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JOYCE V. ARDIENTE vs SPOUSES JAVIER and MA.

THERESA PASTORFIDE, CAGAYAN DE ORO

WATER DISTRICT and GASPAR GONZALEZ, JR.

G.R. No. 161921

FACTS:

Petitioner filed for a review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to reverse the
Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in favour of herein respondent, spouses Javier and Ma.
Theresa Pastorfide . The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC decision on the judgment sums of money for
moral damages, exemplary damages and legal fees. The decision stemmed from the cutting of the water
supply of Pastorfide by the Cagayan de Oro Water District as supported by the petitioner’s request for
the purpose of compelling the Pastorfide to comply with a condition in a Memorandum of Agreement
pertaining to transfer of rights and interest in a housing unit. This has been agreed and entered into by
both, Javier and Pastorfide in 1994. For four (4) years, the account name of the utility bills remained in
the name of Ardiente which was never questioned, until such time that the account had became
delinquent.

Javier, requested for the disconnection of water line to the COWD without notifying the Pastorfide of
such action, even before or after the COWD cut the water supply; nor informing that the purpose of
such request was to compel the Pastofide to comply with their MOA.

COWD disconnected the water supply without warning and failed to restore the line despite the arrears
had been paid by Pastorfide.

ISSUE: Whether or not the principle of abuse of rights has been violated resulting in damages.

HELD:

Although it is true that it is within the petitioner’s right to require the spouses Pastorfide to comply with
the transfer of the water utility’s account to the latter’s name pursuant to what has been agreed in the
MOA, this does not exempt the petitioner not to act in accordance with the law. By simply not informing
the latter of the request for such disconnection, even before or after the said notification, constitute
bad faith and therefore in contrary to Article 19 of the Civil Code of the Philippines states,

Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and performance of his duties, act with justice,
give everyone his due, observe honesty and good faith.

The exercise of a right must be in accordance for the purpose for which it was established and must not
have the intention to bring prejudice to others. Otherwise, liability for damages to the injured party will
attach. When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with the norms stipulated in Art.
19 and results damage to another, a legal wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be
held responsible. In the case at bar, it is evident that the petitioner made a willful intention to cause
harm to the Pastorfide by not giving them warning or informing them of disconnection request. Such
action brought harm in the part of Pastorfide.

If the provision does not provide a remedy for its violation, an action for damages under either Art. 20 or
Art. 21 of the Civil Code would be proper.

The Spouses Pastorfide are entitled to damages based on the provisions of Article 21 which states, “ Any
person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good
customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.

Therefore, the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are AFFIRMED.