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Myla Ruth N.


Sevilla vs. CA

A contract by and between Noguera and Tourist World Service (TWS), represented by Canilao, wherein TWS
leased the premises belonging to Noguera as branch office of TWS. When the branch office was opened, it was run
by appellant Sevilla payable to TWS by any airline for any fare brought in on the efforts of Mrs. Sevilla, 4% was to
go to Sevilla and 3% was to be withheld by the TWS.
Later, TWS was informed that Sevilla was connected with rival firm, and since the branch office was losing,
TWS considered closing down its office.
On January 3, 1962, the contract with appellee for the use of the branch office premises was terminated
and while the effectivity thereof was January 31, 1962, the appellees no longer used it. Because of this, Canilao, the
secretary of TWS, went over to the branch office, and finding the premises locked, he padlocked the premises.
When neither appellant Sevilla nor any of his employees could enter, a complaint was filed by the appellants
against the appellees.
TWS insisted that Sevilla was a mere employee, being the “branch manager” of its branch office and that
she had no say on the lease executed with the private respondent, Noguera.

ISSUE: W/N ER-EE relationship exists between Sevilla and TWS

The records show that petitioner, Sevilla, was not subject to control by the private respondent TWS. In the
first place, under the contract of lease, she had bound herself in solidum as and for rental payments, an
arrangement that would belie claims of a master-servant relationship. That does not make her an employee of TWS,
since a true employee cannot be made to part with his own money in pursuance of his employer’s business, or
otherwise, assume any liability thereof.
In the second place, when the branch office was opened, the same was run by the appellant Sevilla payable
to TWS by any airline for any fare brought in on the effort of Sevilla. Thus, it cannot be said that Sevilla was under
the control of TWS. Sevilla in pursuing the business, relied on her own capabilities.
It is further admitted that Sevilla was not in the company’s payroll. For her efforts, she retained 4% in
commissions from airline bookings, the remaining 3% going to TWS. Unlike an employee, who earns a fixed salary,
she earned compensation in fluctuating amount depending on her booking successes.
The fact that Sevilla had been designated “branch manager” does not make her a TWS employee. It
appears that Sevilla is a bona fide travel agent herself, and she acquired an interest in the business entrusted to
her. She also had assumed personal obligation for the operation thereof, holding herself solidary liable for the
payment of rentals.
Wherefore, TWS and Canilao are jointly and severally liable to indemnify the petitioner, Sevilla.

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