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G.R. No.

80194 March 21, 1989 Furthermore, civil liability was instituted the same time the criminal
case was also instituted. Plaintiff failed to reserve the civil aspect and
actively participated in the criminal case.
vs. Trial Court issued an order of denial suggesting the defendant to
COURT OF APPEALS and JOSE KUAN SING, bring this ruling to the Supreme Court by certiorari or other
respondents. appropriate remedy to review the ruling of the court. After trial, the
court below rendered judgment in favour of Sing and ordered
Corazon Miraflores and Vicente P. Billena for petitioner. Jarantilla to pay the former the sum of P6,920.00 for hospitalization,
medicines and so forth, P2,000 for other actual expenses, P25,000
for moral damages, P5,000 for attorney’s fees and costs. Court of
Manuel S. Gemarino for private respondent. Appeals also affirmed the decision of the lower court except as to the
award for moral damages which it reduced from P25,000 to P18,000.
FACT: Jose Kuan Sing herein referred to as private respondent, A motion for reconsideration was denied by respondent court.
was side swiped by a vehicle in the evening of July 7, 1971 in Iznart Hence, this appeal from Jarantilla.
Street, Iloilo City. The vehicle which figured in the mishap was a
Volkswagen Beetle type driven by Edgar Jaranitlla along the said Issue: Can Private Respondent institute a separate action for civil
street towards the provincial capital. Private Respondent sustained damages based on the same act without reserving such right to
physical injuries as consequence. institute such action in the criminal case ?

Petitioner was charged in the Iloilo Civil Trial court for serious Held: Yes, the court favoured petitioner’s submission of a separate
physical injuries thru reckless imprudence in Criminal Case No. action for civil damages.
47207. Private Respondent did not reserve his right to institute a
separate civil action and he intervened in the prosecution of said To repeat, no rationale for such resolutions having been expounded
criminal case through a private prosecutor. Petitioner was eventually on the merits of that action, no law of the case may be said to have
acquitted in the said criminal case “on reasonable doubt”. been laid down in G.R. No. L-40992 to justify the respondent court's
refusal to consider petitioner's claim that his former acquittal barred
Incensed by the results, Private respondent filed a complaint against the separate action.
the petitioner in the former Court of First Instance of Iloilo Branch IV
(docketed as Civil Case No. 9976). Civil action involved the same Apropos to such resolution is the settled rule that the same act or
subject matter and act complained in the previous Criminal Case. omission (in this case, the negligent sideswiping of private
respondent) can create two kinds of liability on the part of the
In answer to the complaint, petitioner (Jarantilla) states that the offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto and civil liability ex quasi
respondent had no cause of action and that if there is any, it is delicto. Since the same negligence can give rise either to a delict or
barred by the prior judgment in the aforementioned Criminal Case. crime or to a quasi-delict or tort, either of these two types of civil

Case Digest: Jarantilla vs CA for Obligations and Contracts under Article 1161 Delicts- Dual Concept of 1
Civil Liability for Atty. Ferndandez- copyleft 2010- digest by Arce with words from original SCRA
liability may be enforced against the culprit, subject to the caveat Hence only a civil action based thereon may be instituted or
under Article 2177 of the Civil Code that the offended party cannot prosecuted thereafter, which action can be proved by mere
recover damages under both types of liability. 19 preponderance of evidence. Complementary to such
considerations, Article 29 enunciates the rule, as already stated,
In the case under consideration, private respondent participated and
that a civil action for damages is not precluded by an acquittal on
intervened in the prosecution of the criminal suit against petitioner.
Under the present jurisprudential milieu, where the trial court acquits reasonable doubt for the same criminal act or omission. \
the accused on reasonable doubt, it could very well make a
pronouncement on the civil liability of the accused 23 and the Therefore, as the case is now classified as quasi-delict, the
complainant could file a petition for mandamus to compel the trial respondent’s failure to reserve his right to file a separate civil case
court to include such civil liability in the judgment of acquittal. 24 and his intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from filing
such separate civil action for damages.
Private respondent filed a separate civil action after such acquittal
and this is allowed under Article 29 of the Civil Code where the well
Case Decision: Petitioner’s prayer DENIED and the decision of
settled doctrine is:
the respondent Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, without costs.
When the accused in a criminal
prosecution is acquitted on the
ground that his guilt has not been
proved beyond reasonable doubt,
a civil action for damages for the
same act or omission may be
instituted. Such action requires
only a preponderance of

The civil liability sought to be recovered through the application of

Article 29 is no longer based on or arising from the criminal offense.
Under such circumstances, the acquittal of the accused foreclosed
the civil liability based on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code
which presupposes the existence of criminal liability or requires a
conviction of the offense charged. Divested of its penal element by
such acquittal, the causative act or omission becomes in effect a
quasi- delict,

Case Digest: Jarantilla vs CA for Obligations and Contracts under Article 1161 Delicts- Dual Concept of 2
Civil Liability for Atty. Ferndandez- copyleft 2010- digest by Arce with words from original SCRA