cusi at the wheel. Upon reaching the railroad tracks,
finding that the level crossing bar was raised and seeing that there was no fla
shing red light, and hearing no whistle from any coming train, Cusi merely slack
ened his speed and proceeded to cross the tracks. At the same time, a train boun
d for Lucena traversed the crossing, resulting in a collision between the two. T
he impact threw the plaintiffsappellees out of their car which was smashed. One
Benjamin Franco, who came from the same party and was driving a vehicle right be
hind them, rushed to their aid and brought them. to San Juan de Dios Hospital fo
r emergency treatment. Victorino Cusi claimed that prior to the accident he was
a successful businessman the Special Assistant to the Dolor Lopez Enterprises, t
he managing partner of Cusi and Rivera Partnership, the manager of his ricemill,
and with substantial investments in other business enterprises. As a result of
his injuries, he was unable to properly attend to his various business undertaki
ngs. On the other hand, his wife, Pilar, was a skilled music and piano teacher.
After the accident, she lost the dexterity of her fingers forcing her to quit he
r profession. She also bore ugly scars on several parts of her body, and she suf
fered anxiety of a possible miscarriage being then five (5) months pregnant at t
he time of the accident. Court of First Instance: Ordered defendant-appellant to
indemnify the plaintiffsappellees in the total amount of Two Hundred Thirty-Nin
e Thousand and Six Hundred Forty-Eight Pesos, and Seventy-Two Centavos (P239,648
.72) for injuries received in a collision caused by the gross negligence of defe
ndant-appellant, plus Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) as attorney s fees and exp
enses of litigation. ISSUE: Wether or not gross negligence of Victorino Cusi was
the proximate cause of the collision.
SC: No.After a thorough perusal of the facts attendant to the case, this Court i
s in fun accord with the lower court. Plaintiff-appellee Victorino Cusi had exer
cised all the necessary precautions required of him as to avoid injury to -himse
lf and to others. We find no need for him to have made a full stop; relying on h
is faculties of sight and hearing, Victorino Cusi had no reason to anticipate th
e impending danger. The record shows that the spouses Cusi previously knew of th
e existence of the railroad crossing, having stopped at the guardhouse to ask fo
r directions before proceeding to the party. At the crossing, they found the lev
el bar raised, no warning lights flashing nor warning bells ringing, nor whistle
from an oncoming train. They safely traversed the crossing. On their return hom
e, the situation at the crossing did not in the least change, except for the abs
ence of the guard or flagman. Hence, on the same impression that the crossing wa
s safe for passage as before, plaintiff-appellee Victorino Cusi merely slackened
his speed and proceeded to cross the tracks, driving at the proper rate of spee
d for going over railroad crossings. Had defendant-appellant been successful in
establishing that its locomotive driver blew his whistle to warn motorists of hi
s approach to compensate for the absence of the warning signals, and that Victor
ino Cusi, instead of stopping or slackening his speed, proceeded with reckless s
peed and regardless of possible or threatened danger, then We would have been pu
t in doubt as to the degree of prudence exercised by him and would have, in all
probability, declared him negligent. But as the contrary was established, we rem
ain convinced that Victorino Cusi had not, through his own negligence, contribut
ed to the accident so as to deny him damages from the defendant-appellant. The o
nly question that now remains to be resolved is the reasonableness of the amount
awarded as damages to the plaintiffs- appellees. The following actual expenses
and losses are fully substantiated: (a) Hospital bills of Mrs. Cusi from October
, 1963 to May, 1964 in the amount of Thirteen Thousand Five Hundred Fifty Pesos
and Five Centavos (P13,550.05); (b) Another hospital bill of Mrs. Cusi in 1965 i
n the amount of Three Thousand and One Pesos and Ninety Centavos (P3,001.90); (c
) Doctor s fees for two surgical operations performed on Mrs. Cusi by one Dr. Ma
nuel Rivera in the amount of One Thousand and Five Hundred Pesos (Pl,500.00); (d
) Loss of Victorino s wrist watch valued at Two Hundred and Fifty Pesos (P250.00
); (e) Loss of Pilar s half of her pair of demand earrings(l-carrats) valued at T
wo Thousand Seven Hundred and Fifty Pesos (P2,750,00); (f) Repair of the damaged
Vauxhall car in the amount of Two Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety Four Pesos
and Seventy- Seven Centavos (P2,894.77). The total award of actual damages in th
e amount of Twenty Three Thousand Nine Hundred Forty-Six Pesos and Seventy-Two C
entavos (P23,946.72) is, therefore, correct. The lower court awarded Twenty-One
Thousand Six Hundred Pesos (P21,600.00) to Mrs. Cusi for loss of income for the
three years that she was under constant medical treatment, and Fourteen Thousand
Pesos (P14,000.00) for impairment of her earning capacity; and Forty Thousand P
esos (P 40,000.00) to Mr. Cusi for loss of income for the eight months that he w
as disabled and impairment of his earning capacity. We find the award reasonable
. The records show that Mrs. Cusi, previously a skilled piano teacher averaging
a monthly income of Six Hundred Pesos (P600.00), cannot now teach nor play the p
iano since the accident which resulted in the loss of the dexterity of her finge
rs;
likewise, Mr. Cusi cannot now vigorously attend to his businesses which previous
ly netted him a monthly average income of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00). As re
gards the award of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) for profits which Victorin
o Cusi failed to realize from a certain real estate transaction with the Dolor L
opez Enterprises, we affirm the same as the defendant-appellant has failed to pr
esent an iota of evidence to overcome plaintiffs-appellees evidence credited by
the lower court as to the certainty of the materialization of the stated transa
ction. The award of Seventy Thousand Pesos (P70,000.00) to Mrs. Cusi and Fifty T
housand Pesos (P50,000.00) to Victorino Cusi as moral damages is not excessive.
In their own respective fields of endeavor, both were successful. Now they have
to bear throughout their whole lifetime the humiliation wrought by their physica
l deformities which no doubt affected, and will continue to do so, their social
lives, their financial undertakings, and even their mental attitudes. Likewise,
the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) given as attorney s fees and expen
ses of litigation is not unreasonable. The total amount of damages awarded by th
e trial court should bear legal interest at 6% from the rendition of the j judgm
ent, which was on March 26, 1968. WHEREFORE, the judgment of the lower court is
hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that the total amount of damages shall bea
r legal interest at six per cent (6%) from the rendition of the decision dated M
arch 26, 1968 63. MARINDUQUE IRON MINES AGENTS, INC., vs THE WORKMENS COMPENSATIO
N COMMISSION FACTS: on August 23, 1951, at 6:chanry00 a.m. in Bo. Sumangga, Mogp
og, Marinduque, the deceased Mamador together with other laborers of theResponde
nt-corporation, (Marinduque Iron Mines Agents Inc.) boarded a truck belonging to
the latter, which was then driven by one Procopio Macunat, also employed by the
corporation, and on its way to their place of work at the mine camp at Talantun
an, while trying to overtake another truck on the company road, it turned over a
nd hit a coconut tree, resulting in the death of said Mamador and injury to the
others. Procopio Macunat was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to indemnify the
heirs of the deceased. (Criminal Case No. 1491). He has paid nothing however, t
o the latter. THE WORKMENS COMPENSATION COMMISSION: Confirming the referees award
of compensation to the heirs of Pedro Mamador for his accidental death. ISSUE: w
ether or not violating the employers prohibition against laborers riding the haul
age trucks would constitute negligence. SC: There is no doubt that mere riding o
n haulage truck or stealing a ride thereon is not negligence, ordinarily. It cou
ldnt be, because transportation by truck is not dangerous per se. It is argued th
at there was notorious negligence in this particular instance because there was
the employers prohibition. Does violation of this order constitute
negligence? Many courts hold that violation of a statute or ordinance constitute
s negligence per se. Others consider the circumstances. However there is practic
al unanimity in the proposition that violation of a rule promulgated by a Commis
sion or board is not negligence per se; chan roblesvirtualawlibrarybut it may be
evidence of negligence. (C.J.S., Vol. 65, p. 427.) This order of the employer (
prohibition rather) couldnt be of a greater obligation than the rule of a Commiss
ion or board. And the referee correctly considered this violation as possible ev
idence of negligence; chan roblesvirtualawlibrarybut it declared that under the
circumstance, the laborer could not be declared to have acted with negligence. C
orrectly, it is believed, since the prohibition had nothing to do with personal
safety of the riders. Such finding is virtually a finding of fact which we may n
ot overrule in this certiorari proceeding. Nevertheless, even granting there was
negligence, it surely was not notorious negligence, which we have interpreted to
mean the same thing as gross negligence 3 implying conscious indifference to conseq
uences pursuing a course of conduct which would naturally and probably result in i
njury utter disregard of consequences. (38 Am. Jur., 691) Getting or accepting a fr
ee ride on the companys haulage truck couldnt be gross negligence, because as the
referee found, no danger or risk was apparent. There being no other material point
raised in the petition for review, the award of compensation is hereby affirmed
, with costs against Petitioner. 64. CIPRIANO and/or E.S. CIPRIANO ENTERPRISES v
s. CA FACTS: In the afternoon of May 1, 1991, fire broke out at the Lambat resta
urant, which petitioner also owned, adjoining his Mobilkote rustproofing shop. T
he fire destroyed both the shop and the restaurant, including private respondents
Kia Pride. The car had been kept inside the building, allegedly to protect it f
rom theft. Petitioner claimed that despite efforts to save the vehicle, there wa
s simply not enough time to get it out of the building, unlike three other cars
which had been saved because they were parked near the entrance of the garage. O
n May 8 1991, private respondent sent a letter to petitioner, demanding reimburs
ement for the value of the Kia Pride. In reply, petitioner denied liability on t
he ground that the fire was a fortuitous event. This prompted private respondent
to bring this suit for the value of its vehicle and for damages against petitio
ner. Private respondent alleged that its vehicle was lost due to the negligence
and imprudence of the petitioner, citing petitioners failure to register his busi
ness with the Department of Trade and Industry under P.D. No. 1572 and to insure
it as required in the rules implementing the Decree. In his Answer, petitioner
invoked Art. 1174 of the Civil Code and denied liability for the loss which he a
lleged was due to a fortuitous event. He later testified that he employed an ele
ctrician who regularly inspected the lighting in his restaurant and rustproofing
shop. In addition, he claimed he had installed fire-fighting devices and that t
he fire was
an accident entirely independent of his will and devoid of any negligence on his
part. He further averred that private respondents car was ready for release as e
arly as afternoon of April 30, 1991, and that it was private respondents delay in
claiming it that was the cause of the loss. RTC: The trial court sustained the
private respondents contention that the failure of defendant to comply with P.D. N
o. 1572 is in effect a manifest act of negligence which renders defendant [petit
ioner herein] liable for the loss of the car even if the same was caused by fire
, even as it ruled that the business of rustproffing is definitely covered by P.D.
No. 1572. Since petitioner did not register his business and insure it, he must
bear the cost of loss of his customers. As already noted, the court ordered peti
tioner to pay private respondent P252,155.00 with interest at 6% per annum from
the filing of the case and attorneys fees in the amount of P10,000.00. CA: affirm
ed the decision of the RTC. The Court of Appeals ruled that the provisions of th
e Civil Code relied upon by the petitioner are not applicable to this case, and
that the law applicable to the case is P.D. No. 1572, the purpose of which is to
protect customers who entrust their properties to service and repair enterprise
s. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner was required to insure his business and the
vehicles received by him in the course of his business. Whether or not his failu
re to do so constituted negligence, rendering him liable for loss due to the ris
k required to be insured against. SC: We hold that both questions must be answer
ed in the affirmative. We have already held that violation of a statutory duty i
s negligence per se. In F.F. Cruz and Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, we held the
owner of a furniture shop liable for the destruction of the plaintiffs house in
a fire which started in his establishment in view of his failure to comply with
an ordinance which required the construction of a firewall. In Teague v. Fernand
ez, we stated that where the very injury which was intended to be prevented by t
he ordinance has happened, non-compliance with the ordinance was not only an act
negligence, but also the proximate cause of the death. Indeed, the existence of
a contract between petitioner and private respondent does not bar a finding of
negligence under the principles of quasi-delict, as we recently held in Fabre v.
Court of Appeals. Petitioner s negligence is the source of his obligation. He i
s not being held liable for breach of his contractual obligation due to negligen
ce but for his negligence in not complying with a duty imposed on him by law. It
is therefore immaterial that the loss occasioned to private respondent was due
to a fortuitous event, since it was petitioners negligence in not insuring agains
t the risk which was the proximate cause of the loss. Thus, P.D. No. 1572, 1 req
uires service and repair enterprises for motor vehicles, like that of petitioners
to register with the Department of Trade and Industry. As condition for such re
gistration or accreditation, Ministry Order No. 32 requires covered enterprises
to secure insurance coverage. Rule III of this Order provides in pertinent parts
1- REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCREDITATION 1) Enterprises applying for original accredita
tion shall submit the following: 1.1. List of machineries/equipment/tools in use
ful condition;
1.2. List of certified engineers/accredited technicians mechanics with their per
sonal data; 1.3. Copy of Insurance Policy of the shop covering the property entr
usted by its customer for repair, service or maintenance together with a copy of
the official receipt covering the full payment of premium; 1.4. Copy of Bond re
ferred to under Section 7, Rule III of this Rules and Regulations; 1.5. Written
service warranty in the form prescribed by the Bureau; 1.6. Certificate issued b
y the Securities and Exchange Commission and Articles of Incorporation or Partne
rship in case of corporation or partnership; 1.7. Such other additional document
s which the Director may require from time to time. 1.8 - INSURANCE POLICY The i
nsurance policy for the following risks like theft, pilferage, fire, flood and l
oss should cover exclusively the machines, motor vehicles, heavy equipment, engi
nes, electronics, electrical, airconditioners, refrigerators, office machines an
d data processing equipment, medical and dental equipment, other consumer mechan
ical and industrial equipment stored for repair and/or service in the premises o
f the applicant. There is thus a statutory duty imposed on petitioner and it is
for his failure to comply with this duty that he was guilty of negligence render
ing him liable for damages to private respondent. While the fire in this case ma
y be considered a fortuitous event,[ this circumstance cannot exempt petitioner
from liability for loss. We think, however, that the Court of Appeals erred in s
ustaining the award of attorneys fees by the lower court. It is now settled that
the reasons or grounds for an award of attorneys fees must be set forth in the de
cision of the court. They cannot be left to inference as the appellate court hel
d in this case. The reason for this is that it is not sound policy to penalize t
he right to litigate. An award of attorneys fees, being an exception to this poli
cy and limited to the grounds enumerated in the law,[ must be fully justified in
the decision. It can not simply be inserted as an item of recoverable damages i
n the judgment of the court. Since in this case there is no justification for th
e award of attorneys fees in the decision of the trial court, it was error for th
e Court of Appeals to sustain such award. WHEREFORE, the decision, dated Novembe
r 18, 1992, of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, with the modification that the
award of attorneys fees is DELETED. 65. F.F. CRUZ and CO., INC vs THE COURT OF AP
PEALS FACTS: The furniture manufacturing shop of petitioner in Caloocan City was
situated adjacent to the residence of private respondents. Sometime in August 1
971, private respondent Gregorio Mable first approached Eric Cruz, petitioner s
plant manager, to request that a firewall be constructed between the shop and pr
ivate respondents residence. The request was repeated several times but they fe
ll on deaf ears. In the early morning of September 6, 1974, fire broke out in pe
titioner s shop. Petitioner s employees, who slept in the shop premises, tried t
o put out the fire, but their efforts proved futile. The fire spread to private
respondents house. Both the shop and the house were razed to the ground. The ca
use of the conflagration was never discovered. The National Bureau of Investigat
ion found specimens from the burned structures negative for the presence of infl
ammable substances.
Court of First Instance: the Court hereby renders judgment, in favor of plaintif
fs, and against the defendant: 1. Ordering the defendant to pay to the plaintiff
s the amount of P80,000.00 for damages suffered by said plaintiffs for the loss
of their house, with interest of 6% from the date of the filing of the Complaint
on January 23, 1975, until fully paid; 2. Ordering the defendant to pay to the
plaintiffs the sum of P50,000.00 for the loss of plaintiffs furnitures, religio
us images, silverwares, chinawares, jewelries, books, kitchen utensils, clothing
and other valuables, with interest of 6% from date of the filing of the Complai
nt on January 23, 1975, until fully paid; 3. Ordering the defendant to pay to th
e plaintiffs the sum of P5,000.00 as moral damages, P2,000.00 as exemplary damag
es, and P5,000.00 as and by way of attorney s fees; 4. With costs against the de
fendant; 5. Counterclaim is ordered dismissed, for lack of merit. CA: affirmed t
he decision of the trial court but reduced the award of damages. The damages to
be awarded to plaintiff should be reduced to P70,000.00 for the house and P50,00
0.00 for the furniture and other fixtures with legal interest from the date of t
he filing of the complaint until full payment. ISSUE: whether or not the doctrin
e of res ipsa loquitur is applicable in this cases SC: The facts of the case lik
ewise call for the application of the doctrine, considering that in the normal c
ourse of operations of a furniture manufacturing shop, combustible material such
as wood chips, sawdust, paint, varnish and fuel and lubricants for machinery ma
y be found thereon. It must also be noted that negligence or want of care on the
part of petitioner or its employees was not merely presumed. The Court of Appea
ls found that petitioner failed to construct a firewall between its shop and the
residence of private respondents as required by a city ordinance; that the fire
could have been caused by a heated motor or a lit cigarette; that gasoline and
alcohol were used and stored in the shop; and that workers sometimes smoked insi
de the shop [CA Decision, p. 5; Rollo, p. 33.] Even without applying the doctrin
e of res ipsa loquitur, petitioner s failure to construct a firewall in accordan
ce with city ordinances would suffice to support a finding of negligence. Even t
hen the fire possibly would not have spread to the neighboring houses were it no
t for another negligent omission on the part of defendants, namely, their failur
e to provide a concrete wall high enough to prevent the flames from leaping over
it. As it was the concrete wall was only 2-1/2 meters high, and beyond that hei
ght it consisted merely of galvanized iron sheets, which would predictably crumb
le and melt when subjected to intense heat. Defendant s negligence, therefore, w
as not only with respect to the cause of the fire but also with respect to the s
pread thereof to the neighboring houses. [Africa v. Caltex (Phil.), Inc., supra;
Emphasis supplied.] In the instant case, with more reason should petitioner be
found guilty of negligence since it had failed to construct a firewall between i
ts property and private respondents residence which sufficiently complies with
the pertinent city ordinances. The failure to comply with an ordinance providing
for safety regulations had been ruled by the Court
as an act of negligence [Teague v. Fernandez, G.R. No. L-29745, June 4, 1973, 51
SCRA 181.] The Court of Appeals, therefore, had more than adequate basis to fin
d petitioner liable for the loss sustained by private respondents. 2. Since the
amount of the loss sustained by private respondents constitutes a finding of fac
t, such finding by the Court of Appeals should not be disturbed by this Court [M
.D. Transit & Taxi Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-23882, February 17,
1968, 22 SCRA 559], more so when there is no showing of arbitrariness. In the i
nstant case, both the CFI and the Court of Appeals were in agreement as to the v
alue of private respondents furniture and fixtures and personal effects lost in
the fire (i.e. P50,000.00). With regard to the house, the Court of Appeals redu
ced the award to P70,000.00 from P80,000.00. Such cannot be categorized as arbit
rary considering that the evidence shows that the house was built in 1951 for P4
0,000.00 and, according to private respondents, its reconstruction would cost P2
46,000.00. Considering the appreciation in value of real estate and the diminuti
on of the real value of the peso, the valuation of the house at P70,000.00 at th
e time it was razed cannot be said to be excessive. 3. While this Court finds th
at petitioner is liable for damages to private respondents as found by the Court
of Appeals, the fact that private respondents have been indemnified by their in
surer in the amount of P35,000.00 for the damage caused to their house and its c
ontents has not escaped the attention of the Court. Hence, the Court holds that
in accordance with Article 2207 of the Civil Code the amount of P35,000.00 shoul
d be deducted from the amount awarded as damages. Said article provides: Art. 22
07. If the plaintiffs property has been insured, and he has received indemnity f
rom the insurance company for the injury or loss arising out of the wrong or bre
ach of contract complained of, the insurance company is subrogated to the rights
of the insured against the wrongdoer or the person who violated the contract. I
f the amount paid by the insurance company does not fully cover the injury or lo
ss, the aggrieved party shall be entitled to recover the deficiency from the per
son causing the loss or injury. (Emphasis supplied.] The law is clear and needs
no interpretation. Having been indemnified by their insurer, private respondents
are only entitled to recover the deficiency from petitioner. On the other hand,
the insurer, if it is so minded, may seek reimbursement of the amount it indemn
ified private respondents from petitioner. This is the essence of its right to b
e subrogated to the rights of the insured, as expressly provided in Article 2207
. Upon payment of the loss incurred by the insured, the insurer is entitled to b
e subrogated pro tanto to any right of action which the insured may have against
the third person whose negligence or wrongful act caused the loss [Fireman s Fu
nd Insurance Co. v. Jamila & Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-27427, April 7, 1976, 70 SCRA
323.] Under Article 2207, the real party in interest with regard to the indemni
ty received by the insured is the insurer [Phil. Air Lines, Inc. v. Heald Lumber
Co., 101 Phil. 1031, (1957).] Whether or not the insurer should exercise the ri
ghts of the insured to which it had been subrogated lies solely within the forme
r s sound discretion. Since the insurer is
not a party to the case, its identity is not of record and no claim is made on i
ts behalf, the private respondent s insurer has to claim his right to reimbursem
ent of the P35,000.00 paid to the insured. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing,
the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED with the following modif
ications as to the damages awarded for the loss of private respondents house, c
onsidering their receipt of P35,000.00 from their insurer: (1) the damages award
ed for the loss of the house is reduced to P35,000.00; and (2) the right of the
insurer to subrogation and thus seek reimbursement from petitioner for the P35,0
00.00 it had paid private respondents is recognized. 66. HONORIA DELGADO VDA. DE
GREGORIO, ET AL., vs GO CHONG BING FACTS: On or before June 2, 1952, defendant
was the owner of a truck. He had a driver and a cargador or driver s helper by t
he name of Francisco Rosomera. In the afternoon of June 2, 1952, defendant order
ed Romera to drive his truck, with instructions to follow another track driven b
y his driver and help the latter in crossing Sumlog river which was then flooded
, should it be unable to cross the river because of the flood. Romera at that ti
me was not a licensed driver. He only had a student s permit, issued to him on M
arch 31, 1952 (Exhibit "1"). The truck started from the town of Lupon at about 5
:30 o clock in the afternoon, driven by Romera. Some persons boarded the truck a
nd among them was one policeman by the name of Venancio Orfanel. While the truck
was on the way, it made a stop and then Orfanel took the wheel from Romera, whi
le the latter stayed on the driver s left, reclined on a spare tire inside of th
e truck. As to the circumstances under which Orfanel was able to take hold of an
d drive the truck, there is some dispute and this matter will be taken up later
in the decision. While the truck was being driven by Orfanel, with another truck
ahead of it driven by defendant s driver it so happened that they came to a tru
ck that was trying to park on the left side of the road. Romera suggested to Orf
anel that he shift to low gear and Orfanel did so. But as they approached the pa
rking truck, and in order to avoid colliding with it, Orfanel swerved the truck
towards the right. It so happened that at that time two pedestrians were on the
right side of the road, As the truck had swerved to the right and was proceeding
to hit the said pedestrians, Romera told Orfanel to apply the brake, but Orfane
l instead of doing so put his foot on the gasoline and the truck did not stop bu
t went on and hit and run over one of the pedestrians, by the name of Quirico Gr
egorio. The plaintiffs appellants in this action are Gregorio s widow and his c
hildren and of the accident, Orfanel was prosecuted for homicide with reckless i
mprudence. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced accordingly. Court
of First Instance: absolved defendant from liability for the accidental death of
Quirico Gregorio ISSUE: whether or not the defendant is liable. SC: We are of t
he belief that defendant s claim that Romera gave the wheel to the policeman for
fear of, or out of respect for, the latter, has been proved by a preponderance
of the evidence. The testimony of witness Dayo is not corroborated by any other
testimony. As he testified that he was two meters behind Romera, he could not ha
ve noticed with exactness the circumstances under which the policeman was able
to get hold of the wheel and drive the truck and his testimony in that respect c
annot be believed. We are, therefore, forced to the conclusion that the defendan
t s cargador, or Francisco Romera gave the wheel to Orfanel out of respect for t
he latter, who was a uniformed policeman and because he believed that the latter
had both the ability and the authority to drive the truck, especially as he him
self had only a student s permit and not a driver s license. The court a quo dis
missed the action on the ground that as the death or accident was caused by an a
ct or omission of a person who is not in any way related to the defendant, and a
s such act or omission was punishable by law, and as a matter of fact he had alr
eady been punished therefor, no civil liability should be imposed upon the defen
dant. Against this decision the plaintiffs have appealed to this Court, contendi
ng that when defendant permitted his cargador, who was not provided with a drive
r s license, to drive the truck, he thereby violated the provisions of the Revis
ed Motor Vehicle Law (section 28., Act No. 3992), and that this constitutes negl
igence per se. (People vs. Santos, et al., CA-G.R. No. 1088-1089R.) But admittin
g for the sake of argument that the defendant had so violated the law, or may be
deemed negligent in entrusting the truck to one who is not provided with a driv
er s license, it is clear that he may not be declared liable for the accident be
cause his negligence was not the direct and proximate cause thereof. The leading
case in this jurisdiction on negligence is that of Taylor vs. Manila Electric R
ailroad and Light Company, 16 Phil. 8. Negligence as a source of obligation both
under the civil law and in American cases was carefully considered and it was h
eld: We agree with counsel for appellant that under the Civil Code, as under the
generally accepted doctrine in the United States, the plaintiff in an action su
ch as that under consideration, in order to establish his right to a recovery, m
ust establish by competent evidence: (1) Damages to the plaintiff. (2) Negligenc
e by act or omission of which defendant personally, or some person for whose act
s it must respond, was guilty. (3) The connection of cause and effect between th
e negligence and the damage. (Taylor vs. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co.,
supra. p.15) In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court of Spain, in
order that a person may be held guilty for damage through negligence, it is nece
ssary that there be an act or omission on the part of the person who is to be ch
arged with the liability and that damage is produced by the said act or omission
. In accordance with the fundamental principle of proof, that the burden thereof
is upon the plaintiff, it is apparent that it is the duty of him who shall clai
m damages to establish their existence. The decisions of April 9, 1896, and Marc
h 18, July 6, and September 27, 1898, have especially supported the principle, t
he first setting forth in detail the necessary points of the proof, which are tw
o: An Act or omission on the part of the person who is to be charged with the li
ability, and the production of the damage by said act or omission. This includes
, by inference, the establishment of a relation of cause or effect between the a
ct or the omission and the damage; the latter must be the direct result of one o
f the first two. As the decision of March 22, 1881, said, it is necessary that t
he damages result immediately and directly from an act performed culpably and wr
ongfully;
necessarily presupposing, a legal ground for imputability. (Taylor vs. Manila E
lectric Railroad and Light Co., supra, p. 28.). It is evident that the proximate
, immediate and direct cause of the death of the plaintiffs intestate was the n
egligence of Orfanel, a uniformed policeman, who took the wheel of the truck fro
m defendant s cargador, in spite of the protest of the latter. The reason for ab
solving the defendant therefor is not because the one responsible for the accide
nt had already received indemnification for the accident, but because there is n
o direct and proximate causal connection between the negligence or violation of
the law by the defendant to the death of the plaintiff s intestate. For the fore
going considerations, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed, without cos
ts. 67. SANITARY STEAM LAUNDRY, INC vs COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: on August 31, 198
0, a Mercedes Benz panel truck of petitioner Sanitary Steam Laundry collided wit
h a Cimarron which caused the death of three persons and the injuries of several
others. The passengers of the Cimarron were mostly employees of the Project Man
agement Consultants, Inc. (PMCI). The Cimarron was owned by Salvador Salenga, fa
ther of one of the employees of PMCI. Driving the vehicle was Rolando Hernandez.
The driver of the truck claimed that a jeepney in front of him suddenly stopped
. He said he stepped on the brakes to avoid hitting the jeepney and that this ca
used his vehicle to swerve to the left and encroach on a portion of the opposite
lane. As a result, his panel truck collided with the Cimarron on the north-boun
d lane. RTC: Rendered judgment for private respondents. CA: Affirmed the decisio
n of the RTC ISSUE: Whether or not the driver of Cimarron was guilty of contribu
tory negligence. SC: First of all, it has not been shown how the alleged neglige
nce of the Cimarron driver contributed to the collision between the vehicles. In
deed, petitioner has the burden of showing a causal connection between the injur
y received and the violation of the Land Transportation and Traffic Code. He mus
t show that the violation of the statute was the proximate or legal cause of the
injury or that it substantially contributed thereto. Negligence, consisting in
whole or in part, of violation of law, like any other negligence, is without leg
al consequence unless it is a contributing cause of the injury. Petitioner says
that driving an overloaded vehicle with only one functioning headlight during nig
httime certainly increases the risk of accident, that because the Cimarron had on
ly one headlight, there was decreased visibility, and that the fact that the vehic
le was overloaded and its front seat overcrowded decreased [its] maneuverability.
However, mere allegations such as these are not sufficient to discharge its burd
en of proving clearly that such alleged negligence was the contributing cause of
the injury. Furthermore, based on the evidence in this case, there was no way e
ither driver could have avoided the collision.
68. HONORIA DELGADO VDA. DE GREGORIO, ET AL., vs GO CHONG BING FACTS: On or befo
re June 2, 1952, defendant was the owner of a truck. He had a driver and a carga
dor or driver s helper by the name of Francisco Rosomera. In the afternoon of Ju
ne 2, 1952, defendant ordered Romera to drive his truck, with instructions to fo
llow another track driven by his driver and help the latter in crossing Sumlog r
iver which was then flooded, should it be unable to cross the river because of t
he flood. Romera at that time was not a licensed driver. He only had a student s
permit, issued to him on March 31, 1952 (Exhibit "1"). The truck started from t
he town of Lupon at about 5:30 o clock in the afternoon, driven by Romera. Some
persons boarded the truck and among them was one policeman by the name of Venanc
io Orfanel. While the truck was on the way, it made a stop and then Orfanel took
the wheel from Romera, while the latter stayed on the driver s left, reclined o
n a spare tire inside of the truck. As to the circumstances under which Orfanel
was able to take hold of and drive the truck, there is some dispute and this mat
ter will be taken up later in the decision. While the truck was being driven by
Orfanel, with another truck ahead of it driven by defendant s driver it so happe
ned that they came to a truck that was trying to park on the left side of the ro
ad. Romera suggested to Orfanel that he shift to low gear and Orfanel did so. Bu
t as they approached the parking truck, and in order to avoid colliding with it,
Orfanel swerved the truck towards the right. It so happened that at that time t
wo pedestrians were on the right side of the road, As the truck had swerved to t
he right and was proceeding to hit the said pedestrians, Romera told Orfanel to
apply the brake, but Orfanel instead of doing so put his foot on the gasoline an
d the truck did not stop but went on and hit and run over one of the pedestrians
, by the name of Quirico Gregorio. The plaintiffs appellants in this action are
Gregorio s widow and his children and of the accident, Orfanel was prosecuted f
or homicide with reckless imprudence. He pleaded guilty to the charge and was se
ntenced accordingly. Court of First Instance: absolved defendant from liability
for the accidental death of Quirico Gregorio ISSUE: whether or not the defendant
is liable. SC: We are of the belief that defendant s claim that Romera gave the
wheel to the policeman for fear of, or out of respect for, the latter, has been
proved by a preponderance of the evidence. The testimony of witness Dayo is not
corroborated by any other testimony. As he testified that he was two meters beh
ind Romera, he could not have noticed with exactness the circumstances under whi
ch the policeman was able to get hold of the wheel and drive the truck and his t
estimony in that respect cannot be believed. We are, therefore, forced to the co
nclusion that the defendant s cargador, or Francisco Romera gave the wheel to Or
fanel out of respect for the latter, who was a uniformed policeman and because h
e believed that the latter had both the ability and the authority to drive the t
ruck, especially as he himself had only a student s permit and not a driver s li
cense. The court a quo dismissed the action on the ground that as the death or a
ccident was caused by an act or omission of a person who is not in any way relat
ed to the defendant, and as such act or omission was punishable by law, and as a
matter of fact he had already been punished therefor, no civil liability should
be imposed upon the defendant. Against this decision the plaintiffs have appeal
ed to this Court, contending that when
defendant permitted his cargador, who was not provided with a driver s license,
to drive the truck, he thereby violated the provisions of the Revised Motor Vehi
cle Law (section 28., Act No. 3992), and that this constitutes negligence per se
. (People vs. Santos, et al., CA-G.R. No. 1088-1089R.) But admitting for the sak
e of argument that the defendant had so violated the law, or may be deemed negli
gent in entrusting the truck to one who is not provided with a driver s license,
it is clear that he may not be declared liable for the accident because his neg
ligence was not the direct and proximate cause thereof. The leading case in this
jurisdiction on negligence is that of Taylor vs. Manila Electric Railroad and L
ight Company, 16 Phil. 8. Negligence as a source of obligation both under the ci
vil law and in American cases was carefully considered and it was held: We agree
with counsel for appellant that under the Civil Code, as under the generally ac
cepted doctrine in the United States, the plaintiff in an action such as that un
der consideration, in order to establish his right to a recovery, must establish
by competent evidence: (1) Damages to the plaintiff. (2) Negligence by act or o
mission of which defendant personally, or some person for whose acts it must res
pond, was guilty. (3) The connection of cause and effect between the negligence
and the damage. (Taylor vs. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co., supra. p.15)
In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Court of Spain, in order that a
person may be held guilty for damage through negligence, it is necessary that th
ere be an act or omission on the part of the person who is to be charged with th
e liability and that damage is produced by the said act or omission. In accordan
ce with the fundamental principle of proof, that the burden thereof is upon the
plaintiff, it is apparent that it is the duty of him who shall claim damages to
establish their existence. The decisions of April 9, 1896, and March 18, July 6,
and September 27, 1898, have especially supported the principle, the first sett
ing forth in detail the necessary points of the proof, which are two: An Act or
omission on the part of the person who is to be charged with the liability, and
the production of the damage by said act or omission. This includes, by inferenc
e, the establishment of a relation of cause or effect between the act or the omi
ssion and the damage; the latter must be the direct result of one of the first t
wo. As the decision of March 22, 1881, said, it is necessary that the damages re
sult immediately and directly from an act performed culpably and wrongfully; ne
cessarily presupposing, a legal ground for imputability. (Taylor vs. Manila Elec
tric Railroad and Light Co., supra, p. 28.). It is evident that the proximate, i
mmediate and direct cause of the death of the plaintiffs intestate was the negl
igence of Orfanel, a uniformed policeman, who took the wheel of the truck from d
efendant s cargador, in spite of the protest of the latter. The reason for absol
ving the defendant therefor is not because the one responsible for the accident
had already received indemnification for the accident, but because there is no d
irect and proximate causal connection between the negligence or violation of the
law by the defendant to the death of the plaintiff s intestate. For the foregoi
ng considerations, the judgment appealed from is hereby affirmed, without costs.
Cases 60-68 URBANO-BALMEO, MAURYNE FE N. 69. NEGROS NAVIGATION VS CA FACTS: Priv
ate respondent Ramon Miranda purchased from the Negros Navigation Co. inc four s
pecial cabin tickets for his family who were going to Bacolod City to attend a f
amily reunion boarding to Don Juan. Don Juan collided off the Tablas Straitin Mi
ndoro, with the M/T Tacloban City, an oil tanker owned by the Philippine Nationa
l Oil Company (PNOC). As a result the M/V Don Juan sank. Several of her passenge
rs perished in the sea tragedy. The bodies of some of the victims were found and
broughts shore, but the four members of private respondents families were never
found. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners exercised the extraordinary diligen
ce required? HELD: No, as with the Mecemas case, this Court found petitioner gui
lty of negligence in (1) allowing or tolerating the ship captain and crew member
s in playing mahjong during the voyage, (2) in failing to maintain the vessel se
aworthy and (3) in allowing the ship to carry more passengers than it was allowe
d to carry. Also, the duty to exercise due diligence includes the duty to take p
assengers or cargoes that are within the carrying capacity of the vessel. 70. BE
NGUET ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE VS COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: For five (5) years up to t
he time of his death, Jose Bernardo managed a stall at the Baguio City meat mark
et. On 14 January 1985 at around 7:50 in the morning, Jose together with other m
eat vendors went out of their stalls to meet a jeepney loaded with slaughtered p
igs in order to select the meat they would sell for the day. Jose was the very f
irst to reach the parked jeepney. Grasping the handlebars at the rear entrance o
f the vehicle, and as he was about to raise his right foot to get inside, Jose s
uddenly stiffened and trembled as though suffering from an epileptic seizure. Ro
meo Pimienta who saw Jose thought he was merely joking but noticed almost in dis
belief that he was already turning black. In no time the other vendors rushed to
Jose and they discovered that the antenna of the jeepney bearing the pigs had g
otten entangled with an open electric wire at the top of the roof of a meat stal
l. Pimienta quickly got hold of a broom and pried the antenna loose from the ope
n wire. But shortly after, Jose released his hold on the handlebars of the jeep
only to slump to the ground. He died shortly in the hospital. Cause of his death
was "cardio-respiratory arrest secondary to massive brain congestion with pethe
ccial hemorrhage, brain bilateral pulmonary edema and congestion and endocardial
petecchial hemorrhage and dilation (history of electrocution)." FIRST ISSUE: Wh
eter or not respondent should be awarded damages notwithstanding a clear showing
that the electrocution and death of Jose Bernardo were directly attributable to
the fault and negligence of jeepney owner Guillermo Canave, Jr.
FIRST HELD: The records of the case show that respondent court did not commit an
y reversible error in affirming the findings of the trial court that BENECO was
solely responsible for the untimely death of Jose Bernardo through accidental el
ectrocution. SECOND ISSUE: Whether or not the grant of moral damages and attorne
y s fees on the same ground of non-culpability is proper. SECOND HELD: It is set
tled that moral damages are not intended to enrich the complainant but to serve
to obviate his/her spiritual suffering by reason of the culpable action of the d
efendant. Its award is aimed at the restoration of the spiritual status quo ante
, and it must be commensurate to the suffering inflicted. As a result of the acc
idental death of Jose, his widow Caridad and their three (3) minor children had
to scrounge for a living in order to keep their heads above water. Caridad had t
o depend on the generosity of her relatives which came intermittently and far be
tween and augment whatever she received from them with her meager income from he
r small business. She must have agonized over the prospect of raising her three
(3) small children all by herself given her unstable financial condition. For th
e foregoing reasons, we sustain the award of moral damages by respondent court e
xcept as to the amount thereof. In the instant case, we are of the opinion that
moral damages in the amount of P50,000.00 are more in accord with the injury suf
fered by private respondent and her children. As for attorney s fees, we find no
legal nor factual basis to overturn the ruling of respondent court on the matte
r; accordingly, the grant of P20,000.00 attorney s fees to private respondent Be
rnardo is adopted. 71. MA-AO SUGAR CENTRAL CO., INC. AND GUILLERMO ARANETA VS. C
OURT OF APPEALS FACTS: On March 22, 1980, Famoso was riding with a co-employee i
n the caboose or "carbonera" of Plymouth No. 12, a cargo train of the petitioner
, when the locomotive was suddenly derailed. He and his companion jumped off to
escape injury, but the train fell on its side, caught his legs by its wheels and
pinned him down. He was declared dead on the spot. The claims for death and oth
er benefits having been denied by the petitioner, the herein private respondent
filed suit in the Regional Trial Court of Bago City. Judge Marietta Hobilla-Alin
io ruled in her favor but deducted from the total damages awarded 25% thereof fo
r the decedent s contributory negligence and the total pension of P41,367.60 pri
vate respondent and her children would be receiving from the SSS for the next fi
ve years. ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners exercised the ordinary diligence
required? HELD: No. Investigation of the accident revealed that the derailment
of the locomotive was caused by protruding rails which had come loose because th
ey were not connected and fixed in place by fish plates. Fish plates are describ
ed as strips of iron 8" to 12" long and 3 1/2" thick which are attached to the r
ails by 4 bolts, two on each side, to keep the rails aligned. Although they coul
d be removed only with special equipment, the fish
plates that should have kept the rails aligned could not be found at the scene o
f the accident. It is possible that the fish plates were loosened and detached d
uring its first trip and the rails were as a result already mis-aligned during t
he return trip. But the Court feels that even this was unlikely, for, as earlier
noted, the fish plates were supposed to have been bolted to the rails and could
be removed only with special tools. The fact that the fish plates were not foun
d later at the scene of the mishap may show they were never there at all to begi
n with or had been been removed long before. At any rate, the absence of the fis
h plates - whatever the cause or reason - is by itself alone proof of the neglig
ence of the petitioner. Res ipsa loquitur. The doctrine was described recently i
n Layugan v. Intermediate Appellate Court, thus: Where the thing which causes in
jury is shown to be under the management of the defendant, and the accident is s
uch as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the ma
nagement use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an e
xplanation by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of care. The peti
tioner also disclaims liability on the ground of Article 2176 of the Civil Code,
contending it has exercised due diligence in the selection and supervision of i
ts employees. The Court cannot agree. The record shows it was in fact lax in req
uiring them to exercise the necessary vigilance in maintaining the rails in good
condition to prevent the derailments that sometimes happened "every hour." Obvi
ously, merely ordering the brakemen and conductors to fill out prescribed forms
reporting derailments - which reports have not been acted upon as shown by the h
ourly derailments - is not the kind of supervision envisioned by the Civil Code.
72. ROGELIO E. RAMOS vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Sometime in 1985, petitioner E
rlinda Ramos, after seeking professional medical help, wasadvised to undergo an
operation for the removal of a stone in her gall bladder (cholecystectomy).She w
as referred to Dr. Hosaka, a surgeon, who agreed to perform the operation on her
. Theoperation was scheduled for June 17, 1985 at 9:00 in the morning at private
respondent De LosSantos Medical Center (DLSMC). Since neither petitioner Erlind
a nor her husband, petitioner Rogelio, knew of any anesthesiologist, Dr. Hosaka
recommended to them the services of Dr.Gutierrez.Petitioner Erlinda was admitted
to the DLSMC the day before the scheduled operation. By 7:30in the morning of t
he following day, petitioner Erlinda was already being prepared for operation.Up
on the request of petitioner Erlinda, her sister-in-law, Herminda Cruz, who was
then Dean of the College of Nursing at the Capitol Medical Center, was allowed t
o accompany her inside theoperating room At around 9:30 in the morning, Dr. Hosa
ka had not yet arrived so Dr. Gutierrez tried to get intouch with him by phone.
."By 10:00 in the morning, when Dr. Hosaka was still not around, petitioner Roge
lio alreadywanted to pull out his wife from the operating room. He met Dr. Garci
a, who remarked that hewas also tired of waiting for Dr. Hosaka. Dr. Hosaka fina
lly arrived at
the hospital at around12:10 in the afternoon, or more than three (3)hours after
the scheduled operation. Cruz, who was then still inside the operating room, hea
rd about Dr. Hosakas arrival." Cruz noticed a bluish discoloration of Erlindas nai
lbeds on her left hand. She (Cruz) then heard Dr. Hosaka instruct someone to cal
l Dr. Calderon, another anesthesiologist. When he arrived, Dr. Calderon attempte
d to intubate the patient. Cruz went out of the operating room to express her co
ncern to petitioner Rogelio that Erlindas operation was not going well. Cruz quic
kly rushed back to the operating room and saw that the patient was still in tren
delenburg position. At almost 3:00 in the afternoon, she saw Erlinda being wheel
ed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The doctors explained to petitioner Rogelio
that his wife had bronchospasm. Erlinda stayed in the ICU for a month. She was
released from the hospital onlyfour months later or on November 15, 1985. Since
the ill-fated operation, Erlinda remained in comatose condition until she died o
n August 3, 1999. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not dr. Orlino hosaka (surgeon) is liabl
e for negligence; 2. Whether or not dr. Perfecta Gutierrez (anesthesiologist) is
liable for negligence; and 3. Whether or not the hospital (delos santos medical
center ) is liable for any act of negligence committed by their visiting consul
tant surgeon and anesthesiologist RULING: In the case at bar, the following issu
es were resolved as follows: 1) Dr. Hosaka s irresponsible conduct of arriving v
ery late for the scheduled operation of petitioner Erlinda is violative, not onl
y of his duty as a physician "to serve the interest of his patients with the gre
atest solicitude, giving them always his best talent and skill," but also of Art
icle 19 of the Civil Code which requires a person, in the performance of his dut
ies, to act with justice and give everyone his due. 2) Dr. Gutierrez claim of lac
k of negligence on her part is belied by the records of the case. It has beensuf
ficiently established that she failed to exercise the standards of care in the a
dministration of anesthesia on a patient. Dr. Gutierrez omitted to perform a tho
rough preoperative evaluation on Erlinda. Further, there is no cogent reason for
the Court to reverse its finding that it was the faulty intubation on Erlinda t
hat caused her comatose condition. There is no question that Erlinda became coma
tose after Dr. Gutierrez performed a medical procedure on her. 3)After a careful
consideration of the arguments raised by DLSMC, the Court finds that respondent
hospitals position on this issue is meritorious. There is no employeremployee re
lationship between DLSMC and Drs. Gutierrez and Hosaka which would hold DLSMC so
lidarily liable for the injury suffered by petitioner Erlinda under Article 2180
of the Civil Code. Further, no evidence was adduced to show that the injury suf
fered by petitioner Erlinda was due to a failure on the part of respondent DLSMC
to provide for hospital facilities and staff necessary for her treatment. For t
hese reasons, the Supreme Cord reverse the finding of liability on the part of D
LSMC for the injury suffered by petitioner Erlinda 73. D.M. CONSUNJI INC. V COUR
T OF APPEALS AND MARIA J. JUEGO
FACTS: Around 1:30PM of November 2, 1990, Jose Juergo, a construction worker of
D.M. Consunji Inc. fell 14 floors from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City. He was
immediately rushed to Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City. The attending physici
an, Dr. Errol de Yzo, pronounce Jose dead on arrival (DOA) at around 2:15PM. Jos
e Juergo, together with Jessie Jaluag and Delso Destajo, performing their work a
s carpenter at the elevator core of the 14th floor of Tower D, Renaissance Tower
Building were on board a platform. Jose was crushed to death when the platform
fell due to removal or looseness of the pin, which was merely inserted to the co
nnecting points of the chain block and platform but without a safety lock. Lucki
ly, Jessie and Delso jumped out of safety. PO3 Rogelio Villanueva of the Eastern
Police District investigated the tragedy and filed report dated Nov. 25, 1990.
Maria Juergo, Joses widow filed a complaint on May 9, 1991 for damages in the RTC
and was rendered a favorable decision to receive support from DM Consunji amoun
ting to P644,000. DM Consunji seeks reversal of the CA decision. ISSUE: Whether
Maria Juergo can still claim damages with D.M. Consunji apart from the death ben
efits she claimed in the State Insurance Fund. HELD: The respondent is not precl
uded from recovering damages under the civil code. Maria Juergo was unaware of p
etitioners negligence when she filed her claim for death benefits from the State
Insurance Fund. She filed the civil complaint for damages after she received a c
opy of the police investigation report and the Prosecutors Memorandum dismissing
the criminal complaint against petitioners personnel. Supreme Court remanded to t
he RTC of Pasig City to determine whether the award decreed in its decision is m
ore than that of the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC). Should the award d
ecreed by the trial court be greater than that awarded by the ECC, payments alre
ady made to private respondent pursuant to the Labor Code shall be deducted ther
e from. 74. BATIGUIN V CA FACTS: Dr. Batiquin performed a caesarian operation on
a patient. Afterwards, she was found to be feverish. When the patient submitted
herself to another surgery, she was found to have an ovarian cyst on the left a
nd right side of the ovaries and a piece of rubber material was embedded on the
right side of the uterus. HELD: Res ipsa Where the thing which causes the injury
is shown to under the management of the defendant, and the accident is such as
in the ordinary course of things does not happen if those who have the managemen
t used proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in the absence of an explana
tion by the defendant, that the accident arose from ordinary want of care. All t
he requisites are present in this case. (1) The entire proceedings of the contro
l of Dr. Batiquin. caesarian were under the exclusive
(2)The patient underwent no other operation which could habe caused the offendin
g piece of rubber to appear in her uterus, it stands to reason that it could hav
e only been a by-product of the caesarian section. RULE: Res ipsa Where the thin
g which causes injury is shown to be under the management of the Defendant, and
the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not happen if thos
e who have themanagement use proper care,it affords reasonable evidence, in the
absence of an explanation by the defendant, that the accident arose from want of
ordinary care. 75. CEBU SHIPYARD V WILLIAM FACTS: Cebu Shipyard and Engineering
Works, Inc. repaired marine vessels while the Prudential is in the non-life ins
urance business. William Lines, Inc., the owner of M/V Manila City, a luxury pas
senger-cargo vessel, which caught fire and sank. At the time of the incident, su
bject vessel was insured with Prudential for P45M for hull and machinery. CSEW w
as insured for only Php 10 million for the ship repairers liability policy. They
entered into a contract where negligence was the only factor that could make CSE
W liable for damages. Moreover, liability of CSEW was limited to only Php 1 mill
ion for damages. The Hull Policy included an Additional Perils (INCHMAREE) Clause
covering loss of or damage to the vessel through the negligence of, among others
, ship repairmen. William brought Manila City to the dry dock of CSEW for repair
s. The officers and cabin crew stayed at the ship while it was being repaired. A
fter the vessel was transferred to the docking quay, it caught fire and sank, re
sulting to its total loss. William brought suit against CSEW alleging that it wa
s through the latters negligence that the ship caught fire and sank. Prudential w
as impleaded as co-plaintiff after it had paid the value of insured items. It wa
s subrogated to 45 million, or the value it claimed to indemnify. The trial cour
t brought judgment against CSEW 45 million for the ship indemnity, 65 million fo
r loss of income, and more than 13 million in other damages. The CA affirmed the
TC decision. CSEW contended that the cause of the fire was due to Williams hot w
orks on the said portion of the ship which they didnt ask CSEW permission for. Pr
udential, on the other hand, blamed the negligence of the CSEW workers in the in
stance when they didnt mind rubber insulation wire coming out of the aircondition
ing unit that was already burning. Hence this MFR. ISSUE: 1. WON CSEW had managem
ent and supervisory control of the ship at the time the fire broke out 2. WON the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies against the crew 3. WON Prudential has th
e right of subrogation against its own insured 4. WON the provisions limiting CS
EWs liability for negligence to a maximum of Php 1 million are valid HELD: Yes. Y
es. Yes. No. Petition denied.
1. The that factual findings by the CA are conclusive on the parties and are not
reviewable by this Court. They are entitled to great weight and respect when th
e CA affirmed the factual findings arrived at by the trial court. The CA and the
Cebu RTC are agreed that the fire which caused the total loss of subject M/V Ma
nila City was due to the negligence of the employees and workers of CSEW. Furthe
rmore, in petitions for review on certiorari, only questions of law may be put i
nto issue. Questions of fact cannot be entertained. 2. For the doctrine of res i
psa loquitur to apply to a given situation, the following conditions must concur
: (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unless someone
is negligent; and (2) that the instrumentality or agency which caused the injury
was under the exclusive control of the person charged with negligence. The fact
s and evidence reveal the presence of these conditions. First, the fire would no
t have happened in the ordinary course of things if reasonable care and diligenc
e had been exercised. Second, the agency charged with negligence, as found by th
e trial court and the CA and as shown by the records, is CSEW, which had control
over subject vessel when it was docked for annual repairs. What is more, in the
present case the trial court found direct evidence to prove that the workers di
dnt exercise due diligence in the care of subject vessel. The direct evidence sub
stantiates the conclusion that CSEW was really negligent even without applying s
uch doctrine. 3. Petitioner contends that Prudential is not entitled to be subro
gated to the rights of William Lines, Inc., theorizing that (1) the fire which g
utted M/V Manila City was an excluded risk and (2) it is a co-assured under the
Marine Hull Insurance Policy. This was wrong. The one who caused the fire has al
ready been adjudicated by the courts as CSEW. Upon proof of payment by Prudentia
l to William Lines, Inc., the former was subrogated to the right of the latter t
o indemnification from CSEW. As aptly ruled by the Court of Appeals, the law say
s: Art. 2207. If the plaintiffs property has been insured, and he has received in
demnity from the insurance company for the injury or loss arising out of the wro
ng or breach of contract complained of, the insurance company shall be subrogate
d to the rights of the insured against the wrongdoer or the person who has viola
ted the contract. If the amount paid by the insurance company does not fully cov
er the injury or loss, the aggrieved party shall be entitled to recover the defi
ciency from the person causing the loss or injury. When Prudential paid the latt
er the total amount covered by its insurance policy, it was subrogated to the ri
ght of the latter to recover the insured loss from the liable party, CSEW. Petit
ioner theorizes further that there can be no right of subrogation as it is deeme
d a co-assured under the subject insurance policy with reliance on Clause 20 of
the Work Order which states:
The insurance on the vessel should be maintained by the customer and/or owner of
the vessel during the period the contract is in effect. Clause 20 of the Work O
rder in question is clear in the sense that it requires William Lines to maintai
n insurance on the vessel during the period of dry-docking or repair. However, t
he fact that CSEW benefits from the said stipulation does not automatically make
it as a co-assured of William Lines. The intention of the parties to make each
other a co-assured under an insurance policy is to be read from the insurance co
ntract or policy itself and not from any other contract or agreement because the
insurance policy denominates the beneficiaries of the insurance. The hull and m
achinery insurance procured by William Lines, Inc. from Prudential named only Wil
liam Lines, Inc. as the assured. There was no manifestation of any intention of W
illiam Lines, Inc. to constitute CSEW as a co-assured under subject policy. The
claim of CSEW that it is a co-assured is unfounded. Then too, in the Additional
Perils Clause of the same Marine Insurance Policy, it is provided that this insu
rance also covers loss of or damage to vessel directly caused by the negligence
of charterers and repairers who are not assured. As correctly pointed out by res
pondent Prudential, if CSEW were deemed a co-assured under the policy, it would
nullify any claim of William Lines, Inc. from Prudential for any loss or damage
caused by the negligence of CSEW. Certainly, no ship owner would agree to make a
ship repairer a co-assured under such insurance policy; otherwise, any claim fo
r loss or damage under the policy would be invalidated. 4. Although in this juri
sdiction, contracts of adhesion have been consistently upheld as valid per se; a
s binding as an ordinary contract, the Court recognizes instances when reliance
on such contracts cannot be favored especially where the facts and circumstances
warrant that subject stipulations be disregarded. Thus, in ruling on the validi
ty and applicability of the stipulation limiting the liability of CSEW for negli
gence to P1M only, the facts and circumstances vis-a-vis the nature of the provi
sion sought to be enforced should be considered, bearing in mind the principles
of equity and fair play. It is worthy to note that M/V Manila City was insured w
ith Prudential for P45M. Upon thorough investigation by its hull surveyor, M/V M
anila City was found to be beyond economical salvage and repair. The evaluation
of the average adjuster also reported a constructive total loss. The said claim
of William Lines, Inc., was then found to be valid and compensable such that Pru
dential paid the latter the total value of its insurance claim. Furthermore, it
was ascertained that the replacement cost of the vessel, amounts to P55M. Consid
ering the circumstances, it would unfair to limit the liability of petitioner to
One Million Pesos only. To allow CSEW to limit its liability to P1M notwithstan
ding the fact that the total loss suffered by the assured and paid for by Pruden
tial amounted to P45M would sanction the exercise of a degree of diligence short
of what is ordinarily required because, then, it would not be difficult for pet
itioner to escape liability by the simple expedient of paying an amount very muc
h lower than the actual damage suffered by William.
76. GOTESCO INVESTMENT CORPORATION VS CHATTO FACTS : Plaintiff Gloria E. Chatto,
and her 15-year old daughter, Lina Delza E. Chatto went to see the movie "Mothe
r Dear" at Superama I theater, owned by defendant Gotesco Investment Corporation
.- Hardly ten (10) minutes after entering the theater, the ceiling of its balcon
y collapsed. The theater was plunged into darkness and pandemonium ensued.- Shoc
ked and hurt, plaintiffs managed to crawl under the fallen ceiling. As soon as t
hey were able to get outto the street they walked the nearby FEU Hospital where
they were confined and treated for one (1) day.- The next day, they transferred
to the UST hospital. Plaintiff Gloria Chatto was treated in said hospital from J
une 5 to June 19 and plaintiff Lina Delza Chatto from June 5 to 11.- Due to cont
inuing pain in the neck, headache and dizziness, plaintiff went to Illinois, USA
in July 1982 for further treatment. She was treated at the Cook county hospital
in Chicago, Illinois. She stayed in the U.S. for about three (3) months during
which time she had to return to the Cook County Hospital five (5) or, six (6)tim
es.- Defendant tried to avoid liability by alleging that the collapse of the cei
ling of its theater was done due to force majeure. It maintained that its theate
r did not suffer from any structural or construction defect.- The trial court aw
arded actual or compensatory and moral damages and attorney s fees to the plaint
iffs.- Respondent Court found the appeal later filed to be without merit.- Its m
otion for reconsideration of the decision having been denied by the respondent C
ourt, petitioner filed the petition in the SC. ISSUE WON the collapse of the cei
ling was caused by Force majeure HELD: NO- Petitioner s claim that the collapse
of the ceiling of the theater s balcony was due to Force majeure is not even fou
nded on facts because its own witness, Mr. Jesus limong, admitted that "he could
not give any reason why the ceiling collapsed." Having interposed it as a defen
se, it had the burden to prove that the collapse was indeed caused by force maje
ure. That Mr. Ong could not offer any explanation does not imply force majeure.
The real reason why Mr. Ong could not explain the cause or reason is that either
he did not actually conduct the investigation or that he is incompetent. He is
not an engineer, but an architect who had not even passed the government s exami
nation.- Verily, post incident investigation cannot beconsideredas material to t
he present proceedings.What is significant is the finding of the trial court, af
firmed by the respondent Court, that the collapse was due to construction defect
s. There was no evidence offered to overturn this finding.- The building was con
structed barely 4 years prior to the accident in question. It was not shown that
any of the causes denominates as force majeure Obtained immediately before or a
t the time of the collapse of the ceiling. Such defects could have been easily d
iscovered if only petitioner exercised due diligence and care in keeping and mai
ntaining the premises. But as disclosed by the testimony of Mr. Ong, there was n
o adequate inspection of the premises before the date of the accident.- That the
structural designs and plans of the building were duly approved by the City Eng
ineer and the building permits and certificate of occupancy were issued do not a
t all prove that there were no defects in the construction, especially as regard
s the ceiling, considering that no testimony was offered to prove that it was ev
er inspected at all.- It is settled that: The owner or proprietor of a place of
public amusement impliedly warrants that the premises appliances and amusement d
evices are safe for the purpose for which they are designed, the doctrine being
subject to no other exception or qualification than that he does not contract ag
ainst unknown defects
not discoverable by ordinary or reasonable means.- This implied warranty has giv
en rise to the rule that: Where a patron of a theater or other place of public a
musement is injured, and the thing that caused the injury is wholly and exclusiv
ely under the control and management of the defendant, and the accident is such
as in the ordinary course of eventswould not have happened if proper care had be
en exercised, its occurrence raises a presumption or permits of an inference of
negligence on the part of the defendant. 77. DRA. ABDULIA RODRIGUEZ, ET AL. VS C
OURT OF APPEALS, ET AL. FACTS: A fire broke out which caused the destruction of
two apartment buildings owned by the appellants, and partially destroying a comm
ercial building. The appellants alleged that because of the gross negligence and
lack of due care of the workers of the defendants, the bunkhouse of the workers
caught fire that spread rapidly and burnt the adjacent buildings. Appellants ba
sed their claim on a fire investigation report which stated that "the fire start
ed at the generator and extended to the bunkhouse and spread among the combustib
le materials within the construction site." ISSUE: WON the appellants can invoke
the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur? RULING: No. The trial court concluded that t
he fire could not have started at the generator after all the defendant s witnes
ses testified that the generator did not caught fire and a picture was presented
showing that the bunkhouse was intact while the fire was raging. The trial cour
t declared that "the fire was not caused by an instrumentality within the exclus
ive control of the defendants," which is one of the requisites for the applicati
on of res ipsa loquitur in the law of negligence. Cases 69-77 LAURENA, AUGUSTU R
AY ANTHONY C. 78. WINDVALLEY SHIPPING CO. V CA FACTS: Sometime in February 1988,
the Philippine Roxas, a vessel owned by Philippine President Lines, Inc., priva
te respondent herein, arrived in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, to load iron ore. Mr.
Ezzar del Valle Solarzano Vasquez, an official pilot of Venezuela, was designate
d by the harbour authorities in Puerto Ordaz to navigate the Philippine Roxas th
rough the Orinoco River. While on transit, the Philippine Roxas experienced some
vibrations when it entered the San Roque Channel at mile 172. The vessel procee
ded on its way, with the pilot assuring the watch officer that the vibration was
a result of the shallowness of the channel. Then, the Philippine Roxas ran stra
nded in the Orinoco River, thus obstructing the ingress and egress of vessels. A
s a result of the blockage, the Malandrinon, a vessel owned by herein petitioner
Wildvalley Shipping Company, Ltd., was unable to sail out of Puerto Ordaz on th
at day. Wildvalley Shipping Company, Ltd. filed a suit with the Regional Trial C
ourt of Manila against Philippine President Lines, Inc. and Pioneer Insurance Co
mpany (the underwriter/insurer of Philippine Roxas) for damages in the form of u
nearned profits, and interest thereon amounting to US $400,000.00 plus attorney
s fees, costs, and
expenses of litigation. The complaint against Pioneer Insurance Company was dism
issed in an Order dated November 7, 1988. The trial court rendered its decision
on October 16, 1991 in favor of the petitioner, Wildvalley Shipping Co., Ltd. WH
EREFORE, judgment is rendered for the plaintiff, ordering defendant Philippine P
resident Lines, Inc. to pay to the plaintiff the sum of U.S. $259,243.43, as act
ual and compensatory damages, and U.S. $162,031.53, as expenses incurred abroad
for its foreign lawyers, plus additional sum of U.S. $22,000.00, as and for atto
rney s fees of plaintiff s local lawyer, and to pay the cost of this suit. Defen
dant s counterclaim is dismissed for lack of merit. Both parties appealed: the p
etitioner appealing the non-award of interest with the private respondent questi
oning the decision on the merits of the case. C.A favored PPL. "WHEREFORE, findi
ng defendant-appellant s appeal to be meritorious, judgment is hereby rendered r
eversing the Decision of the lower court. Plaintiff-appellant s Complaint is dis
missed and it is ordered to pay defendant-appellant the amount of Three Hundred
Twenty-three Thousand, Forty-two Pesos and Fifty-three Centavos (P323,042.53) as
and for attorney s fees plus cost of suit. Plaintiff-appellant s appeal is DISM
ISSED. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but the same was denied for
lack of merit. ISSUE: Whether or not no fault of negligence can be attributed t
o the master nor the owner of the Philippine Roxas for the grounding of said ves
sel resulting in the blockage of the Rio Orinico. HELD: The petition is without
merit. There being no contractual obligation, the private respondent is obliged
to give only the diligence required of a good father of a family in accordance w
ith the provisions of Article 1173 of the New Civil Code, thus: Art. 1173. The fa
ult or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that diligence whic
h is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumsta
nces of the persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad fai
th, the provisions of articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply. If the la
w or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the perfor
mance, that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required. The
diligence of a good father of a family requires only that diligence which an or
dinary prudent man would exercise with regard to his own property. This we have
found private respondent to have exercised when the vessel sailed only after the
"main engine, machineries, and other auxiliaries" were checked and found to be
in good running condition; when the master left a competent officer, the officer
on watch on the bridge with a pilot who is experienced in navigating the Orinoc
o River; when the master ordered the inspection of the vessel s double bottom ta
nks when the vibrations occurred anew. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur does no
t apply to the case at bar because the circumstances surrounding the injury do n
ot clearly indicate negligence on the part of the private respondent. For the sa
id doctrine to apply, the following conditions must be met: (1) the accident was
of such character as to warrant an inference that it would not have happened ex
cept for defendant s negligence; (2) the accident must have been caused by an ag
ency or instrumentality within the exclusive management or control of
the person charged with the negligence complained of; and (3) the accident must
not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the per
son injured. As has already been held above, there was a temporary shift of cont
rol over the ship from the master of the vessel to the pilot on a compulsory pil
otage channel. Thus, two of the requisites necessary for the doctrine to apply,
i.e., negligence and control, to render the respondent liable, are absent. WHERE
FORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the petition is DENIED and the decision of the C
ourt of Appeals in CA G.R. CV No. 36821 is AFFIRMED. 79. ESPIRITU VS. PHILIPPINE
POWER AND DEV. CO 80. RADIO COMMUNICATIONS OF THE PHIL. INC. V CA FACTS: 176 AS
JR 1215PM 9 PAID MANDALUYONG JUL 22-66 LORETO DIONELA CABANGAN LEGASPI CITY WIR
E ARRIVAL OF CHECK FER LORETO DIONELA-CABANGAN-WIRE ARRIVAL OF CHECK-PER 115 PM
SA IYO WALANG PAKINABANG DUMATING KA DIYAN-WALA-KANG PADALA DITO KAHIT BULBUL MO
The above letter is the main concern of Plaintiff-respondent Loreto Dionela. He
alleges that petitioner added extraneous and libelous matters in the message se
nt to the private respondent. He said the defamatory words on the telegram sent
to him not only wounded his feelings but also caused him undue embarrassment and
affected adversely his business as well because other people have come to know
of said defamatory words. Defendant corporation as a defense, alleges that the a
dditional words in Tagalog was a private joke between the sending and receiving
operators and that they were not addressed to or intended for plaintiff and ther
efore did not form part of the telegram and that the Tagalog words are not defam
atory. The additional words in Tagalog were never noticed and were included in t
he telegram when delivered. The trial court ruled against the Radio Communicatio
ns of the Philippines Stating that there is no question that the additional word
s in Tagalog are libelous. They clearly impute a vice or defect of the plaintiff
. Whether or not they were intended for the plaintiff, the effect on the plainti
ff is the same. Any person reading the additional words in Tagalog will naturall
y think that they refer to the addressee, the plaintiff. There is no indication
from the face of the telegram that the additional words in Tagalog were sent as
a private joke between the operators of the defendant. The liability of the defe
ndant is predicated not only on Article 33 of the Civil Code of the Philippines
but on the following articles of said Code: ART. 19.- Every person must, in the
exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, g
ive everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.
ART. 20.-Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damag
e to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same. It follows that the plain
tiff is entitled to damages and attorney s fees. The plaintiff is a businessman.
The libelous Tagalog words must have affected his business and social standing
in the community. The respondent appellate court confirmed trial courts decision.
The proximate cause, therefore, resulting in injury to appellee, was the failur
e of the appellant to take the necessary or precautionary steps to avoid the occ
urrence of the humiliating incident now complained of. The company had not impos
ed any safeguard against such eventualities and this void in its operating proce
dure does not speak well of its concern for their clientele s interests. Neglige
nce here is very patent. This negligence is imputable to appellant and not to it
s employees. ISSUES: 1. Whether or not Petitioner-employer should answer directl
y and primarily for the civil liability arising from the criminal act of its emp
loyee. 2. Whether or not the liability of petitioner-company-employer is predica
ted on Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code, Articles on Human Relations. RULING
: Petitioner s contentions do not merit our consideration. The action for damage
s was filed in the lower court directly against respondent corporation not as an
employer subsidiarily liable under the provisions of Article 1161 of the New Ci
vil Code in relation to Art. 103 of the Revised Penal Code. The cause of action
of the private respondent is based on Arts. 19 and 20 of the New Civil Code (sup
ra). As well as on respondent s breach of contract thru the negligence of its ow
n employees. Petitioner is a domestic corporation engaged in the business of rec
eiving and transmitting messages. Everytime a person transmits a message through
the facilities of the petitioner, a contract is entered into. Upon receipt of t
he rate or fee fixed, the petitioner undertakes to transmit the message accurate
ly. There is no question that in the case at bar, libelous matters were included
in the message transmitted, without the consent or knowledge of the sender. The
re is a clear case of breach of contract by the petitioner in adding extraneous
and libelous matters in the message sent to the private respondent. As a corpora
tion, the petitioner can act only through its employees. Hence the acts of its e
mployees in receiving and transmitting messages are the acts of the petitioner.
To hold that the petitioner is not liable directly for the acts of its employees
in the pursuit of petitioner s business is to deprive the general public availi
ng of the services of the petitioner of an effective and adequate remedy. In mos
t cases, negligence must be proved in order that plaintiff may recover. However,
since negligence may be hard to substantiate in some cases, we may apply the do
ctrine of RES IPSA LOQUITUR (the thing speaks for itself), by considering the pr
esence of facts or circumstances surrounding the injury. WHEREFORE, premises con
sidered, the judgment of the appellate court is hereby AFFIRMED. 81. CUSTODIO V
CA
FACTS: The case is about the grant of an easement of right of way. The plaintiff
owns a parcel of land with a two-door apartment and was able to acquire said pr
operty through a contract of sale with spouses Mamerto Rayos and Teodora Quinter
o as vendors. Said property may be described to be surrounded by other immovable
s pertaining to defendants. There are two possible passageways. The first passag
eway is approximately one meter wide and is about 20 meters distant from Mabasas
residence to the main Street. The second passageway is about 3 meters in width
and length from plaintiff Mabasas residence to the main Street. There were tenan
ts of the palintiff occupying the premises. However, plaintiffs tenants vacated t
he apartment because there had been built an adobe fence in the first passageway
making it narrower in width and even extended said fence in such a way that the
entire passageway was enclosed. Trial court rendered a decision ordering defend
ants Custodios and Santoses to give plaintiff permanent access - ingress and egr
ess, to the public street; Ordering the plaintiff to pay defendants Custodios an
d Santoses P8,000 as indemnity for the permanent use of the passageway. The part
ies are to shoulder their respective litigation expenses. The CA affirmed the ju
dgment of the trial court with modification: WHEREFORE, the appealed decision of
the lower court is hereby AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION only insofar as the herein
grant of damages to plaintiffs-appellants. The Court hereby orders defendants-a
ppellees to pay plaintiffs-appellants the sum of Sixty Five Thousand (P65,000) P
esos as Actual Damages, Thirty Thousand (P30,000) Pesos as Moral Damages, and Te
n Thousand (P10,000) Pesos as Exemplary Damages. The rest of the appealed decisi
on is affirmed to all respects. CA denied petitioners motion for reconsideration
. ISSUE: Whether or not the award of damages is in correct order. RULING: We agr
ee with petitioners that the Court of Appeals erred in awarding damages in favor
of private respondents. The award of damages has no substantial legal basis. A
reading of the decision of the Court of Appeals will show that the award of dama
ges was based solely on the fact that the original plaintiff, Pacifico Mabasa, i
ncurred losses in the form of unrealized rentals when the tenants vacated the le
ased premises by reason of the closure of the passageway. However, the mere fact
that the plaintiff suffered losses does not give rise to a right to recover dam
ages. To warrant the recovery of damages, there must be both a right of action f
or a legal wrong inflicted by the defendant, and damage resulting to the plainti
ff therefrom. Wrong without damage, or damage without wrong, does not constitute
a cause of action, since damages are merely part of the remedy allowed for the
injury caused by a breach or wrong. There is a material distinction between dama
ges and injury. Injury is the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage is the l
oss, hurt, or harm which results from the injury; and damages are the recompense
or compensation awarded for the damage suffered. Thus, there can be damage with
out injury in those instances in which the loss or harm was not the result of a
violation of a legal duty. These situations are often called damnum absque injur
ia. In order that a plaintiff may maintain an action for the injuries of which h
e complains, he must establish that such injuries resulted from a
breach of duty which the defendant owed to the plaintiff - a concurrence of inju
ry to the plaintiff and legal responsibility by the person causing it. The under
lying basis for the award of tort damages is the premise that an individual was
injured in contemplation of law. Thus, there must first be the breach of some du
ty and the imposition of liability for that breach before damages may be awarded
; it is not sufficient to state that there should be tort liability merely becau
se the plaintiff suffered some pain and suffering. Many accidents occur and many
injuries are inflicted by acts or omissions which cause damage or loss to anoth
er but which violate no legal duty to such other person, and consequently create
no cause of action in his favor. In such cases, the consequences must be borne
by the injured person alone. The law affords no remedy for damages resulting fro
m an act which does not amount to a legal injury or wrong. In other words, in or
der that the law will give redress for an act causing damage, that act must be n
ot only hurtful, but wrongful. There must be damnum et injuria. If, as may happe
n in many cases, a person sustains actual damage, that is, harm or loss to his p
erson or property, without sustaining any legal injury, that is, an act or omiss
ion which the law does not deem an injury, the damage is regarded as damnum absq
ue injuria. In the case at bar, although there was damage, there was no legal in
jury. Contrary to the claim of private respondents, petitioners could not be sai
d to have violated the principle of abuse of right. In order that the principle
of abuse of right provided in Article 21 of the Civil Code can be applied, it is
essential that the following requisites concur: (1) The defendant should have a
cted in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy; (2)
The acts should be willful; and (3) There was damage or injury to the plaintiff.
82. CABIGAO VS. UNIVERSITY OF THE EAST, C.A. 83. DANGWA TRANSPORTATION CO. INC.
V CA FACTS: This is a complaint for damages against petitioners for the death o
f Pedrito Cudiamat as a result of a vehicular accident. While petitioner Theodor
e M. Lardizabal was driving a passenger bus belonging to petitioner corporation
in a reckless and imprudent manner and without due regard to traffic rules and r
egulations and safety to persons and property, it ran over its passenger, Pedrit
o Cudiamat. However, instead of bringing Pedrito immediately to the nearest hosp
ital, the said driver, in utter bad faith and without regard to the welfare of t
he victim, first brought his other passengers and cargo to their respective dest
inations before banging said victim to the Lepanto Hospital where he died. Petit
ioners alleged that they had observed and continued to observe the extraordinary
diligence required in the operation of the transportation company and the super
vision of the employees, even as they add that they are not absolute insurers of
the safety of the public at large. Further, it was alleged that it was the vict
im s own carelessness and negligence which gave rise to the subject incident. Tr
ial court rendered decision: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby pr
onounced that Pedrito Cudiamat was negligent, which negligence was the proximate
cause of his death. Nonetheless, defendants in equity, are hereby ordered to pa
y the
heirs of Pedrito Cudiamat the sum of P10,000.00 which approximates the amount de
fendants initially offered said heirs for the amicable settlement of the case. N
o costs. CA set aside the decision of the trial court and rendered judgment: The
sum of Thirty Thousand (P30,000.00) Pesos by way of indemnity for death of the
victim Pedrito Cudiamat; The sum of Twenty Thousand (P20,000.00) by way of moral
damages; The sum of Two Hundred Eighty Eight Thousand (P288,000.00) Pesos as ac
tual and compensatory damages; The costs of this suit. Petitioners motion for r
econsideration was denied by the CA. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners are negli
gent and liable for the damages claimed. RULING: It cannot be said that the dece
ased in negligence. It is the duty of common carriers of passengers, including c
ommon carriers by railroad train, streetcar, or motorbus, to stop their conveyan
ces a reasonable length of time in order to afford passengers an opportunity to
board and enter, and they are liable for injuries suffered by boarding passenger
s resulting from the sudden starting up or jerking of their conveyances while th
ey are doing so. Further, even assuming that the bus was moving, the act of the
victim in boarding the same cannot be considered negligent under the circumstanc
es. As clearly explained in the testimony of the aforestated witness for petitio
ners, Virginia Abalos, th bus had "just started" and "was still in slow motion"
at the point where the victim had boarded and was on its platform. It is not neg
ligence per se, or as a matter of law, for one attempt to board a train or stree
tcar which is moving slowly. An ordinarily prudent person would have made the at
tempt board the moving conveyance under the same or similar circumstances. The f
act that passengers board and alight from slowly moving vehicle is a matter of c
ommon experience both the driver and conductor in this case could not have been
unaware of such an ordinary practice. The victim herein, by stepping and standin
g on the platform of the bus, is already considered a passenger and is entitled
all the rights and protection pertaining to such a contractual relation. Hence,
it has been held that the duty which the carrier passengers owes to its patrons
extends to persons boarding cars as well as to those alighting therefrom. Common
carriers, from the nature of their business and reasons of public policy, are b
ound to observe extraordinary diligence for the safety of the passengers transpo
rted by the according to all the circumstances of each case. A common carrier is
bound to carry the passengers safely as far as human care and foresight can pro
vide, using the utmost diligence very cautious persons, with a due regard for al
l the circumstances. It has also been repeatedly held that in an action based on
a contract of carriage, the court need not make an express finding of fault or
negligence on the part of the carrier in order to hold it responsible to pay the
damages sought by the passenger. By contract of carriage, the carrier assumes t
he express obligation to transport the passenger to his destination safely and o
bserve extraordinary diligence with a due regard for all the circumstances, and
any injury that might be suffered by the passenger is right away attributable to
the fault or negligence of the carrier. This is an exception to the general
rule that negligence must be proved, and it is therefore incumbent upon the carr
ier to prove that it has exercised extraordinary diligence as prescribed in Arti
cles 1733 and 1755 of the Civil Code. With respect to the award of damages, an o
versight was, however, committed by respondent Court of Appeals in computing the
actual damages based on the gross income of the victim. The rule is that the am
ount recoverable by the heirs of a victim of a tort is not the loss of the entir
e earnings, but rather the loss of that portion of the earnings which the benefi
ciary would have received. In other words, only net earnings, not gross earnings
, are to be considered, that is, the total of the earnings less expenses necessa
ry in the creation of such earnings or income and minus living and other inciden
tal expenses. 84. LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY V MARJORIE NAVIDAD FACTS: On 14 O
ctober 1993, Nicanor Navidad, while drunk, entered the EDSA LRT station after pu
rchasing a token for his fare. While Navidad was standing on the platform near t
he LRT tracks, Junelito Escartin, the security guard assigned to the area approa
ched Navidad. A misunderstanding between the two led to a fist fight. No evidenc
e, however, was adduced to indicate how the fight started or who, between the tw
o, delivered the first blow or how Navidad later fell on the LRT tracks. At the
exact moment that Navidad fell, an LRT train, operated by petitioner Rodolfo Rom
an, was coming in. Navidad was struck by the moving train, and he was killed ins
tantaneously. Thereafter, the widow of Nicanor, herein respondent Marjorie Navid
ad, along with her children, filed a complaint for damages against Junelito Esca
rtin, Rodolfo Roman, the LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization, Inc., and Prudent
for the death of her husband. LRTA and Roman filed a counterclaim against Navid
ad and a cross-claim against Escartin and Prudent. Prudent, in its answer, denie
d liability and averred that it had exercised due diligence in the selection and
supervision of its security guards. The LRTA and Roman presented their evidence
while Prudent and Escartin, instead of presenting evidence, filed a demurrer co
ntending that Navidad had failed to prove that Escartin was negligent in his ass
igned task. The trial court rendered its decision; WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby
rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants Prudent Security
and Junelito Escartin ordering the latter to pay jointly and severally the plai
ntiffs. The complaint against defendants LRTA and Rodolfo Roman are dismissed fo
r lack of merit. The compulsory counterclaim of LRTA and Roman are likewise dism
issed. Prudent appealed to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court promulgated
its now assailed decision exonerating Prudent from any liability for the death
of Nicanor Navidad and, instead, holding the LRTA and Roman jointly and severall
y. The appellate court ratiocinated that while the deceased might not have then
as yet boarded the train, a contract of carriage thereto had already existed whe
n the victim entered the place where passengers were supposed to be after paying
the fare and getting the corresponding token therefor. In exempting Prudent fro
m liability, the court stressed that there was nothing to link the security agen
cy to the death of Navidad. It said that Navidad failed to show that Escartin in
flicted fist blows upon the victim and the evidence merely established the fact
of death of Navidad by reason of his having been hit by the train owned and mana
ged by the LRTA and operated at the time by Roman. The appellate court denied pe
titioners motion for reconsideration.
ISSUE: Whether or not LRTA and are liable for the death of Nicanor Navidad based
on a common carriage contract. RULING: The law requires common carriers to carr
y passengers safely using the utmost diligence of very cautious persons with due
regard for all circumstances. Such duty of a common carrier to provide safety t
o its passengers so obligates it not only during the course of the trip but for
so long as the passengers are within its premises and where they ought to be in
pursuance to the contract of carriage. The statutory provisions render a common
carrier liable for death of or injury to passengers (a) through the negligence o
r wilful acts of its employees or b) on account of wilful acts or negligence of
other passengers or of strangers if the common carriers employees through the ex
ercise of due diligence could have prevented or stopped the act or omission. In
case of such death or injury, a carrier is presumed to have been at fault or bee
n negligent, and by simple proof of injury, the passenger is relieved of the dut
y to still establish the fault or negligence of the carrier or of its employees
and the burden shifts upon the carrier to prove that the injury is due to an unf
oreseen event or to force majeure. In the absence of satisfactory explanation by
the carrier on how the accident occurred, which petitioners, according to the a
ppellate court, have failed to show, the presumption would be that it has been a
t fault, an exception from the general rule that negligence must be proved. The
foundation of LRTAs liability is the contract of carriage and its obligation to
indemnify the victim arises from the breach of that contract by reason of its fa
ilure to exercise the high diligence required of the common carrier. In the disc
harge of its commitment to ensure the safety of passengers, a carrier may choose
to hire its own employees or avail itself of the services of an outsider or an
independent firm to undertake the task. In either case, the common carrier is no
t relieved of its responsibilities under the contract of carriage. Should Pruden
t be made likewise liable? If at all, that liability could only be for tort unde
r the provisions of Article 2176 and related provisions, in conjunction with Art
icle 2180, of the Civil Code. The premise, however, for the employers liability
is negligence or fault on the part of the employee. Once such fault is establish
ed, the employer can then be made liable on the basis of the presumption juris t
antum that the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris families in the
selection and supervision of its employees. The liability is primary and can on
ly be negated by showing due diligence in the selection and supervision of the e
mployee, a factual matter that has not been shown. Absent such a showing, one mi
ght ask further, how then must the liability of the common carrier, on the one h
and, and an independent contractor, on the other hand, be described? It would be
solidary. A contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when the same ac
t or omission causes the injury, one resulting in culpa contractual and the othe
r in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194 of the Civil Code can well apply. In fine, a
liability for tort may arise even under a contract, where tort is that which bre
aches the contract. Stated differently, when an act which constitutes a breach o
f contract would have itself constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liabili
ty had no contract existed between the parties, the contract can be said to have
been breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply. The award o
f nominal damages in addition to actual damages is untenable. Nominal damages ar
e adjudicated in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has been violated or
invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpo
se of indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him. It is an establis
hed rule that nominal damages cannot co-exist with compensatory damages. 85. HID
ALGO ENTERPRISES V BALADAN FACTS: Petitioner Hidalgo Enterprises, Inc. was the o
wner of an ice-plant factory in whose premises were installed two tanks full of
water, nine feet deep, for cooling purposes of its engine. While the factory com
pound was surrounded with fence, the tanks themselves were not provided with any
kind of fence or top covers. The wide gate entrance is continually open where a
nyone can pass through it. There was no guard assigned on the gate. At about noo
n of April 16, 1948, plaintiff s son, Mario Balandan, an 8year old boy, while pl
aying with and in company of other boys of his age entered the factory premises
through the gate, to take a bath in one of said tanks and while bathing, Mario s
ank to the bottom of the tank, only to be fished out later, already a cadaver, h
aving been died of drowning. The Court of Appeals, and the Court of First Instan
ce of Laguna, took the view that the petitioner maintained an attractive nuisanc
e (the tanks), and neglected to adopt the necessary precautions to avoid acciden
ts to persons entering its premises. It applied the doctrine of attractive nuisa
nce, of American origin, recognized in this Jurisdiction in Taylor vs. Manila El
ectric 16 Phil., 8. The doctrine may be stated, in short, as follows: One who ma
intains on his premises dangerous instrumentalities or appliances of a character
likely to attract children in play, and who fails to exercise ordinary care to
prevent children from playing therewith or resorting thereto, is liable to a chi
ld of tender years who is injured thereby, even if the child is technically a tr
espasser in the premises. The principle reason for the doctrine is that the cond
ition or appliance in question although its danger is apparent to those of age,
is so enticing or alluring to children of tender years as to induce them to appr
oach, get on or use it, and this attractiveness is an implied invitation to such
children. ISSUE: Whether or not the body of water like swimming pool or water t
ank an attractive nuisance in order to claim damages for the injury or death suf
fered by a child. RULING: The attractive nuisance doctrine generally is not appl
icable to bodies of water, artificial as well as natural, in the absence of some
unusual condition or artificial feature other than the mere water and its locat
ion. The reason why a swimming pool or pond or reservoir of water is not conside
red an attractive nuisance was lucidly explained by the Indiana Appellate Court
as follows: Nature has created streams, lakes and pools which attract children.
Lurking in their waters is always the danger of drowning. Against this danger ch
ildren are early instructed so that they are sufficiently presumed to know the d
anger; and if the owner of private property creates an artificial pool on his ow
n property, merely duplicating the work of nature without adding any new danger,
. . . (he) is not liable because of having created an "attractive nuisance." An
derson vs. ReithRiley Const. Co., N. E., 2nd, 184, 185; 112 Ind. App., 170. Ther
efore, as petitioner s tanks are not classified as attractive nuisance, the ques
tion whether the petitioner had taken reasonable precautions become immaterial.
86. ANDAMO V IAC
FACTS: Petitioner spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo are the owners of a parc
el of land adjacent to that of private respondent, Missionaries of Our Lady of L
a Salette, Inc., a religious corporation. The corporations waterpaths and contriv
ances, including an artificial lake, were constructed, which allegedly inundated
and eroded petitioners land, caused a young man to drown, damaged petitioners
crops and plants, washed away costly fences, endangered the lives of petitioner
s and their laborers during rainy and stormy seasons, and exposed plants and oth
er improvements to destruction. Petitioners instituted a criminal action against
Efren Musngi, Orlando Sapuay and Rutillo Mallillin, officers and directors of r
espondent corporation, for destruction by means of inundation under Article 324
of the Revised Penal Code. And later on, petitioners filed another action agains
t respondent Corporation for damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of p
reliminary injunction before the same court. Respondent corporation filed its an
swer to the complaint and opposition to the issuance of a writ of preliminary in
junction. The trial court issued the disputed order dismissing the Civil Case fo
r lack of jurisdiction, as the criminal case which was instituted ahead of the c
ivil case was still unresolved. Said order was anchored on the provision of Sect
ion 3 (a), Rule III of the Rules of Court which provides that "criminal and civi
l actions arising from the same offense may be instituted separately, but after
the criminal action has been commenced the civil action cannot be instituted unt
il final judgment has been rendered in the criminal action. Petitioners appealed
from that order to the Intermediate Appellate Court. IAC affirmed the questioned
order of the trial court. A motion for reconsideration was also denied. ISSUE:
Whether a corporation, which has built through its agents, waterpaths, water con
ductors and contrivances within its land, thereby causing inundation and damage
to an adjacent land, can be held civilly liable for damages under Articles 2176
and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts such that the resulting civil case c
an proceed independently of the criminal case. RULING: The petitioners have a va
lid point. A careful examination of the aforequoted complaint shows that the civ
il action is one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasi-delicts
. All the elements of a quasi-delict are present, to wit: (a) damages suffered b
y the plaintiff, (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some other person
for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and effect betwe
en the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred by the plai
ntiff. Clearly, from petitioner s complaint, the waterpaths and contrivances bui
lt by respondent corporation are alleged to have inundated the land of petitione
rs. There is therefore, an assertion of a causal connection between the act of b
uilding these waterpaths and the damage sustained by petitioners. Such action if
proven constitutes fault or negligence which may be the basis for the recovery
of damages. It must be stressed that the use of one s property is not without li
mitations. Article 431 of the Civil Code provides that "the owner of a thing can
not make use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third person.
" SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining landowners have mutua
l and reciprocal duties which require that each must use his own land in a reaso
nable manner so as not to infringe upon the rights and interests of others. Alth
ough we recognize the right of an owner to build structures on his land, such st
ructures must be so constructed and maintained
using all reasonable care so that they cannot be dangerous to adjoining landowne
rs and can withstand the usual and expected forces of nature. If the structures
cause injury or damage to an adjoining landowner or a third person, the latter c
an claim indemnification for the injury or damage suffered. Article 2176 of the
Civil Code imposes a civil liability on a person for damage caused by his act or
omission constituting fault or negligence. Article 2176, whenever it refers to
"fault or negligence", covers not only acts "not punishable by law" but also act
s criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequ
ently, a separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act, whet
her or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided t
hat the offended party is not allowed, (if the tortfeasor is actually charged al
so criminally), to recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such
eventuality only to the bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in th
e two cases vary. The distinctness of quasi-delicta is shown in Article 2177 of
the Civil Code, which states: Article 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligen
ce under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from the civil
liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot
recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. According
to the Report of the Code Commission "the foregoing provision though at first si
ght startling, is not so novel or extraordinary when we consider the exact natur
e of criminal and civil negligence. The former is a violation of the criminal la
w, while the latter is a distinct and independent negligence, which is a "culpa
aquiliana" or quasidelict, of ancient origin, having always had its own foundati
on and individuality, separate from criminal negligence. Such distinction betwee
n criminal negligence and "culpa extra-contractual" or "cuasi-delito" has been s
ustained by decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain. Cases 78-86 SANTOS, RYAN G.
87. REMMAN ENTERPRISES, INC. vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: EMMAN ENTERPRISES, INC
. (REMMAN), and CRISPIN E. LAT are adjoining landowners in Barangay Bugtong Na P
ulo, Lipa City. The land of Lat containing an area of 1.8 hectares is agricultur
al and planted mostly with fruit trees while REMMAN occupies a land area of fift
een (15) hectares six (6) hectares of which are devoted to its piggery business.
REMMAN s land is one and a half (1) meters higher in elevation than that of resp
ondent Lat. Sometime in July 1984 Lat noticed that REMMAN s waste disposal lagoo
n was already overflowing and inundating one-fourth (1/4) of Lat s plantation. H
e made several representations with REMMAN but they fell on deaf ears. On 14 Mar
ch 1985, after almost one (1) hectare of Lat s plantation was already inundated
with water containing pig manure, as a result of which the trees growing on the
flooded portion started to wither and die, Lat filed a complaint for damages wit
h preliminary mandatory injunction against REMMAN. Lat alleged that the acidity
of the soil in his plantation increased
because of the overflow of the water heavy with pig manure from REMMAN s piggery
farm. REMMAN denied all the allegations of Lat and raised as an affirmative def
ense that measures such as the construction of additional lagoons were already a
dopted to contain the waste water coming from its piggery to prevent any damage
to the adjoining estates. RTC DECISION: After conducting an ocular inspection an
d evaluating the evidence of both parties the Regional Trial Court found that in
deed REMMANs waste disposal lagoon overflowed with the contaminated water floodin
g one (1) hectare of Lat s plantation. The waste water was ankle-deep and caused
death and destruction to one (1) jackfruit tree, fifteen (15) coconut trees, on
e hundred twenty-two (122) coffee trees, and an unspecified number of mango tree
s, bananas and vegetables. As a consequence, the trial court ordered REMMAN to i
ndemnify Lat P186,975.00 for lost profits for three (3) crop years and P30,000.0
0 as attorney s fees SC RULING: REMMAN argues that its liability for the damages
suffered by Lat was not clearly established. We disagree. During the ocular ins
pection conducted by the lower court where representatives of both parties were
present, it was established that the waste water containing pig manure was conti
nuously flowing from REMMAN s piggery farm to Lat s plantation. The water was an
kle-deep and flooded one (1) hectare of Lat s plantation. The overflow of the "a
cidic, malodorous and polluted water" continued from June 1984 to March 1985 thu
s destroying one (1) jackfruit tree, fifteen (15) coconut trees, one hundred an
twenty-two (122) coffee trees, and an unspecified number of mango trees, bananas
and vegetables. In addition, the appellate court found that there was indeed ne
gligence on the part of REMMAN which directly caused the damage to the plantatio
n of Lat. Thus -novero x x x Negligence was clearly established. It is uncontrov
erted that the land of appellee was flooded on account of the overflow of acidic
, malodorous and polluted water coming from the adjacent piggery farm of appella
nt sometime in May 1984. This resulted in the impairment of the productivity of
appellee s land as well as the eventual destruction and death of several fruit t
rees, such as coconuts, coffee, jackfruits, bananas and other plants x x x x App
ellant cannot avoid liability because their negligence was the proximate cause o
f the damage. Appellee s property was practically made a catch-basin of polluted
water and other noxious substances emptying from appellant s piggery which coul
d have been prevented had it not been for the negligence of appellant arising fr
om its: (a) failure to monitor the increases in the level of water in the lagoon
s before, during and after the heavy downpours which occurred during the rainy m
onths of 1984; (b) failure to augment the existing lagoons prior to the incident
, notwithstanding the fact that at the time of the flooding, the piggery had gro
wn to a capacity of 11,000 heads, and considering that it was reasonably forseea
ble that the existing waste disposal facilities were no longer adequate to accom
odate the increasing volume of waste matters in such a big farm; and more import
antly, (c) the repeated failure to comply with their promise to appellee REMMAN
contends that the damages allegedly sustained by Lat have not been satisfactoril
y established.
We a not convinced. The factual findings of the court a quo rightly support its
conclusions on this respect Coming now to the issue of damages, We find appellan
t s allegations not well-taken. Appellant contends that actual and compensatory
damages require evidentiary proof, and there being no evidence presented as to t
he necessity of the award for damages, it was erroneous for the lower court to h
ave made such award. It must be remembered that after the ocular inspection, the
court a quo rendered an inventory of dead and rotten trees and plants found in
appellee s property. Appellee also testified on the approximate annual harvest a
nd fair market value thereof. Significantly, no opposition or controverting evid
ence was presented by appellant on the matter. Hence, appellant is bound thereby
and cannot now be heard to complain. As correctly held by the court a quo: An o
cular inspection has been conducted by the trial court. The inventory of the tre
es damaged and the itemized valuation placed therein by private respondent after
the ocular inspection which is not rebutted by the petitioner, is the more accu
rate indicator of the said amount prayed for as damages. If the valuation is ind
eed unreasonable, petitioner should present controverting evidence of the fair m
arket value of the crops involved. The trial court held that the private respond
ent himself had been subjected to extensive cross and re-cross examination by th
e counsel for the petitioner on the amount of damages 88. JULITA T. VDA. DE SEVE
RO vs. FELICIANO FACTS: This case treated as a special civil action for certiora
ri was originally filed as a petition for review by way of appeal on certiorari
seeking to set aside the order of the then Court of First Instance of Samar, Bra
nch V, in Calbayog City dated April 6, 1976 dismissing Civil Case No. 522-CC ent
itled "Julita T. Vda, de Severo, et al., versus Luningning Feliciano Go, et al.
for lack of jurisdiction. The antecedents of the case are as follows: The late
Ricardo Severo was an employee of herein private respondents Luningning Felician
o Go and Joaquin Go, first as baker of Joni s Cakes and Pastries," an enterpris
e owned by respondents located at 1634 P. Guevarra Street, Santa Cruz, Manila an
d finally, as driver-mechanic from 1961 up to February 16, 1972. On the latter d
ate, unidentified armed men forcibly took away and/or carnapped the car owned by
respondents and driven by Ricardo Severo who, in his efforts to resist the carn
appers, was shot and killed by the latter. Up to now, the parties responsible fo
r Severo s death have not been Identified nor apprehended. On September 18, 1974
, herein petitioners, the widow and minor children of Ricardo Severo, filed an a
ction against respondents-employers before the trial court for "Death Compensati
on and Damages" in the total amount of P74,500.00 TRIAL COURT RULING: The respon
dent court, acting on the latest motion to dismiss, issued an order dated April
6, 1976 stating that petitioners cause of action falls within the purview of th
e Workmen s Compensation Act and the proper forum was the Workmen s Compensation
Commission. It declared itself without jurisdiction following
Our ruling in the case of Robles vs. Yap Wing, L-20442, October 4, 1971, 41 SCRA
267, to wit: The Court after a careful consideration of the grounds in the defe
ndants motion, and considering the allegation of the complaint describing their
main cause of action, which is a claim for death compensation and damages, is o
f the opinion and so holds that this Court has no jurisdiction to hear and decid
e the case. The plaintiffs right to relief being derived on an accident resulti
ng in death of Ricardo Severo, an employee of the defendants, while engaged in t
he performance of the task assigned to him, this Court is devoid of statutory co
mpetence to pass upon the subject matter of the plaintiffs claim, as of the tim
e the cause of action accrue, falls within the purview of the Workmen s Compensa
tion Act as amended and, therefore, the proper form (sic) was the Workmen s Comp
ensation Commission, thru its regional offices under the Department of Labor, a
body empowered to act upon all claims for compensation for death, injury or sick
ness. Thus our Supreme Court in the case of Ciriaco Robles vs. Yap Wing, No. L-2
0442, Oct. 4, 1971 ruled: Before the enactment of Republic Act No. 722(Amending
Act. No. 3228), which took effect on June 20, 1952, claims for compensation unde
r the Workmen s Compensation Act were cognizable by the regular courts, but sinc
e then, as provided in Section 46 thereof as amended, the Workmen s Compensatio
n shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide claims for compensation under the W
orkmen s Compensation Act, subject to appeal to the Supreme Court. ... In relati
on to this, Section 5 of the Act provides that the rights and remedies granted b
y this Act to an employee by reason of a personal injury entitling him to compen
sation shall exclude all other rights and remedies accruing to an employee, his
personal representatives, dependents or nearest of kin against the employer unde
r the Civil Code or other laws, because of said injury. SC RULING: The petition
is impressed with merit. The ruling in the case of Robles vs. Yap Wing, supra, t
hat the action of the injured employee or that of his heirs in case of his death
is restricted to seeking the limited compensation provided under the Workmen s
Compensation Act relied upon by the trial court, no longer controls. We have aba
ndoned the same in the recent case of Ysmael Maritime Corporation vs. Hon. Celso
Avelino, G.R. No. L-43674, promulgated on June 30, 1987, citing the case of Flo
resca vs. Philex Mining Company, L-30642, April 30, 1985, 136 SCRA 141. We state
d thus. In the recent case of Floresca vs. Philex Mining Company, L-30642, April
30, 1985, 136 SCRA 141, involving a complaint for damages for the death of five
miners in a cave-in on June 28, 1967, this Court was confronted with three dive
rgent opinions on the exclusivity rule as presented by several amici curiae. One
view is that the injured employee or his heirs, in case of death, may initiate
an action to recover damages (not compensation under the Workmen s Compensation
Act) with the regular courts on the basis of negligence of the employer pursuant
to the Civil Code. Another view, as enunciated in the Robles case, is that the
remedy of an employee for work connected injury or accident is exclusive in acco
rdance with Section 5 of the WCA. A third view is that the action is selective a
nd the employee of his heirs have a choice of availing themselves of the benefit
s under the WCA or of suing in the regular courts under the Civil Code for highe
r damages from the employer by reason of his negligence. But once the election h
as been exercised, the employee or his heirs are no longer free to opt for the o
ther remedy. In other words, the employee cannot pursue both actions simultaneou
sly. This latter view was adopted by the majority in the Floresca case,
reiterating as main authority its earlier decision in Pacana vs. Cebu Autobus Co
mpany, L25382, April 30, 1982, 32 SCRA 442. In so doing, the Court rejected the
doctrine of exclusivity of the rights and remedies granted by the WCA as laid do
wn in the Robles case 89. PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMERCE, vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACT
S: Challenged in this petition for review is the Decision dated February 28, 199
1 1 rendered by public respondent Court of Appeals which affirmed the Decision d
ated November 15, 1985 of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Judicial Re
gion, Branch CLX (160), Pasig City, in Civil Case No. 27288 entitled "Rommel s M
arketing Corporation, etc. v. Philippine Bank of Commerce, now absorbed by Phili
ppine Commercial and Industrial Bank." The case stemmed from a complaint filed b
y the private respondent Rommel s Marketing Corporation (RMC for brevity), repre
sented by its President and General Manager Romeo Lipana, to recover from the fo
rmer Philippine Bank of Commerce (PBC for brevity), now absorbed by the Philippi
ne Commercial International Bank, the sum of P304,979.74 representing various de
posits it had made in its current account with said bank but which were not cred
ited to its account, and were instead deposited to the account of one Bienvenido
Cotas, allegedly due to the gross and inexcusable negligence of the petitioner
bank RTC JUDGMENT: RMC demanded from petitioner bank the return of its money, bu
t as its demand went unheeded, it filed a collection suit before the Regional Tr
ial Court of Pasig, Branch 160. The trial court found petitioner bank negligent
and ruled as follows: WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered sentencing defendan
t Philippine Bank of Commerce, now absorbed by defendant Philippine Commercial &
Industrial Bank, and defendant Azucena Mabayad to pay the plaintiff, jointly an
d severally, and without prejudice to any criminal action which may be institute
d if found warranted: 1. The sum of P304,979.72, representing plaintiffs lost de
posit, plus interest thereon at the legal rate from the filing of the complaint;
2. A sum equivalent to 14% thereof, as exemplary damages; 3. A sum equivalent t
o 25% of the total amount due, as and for attorney s fees; and 4. Costs. SC RULI
NG: Our law on quasi-delicts states: Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission cause
s damage to another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual r
elation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the pro
visions of this Chapter. There are three elements of a quasi-delict: (a) damages
suffered by the plaintiff; (b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or some ot
her person for whose acts he must respond; and (c) the connection of cause and e
ffect between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred
by the plaintiff.
In the case at bench, there is no dispute as to the damage suffered by the priva
te respondent (plaintiff in the trial court) RMC in the amount of P304,979.74. I
t is in ascribing fault or negligence which caused the damage where the parties
point to each other as the culprit. Negligence is the omission to do something w
hich a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate
the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a pruden
t and reasonable man would do. The seventy-eight (78)-year-old, yet still releva
nt, case of Picart v. Smith, provides the test by which to determine the existen
ce of negligence in a particular case which may be stated as follows: Did the de
fendant in doing the alleged negligent act use that reasonable care and caution
which an ordinarily prudent person would have used in the same situation? If not
, then he is guilty of negligence. The law here in effect adopts the standard su
pposed to be supplied by the imaginary conduct of the discreet paterfamilias of
the Roman law. The existence of negligence in a given case is not determined by
reference to the personal judgment of the actor in the situation before him. The
law considers what would be reckless, blameworthy, or negligent in the man of o
rdinary intelligence and prudence and determines liability by that. ON THE DOCTR
INE OF LAST CLEAR CHANCE AND THE CONCEPT OF PROXIMATE CAUSE: Proximate cause is
determined on the facts of each case upon mixed considerations of logic, common
sense, policy and precedent. Vda. de Bataclan v. Medina, reiterated in the case
of Bank of the Phil. Islands v. Court of Appeals, defines proximate cause as "th
at cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient i
ntervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not ha
ve occurred. . . ." In this case, absent the act of Ms. Mabayad in negligently v
alidating the incomplete duplicate copy of the deposit slip, Ms. Irene Yabut wou
ld not have the facility with which to perpetrate her fraudulent scheme with imp
unity. Apropos, once again, is the pronouncement made by the respondent appellat
e court, to wit: . . . . Even if Yabut had the fraudulent intention to misapprop
riate the funds entrusted to her by plaintiff, she would not have been able to d
eposit those funds in her husband s current account, and then make plaintiff bel
ieve that it was in the latter s accounts wherein she had deposited them, had it
not been for bank teller Mabayad s aforesaid gross and reckless negligence. The
latter s negligence was thus the proximate, immediate and efficient cause that
brought about the loss claimed by plaintiff in this case, and the failure of pla
intiff to discover the same soon enough by failing to scrutinize the monthly sta
tements of account being sent to it by appellant bank could not have prevented t
he fraud and misappropriation which Irene Yabut had already completed when she d
eposited plaintiff s money to the account of her husband instead of to the latte
r s accounts. Furthermore, under the doctrine of "last clear chance" (also refer
red to, at times as "supervening negligence" or as "discovered peril"), petition
er bank was indeed the culpable party. This doctrine, in essence, states that wh
ere both parties are negligent, but the negligent act of one is appreciably late
r in time than that of the other, or when it is impossible to determine whose fa
ult or negligence should be attributed to the incident, the one who had the last
clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so is chargeable
with the consequences thereof. Stated differently, the rule would also mean tha
t an antecedent negligence of a person does not preclude the
recovery of damages for the supervening negligence of, or bar a defense against
liability sought by another, if the latter, who had the last fair chance, could
have avoided the impending harm by the exercise of due diligence. Here, assuming
that private respondent RMC was negligent in entrusting cash to a dishonest emp
loyee, thus providing the latter with the opportunity to defraud the company, as
advanced by the petitioner, yet it cannot be denied that the petitioner bank, t
hru its teller, had the last clear opportunity to avert the injury incurred by i
ts client, simply by faithfully observing their self-imposed validation procedur
e 90. METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: This petit
ion for certiorari seeks to annul the decision of respondent Court of Appeals da
ted October 29, 1992 in CA GR CV No. 26571 affirming the decision of the Regiona
l Trial Court of Lipa, Batangas Branch XIII for damages, and the Resolution date
d November 11, 1993 denying petitioner s motion for reconsideration of the afore
said decision. The case emanated from a dispute between the Rural Bank of Padre
Garcia, Inc. (RBPG) and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company (MBTC) relative to a
credit memorandum dated April 5, 1982 from the Central Bank in the amount of P3
04,000.00 in favor of RBPG. The records show that Isabel Katigbak is the preside
nt and director of RBPG, owning 65% of the shares thereof. Metropolitan Bank and
Trust Company (MBTC) is the rural bank s depository bank, where Katigbak mainta
ins current accounts with MBTC s main office in Makati as well as its Lipa City
branch. On April 6, 1982, MBTC received from the Central Bank a credit memo date
d April 5, 1982 that its demand deposit account was credited with P304,000.00 fo
r the account of RBPG, representing loans granted by the Central Bank to RBPG. O
n the basis of said credit memo, Isabel Katigbak issued several checks against i
ts account with MBTC in the total amount of P300,000.00, two (2) of which (Metro
bank Check Nos. 0069 and 0070) were payable to Dr. Felipe C. Roque and Mrs. Eliz
a Roque for P25,000.00 each. Said checks issued to Dr. and Mrs. Roque were depos
ited by the Roques with the Philippine Banking Corporation, Novaliches Branch in
Quezon City. When these checks were forwarded to MBTC on April 12, 1982 for pay
ment (six (6) days from receipt of the Credit Memo), the checks were returned by
MBTC with the annotations "DAIF TNC" (Drawn Against Insufficient Funds Try Next
Clearing) so they were redeposited on April 14, 1982. These were however again
dishonored and returned unpaid for the following reason: "DAIF TNC NO ADVICE FRO
M CB." SC RULING: On October 29, 1992, the Court of Appeals rendered a decision
affirming that of the trial court, except for the deletion of the award of tempe
rate damages, the reduction of moral damages from P500,000.00 to P50,000.00 in f
avor of RBPG and P100,000.00 for Isabel Katigbak and P50,000.00, as attorney s f
ees. Plaintiffs-appellees filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision, qu
estioning the deletion of the award of temperate damages and the reduction of th
e award of moral damages and attorney s fees. The motion was denied.
The damage to private respondents reputation and social standing entitles them
to moral damages. Moral damages include physical suffering, mental anguish, frig
ht, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, socia
l humiliation and similar injury. Temperate or moderate damages which are more t
han nominal but less than compensatory damages, may be recovered when the court
finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot, from the
nature of the case, be proved with certainty. Temperate damages may be allowed
in cases where from the nature of the case, definite proof of pecuniary loss can
not be adduced, although the court is convinced that there has been such loss. T
he appellate court, however, justified its deletion when MBTC reasoned out that
the amount of P50,000.00 is not part of the relief prayed for in the complaint,
aside from the fact that the amount allegedly suffered by Mrs. Katigbak is susce
ptible of proof. Moral and temperate damages which are not susceptible of pecuni
ary estimation are not awarded to penalize the petitioner but to compensate the
respondents for injuries suffered as a result of the former s fault and negligen
ce, taking into account the latter s credit and social standing in the banking c
ommunity, particularly since this is the very first time such humiliation has be
fallen private respondents. The amount of such losses need not be established wi
th exactitude, precisely due to their nature. The carelessness of petitioner ban
k, aggravated by the lack of promptness in repairing the error and the arrogant
attitude of the bank officer handling the matter, justifies the grant of moral d
amages, which are clearly not excessive and unconscionable. 91. PHILIPPINE BANK
OF COMMERCE, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, same (89) 92. TABACALERA INSURANCE CO. vs. NO
RTH FRONT SHIPPING SERVICES, INC. FACTS: ABACALERA INSURANCE CO., Prudential Gua
rantee & Assurance, Inc., and New Zealand Insurance Co., Ltd., in this petition
for review on certiorari, assail the 22 December 1994 decision of the Court of A
ppeals and its Resolution of 16 February 1995 which affirmed the 1 June 1993 dec
ision of the Regional Trial Court dismissing their complaint for damages against
North Front Shipping Services, Inc. On 2 August 1990, 20,234 sacks of corn grai
ns valued at P3,500,640.00 were shipped on board North Front 777, a vessel owned
by North Front Shipping Services, Inc. The cargo was consigned to Republic Flou
r Mills Corporation in Manila under Bill of Lading No. 001and insured with the h
erein mentioned insurance companies. The vessel was inspected prior to actual lo
ading by representatives of the shipper and was found fit to carry the merchandi
se. The cargo was covered with tarpaulins and wooden boards. The hatches were se
aled and could only be opened by representatives of Republic Flour Mills Corpora
tion. The vessel left Cagayan de Oro City on 2 August 1990 and arrived Manila on
16 August 1990. Republic Flour Mills Corporation was advised of its arrival but
it did not immediately commence the unloading operations. There were days when
unloading had to be stopped due to variable weather conditions and sometimes for
no apparent reason at all. When the cargo was eventually unloaded there was a s
hortage of 26.333 metric tons. The remaining merchandise was already moldy, ranc
id and
deteriorating. The unloading operations were completed on 5 September 1990 or tw
enty (20) days after the arrival of the barge at the wharf of Republic Flour Mil
ls Corporation in Pasig City. Precision Analytical Services, Inc., was hired to
examine the corn grains and determine the cause of deterioration. A Certificate
of Analysis was issued indicating that the corn grains had 18.56% moisture conte
nt and the wetting was due to contact with salt water. The mold growth was only
incipient and not sufficient to make the corn grains toxic and unfit for consump
tion. In fact the mold growth could still be arrested by drying. Republic Flour
Mills Corporation rejected the entire cargo and formally demanded from North Fro
nt Shipping Services, Inc., payment for the damages suffered by it. The demands
however were unheeded. The insurance companies were perforce obliged to pay Repu
blic Flour Mills Corporation P2,189,433.40. TRIAL COURT RULING: The court below
dismissed the complaint and ruled that the contract entered into between North F
ront Shipping Services, Inc., and Republic Flour Mills Corporation was a charter
-party agreement. As such, only ordinary diligence in the care of goods was requ
ired of North Front Shipping Services, Inc. The inspection of the barge by the s
hipper and the representatives of the shipping company before actual loading, co
upled with the Permit to Sail issued by the Coast Guard, sufficed to meet the de
gree of diligence required of the carrier. On the other hand, the Court of Appea
ls ruled that as a common carrier required to observe a higher degree of diligen
ce North Front 777 satisfactorily complied with all the requirements hence was i
ssued a Permit to Sail after proper inspection. Consequently, the complaint was
dismissed and the motion for reconsideration rejected. The charter-party agreeme
nt between North Front Shipping Services, Inc., and Republic Flour Mills Corpora
tion did not in any way convert the common carrier into a private carrier. We ha
ve already resolved this issue with finality in Planters Products, Inc. v. Court
of Appeals thus A charter-party is defined as a contract by which an entire s
hip, or some principal part thereof, is let by the owner to another person for a
specified time or use; a contract of affreightment by which the owner of a ship
or other vessel lets the whole or a part of her to a merchant or other person f
or the conveyance of goods, on a particular voyage, in consideration of the paym
ent of freight x x x x Contract of affreightment may either be time charter, whe
rein the vessel is leased to the charterer for a fixed period of time, or voyage
charter, wherein the ship is leased for a single voyage. In both cases, the cha
rter-party provides for the hire of the vessel only, either for a determinate pe
riod of time or for a single or consecutive voyage, the ship owner to supply the
ship s store, pay for the wages of the master of the crew, and defray the expen
ses for the maintenance of the ship. Upon the other hand, the term common or pu
blic carrier is defined in Art. 1732 of the Civil Code. The definition extends
to carriers either by land, air or water which hold themselves out as ready to e
ngage in carrying goods or transporting passengers or both for compensation as a
public employment and not as a casual occupation
SC RULING: In fine, we find that the carrier failed to observe the required extr
aordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods placed in its care. The proo
fs presented by North Front Shipping Services, Inc., were insufficient to rebut
the prima facie presumption of private respondent s negligence, more so if we co
nsider the evidence adduced by petitioners. It is not denied by the insurance co
mpanies that the vessel was indeed inspected before actual loading and that Nort
h Front 777 was issued a Permit to Sail. They proved the fact of shipment and it
s consequent loss or damage while in the actual possession of the carrier. Notab
ly, the carrier failed to volunteer any explanation why there was spoilage and h
ow it occurred. On the other hand, it was shown during the trial that the vessel
had rusty bulkheads and the wooden boards and tarpaulins bore heavy concentrati
on of molds. The tarpaulins used were not new, contrary to the claim of North Fr
ont Shipping Services, Inc., as there were already several patches on them, henc
e, making it highly probable for water to enter. Laboratory analysis revealed th
at the corn grains were contaminated with salt water. North Front Shipping Servi
ces, Inc., failed to rebut all these arguments. It did not even endeavor to esta
blish that the loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods was due to the fo
llowing: (a) flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or c
alamity; (b) act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil; (c)
act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods; (d) the character of the
goods or defects in the packing or in the containers; (e) order or act of compet
ent public authority.This is a closed list. If the cause of destruction, loss or
deterioration is other than the enumerated circumstances, then the carrier is r
ightly liable therefor. However, we cannot attribute the destruction, loss or de
terioration of the cargo solely to the carrier. We find the consignee Republic F
lour Mills Corporation guilty of contributory negligence. It was seasonably noti
fied of the arrival of the barge but did not immediately start the unloading ope
rations. No explanation was proffered by the consignee as to why there was a del
ay of six (6) days. Had the unloading been commenced immediately the loss could
have been completely avoided or at least minimized. As testified to by the chemi
st who analyzed the corn samples, the mold growth was only at its incipient stag
e and could still be arrested by drying. The corn grains were not yet toxic or u
nfit for consumption. For its contributory negligence, Republic Flour Mills Corp
oration should share at least 40% of the loss. 93. BALIWAG TRANSIT, INC. vs. COU
RT OF APPEALS FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari to review the Decision of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV-31246 awarding damages in favor of the spous
es Antonio and Leticia Garcia for breach of contract of carriage.filed by the sp
ouses Garcia questioning the same Court of Appeals Decision which reduced their
award of damages. On November 13, 1995, we denied their petition for review. Th
e records show that on July 31, 1980, Leticia Garcia, and her five-year old son,
Allan Garcia, boarded Baliwag Transit Bus No. 2036 bound for Cabanatuan City dr
iven by Jaime Santiago. They took the seat behind the driver.
At about 7:30 in the evening, in Malimba, Gapan, Nueva Ecija, the bus passengers
saw a cargo truck parked at the shoulder of the national highway. Its left rear
portion jutted to the outer lane, the shoulder of the road was too narrow to ac
commodate the whole truck. A kerosene lamp appeared at the edge of the road obvi
ously to serve as a warning device. The truck driver, Julio Recontique, and his
helper, Arturo Escala, were then replacing a flat tire. The truck is owned by re
spondent A & J Trading. Bus driver Santiago was driving at an inordinately fast
speed and failed to notice the truck and the kerosene lamp at the edge of the ro
ad. Santiago s passengers urged him to slow down but he paid them no heed. Santi
ago even carried animated conversations with his co-employees while driving. Whe
n the danger of collision became imminent, the bus passengers shouted "Babangga
tayo!". Santiago stepped on the brake, but it was too late. His bus rammed into
the stalled cargo truck. It caused the instant death of Santiago and Escala, and
injury to several others. Leticia and Allan Garcia were among the injured passe
ngers. Leticia suffered a fracture in her pelvis and right leg. They rushed her
to the provincial hospital in Cabanatuan City where she was given emergency trea
tment. After three days, she was transferred to the National Orthopedic Hospital
where she was confined for more than a month. She underwent an operation for pa
rtial hip prosthesis. Allan, on the other hand, broke a leg. He was also given e
mergency treatment at the provincial hospital. Spouses Antonio and Leticia Garci
a sued Baliwag Transit, Inc., A & J Trading and Julio Recontique for damages in
the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan. Leticia sued as an injured passenger of Bal
iwag and as mother of Allan. At the time of the complaint, Allan was a minor, he
nce, the suit initiated by his parents in his favor. Baliwag, A & J Trading and
Recontique disclaimed responsibility for the mishap. Baliwag alleged that the ac
cident was caused solely by the fault and negligence of A & J Trading and its dr
iver, Recontique. Baliwag charged that Recontigue failed to place an early warni
ng device at the corner of the disabled cargo truck to warn oncoming vehicles.On
the other hand, A & J Trading and Recontique alleged that the accident was the
result of the negligence and reckless driving of Santiago, bus driver of Baliwag
. SC RULING: As a common carrier, Baliwag breached its contract of carriage when
it failed to deliver its passengers, Leticia and Allan Garcia to their destinat
ion safe and sound. A common carrier is bound to carry its passengers safely as
far as human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost diligence of a ver
y cautious person, with due regard for all the circumstances. In a contract of c
arriage, it is presumed that the common carrier was at fault or was negligent wh
en a passenger dies or is injured. Unless the presumption is rebutted, the court
need not even make an express finding of fault or negligence on the part of the
common carrier. This statutory presumption may only be overcome by evidence tha
t the carrier exercised extraordinary diligence as prescribed in Articles 1733 a
nd 1755 of the Civil Code. The records are bereft of any proof to show that Bali
wag exercised extraordinary diligence. On the contrary, the evidence demonstrate
s its driver s recklessness. Leticia Garcia testified that the bus was running a
t a very high speed despite the drizzle and the darkness of the highway. The pas
sengers pleaded for its driver to slow down, but their plea was ignored. Leticia
also revealed that the driver was smelling of liquor. She could smell him as sh
e was seated right behind the driver. Another passenger, Felix Cruz testified
that immediately before the collision, the bus driver was conversing with a coem
ployee. All these prove the bus driver s wanton disregard for the physical safet
y of his passengers, which make Baliwag as a common carrier liable for damages u
nder Article 1759 of the Civil Code. The award of moral damages is in accord wit
h law. In a breach of contract of carriage, moral damages are recoverable if the
carrier, through its agent, acted fraudulently or in bad faith. The evidence sh
ows the gross negligence of the driver of Baliwag bus which amounted to bad fait
h. Without doubt, Leticia and Allan experienced physical suffering, mental angui
sh and serious anxiety by reason of the accident. Leticia underwent an operation
to replace her broken hip bone with a metal plate. She was confined at the Nati
onal Orthopedic Hospital for 45 days. The young Allan was also confined in the h
ospital for his foot injury. Contrary to the contention of Baliwag, the decision
of the trial court as affirmed by the Court of Appeals awarded moral damages to
Antonio and Leticia Garcia not in their capacity as parents of Allan. Leticia w
as given moral damages as an injured party. Allan was also granted moral damages
as an injured party but because of his minority, the award in his favor has to
be given to his father who represented him in the suit. 94. FABRE, JR. vs. COURT
OF APPEALS FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision o
f the Court of Appeals in CA-GR No. 28245, dated September 30, 1992, which affir
med with modification the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch
58, ordering petitioners jointly and severally to pay damages to private respon
dent Amyline Antonio, and its resolution which denied petitioners motion for reco
nsideration for lack of merit. Petitioners Engracio Fabre, Jr. and his wife were
owners of a 1982 model Mazda minibus. They used the bus principally in connecti
on with a bus service for school children which they operated in Manila. The cou
ple had a driver, Porfirio J. Cabil, whom they hired in 1981, after trying him o
ut for two weeks. His job was to take school children to and from the St. Schola
sticas College in Malate, Manila. On November 2, 1984 private respondent Word for
the World Christian Fellowship Inc. (WWCF) arranged with petitioners for the tr
ansportation of 33 members of its Young Adults Ministry from Manila to La Union
and back in consideration of which private respondent paid petitioners the amoun
t of P3,000.00. The group was scheduled to leave on November 2, 1984, at 5:00 ocl
ock in the afternoon. However, as several members of the party were late, the bu
s did not leave the Tropical Hut at the corner of Ortigas Avenue and EDSA until
8:00 oclock in the evening. Petitioner Porfirio Cabil drove the minibus. The usua
l route to Caba, La Union was through Carmen, Pangasinan. However, the bridge at
Carmen was under repair, so that petitioner Cabil, who was unfamiliar with the
area (it being his first trip to La Union), was forced to take a detour through
the town of Ba-ay in Lingayen, Pangasinan. At 11:30 that night, petitioner Cabil
came upon a sharp curve on the highway, running on a south to east direction, w
hich he described as siete. The road was slippery because it was raining, causing
the bus, which was running at the speed of 50 kilometers per hour, to skid to th
e left road shoulder. The
bus hit the left traffic steel brace and sign along the road and rammed the fenc
e of one Jesus Escano, then turned over and landed on its left side, coming to a
full stop only after a series of impacts. The bus came to rest off the road. A
coconut tree which it had hit fell on it and smashed its front portion. Several
passengers were injured. Private respondent Amyline Antonio was thrown on the fl
oor of the bus and pinned down by a wooden seat which came off after being unscr
ewed. It took three persons to safely remove her from this position. She was in
great pain and could not move. The driver, petitioner Cabil, claimed he did not
see the curve until it was too late. He said he was not familiar with the area a
nd he could not have seen the curve despite the care he took in driving the bus,
because it was dark and there was no sign on the road. He said that he saw the
curve when he was already within 15 to 30 meters of it. He allegedly slowed down
to 30 kilometers per hour, but it was too late. The Lingayen police investigate
d the incident the next day, November 3, 1984. On the basis of their finding the
y filed a criminal complaint against the driver, Porfirio Cabil. The case was la
ter filed with the Lingayen Regional Trial Court. Petitioners Fabre paid Jesus E
scano P1,500.00 for the damage to the latters fence. On the basis of Escanos affid
avit of desistance the case against petitioners Fabre was dismissed. Amyline Ant
onio, who was seriously injured, brought this case in the RTC of Makati, Metro M
anila. As a result of the accident, she is now suffering from paraplegia and is
permanently paralyzed from the waist down. During the trial she described the op
erations she underwent and adduced evidence regarding the cost of her treatment
and therapy. Immediately after the accident, she was taken to the Nazareth Hospi
tal in Ba-ay, Lingayen. As this hospital was not adequately equipped, she was tr
ansferred to the Sto. Nio Hospital, also in the town of Ba-ay, where she was give
n sedatives. An xray was taken and the damage to her spine was determined to be
too severe to be treated there. She was therefore brought to Manila, first to th
e Philippine General Hospital and later to the Makati Medical Center where she u
nderwent an operation to correct the dislocation of her spine. RTC RULING: No co
nvincing evidence was shown that the minibus was properly checked for travel to
a long distance trip and that the driver was properly screened and tested before
being admitted for employment. Indeed, all the evidence presented have shown th
e negligent act of the defendants which ultimately resulted to the accident subj
ect of this case. Accordingly, it gave judgment for private respondents holding:
Considering that plaintiffs Word for the World Christian Fellowship, Inc. and M
s. Amyline Antonio were the only ones who adduced evidence in support of their c
laim for damages, the Court is therefore not in a position to award damages to t
he other plaintiffs. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court hereby renders ju
dgment against defendants Mr. & Mrs. Engracio Fabre, Jr. and Porfirio Cabil y Ja
mil pursuant to articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code of the Philippines and
said defendants are ordered to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiffs
CA RULING: he Court of Appeals sustained the trial courts finding that petitioner
Cabil failed to exercise due care and precaution in the operation of his vehicl
e considering the time and the place of the accident. The Court of Appeals held
that the Fabres were themselves presumptively negligent. Hence, this petition. P
etitioners raise the following ISSUES: I. Whether or not petitioners were neglig
ent. II. Whether or not petitioners were liable for the injuries suffered by pri
vate respondents. III. Whether or not damages can be awarded and in the positive
, up to what extent. SC RULING: As common carriers, the Fabres were bound to exe
rcise extraordinary diligence for the safe transportation of the passengers to the
ir destination. This duty of care is not excused by proof that they exercised th
e diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of t
heir employee. As Art. 1759 of the Code provides: Common carriers are liable for
the death of or injuries to passengers through the negligence or wilful acts of
the formers employees, although such employees may have acted beyond the scope o
f their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers. This lia
bility of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they exercised all
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of t
heir employees. The same circumstances detailed above, supporting the finding of
the trial court and of the appellate court that petitioners are liable under Ar
ts. 2176 and 2180 for quasi delict, fully justify finding them guilty of breach
of contract of carriage under Arts. 1733, 1755 and 1759 of the Civil Code. Secon
dly, we sustain the award of damages in favor of Amyline Antonio. However, we th
ink the Court of Appeals erred in increasing the amount of compensatory damages
because private respondents did not question this award as inadequate.To the con
trary, the award of P500,000.00 for compensatory damages which the Regional Tria
l Court made is reasonable considering the contingent nature of her income as a
casual employee of a company and as distributor of beauty products and the fact
that the possibility that she might be able to work again has not been foreclose
d. In fact she testified that one of her previous employers had expressed willin
gness to employ her again. With respect to the other awards, while the decisions
of the trial court and the Court of Appeals do not sufficiently indicate the fa
ctual and legal basis for them, we find that they are nevertheless supported by
evidence in the records of this case. Viewed as an action for quasi delict, this
case falls squarely within the purview of Art. 2219(2) providing for the paymen
t of moral damages in cases of quasi delict. On the theory that petitioners are
liable for breach of contract of carriage, the award of moral damages is authori
zed by Art. 1764, in relation to Art. 2220, since Cabils gross negligence amounte
d to bad faith. Amyline Antonios testimony, as well as the testimonies of her fat
her and co-passengers, fully establish the physical suffering and mental anguish
she endured as a result of the injuries caused by petitioners negligence.
The award of exemplary damages and attorneys fees was also properly made. However
, for the same reason that it was error for the appellate court to increase the
award of compensatory damages, we hold that it was also error for it to increase
the award of moral damages and reduce the award of attorneys fees, inasmuch as p
rivate respondents, in whose favor the awards were made, have not appealed. As a
bove stated, the decision of the Court of Appeals can be sustained either on the
theory of quasi delict or on that of breach of contract. The question is whethe
r, as the two courts below held, petitioners, who are the owners and driver of t
he bus, may be made to respond jointly and severally to private respondent. We h
old that they may be. In Dangwa Trans. Co. Inc. v. Court of Appeals, on facts si
milar to those in this case, this Court held the bus company and the driver join
tly and severally liable for damages for injuries suffered by a passenger. Again
, in Bachelor Express, Inc. v. Court of Appeals a driver found negligent in fail
ing to stop the bus in order to let off passengers when a fellow passenger ran a
muck, as a result of which the passengers jumped out of the speeding bus and suf
fered injuries, was held also jointly and severally liable with the bus company
to the injured passengers. The same rule of liability was applied in situations
where the negligence of the driver of the bus on which plaintiff was riding conc
urred with the negligence of a third party who was the driver of another vehicle
, thus causing an accident. In Anuran v. Buo, Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Co. v.
Intermediate Appellate Court,and Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Ap
peals] the bus company, its driver, the operator of the other vehicle and the dr
iver of the vehicle were jointly and severally held liable to the injured passen
ger or the latters heirs. The basis of this allocation of liability was explained
in Viluan v. Court of Appeals, thus: Nor should it make any difference that the
liability of petitioner [bus owner] springs from contract while that of respond
ents [owner and driver of other vehicle] arises from quasi-delict. As early as 1
913, we already ruled in Gutierrez vs. Gutierrez, 56 Phil. 177, that in case of
injury to a passenger due to the negligence of the driver of the bus on which he
was riding and of the driver of another vehicle, the drivers as well as the own
ers of the two vehicles are jointly and severally liable for damages. Some membe
rs of the Court, though, are of the view that under the circumstances they are l
iable on quasi-delict. It is true that in Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. v. C
ourt of Appeals this Court exonerated the jeepney driver from liability to the i
njured passengers and their families while holding the owners of the jeepney joi
ntly and severally liable, but that is because that case was expressly tried and
decided exclusively on the theory of culpa contractual. As this Court there exp
lained: The trial court was therefore right in finding that Manalo [the driver]
and spouses Mangune and Carreon [the jeepney owners] were negligent. However, it
s ruling that spouses Mangune and Carreon are jointly and severally liable with
Manalo is erroneous. The driver cannot be held jointly and severally liable with
the carrier in case of breach of the contract of carriage. The rationale behind
this is readily discernible. Firstly, the contract of carriage is between the c
arrier and the passenger, and in the event of contractual liability, the carrier
is exclusively responsible therefore to
the passenger, even if such breach be due to the negligence of his driver (see V
iluan v. The Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. Nos. L-21477-81, April 29, 1966, 16
SCRA 742) 95. REYES, vs. SISTERS OF MERCY HOSPITAL FACTS: This is a petition for
review of the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 36551 affirmin
g the decision of the Regional Trial Court, Branch IX, Cebu City which dismissed
a complaint for damages filed by petitioners against respondents. The facts are
as follows: Petitioner Leah Alesna Reyes is the wife of the late Jorge Reyes. T
he other petitioners, namely, Rose Nahdja, Johnny, Lloyd, and Kristine, all surn
amed Reyes, were their children. Five days before his death on January 8, 1987,
Jorge had been suffering from a recurring fever with chills. After he failed to
get relief from some home medication he was taking, which consisted of analgesic
, antipyretic, and antibiotics, he decided to see the doctor. On January 8, 1987
, he was taken to the Mercy Community Clinic by his wife. He was attended to by
respondent Dr. Marlyn Rico, resident physician and admitting physician on duty,
who gave Jorge a physical examination and took his medical history. She noted th
at at the time of his admission, Jorge was conscious, ambulatory, oriented, cohe
rent, and with respiratory distress. Typhoid fever was then prevalent in the loc
ality, as the clinic had been getting from 15 to 20 cases of typhoid per month.S
uspecting that Jorge could be suffering from this disease, Dr. Rico ordered a Wi
dal Test, a standard test for typhoid fever, to be performed on Jorge. Blood cou
nt, routine urinalysis, stool examination, and malarial smear were also made. Af
ter about an hour, the medical technician submitted the results of the test from
which Dr. Rico concluded that Jorge was positive for typhoid fever. As her shif
t was only up to 5:00 p.m., Dr. Rico indorsed Jorge to respondent Dr. Marvie Bla
nes. Dr. Marvie Blanes attended to Jorge at around six in the evening. She also
took Jorges history and gave him a physical examination. Like Dr. Rico, her impre
ssion was that Jorge had typhoid fever. Antibiotics being the accepted treatment
for typhoid fever, she ordered that a compatibility test with the antibiotic ch
loromycetin be done on Jorge. Said test was administered by nurse Josephine Page
nte who also gave the patient a dose of triglobe. As she did not observe any adv
erse reaction by the patient to chloromycetin, Dr. Blanes ordered the first five
hundred milligrams of said antibiotic to be administered on Jorge at around 9:0
0 p.m. A second dose was administered on Jorge about three hours later just befo
re midnight. At around 1:00 a.m. of January 9, 1987, Dr. Blanes was called as Jo
rges temperature rose to 41C. The patient also experienced chills and exhibited re
spiratory distress, nausea, vomiting, and convulsions. Dr. Blanes put him under
oxygen, used a suction machine, and administered hydrocortisone, temporarily eas
ing the patients convulsions. When he regained consciousness, the patient was ask
ed by Dr. Blanes whether he had a previous heart ailment or had suffered from ch
est pains in the past. Jorge replied he did not.After about 15 minutes, however,
Jorge again started to vomit, showed restlessness, and his convulsions returned
. Dr. Blanes re-applied the emergency measures taken before and, in addition, va
lium was administered. Jorge, however, did not respond to the treatment and slip
ped into cyanosis, a bluish or
purplish discoloration of the skin or mucous membrane due to deficient oxygenati
on of the blood. At around 2:00 a.m., Jorge died. He was forty years old. The ca
use of his death was Ventricular Arrythemia Secondary to Hyperpyrexia and typhoid
fever. On June 3, 1987, petitioners filed before the Regional Trial Court of Ceb
u City a complaint for damages against respondents Sisters of Mercy, Sister Rose
Palacio, Dr. Marvie Blanes, Dr. Marlyn Rico, and nurse Josephine Pagente. On Se
ptember 24, 1987, petitioners amended their complaint to implead respondent Merc
y Community Clinic as additional defendant and to drop the name of Josephine Pag
ente as defendant since she was no longer connected with respondent hospital. Th
eir principal contention was that Jorge did not die of typhoid fever.Instead, hi
s death was due to the wrongful administration of chloromycetin. They contended
that had respondent doctors exercised due care and diligence, they would not hav
e recommended and rushed the performance of the Widal Test, hastily concluded th
at Jorge was suffering from typhoid fever, and administered chloromycetin withou
t first conducting sufficient tests on the patients compatibility with said drug.
They charged respondent clinic and its directress, Sister Rose Palacio, with ne
gligence in failing to provide adequate facilities and in hiring negligent docto
rs and nurse TRIAL COURT RULING: On September 12, 1991, the trial court rendered
its decision absolving respondents from the charges of negligence and dismissin
g petitioners action for damages. The trial court likewise dismissed respondents c
ounterclaim, holding that, in seeking damages from respondents, petitioners were
impelled by the honest belief that Jorges death was due to the latters negligence
. Petitioners brought the matter to the Court of Appeals. On July 31, 1997, the
Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial court. Hence this petition.
Petitioners raise the following assignment of errors: ISSUES: I. The honorable c
ourt of appeals committed a reversible error when it ruled that the doctrine of
res ipsa loquitur is not applicable in the instant case. II. The honorable court
of appeals committed reversible error when it made an unfounded assumption that
the level of medical practice is lower in iligan city. III. The honorable court
of appeals gravely erred when it ruled for a lesser standard of care and degree
of diligence for medical practice in iligan city when it appreciate[d] no docto
rs negligence in the treatment of jorge reyes. SC RULING: In the present case, th
ere is no doubt that a physician-patient relationship existed between respondent
doctors and Jorge Reyes. Respondents were thus dutybound to use at least the sa
me level of care that any reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condi
tion under the same circumstances. It is breach of this duty which constitutes a
ctionable malpractice. As to this aspect of medical malpractice, the determinati
on of the reasonable level of care and the breach thereof, expert testimony is e
ssential. Inasmuch as the causes of the injuries involved in malpractice actions
are determinable only in the light of scientific knowledge, it has been recogni
zed that expert testimony is usually necessary to support the conclusion as to c
ausation.
Res Ipsa Loquitur
There is a case when expert testimony may be dispensed with, and that is under t
he doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. As held in Ramos v. Court of Appeals: Although
generally, expert medical testimony is relied upon in malpractice suits to prov
e that a physician has done a negligent act or that he has deviated from the sta
ndard medical procedure, when the doctrine of res ipsa loquitor is availed by th
e plaintiff, the need for expert medical testimony is dispensed with because the
injury itself provides the proof of negligence. The reason is that the general
rule on the necessity of expert testimony applies only to such matters clearly w
ithin the domain of medical science, and not to matters that are within the comm
on knowledge of mankind which may be testified to by anyone familiar with the fa
cts. Ordinarily, only physicians and surgeons of skill and experience are compet
ent to testify as to whether a patient has been treated or operated upon with a
reasonable degree of skill and care. However, testimony as to the statements and
acts of physicians and surgeons, external appearances, and manifest conditions
which are observable by any one may be given by non-expert witnesses. Hence, in
cases where the res ipsa loquitur is applicable, the court is permitted to find
a physician negligent upon proper proof of injury to the patient, without the ai
d of expert testimony, where the court from its fund of common knowledge can det
ermine the proper standard of care. Where common knowledge and experience teach
that a resulting injury would not have occurred to the patient if due care had b
een exercised, an inference of negligence may be drawn giving rise to an applica
tion of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur without medical evidence, which is ord
inarily required to show not only what occurred but how and why it occurred. Whe
n the doctrine is appropriate, all that the patient must do is prove a nexus bet
ween the particular act or omission complained of and the injury sustained while
under the custody and management of the defendant without need to produce exper
t medical testimony to establish the standard of care. Resort to res ipsa loquit
or is allowed because there is no other way, under usual and ordinary conditions
, by which the patient can obtain redress for injury suffered by him. Thus, cour
ts of other jurisdictions have applied the doctrine in the following situations:
leaving of a foreign object in the body of the patient after an operation, inju
ries sustained on a healthy part of the body which was not under, or in the area
, of treatment, removal of the wrong part of the body when another part was inte
nded, knocking out a tooth while a patients jaw was under anesthetic for the remo
val of his tonsils, and loss of an eye while the patient was under the influence
of anesthetic, during or following an operation for appendicitis, among others.
Petitioners asserted in the Court of Appeals that the doctrine of res ipsa loqu
itur applies to the present case because Jorge Reyes was merely experiencing fev
er and chills for five days and was fully conscious, coherent, and ambulant when
he went to the hospital. Yet, he died after only ten hours from the time of his
admission. This contention was rejected by the appellate court. Petitioners now
contend that all requisites for the application of res ipsa loquitur were prese
nt, namely: (1) the accident was of a kind which does not ordinarily occur unles
s someone is negligent; (2) the instrumentality or agency which caused the injur
y was under the exclusive control of the person in charge; and (3) the injury su
ffered must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution of the per
son injured.
The contention is without merit. We agree with the ruling of the Court of Appeal
s. In the Ramos case, the question was whether a surgeon, an anesthesiologist, a
nd a hospital should be made liable for the comatose condition of a patient sche
duled for cholecystectomy In that case, the patient was given anesthesia prior t
o her operation. Noting that the patient was neurologically sound at the time of
her operation, the Court applied the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur as mental br
ain damage does not normally occur in a gallblader operation in the absence of n
egligence of the anesthesiologist. Taking judicial notice that anesthesia proced
ures had become so common that even an ordinary person could tell if it was admi
nistered properly, we allowed the testimony of a witness who was not an expert.
In this case, while it is true that the patient died just a few hours after prof
essional medical assistance was rendered, there is really nothing unusual or ext
raordinary about his death. Prior to his admission, the patient already had recu
rring fevers and chills for five days unrelieved by the analgesic, antipyretic,
and antibiotics given him by his wife. This shows that he had been suffering fro
m a serious illness and professional medical help came too late for him. Respond
ents alleged failure to observe due care was not immediately apparent to a layma
n so as to justify application of res ipsa loquitur. The question required exper
t opinion on the alleged breach by respondents of the standard of care required
by the circumstances. Furthermore, on the issue of the correctness of her diagno
sis, no presumption of negligence can be applied to Dr. Marlyn Rico. As held in
Ramos: . . . . Res ipsa loquitur is not a rigid or ordinary doctrine to be perfu
nctorily used but a rule to be cautiously applied, depending upon the circumstan
ces of each case. It is generally restricted to situations in malpractice cases
where a layman is able to say, as a matter of common knowledge and observation,
that the consequences of professional care were not as such as would ordinarily
have followed if due care had been exercised. A distinction must be made between
the failure to secure results, and the occurrence of something more unusual and
not ordinarily found if the service or treatment rendered followed the usual pr
ocedure of those skilled in that particular practice. It must be conceded that t
he doctrine of res ipsa loquitur can have no application in a suit against a phy
sician or a surgeon which involves the merits of a diagnosis or of a scientific
treatment. The physician or surgeon is not required at his peril to explain why
any particular diagnosis was not correct, or why any particular scientific treat
ment did not produce the desired result.
Specific Acts of Negligence
We turn to the question whether petitioners have established specific acts of ne
gligence allegedly committed by respondent doctors. Petitioners contend that: (1
) Dr. Marlyn Rico hastily and erroneously relied upon the Widal test, diagnosed
Jorges illness as typhoid fever, and immediately prescribed the administration of
the antibiotic chloromycetin; and (2) Dr. Marvie Blanes erred in ordering the a
dministration of the second dose of 500 milligrams of chloromycetin barely three
hours after the first was given.Petitioners presented the testimony of Dr. Apol
inar Vacalares, Chief Pathologist of the Northern Mindanao Training Hospital, Ca
gayan de Oro City, who performed an autopsy on the body of Jorge Reyes. Dr. Vaca
lares testified that, based on his findings during the autopsy, Jorge Reyes did
not die of typhoid fever but of shock undetermined, which could be due to allerg
ic reaction or chloromycetin overdose. We are not persuaded.
First. While petitioners presented Dr. Apolinar Vacalares as an expert witness,
we do not find him to be so as he is not a specialist on infectious diseases lik
e typhoid fever.Furthermore, although he may have had extensive experience in pe
rforming autopsies, he admitted that he had yet to do one on the body of a typho
id victim at the time he conducted the postmortem on Jorge Reyes. It is also pla
in from his testimony that he has treated only about three cases of typhoid feve
r. He is thus not qualified to prove that Dr. Marlyn Rico erred in her diagnosis
. Both lower courts were therefore correct in discarding his testimony, which is
really inadmissible. In Ramos, the defendants presented the testimony of a pulm
onologist to prove that brain injury was due to oxygen deprivation after the pat
ient had bronchospasms triggered by her allergic response to a drug,] and not du
e to faulty intubation by the anesthesiologist. As the issue was whether the int
ubation was properly performed by an anesthesiologist, we rejected the opinion o
f the pulmonologist on the ground that he was not: (1) an anesthesiologist who c
ould enlighten the court about anesthesia practice, procedure, and their complic
ations; nor (2) an allergologist who could properly advance expert opinion on al
lergic mediated processes; nor (3) a pharmacologist who could explain the pharma
cologic and toxic effects of the drug allegedly responsible for the bronchospasm
s. Second. On the other hand, the two doctors presented by respondents clearly w
ere experts on the subject. They vouched for the correctness of Dr. Marlyn Ricos
diagnosis. Dr. Peter Gotiong, a diplomate whose specialization is infectious dis
eases and microbiology and an associate professor at the Southwestern University
College of Medicine and the Gullas College of Medicine, testified that he has a
lready treated over a thousand cases of typhoid fever. According to him, when a
case of typhoid fever is suspected, the Widal test is normally used,and if the 1
:320 results of the Widal test on Jorge Reyes had been presented to him along wi
th the patients history, his impression would also be that the patient was suffer
ing from typhoid fever.As to the treatment of the disease, he stated that chloro
mycetin was the drug of choice. He also explained that despite the measures take
n by respondent doctors and the intravenous administration of two doses of chlor
omycetin, complications of the disease could not be discounted. As regards Dr. V
acalares finding during the autopsy that the deceaseds gastrointestinal tract was
normal, Dr. Rico explained that, while hyperplasia in the payers patches or layer
s of the small intestines is present in typhoid fever, the same may not always b
e grossly visible and a microscope was needed to see the texture of the cells. R
espondents also presented the testimony of Dr. Ibarra T. Panopio who is a member
of the Philippine and American Board of Pathology, an examiner of the Philippin
e Board of Pathology, and chief pathologist at the MetroCebu Community Hospital,
Perpetual Succor Hospital, and the Andres Soriano Jr. Memorial Medical Center.
He stated that, as a clinical pathologist, he recognized that the Widal test is
used for typhoid patients, although he did not encourage its use because a singl
e test would only give a presumption necessitating that the test be repeated, be
coming more conclusive at the second and third weeks of the disease. He corrobor
ated Dr. Gotiongs testimony that the danger with typhoid fever is really the poss
ible complications which could develop like perforation, hemorrhage, as well as
liver and cerebral complications.As regards the 1:320 results of the Widal test
on Jorge Reyes, Dr. Panopio stated that no additional information could be obtai
ned from a higher ratio.He also agreed with Dr. Gotiong that hyperplasia in the
payers patches may be microscopic.
Indeed, the standard contemplated is not what is actually the average merit amon
g all known practitioners from the best to the worst and from the most to the le
ast experienced, but the reasonable average merit among the ordinarily good phys
icians.Here, Dr. Marlyn Rico did not depart from the reasonable standard recomme
nded by the experts as she in fact observed the due care required under the circ
umstances. Though the Widal test is not conclusive, it remains a standard diagno
stic test for typhoid fever and, in the present case, greater accuracy through r
epeated testing was rendered unobtainable by the early death of the patient. The
results of the Widal test and the patients history of fever with chills for five
days, taken with the fact that typhoid fever was then prevalent as indicated by
the fact that the clinic had been getting about 15 to 20 typhoid cases a month,
were sufficient to give upon any doctor of reasonable skill the impression that
Jorge Reyes had typhoid fever. Dr. Rico was also justified in recommending the
administration of the drug chloromycetin, the drug of choice for typhoid fever.
The burden of proving that Jorge Reyes was suffering from any other illness rest
ed with the petitioners. As they failed to present expert opinion on this, prepo
nderant evidence to support their contention is clearly absent. Third. Petitione
rs contend that respondent Dr. Marvie Blanes, who took over from Dr. Rico, was n
egligent in ordering the intravenous administration of two doses of 500 milligra
ms of chloromycetin at an interval of less than three hours. Petitioners claim t
hat Jorge Reyes died of anaphylactic shockor possibly from overdose as the secon
d dose should have been administered five to six hours after the first, per inst
ruction of Dr. Marlyn Rico. As held by the Court of Appeals, however: That chlor
omycetin was likewise a proper prescription is best established by medical autho
rity. Wilson, et. al., in Harrisons Principle of Internal Medicine, 12th ed. writ
e that chlorampenicol (which is the generic of chloromycetin) is the drug of cho
ice for typhoid fever and that no drug has yet proven better in promoting a favo
rable clinical response. Chlorampenicol (Chloromycetin) is specifically indicated
for bacterial meningitis, typhoid fever, rickettsial infections, bacteriodes in
fections, etc. (PIMS Annual, 1994, p. 211) The dosage likewise including the firs
t administration of five hundred milligrams (500 mg.) at around nine oclock in th
e evening and the second dose at around 11:30 the same night was still within me
dically acceptable limits, since the recommended dose of chloromycetin is one (1
) gram every six (6) hours. (cf. Pediatric Drug Handbook, 1st Ed., Philippine Pe
diatric Society, Committee on Therapeutics and Toxicology, 1996). The intravenou
s route is likewise correct. (Mansser, ONick, Pharmacology and Therapeutics) Even
if the test was not administered by the physician-on-duty, the evidence introdu
ced that it was Dra. Blanes who interpreted the results remain uncontroverted. (
Decision, pp. 16-17) Once more, this Court rejects any claim of professional neg
ligence in this regard. .... As regards anaphylactic shock, the usual way of gua
rding against it prior to the administration of a drug, is the skin test of whic
h, however, it has been observed: Skin testing with haptenic drugs is generally n
ot reliable. Certain drugs cause nonspecific histamine release, producing a weal
-and-flare reaction in normal individuals. Immunologic activation of mast cells
requires a polyvalent allergen, so a negative skin test to a univalent haptenic
drug does not rule out anaphylactic sensitivity to that drug. (Terr, Anaphylaxis a
nd Urticaria in Basic and Clinical Immunology, p. 349) What all this means legall
y is that even if the deceased suffered from an
anaphylactic shock, this, of itself, would not yet establish the negligence of t
he appelleephysicians for all that the law requires of them is that they perform
the standard tests and perform standard procedures. The law cannot require them
to predict every possible reaction to all drugs administered. The onus probandi
was on the appellants to establish, before the trial court, that the appellee-p
hysicians ignored standard medical procedure, prescribed and administered medica
tion with recklessness and exhibited an absence of the competence and skills exp
ected of general practitioners similarly situated. Fourth. Petitioners correctly
observe that the medical profession is one which, like the business of a common
carrier, is affected with public interest. Moreover, they assert that since the
law imposes upon common carriers the duty of observing extraordinary diligence
in the vigilance over the goods and for the safety of the passengers, physicians
and surgeons should have the same duty toward their patients.They also contend
that the Court of Appeals erred when it allegedly assumed that the level of medi
cal practice is lower in Iligan City, thereby reducing the standard of care and
degree of diligence required from physicians and surgeons in Iligan City. The st
andard of extraordinary diligence is peculiar to common carriers. The Civil Code
provides: Art. 1733. Common carriers, from the nature of their business and for
reasons of public policy, are bound to observe extraordinary diligence in the v
igilance over the goods and for the safety of the passengers transported by them
, according to the circumstances of each case. . . . The practice of medicine is
a profession engaged in only by qualified individuals. It is a right earned thr
ough years of education, training, and by first obtaining a license from the sta
te through professional board examinations. Such license may, at any time and fo
r cause, be revoked by the government. In addition to state regulation, the cond
uct of doctors is also strictly governed by the Hippocratic Oath, an ancient cod
e of discipline and ethical rules which doctors have imposed upon themselves in
recognition and acceptance of their great responsibility to society. Given these
safeguards, there is no need to expressly require of doctors the observance of e
xtraordinary diligence. As it is now, the practice of medicine is already conditi
oned upon the highest degree of diligence. And, as we have already noted, the st
andard contemplated for doctors is simply the reasonable average merit among ord
inarily good physicians. That is reasonable diligence for doctors or, as the Cou
rt of Appeals called it, the reasonable skill and competence . . . that a physici
an in the same or similar locality . . . should apply. Cases 87-95 VALDEZ, LUIGI
E. 96. DR. NINEVETCH CRUZ vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: On March 22, 1991, prosecu
tion witness, Rowena Umali De Ocampo, accompanied her mother to the Perpetual He
lp Clinic and General Hospital situated in Balagtas Street, San Pablo City, Lagu
na. They arrived at the said hospital at around 4:30 in the afternoon of the sam
e day. Prior to March 22, 1991, Lydia was examined by the
petitioner who found a "myoma" in her uterus, and scheduled her for a hysterecto
my operation on March 23, 1991. Because of the untidy state of the clinic, Rowen
a tried to persuade her mother not to proceed with the operation. The following
day, before her mother was wheeled into the operating room, Rowena asked the pet
itioner if the operation could be postponed. The petitioner called Lydia into he
r office and the two had a conversation. Lydia then informed Rowena that the pet
itioner told her that she must be operated on as scheduled. Dr. Ercillo went out
of the operating room and instructed them to buy tagamet ampules which Rowena s
sister immediately bought. An hour later, Dr. Ercillo came out again this time
to ask them to buy blood for Lydia. They bought type "A" blood from the St. Gera
ld Blood Bank and the same was brought by the attendant into the operating room.
After the lapse of a few hours, the petitioner informed them that the operation
was finished. Some thirty minutes after, Lydia was brought out of the operating
room in a stretcher and the petitioner asked Rowena and the other relatives to
buy additional blood for Lydia. Unfortunately, they were not able to comply with
petitioner s order as there was no more type "A" blood available in the blood b
ank. Thereafter, a person arrived to donate blood which was later transfused to
Lydia. Rowena then noticed her mother, who was attached to an oxygen tank, gaspi
ng for breath. Apparently the oxygen supply had run out and Rowena s husband tog
ether with the driver of the accused had to go to the San Pablo District Hospita
l to get oxygen. Lydia was given the fresh supply of oxygen as soon as it arrive
d. But at around 10:00 o clock P.M. she went into shock and her blood pressure d
ropped to 60/50. Lydia s unstable condition necessitated her transfer to the San
Pablo District Hospital so she could be connected to a respirator and further e
xamined. The transfer to the San Pablo District Hospital was without the prior c
onsent of Rowena nor of the other relatives present who found out about the inte
nded transfer only when an ambulance arrived to take Lydia to the San Pablo Dist
rict Hospital. Upon Lydia s arrival at the San Pablo District Hospital, she was
wheeled into the operating room and the petitioner and Dr. Ercillo re-operated o
n her because there was blood oozing from the abdominal incision. The attending
physicians summoned Dr. Bartolome Angeles, head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology
Department of the San Pablo District Hospital. However, when Dr. Angeles arrive
d, Lydia was already in shock and possibly dead as her blood pressure was alread
y 0/0. While the petitioner was closing the abdominal wall, the patient died. Th
us, on March 24, 1991, at 3:00 o clock in the morning, Lydia Umali was pronounce
d dead. Her death certificate states "shock" as the immediate cause of death and
"Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)" as the antecedent cause. RULINGS
: MTCC: In convicting the petitioner, the MTCC found the following circumstances
as sufficient basis to conclude that she was indeed negligent in the performanc
e of the operation: . . . , the clinic was untidy, there was lack of provision l
ike blood and oxygen to prepare for any contingency that might happen during the
operation. The manner and the fact that the patient was brought to the San Pabl
o District Hospital for reoperation indicates that there was something wrong in
the manner in which Dra. Cruz conducted the operation. There was no showing that
before the operation, accused Dra. Cruz had conducted a cardio pulmonary cleara
nce or any typing of the blood of the patient. It was
(sic) said in medical parlance that the "the abdomen of the person is a temple o
f surprises" because you do not know the whole thing the moment it was open (sic
) and surgeon must be prepared for any eventuality thereof. The patient (sic) ch
art which is a public document was not presented because it is only there that w
e could determine the condition of the patient before the surgery. The court als
o noticed in Exh. "F-1" that the sister of the deceased wished to postpone the o
peration but the patient was prevailed upon by Dra. Cruz to proceed with the sur
gery. The court finds that Lydia Umali died because of the negligence and carele
ssness of the surgeon Dra. Ninevetch Cruz because of loss of blood during the op
eration of the deceased for evident unpreparedness and for lack of skill, the re
ason why the patient was brought for operation at the San Pablo City District Ho
spital. As such, the surgeon should answer for such negligence. With respect to
Dra. Lina Ercillo, the anaesthesiologist, there is no evidence to indicate that
she should be held jointly liable with Dra. Cruz who actually did the operation.
RTC: The RTC reiterated the abovementioned findings of the MTCC and upheld the
latter s declaration of "incompetency, negligence and lack of foresight and skil
l of appellant (herein petitioner) in handling the subject patient before and af
ter the operation." CA: . . . While we may grant that the untidiness and filthin
ess of the clinic may not by itself indicate negligence, it nevertheless shows t
he absence of due care and supervision over her subordinate employees. Did this
unsanitary condition permeate the operating room? Were the surgical instruments
properly sterilized? Could the conditions in the OR have contributed to the infe
ction of the patient? Only the petitioner could answer these, but she opted not
to testify. This could only give rise to the presumption that she has nothing go
od to testify on her defense. Anyway, the alleged "unverified statement of the p
rosecution witness" remains unchallenged and unrebutted. Likewise undisputed is
the prosecution s version indicating the following facts: that the accused asked
the patient s relatives to buy Tagamet capsules while the operation was already
in progress; that after an hour, they were also asked to buy type "A" blood for
the patient; that after the surgery, they were again asked to procure more type
"A" blood, but such was not anymore available from the source; that the oxygen
given to the patient was empty; and that the son-in-law of the patient, together
with a driver of the petitioner, had to rush to the San Pablo City District Hos
pital to get the muchneeded oxygen. All these conclusively show that the petitio
ner had not prepared for any unforeseen circumstances before going into the firs
t surgery, which was not emergency in nature, but was elective or pre-scheduled;
she had no ready antibiotics, no prepared blood, properly typed and cross-match
ed, and no sufficient oxygen supply. Moreover, there are a lot of questions that
keep nagging Us. Was the patient given any cardio-pulmonary clearance, or at le
ast a clearance by an internist, which are standard requirements before a patien
t is subjected to surgery. Did the petitioner determine as part of the pre-opera
tive evaluation, the bleeding parameters of the patient, such as bleeding time a
nd clotting time? There is no showing that these were done. The petitioner just
appears to have been in a hurry to perform the operation, even as the family wan
ted a postponement to April 6, 1991. Obviously, she did not prepare the patient;
neither did she get the family s consent to the operation. Moreover, she did no
t prepare a medical chart with instructions for the patient s care. If she did a
ll these, proof
thereof should have been offered. But there is none. Indeed, these are overwhelm
ing evidence of recklessness and imprudence. ISSUE BEFORE THE SC: Whether or not
petitioner s conviction of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homici
de, arising from an alleged medical malpractice, is supported by the evidence on
record. SC RULING: Whether or not a physician has committed an "inexcusable lac
k of precaution" in the treatment of his patient is to be determined according t
o the standard of care observed by other members of the profession in good stand
ing under similar circumstances bearing in mind the advanced state of the profes
sion at the time of treatment or the present state of medical science. In the re
cent case of Leonila Garcia-Rueda v. Wilfred L. Pascasio, et al., this Court sta
ted that in accepting a case, a doctor in effect represents that, having the nee
ded training and skill possessed by physicians and surgeons practicing in the sa
me field, he will employ such training, care and skill in the treatment of his p
atients. He therefore has a duty to use at least the same level of care that any
other reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same
circumstances. It is in this aspect of medical malpractice that expert testimon
y is essential to establish not only the standard of care of the profession but
also that the physician s conduct in the treatment and care falls below such sta
ndard. Further, inasmuch as the causes of the injuries involved in malpractice a
ctions are determinable only in the light of scientific knowledge, it has been r
ecognized that expert testimony is usually necessary to support the conclusion a
s to causation. Immediately apparent from a review of the records of this case i
s the absence of any expert testimony on the matter of the standard of care empl
oyed by other physicians of good standing in the conduct of similar operations.
The prosecution s expert witnesses in the persons of Dr. Floresto Arizala and Dr
. Nieto Salvador, Jr. of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) only testifi
ed as to the possible cause of death but did not venture to illuminate the court
on the matter of the standard of care that petitioner should have exercised. Al
l three courts below bewail the inadequacy of the facilities of the clinic and i
ts untidiness; the lack of provisions such as blood, oxygen, and certain medicin
es; the failure to subject the patient to a cardio-pulmonary test prior to the o
peration; the omission of any form of blood typing before transfusion; and even
the subsequent transfer of Lydia to the San Pablo Hospital and the reoperation p
erformed on her by the petitioner. But while it may be true that the circumstanc
es pointed out by the courts below seemed beyond cavil to constitute reckless im
prudence on the part of the surgeon, this conclusion is still best arrived at no
t through the educated surmises nor conjectures of laymen, including judges, but
by the unquestionable knowledge of expert witnesses. For whether a physician or
surgeon has exercised the requisite degree of skill and care in the treatment o
f his patient is, in the generality of cases, a matter of expert opinion. 30 The
deference of courts to the expert opinion of qualified physicians stems from it
s realization that the latter possess unusual technical skills which laymen in m
ost instances are incapable of intelligently evaluating. Expert testimony should
have been offered to prove that the circumstances cited by the courts below are
constitutive of conduct falling below the standard of care employed by other ph
ysicians in good standing when performing the same operation. It must be remembe
red that when the qualifications of a physician are admitted, as in the instant
case, there is an inevitable presumption that in proper cases he takes the neces
sary precaution and employs the
best of his knowledge and skill in attending to his clients, unless the contrary
is sufficiently established. This presumption is rebuttable by expert opinion w
hich is so sadly lacking in the case at bench. Even granting arguendo that the i
nadequacy of the facilities and untidiness of the clinic; the lack of provisions
; the failure to conduct pre-operation tests on the patient; and the subsequent
transfer of Lydia to the San Pablo Hospital and the reoperation performed on her
by the petitioner do indicate, even without expert testimony, that petitioner w
as recklessly imprudent in the exercise of her duties as a surgeon, no cogent pr
oof exists that any of these circumstances caused petitioner s death. Thus, the
absence of the fourth element of reckless imprudence: that the injury to the per
son or property was a consequence of the reckless imprudence. In litigations inv
olving medical negligence, the plaintiff has the burden of establishing appellan
t s negligence and for a reasonable conclusion of negligence, there must be proo
f of breach of duty on the part of the surgeon as well as a causal connection of
such breach and the resulting death of his patient. This Court has no recourse
but to rely on the expert testimonies rendered by both prosecution and defense w
itnesses that substantiate rather than contradict petitioner s allegation that t
he cause of Lydia s death was DIC which, as attested to by an expert witness, ca
nnot be attributed to the petitioner s fault or negligence. The probability that
Lydia s death was caused by DIC was unrebutted during trial and has engendered
in the mind of this Court a reasonable doubt as to the petitioner s guilt. Thus,
her acquittal of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. While
we condole with the family of Lydia Umali, our hands are bound by the dictates o
f justice and fair dealing which hold inviolable the right of an accused to be p
resumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Nevertheless, this
Court finds the petitioner civilly liable for the death of Lydia Umali, for whi
le a conviction of a crime requires proof beyond reasonable doubt, only a prepon
derance of evidence is required to establish civil liability. The petitioner is
a doctor in whose hands a patient puts his life and limb. For insufficiency of e
vidence this Court was not able to render a sentence of conviction but it is not
blind to the reckless and imprudent manner in which the petitioner carried out
her duties. A precious life has been lost and the circumstances leading thereto
exacerbated the grief of those left behind. The heirs of the deceased continue t
o feel the loss of their mother up to the present time and this Court is aware t
hat no amount of compassion and commiseration nor words of bereavement can suffi
ce to assuage the sorrow felt for the loss of a loved one. Certainly, the award
of moral and exemplary damages in favor of the heirs of Lydia Umali are proper i
n the instant case. WHEREFORE, premises considered, petitioner DR. NINEVETCH CRU
Z is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide
but is ordered to pay the heirs of the deceased Lydia Umali the amount of FIFTY
THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as civil liability, ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100
,000.00) as moral damages, and FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50,000.00) as exemplary da
mages. Let a copy of this decision be furnished to the Professional Regulation C
ommission (PRC) for appropriate action.
97. ROGELIO E. RAMOS vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Erlinda Ramos had occasional co
mplaints of discomfort due to pains allegedly caused by the presence of a stone
in her gall bladder. Because the discomforts somehow interfered with her normal
ways, she sought professional advice. She was advised to undergo an operation fo
r the removal of a stone in her gall bladder. She underwent a series of examinat
ions which included blood and urine tests which indicated she was fit for surger
y. At around 7:30 A.M. of June 17, 1985 and while still in her room, she was pre
pared for the operation by the hospital staff. At around 10:00 A.M., Rogelio E.
Ramos was "already dying [and] waiting for the arrival of the doctor" even as he
did his best to find somebody who will allow him to pull out his wife from the
operating room. At about 12:15 P.M., Herminda Cruz, who was inside the operating
room with the patient, heard somebody say that "Dr. Hosaka is already here." Sh
e then saw people inside the operating room "moving, doing this and that, [and]
preparing the patient for the operation". She then saw Dr. Gutierrez intubating
the hapless patient. She thereafter noticed bluish discoloration of the nailbeds
of the left hand of the hapless Erlinda even as Dr. Hosaka approached her. She
then heard Dr. Hosaka issue an order for someone to call Dr. Calderon, another a
nesthesiologist. After Dr. Calderon arrived at the operating room, she saw this
anesthesiologist trying to intubate the patient. The patient s nailbed became bl
uish and the patient was placed in a trendelenburg position a position where the
head of the patient is placed in a position lower than her feet which is an ind
ication that there is a decrease of blood supply to the patient s brain. Immedia
tely thereafter, she went out of the operating room, and she told Rogelio E. Ram
os "that something wrong was . . . happening". Dr. Calderon was then able to int
ubate the patient. At almost 3:00 P.M. of that fateful day, she saw the patient
taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). About two days thereafter, Rogelio E. Ra
mos was able to talk to Dr. Hosaka. The latter informed the former that somethin
g went wrong during the intubation. Reacting to what was told to him, Rogelio re
minded the doctor that the condition of his wife would not have happened, had he
looked for a good anesthesiologist. Erlinda Ramos stayed at the ICU for a month
. About four months thereafter or on November 15, 1985, the patient was released
from the hospital. During the whole period of her confinement, she incurred hos
pital bills amounting to P93,542.25 which is the subject of a promissory note an
d affidavit of undertaking executed by Rogelio E. Ramos in favor of DLSMC. Since
that fateful afternoon of June 17, 1985, she has been in a comatose condition.
She cannot do anything. She cannot move any part of her body. She cannot see or
hear. She is living on mechanical means. She suffered brain damage as a result o
f the absence of oxygen in her brain for four to five minutes. After being disch
arged from the hospital, she has been staying in their residence, still needing
constant medical attention, with her husband Rogelio incurring a monthly expense
ranging from P8,000.00 to P10,000.00. She was also diagnosed to be suffering fr
om "diffuse cerebral parenchymal damage". RULINGS: RTC: After considering the ev
idence from both sides, the Regional Trial Court rendered judgment in favor of p
etitioners, to wit:
After evaluating the evidence as shown in the finding of facts set forth earlier
, and applying the aforecited provisions of law and jurisprudence to the case at
bar, this Court finds and so holds that defendants are liable to plaintiffs for
damages. The defendants were guilty of, at the very least, negligence in the pe
rformance of their duty to plaintiffpatient Erlinda Ramos. On the part of Dr. Pe
rfecta Gutierrez, this Court finds that she omitted to exercise reasonable care
in not only intubating the patient, but also in not repeating the administration
of atropine (TSN, August 20, 1991, pp. 5-10), without due regard to the fact th
at the patient was inside the operating room for almost three (3) hours. For aft
er she committed a mistake in intubating [the] patient, the patient s nailbed be
came bluish and the patient, thereafter, was placed in trendelenburg position, b
ecause of the decrease of blood supply to the patient s brain. The evidence furt
her shows that the hapless patient suffered brain damage because of the absence
of oxygen in her (patient s) brain for approximately four to five minutes which,
in turn, caused the patient to become comatose. On the part of Dr. Orlino Hosak
a, this Court finds that he is liable for the acts of Dr. Perfecta Gutierrez who
m he had chosen to administer anesthesia on the patient as part of his obligatio
n to provide the patient a good anesthesiologist , and for arriving for the sche
duled operation almost three (3) hours late. On the part of DLSMC (the hospital)
, this Court finds that it is liable for the acts of negligence of the doctors i
n their "practice of medicine" in the operating room. Moreover, the hospital is
liable for failing through its responsible officials, to cancel the scheduled op
eration after Dr. Hosaka inexcusably failed to arrive on time. In having held th
us, this Court rejects the defense raised by defendants that they have acted wit
h due care and prudence in rendering medical services to plaintiff-patient. For
if the patient was properly intubated as claimed by them, the patient would not
have become comatose. And, the fact that another anesthesiologist was called to
try to intubate the patient after her (the patient s) nailbed turned bluish, bel
ie their claim. Furthermore, the defendants should have rescheduled the operatio
n to a later date. This, they should have done, if defendants acted with due car
e and prudence as the patient s case was an elective, not an emergency case. WHE
REFORE, and in view of the foregoing, judgment is rendered in favor of the plain
tiffs and against the defendants. Accordingly, the latter are ordered to pay, jo
intly and severally, the former the following sums of money, to wit: 1) the sum
of P8,000.00 as actual monthly expenses for the plaintiff Erlinda Ramos reckoned
from November 15, 1985 or in the total sum of P632,000.00 as of April 15, 1992,
subject to its being updated; 2) the sum of P100,000.00 as reasonable attorney
s fees;
3) the sum of P800,000.00 by way of moral damages and the further sum of P200,00
0,00 by way of exemplary damages; and, 4) the costs of the suit.
SO ORDERED. CA: The appellate court rendered a Decision, dated 29 May 1995, reve
rsing the findings of the trial court. The decretal portion of the decision of t
he appellate court reads: WHEREFORE, for the foregoing premises the appealed dec
ision is hereby REVERSED, and the complaint below against the appellants is here
by ordered DISMISSED. The counterclaim of appellant De Los Santos Medical Center
is GRANTED but only insofar as appellees are hereby ordered to pay the unpaid h
ospital bills amounting to P93,542.25, plus legal interest for justice must be t
empered with mercy. SO ORDERED. ISSUE BEFORE THE SC: Whether or not the doctrine
of Res Ipsa Loquitur is applicable to the instant case. SC RULING: We find the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur appropriate in the case at bar. As will hereinafte
r be explained, the damage sustained by Erlinda in her brain prior to a schedule
d gall bladder operation presents a case for the application of res ipsa loquitu
r. In the present case, Erlinda submitted herself for cholecystectomy and expect
ed a routine general surgery to be performed on her gall bladder. On that fatefu
l day she delivered her person over to the care, custody and control of private
respondents who exercised complete and exclusive control over her. At the time o
f submission, Erlinda was neurologically sound and, except for a few minor disco
mforts, was likewise physically fit in mind and body. However, during the admini
stration of anesthesia and prior to the performance of cholecystectomy she suffe
red irreparable damage to her brain. Thus, without undergoing surgery, she went
out of the operating room already decerebrate and totally incapacitated. Obvious
ly, brain damage, which Erlinda sustained, is an injury which does not normally
occur in the process of a gall bladder operation. In fact, this kind of situatio
n does not in the absence of negligence of someone in the administration of anes
thesia and in the use of endotracheal tube. Normally, a person being put under a
nesthesia is not rendered decerebrate as a consequence of administering such ane
sthesia if the proper procedure was followed. Furthermore, the instruments used
in the administration of anesthesia, including the endotracheal tube, were all u
nder the exclusive control of private respondents, who are the physicians-in-cha
rge. Likewise, petitioner Erlinda could not have been guilty of contributory neg
ligence because she was under the influence of anesthetics which rendered her un
conscious. Considering that a sound and unaffected member of the body (the brain
) is injured or destroyed while the patient is unconscious and under the immedia
te and exclusive control of the physicians, we hold that a practical administrat
ion of justice dictates the application of res ipsa loquitur. Upon these facts a
nd under these circumstances the Court would be able to say, as a matter of comm
on knowledge and observation, if negligence attended the management and care of
the patient. Moreover, the liability of the physicians and the hospital in this
case is not predicated upon an alleged failure to secure the desired results of
an operation nor on an alleged lack of skill in the diagnosis or treatment as in
fact no operation or treatment was ever performed on Erlinda. Thus, upon all th
ese initial determination a case is made out for the application of the doctrine
of res ipsa loquitur.
Nonetheless, in holding that res ipsa loquitur is available to the present case
we are not saying that the doctrine is applicable in any and all cases where inj
ury occurs to a patient while under anesthesia, or to any and all anesthesia cas
es. Each case must be viewed in its own light and scrutinized in order to be wit
hin the res ipsa loquitur coverage. Having in mind the applicability of the res
ipsa loquitur doctrine and the presumption of negligence allowed therein, the Co
urt now comes to the issue of whether the Court of Appeals erred in finding that
private respondents were not negligent in the care of Erlinda during the anesth
esia phase of the operation and, if in the affirmative, whether the alleged negl
igence was the proximate cause of Erlinda s comatose condition. Corollary theret
o, we shall also determine if the Court of Appeals erred in relying on the testi
monies of the witnesses for the private respondents. In sustaining the position
of private respondents, the Court of Appeals relied on the testimonies of Dra. G
utierrez, Dra. Calderon and Dr. Jamora. In giving weight to the testimony of Dra
. Gutierrez, the Court of Appeals rationalized that she was candid enough to adm
it that she experienced some difficulty in the endotracheal intubation of the pa
tient and thus, cannot be said to be covering her negligence with falsehood. The
appellate court likewise opined that private respondents were able to show that
the brain damage sustained by Erlinda was not caused by the alleged faulty intu
bation but was due to the allergic reaction of the patient to the drug Thiopenta
l Sodium (Pentothal), a short-acting barbiturate, as testified on by their exper
t witness, Dr. Jamora. On the other hand, the appellate court rejected the testi
mony of Dean Herminda Cruz offered in favor of petitioners that the cause of the
brain injury was traceable to the wrongful insertion of the tube since the latt
er, being a nurse, was allegedly not knowledgeable in the process of intubation.
In so holding, the appellate court returned a verdict in favor of respondents p
hysicians and hospital and absolved them of any liability towards Erlinda and he
r family. In view of the evidence at hand, we are inclined to believe petitioner
s stand that it was the faulty intubation which was the proximate cause of Erli
nda s comatose condition. Proximate cause has been defined as that which, in nat
ural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produ
ces injury, and without which the result would not have occurred. An injury or d
amage is proximately caused by an act or a failure to act, whenever it appears f
rom the evidence in the case, that the act or omission played a substantial part
in bringing about or actually causing the injury or damage; and that the injury
or damage was either a direct result or a reasonably probable consequence of th
e act or omission. It is the dominant, moving or producing cause. Applying the a
bove definition in relation to the evidence at hand, faulty intubation is undeni
ably the proximate cause which triggered the chain of events leading to Erlinda
s brain damage and, ultimately, her comatosed condition. Private respondents the
mselves admitted in their testimony that the first intubation was a failure. Thi
s fact was likewise observed by witness Cruz when she heard respondent Dra. Guti
errez remarked, "Ang hirap ma-intubate nito, mali yata ang pagkakapasok. O lumal
aki ang tiyan." Thereafter, witness Cruz noticed abdominal
distention on the body of Erlinda. The development of abdominal distention, toge
ther with respiratory embarrassment indicates that the endotracheal tube entered
the esophagus instead of the respiratory tree. In other words, instead of the i
ntended endotracheal intubation what actually took place was an esophageal intub
ation. During intubation, such distention indicates that air has entered the gas
trointestinal tract through the esophagus instead of the lungs through the trach
ea. Entry into the esophagus would certainly cause some delay in oxygen delivery
into the lungs as the tube which carries oxygen is in the wrong place. That abd
ominal distention had been observed during the first intubation suggests that th
e length of time utilized in inserting the endotracheal tube (up to the time the
tube was withdrawn for the second attempt) was fairly significant. Due to the d
elay in the delivery of oxygen in her lungs Erlinda showed signs of cyanosis. 66
As stated in the testimony of Dr. Hosaka, the lack of oxygen became apparent on
ly after he noticed that the nailbeds of Erlinda were already blue. However, pri
vate respondents contend that a second intubation was executed on Erlinda and th
is one was successfully done. We do not think so. No evidence exists on record,
beyond private respondents bare claims, which supports the contention that the
second intubation was successful. Assuming that the endotracheal tube finally fo
und its way into the proper orifice of the trachea, the same gave no guarantee o
f oxygen delivery, the hallmark of a successful intubation. In fact, cyanosis wa
s again observed immediately after the second intubation. Proceeding from this e
vent (cyanosis), it could not be claimed, as private respondents insist, that th
e second intubation was accomplished. Even granting that the tube was successful
ly inserted during the second attempt, it was obviously too late. As aptly expla
ined by the trial court, Erlinda already suffered brain damage as a result of th
e inadequate oxygenation of her brain for about four to five minutes. The above
conclusion is not without basis. Scientific studies point out that intubation pr
oblems are responsible for one-third (1/3) of deaths and serious injuries associ
ated with anesthesia. Nevertheless, ninety-eight percent (98%) or the vast major
ity of difficult intubations may be anticipated by performing a thorough evaluat
ion of the patient s airway prior to the operation. As stated beforehand, respon
dent Dra. Gutierrez failed to observe the proper pre-operative protocol which co
uld have prevented this unfortunate incident. Had appropriate diligence and reas
onable care been used in the pre-operative evaluation, respondent physician coul
d have been much more prepared to meet the contingency brought about by the perc
eived anatomic variations in the patient s neck and oral area, defects which wou
ld have been easily overcome by a prior knowledge of those variations together w
ith a change in technique. In other words, an experienced anesthesiologist, adeq
uately alerted by a thorough pre-operative evaluation, would have had little dif
ficulty going around the short neck and protruding teeth. Having failed to obser
ve common medical standards in pre-operative management and intubation, responde
nt Dra. Gutierrez negligence resulted in cerebral anoxia and eventual coma of E
rlinda. We now determine the responsibility of respondent Dr. Orlino Hosaka as t
he head of the surgical team. As the so-called "captain of the ship," it is the
surgeon s responsibility to see to it that those under him perform their task in
the proper manner. Respondent Dr. Hosaka s negligence can be found in his failu
re to exercise the proper authority (as the "captain" of the operative team) in
not determining if his anesthesiologist observed proper anesthesia protocols. In
fact, no evidence on record exists to show that respondent Dr. Hosaka verified
if respondent Dra. Gutierrez properly intubated the patient. Furthermore, it doe
s not escape us that respondent Dr. Hosaka had scheduled
another procedure in a different hospital at the same time as Erlinda s cholecys
tectomy, and was in fact over three hours late for the latter s operation. Becau
se of this, he had little or no time to confer with his anesthesiologist regardi
ng the anesthesia delivery. This indicates that he was remiss in his professiona
l duties towards his patient. Thus, he shares equal responsibility for the event
s which resulted in Erlinda s condition. We now discuss the responsibility of th
e hospital in this particular incident. The unique practice (among private hospi
tals) of filling up specialist staff with attending and visiting "consultants,"
who are allegedly not hospital employees, presents problems in apportioning resp
onsibility for negligence in medical malpractice cases. However, the difficulty
is only more apparent than real. In the first place, hospitals exercise signific
ant control in the hiring and firing of consultants and in the conduct of their
work within the hospital premises. Doctors who apply for "consultant" slots, vis
iting or attending, are required to submit proof of completion of residency, the
ir educational qualifications; generally, evidence of accreditation by the appro
priate board (diplomate), evidence of fellowship in most cases, and references.
These requirements are carefully scrutinized by members of the hospital administ
ration or by a review committee set up by the hospital who either accept or reje
ct the application. This is particularly true with respondent hospital. After a
physician is accepted, either as a visiting or attending consultant, he is norma
lly required to attend clinico-pathological conferences, conduct bedside rounds
for clerks, interns and residents, moderate grand rounds and patient audits and
perform other tasks and responsibilities, for the privilege of being able to mai
ntain a clinic in the hospital, and/or for the privilege of admitting patients i
nto the hospital. In addition to these, the physician s performance as a special
ist is generally evaluated by a peer review committee on the basis of mortality
and morbidity statistics, and feedback from patients, nurses, interns and reside
nts. A consultant remiss in his duties, or a consultant who regularly falls shor
t of the minimum standards acceptable to the hospital or its peer review committ
ee, is normally politely terminated. In other words, private hospitals, hire, fi
re and exercise real control over their attending and visiting "consultant" staf
f. While "consultants" are not, technically employees, a point which respondent
hospital asserts in denying all responsibility for the patient s condition, the
control exercised, the hiring, and the right to terminate consultants all fulfil
l the important hallmarks of an employer-employee relationship, with the excepti
on of the payment of wages. In assessing whether such a relationship in fact exi
sts, the control test is determining. Accordingly, on the basis of the foregoing
, we rule that for the purpose of allocating responsibility in medical negligenc
e cases, an employer-employee relationship in effect exists between hospitals an
d their attending and visiting physicians. This being the case, the question now
arises as to whether or not respondent hospital is solidarily liable with respo
ndent doctors for petitioner s condition. The basis for holding an employer soli
darily responsible for the negligence of its employee is found in Article 2180 o
f the Civil Code which considers a person accountable not only for his own acts
but also for those of others based on the former s responsibility under a relati
onship of patria potestas. Such responsibility ceases when the persons or entity
concerned prove that they have observed the diligence of a good father of the f
amily to prevent damage. In other words, while the burden of proving
negligence rests on the plaintiffs, once negligence is shown, the burden shifts
to the respondents (parent, guardian, teacher or employer) who should prove that
they observed the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. In
the instant case, respondent hospital, apart from a general denial of its respon
sibility over respondent physicians, failed to adduce evidence showing that it e
xercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the hiring and supervisio
n of the latter. It failed to adduce evidence with regard to the degree of super
vision which it exercised over its physicians. In neglecting to offer such proof
, or proof of a similar nature, respondent hospital thereby failed to discharge
its burden under the last paragraph of Article 2180. Having failed to do this, r
espondent hospital is consequently solidarily responsible with its physicians fo
r Erlinda s condition. Based on the foregoing, we hold that the Court of Appeals
erred in accepting and relying on the testimonies of the witnesses for the priv
ate respondents. Indeed, as shown by the above discussions, private respondents
were unable to rebut the presumption of negligence. Upon these disquisitions we
hold that private respondents are solidarily liable for damages under Article 21
76 of the Civil Code. We now come to the amount of damages due petitioners. The
trial court awarded a total of P632,000.00 pesos (should be P616,000.00) in comp
ensatory damages to the plaintiff, "subject to its being updated" covering the p
eriod from 15 November 1985 up to 15 April 1992, based on monthly expenses for t
he care of the patient estimated at P8,000.00. At current levels, the P8000/mont
hly amount established by the trial court at the time of its decision would be g
rossly inadequate to cover the actual costs of home-based care for a comatose in
dividual. The calculated amount was not even arrived at by looking at the actual
cost of proper hospice care for the patient. What it reflected were the actual
expenses incurred and proved by the petitioners after they were forced to bring
home the patient to avoid mounting hospital bills. And yet ideally, a comatose p
atient should remain in a hospital or be transferred to a hospice specializing i
n the care of the chronically ill for the purpose of providing a proper milieu a
dequate to meet minimum standards of care. In the instant case for instance, Erl
inda has to be constantly turned from side to side to prevent bedsores and hypos
tatic pneumonia. Feeding is done by nasogastric tube. Food preparation should be
normally made by a dietitian to provide her with the correct daily caloric requ
irements and vitamin supplements. Furthermore, she has to be seen on a regular b
asis by a physical therapist to avoid muscle atrophy, and by a pulmonary therapi
st to prevent the accumulation of secretions which can lead to respiratory compl
ications. Given these considerations, the amount of actual damages recoverable i
n suits arising from negligence should at least reflect the correct minimum cost
of proper care, not the cost of the care the family is usually compelled to und
ertake at home to avoid bankruptcy. However, the provisions of the Civil Code on
actual or compensatory damages present us with some difficulties. Well-settled
is the rule that actual damages which may be claimed by the plaintiff are those
suffered by him as he has duly proved. The Civil Code provides:
Art. 2199. Except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled to an ad
equate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he has duly
proved. Such compensation is referred to as actual or compensatory damages. Our
rules on actual or compensatory damages generally assume that at the time of lit
igation, the injury suffered as a consequence of an act of negligence has been c
ompleted and that the cost can be liquidated. However, these provisions neglect
to take into account those situations, as in this case, where the resulting inju
ry might be continuing and possible future complications directly arising from t
he injury, while certain to occur, are difficult to predict. In these cases, the
amount of damages which should be awarded, if they are to adequately and correc
tly respond to the injury caused, should be one which compensates for pecuniary
loss incurred and proved, up to the time of trial; and one which would meet pecu
niary loss certain to be suffered but which could not, from the nature of the ca
se, be made with certainty. In other words, temperate damages can and should be
awarded on top of actual or compensatory damages in instances where the injury i
s chronic and continuing. And because of the unique nature of such cases, no inc
ompatibility arises when both actual and temperate damages are provided for. The
reason is that these damages cover two distinct phases. As it would not be equi
table and certainly not in the best interests of the administration of justice f
or the victim in such cases to constantly come before the courts and invoke thei
r aid in seeking adjustments to the compensatory damages previously awarded temp
erate damages are appropriate. The amount given as temperate damages, though to
a certain extent speculative, should take into account the cost of proper care.
In the instant case, petitioners were able to provide only home-based nursing ca
re for a comatose patient who has remained in that condition for over a decade.
Having premised our award for compensatory damages on the amount provided by pet
itioners at the onset of litigation, it would be now much more in step with the
interests of justice if the value awarded for temperate damages would allow peti
tioners to provide optimal care for their loved one in a facility which generall
y specializes in such care. They should not be compelled by dire circumstances t
o provide substandard care at home without the aid of professionals, for anythin
g less would be grossly inadequate. Under the circumstances, an award of P1,500,
000.00 in temperate damages would therefore be reasonable. Petitioner Erlinda Ra
mos was in her mid-forties when the incident occurred. She has been in a comatos
e state for over fourteen years now. The burden of care has so far been heroical
ly shouldered by her husband and children, who, in the intervening years have be
en deprived of the love of a wife and a mother. Meanwhile, the actual physical,
emotional and financial cost of the care of petitioner would be virtually imposs
ible to quantify. Even the temperate damages herein awarded would be inadequate
if petitioner s condition remains unchanged for the next ten years. We recognize
d, in Valenzuela that a discussion of the victim s actual injury would not even
scratch the surface of the resulting moral damage because it would be highly spe
culative to estimate the amount of emotional and moral pain, psychological damag
e
and injury suffered by the victim or those actually affected by the victim s con
dition. 84 The husband and the children, all petitioners in this case, will have
to live with the day to day uncertainty of the patient s illness, knowing any h
ope of recovery is close to nil. They have fashioned their daily lives around th
e nursing care of petitioner, altering their long term goals to take into accoun
t their life with a comatose patient. They, not the respondents, are charged wit
h the moral responsibility of the care of the victim. The family s moral injury
and suffering in this case is clearly a real one. For the foregoing reasons, an
award of P2,000,000.00 in moral damages would be appropriate. Finally, by way of
example, exemplary damages in the amount of P100,000.00 are hereby awarded. Con
sidering the length and nature of the instant suit we are of the opinion that at
torney s fees valued at P100,000.00 are likewise proper. Our courts face unique
difficulty in adjudicating medical negligence cases because physicians are not i
nsurers of life and, they rarely set out to intentionally cause injury or death
to their patients. However, intent is immaterial in negligence cases because whe
re negligence exists and is proven, the same automatically gives the injured a r
ight to reparation for the damage caused. Established medical procedures and pra
ctices, though in constant flux are devised for the purpose of preventing compli
cations. A physician s experience with his patients would sometimes tempt him to
deviate from established community practices, and he may end a distinguished ca
reer using unorthodox methods without incident. However, when failure to follow
established procedure results in the evil precisely sought to be averted by obse
rvance of the procedure and a nexus is made between the deviation and the injury
or damage, the physician would necessarily be called to account for it. In the
case at bar, the failure to observe pre-operative assessment protocol which woul
d have influenced the intubation in a salutary way was fatal to private responde
nts case. WHEREFORE, the decision and resolution of the appellate court appeale
d from are hereby modified so as to award in favor of petitioners, and solidaril
y against private respondents the following: 1) P1,352,000.00 as actual damages
computed as of the date of promulgation of this decision plus a monthly payment
of P8,000.00 up to the time that petitioner Erlinda Ramos expires or miraculousl
y survives; 2) P2,000,000.00 as moral damages, 3) P1,500,000.00 as temperate dam
ages; 4) P100,000.00 each as exemplary damages and attorney s fees; and, 5) the
costs of the suit. SO ORDERED. 98 GARCIA-RUEDA vs. PASCASIO FACTS: Florencio V.
Rueda, husband of petitioner Leonila Garcia-Rueda, underwent surgical operation
at the UST hospital for the removal of a stone blocking his ureter. He was atten
ded by Dr. Domingo Antonio, Jr. who was the surgeon, while Dr. Erlinda Balatbat-
Reyes was the anaesthesiologist. Six hours after the surgery, however, Florencio
died of complications of "unknown cause," according to officials of the UST Hos
pital. Not satisfied with the findings of the hospital, petitioner requested the
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct an autopsy on her husband s b
ody. Consequently, the
NBI ruled that Florencio s death was due to lack of care by the attending physic
ian in administering anaesthesia. Pursuant to its findings, the NBI recommended
that Dr. Domingo Antonio and Dr. Erlinda Balatbat-Reyes be charged for Homicide
through Reckless Imprudence before the Office of the City Prosecutor. The case w
as initially assigned to Prosecutor Antonio M. Israel, who had to inhibit himsel
f because he was related to the counsel of one of the doctors. As a result, the
case was re-raffled to Prosecutor Norberto G. Leono who was, however, disqualifi
ed on motion of the petitioner since he disregarded prevailing laws and jurispru
dence regarding preliminary investigation. The case was then referred to Prosecu
tor Ramon O. Carisma, who issued a resolution recommending that only Dr. Reyes b
e held criminally liable and that the complaint against Dr. Antonio be dismissed
. The case took another perplexing turn when Assistant City Prosecutor Josefina
Santos Sioson, in the "interest of justice and peace of mind of the parties," re
commended that the case be re-raffled on the ground that Prosecutor Carisma was
partial to the petitioner. Thus, the case was transferred to Prosecutor Leoncia
R. Dimagiba, where a volte face occurred again with the endorsement that the com
plaint against Dr. Reyes be dismissed and instead, a corresponding information b
e filed against Dr. Antonio. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, ques
tioning the findings of Prosecutor Dimagiba. Pending the resolution of petitione
r s motion for reconsideration regarding Prosecutor Dimagiba s resolution, the i
nvestigative "pingpong" continued when the case was again assigned to another pr
osecutor, Eudoxia T. Gualberto, who recommended that Dr. Reyes be included in th
e criminal information of Homicide through Reckless Imprudence. While the recomm
endation of Prosecutor Gualberto was pending, the case was transferred to Senior
State Prosecutor Gregorio A. Arizala, who resolved to exonerate Dr. Reyes from
any wrongdoing, a resolution which was approved by both City Prosecutor Porfirio
G. Macaraeg and City Prosecutor Jesus F. Guerrero. ISSUE BEFORE THE SC: Whether
or not there was negligence on the part of the atteding physicians. SC RULING:
"Probable cause is a reasonable ground of presumption that a matter is, or may b
e, well founded, such a state of facts in the mind of the prosecutor as would le
ad a person of ordinary caution and prudence to believe, or entertain an honest
or strong suspicion, that a thing is so." The term does not mean actual and posi
tive cause nor does it import absolute certainty. It is merely based on opinion
and reasonable belief. Thus, a finding of probable cause does not require an inq
uiry into whether there is sufficient evidence to procure a conviction. It is en
ough that it is believed that the act or omission complained of constitutes the
offense charged. Precisely, there is a trial for the reception of evidence of th
e prosecution in support of the charge. In the instant case, no less than the NB
I pronounced after conducting an autopsy that there was indeed negligence on the
part of the attending physicians in administering the anaesthesia. The fact of
want of competence or diligence is evidentiary in nature, the veracity of which
can best be passed upon after a full-blown trial for it is virtually impossible
to ascertain the merits of a medical negligence case without extensive investiga
tion, research, evaluation and consultations with medical experts. Clearly, the
City Prosecutors are not in a competent position to pass judgment on such a tech
nical
matter, especially when there are conflicting evidence and findings. The bases o
f a party s accusation and defenses are better ventilated at the trial proper th
an at the preliminary investigation. A word on medical malpractice or negligence
cases. In its simplest terms, the type of lawsuit which has been called medical
malpractice or, more appropriately, medical negligence, is that type of claim w
hich a victim has available to him or her to redress a wrong committed by a medi
cal professional which has caused bodily harm. In order to successfully pursue s
uch a claim, a patient must prove that a health care provider, in most cases a p
hysician, either failed to do something which a reasonably prudent health care p
rovider would have done, or that he or she did something that a reasonably prude
nt provider would not have done; and that that failure or action caused injury t
o the patient. Hence, there are four elements involved in medical negligence cas
es: duty, breach, injury and proximate causation. Evidently, when the victim emp
loyed the services of Dr. Antonio and Dr. Reyes, a physician-patient relationshi
p was created. In accepting the case, Dr. Antonio and Dr. Reyes in effect repres
ented that, having the needed training and skill possessed by physicians and sur
geons practicing in the same field, they will employ such training, care and ski
ll in the treatment of their patients. They have a duty to use at least the same
level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a c
ondition under the same circumstances. The breach of these professional duties o
f skill and care, or their improper performance, by a physician surgeon whereby
the patient is injured in body or in health, constitutes actionable malpractice.
Consequently, in the event that any injury results to the patient from want of
due care or skill during the operation, the surgeons may be held answerable in d
amages for negligence. Moreover, in malpractice or negligence cases involving th
e administration of anaesthesia, the necessity of expert testimony and the avail
ability of the charge of res ipsa loquitur to the plaintiff; have been applied i
n actions against anaesthesiologists to hold the defendant liable for the death
or injury of a patient under excessive or improper anaesthesia. Essentially, it
requires two-pronged evidence: evidence as to the recognized standards of the me
dical community in the particular kind of case, and a showing that the physician
in question negligently departed from this standard in his treatment. Another e
lement in medical negligence cases is causation which is divided into two inquir
ies: whether the doctor s actions in fact caused the harm to the patient and whe
ther these were the proximate cause of the patient s injury. Indeed here, a caus
al connection is discernible from the occurrence of the victim s death after the
negligent act of the anaesthesiologist in administering the anesthesia, a fact
which, if confirmed, should warrant the filing of the appropriate criminal case.
To be sure, the allegation of negligence is not entirely baseless. Moreover, th
e NBI deduced that the attending surgeons did not conduct the necessary intervie
w of the patient prior to the operation. It appears that the cause of the death
of the victim could have been averted had the proper drug been applied to cope w
ith the symptoms of malignant hyperthermia. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that
an antidote was readily available to counteract whatever
deleterious effect the anaesthesia might produce. Why these precautionary measur
es were disregarded must be sufficiently explained. 99. DOMINGA ROQUE vs. MAGTAN
GGOL C. GUNIGUNDO FACTS: On July 23, 1974 respondent Gunigundo received a copy o
f the order in the said case dismissing it on the grounds of laches and prior ju
dgment. On August 22 or the last day of the reglementary period within which to
appeal or file a motion for new trial he filed, through an associate, a motion f
or an extension of fifteen days or up to September 6 within which to file a moti
on for reconsideration. The motion was granted but Gunigundo was not able to fil
e the motion for reconsideration. Instead, on the last day, September 6, he sent
by registered mail a motion for a second extension of ten days. On September 16
, the last day of the second extension sought by him, he filed a motion for a th
ird extension of forty-eight hours. The motion for reconsideration was mailed on
September 18, 1974, the last day of the third extension. The trial court denied
the second and third motions for extension on the ground that the order of dism
iss was already final It also denied Gunigundo s motion for reconsideration of t
he orders denying his motions for extension. Gunigundo then filed in the Court o
f Appeals a petition for certiorari and mandamus wherein he assailed the orders
denying his motions for extension. He prayed that the lower court be directed to
resolve his motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals dismissed his peti
tion (Roque vs. Court of First Instance, CA-G.R. No. SP-04431, November 27, 1975
). It applied the ruling that the filing of a motion for extension of the period
to file the record on appeal does not suspend the period for appeal. On Septemb
er 6, 1976, the spouses Dominga Roque and Jose G. Zaplan two of the eight plaint
iffs in Civil Case No. 3826-M, filed in this Court a joint affidavit charging At
ty. Gunigundo with gross negligence in not seasonably filing the motion for reco
nsideration and in not perfecting an appeal from the trial court s order of dism
issal. After the submission of respondent s answer, the case was referred to the
Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation. In June 1978 or
during the pendency of the case in the Solicitor General s office, the complain
ing spouses made a volte-facie. They executed an affidavit of desistance before
Atty. Rosario R. Rapanut, a senior attorney in the Citizens Legal Assistance Off
ice. They alleged that their complaint for disbarment was due to a misunderstand
ing. They affirmed that respondent Gunigundo was not negligent in handling their
case. ISSUE BEFORE THE SC: Whether or not the lawyer, through his own fault, is
liable for damages. SC RULING: In this case, had the respondent been more consc
ientious or experienced, he could have easily avoided the loss of his client s r
ight to appeal by filing the motion for reconsideration within the thirty-day pe
riod. He could have even withdrawn from the case with his clients consent and r
equired them to get another lawyer to perfect their appeal. However, the fact th
at the complaints and their six co-plaintiffs lost the right to appeal would not
necessarily mean that they were damaged. The lower court s order of
dismissal has in its favor the presumption of validity or correctness. Indeed, a
n examination of that order discloses that the trial court painstakingly studied
the motion to dismiss and carefully rationalized its order. If found that the a
ction was filed more than forty years after the disputed land was registered in
the name of defendants predecessor-in-interest. Where a judgment became final t
hrough the fault of the lawyer who did not appeal therefrom, that fact alone is
not a sufficient ground for the losing party to recover damages from his lawyer
since the action for damages rests "on the unsubstantiated and arbitrary supposi
tion of the injustice of the decision which became final through the fault and n
egligence" of the lawyer (Heridia vs. Salinas, 10 Phil. 157, 162. See Ventanilla
vs. Centeno, 110 Phil. 811, where the lawyer who failed to perfect an appeal wa
s ordered to pay his client two hundred pesos as nominal damages). In view of th
e foregoing and considering complainants affidavit of desistance in this case,
drastic disciplinary action against the respondent is not warranted. But he is a
dmonished to exercise care and circumspection in attending to the affairs of his
clients. A repetition of the same irregularity will be treated with more severi
ty. A copy of this decision should be attached to respondent s personal record.
100. RAYNERA vs. HICETA FACTS: On March 23, 1989, at about 2:00 in the morning,
Reynaldo Raynera was on his way home. He was riding a motorcycle traveling on th
e southbound lane of East Service Road, Cupang, Muntinlupa. The Isuzu truck was
travelling ahead of him at 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. The truck was loaded wi
th two (2) metal sheets extended on both sides, two (2) feet on the left and thr
ee (3) feet on the right. There were two (2) pairs of red lights, about 35 watts
each, on both sides of the metal plates. The asphalt road was not well lighted.
At some point on the road, Reynaldo Raynera crashed his motorcycle into the lef
t rear portion of the truck trailer, which was without tail lights. Due to the c
ollision, Reynaldo sustained head injuries and truck helper Geraldino D. Lucelo
rushed him to the Paraaque Medical Center. Upon arrival at the hospital, the atte
nding physician, Dr. Marivic Aguirre, pronounced Reynaldo Raynera dead on arriva
l. On May 12, 1989, the heirs of the deceased demanded from respondents payment
of damages arising from the death of Reynaldo Raynera as a result of the vehicul
ar accident. The respondents refused to pay the claims. On September 13, 1989, p
etitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court, Manila a complaint for damages a
gainst respondents owner and driver of the Isuzu truck. In their complaint again
st respondents, petitioners sought recovery of damages for the death of Reynaldo
Raynera caused by the negligent operation of the truck-trailer at nighttime on
the highway, without tail lights. In their answer filed on April 4, 1990, respon
dents alleged that the truck was travelling slowly on the service road, not park
ed improperly at a dark portion of the road, with no tail lights, license plate
and early warning device.
RULINGS: RTC: On December 19, 1991, the trial court rendered decision in favor o
f petitioners. It found respondents Freddie Hiceta and Jimmy Orpilla negligent i
n view of these circumstances: (1) the truck trailer had no license plate and ta
il lights; (2) there were only two pairs of red lights, 50 watts each, on both s
ides of the steel plates; and (3) the truck trailer was improperly parked in a d
ark area. The trial court held that respondents negligence was the immediate and
proximate cause of Reynaldo Rayneras death, for which they are jointly and severa
lly liable to pay damages to petitioners. The trial court also held that the vic
tim was himself negligent, although this was insufficient to overcome respondent
s negligence. The trial court applied the doctrine of contributory negligence and
reduced the responsibility of respondents by 20% on account of the victims own n
egligence. The dispositive portion of the lower courts decision reads as follows:
All things considered, the Court is of the opinion that it is fair and reasonabl
e to fix the living and other expenses of the deceased the sum of P54,000.00 a y
ear or about P4,500.00 a month (P150.00 p/d) and that, consequently, the loss or
damage sustained by the plaintiffs may be estimated at P1,674,000.00 for the 31
years of Reynaldo Rayneras life expectancy. Taking into account the cooperative n
egligence of the deceased Reynaldo Raynera, the Court believes that the demand o
f substantial justice are satisfied by allocating the damages on 80-20 ratio. Th
us, P1,337,200.00 shall be paid by the defendants with interest thereon, at the
legal rate, from date of decision, as damages for the loss of earnings. To this
sum, the following shall be added: (a) P33,412.00, actually spent for funeral se
rvices, interment and memorial lot; (b) P20,000.00 as attorneys fees; (c) cost of
suit. SO ORDERED. CA: After due proceedings, on April 28, 1995, the Court of Appe
als rendered decision setting aside the appealed decision. The appellate court h
eld that Reynaldo Rayneras bumping into the left rear portion of the truck was th
e proximate cause of his death, and consequently, absolved respondents from liab
ility. ISSUES BEFORE THE SC: A. Whether or not respondents were negligent. B. Wh
ether such negligence was the proximate cause of the death of Reynaldo Raynera.
SC RULING: The Court finds no reason to disturb the factual findings of the Cour
t of Appeals. Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable man,
guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of human af
fairs, would do, or the doing of something, which a prudent and reasonable man w
ould not do.
Proximate cause is that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroke
n by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the
result would not have occurred. During the trial, it was established that the tr
uck had no tail lights. The photographs taken of the scene of the accident showe
d that there were no tail lights or license plates installed on the Isuzu truck.
Instead, what were installed were two (2) pairs of lights on top of the steel p
lates, and one (1) pair of lights in front of the truck. With regard to the rear
of the truck, the photos taken and the sketch in the spot report proved that th
ere were no tail lights. Despite the absence of tail lights and license plate, r
espondents truck was visible in the highway. It was traveling at a moderate speed
, approximately 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. It used the service road, instead
of the highway, because the cargo they were hauling posed a danger to passing mo
torists. In compliance with the Land Transportation Traffic Code (Republic Act N
o. 4136) respondents installed 2 pairs of lights on top of the steel plates, as t
he vehicles cargo load extended beyond the bed or body thereof. We find that the
direct cause of the accident was the negligence of the victim. Traveling behind
the truck, he had the responsibility of avoiding bumping the vehicle in front of
him. He was in control of the situation. His motorcycle was equipped with headl
ights to enable him to see what was in front of him. He was traversing the servi
ce road where the prescribed speed limit was less than that in the highway. Traf
fic investigator Cpl. Virgilio del Monte testified that two pairs of 50-watts bu
lbs were on top of the steel plates, which were visible from a distance of 100 m
eters. Virgilio Santos admitted that from the tricycle where he was on board, he
saw the truck and its cargo of iron plates from a distance of ten (10) meters.
In light of these circumstances, an accident could have been easily avoided, unl
ess the victim had been driving too fast and did not exercise due care and prude
nce demanded of him under the circumstances. Virgilio Santos testimony strengthen
ed respondents defense that it was the victim who was reckless and negligent in d
riving his motorcycle at high speed. The tricycle where Santos was on board was
not much different from the victims motorcycle that figured in the accident. Alth
ough Santos claimed the tricycle almost bumped into the improperly parked truck,
the tricycle driver was able to avoid hitting the truck. It has been said that
drivers of vehicles who bump the rear of another vehicle are presumed to be the cau
se of the accident, unless contradicted by other evidence. The rationale behind t
he presumption is that the driver of the rear vehicle has full control of the si
tuation as he is in a position to observe the vehicle in front of him. We agree
with the Court of Appeals that the responsibility to avoid the collision with th
e front vehicle lies with the driver of the rear vehicle. Consequently, no other
person was to blame but the victim himself since he was the one who bumped his
motorcycle into the rear of the Isuzu truck. He had the last clear chance of avo
iding the accident.
WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition for review on certiorari and AFFIRM the decision
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. CV No. 35895, dismissing the amended compla
int in Civil Case No. 89-50355, Regional Trial Court, Branch 45, Manila. No cost
s. SO ORDERED. 101. PLDT vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: This case had its inception
in an action for damages instituted in the former Court of First Instance of Ne
gros Occidental by private respondent spouses against petitioner Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company (PLDT, for brevity) for the injuries they sustained
in the evening of July 30, 1968 when their jeep ran over a mound of earth and fe
ll into an open trench, an excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT for the insta
llation of its underground conduit system. The complaint alleged that respondent
Antonio Esteban failed to notice the open trench which was left uncovered becau
se of the creeping darkness and the lack of any warning light or signs. As a res
ult of the accident, respondent Gloria Esteban allegedly sustained injuries on h
er arms, legs and face, leaving a permanent scar on her cheek, while the respond
ent husband suffered cut lips. In addition, the windshield of the jeep was shatt
ered. PLDT, in its answer, denies liability on the contention that the injuries
sustained by respondent spouses were the result of their own negligence and that
the entity which should be held responsible, if at all, is L.R. Barte and Compa
ny (Barte, for short), an independent contractor which undertook the constructio
n of the manhole and the conduit system. Accordingly, PLDT filed a third-party c
omplaint against Barte alleging that, under the terms of their agreement, PLDT s
hould in no manner be answerable for any accident or injuries arising from the n
egligence or carelessness of Barte or any of its employees. In answer thereto, B
arte claimed that it was not aware nor was it notified of the accident involving
respondent spouses and that it had complied with the terms of its contract with
PLDT by installing the necessary and appropriate standard signs in the vicinity
of the work site, with barricades at both ends of the excavation and with red l
ights at night along the excavated area to warn the traveling public of the pres
ence of excavations. RULINGS: RTC: On October 1, 1974, the trial court rendered
a decision in favor of private respondents, the decretal part of which reads: IN
VIEW OF THE FOREGOING considerations the defendant Philippine Long Distance Tel
ephone Company is hereby ordered (A) to pay the plaintiff Gloria Esteban the sum
of P20,000.00 as moral damages and P5,000.00 exemplary damages; to plaintiff An
tonio Esteban the sum of P2,000.00 as moral damages and P500.00 as exemplary dam
ages, with legal rate of interest from the date of the filing of the complaint u
ntil fully paid. The defendant is hereby ordered to pay the plaintiff the sum of
P3,000.00 as attorney s fees. (B) The third-party defendant is hereby ordered t
o reimburse whatever amount the defendant-third party plaintiff has paid to the
plaintiff. With costs against the defendant.
CA: On September 25, 1979, the Special Second Division of the Court of Appeals r
endered a decision in said appealed case, with Justice Corazon Juliano Agrava as
ponente, reversing the decision of the lower court and dismissing the complaint
of respondent spouses. It held that respondent Esteban spouses were negligent a
nd consequently absolved petitioner PLDT from the claim for damages. ISSUES BEFO
RE THE SC: Whether or not the accident which befell private respondents was due
to the lack of diligence of respondent Antonio Esteban and not imputable to negl
igent omission on the part of petitioner PLDT. SC RULING: Such findings were rea
ched after an exhaustive assessment and evaluation of the evidence on record, as
evidenced by the respondent court s resolution of January 24, 1980 which we quo
te with approval: First. Plaintiff s jeep was running along the inside lane of L
acson Street. If it had remained on that inside lane, it would not have hit the
ACCIDENT MOUND. Exhibit B shows, through the tiremarks, that the ACCIDENT MOUND
was hit by the jeep swerving from the left that is, swerving from the inside lan
e. What caused the swerving is not disclosed; but, as the cause of the accident,
defendant cannot be made liable for the damages suffered by plaintiffs. The acc
ident was not due to the absence of warning signs, but to the unexplained abrupt
swerving of the jeep from the inside lane. That may explain plaintiff-husband s
insistence that he did not see the ACCIDENT MOUND for which reason he ran into
it. Second. That plaintiff s jeep was on the inside lane before it swerved to hi
t the ACCIDENT MOUND could have been corroborated by a picture showing Lacson St
reet to the south of the ACCIDENT MOUND. It has been stated that the ditches alo
ng Lacson Street had already been covered except the 3 or 4 meters where the ACC
IDENT MOUND was located. Exhibit B-1 shows that the ditches on Lacson Street nor
th of the ACCIDENT MOUND had already been covered, but not in such a way as to a
llow the outer lane to be freely and conveniently passable to vehicles. The situ
ation could have been worse to the south of the ACCIDENT MOUND for which reason
no picture of the ACCIDENT MOUND facing south was taken. Third. Plaintiff s jeep
was not running at 25 kilometers an hour as plaintiff-husband claimed. At that
speed, he could have braked the vehicle the moment it struck the ACCIDENT MOUND.
The jeep would not have climbed the ACCIDENT MOUND several feet as indicated by
the tiremarks in Exhibit B. The jeep must have been running quite fast. If the
jeep had been braked at 25 kilometers an hour, plaintiff s would not have been t
hrown against the windshield and they would not have suffered their injuries. Fo
urth. If the accident did not happen because the jeep was running quite fast on
the inside lane and for some reason or other it had to swerve suddenly to the ri
ght and had to climb over the ACCIDENT MOUND, then plaintiff-husband had not exe
rcised the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the accident. With th
e drizzle, he should not have run on dim lights, but should have put on his regu
lar lights which should have made him see the ACCIDENT MOUND in time. If he was
running on the outside lane at 25 kilometers an hour, even on dim lights, his fa
ilure to see the ACCIDENT MOUND in time to brake the car was negligence on his p
art. The ACCIDENT MOUND was relatively
big and visible, being 2 to 3 feet high and 1-1/2 feet wide. If he did not see t
he ACCIDENT MOUND in time, he would not have seen any warning sign either. He kn
ew of the existence and location of the ACCIDENT MOUND, having seen it many prev
ious times. With ordinary precaution, he should have driven his jeep on the nigh
t of the accident so as to avoid hitting the ACCIDENT MOUND. The above findings
clearly show that the negligence of respondent Antonio Esteban was not only cont
ributory to his injuries and those of his wife but goes to the very cause of the
occurrence of the accident, as one of its determining factors, and thereby prec
ludes their right to recover damages. The perils of the road were known to, henc
e appreciated and assumed by, private respondents. By exercising reasonable care
and prudence, respondent Antonio Esteban could have avoided the injurious conse
quences of his act, even assuming arguendo that there was some alleged negligenc
e on the part of petitioner. The presence of warning signs could not have comple
tely prevented the accident; the only purpose of said signs was to inform and wa
rn the public of the presence of excavations on the site. The private respondent
s already knew of the presence of said excavations. It was not the lack of knowl
edge of these excavations which caused the jeep of respondents to fall into the
excavation but the unexplained sudden swerving of the jeep from the inside lane
towards the accident mound. As opined in some quarters, the omission to perform
a duty, such as the placing of warning signs on the site of the excavation, cons
titutes the proximate cause only when the doing of the said omitted act would ha
ve prevented the injury. It is basic that private respondents cannot charge PLDT
for their injuries where their own failure to exercise due and reasonable care
was the cause thereof. It is both a societal norm and necessity that one should
exercise a reasonable degree of caution for his own protection. Furthermore, res
pondent Antonio Esteban had the last clear chance or opportunity to avoid the ac
cident, notwithstanding the negligence he imputes to petitioner PLDT. As a resid
ent of Lacson Street, he passed on that street almost everyday and had knowledge
of the presence and location of the excavations there. It was his negligence th
at exposed him and his wife to danger, hence he is solely responsible for the co
nsequences of his imprudence. Moreover, we also sustain the findings of responde
nt Court of Appeals in its original decision that there was insufficient evidenc
e to prove any negligence on the part of PLDT. We have for consideration only th
e self-serving testimony of respondent Antonio Esteban and the unverified photog
raph of merely a portion of the scene of the accident. The absence of a police r
eport of the incident and the non-submission of a medical report from the hospit
al where private respondents were allegedly treated have not even been satisfact
orily explained. As aptly observed by respondent court in its aforecited extende
d resolution of January 24, 1980 (a) There was no third party eyewitness of the
accident. As to how the accident occurred, the Court can only rely on the testim
onial evidence of plaintiffs themselves, and such evidence should be very carefu
lly evaluated, with defendant, as the party being charged, being given the benef
it of any doubt. Definitely without ascribing the same motivation to plaintiffs,
another person could have deliberately engineered a similar accident in the hop
e and expectation that the Court can grant him substantial moral and exemplary d
amages from the big corporation that defendant is. The statement is made only to
stress the disadvantageous position of defendant which
would have extreme difficulty in contesting such person s claim. If there were n
o witness or record available from the police department of Bacolod, defendant w
ould not be able to determine for itself which of the conflicting testimonies of
plaintiffs is correct as to the report or non-report of the accident to the pol
ice department. A person claiming damages for the negligence of another has the
burden of proving the existence of such fault or negligence causative thereof. T
he facts constitutive of negligence must be affirmatively established by compete
nt evidence. Whosoever relies on negligence for his cause of action has the burd
en in the first instance of proving the existence of the same if contested, othe
rwise his action must fail. WHEREFORE, the resolutions of respondent Court of Ap
peals, dated March 11, 1980 and September 3,1980, are hereby SET ASIDE. Its orig
inal decision, promulgated on September 25,1979, is hereby REINSTATED and AFFIRM
ED. SO ORDERED. 102. KIM vs. PHILIPPINE AERIAL TAXI CO. FACTS: On the Morning of
September 4, 1931, the plaintiff herein bought, in Manila, a passenger ticket f
or a flight to Iloilo in one of the defendant company s hydroplanes starting fro
m Madrigal Field in Pasay. Inasmuch as the engine of the plane Mabuhay, in which
he was to take the flight, was not working satisfactorily, the said plaintiff h
ad to wait for some time. While the engine was being tested, the plaintiff saw h
ow it was started by turning the propeller repeatedly and how the man who did it
ran away from it each time in order not to be caught by the said propeller. Bef
ore the plane Mabuhay was put in condition for the flight, the plane Taal arrive
d and it was decided to have the plaintiff make the flight therein. The plaintif
f and his companion were carefully carried from the beach to the plane, entering
the same by the rear or tail end, and were placed in their seats to which they
were strapped. Later, they were shown how the straps could be tightened or loose
ned in case of accident and were instructed further not to touch anything in the
plane. After an uneventful flight, the plane landed on the waters of Guimaras S
trait, in front of Iloilo, and taxied toward the beach until its pontoons struck
bottom, when the plane stopped. the pilot shut off the gasoline feed pipe, perm
itting the engine, however, to continue to function until all the gasoline was d
rained from the feed pipe and carburetor. This operation was necessary in accord
ance with the established practice of aviation in order to avoid danger of fire
which would exist if the pipes and carburetor remained full of gasoline, and to
prevent the sudden cooling of the engine which might cause serious damage, espec
ially to the valves. What really happened was that at the moment the pontoons to
uched bottom and while the pilot was signalling to the banca, the plaintiff unfa
stened the straps around him and, not even waiting to put on his hat, climbed ov
er the door to the lower wing, went down the ladder to the pontoon and walked al
ong the pontoon toward the revolving propeller. The propeller first grazed his f
orehead and, as he threw up his arm, it was caught by the revolving blades there
of and so injured that it had be amputated. ISSUE BEFORE THE SC: Whether or not
the defendant entity has complied with its contractual obligation to carry the p
laintiff-appellant Teh Le Kim safe and sound to his destination.
SC RULING: The contract entered into by the plaintiff Teh Le Kim and the defenda
nt entity Philippine Aerial Taxi Co., Inc., was that upon payment of the price o
f the passage, which the carrier had received, the latter would carry the former
by air in one of its hydroplanes and put him, safe and sound, on the beach at I
loilo. After an uneventful flight, the hydroplane, which carried the plaintiff a
nd his companion, arrived at the Iloilo beach, as usual, with nothing more left
to do but to take the plaintiff and his companion, safe and sound, ashore. In or
der to do this, it was necessary to wait for the propeller to stop, turn the rea
r or tail end of the plane towards the shore, take the passengers out by the afo
resaid rear or tail end thereof, place them in a banca and take them ashore. By
sheer common sense, the plaintiff ought to know that a propeller, be it that of
a ship or of an aeroplane, is dangerous while in motion and that to approach it
is to run the risk of being caught and injured thereby. He ought to know further
more that inasmuch as the plane was on the water, he had to wait for a banca to
take him ashore. Notwithstanding the shouts and warning signals given him from t
he shore by the representatives of the consignee firm, the plaintiff herein, not
being a man of ordinary prudence, hastily left the cabin of the plane, walked a
long one of the pontoons and directly into the revolving propeller, while the ba
nca which was to take him ashore was still some distance away and the pilot was
instructing the boatman to keep it at a safe distance from the plane. Under such
circumstances, it is not difficult to understand that the plaintiff-appellant a
cted with reckless negligence in approaching the propeller while it was still in
motion, and when the banca was not yet in a position to take him. That the plai
ntiff-appellant s negligence alone was the direct cause of the accident, is so c
lear that it is not necessary to cite authoritative opinions to support the conc
lusion that the injury to his right arm and the subsequent amputation thereof we
re due entirely and exclusively to his own imprudence and not to the slightest n
egligence attributable to the defendant entity or to its agents. Therefore, he a
lone should suffer the consequences of his act. Wherefore, not finding any error
in the judgment appealed from, it is hereby affirmed in toto, with the costs ag
ainst the appellant. So ordered. 103. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL INTERNATIONAL BANK v
s. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: These consolidated petitions involve several fraudule
ntly negotiated checks. The original actions a quo were instituted by Ford Phili
ppines to recover from the drawee bank, CITIBANK, N.A. (Citibank) and collecting
bank, Philippine Commercial International Bank (PCIBank) [formerly Insular Bank
of Asia and America], the value of several checks payable to the Commissioner o
f Internal Revenue, which were embezzled allegedly by an organized syndicate. On
October 19, 1977, the plaintiff Ford drew and issued its Citibank Check No. SN-
04867 in the amount of P4,746,114.41, in favor of the Commissioner of Internal R
evenue as payment of plaintiffs percentage or manufacturer s sales taxes for the
third quarter of 1977. The aforesaid check was deposited with the degendant IBA
A (now PCIBank) and was subsequently cleared at the Central Bank. Upon presentme
nt with the defendant Citibank, the proceeds of the check was paid to IBAA as co
llecting or depository bank. The proceeds of the same Citibank check of the plai
ntiff was never paid to or received by the payee thereof, the Commissioner of In
ternal Revenue.
As a consequence, upon demand of the Bureau and/or Commissioner of Internal Reve
nue, the plaintiff was compelled to make a second payment to the Bureau of Inter
nal Revenue of its percentage/manufacturers sales taxes for the third quarter o
f 1977 and that said second payment of plaintiff in the amount of P4,746,114.41
was duly received by the Bureau of Internal Revenue. It has been duly establishe
d that for the payment of plaintiff s percentage tax for the last quarter of 197
7, the Bureau of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Tax Receipt No. 18747002, dated
October 20, 1977, designating therein in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, as the autho
rized agent bank of Metrobanl, Alabang branch to receive the tax payment of the
plaintiff. On December 19, 1977, plaintiff s Citibank Check No. SN-04867, togeth
er with the Revenue Tax Receipt No. 18747002, was deposited with defendant IBAA,
through its Ermita Branch. The latter accepted the check and sent it to the Cen
tral Clearing House for clearing on the samd day, with the indorsement at the ba
ck "all prior indorsements and/or lack of indorsements guaranteed." Thereafter,
defendant IBAA presented the check for payment to defendant Citibank on same dat
e, December 19, 1977, and the latter paid the face value of the check in the amo
unt of P4,746,114.41. Consequently, the amount of P4,746,114.41 was debited in p
laintiff s account with the defendant Citibank and the check was returned to the
plaintiff. In a letter dated February 28, 1980 by the Acting Commissioner of In
ternal Revenue addressed to the plaintiff - supposed to be Exhibit "D", the latt
er was officially informed, among others, that its check in the amount of P4, 74
6,114.41 was not paid to the government or its authorized agent and instead enca
shed by unauthorized persons, hence, plaintiff has to pay the said amount within
fifteen days from receipt of the letter. Upon advice of the plaintiff s lawyers
, plaintiff on March 11, 1982, paid to the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the amoun
t of P4,746,114.41, representing payment of plaintiff s percentage tax for the t
hird quarter of 1977. As a consequence of defendant s refusal to reimburse plain
tiff of the payment it had made for the second time to the BIR of its percentage
taxes, plaintiff filed on January 20, 1983 its original complaint before this C
ourt. On December 24, 1985, defendant IBAA was merged with the Philippine Commer
cial International Bank (PCI Bank) with the latter as the surviving entity. Defe
ndant Citibank maintains that: the payment it made of plaintiff s Citibank Check
No. SN-04867 in the amount of P4,746,114.41 "was in due course", it merely reli
ed on the clearing stamp of the depository/collecting bank, the defendant IBAA t
hat "all prior indorsements and/or lack of indorsements guaranteed", and the pro
ximate cause of plaintiff s injury is the gross negligence of defendant IBAA in
indorsing the plaintiff s Citibank check in question. It is admitted that on Dec
ember 19, 1977 when the proceeds of plaintiff s Citibank Check No. SN-048867 was
paid to defendant IBAA as collecting bank, plaintiff was maintaining a checking
account with defendant Citibank. Although it was not among the stipulated facts
, an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) revealed that C
itibank Check No. SN-04867 was recalled by Godofredo Rivera, the General Ledger
Accountant of Ford. He purportedly needed to hold back the check because there w
as an error in the computation of the tax due to the
Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). With Rivera s instruction, PCIBank replaced th
e check with two of its own Manager s Checks (MCs). Alleged members of a syndica
te later deposited the two MCs with the Pacific Banking Corporation. Ford, with
leave of court, filed a third-party complaint before the trial court impleading
Pacific Banking Corporation (PBC) and Godofredo Rivera, as third party defendant
s. But the court dismissed the complaint against PBC for lack of cause of action
. The course likewise dismissed the third-party complaint against Godofredo Rive
ra because he could not be served with summons as the NBI declared him as a "fug
itive from justice. RULINGS: RTC: On June 15, 1989, the trial court rendered its
decision, as follows: "Premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered as follo
ws: "1. Ordering the defendants Citibank and IBAA (now PCI Bank), jointly and se
verally, to pay the plaintiff the amount of P4,746,114.41 representing the face
value of plaintiff s Citibank Check No. SN-04867, with interest thereon at the l
egal rate starting January 20, 1983, the date when the original complaint was fi
led until the amount is fully paid, plus costs; "2. On defendant Citibank s cros
s-claim: ordering the cross-defendant IBAA (now PCI Bank) to reimburse defendant
Citibank for whatever amount the latter has paid or may pay to the plaintiff in
accordance with next preceding paragraph; "3. The counterclaims asserted by the
defendants against the plaintiff, as well as that asserted by the cross-defenda
nt against the cross-claimant are dismissed, for lack of merits; and "4. With co
sts against the defendants. SO ORDERED." CA: On March 27, 1995, the appellate co
urt issued its judgment as follows: "WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the co
urt AFFIRMS the appealed decision with modifications. The court hereby renderes
judgment: 1. Dismissing the complaint in Civil Case No. 49287 insofar as defenda
nt Citibank N.A. is concerned; 2. Ordering the defendant IBAA now PCI Bank to pa
y the plaintiff the amount of P4,746,114.41 representing the face value of plain
tiff s Citibank Check No. SN-04867, with interest thereon at the legal rate star
ting January 20, 1983, the date when the original complaint was filed until the
amount is fully paid; 3. Dismissing the counterclaims asserted by the defendants
against the plaintiff as well as that asserted by the cross-defendant against t
he cross-claimant, for lack of merits. Costs against the defendant IBAA (now PCI
Bank).
IT IS SO ORDERED." ISSUE BEFORE THE SC: Whether or not the the collecting bank s
negligence is the proximate cause of the loss it incurred. SC RULING: Citibank
Check No. SN-04867 was deposited at PCIBank through its Ermita Branch. It was co
ursed through the ordinary banking transaction, sent to Central Clearing with th
e indorsement at the back "all prior indorsements and/or lack of indorsements gu
aranteed," and was presented to Citibank for payment. Thereafter PCIBank, instea
d of remitting the proceeds to the CIR, prepared two of its Manager s checks and
enabled the syndicate to encash the same. On record, PCIBank failed to verify t
he authority of Mr. Rivera to negotiate the checks. The neglect of PCIBank emplo
yees to verify whether his letter requesting for the replacement of the Citibank
Check No. SN-04867 was duly authorized, showed lack of care and prudence requir
ed in the circumstances. Furthermore, it was admitted that PCIBank is authorized
to collect the payment of taxpayers in behalf of the BIR. As an agent of BIR, P
CIBank is duty bound to consult its principal regarding the unwarranted instruct
ions given by the payor or its agent. As aptly stated by the trial court, to wit
: "xxx. Since the questioned crossed check was deposited with IBAA [now PCIBank]
, which claimed to be a depository/collecting bank of BIR, it has the responsibi
lity to make sure that the check in question is deposited in Payee s account onl
y. As agent of the BIR (the payee of the check), defendant IBAA should receive i
nstructions only from its principal BIR and not from any other person especially
so when that person is not known to the defendant. It is very imprudent on the
part of the defendant IBAA to just rely on the alleged telephone call of the one
Godofredo Rivera and in his signature considering that the plaintiff is not a c
lient of the defendant IBAA." It is a well-settled rule that the relationship be
tween the payee or holder of commercial paper and the bank to which it is sent f
or collection is, in the absence of an argreement to the contrary, that of princ
ipal and agent.22 A bank which receives such paper for collection is the agent o
f the payee or holder.23 Even considering arguendo, that the diversion of the am
ount of a check payable to the collecting bank in behalf of the designated payee
may be allowed, still such diversion must be properly authorized by the payor.
Otherwise stated, the diversion can be justified only by proof of authority from
the drawer, or that the drawer has clothed his agent with apparent authority to
receive the proceeds of such check. Citibank further argues that PCI Bank s cle
aring stamp appearing at the back of the questioned checks stating that ALL PRIO
R INDORSEMENTS AND/OR LACK OF INDORSEMENTS GURANTEED should render PCIBank liabl
e because it made it pass through the clearing house and therefore Citibank had
no other option but to pay it. Thus, Citibank had no other option but to pay it.
Thus, Citibank assets that the proximate cause of Ford s injury is the gross ne
gligence of PCIBank. Since the questione dcrossed check was deposited with PCIBa
nk, which claimed to be a
depository/collecting bank of the BIR, it had the responsibility to make sure th
at the check in questions is deposited in Payee s account only. Indeed, the cros
sing of the check with the phrase "Payee s Account Only," is a warning that the
check should be deposited only in the account of the CIR. Thus, it is the duty o
f the collecting bank PCIBank to ascertain that the check be deposited in payee
s account only. Therefore, it is the collecting bank (PCIBank) which is bound to
scruninize the check and to know its depositors before it could make the cleari
ng indorsement "all prior indorsements and/or lack of indorsement guaranteed". I
n Banco de Oro Savings and Mortgage Bank vs. Equitable Banking Corporation,24 we
ruled: "Anent petitioner s liability on said instruments, this court is in full
accord with the ruling of the PCHC s Board of Directors that: In presenting th
e checks for clearing and for payment, the defendant made an express guarantee o
n the validity of "all prior endorsements." Thus, stamped at the back of the che
cks are the defedant s clear warranty: ALL PRIOR ENDORSEMENTS AND/OR LACK OF END
ORSEMENTS GUARANTEED. Without such warranty, plaintiff would not have paid on th
e checks. No amount of legal jargon can reverse the clear meaning of defendant
s warranty. As the warranty has proven to be false and inaccurate, the defendant
is liable for any damage arising out of the falsity of its representation." Las
tly, banking business requires that the one who first cashes and negotiates the
check must take some percautions to learn whether or not it is genuine. And if t
he one cashing the check through indifference or othe circumstance assists the f
orger in committing the fraud, he should not be permitted to retain the proceeds
of the check from the drawee whose sole fault was that it did not discover the
forgery or the defect in the title of the person negotiating the instrument befo
re paying the check. For this reason, a bank which cashes a check drawn upon ano
ther bank, without requiring proof as to the identity of persons presenting it,
or making inquiries with regard to them, cannot hold the proceeds against the dr
awee when the proceeds of the checks were afterwards diverted to the hands of a
third party. In such cases the drawee bank has a right to believe that the cashi
ng bank (or the collecting bank) had, by the usual proper investigation, satisfi
ed itself of the authenticity of the negotiation of the checks. Thus, one who en
cashed a check which had been forged or diverted and in turn received payment th
ereon from the drawee, is guilty of negligence which proximately contributed to
the success of the fraud practiced on the drawee bank. The latter may recover fr
om the holder the money paid on the check. Having established that the collectin
g bank s negligence is the proximate cause of the loss, we conclude that PCIBank
is liable in the amount corresponding to the proceeds of Citibank Check No. SN-
04867. WHEREFORE, the assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals i
n CA-G.R. CV No. 25017 are AFFIRMED. PCIBank, know formerly as Insular Bank of A
sia and America, is declared solely responsible for the loss of the proceeds of
Citibank Check No SN 04867 in the amount P4,746,114.41, which shall be paid toge
ther with six percent (6%) interest
thereon to Ford Philippines Inc. from the date when the original complaint was f
iled until said amount is fully paid. However, the Decision and Resolution of th
e Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 28430 are MODIFIED as follows: PCIBank and Cit
ibank are adjudged liable for and must share the loss, (concerning the proceeds
of Citibank Check Numbers SN 10597 and 16508 totalling P12,163,298.10) on a fift
y-fifty ratio, and each bank is ORDERED to pay Ford Philippines Inc. P6,081,649.
05, with six percent (6%) interest thereon, from the date the complaint was file
d until full payment of said amount.1wphi1.nt Costs against Philippine Commercial
International Bank and Citibank N.A. SO ORDERED. 104. NPC vs. COURT OF APPEALS F
ACTS: This present controversy traces its beginnings to four (4) separate compla
ints 2 for damages filed against the NPC and Benjamin Chavez before the trial co
urt. The plaintiffs therein, now private respondents, sought to recover actual a
nd other damages for the loss of lives and the destruction to property caused by
the inundation of the town of Norzagaray, Bulacan on 26-27 October 1978. The fl
ooding was purportedly caused by the negligent release by the defendants of wate
r through the spillways of the Angat Dam (Hydroelectric Plant). In said complain
ts, the plaintiffs alleged, inter alia, that: 1) defendant NPC operated and main
tained a multi-purpose hydroelectric plant in the Angat River at Hilltop, Norzag
aray, Bulacan; 2) defendant Benjamin Chavez was the plant supervisor at the time
of the incident in question; 3) despite the defendants knowledge, as early as
24 October 1978, of the impending entry of typhoon "Kading," they failed to exer
cise due diligence in monitoring the water level at the dam; 4) when the said wa
ter level went beyond the maximum allowable limit at the height of the typhoon,
the defendants suddenly, negligently and recklessly opened three (3) of the dam
s spillways, thereby releasing a large amount of water which inundated the banks
of the Angat River; and 5) as a consequence, members of the household of the pl
aintiffs, together with their animals, drowned, and their properties were washed
away in the evening of 26 October and the early hours of 27 October 1978. In th
eir Answers, the defendants, now petitioners, alleged that: 1) the NPC exercised
due care, diligence and prudence in the operation and maintenance of the hydroe
lectric plant; 2) the NPC exercised the diligence of a good father in the select
ion of its employees; 3) written notices were sent to the different municipaliti
es of Bulacan warning the residents therein about the impending release of a lar
ge volume of water with the onset of typhoon "Kading" and advise them to take th
e necessary precautions; 4) the water released during the typhoon was needed to
prevent the collapse of the dam and avoid greater damage to people and property;
5) in spite of the precautions undertaken and the diligence exercised, they cou
ld still not contain or control the flood that resulted and; 6) the damages incu
rred by the private respondents were caused by a fortuitous event or force majeu
re and are in the nature and character of damnum absque injuria. By way of speci
al affirmative defense, the defendants averred that the NPC cannot be sued becau
se it performs a purely governmental function. RULINGS: RTC: The lower court ren
dered its decision on 30 April 1990 dismissing the complaints "for lack of suffi
cient and credible evidence."
CA: In its joint decision promulgated on 19 August 1991, the Court of Appeals re
versed the appealed decision and awarded damages in favor of the private respond
ents. The dispositive portion of the decision reads: CONFORMABLY TO THE FOREGOIN
G, the joint decision appealed from is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and a new
one is hereby rendered: 1. In Civil Case No. SM-950, ordering defendants-appelle
es to pay, jointly and severally, plaintiffs-appellants, with legal interest fro
m the date when this decision shall become final and executory, the following: A
. Actual damages, to wit: 1) Gaudencio C. Rayo, Two Hundred Thirty One Thousand
Two Hundred Sixty Pesos (P231,260.00); 2) Bienvenido P. Pascual, Two Hundred Fou
r Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P204.500.00); 3) Tomas Manuel, One Hundred Fifty
Five Thousand Pesos (P155,000.00); 4) Pedro C. Bartolome, One Hundred Forty Seve
n Thousand Pesos (P147,000.00);. 5) Bernardino Cruz, One Hundred Forty Three Tho
usand Five Hundred Fifty Two Pesos and Fifty Centavos (P143,552.50); 6) Jose Pal
ad, Fifty Seven Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P57,500.00); 7) Mariano S. Cruz, Fo
rty Thousand Pesos (P40,000.00); 8) Lucio Fajardo, Twenty nine Thousand Eighty P
esos (P29,080.00); and B. Litigation expenses of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00)
; 2. In Civil case No. SM-951, ordering defendants-appellees to pay jointly and
severally, plaintiff-appellant, with legal interest from the date when this deci
sion shall have become final and executory, the following : A. Actual damages of
Five Hundred Twenty Thousand Pesos (P520,000.00);. B. Moral damages of five hun
dred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00); and. C. Litigation expenses of Ten Thousand P
esos (P10,000.00);. 3. In Civil Case No. SM-953, ordering defendants-appellees t
o pay, jointly and severally, with legal interest from the date when this decisi
on shall have become final and executory; A. Plaintiff-appellant Angel C. Torres
: 1) Actual damages of One Hundred Ninety Nine Thousand One Hundred Twenty Pesos
(P199,120.00); 2) Moral Damages of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P150,000.0
0); B. 1) 2) C. 1) 2) D. Plaintiff-appellant Norberto Torres: Actual damages of
Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00); Moral damages of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,00
0.00); Plaintiff-appellant Rodelio Joaquin: Actual damages of One Hundred Thousa
nd Pesos (P100,000.00); Moral damages of One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100,000.00
); and Plaintifsf-appellants litigation expenses of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.
00);
4. In Civil case No. SM-1247, ordering defendants-appellees to pay, jointly and
severally, with legal interest from the date when this decision shall have becom
e final and executory : A. Plaintiffs-appellants Presentacion Lorenzo and Clodua
ldo Lorenzo: 1) Actual damages of Two Hundred Fifty Six Thousand Six Hundred Pes
os (P256,600.00); 2) Moral damages of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00); B. 1) 2
) C. 1) D. Plaintiff-appellant Consolacion Guzman : Actual damages of One Hundre
d forty Thousand Pesos (P140,000.00); Moral damages of Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50
,000.00); Plaintiff-appellant Virginia Guzman : Actual damages of Two Hundred Fi
ve Hundred Twenty Pesos (205,520.00); and Plaintiffs-appellants litigation expen
ses of Ten Thousand Pesos (10,000.00).
In addition, in all the four (4) instant cases, ordering defendants-appellees to
pay, jointly and severally, plaintiffs-appellants attorney fees in an amount eq
uivalent to 15% of the total amount awarded. No pronouncement as to costs. The f
oregoing judgment is based on the public respondent s conclusion that the petiti
oners were guilty of: . . . a patent gross and evident lack of foresight, imprud
ence and negligence . . . in the management and operation of Angat Dam. The unho
liness of the hour, the extent of the opening of the spillways, And the magnitud
e of the water released, are all but products of defendants-appellees headlessn
ess, slovenliness, and carelessness. The resulting flash flood and inundation of
even areas (sic) one (1) kilometer away from the Angat River bank would have be
en avoided had defendants-appellees prepared the Angat Dam by maintaining in the
first place, a water elevation which would allow room for the expected torrenti
al rains. This conclusion, in turn, is anchored on its findings of fact, to wit:
As early as October 21, 1978, defendants-appellees knew of the impending onslau
ght of and imminent danger posed by typhoon "Kading". For as alleged by defendan
tsappellees themselves, the coming of said super typhoon was bannered by Bulleti
n Today, a newspaper of national circulation, on October 25, 1978, as "Super How
ler to hit R.P." The next day, October 26, 1978, said typhoon once again merited
a headline in said newspaper as "Kading s Big Blow expected this afternoon" (Ap
pellee s Brief, p. 6). Apart from the newspapers, defendants-appellees learned o
f typhoon "Kading through radio announcements (Civil Case No. SM-950, TSN, Benj
amin Chavez, December 4, 1984, pp. 7-9). Defendants-appellees doubly knew that t
he Angat Dam can safely hold a normal maximum headwater elevation of 217 meters
(Appellee s brief, p. 12; Civil Case No. SM-
951, Exhibit "I-6"; Civil Case No. SM-953, Exhibit "J-6"; Civil Case No. SM-1247
, Exhibit "G-6"). Yet, despite such knowledge, defendants-appellees maintained a
reservoir water elevation even beyond its maximum and safe level, thereby givin
g no sufficient allowance for the reservoir to contain the rain water that will
inevitably be brought by the coming typhoon. On October 24, 1978, before typhoon
"Kading" entered the Philippine area of responsibility, water elevation ranged
from 217.61 to 217.53, with very little opening of the spillways, ranging from 1
/2 to 1 meter. On October 25, 1978, when typhoon "Kading" entered the Philippine
area of responsibility, and public storm signal number one was hoisted over Bul
acan at 10:45 a.m., later raised to number two at 4:45 p.m., and then to number
three at 10:45 p.m., water elevation ranged from 217.47 to 217.57, with very lit
tle opening of the spillways, ranging from 1/2 to 1 meter. On October 26, 1978,
when public storm signal number three remained hoisted over Bulacan, the water e
levation still remained at its maximum level of 217.00 to 218.00 with very littl
e opening of the spillways ranging from 1/2 to 2 meters, until at or about midni
ght, the spillways were suddenly opened at 5 meters, then increasing swiftly to
8, 10, 12, 12.5, 13, 13.5, 14, 14.5 in the early morning hours of October 27, 19
78, releasing water at the rate of 4,500 cubic meters per second, more or less.
On October 27, 1978, water elevation remained at a range of 218.30 to 217.05 (Ci
vil Case No. SM-950, Exhibits "D" and series, "L", "M", "N", and "O" and Exhibit
s "3" and "4"; Civil Case No. SM-951, Exhibits "H" and "H-1"; Civil Case No. SM-
953, Exhibits "I" and "I-1"; Civil Case No. SM 1247, Exhibits "F" and "F-1"). Fr
om the mass of evidence extant in the record, We are convinced, and so hold that
the flash flood on October 27, 1978, was caused not by rain waters (sic), but b
y stored waters (sic) suddenly and simultaneously released from the Angat Dam by
defendantsappellees, particularly from midnight of October 26, 1978 up to the m
orning hours of October 27, 1978. ISSUE BEFORE THE SC: Whether or not the NPC sh
ould be held liable to the private respondents for any kind of damage - such dam
age being in the nature of damnum absque injuria, since the incident in question
was caused by force majeure. SC RULING: We reiterate here in Our pronouncement
in the latter case that Juan F. Nakpil & Sons vs. Court of Appeals is still good
law as far as the concurrent liability of an obligor in the case of force majeu
re is concerned. In the Nakpil case, We held: To exempt the obligor from liabili
ty under Article 1174 of the Civil Code, for a breach of an obligation due to an
"act of God," the following must concur: (a) the cause of the breach of the obl
igation must be independent of the will of the debtor; (b) the event must be eit
her unforseeable or unavoidable; (c) the event must be such as to render it impo
ssible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a moral manner; and (d) the d
ebtor must be free from any participation in, or aggravation of the injury to th
e creditor. (Vasquez v. Court of Appeals, 138 SCRA 553; Estrada v. Consolacion,
71 SCRA 423; Austria v. Court of Appeals, 39 SCRA 527; Republic of the Phil. v.
Luzon Stevedoring Corp., 21 SCRA 279; Lasam v. Smith, 45 Phil. 657).
Thus, if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an act of God, there concur
s a corresponding fraud, negligence, delay or violation or contravention in any
manner of the tenor of the obligation as provided for in Article 1170 of the Civ
il Code, which results in loss or damage, the obligor cannot escape liability. T
he principle embodied in the act of God doctrine strictly requires that the act
must be one occasioned exclusively by the violence of nature and all human agenc
ies are to be excluded from creating or entering into the cause of the mischief.
When the effect, the cause of which is to be considered, is found to be in part
the result of the participation of man, whether it be from active intervention
or neglect, or failure to act, the whole occurrence is thereby humanized, as it
were, and removed from the rules applicable to the acts of God. (1 Corpus Juris,
pp. 1174-1175). Thus it has been held that when the negligence of a person conc
urs with an act of God in producing a loss, such person is not exempt from liabi
lity by showing that the immediate cause of the damage was the act of God. To be
exempt from liability for loss because of an act of God, he must be free from a
ny previous negligence or misconduct by which that loss or damage may have been
occasioned. (Fish & Elective Co. v. Phil. Motors, 55 Phil. 129; Tucker v. Milan,
49 O.G. 4379; Limpangco & Sons v. Yangco Steamship Co., 34 Phil. 594, 604; Lasa
m v. Smith, 45 Phil. 657). Accordingly, petitioners cannot be heard to invoke th
e act of God or force majeure to escape liability for the loss or damage sustain
ed by private respondents since they, the petitioners, were guilty of negligence
. The event then was not occasioned exclusively by an act of God or force majeur
e; a human factor negligence or imprudence had intervened. The effect then of th
e force majeure in question may be deemed to have, even if only partly, resulted
from the participation of man. Thus, the whole occurrence was thereby humanized
, as it were, and removed from the laws applicable to acts of God. WHEREFORE, fo
r want of merit, the instant petition is hereby DISMISSED and the Consolidated D
ecision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV Nos. 27290-93 is AFFIRMED, with co
sts against the petitioners. SO ORDERED. Cases 96-104 ATANACIO, ZINNIA FARICA MA
Y V. 105. SOUTHEASTERN COLLEGE, INC. vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Private respond
ents are owners of a house at 326 College Road, Pasay City, while petitioner own
s a four-storey school building along the same College Road. On October 11, 1989
, at about 6:30 in the morning, a powerful typhoon Saling hit Metro Manila. Buffet
ed by very strong winds, the roof of petitioners building was partly ripped off a
nd blown away, landing on and destroying portions of the roofing of private resp
ondents house. After the typhoon had passed, an ocular inspection of the destroye
d buildings was conducted by a team of engineers headed by the city building off
icial, Engr. Jesus L. Reyna.
In the complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 117, for
damages based on culpa aquiliana, private respondents alleged that the damage to
their house rendered the same uninhabitable; forcing them to stay temporarily i
n others houses and this was granted. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed wi
th modification the trial courts disposition reducing the award for moral damages
from P1, 000,000.00 to P200, 000.00. ISSUE: Whether or not the awarding of actu
al and moral damages as well as attorneys fees and costs of suit binding even if
fortuitous event arises without human intervention? RULING: In order that a fort
uitous event may exempt a person from liability, it is necessary that he be free
from any previous negligence or misconduct by reason of which the loss may have
been occasioned. An act of God cannot be invoked for the protection of a person
who has been guilty of gross negligence in not trying to forestall its possible
adverse consequences. When a persons negligence concurs with an act of God in pr
oducing damage or injury to another, such person is not exempt from liability by
showing that the immediate or proximate cause of the damage or injury was a for
tuitous event. When the effect is found to be partly the result of the participa
tion of man whether it be from active intervention, or neglect, or failure to ac
t the whole occurrence is hereby humanized, and removed from the rules applicabl
e to acts of God. There is no question that a typhoon or storm is a fortuitous e
vent, a natural occurrence which may be foreseen but is unavoidable despite any
amount of foresight, diligence or care. In order to be exempt from liability ari
sing from any adverse consequence engendered thereby, there should have been no
human participation amounting to a negligent act. In other words, the person see
king exoneration from liability must not be guilty of negligence. Negligence, as
commonly understood, is conduct which naturally or reasonably creates undue ris
k or harm to others. It may be the failure to observe that degree of care, preca
ution, and vigilance which the circumstances justly demand, or the omission to d
o something which a prudent and reasonable man, guided by considerations which o
rdinarily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do. At the outset, it bea
rs emphasizing that a person claiming damages for the negligence of another has
the burden of proving the existence of fault or negligence causative of his inju
ry or loss. The facts constitutive of negligence must be affirmatively establish
ed by competent evidence, not merely by presumptions and conclusions without bas
is in fact. Private respondents, in establishing the culpability of petitioner,
merely relied on the aforementioned report submitted by a team which made an ocu
lar inspection of petitioners school building after the typhoon. As the term impa
rts, an ocular inspection is one by means of actual sight or viewing. What is vi
sual to the eye though, is not always reflective of the real cause behind. For i
nstance, one who hears a gunshot and then sees a wounded person cannot always de
finitely conclude that a third person shot the victim. It could have been self-i
nflicted or caused accidentally by a stray bullet. The relationship of cause and
effect must be clearly shown. On the other hand, petitioner elicited from one o
f the witnesses of private respondents, city building official Jesus Reyna, that
the original plans and design of petitioners school building were approved prior
to its construction. Engr. Reyna admitted that it was a
legal requirement before the construction of any building to obtain a permit fro
m the city building official (city engineer, prior to the passage of the Buildin
g Act of 1977). In like manner, after construction of the building, a certificat
ion must be secured from the same official attesting to the readiness for occupa
ncy of the edifice. Having obtained both building permit and certificate of occu
pancy, these are, at the very least, prima facie evidence of the regular and pro
per construction of subject school building. In addition, petitioner presented i
ts vice president for finance and administration who testified that an annual ma
intenance inspection and repair of subject school building were regularly undert
aken. Petitioner was even willing to present its maintenance supervisor to attes
t to the extent of such regular inspection but private respondents agreed to dis
pense with his testimony and simply stipulated that it would be corroborative of
the vice presidents narration. Moreover, the city building official, who has bee
n in the city government service since 1974, admitted in open court that no comp
laint regarding any defect on the same structure has ever been lodged before his
office prior to the institution of the case at bench. It is a matter of judicia
l notice that typhoons are common occurrences in this country. If subject school
buildings roofing was not firmly anchored to its trusses, obviously, it could no
t have withstood long years and several typhoons even stronger than Saling. With t
his disposition on the pivotal issue, private respondents claim for actual and mo
ral damages as well as attorneys fees must fail. Petitioner cannot be made to ans
wer for a purely fortuitous event. More so because no bad faith or willful act t
o cause damage was alleged and proven to warrant moral damages. Private responde
nts failed to adduce adequate and competent proof of the pecuniary loss they act
ually incurred. It is not enough that the damage be capable of proof but must be
actually proved with a reasonable degree of certainty, pointing out specific fa
cts that afford a basis for measuring whatever compensatory damages are borne. P
rivate respondents merely submitted an estimated amount needed for the repair of
the roof of their subject building. What is more, whether the necessary repairs w
ere caused ONLY by petitioners alleged negligence in the maintenance of its schoo
l building, or included the ordinary wear and tear of the house itself, is an es
sential question that remains indeterminable. The Court deems unnecessary to res
olve the other issues posed by petitioner. However, the writ of execution issued
on April 1, 1993 by the trial court is hereby nullified and set aside. Private
respondents are ordered to reimburse any amount or return to petitioner any prop
erty which they may have received by virtue of the enforcement of said writ. WHE
REFORE, the petition is GRANTED and the challenged Decision is REVERSED. The com
plaint of private respondents in Civil Case No. 7314 before the trial court a qu
o is ordered DISMISSED and the writ of execution issued on April 1, 1993 in said
case is SET ASIDE. Accordingly, private respondents are ORDERED to return to pe
titioner any amount or property received by them by virtue of said writ. Costs a
gainst the private respondents.
106. ILOCOS NORTE ELECTRIC COMPANY vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: From the evidence
of plaintiffs it appears that in the evening of June 28 until the early morning
of June 29, 1967 a strong typhoon by the code name "Gening" buffeted the provin
ce of Ilocos Norte, bringing heavy rains and consequent flooding in its wake. Be
tween 5:30 and 6:00 A.M. on June 29, 1967, after the typhoon had abated and when
the floodwaters were beginning to recede the deceased Isabel Lao Juan, fondly c
alled Nana Belen, ventured out of the house of her son-in-law, Antonio Yabes, on
No. 19 Guerrero Street, Laoag City, and proceeded northward towards the directi
on of the Five Sisters Emporium, of which she was the owner and proprietress, to
look after the merchandise therein that might have been damaged. Wading in wais
t-deep flood on Guerrero, the deceased was followed by Aida Bulong, a Salesgirl
at the Five Sisters Grocery, also owned by the deceased, and by Linda Alonzo Est
avillo, a ticket seller at the YJ Cinema, which was partly owned by the deceased
. Aida and Linda walked side by side at a distance of between 5 and 6 meters beh
ind the deceased, Suddenly, the deceased screamed "Ay" and quickly sank into the
water. The two girls attempted to help, but fear dissuaded them from doing so b
ecause on the spot where the deceased sank they saw an electric wire dangling fr
om a post and moving in snake-like fashion in the water. Upon their shouts for h
elp, Ernesto dela Cruz came out of the house of Antonio Yabes. Ernesto tried to
go to the deceased, but at four meters away from her he turned back shouting tha
t the water was grounded. Aida and Linda prodded Ernesto to seek help from Anton
io Yabes at the YJ Cinema building which was four or five blocks away. After due
trial, the CFI found the facts in favor of petitioner and dismissed the complai
nt but awarded to the latter P25,000 in moral damages and attorney s fees of P45
,000. An appeal was filed with the CA which issued the controverted decision. IS
SUE: Whether or not the trial court did not err in awarding moral damages and at
torney s fees to Defendant Corporation? RULING: From the preceding, we find that
the CA did not abuse its discretion in reversing the trial court s findings but
tediously considered the factual circumstances at hand pursuant to its power to
review questions of fact raised from the decision of the Regional Trial Court,
formerly the Court of First Instance (see sec. 9, BP 129). In considering the li
ability of petitioner, the respondent CA awarded the following in private respon
dent s favor: P30,229.45 in actual damages (i.e., P12,000 for the victim s death
and P18,229.45 for funeral expenses); P50,000 in compensatory damages, computed
in accordance with the formula set in the Villa-Rey Transit case (31 SCRA 511)
with the base of P15,000 as average annual income of the deceased; P10,000 in ex
emplary damages; P3,000 attorney s fees; and costs of suit. Except for the award
of P12,000 as compensation for the victim s death, We affirm the respondent CA
s award for damages and attorney s fees. Pusuant to recent jurisprudence (People
vs. Mananquil, 132 SCRA 196; People vs. Traya, 147 SCRA 381), We increase the s
aid award of P12,000 to P30,000, thus, increasing the total actual damages to P4
8,229.45. The exclusion of moral damages and attorney s fees awarded by the lowe
r court was properly made by the respondent CA, the charge of malice and bad fai
th on the part of respondents in instituting his case being a mere product of wi
shful thinking and speculation. Award of damages and attorney s fees is unwarran
ted where the action was filed in good faith; there should be no penalty on the
right to litigate (Espiritu vs.
CA, 137 SCRA 50). If damage results from a person s exercising his legal rights,
it is damnum absque injuria (Auyong Hian vs. CTA, 59 SCRA 110). WHEREFORE, the
questioned decision of the respondent, except for the slight modification that a
ctual damages be increased to P48,229.45 is hereby AFFIRMED. 107. PLEASANTVILLE
DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Edith Robillo purchased from
petitioner a parcel of land designated as Lot 9, Phase II and located at Taculi
ng Road, Pleasantville Subdivision, Bacolod City. In 1975, respondent Eldred Jar
dinico bought the rights to the lot from Robillo. At that time, Lot 9 was vacant
. Upon completing all payments, Jardinico secured from the Register of Deeds of
Bacolod City on December 19, 1978 Transfer Certificate of Title No. 106367 in hi
s name. It was then that he discovered that improvements had been introduced on
Lot 9 by respondent Wilson Kee, who had taken possession thereof. It appears tha
t on March 26, 1974, Kee bought on installment Lot 8 of the same subdivision fro
m C.T. Torres Enterprises, Inc. (CTTEI), the exclusive real estate agent of peti
tioner. Under the Contract to Sell on Installment, Kee could possess the lot eve
n before the completion of all installment payments. On January 20, 1975, Kee pa
id CTTEI the relocation fee of P50.00 and another P50.00 on January 27, 1975, fo
r the preparation of the lot plan. These amounts were paid prior to Kee s taking
actual possession of Lot 8. After the preparation of the lot plan and a copy th
ereof given to Kee, CTTEI through its employee, Zenaida Octaviano, accompanied K
ee s wife, Donabelle Kee, to inspect Lot 8. Unfortunately, the parcel of land po
inted by Octaviano was Lot 9. Thereafter, Kee proceeded to construct his residen
ce, a store, an auto repair shop and other improvements on the lot. The MTCC hel
d that the erroneous delivery of Lot 9 to Kee was attributable to CTTEI. It furt
her ruled that petitioner and CTTEI could not successfully invoke as a defense t
he failure of Kee to give notice of his intention to begin construction required
under paragraph 22 of the Contract to Sell on Installment and his having built
a sari-sari store without the prior approval of petitioner required under paragr
aph 26 of said contract, saying that the purpose of these requirements was merel
y to regulate the type of improvements to be constructed on the Lot. On appeal,
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 48, Bacolod City (RTC) ruled that petitioner an
d CTTEI were not at fault or were not negligent, there being no preponderant evi
dence to show that they directly participated in the delivery of Lot 9 to Kee5 T
he appellate court ruled that Kee was a builder in good faith, as he was unaware
of the "mix-up" when he began construction of the improvements on Lot 8. ISSUE:
Whether or not the award of attorney s fees is proper? RULING: The MTCC awarded
Jardinico attorney s fees and costs in the amount of P3,000.00 and P700.00, res
pectively, as prayed for in his complaint. The RTC deleted the award, consistent
with its ruling that petitioner was without fault or negligence. The
Court of Appeals, however, reinstated the award of attorney s fees after ruling
that petitioner was liable for its agent s negligence. The award of attorney s f
ees lies within the discretion of the court and depends upon the circumstances o
f each case . We shall not interfere with the discretion of the Court of Appeals
. Jardinico was compelled to litigate for the protection of his interests and fo
r the recovery of damages sustained as a result of the negligence of petitioner
s agent . In sum, we rule that Kee is a builder in good faith. The disposition o
f the Court of Appeals that Kee "is entitled to the rights granted him under Art
icles 448, 546 and 548 of the New Civil Code" is deleted, in view of the deed of
sale entered into by Kee and Jardinico, which deed now governs the rights of Ja
rdinico and Kee as to each other. There is also no further need, as ruled by the
appellate Court, to remand the case to the court of origin "for determination o
f the actual value of the improvements and the property (Lot 9), as well as for
further proceedings in conformity with Article 448 of the New Civil Code." WHERE
FORE , the petition is partially GRANTED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals i
s hereby MODIFIED as follows: (1) Wilson Kee is declared a builder in good faith
; (2) Petitioner Pleasantville Development Corporation and respondent C.T. Torre
s Enterprises, Inc. are declared solidarily liable for damages due to negligence
; however, since the amount and/or extent of such damages was not proven during
the trial, the same cannot now be quantified and awarded; (3) Petitioner Pleasan
tville Development Corporation and respondent C.T. Torres Enterprises, Inc. are
ordered to pay in solidum the amount of P3,000.00 to Jardinico as attorney s fee
s, as well as litigation expenses; and (4) The award of rentals to Jardinico is
dispensed with. 108. YOBIDO vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: On April 26, 1988, spous
es Tito and Leny Tumboy and their minor children named Ardee and Jasmin, bearded
at Mangagoy, Surigao del Sur, a Yobido Liner bus bound for Davao City. Along Pi
cop Road in Km. 17, Sta. Maria, Agusan del Sur, the left front tire of the bus e
xploded. The bus fell into a ravine around three (3) feet from the road and stru
ck a tree. The incident resulted in the death of 28-year-old Tito Tumboy and phy
sical injuries to other passengers. On November 21, 1988, a complaint for breach
of contract of carriage, damages and attorney s fees was filed by Leny and her
children against Alberta Yobido, the owner of the bus, and Cresencio Yobido, its
driver, before the Regional Trial Court of Davao City. When the defendants ther
ein filed their answer to the complaint, they raised the affirmative defense of
caso fortuito. They also filed a third-party complaint against Philippine Phoeni
x Surety and Insurance, Inc. This third-party defendant filed an answer with com
pulsory counterclaim. At the pre-trial conference, the parties agreed to a stipu
lation of facts. On August 29, 1991, the lower court rendered a decision dismiss
ing the action for lack of merit. On the issue of whether or not the tire blowou
t was a caso fortuito, it found
that "the falling of the bus to the cliff was a result of no other outside facto
r than the tire blow-out." Dissatisfied, the plaintiffs appealed to the Court of
Appeals. The Court of Appeals rendered the Decision reversing that of the lower
court. ISSUE: Whether or not the damages being prayed for justifies the act bre
ach of contract of carriage by the petitioner in this particular case? RULING: I
n view of the foregoing, petitioners contention that they should be exempt from
liability because the tire blowout was no more than a fortuitous event that cou
ld not have been foreseen, must fail. A fortuitous event is possessed of the fol
lowing characteristics: (a) the cause of the unforeseen and unexpected occurrenc
e, or the failure of the debtor to comply with his obligations, must be independ
ent of human will; (b) it must be impossible to foresee the event which constitu
tes the caso fortuito, or if it can be foreseen, it must be impossible to avoid;
(c) the occurrence must be such as to render it impossible for the debtor to fu
lfill his obligation in a normal manner; and (d) the obliger must be free from a
ny participation in the aggravation of the injury resulting to the creditor. As
Article 1174 provides, no person shall be responsible for a fortuitous event whi
ch could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, was inevitable. In other wo
rds, there must be an entire exclusion of human agency from the cause of injury
or loss. Under the circumstances of this case, the explosion of the new tire may
not be considered a fortuitous event. There are human factors involved in the s
ituation. The fact that the tire was new did not imply that it was entirely free
from manufacturing defects or that it was properly mounted on the vehicle. Neit
her may the fact that the tire bought and used in the vehicle is of a brand name
noted for quality, resulting in the conclusion that it could not explode within
five days use. Be that as it may, it is settled that an accident caused either
by defects in the automobile or through the negligence of its driver is not a c
aso fortuito that would exempt the carrier from liability for damages. Moreover,
a common carrier may not be absolved from liability in case of force majeure or
fortuitous event alone. The common carrier must still prove that it was not neg
ligent in causing the death or injury resulting from an accident. Having failed
to discharge its duty to overthrow the presumption of negligence with clear and
convincing evidence, petitioners are hereby held liable for damages. Article 176
4 19 in relation to Article 2206 20 of the Civil Code prescribes the amount of a
t least three thousand pesos as damages for the death of a passenger. Under prev
ailing jurisprudence, the award of damages under Article 2206 has been increased
to fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00). Moral damages are generally not recoverab
le in culpa contractual except when bad faith had been proven. However, the same
damages may be recovered when breach of contract of carriage results in the dea
th of a passenger, 22 as in this case. Exemplary damages, awarded by way of exam
ple or correction for the public good when moral damages are awarded, 23 may lik
ewise be recovered in contractual obligations if the defendant acted in wanton,
fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner. 24 Because petitioners f
ailed to exercise the extraordinary diligence required of a common
carrier, which resulted in the death of Tito Tumboy, it is deemed to have acted
recklessly. 25 As such, private respondents shall be entitled to exemplary damag
es. WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED subject t
o the modification that petitioners shall, in addition to the monetary awards th
erein, be liable for the award of exemplary damages in the amount of P20,000.00.
Costs against petitioners. 109. KRAMER, JR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: The rec
ord of the case discloses that in the early morning of April 8, 1976, the F/B Ma
rjolea, a fishing boat owned by the petitioners Ernesto Kramer, Jr. and Marta Kr
amer, was navigating its way from Marinduque to Manila. Somewhere near Maricabon
Island and Cape Santiago, the boat figured in a collision with an inter-island
vessel, the M/V Asia Philippines owned by the private respondent Trans-Asia Ship
ping Lines, Inc. As a consequence of the collision, the F/B Marjolea sank, takin
g with it its fish catch. On May 30, 1985, the petitioners instituted a Complain
t for damages against the private respondent before Branch 117 of the Regional T
rial Court in Pasay City. It was granted due to the need to rely on highly techn
ical aspects attendant to such collision. The private respondent elevated the ca
se to the Court of Appeals by way of a special civil action for certiorari and p
rohibition, alleging therein that the trial court committed a grave abuse of dis
cretion in refusing to dismiss the Complaint filed by the petitioners. In a Deci
sion dated November 27, 1987, 7 and clarified in a Resolution dated January 12,
1988, 8 the Court of Appeals granted the Petition filed by the private responden
t and ordered the trial court to dismiss the Complaint. The petitioners filed a
Motion for the reconsideration of the said Decision but the same was denied by t
he Court of Appeals in a Resolution dated May 27, 1988. ISSUE: Whether or not a
Complaint for damages instituted by the petitioners against the private responde
nt arising from a marine collision is statute of limitations? RULING: The petiti
on is devoid of merit. Under Article 1146 of the Civil Code, an action based upo
n a quasi-delict must be instituted within four (4) years. The prescriptive peri
od begins from the day the quasi-delict is committed. In Paulan vs. Sarabia, thi
s Court ruled that in an action for damages arising from the collision of two (2
) trucks, the action being based on a quasi-delict, the four (4) year prescripti
ve period must be counted from the day of the collision. In Espanol vs. Chairman
, Philippine Veterans Administration, 17 this Court held as followsThe right of
action accrues when there exists a cause of action, which consists of 3 elements
, namely: a) a right in favor of the plaintiff by whatever means and under whate
ver law it arises or is created; b) an obligation on the part of defendant to re
spect such right; and c) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violat
ive of the right of the plaintiff ... It is only when the last element occurs or
takes place that it can be said in law that a cause of action has arisen ... .
From the foregoing ruling, it is clear that the prescriptive period must be coun
ted when the last element occurs or takes place, that is, the time of the commis
sion of an act or omission violative of the right of the plaintiff, which is the
time when the cause of action arises. It is therefore clear that in this action
for damages arising from the collision of two (2) vessels the four (4) year pre
scriptive period must be counted from the day of the collision. The aggrieved pa
rty need not wait for a determination by an administrative body like a Board of
Marine Inquiry, that the collision was caused by the fault or negligence of the
other party before he can file an action for damages. The ruling in Vasquez does
not apply in this case. Immediately after the collision the aggrieved party can
seek relief from the courts by alleging such negligence or fault of the owners,
agents or personnel of the other vessel. Thus, the respondent court correctly f
ound that the action of petitioner has prescribed. The collision occurred on Apr
il 8, 1976. The complaint for damages was filed in court only on May 30, 1 985,
was beyond the four (4) year prescriptive period. WHEREFORE, the petition is dis
missed. No costs. 110. RAYNERA vs. HICETA FACTS: On March 23, 1989, at about 2:0
0 in the morning, Reynaldo Raynera was on his way home. He was riding a motorcyc
le traveling on the southbound lane of East Service Road, Cupang, Muntinlupa. Th
e Isuzu truck was travelling ahead of him at 20 to 30 kilometers per hour. The t
ruck was loaded with two (2) metal sheets extended on both sides, two (2) feet o
n the left and three (3) feet on the right. There were two (2) pairs of red ligh
ts, about 35 watts each, on both sides of the metal plates. The asphalt road was
not well lighted. At some point on the road, Reynaldo Raynera crashed his motor
cycle into the left rear portion of the truck trailer, which was without tail li
ghts. Due to the collision, Reynaldo sustained head injuries and truck helper Ge
raldino D. Lucelo rushed him to the Paraaque Medical Center. Upon arrival at the
hospital, the attending physician, Dr. Marivic Aguirre, pronounced Reynaldo Rayn
era dead on arrival. On May 12, 1989, the heirs of the deceased demanded from re
spondents payment of damages arising from the death of Reynaldo Raynera as a res
ult of the vehicular accident. The respondents refused to pay the claims. On Sep
tember 13, 1989, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court, Manila a compl
aintfor damages against respondents owner and driver of the Isuzu truck. On Dece
mber 19, 1991, the trial court rendered decision in favor of petitioners and it
held that respondents negligence was the immediate and proximate cause of Reynald
o Rayneras death, for which they are jointly and severally liable to pay damages
to petitioners. On January 10, 1992, respondents Hiceta and Orpilla appealed to
the Court of Appeals. After due proceedings, on April 28, 1995, the Court of App
eals rendered decision setting aside the appealed decision. The appellate court
held that Reynaldo Rayneras bumping
into the left rear portion of the truck was the proximate cause of his death, an
d consequently, absolved respondents from liability. ISSUE: Whether or not the r
espondents were negligent, and if so, whether such negligence was the proximate
cause of the death of Reynaldo Raynera? RULING: The Court finds no reason to dis
turb the factual findings of the Court of Appeals. Negligence is the omission to
do something which a reasonable man, guided by those considerations which ordina
rily regulate the conduct of human affairs, would do, or the doing of something,
which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. [23] Proximate cause is that cau
se, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient interve
ning cause, produces the injury, and without which the result would not have occ
urred. During the trial, it was established that the truck had no tail lights. Th
e photographs taken of the scene of the accident showed that there were no tail
lights or license plates installed on the Isuzu truck. Instead, what were instal
led were two (2) pairs of lights on top of the steel plates, and one (1) pair of
lights in front of the truck. With regard to the rear of the truck, the photos
taken and the sketch in the spot report proved that there were no tail lights. D
espite the absence of tail lights and license plate, respondents truck was visibl
e in the highway. It was traveling at a moderate speed, approximately 20 to 30 k
ilometers per hour. It used the service road, instead of the highway, because th
e cargo they were hauling posed a danger to passing motorists. In compliance wit
h the Land Transportation Traffic Code (Republic Act No. 4136) [25] respondents i
nstalled 2 pairs of lights on top of the steel plates, as the vehicles cargo load
extended beyond the bed or body thereof. We find that the direct cause of the a
ccident was the negligence of the victim. Traveling behind the truck, he had the
responsibility of avoiding bumping the vehicle in front of him. He was in contr
ol of the situation. His motorcycle was equipped with headlights to enable him t
o see what was in front of him. He was traversing the service road where the pre
scribed speed limit was less than that in the highway. Traffic investigator Cpl.
Virgilio del Monte testified that two pairs of 50-watts bulbs were on top of th
e steel plates, [26] which were visible from a distance of 100 meters. [27] Virg
ilio Santos admitted that from the tricycle where he was on board, he saw the tr
uck and its cargo of iron plates from a distance of ten (10) meters. [28] In lig
ht of these circumstances, an accident could have been easily avoided, unless th
e victim had been driving too fast and did not exercise due care and prudence de
manded of him under the circumstances. Virgilio Santos testimony strengthened res
pondents defense that it was the victim who was reckless and negligent in driving
his motorcycle at high speed. The tricycle where Santos was on board was not mu
ch different from the victims motorcycle that figured in the accident. Although S
antos claimed the tricycle almost bumped into the improperly parked truck, the t
ricycle driver was able to avoid hitting the truck.
It has been said that drivers of vehicles who bump the rear of another vehicle are
presumed to be the cause of the accident, unless contradicted by other evidence.
[29] The rationale behind the presumption is that the driver of the rear vehicle
has full control of the situation as he is in a position to observe the vehicle
in front of him. We agree with the Court of Appeals that the responsibility to
avoid the collision with the front vehicle lies with the driver of the rear vehi
cle. Consequently, no other person was to blame but the victim himself since he
was the one who bumped his motorcycle into the rear of the Isuzu truck. He had t
he last clear chance of avoiding the accident. WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition f
or review on certiorari and AFFIRM the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.
R. CV No. 35895, dismissing the amended complaint in Civil Case No. 89-50355, R
egional Trial Court, Branch 45, Manila. No costs. 111. PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LIN
ES, INC. vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, G.R. Nos. 66102-04, August 30, 1990 F
ACTS: About 11:00 o clock in the morning on December 24, 1966, Catalina Pascua,
Caridad Pascua, Adelaida Estomo, Erlinda Meriales, Mercedes Lorenzo, Alejandro M
orales and Zenaida Parejas boarded the jeepney owned by spouses Isidro Mangune a
nd Guillerma Carreon and driven by Tranquilino Manalo at Dau, Mabalacat, Pampang
a bound for Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan to spend Christmas at their respective h
omes. Although they usually ride in buses, they had to ride in a jeepney that da
y because the buses were full. Their contract with Manalo was for them to pay P2
4.00 for the trip. Upon reaching barrio Sinayoan, San Manuel, Tarlac, the right
rear wheel of the jeepney was detached, so it was running in an unbalanced posit
ion. Manalo stepped on the brake, as a result of which, the jeepney which was th
en running on the eastern lane (its right of way) made a U-turn, invading and ev
entually stopping on the western lane of the road in such a manner that the jeep
ney s front faced the south (from where it came) and its rear faced the north (t
owards where it was going). The jeepney practically occupied and blocked the gre
ater portion of the western lane, which is the right of way of vehicles coming f
rom the north, among which was Bus No. 753 of petitioner Philippine Rabbit Bus L
ines, Inc. (Rabbit) driven by Tomas delos Reyes. As a result of the collision, t
hree passengers of the jeepney (Catalina Pascua, Erlinda Meriales and Adelaida E
stomo) died while the other jeepney passengers sustained physical injuries. Afte
r conducting the investigation, the police filed with the Municipal Court of San
Manuel, Tarlac, a criminal complaint against the two drivers for Multiple Homic
ide. At the preliminary investigation, a probable cause was found with respect t
o the case of Manalo, thus, his case was elevated to the Court of First Instance
. However, finding no sufficiency of evidence as regards the case of delos Reyes
, the Court dismissed it. Manalo was convicted and sentenced to suffer imprisonm
ent. Not having appealed, he served his sentence. The complaint for damages was
then filed before the Court of First Instance in Pangasinan where costs are adju
dged against defendants Mangune, Carreon and
Manalo and Filriters Guaranty. But on appeal, the Intermediate Appellate Court r
eversed the above-quoted decision by finding delos Reyes negligent. ISSUE: Wheth
er or not the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. and its driver Tomas delos Reyes
who acted with diligence required to pay the plaintiffs- appellant jointly and
severally damages that the former prayed for? RULING: It cannot be said that the
bus was travelling at a fast speed when the accident occurred because the speed
of 80 to 90 kilometers per hour, assuming such calculation to be correct, is ye
t within the speed limit allowed in highways. We cannot even fault delos Reyes f
or not having avoided the collision. As aforestated, the jeepney left a skid mar
k of about 45 meters, measured from the time its right rear wheel was detached u
p to the point of collision. Delos Reyes must have noticed the perilous conditio
n of the jeepney from the time its right rear wheel was detached or some 90 mete
rs away, considering that the road was straight and points 200 meters north and
south of the point of collision, visible and unobstructed. Delos Reyes admitted
that he was running more or less 50 kilometers per hour at the time of the accid
ent. Using this speed, delos Reyes covered the distance of 45 meters in 3.24 sec
onds. If We adopt the speed of 80 kilometers per hour, delos Reyes would have co
vered that distance in only 2.025 seconds. Verily, he had little time to react t
o the situation. To require delos Reyes to avoid the collision is to ask too muc
h from him. Aside from the time element involved, there were no options availabl
e to him. As the trial court remarked (pp. 107-108, Record on Appeal): . . . The
y (plaintiffs) tried to impress this Court that defendant de los Reyes, could ha
ve taken either of two options: (1) to swerve to its right (western shoulder) or
(2) to swerve to its left (eastern lane), and thus steer clear of the Mangune j
eepney. This Court does not so believe, considering the existing exigencies of s
pace and time. As to the first option, Phil. Rabbit s evidence is convincing and
unrebutted that the Western shoulder of the road was narrow and had tall grasse
s which would indicate that it was not passable. Even plaintiffs own evidence, t
he pictures (Exhs. P and P-2, Pascua) are mute confirmation of such fact. Indeed
, it can be noticed in the picture (Exh. P-2, Pascua) after the Rabbit bus came
to a full stop, it was tilted to right front side, its front wheels resting most
probably on a canal on a much lower elevation that of the shoulder or paved roa
d. It too shows that all of the wheels of the Rabbit bus were clear of the roadw
ay except the outer left rear wheel. These observation appearing in said picture
(Exh P-2, Pascua) clearly shows coupled with the finding the Rabbit bus came to
a full stop only five meters from the point of impact (see sketch, Exh. K-Pascu
a) clearly show that driver de los Reyes veered his Rabbit bus to the right atte
mpt to avoid hitting the Mangune s jeepney. That it was not successful in fully
clearing the Mangune jeepney as its (Rabbit s) left front hit said jeepney (see
picture Exh. 10-A-Rabbit) must have been due to limitations of space and time. A
fter a minute scrutiny of the factual matters and duly proven evidence, We find
that the proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of Manalo and spouse
s Mangune and Carreon. They all failed to exercise the precautions that are need
ed precisely pro hac vice. In culpa contractual, the moment a passenger dies or
is injured, the carrier is presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negli
gently, and this disputable presumption may
only be overcome by evidence that he had observed extra-ordinary diligence as pr
escribed in Articles 1733, 1755 and 1756 of the New Civil Code 2 or that the dea
th or injury of the passenger was due to a fortuitous event 3 (Lasam v. Smith, J
r., 45 Phil. 657). The negligence of Manalo was proven during the trial by the u
nrebutted testimonies of Caridad Pascua, Police Investigator Tacpal, Police Corp
oral Cacalda, his (Manalo s) conviction for the crime of Multiple Homicide and M
ultiple Serious Injuries with Damage to Property thru Reckless Imprudence, and t
he application of the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur supra. The negligence of spo
uses Mangune and Carreon was likewise proven during the trial (p. 110, Record on
Appeal): To escape liability, defendants Mangune and Carreon offered to show th
ru their witness Natalio Navarro, an alleged mechanic, that he periodically chec
ks and maintains the jeepney of said defendants, the last on Dec. 23, the day be
fore the collision, which included the tightening of the bolts. This notwithstan
ding the right rear wheel of the vehicle was detached while in transit. As to th
e cause thereof no evidence was offered. Said defendant did not even attempt to
explain, much less establish, it to be one caused by a caso fortuito. . . . In a
ny event, "[i]n an action for damages against the carrier for his failure to saf
ely carry his passenger to his destination, an accident caused either by defects
in the automobile or through the negligence of its driver, is not a caso fortui
to which would avoid the carriers liability for damages (Son v. Cebu Autobus Com
pany, 94 Phil. 892 citing Lasam, et al. v. Smith, Jr., 45 Phil. 657; Necesito, e
tc. v. Paras, et al., 104 Phil. 75). The trial court was therefore right in find
ing that Manalo and spouses Mangune and Carreon were negligent. However, its rul
ing that spouses Mangune and Carreon are jointly and severally liable with Manal
o is erroneous.The driver cannot be held jointly and severally liable with the c
arrier in case of breach of the contract of carriage. The rationale behind this
is readily discernible. Firstly, the contract of carriage is between the carrier
and the passenger, and in the event of contractual liability, the carrier is ex
clusively responsible therefore to the passenger, even if such breach be due to
the negligence of his driver (sees Viluan v. The Court of Appeals et al., G.R. N
os. L-21477-81 April 29, 1966, 16 SCRA 742). In other words, the carrier can neit
her shift his liability on the contract to his driver nor share it with him, for
his driver s negligence is his. Secondly, if We make the driver jointly and sev
erally liable with the carrier, that would make the carrier s liability personal
instead of merely vicarious and consequently, entitled to recover only the shar
e which corresponds to the driver, contradictory to the explicit provision of Ar
ticle 2181 of the New Civil Code. We affirm the amount of damages adjudged by th
e trial court, except with respect to the indemnity for loss of life. Under Arti
cle 1764 in relation to Article 2206 of the New Civil Code, the amount of damage
s for the death of a passenger is at least three thousand pesos (P3,000.00). The
prevailing jurisprudence has increased the amount of P3,000.00 to P30,000.00 (s
ee Heirs of Amparo delos Santos, et al. v. Honorable Court of Appeals, et al., G
.R. No. 51165, June 21, 1990 citing De Lima v. Laguna Tayabas Co., G.R. Nos. L-3
5697-99, April 15, 1988, 160 SCRA 70). ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby GRANT
ED. The decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court dated July 29, 1983 and its
resolution dated November 28, 1983 are SET ASIDE. The decision of the Court of
First Instance dated December 27, 1978 is
REINSTATED MODIFICATION that only Isidro Mangune, Guillerma Carreon and Filriter
s Guaranty Assurance Corporation, Inc. are liable to the victims or their heirs
and that the amount of indemnity for loss of life is increased to thirty thousan
d pesos (P30,000.00). So ordered. 112. FILOMENO URBANO, vs. HON. IAC AND PEOPLE
OF THE PHILIPPINES FACTS: At about 8:00 o clock in the morning of October 23, 19
80, petitioner Filomeno Urbano went to his rice field at Barangay Anonang, San F
abian, Pangasinan located at about 100 meters from the tobacco seedbed of Marcel
o Javier. He found the place where he stored his palay flooded with water coming
from the irrigation canal nearby which had overflowed. Urbano saw Marcelo Javie
r and Emilio Erfe cutting grass and asked them who was responsible for the openi
ng of the irrigation canal and Javier admitted that he was the one. Urbano then
got angry and demanded that Javier pay for his soaked palay. A quarrel between t
hem ensued. Urbano unsheathed his bolo and hacked Javier hitting him on the righ
t palm of his hand. Javier who was then unarmed ran away from Urbano but was ove
rtaken by Urbano who hacked him again hitting Javier on the left leg with the ba
ck portion of said bolo, causing a swelling on said leg. When Urbano tried to ha
ck and inflict further injury, his daughter embraced and prevented him from hack
ing Javier. Immediately thereafter, Antonio Erfe, Emilio Erfe, and Felipe Erfe b
rought Javier to the physician. Upon the intercession of Councilman Solis, Urban
o and Javier agreed to settle their differences. Urbano promised to pay P700.00
for the medical expenses of Javier. At about 1:30 a.m. on November 14, 1980, Jav
ier was rushed to the Nazareth General Hospital in a very serious condition. Whe
n admitted to the hospital, Javier had lockjaw and was having convulsions. Dr. E
dmundo Exconde who personally attended to Javier found that the latter s serious
condition was caused by tetanus toxin. He noticed the presence of a healing wou
nd in Javier s palm which could have been infected by tetanus. And on November 1
5, 1980 at exactly 4:18 p.m., Javier died in the hospital. Urbano was then charg
ed with the crime of homicide before the then Circuit Criminal Court of Dagupan
City, Third Judicial District. Upon arraignment, Urbano pleaded "not guilty." Af
ter trial, the trial court found Urbano guilty as charged. He was sentenced to s
uffer an indeterminate prison term. The then Intermediate Appellate Court affirm
ed the conviction of Urbano on appeal but raised the award of indemnity to the h
eirs of the deceased to P30,000.00 with costs against the appellant. ISSUE: Whet
her or not there was an efficient intervening cause from the time Javier was wou
nded until his death which would exculpate Urbano from any liability for Javier
s death? RULING: We look into the nature of tetanusThe incubation period of teta
nus, i.e., the time between injury and the appearance of unmistakable symptoms,
ranges from 2 to 56 days. However, over 80 percent of patients become symptomati
c within 14 days. A short incubation period indicates severe disease,
and when symptoms occur within 2 or 3 days of injury the mortality rate approach
es 100 percent. Non-specific premonitory symptoms such as restlessness, irritabi
lity, and headache are encountered occasionally, but the commonest presenting co
mplaints are pain and stiffness in the jaw, abdomen, or back and difficulty swal
lowing. As the progresses, stiffness gives way to rigidity, and patients often c
omplain of difficulty opening their mouths. In fact, trismus in the commonest ma
nifestation of tetanus and is responsible for the familiar descriptive name of l
ockjaw. As more muscles are involved, rigidity becomes generalized, and sustaine
d contractions called risus sardonicus. The intensity and sequence of muscle inv
olvement is quite variable. In a small proportion of patients, only local signs
and symptoms develop in the region of the injury. In the vast majority, however,
most muscles are involved to some degree, and the signs and symptoms encountere
d depend upon the major muscle groups affected. Reflex spasm usually occur withi
n 24 to 72 hours of the first symptom, an interval referred to as the onset time
. As in the case of the incubation period, a short onset time is associated with
a poor prognosis. Spasms are caused by sudden intensification of afferent stimu
li arising in the periphery, which increases rigidity and causes simultaneous an
d excessive contraction of muscles and their antagonists. Spasms may be both pai
nful and dangerous. As the disease progresses, minimal or inapparent stimuli pro
duce more intense and longer lasting spasms with increasing frequency. Respirati
on may be impaired by laryngospasm or tonic contraction of respiratory muscles w
hich prevent adequate ventilation. Hypoxia may then lead to irreversible central
nervous system damage and death. Mild tetanus is characterized by an incubation
period of at least 14 days and an onset time of more than 6 days. Trismus is us
ually present, but dysphagia is absent and generalized spasms are brief and mild
. Moderately severe tetanus has a somewhat shorter incubation period and onset t
ime; trismus is marked, dysphagia and generalized rigidity are present, but vent
ilation remains adequate even during spasms. The criteria for severe tetanus inc
lude a short incubation time, and an onset time of 72 hrs., or less, severe tris
mus, dysphagia and rigidity and frequent prolonged, generalized convulsive spasm
s. (Harrison s Principle of Internal Medicine, 1983 Edition, pp. 1004-1005; Emph
asis supplied) Therefore, medically speaking, the reaction to tetanus found insi
de a man s body depends on the incubation period of the disease. In the case at
bar, Javier suffered a 2-inch incised wound on his right palm when he parried th
e bolo which Urbano used in hacking him. This incident took place on October 23,
1980. After 22 days, or on November 14, 1980, he suffered the symptoms of tetan
us, like lockjaw and muscle spasms. The following day, November 15, 1980, he die
d. If, therefore, the wound of Javier inflicted by the appellant was already inf
ected by tetanus germs at the time, it is more medically probable that Javier sh
ould have been infected with only a mild cause of tetanus because the symptoms o
f tetanus appeared on the 22nd day after the hacking incident or more than 14 da
ys after the infliction of the wound. Therefore, the onset time should have been
more than six days. Javier, however, died on the second day from the onset time
. The more credible conclusion is
that at the time Javier s wound was inflicted by the appellant, the severe form
of tetanus that killed him was not yet present. Consequently, Javier s wound cou
ld have been infected with tetanus after the hacking incident. Considering the c
ircumstance surrounding Javier s death, his wound could have been infected by te
tanus 2 or 3 or a few but not 20 to 22 days before he died. The rule is that the
death of the victim must be the direct, natural, and logical consequence of the
wounds inflicted upon him by the accused. (People v. Cardenas, supra) And since
we are dealing with a criminal conviction, the proof that the accused caused th
e victim s death must convince a rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. The medi
cal findings, however, lead us to a distinct possibility that the infection of t
he wound by tetanus was an efficient intervening cause later or between the time
Javier was wounded to the time of his death. The infection was, therefore, dist
inct and foreign to the crime. (People v. Rellin, 77 Phil. 1038). Doubts are pre
sent. There is a likelihood that the wound was but the remote cause and its subs
equent infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with tetanus may ha
ve been the proximate cause of Javier s death with which the petitioner had noth
ing to do. As we ruled in Manila Electric Co. v. Remoquillo, et al. (99 Phil. 11
8). "A prior and remote cause cannot be made the be of an action if such remote
cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise to the occasion b
y which the injury was made possible, if there intervened between such prior or
remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive, unrelated, and efficient cau
se of the injury, even though such injury would not have happened but for such c
ondition or occasion. If no danger existed in the condition except because of th
e independent cause, such condition was not the proximate cause. And if an indep
endent negligent act or defective condition sets into operation the instances wh
ich result in injury because of the prior defective condition, such subsequent a
ct or condition is the proximate cause." (45 C.J. pp. 931932). (at p. 125) It st
rains the judicial mind to allow a clear aggressor to go scot free of criminal l
iability. At the very least, the records show he is guilty of inflicting slight
physical injuries. However, the petitioner s criminal liability in this respect
was wiped out by the victim s own act. After the hacking incident, Urbano and Ja
vier used the facilities of barangay mediators to effect a compromise agreement
where Javier forgave Urbano while Urbano defrayed the medical expenses of Javier
. This settlement of minor offenses is allowed under the express provisions of P
residential Decree G.R. No. 1508, Section 2(3). (See also People v. Caruncho, 12
7 SCRA 16). We must stress, however, that our discussion of proximate cause and
remote cause is limited to the criminal aspects of this rather unusual case. It
does not necessarily follow that the petitioner is also free of civil liability.
The well-settled doctrine is that a person, while not criminally liable, may st
ill be civilly liable. Thus, in the recent case of People v. Rogelio Ligon y Tri
a, et al. (G.R. No. 74041, July 29, 1987), we said: ... While the guilt of the a
ccused in a criminal prosecution must be established beyond reasonable doubt, on
ly a preponderance of evidence is required in a civil action for damages. (Artic
le 29, Civil Code). The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability o
f the accused only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the
civil liability might arise did not exist. (Padilla v. Court of Appeals, 129 SCR
A 559).
The reason for the provisions of article 29 of the Civil Code, which provides th
at the acquittal of the accused on the ground that his guilt has not been proved
beyond reasonable doubt does not necessarily exempt him from civil liability fo
r the same act or omission, has been explained by the Code Commission as follows
: The old rule that the acquittal of the accused in a criminal case also release
s him from civil liability is one of the most serious flaws in the Philippine le
gal system. It has given use to numberless instances of miscarriage of justice,
where the acquittal was due to a reasonable doubt in the mind of the court as to
the guilt of the accused. The reasoning followed is that inasmuch as the civil
responsibility is derived from the criminal offense, when the latter is not prov
ed, civil liability cannot be demanded. This is one of those causes where confus
ed thinking leads to unfortunate and deplorable consequences. Such reasoning fai
ls to draw a clear line of demarcation between criminal liability and civil resp
onsibility, and to determine the logical result of the distinction. The two liab
ilities are separate and distinct from each other. One affects the social order
and the other, private rights. One is for the punishment or correction of the of
fender while the other is for reparation of damages suffered by the aggrieved pa
rty. The two responsibilities are so different from each other that article 1813
of the present (Spanish) Civil Code reads thus: "There may be a compromise upon
the civil action arising from a crime; but the public action for the imposition
of the legal penalty shall not thereby be extinguished." It is just and proper
that, for the purposes of the imprisonment of or fine upon the accused, the offe
nse should be proved beyond reasonable doubt. But for the purpose of indemnity t
he complaining party, why should the offense also be proved beyond reasonable do
ubt? Is not the invasion or violation of every private right to be proved only b
y a preponderance of evidence? Is the right of the aggrieved person any less pri
vate because the wrongful act is also punishable by the criminal law? "For these
reasons, the Commission recommends the adoption of the reform under discussion.
It will correct a serious defect in our law. It will close up an inexhaustible
source of injustice-a cause for disillusionment on the part of the innumerable p
ersons injured or wronged." The respondent court increased the P12,000.00 indemn
ification imposed by the trial court to P30,000.00. However, since the indemnifi
cation was based solely on the finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt in the h
omicide case, the civil liability of the petitioner was not thoroughly examined.
This aspect of the case calls for fuller development if the heirs of the victim
are so minded. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby GRANTED. The questione
d decision of the then Intermediate Appellate Court, now Court of Appeals, is RE
VERSED and SET ASIDE. The petitioner is ACQUITTED of the crime of homicide. Cost
s de oficio. SO ORDERED. 113. GLAN PEOPLE S LUMBER AND HARDWARE vs. INTERMEDIATE
APPELLATE COURT, FACTS: Engineer Orlando T. Calibo, Agripino Roranes, and Maxim
o Patos were on the jeep owned by the Bacnotan Consolidated Industries, Inc., wi
th Calibo at the wheel, as it approached from the South Lizada Bridge going towa
rds the direction of Davao City at
about 1:45 in the afternoon of July 4,1979. At about that time, the cargo track,
loaded with cement bags, GI sheets, plywood, driven by defendant Paul Zacarias
y Infants, coming from the opposite direction of Davao City and bound for Glan,
South Cotabato, had just crossed said bridge. At about 59 yards after crossing t
he bridge, the cargo truck and the jeep collided as a consequence of which Engin
eer Calibo died while Roranes and Patos sustained physical injuries. As a result
of the impact, the left side of the truck was slightly damaged while the left s
ide of the jeep, including its fender and hood, was extensively damaged. After t
he impact, the jeep fell and rested on its right side on the asphalted road a fe
w meters to the rear of the truck, while the truck stopped on its wheels on the
road. On November 27, 1979, the instant case for damages was filed by the surviv
ing spouse and children of the late Engineer Calibo who are residents of Tagbila
ran City against the driver and owners of the cargo truck. The Court reached the
conclusion "that the plaintiffs failed to establish by preponderance of evidenc
e the negligence, and thus the liability, of the defendants." Accordingly, the C
ourt dismissed the complaint (and defendants counterclaim) "for insufficiency o
f evidence." Likewise dismissed was thirdparty complaint presented by the defend
ants against the insurer of the truck. The Court of Appeals saw things different
ly. It rendered judgment on the plaintiffs appeal, reversing the decision of th
e Trial Court. It found Zacarias to be negligent ISSUE: Whether or not negligenc
e of an employee gave rise to the presumption of negligence on the part of the e
mployer, and their liability is both primary and solidary? RULING: The finding t
hat "the truck driven by defendant Paul Zacarias occupied the lane of the jeep w
hen the collision occurred" is a loose one, based on nothing more than the showi
ng that at the time of the accident, the truck driven by Zacarias had edged over
the painted center line of the road into the opposite lane by a width of twenty
-five (25) centimeters. It ignores the fact that by the uncontradicted evidence,
the actual center line of the road was not that indicated by the painted stripe
but, according to measurements made and testified by Patrolman Juanita Dimaano,
one of the two officers who investigated the accident, correctly lay thirty-six
(36) centimeters farther to the left of the truck s side of said stripe. The Ap
pellate Court was not correct in finding that Paulino Zacarias had acted neglige
ntly in applying his brakes instead of getting back inside his lane upon espying
the approaching jeep. Being well within his own lane, as has already been expla
ined, he had no duty to swerve out of the jeep s way as said Court would have ha
d him do. And even supposing that he was in fact partly inside the opposite lane
, coming to a full stop with the jeep still thirty (30) meters away cannot be co
nsidered an unsafe or imprudent action, there also being uncontradicted evidence
that the jeep was "zigzagging" 20 and hence no way of telling in which directio
n it would go as it approached the truck. Also clearly erroneous is the finding
of the Intermediate Appellate Court that Zacarias had no driver s license at the
time. The traffic accident report attests to the proven fact that Zacarias volu
ntarily surrendered to the investigating officers his driver s license, valid fo
r 1979, that had been renewed just the day before the accident, on July 3, 1979.
21 The Court was apparently misled by the circumstance that when said driver wa
s first asked to show his license by the investigators at the scene of the colli
sion, he had first inadvertently produced the license of a fellow driver, Leonar
do Baricuatro, who had left
said license in Davao City and had asked Zacarias to bring it back to him in Gla
n, Cotabato. The evidence not only acquits Zacarias of any negligence in the mat
ter; there are also quite a few significant indicators that it was rather Engine
er Calibo s negligence that was the proximate cause of the accident. Zacarias ha
d told Patrolman Dimaano at the scene of the collision and later confirmed in hi
s written statement at the police headquarters 23 that the jeep had been "zigzag
ging," which is to say that it was travelling or being driven erratically at the
time. The other investigator, Patrolman Jose Esparcia, also testified that eyew
itnesses to the accident had remarked on the jeep s "zigzagging." 24 There is mo
reover more than a suggestion that Calibo had been drinking shortly before the a
ccident. The decision of the Trial Court adverts to further testimony of Esparci
a to the effect that three of Calibo s companions at the beach party he was driv
ing home from when the collision occurred, who, having left ahead of him went to
the scene when they heard about the accident, had said that there had been a dr
inking spree at the party and, referring to Calibo, had remarked: "Sabi na huag
nang mag drive . . . . pumipilit," (loosely translated, "He was advised not to d
rive, but he insisted.") The doctrine of the last clear chance provides as valid
and complete a defense to accident liability today as it did when invoked and a
pplied in the 1918 case of Picart vs. Smith, supra, which involved a similar sta
te of facts. Of those facts, which should be familiar to every student of law, i
t is only necessary to recall the summary made in the syllabus of this Court s d
ecision that: (t)he plaintiff was riding a pony on a bridge. Seeing an automobil
e ahead he improperly pulled his horse over to the railing on the right. The dri
ver of the automobile, however guided his car toward the plaintiff without dimin
ution of speed until he was only few feet away. He then turned to the right but
passed so closely to the horse that the latter being frightened, jumped around a
nd was killed by the passing car. . . . . Plaintiff Picart was thrown off his ho
rse and suffered contusions which required several days of medical attention. He
sued the defendant Smith for the value of his animal, medical expenses and dama
ge to his apparel and obtained judgment from this Court which, while finding tha
t there was negligence on the part of both parties, held that that of the defend
ant was the immediate and determining cause of the accident and that of the plai
ntiff ". . . the more remote factor in the case": It goes without saying that th
e plaintiff himself was not free from fault, for he was guilty of antecedent neg
ligence in planting himself on the wrong side of the road. But as we have alread
y stated, the defendant was also negligent; and in such case the problem always
is to discover which agent is immediately and directly responsible. It will be n
oted that the negligent acts of the two parties were not contemporaneous, since
the negligence of the defendant succeeded the negligence of the plaintiff by an
appreciable interval. Under these circumstances the law is that the person who h
as the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is charge
able with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the oth
er party. Since said ruling clearly applies to exonerate petitioner Zacarias and
his employer (and co-petitioner) George Lim, an inquiry into whether or not the
evidence supports the latter s additional defense of due diligence in the selec
tion and supervision of said driver
is no longer necessary and wig not be undertaken. The fact is that there is such
evidence in the record which has not been controverted. It must be pointed out,
however, that the Intermediate Appellate Court also seriously erred in holding
the petitioners Pablo S. Agad and Felix Lim solidarily liable for the damages aw
arded in its appealed decision, as alleged owners, with petitioner George Lim, o
f Glan People s Lumber and Hardware, employer of petitioner Zacarias. This manif
estly disregarded, not only the certificate of registration issued by the Bureau
of Domestic Trade identifying Glan People s Lumber and Hardware as a business n
ame registered by George Lim, 28 but also unimpugned allegations into the petiti
oners answer to the complaint that Pablo S. Agad was only an employee of George
Lim and that Felix Lim, then a child of only eight (8) years, was in no way con
nected with the business. In conclusion, it must also be stated that there is no
doubt of this Court s power to review the assailed decision of the Intermediate
Appellate Court under the authority of precedents recognizing exceptions to the
familiar rule binding it to observe and respect the latter s findings of fact.
Many of those exceptions may be cited to support the review here undertaken, but
only the most obvious that said findings directly conflict with those of the Tr
ial Court will suffice. 29 In the opinion of this Court and after a careful revi
ew of the record, the evidence singularly fails to support the findings of the I
ntermediate Appellate Court which, for all that appears, seem to have been promp
ted rather by sympathy for the heirs of the deceased Engineer Calibo than by an
objective appraisal of the proofs and a correct application of the law to the es
tablished facts. Compassion for the plight of those whom an accident has robbed
of the love and support of a husband and father is an entirely natural and under
standable sentiment. It should not, however, be allowed to stand in the way of,
much less to influence, a just verdict in a suit at law. WHEREFORE, the appealed
judgment of the Intermediate Appellate Court is hereby REVERSED, and the compla
int against herein petitioners in Civil Case No. 3283 of the Court of First Inst
ance of Bohol, Branch IV, is DISMISSED. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED
. Cases 105-113 LACMAAN, FRECHIE O. 114. ROGELIO ENGADA vs. HON. COURT OF APPEAL
S, G.R. No. 140698. June 20, 2003 FACTS: On November 29, 1989, at about 1:30 in
the afternoon, Edwin Iran was driving a blue Toyota Tamaraw jeepney bound for Il
oilo City. On board was Sheila Seyan, the registered owner of the Tamaraw. While
traversing the road along Barangay Acquit, Barotac Nuevo, the Tamaraw passenger
s allegedly saw from the opposite direction a speeding Isuzu pick-up, driven by
petitioner Rogelio Engada. The pick-up had just negotiated a hilly gradient on t
he highway. When it was just a few meters away from the Tamaraw, the Isuzu pick-
ups right signal light flashed, at the same time, it swerved to its left, encroac
hing upon the lane of the Tamaraw and headed towards a head-on collision course
with it. Seyan shouted at Iran to avoid the pick-up. Iran swerved to his left bu
t the pick-up also swerved to its right. Thus, the pick-up collided with the
Tamaraw, hitting the latter at its right front passenger side. The impact caused
the head and chassis of the Tamaraw to separate from its body. Seyan was thrown
out of the Tamaraw and landed on a ricefield. The pick-up stopped diagonally as
tride the center of the road. Seyan and Iran were brought to Barotac Nuevo Medic
are Hospital. Seyan was profusely bleeding from her nose and was in a state of s
hock with her eyes closed. In the afternoon of the same day, November 29, 1989,
she was transferred to St. Pauls Hospital in Iloilo City where she was confined.
Her medical certificate revealed that she suffered a fracture on the right femur
, lacerated wound on the right foot, multiple contusions, abrasions, blunt abdom
inal injury, and lacerations of the upper-lower pole of the right kidney. She wa
s discharged from the hospital only on January 15, 1990. Seyan incurred P130,000
in medical expenses. The Toyota Tamaraw jeepney ended up in the junk heap. Its
total loss was computed at P80,000. On August 25, 1994 the trial court found the
accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of Simple Imprudence resulting in physic
al injuries and damage to property defined and penalized in Article 263, paragra
ph 4 and in relation with Article 365, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, he
reby sentences the accused Rogelio Engada to suffer imprisonment of one (1) mont
h and one (1) day of arresto mayor. Accused is further ordered to pay complainan
t Mrs. Sheila Seyan the amount of P51,000.00 for the total destruction of the To
yota Tamaraw Jeepney and P110,000.00 for indemnification of hospital and medical
expenses, and to pay the cost of the suit. Petitioner appealed to the Court of
Appeals. On May 31, 1999, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal and affirmed
with modification the trial courts decision as to the penalty imposed upon the a
ccused who is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of four (4) months of arre
sto mayor. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals err in finding that the ac
tion of petitioner, Rogelio Engada, was the proximate cause of the collision. RU
LING: For failing to observe the duty of diligence and care imposed on drivers o
f vehicles abandoning their lane, petitioner must be held liable. Iran could not
be faulted when in his attempt to avoid the pick-up, he swerved to his left. Pe
titioners acts had put Iran in an emergency situation which forced him to act qui
ckly. An individual who suddenly finds himself in a situation of danger and is r
equired to act without much time to consider the best means that may be adopted
to avoid the impending danger, is not guilty of negligence if he fails to undert
ake what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a better solution, un
less the emergency was brought by his own negligence. Petitioner tries to extric
ate himself from liability by invoking the doctrine of last clear chance. He ave
rs that between him and Iran, the latter had the last clear chance to avoid the
collision, hence Iran must be held liable. The doctrine of last clear chance sta
tes that a person who has the last clear chance or opportunity of avoiding an ac
cident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent, is considered in law
solely responsible for the consequences of the accident. But as already stated
on this point, no convincing evidence was adduced by petitioner to support his i
nvocation of the above cited doctrine. Instead, what has been shown is the prese
nce of an emergency and the proper application of the emergency
rule. Petitioners act of swerving to the Tamaraws lane at a distance of 30 meters
from it and driving the Isuzu pick-up at a fast speed as it approached the Tamar
aw, denied Iran time and opportunity to ponder the situation at all. There was n
o clear chance to speak of. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals did not err in hol
ding petitioner responsible for the vehicular collision and the resulting damage
s, including the injuries suffered by Mrs. Sheila Seyan and the total loss of th
e Tamaraw jeepney. It also did not err in imposing on petitioner the sentence of
four (4) months of arresto mayor. 115. PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC. VS. MARICA
R BAESA FACTS: At about 7:00 oclock in the morning of June 12, 1981, the spouses
Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa and their children Harold Jim, Marcelino and Maricar, t
ogether with spouses David Ico and Fe O. Ico with their son Erwin Ico and seven
other persons, were aboard a passenger jeepney on their way to a picnic at Malal
am River, Ilagan, Isabela, to celebrate the fifth wedding anniversary of Ceasar
and Marilyn Baesa. The group, numbering fifteen (15) persons, rode in the passen
ger jeepney driven by David Ico, who was also the registered owner thereof. From
Ilagan, Isabela, they proceeded to Barrio Capayacan to deliver some viands to o
ne Mrs. Bascos and thenceforth to San Felipe, taking the highway going to Malala
m River. Upon reaching the highway, the jeepney turned right and proceeded to Ma
lalam River at a speed of about 20 kph. While they were proceeding towards Malal
am River, a speeding PANTRANCO bus from Aparri, on its regular route to Manila,
encroached on the jeepneys lane while negotiating a curve, and collided with it.
As a result of the accident David Ico, spouses Ceasar Baesa and Marilyn Baesa an
d their children, Harold Jim and Marcelino Baesa, died while the rest of the pas
sengers suffered injuries. The jeepney was extensively damaged. After the accide
nt the driver of the PANTRANCO Bus, Ambrosio Ramirez, boarded a car and proceede
d to Santiago, Isabela. From that time on up to the present, Ramirez has never b
een seen and has apparently remained in hiding. All the victims and/or their sur
viving heirs except herein private respondents settled the case amicably under t
he No Fault insurance coverage of PANTRANCO. On July 3, 1984, the Court of First I
nstance of Pangasinan rendered a decision against PANTRANCO awarding the total a
mount of Two Million Three Hundred Four Thousand Six Hundred Forty-Seven Pesos (
P2,304,647.00) as damages, plus 10% thereof as attorneys fees and costs to Marica
r Baesa in Civil Case No. 561-R, and the total amount of Six Hundred Fifty Two T
housand Six Hundred Seventy-Two Pesos (P652,672.00) as damages, plus 10% thereof
as attorneys fees and costs to Fe Ico and her children in Civil Case No. 589-R.
On appeal, the cases were consolidated and the Court of Appeals modified the dec
ision of the trial court by ordering PANTRANCO to pay the total amount of One Mi
llion One Hundred Eighty-Nine Thousand Nine Hundred Twenty-Seven Pesos (P1,189,9
27.00) as damages, plus Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) as attorneys fees to M
aricar Baesa, and the total amount of Three Hundred Forty-Four Thousand Pesos (P
344,000.00) plus Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) as attorneys fees to Fe Ico and
her children, and to pay the costs in both cases. PANTRANCO filed a motion for r
econsideration of the Court of Appeals decision, but on June 26, 1987, it denied
the same for lack of merit. ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in applying the doctrine of the last
clear chance. 2. Whether or not the petitioner had observed the diligence of a g
ood father of a family to prevent damage. 3. Whether or not the Court of Appeals
erred in fixing the damages for the loss of earning capacity of the deceased vi
ctims. RULING: 1. The above contention of petitioner is manifestly devoid of mer
it. Contrary to the petitioners contention, the doctrine of last clear chance finds
no application in this case. For the doctrine to be applicable, it is necessary
to show that the person who allegedly had the last opportunity to avert the acc
ident was aware of the existence of the peril or should, with exercise of due ca
re, have been aware of it. One cannot be expected to avoid an accident or injury
if he does not know or could not have known the existence of the peril. In this
case, there is nothing to show that the jeepney driver David Ico knew of the im
pending danger. When he saw at a distance that the approaching bus was encroachi
ng on his lane, he did not immediately swerve the jeepney to the dirt shoulder o
n his right since he must have assumed that the bus driver will return the bus t
o its own lane upon seeing the jeepney approaching from the opposite direction.
Petitioners misplaced reliance on the aforesaid law is readily apparent in this c
ase. The cited law itself provides that it applies only to vehicles entering a t
hrough highway or a stop intersection. At the time of the accident, the jeepney
had already crossed the intersection and was on its way to Malalam River. Petiti
oner itself cited Fe Icos testimony that the accident occurred after the jeepney
had travelled a distance of about two (2) meters from the point of intersection.
In fact, even the witness for the petitioner, Leo Marantan, testified that both
vehicles were coming from opposite directions, clearly indicating that the jeep
ney had already crossed the intersection. Considering the foregoing, the Court f
inds that the negligence of petitioners driver in encroaching into the lane of th
e incoming jeepney and in failing to return the bus to its own lane immediately
upon seeing the jeepney coming from the opposite direction was the sole and prox
imate cause of the accident without which the collision would not have occurred.
There was no supervening or intervening negligence on the part of the jeepney d
river which would have made the prior negligence of petitioners driver a mere rem
ote cause of the accident. 2. The Court finds the above contention unmeritorious
. The finding of negligence on the part of its driver Ambrosio Ramirez gave rise
to the presumption of negligence on the part of petitioner and the burden of pr
oving that it exercised due diligence not only in the selection of its employees
but also in adequately supervising their work rests with the petitioner (Lilius
v. Manila Railroad Company, 59 Phil. 758 (1934), Umali v. Bacani, G.R. No. L-40
570, June 30, 1976, 69 SCRA 623.] Contrary to petitioners claim, there is no pres
umption that the usual recruitment procedures and safety standards were observed
. The mere issuance of rules and regulations and the formulation of various comp
any policies on safety, without showing that they are being complied with, are n
ot sufficient to exempt petitioner from liability arising from the negligence of
its employee. It is incumbent upon petitioner to show
that in recruiting and employing the erring driver, the recruitment procedures a
nd company policies on efficiency and safety were followed. Petitioner failed to
do this. Hence, the Court finds no cogent reason to disturb the finding of both
the trial court and the Court of Appeals that the evidence presented by the pet
itioner, which consists mainly of the uncorroborated testimony of its Training C
oordinator, is insufficient to overcome the presumption of negligence against pe
titioner. 3. The Court finds that the Court of Appeals committed no reversible e
rror in fixing the amount of damages for the loss of earning capacity of the dec
eased victims. While it is true that private respondents should have presented d
ocumentary evidence to support their claim for damages for loss of earning capac
ity of the deceased victims, the absence thereof does not necessarily bar the re
covery of the damages in question. The testimony of Fe Ico and Francisca Bascos
as to the earning capacity of David Ico and the spouses Baesa, respectively, are
sufficient to establish a basis from which the court can make a fair and reason
able estimate of the damages for the loss of earning capacity of the three decea
sed victims. Moreover, in fixing the damages for loss of earning capacity of a d
eceased victim, the court can consider the nature of his occupation, his educati
onal attainment and the state of his health at the time of death. However, it sh
ould be pointed out that the Court of Appeals committed error in fixing the comp
ensatory damages for the death of Harold Jim Baesa and Marcelino Baesa. Responde
nt court awarded to plaintiff (private respondent) Maricar Baesa Thirty Thousand
Pesos (P30,000.00) as compensatory damages for the death of Harold Jim Baesa and
Marcelino Baesa. [CA Decision, p.14; Rollo, 57.] In other words, the Court of Ap
peals awarded only Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00) as indemnity for the deat
h of Harold Jim Baesa and another Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00) for the de
ath of Marcelino Baesa. This is clearly erroneous. In the case of People v. de l
a Fuente, G.R. Nos. 63251-52, December 29, 1983, 126 SCRA 518, the indemnity for
the death of a person was fixed by this Court at Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000
.00). Plaintiff Maricar Baesa should therefore be awarded Sixty Thousand Pesos (
P60,000.00) as indemnity for the death of her brothers, Harold Jim Baesa and Mar
celino Baesa or Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) for the death of each brother
. The other items of damages awarded by respondent court which were not challeng
ed by the petitioner are hereby affirmed. 116. LBC AIR CARGO, INC., VS. HON. COU
RT OF APPEALS FACTS: On November 15, 1987, at about 11:30 in the morning, Rogeli
o Monterola, a licensed driver, was traveling on board his Suzuki motorcycle tow
ards Mangagoy on the right lane along a dusty national road in Bislig, Surigao d
el Sur. At about the same time, a cargo van of the LBC Air Cargo Incorporated, d
riven by defendant Jaime Tano, Jr., was coming from the opposite direction on it
s way to the Bislig Airport. On board were passengers Fernando Yu, Manager of LB
C Air Cargo, and his son who was seated beside Tano. When Tano was approaching t
he vicinity of the airport road entrance on his left, he saw two vehicles racing
against each other from the opposite direction. Tano stopped his vehicle and wa
ited for the two racing vehicles to pass by. The stirred cloud of dust made visi
bility extremely bad. Instead of waiting for the dust to settled, Tano started t
o make a sharp left turn towards the airport road. When he was about to reach th
e center of the right lane, the motorcycle driven by Monterola suddenly emerged
from the dust and smashed head-on against the right side of the LBC van. Montero
la died from the severe injuries he sustained. A criminal case for "homicide thr
u reckless imprudence" was filed against Tano. A civil suit was likewise institu
ted by the heirs of deceased Monterola against Tano, along with Fernando Yu and
LBC Air Cargo Incorporated, for the recovery of damages. The two cases were trie
d jointly by the Regional Trial Court, Branch 29, of Surigao del Sur. On 29 July
1990, the trial court dismissed both cases on the ground that the proximate cau
se of the "accident" was the negligence of deceased Rogelio Monterola. . On 18 J
uly 1991, the appellate court reversed the court a quo. ISSUES: 1. Whether or no
t the Court of Appeals erred in finding that Jaime Tano, Jr. was negligent in th
e driving of his vehicle and in failing to give a signal to approaching vehicles
of his intention to make a left turn. 2. Whether or not the Court of Appeals er
red in not finding that the proximate cause of the accident was the victim s neg
ligence in the driving of his motorcycle in a very fast speed and thus hitting t
he petitioner s cargo van RULING: 1. Petitioners poorly invoke the doctrine of "
last clear chance" (also referred to, at times, as "supervening negligence" or a
s "discovered peril"). The doctrine, in essence, is to the effect that where bot
h parties are negligent, but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in ti
me than that of the other, or when it is impossible to determine whose fault or
negligence should be attributed to the incident, the one who had the last clear
opportunity to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so is chargeable with t
he consequences thereof. Stated differently, the rule would also mean that an an
tecedent negligence of a person does not preclude the recovery of damages for su
pervening negligence of, or bar a defense against the liability sought by, anoth
er if the latter, who had the last fair chance, could have avoided the impending
harm by the exercise of due diligence (Pantranco North Express, Inc. vs. Baesa,
179 SCRA 384; Glan People s Lumber and Hardware vs. Intermediate Appellate Cour
t, 173 SCRA 464). In the case at bench, the victim was traveling along the lane
where he was rightly supposed to be. The incident occurred in an instant. No app
reciable time had elapsed, from the moment Tano swerved to his left to the actua
l impact; that could have afforded the victim a last clear opportunity to avoid
the collision. It is true however, that the deceased was not all that free from
negligence in evidently speeding too closely behind the vehicle he was following
. We, therefore, agree with the appellate court that there indeed was contributo
ry negligence on the victim s part that could warrant a mitigation of petitioners
liability for damages. 2. From every indication, the proximate cause of the acc
ident was the negligence of Tano who, despite extremely poor visibility, hastily
executed a left turn (towards the Bislig airport road entrance) without first w
aiting for the dust to settle. It was this negligent act of Tano, which had plac
ed his vehicle (LBC van) directly on the path of the motorcycle coming from the
opposite direction, that almost instantaneously caused the collision to occur. S
imple prudence required him not
to attempt to cross the other lane until after it would have been safe from and
clear of any oncoming vehicle. 117. SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES vs. COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS: On January 21, 1988 SAUDIA hired Milagros P. Morada as a Flight Attendant
for its airlines based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. On April 27, 1990, while on a l
ay-over in Jakarta, Indonesia, Morada went to a disco dance with fellow crew mem
bers Thamer AlGazzawi and Allah Al-Gazzawi, both Saudi nationals. Allah left on
some pretext and Thamer attempted to rape her. The Indonesian police came and ar
rested Thamer and Allah Al-Gazzawi, the latter as an accomplice. When she return
ed to Jeddah, several SAUDIA officials interrogated her about the Jakarta incide
nt. On June 28, 1993, a Saudi judge interrogated her through an interpreter abou
t the Jakarta incident then they let her go. Just as her plane was about to take
off, a SAUDIA officer told her that the airline had forbidden her to take fligh
t. On July 3, 1993 a SAUDIA legal officer escorted her to the same court where t
he 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 t
hen did she realized that the Saudi court had tried her, together with Thamer an
d Allah, for what happened in Jakarta. The court found Morada guilty of (1) adul
tery; (2) going to a disco, dancing and listening to the music in violation of I
slamic laws; and (3) socializing with the male crew, in contravention of Islamic
tradition. 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, she was terminated from the service by SAUDIA, without her bei
ng informed of the cause. The trial court issued an Order dated August 29, 1994
denying the Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint filed by Saudia. Respondent Judg
e subsequently issued another Order dated February 2, 1995, denying SAUDIA s Mot
ion for Reconsideration. However, during the pendency of the instant Petition, r
espondent Court of Appeals rendered the Decision dated April 10, 1996, now also
assailed. It ruled that the Philippines is an appropriate forum considering that
the Amended Complaint s basis for recovery of damages is Article 21 of the Civi
l Code, and thus, clearly within the jurisdiction of respondent Court. It furthe
r held that certiorari is not the proper remedy in a denial of a Motion to Dismi
ss, inasmuch as the petitioner should have proceeded to trial, and in case of an
adverse ruling, find recourse in an appeal. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of
Appeals erred in ruling that in this case Philippine Law should govern. RULING:
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 sit
uation 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. Several
theories have been propounded in order to identify the legal system that should
ultimately control. Although ideally, all choice-of-law theories should intrins
ically 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 imp
ortant values should be stressed. Before a choice can be made, it is necessary f
or us to determine under what category a certain set of facts or rules fall. Thi
s process is known as "characterization", or the "doctrine of
qualification". It is the "process of deciding whether or not the facts relate t
o the kind of question specified in a conflicts rule." The purpose of "character
ization" is to enable the forum to select the proper law. Considering that the c
omplaint 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 f
ind that the Philippines could be said as a situs of the tort (the place where t
he alleged tortious conduct took place). This is because it is in the Philippine
s where petitioner allegedly deceived private respondent, a Filipina residing an
d working here. According to her, she had honestly believed that petitioner woul
d, in the exercise of its rights and in the performance of its duties, "act with
justice, give her due and observe honesty and good faith." Instead, petitioner
failed to protect her, she claimed. That certain acts or parts of the injury all
egedly occurred in another country is of no moment. For in our view what is impo
rtant here is the place where the over-all harm or the totality of the alleged i
njury 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 al
leged tort. Moreover, with the widespread criticism of the traditional rule of l
ex loci delicti commissi, modern theories and rules on tort liability have been
advanced to offer fresh judicial approaches to arrive at just results. In keepin
g abreast with the modern theories on tort liability, we find here an occasion t
o 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 re
lationship, the following contacts are to be taken into account and evaluated ac
cording to their relative importance with respect to the particular issue: (a) t
he place where the injury occurred; (b) the place where the conduct causing the
injury occurred; (c) the domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporatio
n and place of business of the parties, and (d) the place where the relationship
, if any, between the parties is centered. Lastly, no error could be imputed to
the respondent appellate court in upholding the trial court s denial of defendan
t s (herein petitioner s) motion to dismiss the case. Not only was jurisdiction
in order and venue properly laid, but appeal after trial was obviously available
, and expeditious trial itself indicated by the nature of the case at hand. Indu
bitably, the Philippines is the state intimately concerned with the ultimate out
come of the case below, not just for the benefit of all the litigants, but also
for the vindication of the country s system of law and justice in a transnationa
l setting. With these guidelines in mind, the trial court must proceed to try an
d adjudge the case in the light of relevant Philippine law, with due considerati
on 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 whatsoev
er. 118. GLOBE MACKAY CABLE AND RADIO CORP. vs. THE HONORABLE CA FACTS: Restitut
o M. Tobias was employed by Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (GLOBE MACK
AY) in a dual capacity as a purchasing agent and administrative assistant to the
engineering operations manager. In 1972, GLOBE MACKAY discovered fictitious pur
chases and other fraudulent transactions for which it lost several thousands of
pesos. According to Tobias, it was he who actually discovered
the anomalies and reported them on November 10, 1972 to his immediate superior E
duardo T. Ferraren and to petitioner Herbert C. Hendry who was then the Executiv
e Vice-President and General Manager of GLOBE MACKAY. On November 11, 1972, one
day after Tobias made the report, petitioner Hendry confronted him by stating th
at he was the number one suspect, and ordered him to take a one week forced leav
e, not to communicate with the office, to leave his table drawers open, and to l
eave the office keys. On November 20, 1972, when Tobias returned to work after t
he 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 in
structed to submit specimen of his handwriting, signature, and initials for exam
ination by the police investigators to determine his complicity in the anomalies
. Tobias filed a civil case for damages anchored on alleged unlawful, malicious,
oppressive, and abusive acts of petitioners. Petitioner Hendry, claiming illnes
s, 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 aff
irmed the RTC decision in toto. Petitioners motion for reconsideration having b
een denied, the instant petition for review on certiorari was filed. ISSUES: Whe
ther or not petitioners are liable for damages to respondent Tobias. RULING: Con
sidering the extent of the damage wrought on Tobias, the Court finds that, contr
ary to petitioners contention, the amount of damages awarded to Tobias was reas
onable under the circumstances. According to the principle of damnum absque inju
ria, damage or loss which does not constitute a violation of a legal right or am
ount to a legal wrong is not actionable [Escano v. CA, G.R. No. L-47207, Septemb
er 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 g
ranting that petitioners might have had the right to dismiss Tobias from work, t
he abusive manner in which that right was exercised amounted to a legal wrong fo
r which petitioners must now be held liable. Moreover, the damage incurred by To
bias was not only in connection with the abusive manner in which he was dismisse
d but was also the result of several other quasi-delictual acts committed by pet
itioners. However, the Court has already ruled in Wassmer v. Velez, G.R. No. L-2
0089, December 26, 1964, 12 SCRA 648, 653, that per express provision of Article
2219 (10) of the New Civil Code, moral damages are recoverable in the cases men
tioned in Article 21 of said Code." Hence, the Court of Appeals committed no err
or in awarding moral damages to Tobias. Although Article 2231 of the Civil Code
provides that "in quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be granted if the defenda
nt acted with gross negligence," the Court, in Zulueta v. Pan American World Air
ways, 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 deliberat
e, malicious and tainted with bad faith. As in the Zulueta case, the nature of t
he wrongful acts shown to have been committed by petitioners against Tobias is s
ufficient basis for the award of exemplary damages to the latter. 119. LLORENTE
vs. THE SANDIGANBAYAN FACTS: Atty. Llorente was employed in the PCA, a public co
rporation (Sec. 1, PD 1468) from 1975 to August 31, 1986, when he resigned. He o
ccupied the positions of Assistant Corporate Secretary for a year, then Corporat
e Legal Counsel until November 2, 1981 and, finally, Deputy Administrator for Ad
ministrative Services, Finance Services, Legal Affairs Departments. As a result
of a massive reorganization in 1981, hundreds of PCA employees resigned effectiv
e October 31, 1981. Among them were Mr. Curio, Mrs. Perez, Mr. Azucena, and Mrs.
Javier. They were all required to apply for PCA clearances in support of their
gratuity benefits. After the clearance was signed by the PCA officers concerned,
it was to be approved, first, by Atty. Llorente, in the case of a rank-and-file
employee, or by Col. Duefias, the acting administrator, in the case of an offic
er, and then by Atty. Rodriguez, the corporate auditor. The clearanceof Mrs. Jav
ier of the same date of October 30, 1991 was also signed by all PCA officers con
cerned, including Mrs. Sotto even though the former had unsettled obligations no
ted thereon. The clearance of Mr. Curio dated November 4,1981, likewise favorabl
y passed all officers concerned, including Mrs. Sotto, the latter signing despit
e the notation handwritten on December 8, 1981. On December 1, 1982, Mr. Curio b
rought the matter of his unapproved clearance to Col. Dueas. His voucher was also
approved, and his gratuity benefits paid to him in the middle of December 1986,
after deducting those obligations. Between December 1981 and December 1986, Mr.
Curio failed to get gainful employment; as a result, his family literally went
hungry, In 1981, he applied for work with the Philippine Cotton Authority, but w
as refused, because he could not present his PCA clearance. According to the San
diganbayan, the petitioner was guilty nonetheless of abuse of right under Articl
e 19 of the Civil Code and as a public officer, he was liable for damages suffer
ed by the aggrieved party (under Article 27). ISSUE: Whether or not the petition
er is liable under Article 19 of the Civil Code and liable for damages suffered
by the aggrieved party. RULING: It is no defense that the petitioner was motivat
ed by no ill-will (a grudge, according to the Sandiganbayan), since the facts sp
eak for themselves. It is no defense either that he was, after all, complying me
rely with legal procedures since, as we indicated, he was not as strict with res
pect to the three retiring other employees. There can be no other logical conclu
sion that he was acting unfairly, no more, no less, to Mr. Curio. It is the esse
nce of Article 19 of the Civil Code, under which the petitioner was made to pay
damages, together with Article 27, that the performance of duty be done with jus
tice and good faith. In the case of Velayo vs. Shell Co. of the Philippines, we
held the defendant liable under Article 19 for disposing of its propertv a perfe
ctly legal act in order to escape the reach of a creditor. In two fairly more re
cent cases, Sevilla vs. Court of Appeals and Valenzuela vs. Court of Appeals, we
held that a principal is liable
under Article 19 in terminating the agency again, a legal act when terminating t
he agency would deprive the agent of his legitimate business. We believe that th
e petitioner is liable under Article 19. The Court finds the award of P90,000.00
to be justified bv Article 2202 of the Civil Code, which holds the defendant li
able for all "natural and probable" damages. Hennenegildo Cunct presented eviden
ce that as a consequence of the petitioner s refusal to clear him, he failed to
land a job at the Philippine Cotton Authority and Philippine First Marketing Aut
hority. He also testified that a job in either office would have earned him sala
ry of P2,500.00 a month, or P150,000.00 in five years. Deducting his probable ex
penses of reasonably about P1,000.00 a month or P60,000.00 in five years, the pe
titioner owes him a total actual damages of P90,000.00 120. ARTURO P. VALENZUELA
vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: Arturo P. Valenzuela (Valenzuela) is
a General Agent of private respondent Philippine American General Insurance Comp
any, Inc. (Philamgen) since 1965. As such, he was authorized to solicit and sell
in behalf of Philamgen all kinds of non-life insurance, and in consideration of
services rendered was entitled to receive the full agent s commission of 32.5%
from Philamgen under the scheduled commission rates. From 1973 to 1975, Valenzue
la solicited marine insurance from one of his clients, the Delta Motors, Inc. (D
ivision of Electronics Airconditioning and Refrigeration) in the amount of P4.4
Million from which he was entitled to a commission of 32%. However, Valenzuela d
id not receive his full commission which amounted to P1.6 Million from the P4.4
Million insurance coverage of the Delta Motors. During the period 1976 to 1978,
premium payments amounting to P1,946,886.00 were paid directly to Philamgen and
Valenzuela s commission to which he is entitled amounted to P632,737.00. In 1977
, Philamgen started to become interested in and expressed its intent to share in
the commission due Valenzuela on a fifty-fifty basis. Valenzuela refused. On Fe
bruary 8, 1978 Philamgen and its President, Bienvenido M. Aragon insisted on the
sharing of the commission with Valenzuela. Because of the refusal of Valenzuela
, Philamgen and its officers, namely: Bienvenido Aragon, Carlos Catolico and Rob
ert E. Parnell took drastic action against Valenzuela. They: (a) reversed the co
mmission due him by not crediting in his account the commission earned from the
Delta Motors, Inc. insurance \ (b) placed agency transactions on a cash and carr
y basis; (c) threatened the cancellation of policies issued by his agency ; and
(d) started to leak out news that Valenzuela has a substantial account with Phil
amgen. All of these acts resulted in the decline of his business as insurance ag
ent Then on December 27, 1978, Philamgen terminated the General Agency Agreement
of Valenzuela. After due proceedings, the trial court found that since defendan
ts are not justified in the termination of Arturo P. Valenzuela as one of their
General Agents, defendants shall be liable for the resulting damage and loss of
business of Arturo P. Valenzuela. On January 29, 1988, respondent Court of Appea
ls promulgated its decision in the appealed case. ISSUES: Whether or not Philamg
en and/or its officers can be held liable for damages due to the termination of
the General Agency Agreement it entered into with the petitioners.
RULING: Prescinding from the foregoing, and considering that the private respond
ents terminated Valenzuela with evident mala fide it necessarily follows that th
e former are liable in damages. Respondent Philamgen has been appropriating for
itself all these years the gross billings and income that it unceremoniously too
k away from the petitioners. The preponderance of the authorities sustain the pr
eposition that a principal can be held liable for damages in cases of unjust ter
mination of agency. In Danon v. Brimo, 42 Phil. 133 [1921]), this Court ruled th
at where no time for the continuance of the contract is fixed by its terms, eith
er party is at liberty to terminate it at will, subject only to the ordinary req
uirements of good faith. The right of the principal to terminate his authority i
s absolute and unrestricted, except only that he may not do so in bad faith. The
trial court in its decision awarded to Valenzuela the amount of Seventy Five Th
ousand Pesos (P75,000,00) per month as compensatory damages from June 1980 until
its decision becomes final and executory. This award is justified in the light
of the evidence extant on record showing that the average gross premium collecti
on monthly of Valenzuela over a period of four (4) months from December 1978 to
February 1979, amounted to over P300,000.00 from which he is entitled to a commi
ssion of P100,000.00 more or less per month. Moreover, his annual sales producti
on amounted to P2,500,000.00 from where he was given 32.5% commissions. Under Ar
ticle 2200 of the new Civil Code, "indemnification for damages shall comprehend
not only the value of the loss suffered, but also that of the profits which the
obligee failed to obtain." The circumstances of the case, however, require that
the contractual relationship between the parties shall be terminated upon the sa
tisfaction of the judgment. No more claims arising from or as a result of the ag
ency shall be entertained by the courts after that date. 121. SERGIO AMONOY vs.
Spouses GUTIERREZ FACTS: On 12 January 1965, the Project of Partition submitted
was approved and two (2) of the said lots were adjudicated to Asuncion Pasamba a
nd 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 es
tate mortgage on the said two (2) lots adjudicated to them, in favor of Amonoy t
o secure the payment of his attorney s fees. But it was only on 6 August 1969 af
ter 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 F
ebruary 1969 while Alfonso Fornilda passsed away on 2 July 1969. Among the heirs
of the latter was his daughter, plaintiff-appellant Angela Gutierrez. On 28 Sep
tember 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 th
e 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. In its Jan
uary 27, 1993 Decision, the RTC dismissed respondents suit. On appeal, the CA s
et aside the lower court s ruling and ordered petitioner to pay respondents P250
,000 as actual damages. Petitioner then filed a Motion for Reconsideration, whic
h was also denied. ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct was co
rrect in deciding that the petition was liable to the respondents for damages.
RULING: Well-settled is the maxim that damage resulting from the legitimate exer
cise of a person s rights is a loss without injury- damnum absque injuria - for
which the law gives no remedy. In other words, one who merely exercises one s ri
ghts does no actionable injury and cannot be held liable for damages. Clearly th
en, the demolition of respondents house by petitioner, despite his receipt of t
he TRO, was not only an abuse but also an unlawful exercise of such right. In in
sisting on his alleged right, he wantonly violated this Court s Order and wittin
gly caused the destruction of respondents; house.1wphi1.nt Obviously, petitioner c
annot invoke damnum absque injuria, a principle premised on the valid exercise o
f a right.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 i
s occasioned thereby, liability cannot be obscured, much less abated. In the ult
imate analysis, petitioner s liability is premised on the obligation to repair o
r 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.
122. JOSUE ARLEGUI vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: The object of the controver
sy is a residential apartment unit (no. 15) located at the corner of Romualdez a
nd Kalentong Streets in Mandaluyong City. The said property was formerly owned b
y Serafia Real Estate, Incorporated (hereinafter referred to as Serafia), a comp
any owned by Alberto, Alfonso and Simeon, all surnamed Barretto, and their sibli
ngs Rosa B. Ochoa and Teresita B. Alcantara. For more than twenty (20) years, un
it no. 15 was leased by Serafia to the spouses Gil and Beatriz Genguyon. In a le
tter dated March 26, 1984, the Genguyon spouses, along with the other tenants in
the apartment building were informed by Alberto Barretto that Serafia and its a
ssets had already been assigned and transferred to A.B. Barretto Enterprises. Ap
prehensive that they were about to be ejected from their respective units, the t
enants formed an organization called the Barretto Apartment Tenants Association.
They elected officers from among themselves to represent them in the negotiatio
ns with A.B. Barretto Enterprises for the purchase of their respective apartment
units. Among those elected were Josue Arlegui as vice-president and Mateo Tan L
u as auditor of the association. Sometime thereafter, believing that negotiation
s were still ongoing, the Genguyons were surprised to learn on January 23, 1987
that the unit they were leasing had already been sold to Mateo Tan Lu. This notw
ithstanding, the Genguyons continued to occupy the subject premises and paid the
rentals therefore. The following year, or on July 7, 1988, the Genguyons were i
nformed that Mateo Tan Lu had sold the subject apartment unit to Josue Arlegui.
Not long thereafter, they received a letter from Arleguis lawyer demanding that t
hey vacate the premises. When they failed to accede to Arleguis demand, the latte
r filed an action for ejectment against the Genguyons before the Metropolitan Tr
ial Court of Mandaluyong City.. On January 11, 1990, the RTC ordered the issuanc
e of a writ of preliminary injunction directing the MTC to desist from taking fu
rther action in the ejectment case pending before it.
On February 14, 1996, the Court of Appeals rendered judgment in CA-G.R. CV No. 3
2833, annulling and setting aside the RTC decision. ISSUES: Whether or not the C
ourt of Appeals erred in holding that the private respondents are entitled to da
mages instead of the petitioner. RULING: There is no doubt that because of Tan L
u and Arleguis violation of the trust and confidence reposed in them as officers
and negotiators in behalf of the tenantsmembers of the Association, damages have
accrued upon spouses Genguyons for which they must be indemnified. Article 19 o
f the New Civil Code of the Philippines exhorts the citizens in the correct exer
cise of rights and performance of duties in this wise: Art. 19. Every person mus
t, 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 princip
le of abuse of rights is based upon the famous maxim suum jus summa injuria (the
abuse of a right is the greatest possible wrong). The acts of Tan Lu and Arlegu
i directly violate the principles enunciated in Art. 19 which declares that ever
y person must practice justice, honesty and good faith in his dealings with his
fellowmen. That there was a valid pact or agreement among the Association member
s and their entrusted officers charged with the negotiations, is an accepted fac
t. As two of the three entrusted officers charged with the negotiations, Tan Lu
and Arlegui fall within the purview of Art. 19 which is also implemented by Art.
21, New Civil Code, a sequent of Art. 19, which declares that "[A]ny person who
wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to moral
s, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. In a
ddition, Articles 2221 and 2222 of the New Civil Code provide that the Court may
award nominal damages: (1) in order that a right of the plaintiff, which has be
en violated or invaded, may be vindicated or recognized; or (2) in every case wh
ere any property right has been invaded. Under the circumstances, whether as com
pensatory or nominal damages, the amount of P35,000.00, inclusive of attorneys fe
es, is just and reasonable. Cases114-122 TAMANG, SWITLE MAE A. 123. PETROPHIL CO
RPORATION vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: On December 27, 1970, Petrophil Corporatio
n (Petrophil) entered into contract with Dr. Amanda Ternida-Cruz, allowing the l
atter to haul and transport any and all packages and/or bulk products of Petroph
il. The contract provided that (1) Petrophil could terminate the contract for br
each, negligence, discourtesy, improper and/or inadequate performance or abandon
ment; (2) that Dr. Cruz is required to reserve the use of at least two (2) units
of tank trucks solely for the hauling requirements of Petrophil; and (3) that t
he contact shall be for an indefinite period, provided that
Petrophil may terminate said contract at any time with 30 days prior written not
ice. In a letter dated May 21, 1987, Petrophil, advised Dr. Cruz that it was ter
minating her hauling contract in accordance with what the provisions of the cont
ract. Dr. Cruz filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila, a complaint agains
t Petrophil seeking the nullity of the termination of the contract and declaring
its suspension as unjustified and contrary to its terms and conditions. Jessie
de Vera, Marcial Mulig, Antonio and Rufino Cuenca, all tank truck drivers of Dr.
Cruz, also filed a complaint for damages against Petrophil. The two cases conso
lidated and tried jointly. During the hearing, Dr. Cruz claimed that the termina
tion of her hauling contract was a retaliation against her for allegedly sympath
izing with the then striking Petrophil employees and for informing the PNOC pres
ident of anomalies perpetrated by some of its officers and employees. Driver Jes
sie de Vera corroborated these allegations and testified that before the termina
tion of the contract, Petrophil officials reduced their hauling trips to make li
fe harder for them so that they would resign from Dr: Cruz s employ, which in tu
rn would result in the closure of her business. Petrophil on the other hand prof
essed that the hauling trips were reduced not because Dr. Cruz was being punishe
d, but because the company was assigning hauling trips on the basis of compartme
ntation and not on a first-come first-serve. Additionally, witnesses for Petroph
il testified that on April 25, 1987, there was a strike at the Pandacan terminal
and Dr. Cruz and her husband were at the picket line. They refused to load petr
oleum products, resulting in the disruption of delivery to service stations in M
etro Manila and in the provinces, which in turn resulted in loss of sales and re
venues. Because of Dr. Cruz s refusal to load, the management terminated the hau
ling contract The trial court ruled in favor of Dr Cruz and ordered Petrophil to
pay Dr. Cruz the sum of P309,723.65 as unearned hauling charges and P20,000.00
as attorney s fees and expenses of suit and to pay Jessie de Vera and Rufino Cue
nca the sums of P64,390.00 and P5,000.00 as unearned income and attorney s fees.
The Court of Appeals sustained the trial court declaring that the termination o
f the contract was "for cause", and that the procedures set forth in petitioner
s policy guidelines should be followed. Hence this petition. ISSUE: 1. Whether p
etitioner was guilty of arbitrary termination of the contract, which would entit
le Dr. Cruz to damages. 2. Whether the Court of Appeals erred when it imposed a
tortious liability where the requisites were not established by the evidence. RU
LING: We differ with Petrophil on the first issue. Recall that before Petrophil
terminated the contract on May 25, 1987, there was a strike of its employees at
the Pandacan terminal. Dr. Cruz and her husband were seen at the picket line and
were reported to have instructed their truck drivers not to load petroleum prod
ucts. At the resumption of the operation in Pandacan terminal, Dr. Cruz s contra
ct was suspended for one week and eventually terminated. Based on these circumst
ances, the Court of Appeals like the trial court concluded that Petrophil termin
ated the contract because of
Dr. Cruz s refusal to load petroleum products during the strike. In respondent c
ourt s view, the termination appeared as a retaliation or punishment for her sym
pathizing with the striking employees. Nowhere in the record do we find that pet
itioner asked her to explain her actions. Petrophil simply terminated her contra
ct. These factual findings are binding and conclusive on us, especially in the a
bsence of any allegation that said findings are unsupported by the evidence, or
that the appellate and trial courts misapprehended these facts.16 In terminating
the hauling contract of Dr. Cruz without hearing her side on the factual contex
t above described, a petitioner opened itself to a charge of bad faith. While Pe
trophil had the right to terminate the contract, petitioner could not act purpos
ely to injure private respondents. In BPI Express Card Corporation vs. CA, 296 S
CRA 260, 272 (1998), we held that there is abuse of a right under Article 19 if
the following elements are present: 1) there is a legal right or duty; 2) which
is exercised in bad faith; 3) for the sole purpose of prejudicing or injuring an
other. We find all these three elements present in the instant case. Hence, we a
re convinced that the termination by petitioner of the contract with Dr. Cruz ca
lls for appropriate sanctions by way of damages. On the second assigned error, p
etitioner contends that the Court of Appeals erred when it imposed a tortious li
ability where the requisites therefor were not established by the evidence. Acco
rding to petitioner, aside from the hearsay and inadmissible testimony of Jessie
de Vera, there is no other evidence that the termination of the contract was do
ne with deliberate intent to harm or for the sole purpose of prejudicing the res
pondentdrivers. Petitioner adds that the termination was an exercise of a right
and directed primarily at Dr. Cruz. Article 20 of the Civil Code provides that e
very person who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently causes damage to anot
her, shall indemnify the latter for the damage done. Petitioner might not have d
eliberately intended to injure the respondent-drivers. But as a consequence of i
ts willful act directed against Dr. Cruz, respondent-drivers lost their jobs and
consequently suffered loss of income. Note that under Article 20, there is no r
equirement that the act must be directed at a specific person, but it suffices t
hat a person suffers damage as a consequence of a wrongful act of another in ord
er that indemnity could be demanded from the wrongdoer.The appellate court did n
ot err, given the circumstances of this case, in awarding damages to respondent-
drivers. 124. VIRGINIA M. ANDRADE vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: On July 6, 1971, V
irginia Andrade was appointed as permanent teacher in the Division of City Schoo
ls, Manila and was initially assigned as English teacher at the Araullo High Sch
ool, Manila. She was referred by Virginia Fermin to Dominador Wingsing principla
of Araullo High School regarding her teaching load. However because of Andrades
low teaching performance, she was referred back to Ms Fermin. Displeased from be
ing referred back and forth from one person to another, she wrote a letter to Su
perintendent Arturo F. Coronel, Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of the
Division of City Schools, Manila, requesting that she be given a teaching assig
nment. In an indorsement addressed to Superintendent Coronel, respondent Wingsin
g cited three (3) reasons why petitioner Andrade was not given any teaching load
: (1) drastic drop of enrollment; (2) she was declared an excess teacher; and (3
) she ranked lowest in
her performance rating hence, Superintendent Coronel informed that the she would
be designated to a non-teaching position in the meantime. On October 4, 1985, A
ndrade made a request to Benedicto M. Hormilla, Chief of Personnel Services of t
he Division of City Schools of Manila, that she be transferred to Ramon Magsaysa
y High School in Manila, and said request was favorably acted upon by Superinten
dent Coronel. Andrade then reported for work at the Ramon Magsaysay High School,
but in a letter of the same date, she relayed that she is withdrawing her reque
st for transfer back at the Araullo High School. Thereafter, she discovered that
her name has been deleted from the regular monthly payroll and transferred to a
special voucher list. Andrade, distressed by the situation filed an action for
damages with mandatory injunction against respondent Wingsing, English Departmen
t Head Fermin and Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Coronel before the R
egional Trial Court Quezon City claiming that they conspired in depriving her of
her teaching load and humiliated her further by excluding her name from the reg
ular monthly payroll. In his answer, respondent Wingsing explained that the decr
ease in the enrollment for the school year 1985-1986 necessitated that a number
of teachers be declared in a list as excess teachers, and as petitioner had the
lowest performance rating, she was included in the said list and as for the dele
tion of Andrades name from the regular monthly payroll, Wingsing declared that he
and his co-defendants were merely exercising and doing their duties in accordan
ce with the existing school policies, rules and regulations. The trial court ren
dered its Decision absolving Virginia Fermin and Arturo Coronel, but held herein
respondent Wingsing liable to petitioner for actual and compensatory damages in
the amount of P93,575.99, attorneys fees in the sum of P10,000.00 and costs of s
uit. Wingsing appealed to the Court of Appeals, maintaining the necessity of dec
laring excess teachers, including the petitioner, during the subject school year
and invoking regularity in the performance of his functions as principal of the
Araullo High School. Finding merit in his argument, the appellate court reverse
d the decision of the trial court and denied Andrades motion for reconsideration.
Hence this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the act of Dominador S. Wingsing, Vi
rginia E. Fermin and Arturo F. Coronel of withholding her teaching load and dele
ting her name in the payroll his attended by badfaith thus entitling her to coll
ect damages. RULING: 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. While Article 19 of the New Civil Code may have been inte
nded as a declaration of principle, the cardinal law on human conduct expressed in
said article has given rise to certain rules, e.g., that where a person exercis
es his rights but does so arbitrarily or unjustly or performs his duties in a ma
nner that is not in keeping with honesty and good faith, he opens himself to civ
il liability. The elements of abuse of ones rights under the said Article 19 are
the following: (1) there is a legal right or duty; (2) which is exercised
in bad faith; (3) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another. In thi
s regard, it appeared that the complaint of petitioner Andrade failed to meet th
e second and third requirements. A careful review of the records reveals that th
e declaration of petitioner as an excess teacher was not motivated by any person
al desire on the part of respondent Wingsing to cause her undue misery or injury
, but merely the result of the valid exercise of authority. The decrease in the
enrollment for the school year 1985-1986 in the Araullo High School resulted in
a number of teachers being declared as excess teachers in the following subjects
: Social Studies, 1; Math, 2, and English, 1. In exercising his judgment, the ev
idence reveals that respondent Wingsing was not at all dictated by whim or fancy
, nor of spite against the petitioner but was rather guided by the following fac
tors: qualification to teach, seniority, teaching performance and attitude towar
ds the school community. For two (2) consecutive years petitioner received an un
satisfactory rating, the lowest, from two (2) English Department Heads, namely:
Herminia Valdez and Virginia Fermin. Petitioner knew about her poor rating, but
she refused to acknowledge it. She did not question nor contest the same. Homero
om teacher Zaida Perez and Remedios P. Rutaquio, a retired Supervisor of English
, Division of City Schools, Manila, both testified that petitioner frequently ab
sented herself from classes. Assistant Principal Romeo F. Amparado likewise test
ified that petitioner was often the subject of complaints from school personnel
and students, one of which involved the slapping of a student without provocatio
n, for which petitioner was suspended for one month without pay. Petitioner Andr
ade was therefore declared as an excess teacher, as rightfully recommended by pr
ivate respondent, the latter being the school principal. It was a judgment made
in good faith by respondent. Entrenched is the rule that bad faith does not simp
ly connote bad judgment or negligence; it imputes a dishonest purpose or some mo
ral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong; a breach of sworn duty through som
e motive or intent or ill will; it partakes of the nature of fraud. In the case
at bar, we find that there was no dishonest purpose, or some moral obliquity, or cons
cious doing of a wrong, or breach of a known duty, or some motive or interest or ill
will that can be attributed to the private respondent. It appeared that efforts
to accommodate petitioner were made as she was offered to handle two (2) non-tea
ching jobs, that is, to handle Developmental Reading lessons and be an assistant
Librarian, pending her re-assignment or transfer to another work station, but s
he refused. The same would not have been proposed if the intention of private re
spondent were to cause undue hardship on the petitioner. Good faith is always pr
esumed unless convincing evidence to the contrary is adduced. It is incumbent up
on the party alleging bad faith to sufficiently prove such allegation. Absent en
ough proof thereof, the presumption of good faith prevails. In the case at bar,
the burden of proving alleged bad faith therefore was with petitioner but she fa
iled to discharge suchonus probandi. Without a clear and persuasive evidence of
bad faith, the presumption of good faith in favor of private respondent stands.
With regards to the deletion of petitioners name from the regular monthly payroll
of teachers, we find the same to be merely the result of a school policy being
implemented by the school personnel. Private respondent Wingsing had nothing to
do with the preparation of the payroll as it was the school payroll clerk who pr
epared the same. As explained by payroll clerk Aida Soliman, petitioners name was
not deleted from the regular monthly payroll but merely transferred to the last
page of the roll since she failed to submit her Form 48 or Daily Time Record (D
TR) sheet on time. The move was
made so that the other teachers would not be unduly prejudiced by the delayed re
lease of petitioners salary, which as a policy was the consequence for late submi
ssion of DTRs. There was no showing that private respondent had a hand in this s
ituation as Aida Soliman likewise revealed that the decision to transfer petitio
ners name on the last page of the payroll was made on the instruction of the Acco
unting Services upon discovery that she did not report to work on the first day
of class. Indeed, after being declared as an excess teacher and having declined
her transfer to Ramon Magsaysay High School, petitioners status could only be des
cribed as floating. She should have expected that there would be changes in her si
tuation, and that she should not have immediately blamed it on others, more part
icularly on private respondent. Although there might have been a delay in the re
ceipt of petitioners salary, we find that it was not as grave as she painted it o
ut to be considering that she was nonetheless paid her salary until October 15,
1986. The only reason why she failed to receive her salary and benefits from Oct
ober 16, 1986 to June 1988 was because she did not report for work during the sa
id period due to her unjustified refusal to accept her assignment. 125. UNIVERSI
TY OF THE EAST vs. ROMEO A. JADER, FACTS: Romeo Jader was a law student of Unive
rsity of the East from 1984-1988. In his first Semester in his last year, he fai
led in his subject Practice Court I and was given an incomplete grade. He petiti
oned for the removal of the incomplete grade to his professor Carlos Ortega and
was approved by Dean Celedonio Tiongson. He took the exam and was given a grade
of 5 by his professor. 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 Jaders name appeared in the Tentative List of Candidate
s for graduation for the Degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) as of Second Semester
(1987-1988). He graduated and thereafter prepared himself for the bar examinati
on. He took a enrolled at the pre-bar review class in Far Eastern University. Ha
ving learned of the deficiency he dropped his review class and was not able to t
ake the bar examination. Consequently, Jader sued petitioner for damages allegin
g that he suffered moral shock, mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched repu
tation, wounded feelings and sleepless nights when he was not able to take the 1
988 bar examinations arising from the latter s negligence. He prayed for an awar
d of moral and exemplary damages, unrealized income, attorney s fees, and costs
of suit. In its answer with counterclaim, petitioner denied liability arguing ma
inly 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 o
f graduating students. After trial, the lower court rendered judgment in favor o
f the plaintiff and against the defendant ordering the latter to pay plaintiff t
he sum of THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY PESOS (P35,470.00) with lega
l 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. On
appeal by both parties was affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) with modificati
on.
Hence this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the proximate and immediate cause of
the alleged damages incurred by the Jader arose out of his own negligence in not
verifying from the professor concerned the result of his removal exam. RULING:
The petition lacks merit. When a student is enrolled in any educational or learn
ing institution, a contract of education is entered into between said institutio
n and the student. The professors, teachers or instructors hired by the school a
re 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, suc
h 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 suc
h information. The Court takes judicial notice of the traditional practice in ed
ucational institutions wherein the professor directly furnishes his/her students
their grades. It is the contractual obligation of the school to timely inform a
nd furnish sufficient notice and information to each and every student as to whe
ther 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. Al
though commencement exercises are but a formal ceremony, it nonetheless is not a
n 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 w
ho will be conferred a degree during the baccalaureate ceremony have satisfied a
ll the requirements for such degree. Prior or subsequent to the ceremony, the sc
hool 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 re
sult of the removal examination, particularly at a time when he had already comm
enced preparing for the bar exams, cannot be said to have acted in good faith. A
bsence of good faith must be sufficiently established for a successful prosecuti
on by the aggrieved party in a suit for abuse of right under Article 19 of the C
ivil Code. Good faith connotes an honest intention to abstain from taking undue
advantage of another, even though the forms and technicalities of the law, toget
her with the absence of all information or belief of facts, would render the tra
nsaction unconscientious. 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 prom
pt 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 tha
t exercises general supervision and exclusive control over the professors with r
espect to the submission of reports involving the students standing. Exclusive
control means that no other person or entity had any control over the instrument
ality which caused the damage or injury. The college dean is the senior officer
responsible for the operation of an academic program, enforcement of rules and r
egulations, and the supervision of faculty and student services. 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 neg
ligent 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 furth
er, that the institution of learning involved herein is a university which is en
gaged in legal education, it should have practiced what it inculcates in its stu
dents, 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 exerc
ise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give e
veryone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. Art. 20. Every person who,
contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemni
fy the latter for the same. 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. In civ
ilized 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 fel
lowmen, 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 t
hey deal in the general course of society will act in good faith. The ultimate t
hing in the theory of liability is justifiable reliance under conditions of civi
lized society. Schools and professors cannot just take students for granted and
be indifferent to them, for without the latter, the former are useless. Educatio
nal 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 indifferen
ce of a person to the rights or welfare of the person/persons who may be affecte
d by his act or omission can support a claim for damages. Want of care to the co
nscious disregard of civil obligations coupled with a conscious knowledge of the
cause naturally calculated to produce them would make the erring party liable.
Petitioner ought to have known that time was of the essence in the performance o
f its obligation to inform respondent of his grade. It cannot feign ignorance th
at 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 s
easonably. Petitioner cannot just give out its student s grades at any time beca
use a student has to comply with certain deadlines set by the Supreme Court on t
he submission of requirements for taking the bar. Petitioner s liability arose f
rom its failure to promptly inform respondent of the result of an examination an
d in misleading the latter into believing that he had satisfied all requirements
for the course. Worth quoting is the following disquisition of the respondent c
o urt: It is apparent from the testimony of Dean Tiongson that defendant-appelle
e University had been informed during the deliberation that the professor in Pra
ctice Court I gave plaintiff-appellant a failing grade. Yet, defendant-appellee
still did not inform plaintiffappellant of his failure to complete the requireme
nts for the degree nor did they remove his name from the tentative list of candi
dates for graduation. Worse, defendant-appellee university, despite the knowledg
e that plaintiff-appellant failed in Practice Court I, again included plaintiff-
appellant s name in the "tentative list of candidates for graduation which was p
repared after the deliberation and which became the basis for the commencement r
ites program. Dean Tiongson reasons out that plaintiff-appellant s name was allo
wed to remain in the tentative list of candidates for
graduation in the hope that the latter would still be able to remedy the situati
on 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 info
rm plaintiff-appellant of his failing grade in Practice Court I. Petitioner cann
ot 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 partie
s must suffer, he through whose agency the loss occurred must bear it. The moder
n tendency is to grant indemnity for damages in cases where there is abuse of ri
ght, even when the act is not illicit. If mere fault or negligence in one s acts
can make him liable for damages for injury caused thereby, with more reason sho
uld abuse or bad faith make him liable. A person should be protected only when h
e acts in the legitimate exercise of his right, that is, when he acts with prude
nce and in good faith, but not when he acts with negligence or abuse. However, w
hile petitioner was guilty of negligence and thus liable to respondent for the l
atter s actual damages, we hold that respondent should not have been awarded mor
al 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 beho
oved 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, r
espondent should have been responsible enough to ensure that all his affairs, sp
ecifically those pertaining to his academic achievement, are in order. Given the
se considerations, we fail to see how respondent could have suffered untold emba
rrassment 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 b
y 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 prepa
ring himself for the bar examination. Certainly, taking the bar examinations doe
s not only entail a mental preparation on the subjects thereof; there are also p
rerequisites of documentation and submission of requirements which the prospecti
ve examinee must meet. 126. GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS
: On 27 October 1987, private respondent, without the assistance of counsel, fil
ed a complaint in the trial court for damages against the petitioner for the all
eged violation of their agreement to get married. She alleges that the petitione
r courted and proposed to marry her; she accepted his love on the condition that
they would get married; they therefore agreed to get married after the end of t
he school semester, which was in October of that year; petitioner then visited t
he private respondent s parents in Baaga, Bugallon, Pangasinan to secure their ap
proval to the marriage; sometime in 20 August 1987, the petitioner forced her to
live with him in the Lozano Apartments; she was a virgin before she began livin
g with him; a week before the filing of the complaint, petitioner s attitude tow
ards her started to change; he maltreated and threatened to kill her; as a resul
t of such maltreatment, she sustained injuries; during a confrontation with a re
presentative of the barangay captain of Guilig a day before the filing of the co
mplaint, petitioner repudiated their marriage agreement and asked her not to liv
e
with him anymore and; the petitioner is already married to someone living in Bac
olod City. In his Answer with Counterclaim, petitioner claimed that he never pro
posed marriage to or agreed to be married with the private respondent; he neithe
r sought the consent and approval of her parents nor forced her to live in his a
partment; he did not maltreat her, but only told her to stop coming to his place
because he discovered that she had deceived him by stealing his money and passp
ort; and finally, no confrontation took place with a representative of the baran
gay captain. After trial on the merits, the lower court, applying Article 21 of
the Civil Code, rendered on 16 October 1989 a decision favoring the private resp
ondent. The decision is anchored on the trial court s findings and conclusions t
hat (a) petitioner and private respondent were lovers, (b) private respondent is
not a woman of loose morals or questionable virtue who readily submits to sexua
l advances, (c) petitioner, through machinations, deceit and false pretenses, pr
omised to marry private respondent, d) because of his persuasive promise to marr
y her, she allowed herself to be deflowered by him, (e) by reason of that deceit
ful promise, private respondent and her parents in accordance with Filipino cust
oms and traditions made some preparations for the wedding that was to be held at
the end of October 1987 by looking for pigs and chickens, inviting friends and
relatives and contracting sponsors, (f) petitioner did not fulfill his promise t
o marry her and (g) such acts of the petitioner, who is a foreigner and who has
abused Philippine hospitality, have offended our sense of morality, good customs
, culture and traditions. The trial court gave full credit to the private respon
dent s testimony because, inter alia, she would not have had the temerity and co
urage to come to court and expose her honor and reputation to public scrutiny an
d ridicule if her claim was false. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision in
toto. Hence this petition. ISSUE: Whether or not Article 21 of the Civil Code a
pplies to the case at bar thus justifies a claim for damages. RULING: The existi
ng rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an actionable wrong.
Congress deliberately eliminated from the draft of the New Civil Code the provis
ions that would have made it so. The reason therefor is set forth in the report
of the Senate Committees on the Proposed Civil Code, from which We quote: The el
imination of this chapter is proposed. That breach of promise to marry is not ac
tionable has been definitely decided in the case of De Jesus vs. Syquia. The his
tory of breach of promise suits in the United States and in England has shown th
at no other action lends itself more readily to abuse by designing women and uns
crupulous men. It is this experience which has led to the abolition of rights of
action in the so-called Heart Balm suits in many of the American states. . . .
This notwithstanding, the said Code contains a provision, Article 21, which is d
esigned to expand the concept of torts or quasi-delict in this jurisdiction by g
ranting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is imp
ossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute
books. As the Code Commission itself stated in its Report:
But the Code Commission had gone farther than the sphere of wrongs defined or de
termined by positive law. Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the st
atutes, which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless, even though they h
ave actually suffered material and moral injury, the Commission has deemed it ne
cessary, in the interest of justice, to incorporate in the proposed Civil Code t
he following rule: Art. 23. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to ano
ther in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for the damage. An example will illustrate the purview of
the foregoing norm: "A" seduces the nineteenyear old daughter of "X". A promise
of marriage either has not been made, or can not be proved. The girl becomes pr
egnant. Under the present laws, there is no crime, as the girl is above nineteen
years of age. Neither can any civil action for breach of promise of marriage be
filed. Therefore, though the grievous moral wrong has been committed, and thoug
h the girl and family have suffered incalculable moral damage, she and her paren
ts cannot bring action for damages. But under the proposed article, she and her
parents would have such a right of action. Thus at one stroke, the legislator, i
f the forgoing rule is approved, would vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that
untold number of moral wrongs which it is impossible for human foresight to prov
ide for specifically in the statutes. Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which defi
nes a quasi-delict thus: Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, th
ere being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such fault
or negligence, if there is no preexisting contractual relation between the part
ies, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter.
is limited to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion of willfulnes
s or intent. Quasi-delict, known in Spanish legal treatises as culpa aquiliana,
is a civil law concept while torts is an Anglo-American or common law concept. T
orts is much broader than culpa aquiliana because it includes not only negligenc
e, but international criminal acts as well such as assault and battery, false im
prisonment and deceit. In the general scheme of the Philippine legal system envi
sioned by the Commission responsible for drafting the New Civil Code, intentiona
l and malicious acts, with certain exceptions, are to be governed by the Revised
Penal Code while negligent acts or omissions are to be covered by Article 2176
of the Civil Code. In between these opposite spectrums are injurious acts which,
in the absence of Article 21, would have been beyond redress. Thus, Article 21
fills that vacuum. It is even postulated that together with Articles 19 and 20 o
f the Civil Code, Article 21 has greatly broadened the scope of the law on civil
wrongs; it has become much more supple and adaptable than the Anglo-American la
w on torts. In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21, We are of
the opinion, and so hold, that where a man s promise to marry is in fact the pro
ximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his representation to
fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate cause of the giving of her
self unto him in a sexual congress, proof that he had, in reality, no intention
of marrying her and that the promise was only a subtle scheme or deceptive devic
e to entice or inveigle her to accept
him and to obtain her consent to the sexual act, could justify the award of dama
ges pursuant to Article 21 not because of such promise to marry but because of t
he fraud and deceit behind it and the willful injury to her honor and reputation
which followed thereafter. It is essential, however, that such injury should ha
ve been committed in a manner contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.
In the instant case, respondent Court found that it was the petitioner s "fraud
ulent and deceptive protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff tha
t made her surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and to live with him on the
honest and sincere belief that he would keep said promise, and it was likewise
these fraud and deception on appellant s part that made plaintiff s parents agre
e to their daughter s living-in with him preparatory to their supposed marriage.
" 24 In short, the private respondent surrendered her virginity, the cherished p
ossession of every single Filipina, not because of lust but because of moral sed
uction the kind illustrated by the Code Commission in its example earlier advert
ed to. The petitioner could not be held liable for criminal seduction punished u
nder either Article 337 or Article 338 of the Revised Penal Code because the pri
vate respondent was above eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the seductio
n. Prior decisions of this Court clearly suggest that Article 21 may be applied
in a breach of promise to marry where the woman is a victim of moral seduction.
Thus, in Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals, this Court denied recovery of damages
to the woman because: . . . we find ourselves unable to say that petitioner is
morally guilty of seduction, not only because he is approximately ten (10) years
younger than the complainant who was around thirty-six (36) years of age, and a
s highly enlightened as a former high school teacher and a life insurance agent
are supposed to be when she became intimate with petitioner, then a mere apprent
ice pilot, but, also, because the court of first instance found that, complainan
t "surrendered herself" to petitioner because, "overwhelmed by her love" for him
, she "wanted to bind" him by having a fruit of their engagement even before the
y had the benefit of clergy. In Tanjanco vs. Court of Appeals, while this Court
likewise hinted at possible recovery if there had been moral seduction, recovery
was eventually denied because We were not convinced that such seduction existed
. The following enlightening disquisition and conclusion were made in the said c
ase: The Court of Appeals seem to have overlooked that the example set forth in
the Code Commission s memorandum refers to a tort upon a minor who had been sedu
ced. The essential feature is seduction, that in law is more than mere sexual in
tercourse, or a breach of a promise of marriage; it connotes essentially the ide
a of deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of confidence on the part of th
e seducer to which the woman has yielded (U.S. vs. Buenaventura, 27 Phil. 121; U
.S. vs. Arlante, 9 Phil. 595). It has been ruled in the Buenaventura case (supra
) that To constitute seduction there must in all cases be some sufficient promis
e or inducementand the woman must yield because of the promise or other induceme
nt. If she consents merely from carnal lust and the intercourse is from mutual d
esire, there is no seduction (43 Cent. Dig. tit. Seduction, par. 56) She must be
induced to depart from the path of virtue by the use of some species of arts, p
ersuasions and wiles, which are
calculated to have and do have that effect, and which result in her person to ul
timately submitting her person to the sexual embraces of her seducer (27 Phil. 1
23). Over and above the partisan allegations, the fact stand out that for one wh
ole year, from 1958 to 1959, the plaintiff-appellee, a woman of adult age, maint
ain intimate sexual relations with appellant, with repeated acts of intercourse.
Such conduct is incompatible with the idea of seduction. Plainly there is here
voluntariness and mutual passion; for had the appellant been deceived, had she s
urrendered exclusively because of the deceit, artful persuasions and wiles of th
e defendant, she would not have again yielded to his embraces, much less for one
year, without exacting early fulfillment of the alleged promises of marriage, a
nd would have cut short all sexual relations upon finding that defendant did not
intend to fulfill his defendant did not intend to fulfill his promise. Hence, w
e conclude that no case is made under article 21 of the Civil Code, and no other
cause of action being alleged, no error was committed by the Court of First Ins
tance in dismissing the complaint. In his annotations on the Civil Code, Associa
te Justice Edgardo L. Paras, who recently retired from this Court, opined that i
n a breach of promise to marry where there had been carnal knowledge, moral dama
ges may be recovered: . . . if there be criminal or moral seduction, but not if
the intercourse was due to mutual lust. (Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals, L-146
28, Sept. 30, 1960; Estopa vs. Piansay, Jr., L-14733, Sept. 30, 1960; Batarra vs
. Marcos, 7 Phil. 56 (sic); Beatriz Galang vs. Court of Appeals, et al., L-17248
, Jan. 29, 1962). (In other words, if the CAUSE be the promise to marry, and the
EFFECT be the carnal knowledge, there is a chance that there was criminal or mo
ral seduction, hence recovery of moral damages will prosper. If it be the other
way around, there can be no recovery of moral damages, because here mutual lust
has intervened). . . . together with "ACTUAL damages, should there be any, such
as the expenses for the wedding presentations (See Domalagon v. Bolifer, 33 Phil
. 471). Senator Arturo M. Tolentino is also of the same persuasion: It is submit
ted that the rule in Batarra vs. Marcos, still subsists, notwithstanding the inc
orporation of the present article in the Code. The example given by the Code Com
mission is correct, if there was seduction, not necessarily in the legal sense,
but in the vulgar sense of deception. But when the sexual act is accomplished wi
thout any deceit or qualifying circumstance of abuse of authority or influence,
but the woman, already of age, has knowingly given herself to a man, it cannot b
e said that there is an injury which can be the basis for indemnity. But so long
as there is fraud, which is characterized by willfulness (sic), the action lies
. The court, however, must weigh the degree of fraud, if it is sufficient to dec
eive the woman under the circumstances, because an act which would deceive a gir
l sixteen years of age may not constitute deceit as to an experienced woman thir
ty years of age. But so long as there is a wrongful act and a resulting injury,
there should be civil liability, even if the act is not punishable under the cri
minal law and there should have been an acquittal or dismissal of the criminal c
ase for that reason. We are unable to agree with the petitioner s alternative pr
oposition to the effect that granting, for argument s sake, that he did promise
to marry the private respondent, the
latter is nevertheless also at fault. According to him, both parties are in pari
delicto; hence, pursuant to Article 1412(1) of the Civil Code and the doctrine
laid down inBatarra vs. Marcos, the private respondent cannot recover damages fr
om the petitioner. The latter even goes as far as stating that if the private re
spondent had "sustained any injury or damage in their relationship, it is primar
ily because of her own doing, for: . . . She is also interested in the petitione
r as the latter will become a doctor sooner or later. Take notice that she is a
plain high school graduate and a mere employee . . . (Annex "C") or a waitress (
TSN, p. 51, January 25, 1988) in a luncheonette and without doubt, is in need of
a man who can give her economic security. Her family is in dire need of financi
al assistance. (TSN, pp. 51-53, May 18, 1988). And this predicament prompted her
to accept a proposition that may have been offered by the petitioner. These sta
tements reveal the true character and motive of the petitioner. It is clear that
he harbors a condescending, if not sarcastic, regard for the private respondent
on account of the latter s ignoble birth, inferior educational background, pove
rty and, as perceived by him, dishonorable employment. Obviously then, from the
very beginning, he was not at all moved by good faith and an honest motive. Marr
ying with a woman so circumstances could not have even remotely occurred to him.
Thus, his profession of love and promise to marry were empty words directly int
ended to fool, dupe, entice, beguile and deceive the poor woman into believing t
hat indeed, he loved her and would want her to be his life s partner. His was no
thing but pure lust which he wanted satisfied by a Filipina who honestly believe
d that by accepting his proffer of love and proposal of marriage, she would be a
ble to enjoy a life of ease and security. Petitioner clearly violated the Filipi
no s concept of morality and brazenly defied the traditional respect Filipinos h
ave for their women. It can even be said that the petitioner committed such depl
orable acts in blatant disregard of Article 19 of the Civil Code which directs e
very person to act with justice, give everyone his due and observe honesty and g
ood faith in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his obligation
s. No foreigner must be allowed to make a mockery of our laws, customs and tradi
tions. The pari delicto rule does not apply in this case for while indeed, the p
rivate respondent may not have been impelled by the purest of intentions, she ev
entually submitted to the petitioner in sexual congress not out of lust, but bec
ause of moral seduction. In fact, it is apparent that she had qualms of conscien
ce about the entire episode for as soon as she found out that the petitioner was
not going to marry her after all, she left him. She is not, therefore, in pari
delicto with the petitioner. Pari delicto means "in equal fault; in a similar of
fense or crime; equal in guilt or in legal fault." At most, it could be conceded
that she is merely in delicto. Equity often interferes for the relief of the le
ss guilty of the parties, where his transgression has been brought about by the
imposition of undue influence of the party on whom the burden of the original wr
ong principally rests, or where his consent to the transaction was itself procur
ed by fraud. In Mangayao vs. Lasud, We declared: Appellants likewise stress that
both parties being at fault, there should be no action by one against the other
(Art. 1412, New Civil Code). This rule, however, has been
interpreted as applicable only where the fault on both sides is, more or less, e
quivalent. It does not apply where one party is literate or intelligent and the
other one is not. (c.f. Bough vs. Cantiveros, 40 Phil. 209). We should stress, h
owever, that while We find for the private respondent, let it not be said that t
his Court condones the deplorable behavior of her parents in letting her and the
petitioner stay together in the same room in their house after giving approval
to their marriage. It is the solemn duty of parents to protect the honor of thei
r daughters and infuse upon them the higher values of morality and dignity. 127.
MARILYN L. BERNARDO vs. NLRC FACTS: Petitioner Marilyn Bernardo was employed at
the Univet Agricultural Products, Inc., a division of United Laboratories. On J
anuary 1989, the Manufacturing Department of the Univet Agricultural asked for t
wo filing cabinets. Accordingly, petitioner prepared the Capital Appropriations
Request (CAR) for the purchase of two filing cabinets. The request was signed by
Dr. Salvador P. Cajilog, department head, and later approved by five other offi
cers of Univet Agricultural. Before the CAR was transmitted to the purchasing de
partment for the procurement of the office equipment, it was discovered that pet
itioner had included in the order the acquisition of one executive swivel chair.
On February 18, 1989, a memorandum was issued to petitioner, requiring her to e
xplain within 48 hours why no disciplinary action should be taken against her. P
etitioner admitted making the insertion in the Capital Appropriations Request bu
t explained that she had done so in good faith. Apparently, petitioners explanati
on was considered not satisfactory, because on March 18, 1989, she was given not
ice of the termination of her employment. Petitioner wrote Dr. Delfin Samson, pr
esident of United Laboratories, Inc., asking for a fair investigation. Getting no
favorable response, she filed on April 7, 1989 a complaint for illegal dismissal
against Univet Agricultural Products, Inc. Petitioner alleged that she made the
intercalation in the CAR in good faith, without any intention of defrauding the
company, because she intended the chair for the manager of her department. She
claimed that what she did was made with the knowledge of Dr. Cajilog. Petitioner
alleged that she was dismissed because she had exposed the involvement of two c
ompany officers, Conrado Baylon and Dr. Benedicto Santiago, in the rival company
, Biomass Corp. of the Philippines. The Labor Arbiter rendered a decision dismis
sing petitioners complaint for lack of merit. The Labor Arbiter found petitioner
guilty of dishonesty and serious misconduct, warranting dismissal from the servi
ce. On appeal the NLRC, while finding petitioner liable to disciplinary action,
thought that the penalty imposed by the company was too severe. Accordingly, it
set aside the decision of the Labor Arbiter and ordered the petitioner reinstate
d and paid backwages.
Petitioner moved for reconsideration but her motion was denied on May 20, 1992.
Hence, this petition alleging that the NLRC gravely abused its discretion. Hence
this case. ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is entitled to Moral damages and th
e payment of attorneys fees under Art. 2208. RULING: Petitioners claim for moral d
amages is without merit. Not only was she guilty of misconduct, there is no show
ing that the company acted in bad faith or fraud or in a manner which is contrar
y to morals, good customs or public policy, in dismissing petitioner. Univet Agr
icultural was acting in the legitimate protection of its interest in seeing to i
t that its employees were performing their jobs with honesty, integrity and fide
lity. For the same reason there is no basis for an award of attorneys fees. Under
Art. 2208(2) of the Civil Code, the award of such fees is to be justified if th
e claimant is compelled to litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to p
rotect his interest by reason of an unjustified act of the party against whom it
is sought. 128. DRILON vs. COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: In a letter-complaint to the
n Secretary of Justice Franklin Drilon dated March 20, 1990, General Renato de V
illa, who was then the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, re
quested the Department of Justice to order the investigation of several individu
als named therein, including herein private respondent Homobono Adaza, for their
alleged participation in the failed December 1989 coup detat. Gen. de Villas lett
er-complaint with its annexes was referred for preliminary inquiry to the Specia
l Composite Team of Prosecutors. Petitioner then Assistant Chief State Prosecuto
r Aurelio Trampe, the Team Leader, finding sufficient basis to continue the inqu
iry, issued a subpoena to the individuals named in the letter-complaint, Adaza i
ncluded, and assigned the case for preliminary investigation to a panel of inves
tigators composed of prosecutors George Arizala, as Chairman, and Ferdinand Abes
amis and Cesar Solis as members. The panel then found that there is probable cau
se to hold herein respondents for trial for the crime of REBELLION WITH MURDER A
ND FRUSTRATED MURDER hence recommended the filing of the corresponding informati
on against them in court. Feeling aggrieved by the institution of these proceedi
ngs against him, private respondent Adaza filed a complaint for damages, ]before
Branch 100 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. In his complaint, Adaza
charged petitioners with engaging in a deliberate, willful and malicious experim
entation by filing against him a charge of rebellion complexed with murder and f
rustrated murder when petitioners, according to Adaza, were fully aware of the n
on-existence of such crime in the statute books. The petitioners filed a Motion
to Dismiss Adazas complaint on the ground that said complaint states no actionabl
e wrong constituting a valid cause of action against petitioners but was denied.
On appeal, the appellate court dismissed the petition for lack of merit and orde
red respondent Judge to proceed with the trial of Civil Case. Hence, this petiti
on, dated October 9, 1992, pleading this Court to exercise its power of review u
nder Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent may
collect damages arising from the alleged malicious prosecution of rebellion wit
h murder and frustrated murder to him. RULING: The term malicious prosecution ha
s been defined in various ways. In American jurisdiction, it is defined as: One b
egun in malice without probable cause to believe the charges can be sustained (E
ustace v. Dechter, 28 Cal. App. 2d. 706,83 P. 2d. 525). Instituted with intentio
n of injuring defendant and without probable cause, and which terminates in favo
r of the person prosecuted. For this injury an action on the case lies, called t
he action of malicious prosecution (Hicks v. Brantley, 29 S.E. 459, 102 Ga. 264;
Eggett v. Allen, 96 N.W. 803, 119 Wis. 625). In Philippine jurisdiction, it has
been defined as: An action for damages brought by one against whom a criminal pro
secution, civil suit, or other legal proceeding has been instituted maliciously
and without probable cause, after the termination of such prosecution, suit, or
other proceeding in favor of the defendant therein. The gist of the action is th
e putting of legal process in force, regularly, for the mere purpose of vexation
or injury (Cabasaan v. Anota, 14169-R, November 19, 1956). The statutory basis f
or a civil action for damages for malicious prosecution are found in the provisi
ons of the New Civil Code on Human Relations and on damages particularly Article
s 19, 20, 21, 26, 29, 32, 33, 35, 2217 and 2219 (8). To constitute malicious pro
secution, however, there must be proof that the prosecution was prompted by a si
nister design to vex and humiliate a person, and that it was initiated deliberat
ely by the defendant knowing that his charges were false and groundless. Concede
dly, the mere act of submitting a case to the authorities for prosecution does n
ot make one liable for malicious prosecution. Thus, in order for a malicious pro
secution suit to prosper, the plaintiff must prove three (3) elements: (1) the f
act of the prosecution and the further fact that the defendant was himself the p
rosecutor and that the action finally terminated with an acquittal; (2) that in
bringing the action, the prosecutor acted without probable cause; and (3) that t
he prosecutor was actuated or impelled by legal malice, that is by improper or s
inister motive. All these requisites must concur. 129. PONCE vs. LEGASPI FACTS:
Petitioner Ponce and husband Manuel owned 43% of the stockholdings of L NOR Mari
ne Services, Inc. (L NOR).48% of the stocks was owned by the spouses Porter. The
allegations of petitioner state that during the time while respondent Legaspi i
s the legal counsel of LNOR, there occurred fraudulent manipulations by spouses
Porter another officers and that with the aid of Legaspi, they incorporated the
Yrasport Dry docks, Inc.
which was designed to compete with LNOR but still used the office space, equipme
nt and goodwill of LNOR. On account of the illicit schemes and frauds committed
by Edward Porter and the officers of the corporation, complainant asked Legaspi
to take steps to protect LNOR, of which he is the legal counsel by retainer. The
latter refused, without valid excuse. Instead, he appeared as counsel to Porter
and others in the estafa case against them. Complainant filed for disbarment ag
ainst Legaspi, alleging that he committed gross misconduct in office as a member
of the Philippine Bar because, as legal counsel, he violated his duty to and th
e trust of his client L NOR, when he represented conflicting interests and assis
ted the Porter spouses in incorporating a competitor. The disbarment case howeve
r was dismissed. Legaspi subsequently filed a complaint for damages against peti
tioner, which was granted by the lower court and affirmed by CA. ISSUE: Whether
Legaspi is entitled to damages as a result of the disbarment case RULING: Before
proceeding with the merits of the case, the scope of an action for damages aris
ing from malicious prosecution needs to be clarified. Both the Court of Appeals
and the petitioner are of the belief that the suit for damages filed by Atty. Le
gaspi is not one arising from malicious prosecution because "a disbarment procee
ding is not a criminal action. (De Jesus-Paras v. Vailoces, 1 SCRA 954 [1961])."
The obvious inference is that only an unsuccessful criminal action may subseque
ntly give rise to a claim for damages based on malicious prosecution. This is no
t correct. While generally, malicious prosecution refers to unfounded criminal a
ctions and has been expanded to include unfounded civil suits just to vex and hu
miliate the defendant despite the absence of a cause of action or probable cause
(Equitable Banking Corporation v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 133 SCRA 138 [1
984]) the foundation of an action for malicious prosecution is an original proce
eding, judicial in character. (Lorber v. Storrow, 70 P. 2d 513 [1937]; Shigeru H
ayashida v. Tsunehachi Kakimoto, 23 P. 2d 311 [1933]; Graves v. Rudman, 257 N.Y.
S. 212 [1932]). A disbarment proceeding is, without doubt, judicial in character
and therefore may be the basis for a subsequent action for malicious prosecutio
n. A perusal of the allegations in Atty. Legaspi s complaint for damages, partic
ularly paragraphs 10, 11, 12 and 15 thereof (Rollo, pp. 56-59) shows that his ma
in cause of action was predicated on injury resulting from the institution of th
e disbarment case against him. This being the case, we find that the suit filed
by the respondent lawyer makes out a case of damages for malicious prosecution.
An action for damages arising from malicious prosecution is anchored on the prov
isions of Article 21, 2217 and 2219 [8] of the New Civil Code. Under these Artic
les: Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a mann
er that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate th
e latter for damages. Art. 2217. Moral damages include physical suffering, menta
l anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, mor
al shock, social humiliation and similar injury. Though incapable of pecuniary c
omputation, moral damages may be recovered if they are the proximate result of t
he defendant s wrongful act or omission. Art. 2219. Moral damages may be recover
ed in the following and analogous cases:
(8) Malicious prosecution. In order, however, for the malicious prosecution suit
to prosper, the plaintiff must prove: (1) the fact of the prosecution and the f
urther fact that the defendant was himself the prosecutor, and that the action f
inally terminated with an acquittal; (2) that in bringing the action, the prosec
utor acted without probable cause; and (3) that the prosecutor was actuated or i
mpelled by legal malice, that is by improper or sinister motive. (Lao v. Court o
f Appeals, 199 SCRA 58 [1991]; Rehabilitation Finance Corporation v. Kohl, 4 SCR
A 535 [1962]; Buchanan v. Viuda de Esteban, 32 Phil. 363 [1915]). Atty. Legaspi
may have suffered injury as a consequence of the disbarment proceedings. But the
adverse result of anaction does not per se make the action wrongful and subject
the actor to make payment of damages for the law couldnot have meant to impose
a penalty on the right to litigate. One who exercises his rights does no injury.
If damageresults from a person s exercising his legal rights, it is damnum absq
ue injuria 130. MS. VIOLETA YASOA vs. RODENCIO and JOVENCIO DE RAMOS FACTS: Aurea
Yasoa and her son, Saturnino, went to the house of Jovencio de Ramos to ask for
financial assistance in paying their loans to Philippine National Bank (PNB), ot
herwise their residential house and lot, covered by TCT No. T-32810, would be fo
reclosed. Inasmuch as Aurea was his aunt, Jovencio acceded to the request. They
agreed that, upon payment by Jovencio of the loan to PNB, half of Yasoas subject p
roperty would be sold to him. On December 29, 1971, Jovencio paid Aureas bank loa
n. As agreed upon, Aurea executed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Jovencio o
ver half of the lot consisting of 123 square meters. The said lot was then regis
tered. Twenty-two years later, Aurea filed an estafa complaint against brothers
Jovencio and Rodencio de Ramos on the ground that she was deceived by them. Aure
a alleged that Rodencio asked her to sign a blank paper on the pretext that it w
ould be used in the redemption of the mortgaged property. Aurea signed the blank
paper without further inquiry because she trusted her nephew, Rodencio. Thereaf
ter, they heard nothing from Rodencio and this prompted Nimpha Yasoa Bondoc to co
nfront Rodencio but she was told that the title was still with the Register of D
eeds. However, when Nimpha inquired from the Register of Deeds, she was shocked
to find out that the lot had been divided into two, pursuant to a deed of sale a
pparently executed by Aurea in favor of Jovencio. Aurea averred that she never s
old any portion of her property to Jovencio and never executed a deed of sale. O
n February 21, 1994, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Rodrigo B. Zayenis dismisse
d the criminal complaint for estafa for lack of evidence. On account of this dis
missal, Jovencio and Rodencio filed a complaint for damages on the ground of mal
icious prosecution with the Regional Trial Court of Sta. Cruz, Laguna, Branch 91
, They alleged that the filing of the estafa complaint against them was done wit
h malice and it caused irreparable injury to their reputation, as Aurea knew ful
ly well that she had already sold half of the property to Jovencio. The trial co
urt ruled in favor of Jovencio.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal due to improper remedy. Hence this pet
ition. ISSUE: Whether the filing of the criminal complaint for estafa by petitio
ners against respondents constituted malicious prosecution. RULING: In this juri
sdiction, the term "malicious prosecution" has been defined as "an action for da
mages brought by one against whom a criminal prosecution, civil suit, or other l
egal proceeding has been instituted maliciously and without probable cause, afte
r the termination of such prosecution, suit, or other proceeding in favor of the
defendant therein." To constitute "malicious prosecution," there must be proof
that the prosecution was prompted by a sinister design to vex or humiliate a per
son, and that it was initiated deliberately by the defendant knowing that his ch
arges were false and groundless. Concededly, the mere act of submitting a case t
o the authorities for prosecution does not make one liable for malicious prosecu
tion. In this case, however, there is reason to believe that a malicious intent
was behind the filing of the complaint for estafa against respondents. The recor
ds show that the sale of the property was evidenced by a deed of sale duly notar
ized and registered with the local Register of Deeds. After the execution of the
deed of sale, the property was surveyed and divided into two portions. Separate
titles were then issued in the names of Aurea Yasoa (TCT No. 73252) and Jovencio
de Ramos (TCT No. 73251). Since 1973, Jovencio had been paying the realty taxes
of the portion registered in his name. In 1974, Aurea even requested Jovencio t
o use his portion as bond for the temporary release of her son who was charged w
ith malicious mischief. Also, when Aurea borrowed money from the Rural Bank of L
umban in 1973 and the PNB in 1979, only her portion covered by TCT No. 73252 was
mortgaged. All these pieces of evidence indicate that Aurea had long acknowledg
ed Jovencios ownership of half of the property. Furthermore, it was only in 1993
when petitioners decided to file the estafa complaint against respondents. If pe
titioners had honestly believed that they still owned the entire property, it wo
uld not have taken them 22 years to question Jovencios ownership of half of the p
roperty. The only conclusion that can be drawn from the circumstances is that Au
rea knew all along that she was no longer the owner of Jovencios portion after ha
ving sold it to him way back in 1971. Likewise, other than petitioners bare alleg
ations, no other evidence was presented by them to substantiate their claim. Mal
icious prosecution, both in criminal and civil cases, requires the elements of (
1) malice and (2) absence of probable cause. These two elements are present in t
he present controversy. Petitioners were completely aware that Jovencio was the
rightful owner of the lot covered by TCT No. 73251, clearly signifying that they
were impelled by malice and avarice in bringing the unfounded action. That ther
e was no probable cause at all for the filing of the estafa case against respond
ents led to the dismissal of the charges filed by petitioners with the Provincia
l Prosecutors Office in Siniloan, Laguna. Petitioners reliance on Drilon vs. Court
of Appeals is misplaced. It must be noted that in Drilon, the investigating pan
el found that there was probable cause to hold private respondent Homobono Adaza
for trial for the crime of rebellion with murder and frustrated murder. Thus, p
etitioner (now Senate President) Franklin Drilon could not be held liable for ma
licious prosecution as there existed probable cause for the criminal
case. Here, the complaint for estafa was dismissed outright as the prosecutor di
d not find any probable cause against respondents. A suit for malicious prosecut
ion will prosper where legal prosecution is carried out without probable cause.
In sum, we find no reversible error on the part of the appellate court in dismis
sing the petition and in effect affirming the trial courts decision holding petit
ioners liable for damages for the malicious prosecution of respondents. 131. PAT
RICIO vs. THE HONORABLE OSCAR LEVISTE FACTS: On 16 May 1976 at about 10:00 o clo
ck in the evening, while a benefit dance was on-going in connection with the cel
ebration of the town fiesta, petitioner together with two (2) policemen were pos
ted near the gate of the public auditorium to check on the assigned watchers of
the gate. Private respondent Bienvenido Bacalocos, President of the Association
of Barangay Captains of Pilar, Capiz and a member of the Sangguniang Bayan, who
was in a state of drunkenness and standing near the same gate together with his
companions, struck a bottle of beer on the table causing an injury on his hand w
hich started to bleed. Then, he approached petitioner in a hostile manner and as
ked the latter if he had seen his wounded hand, and before petitioner could resp
ond, private respondent, without provocation, hit petitioner s face with his blo
odied hand. As a consequence, a commotion ensued and private respondent was brou
ght by the policemen to the municipal building. As a result of the incident, a c
riminal complaint for Slander by Deed was filed by petitioner with the Municipal
Trial Court of Pilar, Capiz, but the same was dismissed. Subsequently, a compla
int for damages was filed by petitioner with the court a quo. The trial court ru
led in favor of herein petitioner (as complainant), holding private respondent l
iable to the former for moral damages as a result of the physical suffering, mor
al shock and social humiliation caused by private respondent s act of hitting pe
titioner on the face in public. ISSUE: Whether or not Patricio is entitled to da
mages for the humiliation he experienced during the town fiesta RULING: There is
no question that moral damages may be recovered in cases where a defendant s wr
ongful act or omission has caused the complainant physical suffering, mental ang
uish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral sh
ock, social humiliation and similar injury. 16 An award of moral damages is allo
wed in cases specified or analogous to those provided in Article 2219 of the Civ
il Code, to wit: ART. 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following and
analogous cases (1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries; (2) Quasi
-delicts causing physical injuries; (3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other las
civious acts. (4) Adultery or concubinage; (5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or
arrest; (6) Illegal search; (7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;
(8) Malicious prosecution;
(9) Acts mentioned in article 309; (10) Acts and actions referred to in articles
21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, and 35. Private respondent s contention that th
ere was no bad faith on his part in slapping petitioner on the face and that the
incident was merely accidental is not tenable. It was established before the co
urt a quo that there was an existing feud between the families of both petitione
r and private respondent and that private respondent slapped the petitioner with
out provocation in the presence of several persons. The act of private responden
t in hitting petitioner on the face is contrary to morals and good customs and c
aused the petitioner mental anguish, moral shock, wounded feelings and social hu
miliation. Private respondent has to take full responsibility for his act and hi
s claim that he was unaware of what he had done to petitioner because of drunken
ness is definitely no excuse and does not relieve him of his liability to the la
tter. Pursuant to Art. 21 of the Civil Code in relation to par. (10) of Art. 221
9 of the same Code, "any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in
a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compen
sate the latter for the damage." The fact that no actual or compensatory damage
was proven before the trial court, does not adversely affect petitioner s right
to recover moral damages. Moral damages may be awarded in appropriate cases refe
rred to in the chapter on human relations of the Civil Code (Articles 19 to 36),
without need of proof that the wrongful act complained of had caused any physic
al injury upon the complainant. It is clear from the report of the Code Commissi
on that the reason underlying an award of damages under Art. 21 of the Civil Cod
e is to compensate the injured party for the moral injury caused upon his person
, thus ... . Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the statutes, which
leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless, even though they have actually
suffered material and moral injury, the Commission has deemed it necessary, in t
he interest of justice, to incorporate in the proposed Civil Code the following
rule: ART. 23. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a man
ner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate t
he latter for the damage. In addition to the award of moral damages, exemplary o
r corrective damages may be imposed upon herein private respondent by way of exa
mple or correction for the public good. Exemplary damages are required by public
policy to suppress the wanton acts of the offender. They are an antidote so tha
t the poison of wickedness may not run through the body politic. The amount of e
xemplary damages need not be proved where it is shown that plaintiff is entitled
to either moral, temperate or compensatory damages, as the case may be, althoug
h such award cannot be recovered as a matter of right. In cases where exemplary
damages are awarded to the injured party, attorney s fees are also recoverable.
Cases 123-131 URBANOZO, LAIRD DIONEL N. 132. MARIA FORD VS COURT OF APPEALS FACT
S: There are two sides in the incident of the case. First is Sulpicia Fabrigars,
she claims that on our about July 27, 1973 at around 3:00 to 3:30 P.M., being a
head teacher at a public school of Barrio Sta. Dumalag, Capiz by reason of the d
eputization of the of all public school teachers to assist the COMELEC in the co
nduct of national referendum, was humiliated by Barrio Captain Vicente Uy becaus
e she was telling Vicente Uys son, Elmo Uy, in writing remarks on the voting shee
ts. She claims that she was humiliated publicly by Vicente Uy and that she would
be reported to Maria Ford, owner of a sugar central. She further claims that Ma
ria ford also humiliated her by slapping her in the face publicly. However, Vice
nte Uy presented his version that at around 2:00 PM, upon knowledge that his son
was being embarrassed by Sulpicia Fabrigar, approached the latter talked calmly
but the Fabrigar refused to do so and would most likely hit Elmo Uy. Vicente Uy
referred the matter to Maria Ford and that the latter tried to approach Fabriga
r but to no avail. Maria Ford slapped Fabrigar claiming that she was already hys
terical in order for her to calm down. Trial Courts decision: Statements of Vicen
te Uy which did not call for any comment from Sulpicia Fabrigar, her silence sho
uld be deemed to be an admission of their truth and truth can not hurt or insult
. Hence, he complaint filed by Sulpicia Fabrigar is dismissed. Court of Appeals
decision: The facts obtaining in this case indicate that appellee Ford in perfor
ming the act of slapping the school teacher in front of the people was motivated
by personal animosity we believe that Maria Ford has by deed slandered plaintif
f Sulpicia Fabrigar which would entitle the latter to damages. There can be no c
ircumstance more humiliating for a headteacher of a barrio school than to be see
n by the barrio folks being slapped in her face. Hence, the court ordered that V
icente Uy and Maria Ford be held accountable for the damage done to Sulpicia Fab
rigar. ISSUE: Whether or not Maria Ford is liable for damages by slapping Sulpic
ia Fabrigar? HELD: We are satisfied with private respondent s explanation. Her i
nitiative in promptly instituting her complaint clearly manifests her honest int
ention to vindicate the wrong committed against her. She explained that shortly
after the incident between her and petitioner Uy, petitioner Ford came and slapp
ed her. Thus, when the report was made by private respondent to the police autho
rities of Dumalag Capiz, the immediate hurt and humiliation being felt by her wa
s not only the slander committed by petitioner Uy but, primarily and foremost, t
he slapping by petitioner Ford. Hence, the police report of private respondent w
hich focused on her being slapped by petitioner Ford, although inadvertently omi
tting the incident with petitioner Uy in view of her emotional state then, shoul
d not be construed to mean that private respondent was not slandered by petition
er Uy.
133. ERLINDA ILUSIO VS ERLINDA BIDNER FACTS: Erlinda Ilusio is the wife of lawye
r Potenciano Ilusorio they have lived together as hudband and wife for about 30
years, but eventually separated from bed and board for undisclosed reasons. Pote
nciano living in his penthouse in Baguio City and his wife in Antipolo City. Pot
enciano, upon visiting Erlinda in the United States, their children alleged that
Erlinda gave Potenciano an overdose of medicine causing sever health failure as
a result. Later on Erlinda filed with the RTC a petition for guardianship over
the person and property of his husband because he was getting old and frail. Pot
enciano lived in Makati, upon knowledge of Erlinda, she filed with the Court of
appeals for habeas corpus to have the custody of lawyer Potenciano Ilusorio. She
alleged that respondent refused petitioners demands to see and visit her husband
and prohibited Potenciano from returning to Antipolo City. Court of Appeals dec
ision: The court ordered that for humanitarian consideration and upon petitioners
manifestation, respondents Erlinda K. Ilusorio Bildner and Sylvia Ilusorio-Yap,
the administrator of Cleveland Condominium or anywhere in its place, his guards
and Potenciano Ilusorios staff especially Ms. Aurora Montemayor to allow visitat
ion rights to Potenciano Ilusorios wife, Erlinda Ilusorio and all her children, n
otwithstanding any list limiting visitors thereof, under penalty of contempt in
case of violation of refusal thereof and that the previous grant of Habeas Corpu
s be recalled and the herein petition for habeas corpus be DENIED DUE COURSE, as
it is hereby DISMISSED for lack of unlawful restraint or detention of the subje
ct of the petition. ISSUE: Whether or not the issuance of Habeas Corpus is valid
? HELD: The essential object and purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to inqu
ire into all manner of involuntary restraint, and to relieve a person therefrom
if such restraint is illegal.To justify the grant of the petition, the restraint
of liberty must be an illegal and involuntary deprivation of freedom of action.
The illegal restraint of liberty must be actual and effective, not merely nomina
l or moral. As to lawyer Potenciano Ilusorios mental state, the Court of Appeals
observed that he was of sound and alert mind, having answered all the relevant q
uestions to the satisfaction of the court. Being of sound mind, he is thus posse
ssed with the capacity to make choices. In this case, the crucial choices revolv
e on his residence and the people he opts to see or live with. The choices he ma
de may not appeal to some of his family members but these are choices which excl
usively belong to Potenciano. He made it clear before the Court of Appeals that
he was not prevented from leaving his house or seeing people. With that declarat
ion, and absent any true restraint on his liberty, we have no reason to reverse
the findings of the Court of Appeals. With his full mental capacity coupled with
the right of choice, Potenciano Ilusorio may not be the subject of visitation r
ights against his free choice. Otherwise, we will deprive him of his right to pr
ivacy. Needless to say, this will run against his fundamental constitutional rig
ht. No court is empowered as a judicial authority to compel a husband to live wi
th his wife. Coverture cannot be enforced by compulsion of a writ ofhabeas corpu
s carried out by
sheriffs or by any other mesne process. That is a matter beyond judicial authori
ty and is best left to the man and womans free choice. 134. BLAS OPLE VS RUBEN TO
RRES FACTS: On 12 Dec 1996, Ramos issued AO 308 entitled "Adoption of a National
Computerized Identification Reference System". The late Senator Ople averred th
at the said AO is unconstitutional because it infringes upon the peoples privacy
and that the said AO is an encroachment of the Legislatures power to legislate la
ws. Blas opined that the said AO is not merely an AO because it partakes of the
nature of a law hence it is beyond the presidents power to issue such. He filed a
petition to enjoin Ruben Torres et al from carrying out such AO. Torres et al c
ountered that the AO is not a law for it creates no office; confers no right; af
fords no protection and imposes no duty. ISSUE: Whether or not the acts of the p
resident is an encroachment of the functions of the Legislature. HELD: As head o
f the Executive Department, the President is the Chief Executive. He represents
the government as a whole and sees to it that all laws are enforced by the offic
ials and employees of his department. He has control over the executive departme
nt, bureaus and offices. This means that he has the authority to assume directly
the functions of the executive department, bureau and office or interfere with
the discretion of its officials. Corollary to the power of control, the Presiden
t also has the duty of supervising the enforcement of laws for the maintenance o
f general peace and public order. Thus, he is granted administrative power over
bureaus and offices under his control to enable him to discharge his duties effe
ctively. Administrative power is concerned with the work of applying policies an
d enforcing orders as determined by proper governmental organs. It enables the P
resident to fix a uniform standard of administrative efficiency and check the of
ficial conduct of his agents. To this end, he can issue administrative orders, r
ules and regulations. Upon these precepts, AO 308 involves a subject that is not
appropriate to be covered by an administrative order. An administrative order i
s: Sec. 3. Administrative Orders. Acts of the President which relate to particul
ar aspects of governmental operation in pursuance of his duties as administrativ
e head shall be promulgated in administrative orders. An administrative order is
an ordinance issued by the President which relates to specific aspects in the a
dministrative operation of government. It must be in harmony with the law and sh
ould be for the sole purpose of implementing the law and carrying out the legisl
ative policy. An AO is not a law. In here, AO 308 partakes the nature of a law h
ence it is beyond executive power. Only the legislative can enact such a law of
general effect. 135. AYER PRODUCTIONS PTY. VS HON. IGNACIO CAPULONG FACTS: Petit
ioner McElroy an Australian film maker, and his movieproduction company, Ayer Pr
oductions, envisioned, sometime in 1987, for commercial viewing and for Philippi
ne and international release, the historic peaceful struggle of the Filipinos at
EDSA. The proposed motion picture entitled "The Four Day Revolution" was endorse
d by the MTRCB as and other government agencies consulted. Ramos also signified
his approval of the intended film production. It is designed to be viewed in a s
ix-hour mini-series television play, presented in a "docudrama" style, creating
four fictional characters interwoven with real events, and utilizing actual docu
mentary footage as background. David Williamson is Australia s leading playwrigh
t and Professor McCoy (University of New South Wales) is an American historian h
ave developed a script. Enrile declared that he will not approve the use, approp
riation, reproduction and/or exhibition of his name, or picture, or that of any
member of his family in any cinema or television production, film or other mediu
m for advertising or commercial exploitation. petitioners acceded to this demand
and the name of Enrile was deleted from themovie script, and petitioners procee
ded to film the projected motion picture. However, a complaint was filed by Enri
le invoking his right to privacy. Lower court decision: The court ordered for th
e desistance of the movie production and making of any reference to plaintiff or
his family and from creating any fictitious character in lieu of plaintiff whic
h nevertheless is based on, or bears substantial or marked resemblance to Enrile
. ISSUE: Whether or Not freedom of expression was violated. HELD: Yes. Freedom o
f speech and of expression includes the freedom to film and produce motion pictu
res and exhibit such motion pictures in theaters or to diffuse them through tele
vision. Furthermore the circumstance that the production of motion picture films
is a commercial activity expected to yield monetary profit, is not a disqualifi
cation for availing of freedom of speech and of expression. The projected motion
picture was as yet uncompleted and hence not exhibited to any audience. Neither
private respondent nor the respondent trial Judge knew what the completed film
would precisely look like. There was, in other words, no "clear and present dang
er" of any violation of any right to privacy. Subject matter is one of public in
terest and concern. The subject thus relates to a highly critical stage in the h
istory of the country. At all relevant times, during which the momentous events,
clearly of public concern, that petitioners propose to film were taking place,
Enrile was a "public figure:" Such public figures were held to have lost, to som
e extent at least, their right to privacy. The line of equilibrium in the specif
ic context of the instant case between the constitutional freedom of speech and
of expression and the right of privacy, may be marked out in terms of a requirem
ent that the proposed motion picture must be fairly truthful and historical in i
ts presentation of events. 136. RODRIGO CONCEPCION VS COURT OF APPEALS FACTS: So
metime in 1985, the spouses Nestor Nicolas and Allen Nicolas resided at 51 M. Co
ncepcion, San Joaquin, Pasig City, in an apartment leased to them by Concepcion
who
also resided in the same compound where the apartment was located. Nestor was th
en engaged in the business of supplying government agencies with office equipmen
ts. Concepcion joined this venture by contributing capital on the condition that
after her capital investment was returned to her, any profit would be divided e
qually between her and Nestor. Sometime in the 2nd week of July 1985, Rodrigo br
other of Concepcions husband (dead), angrily accosted Nestor at the latters apartm
ent and accused him of adultery with Concepcion. To clarify matters, Nestor went
with Rodrigo to see his relatives who allegedly have knowledge of such adultery
. However, those people denied any knowledge thereof. Nevertheless, Rodrigo reit
erated his accusation and threatened Concepcion that should something happen to
his sick mother, in case the mother would learn about the affair, he would kill Co
ncepcion. The Nicolas spouses sued Rodrigo for damages. Regional Trial Court dec
ision: The court ordered to pay respondent spouses Nestor Nicolas and Allem Nico
las the sums of P50,000.00 for moral damages, P25,000.00 for exemplary damages a
nd P10,000.00 for attorneys fees, plus the costs of suit. Court of Appeals decisi
on: Affirms the decision of the lower court. ISSUE: Whether or not there is basi
s in law for the award of damages to spouses Nicolas. HELD: The Code Commission
stressed in no uncertain terms that the human personality must be exalted. The s
acredness of human personality is a concomitant consideration of every plan for
amelioration. The touchstone of every system of law, of the culture and civiliza
tion of every country is how far it dignifies man. If the statutes insufficientl
y protect a person from being unjustly humiliated, in short, if human personalit
y is not exalted, then the laws are indeed defective. Thus, the rights of person
s are aptly protected, and damages are provided for violations of a persons digni
ty, personality, privacy and peace of mind. The decision of the CA is affirmed.
137. MVRS VS. ISLAMIC DAWAH COUNCIL FACTS- The ISLAMIC DA WAH COUNCIL OF THE PHIL
(IDCP), alocal federation of more than 70 Muslim religious orgs,and some indivi
dual Muslims filed in the RTC Manila acomplaint for damages in their own behalf
and as aclass suit in behalf of the Muslim members nationwide against MVRS PUBLI
CATIONS, et.al.- Complaint alleged that what was published in BULGARwas insultin
g and damaging to the Muslims; that thesewords alluding to the pig as the God of
the Muslims wasnot only published out of sheer ignorance but withintent to hurt
the feelings, cast insult and disparage theMuslims and Islam; that on account o
f these libelouswords Bulgar insulted not only the Muslims in the Philbut the en
tire Muslim world, esp. every Muslimindividual in non-Muslim countries MVRS clai
med it was merely an expression of belief/opinion and was published without mali
ce. Also, it did not mention respondents as object of the article,hence, were no
t entitled to damages. RTC dismissed- plaintiffs failed to establish theircause
of action since the persons allegedly defamed bythe article were not specificall
y identified. CA reversed-it was "clear from the disputed articlethat the defama
tion was directed to all adherents of Islamic faith.
ISSUE- Whether or nothe cause of action should rise from anintentional tortuous
act causing mental distress HELD:.Action arising from an intentional tortuous ac
tcausing mental distress cannot be sustained in thiscase, for such action is per
sonal in nature, and since noparticular individual was identified in the dispute
darticle, such cause of action cannot be sustained. Torts with independent civil
action: DEFAMATION An "emotional distress" tort action is personal innature; it
is a civil action filed by an individual toassuage the injuries to his emotiona
l tranquility due topersonal attacks on his character.- The purported damage cau
sed by the publishedarticle falls under principle of relational harm- whichinclu
des harm to social relationships in the community in the form of defamation; as
distinguished from the principle of reactive harm- which includes injuries to in
dividual emotional tranquility in the form of an infliction of emotional distres
s. The present case falls within the application of the relational harm principl
e of tort actions for defamation.- To recover for this the plaintiff must show t
hat: (a)conduct of the defendant was intentional or in reckless disregard of pla
intiff; (b)conduct was extreme and outrageous; (c)causal connection between defe
ndant s conduct and the plaintiff s mentaldistress; and, (d) the plaintiff s men
tal distress was extreme and severe.- Any party seeking recovery for mental angu
ish must prove more than mere worry, anxiety, embarrassment or anger. 138. INTER
NATIONAL SCHOOL ALLIANCE OF EDUCATORS V. QUISUMBING AND INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL FAC
TS: International School (IS) pays its teachers who are hired from abroad, or fo
reignhires, a higher salary than its local-hires, whether the latter are Filipin
o or not (most are Filipino, but some are American). It justifies this under the
dislocation factor that foreigners must be given a higher salary both to attract
them to teach here, and to compensate them for the significant economic disadvant
ages involved in coming here. The Teachers Union cries discrimination. ISSUE: Whet
her or not discrimination exists which would constitute damage HELD: Discriminat
ion exists. Equal pay for equal work is a principal long honored in this jurisdi
ction, as it rests on fundamental norms of justice 1. Art. XIII, Sec. 1 of the C
onstitution (Social Justice and Human Rights) exhorts Congress to give the highe
st priority to the enactment of measures that protect and ennhance the right od
all people to human dignity, reduce social, economic, and political inequalitite
s. The Constitution also provides that labor is entitled to humane conditions of w
ork.. These conditions are not restricted to the physical workplace, but include
as well the manner by which employers treat their employees. Lastly, the Constit
ution directs the State to promote equality of employment opportunities for all, reg
ardless of sex, race, or creed. It would be an affront to both the spirit and
the letter of these provisions if the State closes its eyes to unequal and discr
iminatory terms and conditions of employment. 2. International law, which spring
s from general principles of law, likewise proscribes discrimination. General pr
inciples of law include principles of equity, i.e., fairness and justice, based
on the test of what is reasonable. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
numerous other international Conventions all embody the general principle again
st discrimination, the very antithesis of fairness and justice. The Philippines,
through its Constitution, has incorporated this principle as part of its nation
al laws. 139. BIBOSO VS. JUDGE OSMUNDO M. VILLANUEVA FACTS: Complainant Lucita E
. Biboso, 33, claimed that at around 11 oclock in the morning of August 20, 1996,
she went to see respondent at the MCTC in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat to follow up
her case, she was molested by respondent. Lucita claims that Judge Villanueva ki
ssed, hugged, unzipped the pants of complainant and that she could not do anythi
ng because of respondents strength. What she did then is evade the sexual advanc
es of respondent and ran outside the chamber and went home. Respondent on the ot
her hand claims that the allegations made by the complainant is false, claiming
that he dismissed two cases submitted by Biboso, and such act was a form of reve
nge. Furthermore he claims that he was in Lebak and not in his office, he submit
ted several documentary evidence of him being in Lebak. Regional Trial Court dec
ision: Executive Judge German M. Malcampo found complainants claim of sexual hara
ssment to be unsubstantiated due to material inconsistencies between complainants
affidavit-complaint and her testimony during the investigation of the case. Nev
ertheless, in view of his finding that respondent gave assistance to complainants
father-in-law in filing a case in his sala, Judge Malcampo recommended that res
pondent be reprimanded and ordered to pay a fine in the amount of P20,000.00. IS
SUE: Whether or not respondent commit sexual harassment towards complainant HELD
: Complainant thus failed to prove her charges against respondent. The inconsist
encies between her testimony and complaint-affidavit, in contrast to the credibl
e testimonial and documentary evidence presented by respondent, put in serious d
oubt the veracity of her claims. Indeed, it appears, as respondent judge claims,
that this case was filed to punish him for having dismissed the cases filed by
complainant and her father-in-law, especially as the filing of this case came on
the heels of the dismissal of the latter. There could no other reason for compl
ainant to turn against respondent when the latter had previously helped complain
ant in her legal problems to the extent of preparing her father-in-laws complaint
-affidavit for estafa against Navarra and even issuing a writ of execution in on
e case (Civil Case No. 71) and a warrant of arrest in another (Criminal Case No.
1662-B). Furthermore, it took complainant more than a year after the commission
of the alleged sexual harassment on September 4, 1996 to file the instant admin
istrative complaint. Even complainant s explanation as to why she executed her a
ffidavit-complaint only on October 16, 1997 was conflicting. She initially
stated that she was only able to execute her complaint-affidavit for this case o
n said late date because rumors had spread by that time that she was respondents
lover (kabit).During her cross-examination, however, she stated that she had to
defer the execution of her complaint because she had to wait for her husband to
come back from Manila. 140. PHILIPPINE AEOLUS AUTO-MOTIVE UNITED CORPORATION Vs.
NLRC FACTS: On October 5 1994, a memorandum was issued to Rosalinda C. Cortez r
equiring her to explain why no disciplinary action should be taken against her f
or throwing a stapler against Plant Manager Chua, for losing the sum amount of m
oney of P1488.00 and for asking a co-employee to stamp her card to make it appea
r that she was at work when in fact she was not. Said memorandum was refused by
respondent Cortez and did not submit an explanation hence she was placed in a pr
eventive suspension. While pending suspension she was given a second memorandum
requiring her to explain why the ATM applications of 9 of her co-workers were no
t processed. She submitted a written explanation with respet to the money lost a
nd the punching of the card. A third memorandum was issued against her for termi
nation on grounds of gross and habitual negligence, serious misconduct and fraud
or willful breach of trust. Hence respondent filed for illegal dismissal. Labor
Arbiters decision: Labor Arbiter rendered a decision holding the termination of
Cortez as valid and legal, at the same time dismissing her claim for damages for
lack of merit. NLRC decision: reversed the decision of the labor arbiter and fo
und corporation guilty of illegal dismissal and the reinstatement of Cortez with
back wages. ISSUE: Whether or not Cortez is entitled to damages in the event th
at the illegality of her dismissal is sustained. HELD: In determining entitlemen
t to moral and exemplary damages, we restate the bases therefor. In moral damage
s, it suffices to prove that the claimant has suffered anxiety, sleepless nights
, besmirched reputation and social humiliation by reason of the act complained o
f. Exemplary damages, on the other hand, are granted in addition to, inter alia,
moral damages "by way of example or correction for the public good" if the empl
oyer acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner.
" Anxiety was gradual in private respondent s five (5)-year employment. It began
when her plant manager showed an obvious partiality for her which went out of h
and when he started to make it clear that he would terminate her services if she
would not give in to his sexual advances. Sexual harassment is an imposition of
misplaced "superiority" which is enough to dampen an employee s spirit in her c
apacity for advancement. It affects her sense of judgment; it changes her life.
If for this alone private respondent should be adequately compensated. Thus, for
the anxiety, the seen and unseen hurt that she suffered, petitioners should als
o be made to pay her moral damages, plus exemplary damages, for the oppressive m
anner with which petitioners effected her dismissal from the service, and to ser
ve as a forewarning to lecherous officers and employers who take undue advantage
of their ascendancy over their employees.
All told, the penalty of dismissal is too excessive and not proportionate to the
alleged infractions committed considering that it does not appear that private
respondent was an incorrigible offender or that she inflicted serious damage to
the company, nor would her continuance in the service be patently inimical to he
r employer s interest. Even the suspension imposed upon her while her case was p
ending investigation appears to be unjustified and uncalled for. Cases 132-140 D
ELA ROSA, JOHN ROME L. 141. OBRA VS CA FACTS: Petitioner Obra was a regional dir
ector of the Bureau of Mines and Geo Sciences in Baguio City. On June 26, 1985 J
eannette Grybos wrote him a letter in behalf of the Gillies heirs in Mankayan. T
he letter alleged that the spouses James and June Brett were conducting illegal
mining activities in lands owned by the said heirs and without the requisite per
mits. Obra then wrote Regional Unified Command 1 (RUC-1) Brig. Gen. Dumipit and
enlisted his help in stopping a truck illegedly used by respondents in shipping
the illegally mined ores. Obra also wrote the provincial commander of Benguet Co
l. Estepa and requested that he stop any mining activities over the contested ar
ea. Elements of RUC-1 seized an Isuzu Elf truck belonging to respondents and imp
ounded it. Private respondents filed a complaint for injunction and damages with
an application for a TRO in the RTC due to violations of Art. 32 and 19-21 of t
he Civil Code. Court likewise ruled that no investigation had been made and acco
rding to jurisprudence respondents are entitled to damages for violation of thei
r rights. Accordingly, the trial court ruled that, under Art. 32 of the Civil Co
de and the ruling in Aberca v. Ver, private respondents were entitled to actual
and compensatory damages, moral damages, and exemplary damages in the total amou
nt of P100,000.00 and attorney s fees in the total amount of P10,000.00, plus co
sts of suit. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the decision in toto. ISSUE
S & ARGUMENTS: 1. WoN Petitioners could not be held liable for damages in the pe
rformance of their duty in Good Faith. 2. WoN Petitioners are entitled to an awa
rd of Damages. RULING: PETITION IS WITHOUT MERIT, CA DECISION AFFIRMED PD No. 12
81 gave powers to order arrest, even without warrant, of persons violation PD No
. 463 or any laws being enforced by Bureau of Mines and seize tools used for the
same in favor of the government and to deputize any PC, police agency, barangay
or any person qualified to police mining activities. The petitioners contend th
at this grant of power is valid even in the Constitution.
The Constitution merely makes valid the grant of power to issue warrants but did
not in any way exempt the agencies so empowered from the duty of determining pr
obable cause as basis for the issuance of warrants. The real question is whether
or not petitioner conducted any investigation at all. As we said in Aberca v. V
er, the military is not to be restrained from pursuing their task or carrying ou
t their mission with vigor. However, in doing so, care must be taken that consti
tutional and legal safeguards are not disregarded. In this case, there was absol
utely no justification for the disregard of procedures for issuing search and se
izure orders. The Court of Appeals rightly concluded then that petitioners viola
ted private respondents constitutional rights to due process and to security ag
ainst unreasonable searches and seizure in ordering the seizure and impoundment
of private respondents vehicle. For as the trial court held: From all the above
arguments and counter-arguments, the Court finds that the petitioners do not se
riously dispute that the private respondents were, indeed, deprived of the use o
f their Isuzu "ELF" Truck when the private respondents foreman and the driver o
f the truck were told by Sgt. Morales of the RUC-I that the same could not leave
the mining area in Palasa-an, Mankayan, Benguet, "per orders", and the same was
parked in front of the building where the military team specifically assigned f
or that particular mission was staying. The arguments of the petitioners that th
ere was no distraint and/or seizure because the keys of the truck were always in
the possession of private respondents driver Kiyabang, that, on several occasi
ons, the truck left the Palasa-an mining area, . . . and that the private respon
dents voluntarily and maliciously refused to use or enjoy their own truck . . .
are facetious, to say the least, and deserve no serious consideration, in the li
ght of the undisputed fact that the military men led by Sgt. Morales did not all
ow him to drive the truck out of the Palasa-an mining area, and on those occasio
ns when he drove the truck out of the mining area, it was on missions of mercy a
nd for purposes of the needs of the military personnel assigned in the Palasaan
mining area, and these, always with a soldier on board the truck. There was, the
refore, a distraint and at least constructive seizure by the military men led by
Sgt. Morales, "as per orders," of the Isuzu Ilf truck of the private respondent
s, effectively depriving the latter of its use and enjoyment of their property.
Likewise, it is not disputed by the petitioners that Petitioners Obra s request
for the "checking and apprehending" of private respondents truck by Petitioner
Dumpit s RUC-I Command on June 26, 1985 (Exh. C) and the actual apprehension of
said truck by Sgt. Morales and his men on July 1, 1985, were not preceded by and
based on an investigation conducted by Petitioner Obra or his Office, but, inst
ead, were based on the letter-complaint of Jeannette Grybos received by said Off
ice also on June 26, 1985 (Exh. B). The petitioners claim that this did not vio
late the constitutional right of the private respondents to due process because
of the aforequoted reasons completely ignores the fundamental rule that laws sho
uld not be so interpreted or implemented as to violate the provisions of the con
stitution. Specifically, Petitioner Obra s interpretation of the law that grants
him "jurisdictional supervision and control" over persons and things that have
something to do with mines and mining (Sec. 6, P.D. No. 1281) authorizes him to
distrain and seize private respondents truck, as he actually did through Sgt. M
orales and his men, "without prerequisite conditions such as a prior preliminary
investigation of the case" (taken from the above quotation from petitioners Me
morandum), clearly violates the provision of the Bill of Rights on due process .
. .
These findings and conclusions of the trial court, as affirmed by the Court of A
ppeals, are binding on this Court in the absence of any showing that they are co
ntrary to the evidence in the record. On the other hand, petitioner Dumpit claim
s that unlike the superior officers in Aberca, he had no knowledge of the acts o
f his subordinates since they did not file an "afterincident report" which was t
he standard procedure in these cases. He claims that all he did was to endorse t
he request to Major Densen, the Intelligence Officer of RUC-1, to coordinate wit
h the BMGS and implement the order accordingly. These contentions have no merit.
It was sufficiently proved in this case that the seizure of the truck was effec
ted upon the orders of petitioner Dumpit, acting on the request of petitioner Ob
ra. Private respondents witnesses testified that when they asked the military m
en who stopped them upon their entry to the "Mamakar" mining site, the soldiers
told them that they were acting upon the orders of "the general in Camp Dangwa."
Sgt. Morales even issued a certification that the truck was seized "as per orde
rs." Art. 32 of the Civil Code makes liable any public officer who is directly o
r indirectly responsible for violating an individual s constitutional rights. Th
e ruling in Aberca, which has been reiterated in subsequent cases, is stated as
follows: . . . [T]he decisive factor in this case, in our view, is the language
of Article 32. The law speaks of an officer or employee or person "directly" or
"indirectly" responsible for the violation of the constitutional rights and libe
rties of another. Thus, it is not the actor alone (i.e., the one directly respon
sible) who must answer for damages under Article 32; the person indirectly respo
nsible has also to answer for the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved part
y. . . . While it would certainly be too naive to expect that violators of human
rights would easily be deterred by the prospect of facing damage suits, it shou
ld nonetheless be made clear in no uncertain terms that Article 32 of the Civil
Code makes the persons who are directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for
the transgressions joint tortfeasors. It was clear from petitioner Obra s letter
to petitioner Dumpit that assistance was sought for the seizure of private resp
ondents truck. Thus, when petitioner Dumpit endorsed the request to his subordi
nates for proper action, there could not have been any other foreseeable consequ
ence but the eventual seizure of the truck. Petitioner Dumpit cannot evade respo
nsibility for his acts by claiming that he merely performed a ministerial duty i
n ordering the implementation of petitioner Obra s request. Otherwise, Art. 32 c
ould easily be avoided by the mere plea that the officer concerned was only carr
ying out a ministerial duty. Petitioner Dumpit was a ranking military official.
It is unseemly for him to claim that he was merely executing a ministerial act.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED and the decision of the Court of Appeals is
hereby AFFIRMED. SO ORDERED.
142. SERRANO VS NIRC FACTS: This is a Petition seeking review of the resolutions
, dated March 30, 1994 and August 26, 1994, of the National Labor Relations Comm
ission (NLRC) which reversed the decision of the Labor Arbiter and dismissed pet
itioner Ruben Serrano s complaint for illegal dismissal and denied his motion fo
r reconsideration. Petitioner was hired by the Respondent Isetann Department Sto
re as a security checker to apprehend shoplifters. As a cost-cutting measure, pr
ivate respondent decided to phase out its security section engage the services o
f an independent security agency. Petitioner was then terminated. The problem wa
s that Petitioner was only given notice of dismissal on the same day that he was
terminated. This prompted him to file a complaint for illegal dismissal. NLRC o
rdered petitioner to be given separation pay holding that the phase-out of the s
ecurity section was a legitimate business decision. However, respondent was deni
ed the right to be given written notice before termination of his employment. IS
SUES: Was the dismissal illegal? What is the effect of violation of the notice r
equirement when termination is based on an authorized cause? RULING: An employers
good faith in implementing a redundancy program is not necessarily put in doubt
by the availment of the services of an independent contractor to replace the se
rvices of the terminated employees to promote economy and efficiency. Absent pro
of that management acted in a malicious or arbitrary manner, the Court will not
interfere with the exercise of judgment by an employer. If termination of employ
ment is not for any of the cause provided by law, it is illegal and the employee
should be reinstated and paid backwages. To contend that even if the terminatio
n is for a just cause, the employee concerned should be reinstated and paid back
wages would be to amend Art 279 by adding another ground for considering dismiss
al illegal. If it is shown that the employee was dismissed for any of the causes
mentioned in Art 282, the in accordance with that article, he should not be rei
nstated but must be paid backwages from the time his employment was terminated u
ntil it is determined that the termination of employment is for a just cause bec
ause the failure to hear him before he is dismissed renders the termination with
out legal effect. Accordingly, we hold that the termination of petitioner s serv
ices was for an authorized cause, i.e., redundancy. Hence, pursuant to Art. 283
of the Labor Code, petitioner should be given separation pay at the rate of one
month pay for every year of service. Sanctions for Violations of the Notice Requ
irement Art. 283 also provides that to terminate the employment of an employee f
or any of the authorized causes the employer must serve "a written notice on the
workers and the Department of Labor and Employment at least one (1) month befor
e the intended date thereof." In the case at bar, petitioner was given a notice
of termination on October 11, 1991. On the same day, his services were terminate
d. He was thus denied his right to be
given written notice before the termination of his employment, and the question
is the appropriate sanction for the violation of petitioner s right. The decisio
n followed the ruling in several cases involving dismissals which, although base
d on any of the just causes under Art. 282, were effected without notice and hea
ring to the employee as required by the implementing rules. As this Court said:
"It is now settled that where the dismissal of one employee is in fact for a jus
t and valid cause and is so proven to be but he is not accorded his right to due
process, i.e., he was not furnished the twin requirements of notice and opportu
nity to be heard, the dismissal shall be upheld but the employer must be sanctio
ned for non-compliance with the requirements of, or for failure to observe, due
process." We agree with our esteemed colleagues, Justices Puno and Panganiban, t
hat we should rethink the sanction of fine for an employer s disregard of the no
tice requirement. We do not agree, however, that disregard of this requirement b
y an employer renders the dismissal or termination of employment null and void.
That would be to uphold the right of the employee but deny the right of the empl
oyer to dismiss for cause. Rather, the remedy is to order the payment to the emp
loyee of full backwages from the time of his dismissal until the court finds tha
t the dismissal was for a just cause. But, otherwise, his dismissal must be uphe
ld and he should not be reinstated. This is because his dismissal is ineffectual
. Not all notice requirements are requirements of due process. Some are simply p
art of a procedure to be followed before a right granted to a party can be exerc
ised. Others are simply an application of the Justinian precept, embodied in the
Civil Code, to act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and
good faith toward one s fellowmen. Such is the notice requirement in Arts. 282-
283. The consequence of the failure either of the employer or the employee to li
ve up to this precept is to make him liable in damages, not to render his act (d
ismissal or resignation, as the case may be) void. The measure of damages is the
amount of wages the employee should have received were it not for the terminati
on of his employment without prior notice. If warranted, nominal and moral damag
es may also be awarded. 143. ABERCA VS MAJ. GEN. FABIAN VER FACTS: Then Presiden
t Marcos had already lifted Martial Law but the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus was still suspended. General Ver ordered Task Force Makabansa (TFM) to co
nduct pre-emptive strikes against known communist-terrorist (CT) underground hou
ses in view of increasing reports about CT plans to sow disturbances in Metro Ma
nila. Petitioners filed a complaint which contained allegations of searches made
without search warrants or based on irregularly issued or substantially defecti
ve warrants; seizures and confiscation, without proper receipts, of cash and per
sonal effects belonging to them and other items of property which were not subve
rsive and illegal nor covered by the search warrants; arrest and detention of pe
titioners without warrant or under irregular, improper and illegal circumstances
; detention of petitioners at several undisclosed places of safehouses" where t
hey were kept incommunicado and subjected to physical and psychological torture
and other inhuman, degrading and brutal treatment for the purpose of extracting
incriminatory statements. The complaint
contains a detailed recital of abuses perpetrated upon the petitioners violative
of their constitutional rights. The RTC of Quezon City dismissed the complaint
upon motion by the respondents. ISSUES & ARGUMENTS 1. WoN the TFM may be held li
able for their acts under an official duty 2. WoN the suspension of the privileg
e of the writ of habeas corpus bars a civil action for damages for illegal searc
hes conducted by military personnel and other violations of rights and liberties
guaranteed under the Constitution. Respondents: They have immunity from suit of
a state for they only followed the orders of the President when he called them
out. It was their constitutional duty to exercise their functions. RULING: YES,
THEIR DUTY TO SUPPRESS LAWLESSNESS IS NOT A BLANKET LICENSE WHICH IGNORED THE CO
NSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THEPEOPLE. Article 32 clearly specifies as actionable the
act of violating or in any manner impeding or impairing any of the constitution
al rights and liberties enumerated therein, among others 1. Freedom from arbitra
ry arrest or illegal detention; 2. The right against deprivation of property wit
hout due process of law; 3. The right to be secure in one s person, house, paper
s and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures; 4. The privacy of comm
unication and correspondence; 5. Freedom from being compelled to be a witness ag
ainst one s self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced b
y a promise of immunity or reward to make a confession, except when the person c
onfessing becomes a state witness. The complaint in this litigation alleges fact
s showing with abundant clarity and details, how plaintiffs constitutional righ
ts and liberties mentioned in Article 32 of the Civil Code were violated and imp
aired by defendants. The complaint speaks of, among others, searches made withou
t search warrants or based on irregularly issued or substantially defective warr
ants; seizures and confiscation, without proper receipts, of cash and personal e
ffects belonging to plaintiffs and other items of property which were not subver
sive and illegal nor covered by the search warrants; arrest and detention of pla
intiffs without warrant or under irregular, improper and illegal circumstances;
detention of plaintiffs at several undisclosed places of safehouses" where they
were kept incommunicado and subjected to physical and psychological torture and
other inhuman, degrading and brutal treatment for the purpose of extracting inc
riminatory statements. The complaint contains a detailed recital of abuses perpe
trated upon the plaintiffs violative of their constitutional rights. Secondly, n
either can it be said that only those shown to have participated "directly" shou
ld be held liable. Article 32 of the Civil Code encompasses within the ambit of
its provisions those directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for its violat
ion. The responsibility of the defendants, whether direct or indirect, is amply
set forth in the complaint. It is well established in our law and jurisprudence
that a motion to dismiss on the ground that the complaint states no cause of act
ion must be based on what appears
on the face of the complaint. To determine the sufficiency of the cause of actio
n, only the facts alleged in the complaint, and no others, should be considered.
For this purpose, the motion to dismiss must hypothetically admit the truth of
the facts alleged in the complaint. Applying this test, it is difficult to justi
fy the trial court s ruling, dismissing for lack of cause of action the complain
t against all the defendants, except Major Rodolfo Aguinaldo and Master Sgt. Bie
nvenido Balaba. The complaint contained allegations against all the defendants w
hich, if admitted hypothetically, would be sufficient to establish a cause or ca
uses of action against all of them under Article 32 of the Civil Code. According
ly, we grant the petition and annul and set aside the resolution of the responde
nt court, dated November 8, 1983, its order dated May 11, 1984 and its resolutio
n dated September 21, 1984. Let the case be remanded to the respondent court for
further proceedings. With costs against private respondents. SO ORDERED. 144. A
LONZO VS CA FACTS: This petition for review on certiorari challenges the decisio
n of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 10504 and its resolution 2 denying t
he motion for the reconsideration of the decision. The decision affirmed in toto
the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 11, Davao City, in Criminal Ca
se No. 13698 convicting the petitioner of libel. Petitioner, Dr. Merle Alonzo wa
s the Field Operations Officer of the Philippine Medical Care Commission (PMCC).
She was directed to conduct inspections of medicareaccredited clinics and hospi
tals. Among these hospitals were Sto. Nio Medical Clinic and Our Lady of Fatima M
edical Clinic, both in Davao del Sur and owned by herein private respondents Vel
asco spouses. In her report to the Vice Chairman of the PMCC regarding said hosp
itals, she included, with the violations, the statement, In all, this particular
clinic should be closely monitored because, aside from the above mentioned viola
tions, the husband is a judge and it gives them a certain amount of untouchabilit
y. In fact, they make court suits their pastime. Dr. Velasco and her husband, Judg
e Dan Velasco, then filed a complaint for libel against the petitioner with the
Office of the City Fiscal of Davao City and, after preliminary investigation, As
sistant City Fiscal Raul Bendigo filed the corresponding information for libel a
gainst the petitioner with the Regional Trial Court, Davao City; which docketed
it as Criminal Case No. 13698. After due trial, the trial court promulgated on 1
9 November 1990 its decision finding the petitioner "guilty beyond reasonable do
ubt of two (2) crimes of libel, penalized under Article 355 of the Revised Penal
Code, as charged," and sentenced her "to pay a fine of P1,000.00; for each crim
e; pay Dr. Angeles Te-Velasco and Judge Dan U. Velasco P5,000.00 each for moral
damages; and to pay the costs." Such Judgment was affirmed by the CA on appeal.
A motion for reconsideration was likewise denied. ISSUE: WoN the questioned repo
rt is libelous.
RULING: Libel is defined in Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code as follows: Ar
t. 333. Definition of libel. A libel is a public and malicious imputation of a c
rime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act or omission, conditi
on, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contemp
t of a natural or juridical person or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.
For an imputation then to be libelous, the following requisites must concur: (a)
it must be defamatory; (b) it must be malicious; (c) it must be given publicity
; and (d) the victim must be identifiable. Any of the imputations covered by Art
icle 353 is defamatory and, under the general rule laid down in Article 354, eve
ry defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true; if no
good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. There is malice wh
en the author of the imputation is prompted by personal ill-will or spite and sp
eaks not in response to duty but merely to injure the reputation of the person w
ho claims to have been defamed. Truth then is not a defense, unless it is shown
that the matter charged as libelous was made with good motives and for justifiab
le ends. Article 361 of the Revised Penal Code provides, in part, as follows: Ar
t. 361. Proof of truth. In every criminal prosecution for libel, the truth may b
e given in evidence to the court and if it appears that the matter charged as li
belous is true, and, moreover, that it was published with good motives and for j
ustifiable ends, the defendant shall be acquitted. However, malice is not presum
ed and must, therefore, be proved, under the following exceptions provided for i
n Article 354, viz.: 1. A private communication made by any person to another in
the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and 2. A fair and true repo
rt, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks; of any judicial legisla
tive or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of a
ny statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other ac
t performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions. The privilege
d character of these communications is not absolute, but merely qualified since
they could still be shown to be malicious by proof of actual malice or malice in
fact. 7 The burden of proof in this regard is on the plaintiff or the prosecuti
on. Publication means "to make public; to make known to people in general; to br
ing before the public." Specifically put, publication in the law of libel means
the making known of the defamatory matter, after it has been written, to some pe
rson other than the person of whom it is written. If the statement is sent strai
ght to a person whom it is written there is no publication of it. The reason for
this is that [a] communication of the defamatory matter to the person defamed c
annot injure his reputation though it may wound his self-esteem. A man s reputat
ion is not the good opinion he has of himself, but the estimation in which other
s hold him. We Cannot agree with the differing conclusion of the Court of Appeal
s that "the derogatory remarks were obviously made out of ill-will or revenge, i
n view of the rumored threat of libel from the complainants according to the Dav
ao del Sur PHA
grapevine." For one, this only shows that both the trial court and the Court of
Appeals could not agree on what the basis for the motive of the petitioner shoul
d be. For another, as indicated above, the private respondents themselves focuse
d their minds and hearts on the untruthfulness of the violations indicated in th
e petitioner s report. Finally, the statement on the threat of a libel charge wa
s evidently based on a rumor (from the grapevine) which we, nevertheless, find t
o be relevant to the report since it serves to forewarn the petitioner s superio
rs of the risks she and they might meet as a consequence of her report on the vi
olations and to emphasize the need for PMCC s firmness and courage to pursue the
appropriate charges as may be warranted in the premises. All told then, the pro
secution in this case was unable to prove malice in fact. Finally there was, in
law, no publication of the questioned report. The rule is settled that a communi
cation made by a public officer in the discharge of his official duties to anoth
er or to a body of officers having a duty to perform with respect to the subject
matter of the communication does not amount to a publication within the meaning
of the law on defamation. There was also no publication when Atty. Balasabas, a
third person, read the complaint against Dr. Velasco and the report of the peti
tioner attached thereto. The private respondents entrusted these documents to At
ty. Balasabas with the request that he give them to their counsel, Atty. David M
ontaa. Where the plaintiff himself communicated or by his acts caused the communi
cation of the libelous matter to a third person, there was no actionable publica
tion. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is GRANTED. The assailed decision of the C
ourt of Appeals in CA-G.R. CR No. 10504 is hereby REVERSED and petitioner DR. ME
RLE A. ALONZO is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime charged. No pronouncement as to c
osts. SO ORDERED. 145. SAZON VS CA FACTS: Petitioner, Fernando Sazon and private
complainant Abdon Reyes were both elected to the new board of directors for the
PML Homes in Marikina. Later, petitioner was also elected as the president of t
he new board of directors defeating private complainant, Abdon. Abdon, unable to
accept defeat, questioned such election and filed an election protest. Upon app
roval, Abdon immediately scattered leaflets entitled Supalpal si Sazon among his c
o-homeowners. And at about the same time the phrase. Sazon, nasaan ang pondo ng s
imbahan? was seen at the gates of the subdivision. In response, petitioner, Sazon
, as the editor of the homeowners association newsletter, published an article w
hich defined Abdon as manlilinlang, mandurugas , and manloloko, and accused him of be
ng the mastermind of the phrase at the gates. Aggrieved by the aforequoted artic
le, the Abdon filed a complaint for libel against Sazon.
On March 18, 1992, the trial court rendered its decision finding the petitioner
guilty of the crime charged, and accordingly sentenced him, thus: WHEREFORE, fore
going considered, the accused is found guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the cri
me charged and is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of FOUR (4) months and
ONE (1) day of arresto mayor as minimum to TWO (2) years, FOUR (4) months and O
NE (1) day of prision correccional as maximum, with the accessory penalties prov
ided by law, and to pay a fine of P200.00 in accordance with Art. 353, in relati
on to Art. 355 of the Revised Penal Code. With costs against the accused. The Co
urt of Appeals affirmed the decision. Thus the present petition. ISSUE: WoN the
questioned article is libelous. ARGUMENTS: 1. Petitioner insists that the allege
dly offensive words found in the subject article are not actually defamatory. Ac
cording to petitioner, the word mandurugas and other words and phrases used in the
questioned article do not impute to private complainant any crime, vice or defe
ct which would be injurious or damaging to his name and reputation. As far as pe
titioner is concerned, the descriptive words and phrases used should be consider
ed as mere epithets which are a form of non-actionable opinion, because while th
ey may express petitioners strong emotional feelings of dislike, they do not mean
to reflect adversely on private complainants reputation. 2. Petitioner also main
tains that there was no malice in this case. He argues that the prosecution fail
ed to present evidence demonstrating that the accused was prompted by personal i
ll-will or spite or that he did not act in response to duty but acted merely to
cause harm to private complainant. Consequently, the prosecution failed to disch
arge its burden of proving malice on the part of the accused beyond all reasonab
le doubt. RULING: Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code defines libel in this wi
se: ART. 353. Definition of libel. - A libel is a public and malicious imputation
of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, co
ndition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or co
ntempt of a natural or juridical person, on to blacken the memory of one who is
dead. For an imputation then to be libelous, the following requisites must concur
: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be malicious; (c) it must be given publi
city; and (d) the victim must be identifiable. Petitioner concedes the existence
of the third and fourth requisites in the case at bench. Accordingly, only the f
irst and second elements need to be discussed herein. In libel cases, the questi
on is not what the writer of an alleged libel means, but what the words used by
him mean. Here, the defamatory character of the words used by the petitioner are
shown by the very recitals thereof in the questioned article. No evidence aliun
de need be adduced to prove it. Petitioner used the following words and phrases
in describing the private complainant: mandurugas, mag-ingat sa panlilinlang, matagal
na tayong niloloko, may kasamang pagyayabang, ang ating pobreng super kulit, patuloy
na kabulastugan, mastermind sa paninirang puri,
etc. Jurisprudence has laid down a test to determine the defamatory character of
words used in the following manner, viz: Words calculated to induce suspicion ar
e sometimes more effective to destroy reputation than false charges directly mad
e. Ironical and metaphorical language is a favored vehicle for slander. A charge
is sufficient if the words are calculated to induce the hearers to suppose and
understand that the person or persons against whom they were uttered were guilty
of certain offenses, or are sufficient to impeach their honesty, virtue, or rep
utation, or to hold the person or persons up to public ridicule. This test was sa
tisfied in the case at bench. Branding private complainant Reyes mandurugas, et al
. most certainly exposed him to public contempt and ridicule. No amount of sophi
stical explanation on the part of petitioner can hide, much less erase, the nega
tive impression already created in the minds of the readers of the libelous mate
rial towards private complainant. Respondent Court of Appeals is, thus, correct
in holding that these words and phrases (mandurugas, et al.) are indisputably defam
atory for they impute upon the private complainant a condition that is dishonora
ble and shameful, since they tend to describe him as a swindler and/or a deceive
r. The general rule laid down in Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code provides t
hat: Art. 354. Requirement of publicity. - Every defamatory imputation is presume
d to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable moti
ve for making it is shown. x x x Prescinding from this provision, when the imputa
tion is defamatory, as in this case, the prosecution need not prove malice on th
e part of the defendant (malice in fact), for the law already presumes that the
defendants imputation is malicious (malice in law). The burden is on the side of
the defendant to show good intention and justifiable motive in order to overcome
the legal inference of malice. Unfortunately, petitioner miserably failed to di
scharge this burden in the case before us. even assuming, ex gratia argumenti, t
hat petitioners article qualifies under the category of privileged communication,
this does not still negate the presence of malice in the instant case. It is we
ll to note that the existence of malice in fact may be shown by extrinsic eviden
ce that the defendant bore a grudge against the offended party, or that there wa
s rivalry or ill-feeling between them which existed at the date of the publicati
on of the defamatory imputation or that the defendant had an intention to injure
the reputation of the offended party as shown by the words used and the circums
tances attending the publication of the defamatory imputation. The circumstances
under which the subject article was published by the petitioner serve to buttre
ss the inference that petitioner was animated solely by revenge towards the priv
ate complainant on account of the leaflet entitled Supalpal si Sazon, earlier circ
ulated among the homeowners as well as the writings near the entrance gate of th
e subdivision, all of which petitioner believes to be the handiwork of the priva
te complainant. Furthermore, the words used in the questioned article were mostl
y uncalled for, strongly sending the message that petitioners objective was merel
y to malign and injure the reputation of the private complainant. This is certai
nly indicative of malice in fact on the part of the petitioner. WHEREFORE, the d
ecision of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED with the modification that, i
n lieu of imprisonment and fine, the penalty to be imposed upon the
petitioner shall be a fine of Three Thousand (P3,000.00) PESOS with subsidiary i
mprisonment in case of insolvency. SO ORDERED. 146. BORJAL VS CA FACTS: A civil
action for damages based on libel was filed before the court against Borjal and
Soliven for writing and publishing articles that are allegedly derogatory and of
fensive against Francisco We