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CASE DIGESTS

TORTS AND DAMAGES


Table of Contents

Outline by Atty. Nicanor B. Jimeno & Atty. Linda Jimeno


(As of 1st semester SY 2010-2011)

QUASI-DELICT (ART. 2176) ....................................................... 9


Taylor vs. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co. ........ 16
Barredo vs. Garcia and Almario ................................... 9
Tayag vs. Alcantara .................................................... 16
Elcano vs. Hill .............................................................. 9
Cinco vs. Canonoy ..................................................... 10

QUASI DELICT VS. DELICT ......................................................... 17

Baksh vs. Court of Appeals ........................................ 11

Barredo vs. Garcia- Art. 2177 Discussion .................... 17

Dulay vs. Court of Appeals ........................................ 11

People vs. Ligon ......................................................... 18

DAMAGE, DAMAGES, INJURY .................................................... 12

Padilla vs. Court of Appeals ....................................... 18


Cruz vs. Court of Appeals ........................................... 19

People vs. Ballesteros ............................................... 12


Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. vs. People ................ 19
Custodio vs. Court of Appeals ................................... 13
Board of Liquidators vs. Heirs of Kalaw ..................... 13
Custodio vs. Court of Appeals ................................... 14

ART. 2176 OF THE CIVIL CODE ................................................ 14

QUASI-DELICT VS. BREACH OF CONTRACT ......................... 20


Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. .................................. 20
Fores vs. Miranda ...................................................... 21
Far East Bank and Trust Company vs. Court of Appeals22

Garcia vs. Florido ...................................................... 14


Air France vs. Carrascoso ........................................... 23
Andamo vs. Court of Appeals .................................... 15

PSBA vs. Court of Appeals ......................................... 24


Syquia vs. Court of Appeals and Manila Memorial Park
and Cemetery, Inc. .................................................... 24

RES IPSA LOQUITUR ................................................................... 36


Ramos vs. CA ............................................................. 37
Batiquin vs. CA ........................................................... 39

Vicente Calalas vs. Court of Appeals.......................... 25


D.M. Consunji vs. CA .................................................. 40

NEGLIGENCE ................................................................................... 26
DEFENSES (PLAINTIFFS NEGLIGENCE) ................................ 41
Picart vs. Smith ......................................................... 26
Manila Electric Co. vs Remonquillo ............................ 41

NEGLIGENCE IN SPECIAL CASES (CHILDREN) ..................... 26


JARCO Marketing Corporation vs. Court of Appeals and
Spouses Aguilar ......................................................... 26
Del Rosario vs. Manila Electric Company ................... 28
Ylarde vs. Aquino ...................................................... 28

NEGLIGENCE (EXPERTS/PROFESSIONALS) ......................... 30


Cullion Ice, Fish and Electric Company vs. Philippine
Motors Corporation .................................................. 30
US v. Pineda .............................................................. 31

Bernardo vs. Legaspi .................................................. 42


Bernal vs. House ........................................................ 42
PLDT vs. CA ................................................................ 42

DEFENSES (CONTRIBUTORY NEGLIGENCE) ........................ 43


Genobiagon vs. Court of Appeals ............................... 43
Rakes vs. Atlantic ....................................................... 44
Philippine Bank of Commerce v CA (Lipana) .............. 44

DEFENSES (FORTUITOUS EVENT) .......................................... 45

BPI v. CA .................................................................... 31
Juntilla vs. Fontanar ................................................... 45

INTOXICATION .............................................................................. 35
US vs. Baggay ............................................................ 35

DEGREES OF NEGLIGENCE ......................................................... 36


Marinduque vs.Workmens Compensation ............... 36

Hernandez vs. Commission on Audit .......................... 46


Gotesco vs. Chatto and Lina Delza Chatto .................. 48
Servando vs. Philippine Steam Navigation Co ............ 49
NAPOCOR vs. CA ........................................................ 49

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Southeastern College Inc. v CA .................................. 50

ASSUMPTION OF RISK ................................................................ 51


Afialda vs. Hisole ....................................................... 51
Ilocos Norte Electric Company (INEL Co.)vs. Court of
Appeals ..................................................................... 51

DUE DILIGENCE ............................................................................. 53


Ramos, et al vs. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of the P.I., et al53
Metro Manila Transit Corp. (MMTC) vs. CA ............... 53

PRESCRIPTION .............................................................................. 54
Kramer vs. Court of Appeals ...................................... 54
Allied Banking Corporation vs. Court of Appeals ....... 55

CAUSATION (PROXIMATE CAUSE).......................................... 56

Gabeto vs. Araneta .................................................... 61


Urbano vs. IAC ........................................................... 61

CONCURRENT CAUSE, DISTINGUISHED FROM


PROXIMATE ................................................................................... 61
Far Eastern Shipping Co. vs. Court of Appeals ............ 61
Subido vs. Custodio ................................................... 62

TESTS OF PROXIMATE CAUSE- THE BUT FOR TEST ..... 62


Bataclan vs. Medina .................................................. 62

SUBSTANTIAL FACTOR TEST ................................................... 63


Philippine Rabbit vs. IAC and Casiano Pascua et al. .... 63

CAUSE V. CONDITION .................................................................. 64


Phoenix Construction vs. IAC ..................................... 64

Bataclan vs. Medina .................................................. 56

Manila Electric Co. vs. Remoquillo ............................. 64

Fernando vs. Court of Appeals and the City of Davao 56

Rodrigueza vs. Manila Railroad Co. ............................ 65

Urbano vs. IAC .......................................................... 57

EFFICIENT INTERVENING CAUSE............................................ 66

Phoenix Construction vs. IAC..................................... 58


McKee vs. IAC ............................................................ 66
Pilipinas Bank v. CA ................................................... 59
Manila Electric vs. Remonquillo ................................. 67
Quezon City Government vs. Fulgencio Dacara ......... 60
Teague vs. Fernandez ................................................ 68

REMOTE CAUSE, DISTINGUISHED FROM PROXIMATE


CASE .................................................................................................. 61

Urbano vs. IAC ........................................................... 68

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LAST CLEAR CHANCE .................................................................. 69

INTERFERENCE OF CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS ............... 80

Picart vs. Smith ......................................................... 69

Gilchrist vs. Cuddy, et al. ............................................ 80

Bustamante vs. Court Of Appeals .............................. 69

So Ping Bun vs. CA ..................................................... 80

Phoenix Construction Inc. vs. IAC .............................. 70

Guilatco vs. City of Dagupan ...................................... 81

Philippine Bank Of Commerce vs. CA (Lipana) ........... 71


Glan Peoples Lumber And Hardware vs. IAC ............ 72
Pantranco vs. Baesa .................................................. 73
Ong vs. Metropolitan Water District ......................... 73
ANURAN vs. BUO .................................................... 74

LIABILITY OF GOVERNMENTAL UNITS................................. 82


Worcester vs. Ocampo ............................................... 82
J. H. Chapman vs. James M. Underwood.................... 83
Caedo vs. Yu Khe Thai ................................................ 83
Felina Rodriguez-Luna vs. IAC .................................... 84

CANLAS vs. CA ........................................................... 75


Consolidated Bank vs. Court Of Appeals ................... 76
ENGADA vs. CA.......................................................... 77

VICARIOUS LIABILITY OF PARENTS ...................................... 85


Exconde vs .Capuno ................................................... 85
Salen vs Balce ............................................................ 85

STRICT LIABILITY ........................................................................ 77


Vestil vs. IAC ............................................................. 77

THINGS THROWN FROM A BUILDING ................................... 78


Dingcong vs. Kanaan ................................................. 78

DEATH/INJURIES IN THE COURSE OF EMPLOYMENT...... 78


Afable vs. Singer Sewing Machine Company ............. 78
Coca Cola Bottlers vs. Ca ........................................... 79

FUELLAS v CADANO ................................................... 86


Gutierrez vs. Gutierrez ............................................... 86
Rodriguez-Luna v IAC ................................................. 86
Cuadra vs. Monfort .................................................... 86
Libi v. IAC ................................................................... 87
214 SCRA 16 (1990) .................................................... 87
Tamargo vs CA ........................................................... 87

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VICARIOUS LIABILITY OF TEACHERS AND HEADS OF


INSTITUTIONS ............................................................................... 88
Mercado vs. CA ......................................................... 88

Light Rail Transit vs. Navidad ..................................... 99


Mckee vs. IAC .......................................................... 100
Valenzuela vs. CA ..................................................... 101

Palisoc vs. CA ............................................................ 88

VICARIOUS LIABILITY OF THE STATE ................................101


Amadora vs. CA ......................................................... 89
E. Merritt vs Government Of The Philippine Islands 101
Pasco vs. CFI .............................................................. 90
Inocencio Rosete vs.The Auditor General ................ 102
YLarde vs. Aquino ..................................................... 91
Mendoza vs. De Leon, et al. ..................................... 102
Salvosa vs. IAC .......................................................... 91
Fontanilla vs. Maliaman ........................................... 103
St. Francis High School vs. CA .................................... 92
City of Manila vs. Teotico......................................... 104
PSBA vs. CA ............................................................... 93
Soliman vs. Tuason.................................................... 94
St. Marys Academy vs. Carpitanos ........................... 95

VICARIOUS LIABILITY OF OWNERS AND MANAGERS OF


ESTABLISHMENTS........................................................................ 95
Philippine Rabbit vs. Philippine American ................. 95

VICARIOUS LIABILITY OF EMPLOYERS ................................. 96


Philtranco vs. CA ....................................................... 96
Castilex vs. Vasquez .................................................. 97

LIABILITY OF EMPLOYEES ......................................................104


Araneta vs. De Joya ................................................. 104

ENGINEERS/ARCHITECT- NATURE OF LIABILITY ..........105


Lanuzo vs. Sy Bon Ping ............................................. 105
Malipol vs. Tan ........................................................ 105
Viluan vs. CA ............................................................ 106

TORTS WITH INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTIONS (VIOLATION


OF CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS) ......................................106

Filamer vs. IAC .......................................................... 98

Lim vs. Ponce De Leon ............................................. 106

NPC vs. CA ................................................................. 98

Aberca vs. Ver .......................................................... 107

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MHP Garments vs. CA ............................................. 108

INDEPENDENT CIVIL ACTION (DEFAMATION, FRAUD AND


PHYSICAL INJURIES) ................................................................ 108

Amonoy v. Gutierrez ................................................ 118


UE v. Jader ............................................................... 118
Garciano v. CA, et al................................................. 119

Marcia et al. vs.CA .................................................. 108

Barons vs. CA ........................................................... 120

Madeja v. Caro ........................................................ 109

BPI vs. CA ................................................................. 121

Arafiles v. Phil. Journalists....................................... 109

DEFAMATION.............................................................................. 110
MVRS vs. Islamic ..................................................... 110

FRAUD ........................................................................................... 111


Salta v. De Veyra ..................................................... 111

ACTS CONTRA BONUS MORA .................................................122


Ruiz v. Secretary of National Defense ...................... 122

BREACH OF PROMISE TO MARRY, SEDUCTION AND


SEXUAL ASSAULT .......................................................................123
Wassmer vs. Velez ................................................... 123
TANJANCO vs. SANTOS ............................................ 124

PHYSICAL INJURIES .................................................................. 112


Capuno v. Pepsi Cola ............................................... 112
Corpus v. Paje ......................................................... 112
Dulay v. CA .............................................................. 113

INTENTIONAL TORT (ABUSE OF RIGHT) .......................... 113


Velayo v. Shell ......................................................... 113
Saudi Arabia v. CA ................................................... 114
Globe Mackay v. CA ................................................ 116

Bunag vs. CA ............................................................ 125


Constantino vs. Mendez .......................................... 126
Quimiguing vs. Icao.................................................. 126
Pe vs. Pe .................................................................. 127

MALICIOUS PROSECUTION .....................................................128


Lao vs. Associated Anglo American Tobacco ............ 128
Que vs. IAC .............................................................. 129
Drilon vs CA ............................................................. 130

Albenson v. CA ........................................................ 117


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PUBLIC HUMILIATION ............................................................. 131


Patricio vs. Leviste................................................... 131
Grand Union Supermarket, Inc. vs. Espino .............. 132

UNJUST DISMISSAL ................................................................... 133


Medina vs. Castro-Bartolome.................................. 134

DERELECTION OF DUTY .......................................................... 134


Amaro vs. Sumanguit .............................................. 134

VIOLATION OF HUMAN DIGNITY AND PRIVACY ............. 135


Concepcion v. CA..................................................... 136

CONCEPT OF DAMAGES ........................................................... 137


Heirs of Borlado vs. Vda. De Bulan .......................... 137
Lazatin vs. Twano .................................................... 137

INTEREST......................................................................................139
Crismina Garments, Inc. vs. CA ................................ 139

MITIGATION OF LIABILITY.....................................................140
Cerrano vs. Tan Chuco ............................................. 140

MORAL DAMAGES ......................................................................140


Kierulf vs. CA ........................................................... 140

PROOF AND PROXIMATE CAUSE ..........................................142


Miranda-Ribaya vs. Carbonell .................................. 142
Del Rosario vs. CA .................................................... 143
Raagas vs. Traya ...................................................... 144
Enervida vs. Dela Torre ............................................ 145
People vs. Bugayong ................................................ 146
Francisco vs. GSIS..................................................... 147

ACTUAL OR COMPENSATORY DAMAGES .......................... 137

Expertravel & Tours, Inc. vs. Court Of Appeals ......... 148

Algarra vs. Sandejas ................................................ 137

UNFOUNDED SUITS ...................................................................149


KINDS OF ACTUAL DAMAGES ................................................ 138
Integrated Packaging Corp. vs. CA ........................... 138

ATTORNEYS FEES ..................................................................... 138


Quirante v. Intermediate Appellate Court ............... 138

Editha and Glicerio Mijares vs. CA and Metro Drug, Inc.149


J Marketing vs. Sia ................................................... 151
Cometa vs. Court of Appeals .................................... 152
Triple Eight Integrated Services, Inc vs. NLRC ........... 153

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People of the Philippines vs. Pirame ....................... 155


Arcona vs. Court of Appeals .................................... 155

FACTORS IN DETERMINING AMOUNT ................................ 156


Philippine National Bank vs. Court of Appeals ........ 156

TEMPERATE DAMAGES ............................................................169


People vs. Singh ....................................................... 169
People of the Philippines vs. Edison Plazo ............... 170
PNB vs. CA ............................................................... 171

Gregorio Fule vs. Court of Appeals .......................... 157


Philippine Airlines vs. Court of Appeals ................... 158
Valenzuela vs. CA .................................................... 159
Aurelio Sumaplong vs. Court of Appeals ................. 160
Lopez vs. Pan-American World Airways .................. 161
Producers Bank of the Philippines vs. CA and Spouses
Chua........................................................................ 162

WHO MAY RECOVER? ............................................................... 163


Strebel vs Figueras .................................................. 163
ABS-CBN vs. Court of Appeals ................................. 164
National Power v. Philipp Brothers ......................... 166

NOMINAL DAMAGES ................................................................. 166


Ventanilla vs. Gregorio Centeno .............................. 166
Robes-Francisco Realty and Development Corp. vs.CFI167
People vs Gopio ...................................................... 168
Dr. Armovit, et al. vs. CA and Northwest Airlines, Inc.168
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Quasi-Delict (Art. 2176)

In this case, the parents chose the second type of action since it is
more practical to file for damages against the employer, who is more solvent
than his employee.

Barredo vs. Garcia and Almario


73 Phil. 607 (July 8, 1942)
Facts: A taxicab figured in a head-on collision with a carretela. The carretela
overturned, causing death to one of its passengers, a 16-year old boy. A
criminal case was instituted by the parents of the deceased against
Fontanilla, the driver of the taxicab, wherein the former reserved the right to
institute a separate civil action for damages. The driver of the taxicab was
convicted. Subsequently, the parents instituted the present civil action for
damages against Barredo, the employer of the taxicab driver. Barredo
contends that his liability rests only on the provision of the penal code and
hence, since no civil action has been filed against Fontanilla, he too cannot
be held civilly responsible.
Issue: Can plaintiffs bring a separate civil action against the employer of the
taxicab driver making him primarily and directly responsible under Art. 1903
of the Civil Code?
Held: YES. A Quasi-delict is separate and distinct from the civil responsibility
arising from criminal liability. Under Article 1903 of the Civil Code, an
employer is primarily and directly responsible for the negligent acts of his
employee.
There are two remedies available for the parents to choose:
A. The first is under Article 100 of the Penal Code wherein the
employer is only subsidiarily liable for damages arising from the
crime committed by his employees. If the parents choose this
remedy, the complainant must first exhaust the properties of
the employee, before the employers properties could be made
answerable.
B.

The other action is under Article 1903 of the Civil code (quasidelict or culpa aquiliana) wherein the negligent employer is held
primarily liable, subject to the defense that he exercised the
diligence of a good father of the family in the selection and
engagement of his employees.

NOTE: The Barredo case was decided by the Supreme Court prior to the
effectivity of the new Civil Code. The principle enunciated in said case (that
responsibility for fault or negligence under a quasi-delict is separate and
distinct from the negligence penalized under the Revised Penal Code) is now
specifically embodied in Art. 2177 of the New Civil Code.

Elcano vs. Hill


77 SCRA 98 (May 26, 1977)
Facts: Reginald Hill was prosecuted criminally for killing Agapito Elcano. At
the time of the occurrence, Reginald Hill is still a minor and, under laws
effective at the time, also legally married. Reginald is still living and receives
subsistence from his father, Marvin Hill. Reginald was acquitted on the
ground that his acts were not criminal because of lack of intent to kill,
coupled with mistake.
Issues: (1) Does the prior acquittal of Reginald bar the present civil action for
damages? (2) Is Atty. Marvin Hill vicariously liable?
Held: 1. No. The acquittal of Reginald Hill in the criminal case does not
extinguish his liability arising from quasi-delict. For one, the quantum of
proof required in the criminal case differs from that required in a civil suit. To
find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof beyond reasonable doubt is
required unlike in civil cases, preponderance of evidence is sufficient.
The concept of culpa acquiliana includes acts which are criminal in
character or in violation of the penal law, whether voluntary or negligent. Art
2177 of the New Civil Code provides that Responsibility for fault or
negligence is separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from
negligence under the Penal Code. However, plaintiff cannot recover damages
twice for the same act or omission of the defendant.
Consequently, a separate civil action lies against the offender in a
criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted, provided that the

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offended party is not allowed, if he is also criminally charged, to recover


damages on both scores. And assuming awards made in the two cases vary,
he would be entitled only to the bigger award of the two.
In other words, the extinction of civil liability refers exclusively to
the civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code. The civil
liability arising from quasi-delict is not extinguished even by a declaration in
the criminal case that the accused is acquitted.
2. While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation by
marriage of the minor, such emancipation is not absolute and full. Reginald
although married, was living with his father and still dependent from the
latter. ART 2180 applies to Atty. Marvin Hill notwithstanding the
emancipation by marriage of Reginald. The minor may be emancipated, but
that does not mean that he is no longer under the responsibility of his
parents.
In the instant case, it is not controverted that Reginald, although
married, was living with his father and getting subsistence from him at the
time of the occurrence in question. Factually, therefore, Reginald was still
subservient to and dependent on his father, a situation which is not unusual.
However, inasmuch as Reginald is now of age (at the time the case
reached the Supreme Court), it is a matter of equity that the liability of Atty.
Hill should be declared merely subsidiary to that of his son.
Note: In this case, there is no doubt that Reginald killed Elcano. His acquittal
is based on lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake and not on the noncommission of the acts alleged.

Cinco vs. Canonoy


90 SCRA 369 (May 31, 1979)
Facts: On Feb 25, 1970, Cinco filed a complaint for recovery of damages on
account of a vehicular accident involving his automobile and a jeepney driven
by Romeo Hilot and operated by Valeriana Pepito and Carlos Pepito.
Subsequently, a criminal case was filed against the driver Romeo Hilot arising
from the same accident.

10

At the pre-trial in the civil case, counsel for private respondents


moved to suspend the civil action pending the final determination of the
criminal suit invoking Rule 111, Section 3(b) of the Rules of Court, which
provides:
(b) After a criminal action has been commenced, no civil action
arising from the same offense can be prosecuted, and the same
shall be suspended in whatever stage it may be found, unitl final
judgment in the criminal proceeding has been rendered.
The City Court of Mandaue ordered the suspension of the civil case.
Issue: Whether or not there can be an independent civil action for damage to
property during the pendency of the criminal action.
Held: Yes, the civil suit for damages brought by the petitioner is based on
quasi-delict predicated on Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. Thus, the
civil case may proceed as a separate and independent civil action:
Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence 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.
The separate and independent civil action for quasi-delict is also
clearly recognized in sec 2, Rule 111 of the Rules of Court:
Sec 2. Independent civil action. In the cases provided for in Articles 31, 32,
33, 34 and 2177 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, an independent civil
action entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be
brought by the injured party during the pendency of the criminal case,
provided the right is reserved as required in the preceding section. Such civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall
require only a preponderance of evidence.
The civil action referred to in Sections 3(a) and 3(b) of Rule 111 of
the Rules of Court, which should be suspended after the criminal action has
been instituted, is that arising from the criminal offense not the civil action
based on quasi-delict.

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11

Baksh vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 97336 (February 19, 1993)
Facts: Private Respondent Marilou Gonzales filed an action for damages
against Gashem Baksh for the alleged violation of their agreement to get
married. Gonzales is 22 years old, single, Filipina, a pretty lass of good moral
character and has a reputation duly respected in her community; Baksh, on
the other hand, is an Iranian citizen and is an exchange student taking a
medical course in Dagupan City.
Gonzales alleges that before 20 August 1987, Baksh courted and
proposed to marry her. She accepted his love on the condition that they
would get married after the end of the school semester. In fact, Baksh visited
Gonzalez parents in Pangasinan to secure their approval to the marriage. In
August 1987, Baksh forced her to live with him in an apartment. According to
Gonzales, she was a virgin before she began living with him. A week before
the filing of the complaint, Bakshs attitude towards her started to change.
He maltreated and threatened to kill her. During a confrontation in the
barangay, Baksh repudiated their marriage agreement and asked her not to
live with him anymore, saying further that he is already married to someone
else.
Issue: Whether or not a breach of promise to marry is an actionable wrong,
thus making Baksh liable for damages.
Held: The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry is not an
actionable wrong per se . This notwithstanding, Article 21 of the Civil Code
has expanded the concept of torts or quasi-delict by granting adequate legal
remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for
human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute books.
Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which defines a quasi-delict is limited
to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion of willfulness or
intent. In the Philippine legal system, as envisioned by the Commission
responsible for drafting the New Civil Code, intentional 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 of
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 AngloAmerican law on torts.
Where a man's promise to marry is the proximate cause for the
woman to give herself unto him in sexual congress, and there is proof that he
had, in reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise was only a
subtle scheme or deceptive device to obtain her consent to the sexual act,
the award of damages pursuant to Article 21 is in order. The court took
notice that Gonzales is an innocent barrio lass and a typical Filipina, who
under our customs would not have gave in to sexual congress with Baksh
much more lived-in with him, were it not for his promise to marry.

Dulay vs. Court of Appeals


243 SCRA 220 (1995) [see infra]
Facts: An altercation between Benigno Torzuela and Atty. Napoleon Dulay
occurred at the Big Bang sa Alabang, Alabang Village, Muntinlupa, in which
Torzuela, a security guard in the said carnival shot and killed Atty. Dulay with
a .38 caliber revolver belonging to Torzuelas security agency. Petitioner
Maria Benita Dulay, widow of the deceased Atty. Dulay filed an action for
damages against Torzuela and SAFEGUARD and/or SUPERGUARD security
agency, which were impleaded as alternative defendants being the
employer/s of Torzuela. Petitioner Dulay alleged in her complaint that the
incident resulting in the death of Atty. Dulay was due to the concurring
negligence of the defendants, Torzuelas wanton and reckless discharge of
1
the firearm issued to him by defendant SAFEGUARD and/or SUPERGUARD
SUPERGUARD filed a motion to dismiss claiming that Torzuelas act
of shooting was beyond the scope of his duties and that the alleged act of
shooting was committed with deliberate intent (dolo), and therefore, the civil
liability is governed by the Art. 100 of the Revised Penal Code:

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Art. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of a felony. - Every person


criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.
SUPERGUARD alleged that the complaint for damages based on negligence
under Article 2176 of the Civil Code, could not lie, since the civil liability
under Art. 2176 applies only to quasi-offenses under Art. 365 of the RPC. The
RTC upheld the arguments of SAFEGUARD. Thus in their appeal, the Dulays
allege that: without stating the facts showing such negligence are mere
conclusions of lawx x xRespondent judge also declared that the complaint
was one for damages founded on crimes punishable under Art.100 &103, RPC
as distinguished from those arising from quasi-delict. The CA affirmed the
decision of the lower court, hence, the appeal before the Supreme Court.
Issue: WON, Article 2176 covers only acts of negligence
HELD: No. Contrary to the theory of SAFEGUARD, there is no justification for
limiting the scope of Article 2176 of the Civil Code to acts or omissions
resulting from negligence. Well-entrenched is the doctrine that article 2176
covers not only acts committed with negligence, but also those which are
voluntary and intentional. fault or negligence, under the article covers not
only acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or
negligent.

12

three accused guilty beyond reasonable doubt of murder, qualified by


treachery awarding the heirs of Eduardo and Jerry:
1.
2.
3.

Compensatory damages in the amount of PhP50,000.00


Moral damages in the amount of PhP20,0000
Actual damages in the amount of 61,785.00 (Jerry) &
P35,755.00 (Eduardo)

Issue: Whether or not the trial court is correct in the award of damages?
Held: As to moral and to actual damages, yes. As to compensatory damages,
no. Damages may be defined as the pecuniary compensation, recompense,
or satisfaction for an injury sustained, or as otherwise expressed, the
pecuniary consequences, which the law imposes for the breach of some duty
or the violation of some right.
Actual or compensatory damages are those awarded in satisfaction
of, or in recompense for, loss or injury sustained, whereas moral damages
may be invoked when the complainant has experienced mental anguish,
serious anxiety, physical suffering, moral shock and so forth, and had
furthermore shown that these were the proximate result of the offender's
wrongful act or omission.

285 SCRA 438 (January 29, 1998)

Before actual or compensatory damages could be granted, the party making


a claim for such must present the best evidence available, viz., receipts,
vouchers, and the like, as corroborated by his testimony. Here, the claim for
actual damages by the heirs of the victims is not controverted, the same
having been fully substantiated by receipts accumulated by them and
presented to the court. Therefore, the award of actual damages is proper.

Facts: Carmelo Agliam, his half-brother Eduardo and Ronnel Tolentino along
with Vidal Agliam, his brother Jerry Agliam, Robert Cacal, Raymundo Bangi
and Marcial Barid went to the barangay hall to attend a dance. The group did
not stay long because they sensed some hostility from Cesar Galo and his
companions who were giving them dagger looks. The group had barely left
when, within fifty meters from the dance hall, their owner jeep was fired
upon from the rear. The precipitate attack upon the jeep left two people
dead (Eduardo and Jerry) and four others injured.

However, the order granting compensatory damages to the heirs of Jerry


Agliam and Eduardo Tolentino Sr. must be amended. Consistent with the
policy of this Court, the amount of fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00) is
given to the heirs of the victims by way of indemnity, and not as
compensatory damages. As regards moral damages, the trial court in its
discretion may determine the amount of psychological pain, damage and
injury caused to the heirs of the victims, although inestimable. Hence, we see
no reason to disturb its findings as to this matter.

Damage, Damages, Injury


People vs. Ballesteros

Based upon the affidavits of Carmelo and Vidal Agliam, warrants for
the arrest of Ballesteros, Galo and Bulusan were issued for the crime of
double murder with multiple frustrated murder. The trial court found the
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13

Custodio vs. Court of Appeals2


253 SCRA 483 (February 9, 1996)

Facts: Mabasa bought a parcel of land with an apartment in Interior P.


Burgos St., Taguig, Metro Manila. There were tenants occupying the
apartment at the time of purchase. Taking P. Burgos St. as the point of
reference, on the left side going to Mabasas apartment, the row of houses
are as follows: That of Custodio, then of Santos, then that of Mabasa. On the
right side is that of Morato and a septic tank. The first passageway from the
apartment to P. Burgos St. is through these houses. The second passageway
goes through the septic tank, with a width of less than 1 meter.
Sometime later, one of the apartments tenants vacated it. Mabasa
checked the premises and saw that the Santoses built an adobe fence,
making the first passageway narrower. Morato also built an adobe fence in
such a way that the entire passageway was enclosed. Then the remaining
tenants vacated the area. Santos claimed that she built the fence because of
an incident involving her daughter and a passing bicycle. She also mentioned
that some drunk tenants would bang their doors and windows. The RTC
granted a right of way and damages in favor of Custodio and the Santoses.
The CA modified it, ordering an award of damages to Mabasa. Custodio
questioned the right of way and award of damages in the SC.

favor of Mabasa. The construction of the adobe fence is a natural use and
enjoyment of ones property in a general and ordinary manner. Nobody can
complain of being injured here, because the inconvenience arising from said
use can be considered as a mere consequence of community life.

Board of Liquidators vs. Heirs of Kalaw


20 SCRA 987 (1967)
Facts: Maximo Kalaw was a general manager and chairman of the board of
NACOCO (National Coconut Corp.) Defendant Juan Bocar and Garcia were
members of Board. After the passage of a law that empowers NACOCO to
buy, sell, barter, export their products, NACOCO embarked on Copra trading
Activities. Kalaw executed contracts. However, due to the typhoons, the
copra industry was affected, resulting to impending financial losses on the
contracts executed by Kalaw. A meeting was held with the board of directors
and the disclosure of the impending loss was communicated to the members
but no action was taken thereafter.
Some of the buyer like Louis Dreyful and Co. filed a suit against the
Corporation for damages due to undelivered copra. Settlement was made
with the buyer. NACOCO on the other hand seeks recovery from Kalaw and
the other directors charging them with negligence under Art 2176 with bad
faith or breach of trust for having approved the contracts.

Issue: Whether or Not the award of damages is proper.

Issue: Whether or not Kalaw is liable for damages.

Held: Firstly, the Custodios are barred from questioning the grant of the right
of way, because they failed to appeal the decision. The decision has become
final. As to the award of damages, the CA erred in awarding damages in favor
of private respondents Mabasa. The mere fact that Mabasa suffered losses
does not give rise to a right to recover damages. To warrant the recovery of
damages, there must be both a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted by
Custodio, and damage resulting to Mabasa. 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. In the case at bar, there were no previous easements existing in

Held: Kalaw had authority to execute the contracts without need of prior
approval due to the nature of his position as general manager. Also, doubts
were only thrown when the contracts turned out to be unprofitable for
NACOCO.

Rightfully had it been said that bad faith does not simply connote
bad judgment or negligence; it imports a dishonest purpose or some moral
obliquity and conscious doing of wrong; it means breach of a known duty
thru some motive or interest or ill will; it partakes of the nature of fraud.
Applying this precept to the given facts herein, we find that there was no
"dishonest purpose," or "some moral obliquity," or "conscious doing of

See discussion of ratio on Damnum Absque Injuria (infra)


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wrong," or "breach of a known duty," or "Some motive or interest or ill will"


that "partakes of the nature of fraud."
Nor was it even intimated that the NACOCO directors acted for
personal reasons, or to serve their own private interests, or to pocket money
at the expense of the corporation. As the trial court correctly observed, this
is a case of damnum absque injuria. Conjunction of damage and wrong is
absent. There cannot be an actionable wrong if either one or the other is
wanting.

Custodio vs. Court of Appeals3


253 SCRA 483 (February 9, 1996)

14

Many accidents occur and many injuries are inflicted by acts or


omissions which cause damage or loss to another 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 from an act which
does not amount to a legal injury or wrong.
In other words, in order that the law will give redress for an act
causing damage, that act must be not only hurtful, but wrongful. There must
be damnum et injuria. If, as may happen in many cases, a person sustains
actual damage, that is, harm or loss to his person or property, without
sustaining any legal injury, that is, an act or omission which the law does not
deem an injury, the damage is regarded as damnum absque injuria.

Held: The mere fact that the plaintiff suffered losses does not give rise to a
right to recover damages. To warrant the recovery of damages, there must
be both a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted by the defendant, and
damage resulting to the plaintiff 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.

In the case at bar, although there was damage, there was no legal
injury. Contrary to the claim of private respondents, petitioners could not be
said 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 acted 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.

There is a material distinction between damages and injury. Injury is


the illegal invasion of a legal right; damage is the loss, 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 without 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 injuria.

Art. 2176 of the Civil Code

In order that a plaintiff may maintain an action for the injuries of


which he complains, he must establish that such injuries resulted from a
breach of duty which the defendant owed to the plaintiff a concurrence of
injury to the plaintiff and legal responsibility by the person causing it. The
underlying 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 duty 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 because the plaintiff suffered some pain and suffering.

Facts Supra

Garcia vs. Florido


G.R.No. L-35095 (August 31,1973)
Facts: Petitioners German C. Garcia, his wife, Luminosa L. Garcia, and Ester
Francisco, boarded a public utility car owned and operated by respondent,
Marcelino Inesin, and driven by respondent, Ricardo Vayson, for a round-trip
from Oroquieta City to Zamboanga City. While the car was negotiating a
slight curve on the national highway, it collided with an oncoming passenger
bus owned and operated by the Mactan Transit Co., Inc. and driven by
defendant, Pedro Tumala. As a result of the collision, petitioners sustained
various physical injuries which necessitated medical treatment and
hospitalization.
Petitioners filed for damages against the private respondents,
owners and drivers, respectively, of the public utility car and the passenger
bus.Marcelino Inesin and Ricardo Vayson filed their answer admitting the

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contract of carriage with petitioners but alleged, by way of defense, that the
accident was due to the negligence and reckless imprudence of the bus
driver.
Respondents, Mactan Transit Co., Inc. and Pedro Tumala, filed a
motion to dismiss arguing that the petitioners had no cause of action for on
August 11, 1971, or 20 days before the filing of the present action for
damages, respondent Pedro Tumala was charged in a criminal case already
for "double serious and less serious physical injuries through reckless
imprudence," by the Chief of Police. Hence, with the filing of the criminal
case, no civil action could be filed subsequent thereto unless the criminal
case has been finally adjudicated. Therefore, the filing of the instant civil
action is premature, because the liability of the employer is merely subsidiary
and does not arise until after final judgment has been rendered finding the
driver, Pedro Tumala, guilty of negligence.

15

Andamo vs. Court of Appeals


191 SCRA 195 (November 6, 1990)
Facts: Petitioner-spouses Emmanuel and Natividad Andamo are the 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, waterpaths and
contrivances (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 petitioners and their laborers during rainy and
stormy seasons; and exposed plants and other improvements to destruction.

Issue:
Whether or not the petitioners may recover damages under a
separate and independent action while a criminal case is pending.

Issue: Whether or not a corporation, which has built waterpaths, water


conductors 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.

Held: Yes. Petitioners may recover damages for liability arising from quasidelict. Under Sec. 2 in relation to Sec. I of Rule III of the Revised Rules of
Court, in the cases provided for by Articles 31, 33, 39 and 2177 of the Civil
Code, an independent civil action entirely separate and distinct from the civil
action, may be instituted by the injured party during the pendency of the
criminal case, provided said party has reserved his right to institute it
separately. But it should be noted, however, that neither Sec. 1 nor Sec. 2 of
Rule 111 fixes a time limit when such reservation shall be made.

Held: A careful examination of the complaint shows that the 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) the connection of cause and effect
between the fault or negligence of the defendant and the damages incurred
by the plaintiff.

In the case at bar, there is no question that petitioners never


intervened in the criminal action instituted by the Chief of Police against
respondent Pedro Tumala, much less has the said criminal action been
terminated either by conviction or acquittal of the accused. Petitioners have
two options from where they could recover damages fromthat arising out
of the criminal act, and that under quasi-delict. Petitioners opted to recover
damages under quasi-delict, which in effect operated as their abandonment
of their claim to damages under the pending criminal case. Therefore,
petitioners may still recover damages from their civil action against the
defendants.

Clearly, the waterpaths and contrivances built by respondent


corporation are alleged to have inundated the land of petitioners. There is
therefore, an assertion of a causal connection 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.
It must be stressed 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 such a manner as to injure the rights of a third
person." SIC UTERE TUO UT ALIENUM NON LAEDAS. Moreover, adjoining

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landowners have mutual and reciprocal duties which 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 right of an owner to build
structures on his land, such structures must be so constructed and
maintained using all reasonable care so that they cannot be dangerous to
adjoining landowners 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 can claim indemnification for the injury or damage
suffered.

Taylor vs. Manila Electric Railroad and Light Co.


16 Phil 8 (March 22, 1910)
Facts: Defendant Manila Electric left some twenty or thirty fulminating caps
used for blasting charges of dynamite scattered in the premises behind its
power plant. Fifteen year old David Taylor is a son of a mechanical engineer.
Two years before the incident David spent four months at sea, as a cabin boy
on an interisland transports. Later he took up work in his father's office,
learning mechanical drawing and mechanical engineering. It appears that he
was a boy of more than average intelligence, taller and more mature both
mentally and physically than most boys his age.
David, along with Manuel, a 12 year old, entered the premises of
the defendant without permission. While playing, the boys saw the
fulminating caps, picked some pieces and brought them home. In the
presence of Jessie, a 9 year old girl , The two boys made a series of
experiments with the caps. They thrust the ends of the wires into an electric
light socket and obtained no result. Next, they tried to break the cap with a
stone and failed. They then opened one of the caps with a knife, and finding
that it was filled with a yellowish substance they got matches, and the
plaintiff held the cap while the other boy applied a lighted match to the
contents. An explosion followed causing injuries to the boys and to Jesse.
This action was brought by the plaintiff, through his father, to recover
damages for the injuries which he suffered.
Issue: Whether or not the company was liable for the injury sustained by
plaintiff.

16

Held: The Supreme Court held that under the circumstances, the negligence
of the defendant of leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the
proximate cause of the injury. When the immediate cause of an accident
resulting in an injury is the plaintiffs own acts, he cannot recover damages
for the injury.
The immediate cause of the explosion, which resulted in plaintiffs
injury, was his own act in putting a match to the contents of the cap. True,
David Taylor may not have known and probably did not know the precise
nature of the explosion which might be expected from the ignition of the
contents of the cap, and of course he did not anticipate the resultant injuries
which he incurred, but he well knew that a more or less dangerous explosion
might be expected from his act, and yet he willfully, recklessly, and knowingly
produced the explosion
We are satisfied that the plaintiff in this case had sufficient capacity
and understanding to be sensible of the danger to which he exposed himself
when he put the match to the contents of the cap; that his age and his
experience qualified him to understand the necessity for the exercise of that
degree of caution which would have avoided the injury which resulted from
his own deliberate 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 of the defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its
premises, nevertheless plaintiff's own act was the proximate and principal
cause of the accident which inflicted the injury
NOTE for undergraduates: Read the analysis of US turn-table case in the
original.

Tayag vs. Alcantara


98 SCRA 723 (July 23, 1980)
Facts: The Heirs of Tayag filed a complaint for damages against Phil Rabbit
Bus lines alleging among others that Pedro Tayag Sr. was riding on a bicycle
along McArthur highway on his way home. He was hit by the bus driven by
Villa which caused his death.

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Philippine Rabbit filed motion to suspend trial on the ground that


criminal case against Villa was still pending. When Villa was acquitted on the
ground of reasonable doubt, Philippine Rabbit filed a motion to dismiss the
civil case. The heirs opposed alleging that their cause of action is not based
on crime but on quasi-delict. The Judge indeed dismissed the case, hence,
this appeal.
Issue: Whether or not the acquittal of Villa in the criminal case will result to
the dismissal of the civil case based on quasi-delict.
Held: No. The acquittal of the driver of the crime charged is not a bar to the
prosecution for damages based on quasi-delict. Article 31 of the Civil Code
provides:
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
proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of
the result of the latter.
Evidently, the above quoted provision refers to a civil action based,
not on the act or omission charged as a felony in a criminal case, but one
based on an obligation arising from other sources, like quasi delict. In the
case at bar, the allegations of the complaint clearly show that petitioners'
cause of action was based upon a quasi-delict, to wit:
That the Philippine Rabbit Bus ... was at the time of the accident
being driven by defendant Romeo Villa y Cunanan in a faster and
greater speed than what was reasonable and proper and in a gray
negligent, careless, reckless and imprudent manner, without due
regards to injuries to persons and damage to properties and in
violation of traffic rules and regulation.
That defendant Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines Inc. has failed to exercise
the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of its employees, particularly defendant Romeo Villa y
Cunanan otherwise the accident in question which resulted in the
death of Pedro Tayag, Sr. and damage to his property would not
have occurred.

17

The essential averments for a quasi delictual action are present,


namely: (1) an act or omission constituting fault or negligence on the part of
private respondent; (2) damage caused by the said act or commission; (3)
direct causal relation between the damage and the act or commission; and
(4) no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties.\

Quasi Delict vs. Delict


Barredo vs. Garcia- Art. 2177 Discussion
73 Phil 607 (July 8, 1942)

Facts:(Supra)
Issue: Whether or not plaintiffs may bring this separate civil action against
Fausto Barredo, making him primarily and directly, responsible under article
1903 of the Civil Code as an employer of Pedro Fontanilla.
Held: Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or "culpa
aquiliana " is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with a
substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and
independent from delict or crime. Upon this principle and on the wording
and spirit article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct responsibility
of employers may be safely anchored.
Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code and
the culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito under the Civil Code are:
1. That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi-delitos are only
of private concern.
2. That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the
criminal act, while the Civil Code, by means of indemnification,
merely repairs the damage.

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3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because the former


are punished only if there is a penal law clearly covering them, while
the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any king of fault or
negligence intervenes." However, it should be noted that not all
violations of the penal law produce civil responsibility, such as
begging in contravention of ordinances, violation of the game laws,
infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt.

People vs. Ligon


152 SCRA 39 (July 29, 1987)
Facts: Accused Fernando Gabat was riding a 1978 Volkswagen Kombi owned
by his father and driven by the other accused, Rogelio Ligon. While waiting
for the traffic light to change, Fernando called a cigarette vendor, Jose
Rosales to buy some cigarettes. While the transaction was occurring, the
traffic light changed to green, and the car suddenly moved forward. While
the car was moving, Rosales was clinging to the window but lost his grip and
fell down on the pavement. The bystanders rushed Rosales to PGH where he
was treated for multiple physical injuries until his death.
Since Ligon did not stop the car, Castillo, a taxi-driver chased him
and sought the assistance of two police officers in an owner-type jeepney. At
an intersection, Castillo was able to overtake the car and blocked it, while the
jeep pulled up right behind. The police officers drew their guns and told them
to alight from the car. They were brought to the police station.
Ligon was then charged with Homicide thru Reckless Imprudence. A
charge of robbery with homicide was likewise charged to Ligon and Gabat,
since there was an allegation that Gabat forcibly took the cigarette box of the
victim. Ligon however was never apprehended after the police released him,
so only Gabat was convicted by the RTC. An appeal was then brought to the
SC, which ruled that the guilt of the accused was not established beyond
reasonable doubt.
Issue: Whether or not accused may be held civilly liable despite the finding of
the Court of Appeals that his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable doubt.

18

Held: Yes. When a person was acquitted of a crime, it does not follow that he
is free from civil liability, since only preponderance of evidence is required in
a civil action for damages.
The judgment of acquittal can extinguish the civil liability of the accused
only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil
liability might arise did not exist. In the instant case, a preponderance of
evidence exists sufficient to establish the facts from which the civil liability of
Gabat arises. Gabat, by his act and omission with fault and negligence caused
damage to Rosales and should answer civilly for the damage done. Gabats
willful act of calling the victim to the middle of a busy street to buy two sticks
of cigarettes set the chain of events which led to the death of the victim.
Through fault and negligence, Gabat (1) failed to prevent the driver from
moving forward while the purchase was completed; (2) failed to help the
victim while the latter clung precariously to the moving vehicle, and (3) did
not enforce his order to the driver to stop. Finally, Gabat acquiesced in the
drivers act of speeding away, instead of stopping and picking up the injured
victim.

Padilla vs. Court of Appeals


129 SCRA 558
Facts: Petitioner Roy Padilla, Filomeno Galdones, Pepito Bedena, Yolly Rico,
David Bermundo, Villanaoc, Roberto Rosales, Villania, Garrido, Ortega jr.,
Celestino, Kamlon and 14 Ricardo Does was charged of Grave Coercion. On
Feb 1964 around 9 am at Camarines Norte, The petitioners willfully and
feloniously prevented Antonio Vergara and his family from closing their stall
at the Public Market. Petitioners forcibly opened the door of the stall and
brutally demolished the stall using axes then carrying away the goods and
merchandise. Such acts of the petitioners where said to be pursuant to an
ordinance. The damage amounted to 30K for actual damages and 20K for
exemplary damages. Roy Padilla and company also took advantage of their
public position, being the Mayor of the said municipality and the others
being policemen. The CFI finds them guilty. The CA acquitted the accused but
ordered them to pay jointly and severally 9,600 as actual damages.
Issue: WON the order of payment for damages is valid notwithstanding the
acquittal of the accused.

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Held: Yes it is valid. Civil liability is not extinguished where the acquittal is
based on reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime charged.
No separate civil action is necessary considering that the facts to be proved
in the civil case have already been established in the criminal proceeding. To
require a separate civil action would only clod the court dockets and
unnecessary duplication of litigation. A separate civil action may be
warranted where additional facts have to be established.

Cruz vs. Court of Appeals


282 SCRA 188 (1997)
Facts: Petitioner Dr. Cruz is a surgeon at Perpetual Help Clinic and General
Hospital. She examined Lydia and found the latter to have 'myoma' in her
uterus, and scheduled her for a hsyterectomy operation. On the day of the
operation, Lydia's daughter noticed how untidy the hospital was. She asked
that the operation be postponed but Lydia said that Dr. Cruz told her she
must be operated as scheduled.
During the operation, Lydia's family was asked to buy tagamet
ampules. Later they were asked to buy blood for Lydia at a blood bank. They
were again asked to buy blood but the blood bank already ran out of type A.
They also saw Lydia gasping for breath as the oxygen supply had ran out so
they had to go and buy oxygen for Lydia again. Later that night, Lydia went
into shock and her blood pressure dropped to 60/50. Lydia was brought to
the San Pablo Hospital however the doctors were not able to save her. She
was announced dead at 3:00 AM the following day. Petitioner and her
anaesthesiologist were charged with reckless imprudence resulting to
homicide.
The MTC, RTC, and the CA all found petitioner guilty
(anaethesiologist was acquitted) on the ground that the clinic was untidy and
they lack the needed facilities like blood and oxygen which are essential for
the continuity of the operations they undertake.
Issue: Whether or not the conviction of reckless imprudence resulting to
homicide as a consequence of medical malpractice is supported by the
evidence on record.
Held: No. The elements of reckless imprudence are: (1) that the offender
does or fails to do an act; (2) that the doing or the failure to do that act is

19

voluntary; (3) that it be without malice; (4) that material damage results from
the reckless imprudence; and (5) that there is inexcusable lack of precaution
on the part of the offender, taking into consideration his employment or
occupation, degree of intelligence, physical condition, and other
th
circumstances regarding persons, time and place. The 4 element is lacking
in the case at bar.
The material damage was not proved to be the result of the reckless
imprudence. In litigations involving medical negligence, the plaintiff has the
burden of establishing appellant's negligence and for a reasonable conclusion
of negligence, there must be proof 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. As shown by the experts presented by both parties, the death
of Lydia may have been caused by DIC (clotting defect). Therefore, the cause
of death cannot be attributed to petitioner's fault or negligence.
Furthermore, whether or not a physician has committed an
"inexcusable lack of precaution" in the treatment of his patient is to be
determined according to the standard of care observed by other members of
the profession in good standing under similar circumstances bearing in mind
the advanced state of the profession at the time of treatment or the present
state of medical science. In the case at bar, no physician was asked to testify
to show the standard care that needed to be observed given the present
circumstances. Therefore, the conviction is not supported by the evidence.

Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. vs. People


GR No. 147703 (2004)
Facts: On July 27, 1994, accused Napoleon Roman y Macadangdang was
found guilty and convicted of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to
triple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property and was
sentenced to imprisonment.
The court further ruled that in the event of insolvency of accused,
Philippine Rabbit, as its employer, shall be liable for the civil liabilities of the
accused. Evidently, the judgment against the accused had become final and
executory. Admittedly, accused jumped bail and remained at-large. It is

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worth mentioning that Section 8, rule 124 of the Rules of Court authorizes
the dismissal of appeal when appellant jumps bail.
ISSUE: Whether or not an employer, who dutifully participated in the
defense of its accused-employee, may appeal the judgment of conviction
independently of the accused.
HELD: No. The accused cannot be accorded the right to appeal unless they
voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of the court or are otherwise arrested
within 15 days from notice of the judgment against them. While at large,
they cannot seek relief from the court, as they are deemed to have waived
the appeal. In the case before us, the accused-employee has escaped and
refused to surrender to the proper authorities; thus, he is deemed to have
abandoned his appeal. Consequently, the judgment against him has become
final and executory.
Petitioner admits helping the accused employee, hence, it
participated in the proceedings before the RTC; thus, it cannot be said that
the employer was deprived of due process. It might have lost its right to
appeal, but it was not denied its day in court.
Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, employers are
subsidiarily liable for the civil liabilities of their employees in the event of the
latters insolvency. To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed in a
criminal case would enable them to amend, nullify or defeat a final judgment
rendered by a competent court.
By the same token, to allow them to appeal the final criminal conviction of
their employees without the latters consent would also result in improperly
amending, nullifying or defeating the judgment. The decision convicting an
employee in a criminal case is binding and conclusive upon the employer not
only with respect to the formers civil liability, but also with as to its amount.
The liability of an employer cannot be separated from that of the employee.

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Facts: Jose Cangco, was in the employment of Manila Railroad Company in


the capacity of clerk. He lived in the pueblo of San Mateo, Rizal, which is
located upon the line of the defendant railroad company. Everyday, he
comes by train to the company's office in the city of Manila where he works
and he uses a pass, supplied by the company, which entitles him to ride the
trains free of charge.
One day, Jose Cangco stepped off the train, but one or both of his
feet came in contact with a sack of watermelons causing his feet to slip
making him fell violently on the platform. His body rolled from the platform
and was drawn under the moving car, where his right arm was badly crushed
and lacerated. It appears that after the plaintiff alighted from the train the
car moved forward possibly six meters before it came to a full stop.
Cangco was drawn from under the car in an unconscious condition,
and it appeared that the injuries he had received were very serious. He was
brought at once to hospital in the city of Manila where an examination was
made and his arm was amputated.
He instituted this proceeding in the Court of First Instance of the city
of Manila to recover damages from the defendant company. His action is
founded upon the negligence of the servants and employees of the
defendant in placing the sacks of melons upon the platform and leaving them
so placed as to be a menace to the security of passenger alighting from the
trains. The trial judge concluded that, although negligence was attributable
to the defendant by reason of the fact that the sacks of melons were so
placed as to obstruct passengers passing to and from the cars, nevertheless,
the plaintiff himself had failed to use due caution in alighting from the coach
and was therefore precluded from recovering. Judgment was accordingly
entered in favor of the defendant company, and the plaintiff appealed.
Issues:

Quasi-delict vs. Breach of Contract

1. Whether or not Manila Railroad can excuse its liability upon the ground
that the breach was due to the negligence of their servant.

Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co.

2. Whether Cango is negligent when he alight from the moving train.

38 Phil 768 (October 14, 1918)


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Held: (1) No. Failure to perform a contract cannot be excused upon the
ground that the breach was due to the negligence of a servant of the obligor,
and that the latter exercised due diligence in the selection and control of the
servant. It cannot be doubted that the employees of the railroad company
were guilty of negligence in piling these sacks on the platform in the manner
above stated; that their presence caused the plaintiff to fall as he alighted
from the train; and that they therefore constituted an effective legal cause of
the injuries sustained by the plaintiff. It necessarily follows that the
defendant company is liable for the damage thereby occasioned unless
recovery is barred by the plaintiff's own contributory negligence. In resolving
this problem it is necessary that each of these conceptions of liability, to-wit,
the primary responsibility of the defendant company and the contributory
negligence of the plaintiff should be separately examined.
It is important to note that the foundation of the legal liability of the
defendant is the contract of carriage, and that the obligation to respond for
the damage which plaintiff has suffered arises, if at all, from the breach of
that contract by reason of the failure of defendant to exercise due care in its
performance. That is to say, its liability is direct and immediate, differing
essentially, in legal viewpoint from that presumptive responsibility for the
negligence of its servants, imposed by article 1903 of the Civil Code, which
can be rebutted by proof of the exercise of due care in their selection and
supervision. Article 1903 of the Civil Code is not applicable to obligations
arising ex contractu, but only to extra-contractual obligations or to use the
technical form of expression, that article relates only to culpa aquiliana and
not to culpa contractual.
(2) No. it is not negligence per se for a traveler to alight from a
slowly moving train. As pertinent to the question of contributory negligence
on the part of the plaintiff in this case the following circumstances are to be
noted: The company's platform was constructed upon a level higher than
that of the roadbed and the surrounding ground. The distance from the steps
of the car to the spot where the alighting passenger would place his feet on
the platform was thus reduced, thereby decreasing the risk incident to
stepping off. The nature of the platform, constructed as it was of cement
material, also assured to the passenger a stable and even surface on which to
alight.

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Furthermore, the plaintiff was possessed of the vigor and agility of


young manhood, and it was by no means so risky for him to get off while the
train was yet moving as the same act would have been in an aged or feeble
person. In determining the question of contributory negligence in performing
such act that is to say, whether the passenger acted prudently or recklessly
the age, sex, and physical condition of the passenger are circumstances
necessarily affecting the safety of the passenger, and should be considered.
Again, it may be noted that the place was perfectly familiar to the plaintiff as
it was his daily custom to get on and of the train at this station. There could,
therefore, be no uncertainty in his mind with regard either to the length of
the step, which he was required to take, or the character of the platform
where he was alighting. Our conclusion is that the conduct of the plaintiff in
undertaking to alight while the train was yet slightly under way was not
characterized by imprudence and that therefore he was not guilty of
contributory negligence.

Fores vs. Miranda


105 Phil 266 (March 4, 1959)
Facts: Miranda was riding a jeepney driven by Luga. While the vehicle was
descending Sta. Mesa bridge at high speed, the driver lost control. It swerved
and hit the bridge wall, resulting to injuries to the passengers and Miranda.
Miranda broke some bones in his right arm. The driver was charged with
serious physical injuries through reckless imprudence, pleaded guilty, and
was sentenced accordingly. Fores, owner of the jeepney, claimed that one
day before the accident, she sold the vehicle to a certain Sackerman. In the
meantime, Miranda prays for moral damages.
Issues:
1.

2.

Whether or not approval of the Public Service Commission is


necessary for the sale of a public service vehicle even without
conveying therewith the authority to operate the same.
Whether or not an award for damages is proper.

Held: While the sale, without the required approval, is still valid and binding
between the parties, approval of the Public Service Commission is necessary

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for such sale, as provided for by Sec. 20 of the Public Service Act
(Commonwealth Act 146).
As to the second issue, the award of moral damages is not proper. It has
been held that moral damages are not recoverable in damage actions
predicated on a breach of contract of transportation, in view of Art. 2219 and
2220 of the new Civil Code:
ART 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following analogous
cases:
1.
2.

a criminal offense resulting in physical injuries


quasi delicts causing physical injuries

ART. 2220. Willfull injury to property may be a legal ground for awarding
moral damages if the court should find that, under the circumstances,
such damages are justly due. The same rule applies to breaches of
contract where the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith.
The exceptional rule in Article 1764 provides that where the injured
passenger does not die, moral damages are not recoverable unless it is
proved that the carrier was guilty of malice or bad faith. The mere
carelessness of the carriers driver does not per se constitute or justify an
inference of malice or bad faith on the part of the carrier, as in the case at
bar.
In the absence of statutory provision, it is presumed that the
lawmakers intended in article 2220 to limit recovery of moral damages to
breaches of contract in bad faith. The fact that negligence may be so gross as
to amount to malice, must be shown in evidence, and a carriers bad faith is
not to be lightly inferred from a mere finding that the contract was breached
though negligence of the carriers employees. The award for moral
damages is eliminated.

Far East Bank and Trust Company vs. Court of Appeals


241 SCRA 671 (February 23, 1995)
Facts: Private respondent Luis Luna applied for and was accorded a
Fareastcard issued by petitioner FEBTC. Upon his request, a supplemental
card was issued to Clarita Luna. In August 1988, Clarita lost her card and

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FEBTC was forthwith informed. Due to bank policy, petitioner recorded the
lost card, along with the principal card as a hot card or a cancelled card.
In October, Luis used his card to pay for lunch at the Hotel Intercontinental
Manila. However, after verifying with the bank, the card was not honored
and Luis had to pay cash. He was embarrassed by this incident. Luis, through
counsel, wrote to petitioner and asked for the payment of damages. The VP
of the bank wrote a letter to Luis and expressed his apologies in their failure
to inform the latter of the bank's security policy. Also, the VP sent a letter to
the hotel to assure the latter that the private respondents were very valued
clients. Still feeling aggrieved, private respondent filed a complaint for
damages in the RTC. The RTC ruled in their favor and ordered FEBTC to pay
moral and exemplary damages. CA affirmed the said decision.
Issue: Whether or not the award of damages is proper.
Held: NO. In culpa contractual, moral damages may be recovered where the
defendant is shown to have acted in bad faith or with malice in the breach of
contract. (Art. 2220 NCC) While it is true that the bank was remiss in
neglecting to personally inform Luis of his own card's cancellation, there is no
finding that there was deliberate intent on the part of FEBTC to cause harm
to Luis. Neither could FEBTC's negligence in failing to give personal notice to
Luis be considered so gross as to amount to malice or bad faith.
Malice or bad faith implies a conscious and intentional design to do
a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or moral obliquity; it is different from
the negative idea of negligence in that malice or bad faith contemplates a
state of mind affirmatively operating with furtive design or ill will. Thus, the
award of moral damages is inordinate and substantially devoid of legal basis.
Exemplary or corrective damages are awarded, in the case of quasidelicts, if the defendant is shown to have been so guilty of gross negligence
as to approximate malice. And in case of contracts and quasi-contracts, it is
awarded when the defendant is found to have acted in a wanton, fraudulent,
reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner. Thus, the award of exemplary
damages is improper.
NEVERTHELESS, the bank's failure to honor its credit card issued to
Luis should entitle him to recover a measure of damages sanctioned under
Article 2221 of the Civil Code:

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Art. 2221. Nominal damages are 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 purpose of
indemnifying the plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.

Air France vs. Carrascoso


G.R. No. L-21438 September 28, 1966
Facts: Plaintiff Carrascoso, a civil engineer, was a member of a group of 48
Filipino pilgrims that left Manila for Lourdes. Air France, through its
authorized agent, Philippine Air Lines, Inc., issued to plaintiff a first class
round trip airplane ticket from Manila to Rome. From Manila to Bangkok,
plaintiff travelled in first class, but at Bangkok, the Manager of the
defendant airline forced plaintiff to vacate the first class seat that he was
occupying because, in the words of the witness Ernesto 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, the plaintiff refused, and told
defendants Manager that his seat would be taken over his dead body. A
commotion ensued, and, according to said Ernnesto G. Cuento, many of the
Filipino passengers got nervous in the tourist class; when they found out that
Mr. Casrrascoso was having a hot discussion with the white man [manager],
they came all across to Mr. Carrascoso and pacified Mr. Carrascoso to give
his seat to the white man and plaintiff reluctantly gave his first class seat in
the plane.
Carrascoso filed a case for damages. The CFI of Manila sentenced Air
France to pay rCarrascoso P25,000.00 by way of moral damages; P10,000 as
exemplary damages; P393.20 representing the difference in fare between
first class and tourist class for the portion of the trip Bangkok-Rome. The CA
slightly reduced the amount of refund on Carrascoss plane ticket.
Issue: WON Carrascosos action is planted upon breach of contract, with the
existence of bad faith, entitling him to the award of damages.
Held: There was a contract to furnish plaintiff a first class passage covering,
amongst others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg. The said contract was breached
when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at Bangkok.

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The evidence shows that defendant violated its contract of


transportation with plaintiff in bad faith, with the aggravating circumstances
that defendants Manager in Bangkok went to the extent of threatening the
plaintiff in the presence of many passengers to have him thrown out of the
airplane to give the first class seat that he was occupying to, again using the
words of witness Ernesto G. Cuento, a white man whom he (defendants
manager) wished to accommodate, and the defendant has not proved that
this white man had any better right to occupy the first class seat that the
plaintiff was occupying, duly paid for, and for which the corresponding first
class ticket was issued.
The responsibility of an employer for the act of its employees need
not be essayed. It is well settled in law. For the willful malevolent act of
petitioners manager, petitioner, his employer, must answer. Article 21 of the
Civil Code says:
ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in
a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
shall compensate the latter for the damage.
In parallel circumstances, we applied the foregoing legal percept;
and, held upon the provisions of Article 2219 (10), Civil Code, moral damages
are recoverable.
Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a
right to be treated by the carriers employees with kindness, respect,
courtesy and due consideration. They are entitled to be protected against
personal misconduct, injurious language, indignities and abuses from such
employees. So it is, that any rude or discourteous conduct on the part of
employees towards a passenger gives the latter an action for damages
against the carrier.
Thus, Where a steamship company had accepted a passengers
check, it was a breach of contract and tort, giving a right of action for its
agent in the presence of third persons to falsely notify her, that the check
was worthless and demand payment under threat of ejection; though the
language used was not insulting and she was not ejected. Although the
relation of passenger and carrier is contractual both in origin and nature
the act that breaks the contract may also be a tort. And in another case,

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Where a passenger on a rail-road train, when the conductor came to collect


his fare, tendered him the cash fare to a point where the train was scheduled
not to stop, and told him that as soon as the train reached such point he
would pay the cash fare from that point to destination, there was nothing in
the conduct of the passenger which justified the conductor in using insulting
language to him, as by calling him a lunatic, and the Supreme Court of South
Carolina there held the carrier liable for the mental suffering of said
passenger.
Petitioners contract with Carrascoso, is one attended with public
duty. The stress of Carasscosos action as we have said, is placed upon his
wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the petitioner-air
carrier-a case of quasi-delict.
Damages are proper. Exemplary damages are well awarded. The
Civil Code gives the Court ample to power to grant exemplary damages-in
contracts and quasi-contracts. The only condition is that defendant should
have acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent
manner. The manner of ejectment of respondent Carrascoso from his first
class seat fits into this legal precept. And this is in addition to moral damages.

PSBA vs. Court of Appeals


205 SCRA 729 (February 4, 1992)
Facts: Carlito Bautista, a student of PSBA, was stabbed while on the second
floor of Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA) by some
elements from outside the school. Carlito died. His parents, filed an action
for damages against PSBA and the school authorities (President, VicePresident, Treasurer/Cashier,Chief of Security and Vice Chief of Security).
Both the trial court and the CA ruled in favor of parents.
Issue: Whether or not PSBA and the school authorities can be held liable
under 2176 and 2180 for quasi-delict.
Held: No. Article 2180 of the Civil Code provides that pupils or students of
the educational institution should have caused the damage.

24

Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code,


establishes the rule of in loco parentis. This Court discussed this doctrine in
the cases of Exconde, Mendoza, Palisoc, and more recently, in Amadora vs.
CA. In all such cases, it had been stressed that Article 2180 plainly provides
that it is the students who must have caused the damage before the
educational institution can be held liable for quasi-delict. In the case at bar,
the assailants were not students or pupils of PSBA but were elements from
outside the school. Hence, PSBA and its school authorities cannot be held
liable under Article 2180.
The circumstances of the present case evince a contractual relation
between PSBA and Carlitos Bautista since they entered into a contract the
moment Bautista enrolled in the school. There being a contract, the rules on
quasi-delict do not really govern. However, should the act which breaches
the contract be done in bad faith and be violative of Article 21 as ruled in the
Air France case, then there is a cause to view the act as constituting quasidelict.
In the case at bar however, there is, as yet, no finding that the
contract between the school and Bautista had been breached thru the
former's negligence in providing security measures. This would be for the
trial court to determine. And, even if there be, a finding of negligence, the
same could give rise generally to a breach of contractual obligation only. In
other words, a contractual relation is a condition sine qua non to the school's
liability. The negligence of the school cannot exist independently on the
contract, unless the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in
Article 21.
Therefore, PSBA and its school authorities cannot be held liable for
quasi-delict under Art. 2180.

Syquia vs. Court of Appeals and Manila Memorial Park and


Cemetery, Inc.
217 SCRA 624 (January 27, 1993)
Facts: Juan Syquia, father of deceased and the private respondent executed a
Deed of Sale of a memorial lot and an Interment Order, where the private

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respondent was authorized to bury the remains of the deceased in


accordance with its procedures.
Preparatory to transferring the remains to the newly-purchased lot
also in Manila Memorial Park, the concrete vault encasing the coffin of the
deceased was removed from its niche underground. It was then discovered
that said vault has a hole and after one hour or less water drained out of the
hole.
Pursuant to the authority granted by the MTC the concrete vault
was opened and it was discovered that the interior walls of the concrete
vault showed evidence of total flooding and the coffin as well as the clothing
and exposed parts of the deceaseds remains were entirely damaged.
A complaint was filed by petitioners (parents and siblings of
deceased) for quasi-delict, alleging that there was breach of respondents
contractual obligation to provide a sealed vault. RTC dismissed the complaint
since there was no guarantee in the contract that the vault shall be
waterproof and since there was a pre-existing contractual relation defendant
cannot be guilty of quasi-delict. The RTC also sustained the explanation given
by the private respondent, that the hole had to be bored through the
concrete vault because if it has no hole the vault will float and the grave
would be filled with water. CA affirmed RTCs decision hence the instant
petition.
Issue: Whether or not the respondent is guilty of quasi-delict.
Held: No. Although a pre-existing contractual relation between the parties
does not preclude the existence of a culpa aquiliana, SC find no reason to
disregard the respondent's Court finding that there was no negligence.
Article 2176 provides that 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 quasi-delict . The agreement between the
parties governed their relations and defined their respective rights and
obligations. Hence, had there been actual negligence on the part of the
private respondent it would be held liable not for a quasi-delict or culpa
aquiliana, but for culpa contractual as provided by Article 1170 of the Civil
Code, to wit: Those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of

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fraud, negligence, or delay, and those who in any manner contravene the
tenor thereof, are liable for damages.
Petitioners claim that the vault provided by private respondent was
not sealed, that is, not waterproof. In this regard SC held that there was no
stipulation in the Deed of Sale and in the Rules and Regulations of the private
respondent that the vault would be waterproof. Seal" is defined as any of
various closures or fastenings that cannot be opened without rupture and
that serve as a check against tampering or unauthorized opening." It is
therefore clear that "sealed" cannot be equated with "waterproof".
The law defines negligence as the "omission of that diligence which
is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the
circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place." In the absence of
stipulation or legal provision providing the contrary, the diligence to be
observed in the performance of the obligation is that which is expected of a
good father of a family. The circumstances surrounding the commission of
the assailed act boring of the hole negate the allegation of negligence.

Vicente Calalas vs. Court of Appeals


332 SCRA 356 (2000)
Facts: Eliza G. Sunga, a college freshman at Siliman University, took a
passenger jeepney owned and operated by Vicente Calalas. She was given by
the conductor an extension seat at the backdoor of the jeepney at the rear
end. On their way, the jeepney stopped to let a passenger off. Sunga gave
way to the outgoing passengers, just as she was doing so, an Isuzu truck
driven by Iglecerio Verena which is owned by Francisco Salva bumped the left
rear portion of the jeepney, which injured Sunga.
Sunga then filed action for damages against Calalas for violation of
contract of carriage, in failing to exercise the diligence required by him as a
common carrier. Calalas, on the other hand filed a third-party complaint
against Francisco Salva.
Issue: Whether or not Calalas can blame Francisco Silva as the proximate
cause of the loss.

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Held: No. There was a contract of carriage between the parties, which was
violated, hence, proximate cause is immaterial.
The Supreme Court found Calalas guilty of violating the contract of
carriage as a driver failed to transport Sunga safely to her destination, being
negligent in (1) not properly parking the jeepney; (2) taking more passengers,
than the allowed capacity; and (3) the fact that Sunga was seated in an
extension seat placed in a peril greater than that to which the other
passengers were exposed.
The determination of the proximate cause of the damage incurred,
whether it was the collision between the jeepney and the truck or the
negligence of the driver is immaterial. The doctrine of proximate cause is
applicable only in actions of quasi-delict, not in actions involving breach of
contract. Where there is a pre-existing contractual relation between parties
it is the parties themselves that create the obligation and the law will merely
regulate the relation created. (Since there was a contract of carriage here in
the case at bar).

Negligence
Picart vs. Smith
37 Phil 809 (March 15, 1918)
Facts: Plaintiff, Picart was riding a pony on Carlatan Bridge, San Fernando.
He pulled his pony over the bridges railing on the right instead of left upon
seeing the automobile rapidly approaching. His pony was unfortunately
frightened when the automobile passed so close to them. The horse was
struck on the hock of the left hind leg by the flange of the car and the limb
was broken. The horse fell and its rider was thrown off with some violence.
As a result of its injuries the horse died. Picart received contusions which
caused temporary unconsciousness and required medical attention for
several days. Picart seeks to render the sum of Php31,000 as damages. CFILa Union absolved Smith.

26

Issue: Whether or not defendant was negligent and if the concept of last
clear chance is attributable to him?
Held: The defendant Smith is negligent and liable under the doctrine of
last clear chance even though the plaintiff was on the wrong side of the
bridge. Defendant has had the opportunity to avoid the accident after
realizing that the negligence by the plaintiff could not have placed him in a
position of better safety.
The last clear chance was passed unto the defendant driving the
automobile. It was his duty to bring the car to an immediate stop or upon
seeing no other persons were on the bridge to take the other side and pass
far away from the pony to avoid collision. Instead of doing this, Smith ran
straight on until he was almost upon the horse. When Smith exposed the
horse and rider to this danger he was negligent in the eye of the law. Under
the circumstances, the law is that the person who has the last clear chance to
avoid the impending harm and fails to do is chargeable with the
consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party.
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
ordinary intelligence and prudence and determines liability by that.
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the lower court, and
rendered judgment that Picart recover of Smith the sum of P200, with costs
of both instances. The court held that the sum awarded was estimated to
include the value of the horse, medical expenses of Picart, the loss or
damage occasioned to articles of his apparel, and lawful interest on the
whole to the date of this recovery.

Negligence in special cases (Children)


JARCO Marketing Corporation vs. Court of Appeals and
Spouses Aguilar
GR No. 129792 (December 21, 1999)

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Facts: Petitioner Jarco is the owner of Syvel's Department Store in Makati


City. Respondent spouses are the parents of Zhieneth Aguilar.
nd

On May 9, 1983, Criselda and Zhieneth were at the 2 floor of


Syvel's. As Criselda was signing her credit card slip, she felt a sudden gust of
wind and heard a loud thud. She looked behind her and saw her 6 yr. old
daughter Zhieneth pinned down on the floor by the store's giftwrapping
counter/structure. Zhieneth was crying and screaming for help. She was
rushed to the Makati Medical Center and was operated on. The next day, she
lost her speech and fourteen days after, she died. The cause of her death was
attributed to the injuries she sustained.
Spouses Aguilar demanded upon petitioners the reimbursement of
the hospitalization, medical bills, wake and funeral expenses but petitioners
refused to pay. Spouses filed a complaint for damages. The trial court
dismissed the complaint and ruled that the proximate cause of the fall of the
counter on Zhieneth was her act of clinging to it. The court also held that
Criselda's negligence in allowing her daughter to freely roam around the
store contributed to the accident. In absolving petitioners from liability, the
nd
court reasoned that the counter was situated at the end corner of the 2
floor as a precautionary measure, hencce, it could not be considered as an
attractive nuisance.
On appeal, CA reversed the judgment and found that petitioners
were negligent in maintaining a structurally dangerous counter. The counter
was shaped like an inverted 'L' and it was top heavy and the weight of the
upper portion was neither evenly distributed nor supported by its narrow
base. It was also established that 2 employees already requested the
management to nail the counter because it was shaky but the latter did not
take any action. The management insists that it has been there for 15 years
and it has been stable. The Court of Appeals also declared that Zhieneth was
absolutely incapable of negligence or tort. It also absolved Criselda of any
negligence, finding nothing wrong in momentarily allowing Zhieneth to walk
while she signed the document. Moreover, the allegation that Zhieneth clung
to the counter which caused the same to fall on her was denied by Gonzales
in his testimony. He said that when the doctor asked Zhieneth what she did,
the child answered 'nothing, i did not come near the counter, the counter
just fell on me'. The CA awarded actual and compensatory damages.

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Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the court denied the same.
Hence, this appeal.
Issues:
1.

Whether the death of Zhieneth was accidental or attributable to


negligence.

2.

In case of a finding of negligence, whether the same was


attributable to the store management for maintaining a defective
counter or to Criselda and Zhieneth for failing to exercise due and
reasonable care while inside the store premises.

Held: An accident pertains to a fortuitous circumstance, event or happening;


an event happening without any human agency, or if happening wholly or
partly through human agency, an event which under the circumstances is
unusual or unexpected by the person to whom it happens. On the other
hand, negligence is the failure to observe, for the protection of the interest
of another person, that degree of care, precaution, and vigilance which the
circumstances justly demand, whereby such other person suffers injury.
Accident and negligence are intrinsically contradictory; one cannot exist with
the other.
The test in determining 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 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 court held that Zhieneth's tragedy and death
can only be attributed to negligence.
The testimony of Gonzales pertaining to Zhieneth's statement formed part of
the res gestae under Section 42, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. All that is
required for their admissibility as part of the res gestae is that they be made
or uttered under the influence of a startling event before the declarant had
the time to think and concoct a falsehood as witnessed by the person who
testified in court. it is unthinkable for a child of tender age and in extreme
pain to have lied to a doctor whom she trusted with her life.

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Zhieneth performed no act that facilitated her tragic death.


However, petitioners did, through their negligence or omission to secure or
make stable the counter's base.
Anent the negligence imputed to Zhieneth, the court applied the
rule that a child under nine years of age must be conclusively presumed
incapable of contributory negligence as a matter of law. And even if
contributory negligence can be attributed to Zhieneth and assume that she
climbed over the counter, no injury should have occurred if the counter was
stable and sturdy. Criselda too, should be absolved from contributory
negligence. Zhieneth held on to her mother's hand, Criselda momentarily
released the child's hand when she signed her credit card slip. At this precise
moment, it was reasonable for Criselda to let go of her child. When the
counter fell on her child, Criselda was just one foot away.

Del Rosario vs. Manila Electric Company


57 Phil 478 (November 5, 1932)
Facts: At 2PM in the afternoon, trouble developed in a wire used and
operated by Manila Electric Company for the purpose of conducting
electricity and lighting the City of Manila and its suburbs. Noguera noticed
that the wire was burning and the connections smoking. He then told Soco
to telephone the Malabon station of defendant. Soco transmitted the
message at 2.25 p.m. and received answer from the station to the effect that
they would send an inspector.

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the company's inspectors were required in their daily rounds to keep a


lookout for trouble of this kind. There is nothing in the record indicating any
particular cause for the parting of the wire.
Issue: Whether or not negligence can be imputed to the defendant
company, making it liable for damages.
Held: Yes. The Court is of the opinion that the presumption of negligence on
the part of the company from the breakage of this wire has not been
overcome, and the defendant is responsible for the accident. Furthermore,
when notice was received at the Malabon station at 2.25 p. m., somebody
should have been dispatched to the scene of the trouble at once, or other
measures taken to guard the point of 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.
It is doubtful whether contributory negligence can properly be imputed to
the deceased, owing to his immature years and the natural curiosity as a 9year-old boy. The fact that he ignored the warnings of his friend does not
alter the case.
The Court therefore awards P1000 as general damages for loss of service and
P250 for expenses incurred for the death and burial of the boy.

Ylarde vs. Aquino


163 SCRA 697 (July 29, 1988)

At 4 p. m. the neighborhood school was dismissed and the children went


home. Among these was Alberto Del Rosario with two of his friends. When
they came upon the place where the wire was down, Alberto's friend tried to
touch it but was stopped by his other friend, Jose. Alberto, saying he has the
habit of touching wires, touched the wire despit Jose's warning, got
electrocuted, and was pronounced dead when brought to the hospital.
The parents of Alberto filed for damages against the company. The engineer
of the company says that it was customary for the company to make a
special inspection of these wires at least once in six months, and that all of

Facts: Private respondent Soriano was the principal of the Gabaldon Primary
School, a public school in Tayug, Pangasinan, while Private respondent
Aquino was a teacher therein. During the happening of the events which led
to the filing of the case, there were several concrete blocks in the school
which were remnants of the old school shop that was destroyed in World
War II. Realizing that the huge stones were serious hazards to the
schoolchildren, Sergio Banez, also a teacher therein, started burying them.
Aquino, in order to help, gathered eighteen of his male pupils after class and
ordered them to dig an excavation pit wherein the stone can be buried. It

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was continued the following day by four of the original eighteen pupils.
Among them is the son of the petitioners, Novelito. When the depth was
right enough to accommodate the concrete block, Aquino and his pupils got
out of the hole. Aquino left to borrow a key to the workroom from Banez to
get a rope, he instructed the pupils not to touch the stone. Three of the four
kids, including Novelito, playfully jumped into the pit. The other kid, without
any warning jumped on top of the concrete block causing it to slide down
towards the opening.
Except for Novelito, the other kids were able to go out of the pit. The
concrete block pinned Novelito to the wall in a standing position. As a result
thereof, he sustained injuries. Novelito died 3 days after. Petitioner-parents
filed a suit for damages against both private respondents. Petitioners base
their action against Aquino on Article 2176 NCC for his alleged negligence
that caused their son's death while the complaint against Soriano as the head
of school is founded on Article 2180 NCC. The lower court dismissed the
complaint on the following grounds: (1) that the digging done by the pupils is
in line with their course called Work Education; (2) that Aquino exercised the
utmost diligence of a very cautious person; and (3) that the demise of
Novelito was due to his own reckless imprudence. This was affirmed by CA
on appeal. Hence the present petition.
Issues: (1)Whether or not Soriano is liable for damages under Art. 2180. (2)
Whether or not Aquino is liable for damages under Art. 2176.
Held: 1. No. The Court based their ruling on the doctrine enunciated in the
case of Amadora vs. CA, Article 2180 applies to all schools, academic as well
as non-academic. It provides further that teachers in general shall be liable
for the acts of their students except where the school is technical in nature,
in which case it is the head thereof who shall be answerable. Thus, Soriano,
as principal, cannot be held liable for the reason that the school he heads is
an academic school and not a school of arts and trades. Besides, as clearly
admitted by private respondent Aquino, private respondent Soriano did not
give any instruction regarding the digging.

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make an excavation near the one-ton concrete stone which he knew to be a


very hazardous task; (2) required the children to remain inside the pit even
after they had finished digging, knowing that the huge block was lying nearby
and could be easily pushed or kicked aside by any pupil who by chance may
go to the perilous area; (3) ordered them to level 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 check on the
children's safety; and (5) left the children close to the excavation, an
obviously attractive nuisance. These negligent acts have a direct causal
connection to the death of Novelito.
A reasonably prudent person would have foreseen that bringing
children to an excavation site, and more so, leaving them there all by
themselves, may result in an accident. An ordinarily careful human being
would not assume that a simple warning "not to touch the stone" is sufficient
to cast away all the serious danger that a huge concrete block adjacent to an
excavation would present to the children. Moreover, a teacher who stands in
loco parentis to his pupils would have made sure that the children are
protected from all harm in his company.
The defense that the digging done by the pupils was part of their
Work Education was not sustained, since the nature of the activity reveals a
dangerous one and requires the attendance of adult laborers and not tenyear old grade-four pupils. In fact, there was no showing that it was included
in the lesson plan for their Work Education. Further it is admitted that
Aquino decided all by himself to help his colleague.
The finding of the lower court that the injuries were caused by
Novelitos own reckless imprudence was not sustained. The Court ruled that
deceased was only 10 years old as such his actuations were natural to a boy
his age. The degree of care required to be exercised must vary with ones
capacity, discretion, knowledge and experience under the same or similar
circumstances.

2. Yes. It is very clear that private respondent Aquino acted with


fault and gross negligence when he: (1) failed to avail himself of services of
adult manual laborers and instead utilized his pupils aged ten to eleven to
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30

Negligence (Experts/Professionals)
Cullion Ice, Fish and Electric Company vs. Philippine
Motors Corporation
GR No. 32611 (November 3, 1930)
Facts: Culion Ice, Fish & Electric Co. Inc. owned a motor schooner named
Gwendoline. H.D. Cranston, the representative of Cuilion in Manila, decided
to have the engine on the Gwendoline converted from gasoline consumer to
a crude oil burner. He had a conference with C.E. Quest, the manager of Phil.
Motors, who agreed to do the job, with the understanding that payment
shall be made upon completion of the work.
The work began and conducted under the supervision of Mr. Quest,
and chiefly by a mechanic whom Quest took with him to the boat. Cranston
also directed the members of the crew of the Gwendoline to assist in the
work, placing them under the command of Quest.
Upon inspection of the engine, Quest concluded that a new
carburetor was needed, hence one was installed. The next problem was to
introduce into the carburetor the baser fuel. A temporary tank to contain the
mixture was placed on deck above and at a short distance from the
compartment covering the engine. This tank was connected with the
carburetor by a piece of tubing, which was apparently not well fitted at the
point where it was connected with the tank. The fuel mixture leaked from
the tank and dripped down into the engine compartment. To paraphrase, a
device was made where the engine can be converted from gasoline to crude
oil, switching back and forth.
Later, it was observed that the carburetor was flooding, and that the
gasoline, or other fuel, was dripping freely from the lower part to the
carburetor to the floor. This fact was called to Quest's attention, but he said
that, when the engine had gotten to running well, the flooding would stop
The boat was taken out into the bay for a trial run. The engine
stopped a few times during the first run, owing to the use of an improper
mixture of fuel. As the boat was coming in from this run, the engine stopped,
and connection again had to be made with the gasoline line to get a new

start. After this had been done, the mechanic, or engineer, 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. A case for damages was filed.
Issue: Whether or not the loss of the boat is chargeable to the negligence
and lack of skill of Quest.
Held: YES. When a person holds himself out as being competent to do
things requiring professional skill, he will be held liable for negligence if he
fails to exhibit the care and skill of one ordinarily skilled in the particular
work which he attempts to do.
The temporary tank in which the mixture was prepared was
apparently at too great an elevation from the carburetor, so that when the
fuel line was opened, the hydrostatic pressure in the carburetor was greater
than the delicate parts of the carburetor could sustain. This was the cause of
the flooding of the carburetor; and the result was that; when the back fire
occurred, the external parts of the carburetor, already saturated with
gasoline, burst into flames, whence the fire was quickly communicated to the
highly inflammable material near-by. The leak along the pipe line and the
flooding of the carburetor had created a dangerous situation, which a
prudent mechanic, versed in repairs of this nature, would have taken
precautions to avoid.
Proof shows that Quest had had ample experience in fixing the
engines of automobiles and tractors, but it does not appear that he was
experienced in the doing of similar work on boats. Possibly the dripping of
the mixture form the tank on deck and the flooding of the carburetor did not
convey to his mind an adequate impression of the danger of fire. Quest did
not use the skill that would have been exhibited by one ordinarily expert in
repairing gasoline engines on boats. There was here, on the part of Quest, a
blameworthy antecedent inadvertence to possible harm, and this
constitutes negligence. The burning of the Gwendoline may be said to have
resulted from accident, but this accident was in no sense an unavoidable

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accident. It would not have occurred but for Quest's carelessness or lack of
skill.

US v. Pineda
37 Phil 456 (January 22, 1918)
Facts: Santiago Pineda is a registered pharmacist and the owner of a drug
store. Feliciano Santos, having some sick horses, presented a copy of a
prescription to Pineda. On other occasions, Santos had given the medicine
prescribed to his horses with good results. Under the supervision of Pineda,
the drugs were prepared and given Santos.
Santos, under the belief that he had purchased potassium chlorate,
placed two of the packages in water and gave the doses to two of his sick
horses. Another package was mixed with water for another horse, but was
not used. The two horses, who took the drugs, died afterwards. Santos took
the drug packages to the Bureau of Science for examination. It was found
that the packages contained not potassium chlorate but barium chlorate (a
poison). When sued Pineda alleges that he did not intentionally sold the
poison and that what the law (to which he is indicted) forbids is the sell any
drug or poison under any "fraudulent name.
ISSUES: Whether or not Pineda can be held liable for the death of the horses,
assuming he did not deliberately sold poison.
HELD: Yes. In view of the tremendous and imminent danger to the public
from the careless sale of poison and medicine, we do not deem it too rigid a
rule to hold that the law penalizes any druggist who shall sell one drug for
another whether it be through negligence or mistake. The care required
must be commensurate with the danger involved, and the skill employed
must correspond with the superior knowledge of the business which the law
demands.
As a pharmacist, he is made responsible for the quality of all drugs
and poison he sells. If were we to adhere to the technical definition of fraud
it would be difficult, if not impossible, to convict any druggist of a violation of
the law. The prosecution would have to prove to a reasonable degree of
certainty that the druggist made a material representation; that it was false;

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that when he made it he knew that it was false or made it recklessly without
any knowledge of its truth and as a positive assertion; that he made it with
the intention that it should be acted upon by the purchaser; that the
purchaser acted in reliance upon it, and that the purchaser suffered injury.
Such a construction with a literal following of well-known principles on the
subject of fraud would strip the law of at least much of its force. It would
leave the innocent purchaser of drugs, who must blindly trust in the good
faith and vigilance of the pharmacist, at the mercy of any unscrupulous
vendor.
We should not, therefore, without good reason so devitalize the law. The
rule of caveat emptor cannot apply to the purchase and sale of drugs. The
vendor and the vendee in this case do not stand at arms length as in
ordinary transactions. It would be idle mockery for the customer to make an
examination of a compound of which he can know nothing. Consequently, it
must be that the druggist warrants that he will deliver the drug called for.

BPI v. CA
216 SCRA 51 (November 26, 1992)
Facts: A person purporting to be Eligia G. Fernando, who had a money
market placement evidenced by a promissory note with a maturity date of
November 11, 1981 and a maturity value of P2,462,243.19, called BPI's
Money Market Department. The caller wanted to pre-terminate the
placement. However, Reginaldo Eustaquio, Dealer Trainee in BPI's Money
Market Department, told her that "trading time" was over for the day
(Friday). He suggested that she call again the following week. The promissory
note the caller wanted to preterminate was a roll-over of an earlier 50-day
money market placement that had matured on September 24, 1981.
Later that afternoon, Eustaquio conveyed the request for
pretermination to the officer who before had handled Fernando's account,
Penelope Bulan, but Eustaquio was left to attend to the pretermination
process.

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The caller presenting herself as Ms. Fernando phoned again and


made a follow-up with Eustaquio the pretermination of the placement.
Although Eustaquio was not familiar with the voice of the real Eligia G.
Fernando, Eustaquio "made certain" that the caller was the real Eligia G.
Fernando by "verifying" the details the caller gave with the details in "the
ledger/folder" of the account. But neither Eustaquio nor Bulan who originally
handled Fernando's account, nor anybody else at BPI, bothered to call up
Fernando at her Philamlife office to verify the request for pretermination.
Informed that the placement would yield less than the maturity value, the
caller insisted on the pretermination just the same and asked that two
checks be issued for the proceeds, one for P1,800,000.00 and the second for
the balance, and that the checks be delivered to her office at Philamlife.
Eustaquio, thus, proceeded to prepare the "purchase order slip" for the
requested pretermination as required by office procedure. From his desk, the
papers, following the processing route, passed through the position analyst,
securities clerk, verifier clerk and documentation clerk, before the two
cashier's checks were prepared. The two cashier's checks, together with the
papers consisting of the money market placement was to be preterminated
and the promissory note to be preterminated, were sent to Gerlanda E. de
Castro and Celestino Sampiton, Jr., Manager and Administrative Assistant,
respectively, in BPI's Treasury Operations Department, both authorized
signatories for BPI, who signed the two checks that very morning. Thereafter,
the checks went to the dispatcher for delivery.
In the same morning when the checks were to be delivered, the
caller changed the delivery instructions; instead that the checks were to be
delivered to her office at Philamlife, she would pick the checks up herself or
send her niece, Rosemarie Fernando, to pick them up. Eustaquio then told
the caller that if her niece was going to get the checks, her niece would have
to being a written authorization from her. It was agreed that Rosemarie
would pick the checks up from the bank. Thus, Eustaquio hurriedly went to
the dispatcher to inform him of the new delivery instructions for the checks;
in fact, he changed the delivery instruction on the purchase order slip,
writing thereon "Rosemarie Fernando release only with authority to pick up.

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It was, in fact Rosemarie who got the two checks from the
dispatcher, as shown by the delivery receipt. As it turned out, the same
person impersonated both Eligia G. Fernando and Rosemarie Fernando.
Although the checks represented the termination proceeds of Fernando's
placement, not just a roll-over of the placement, the dispatcher failed to
require the surrender of the promissory note evidencing the placement.
There is also no showing that Fernando's purported signature on the letter
requesting the pretermination and the latter authorizing Rosemarie to pick
up the two checks was compared or verified with Fernando's signature in
BPI's file. Such purported signature has been established to be forged
although there 0was a "close similarity" to the real signature of Eligia G.
Fernando.
On a different day, a woman who represented herself to be Eligia G.
Fernando applied at China Banking Corporation's Head Office for the opening
of a current account. She was accompanied and introduced to Emily Sylianco
Cuaso, Cash Supervisor, by Antonio Concepcion whom Cuaso knew to have
opened, earlier that year, an account. What Cuaso indicated in the
application form, however, was that Fernando was introduced by Valentin
Co, and with her initials on the form signifying her approval, she referred the
application to the New Accounts Section for processing. The application
form shows the signature of "Eligia G. Fernando", "her" date of birth, sex,
civil status, nationality, occupation ("business woman"), tax account number,
and initial deposit of P10,000.00. This final approval of the new current
account is indicated on the application form by the initials of the cashier,
who did not interview the new client but affixed her initials on the
application form after reviewing it.
The woman holding herself out as Eligia G. Fernando deposited the
two checks in controversy. Her endorsement on the two checks was found to
conform with the depositor's specimen signature. CBC's guaranty of prior
endorsements and/or lack of endorsement was then stamped on the two
checks, which CBC forthwith sent to clearing and which BPI cleared on the
same day. Two days after, withdrawals began.
The maturity date of Eligia G. Fernado's money market placement
with BPI came and the real Eligia G. Fernando went to BPI for the roll-over of

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her placement. She disclaimed having preterminated her placement. She


then executed an affidavit stating that while she was the payee of the two
checks in controversy, she never received nor endorsed them and that her
purported signature on the back of the checks was not hers but forged. With
her surrender of the original of the promissory note evidencing the
placement which matured that day, BPI issued her a new promissory note to
evidence a roll-over of the placement.
BPI returned the two checks in controversy to CBC as supported by Eligia G.
Fernando's affidavit, for the reason "Payee's endorsement forged". CBC, in
turn, returned the checks for reason "Beyond Clearing Time". These incidents
led to the filing of this case with the Arbitration Committee.
The Arbitration Committee ruled in favor of BPI and ordered CBC to
pay the former with interest. - However, upon CBCs motion for
reconsideration, the Board of Directors of the PCHC reversed the Arbitration
Committee's decision and dismissed the complaint of BPI while ordering it to
pay CBC.
BPI then filed a petition for review with the Regional Trial Court
which dismissed said petition but modified the award by including a
provision for attorneys fees in favor of CBC, among others. The court of
appeals affirmed the trial courts decision.
ISSUES: Who between BPI and CBC should be held liable? Whose negligence
was the proximate cause of the payment of the forged checks made by the
impostor?
HELD: In the present petition, Fernandos name in the checks were forged.
The checks are "wholly inoperative" and of no effect. However, the
underlying circumstances of the case show that the general rule on forgery is
not applicable. The issue as to who between the parties should bear the loss
in the payment of the forged checks necessities the determination of the
rights and liabilities of the parties involved in the controversy in relation to
the forged checks.

33

The records show that petitioner BPI, as drawee bank and CBC as
representing or collecting bank were both negligent resulting in the
encashment of the forged checks.
The Arbitration Committee in its decision, analyzed the negligence
of the employees of BPI involved who are involved in the processing of the
pre-termination of Fernando's money market placement and in the issuance
and delivery of the subject checks. A) The impostor could have been readily
unmasked by a mere telephone call, which nobody in BPI bothered to make
to Fernando; b) The officer who used to handle Fernando's account did not
do anything about the account's pre-termination; c) Again no verification
appears to have been made on Fernando's purported signature on the letter
requesting the pretermination and the letter authorizing her niece to pick-up
the checks, yet, her signature was in BPI's file; and d) the surrender of the
promissory note evidencing the money market placement that was
supposedly pre-terminated. The Arbitration Committee, however, belittled
BPI's negligence compared to that of CBC which it declared as graver and the
proximate cause of the loss of the subject checks to the impostor.
Banks handle daily transactions involving millions of pesos. By the
very nature of their work the degree of responsibility, care and
trustworthiness expected of their employees and officials is far greater than
those of ordinary clerks and employees. For obvious reasons, the banks are
expected to exercise the highest degree of diligence in the selection and
supervision of their employees.
In the present case, there is no question that the banks were
negligent in the selection and supervision of their employees. The Arbitration
Committee, the PCHC Board of Directors and the lower court, however
disagree in the evaluation of the degree of negligence of the banks. While
the Arbitration Committee declared the negligence of respondent CBC
graver, the PCHC Board of Directors and the lower courts declared that BPI's
negligence was graver. To the extent that the degree of negligence is
equated to the proximate cause of the loss, we rule that the issue as to
whose negligence is graver is relevant. No matter how many justifications
both banks present to avoid responsibility, they cannot erase the fact that

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they were both guilty in not exercising extraordinary diligence in the


selection and supervision of their employees.
The next issue hinges on whose negligence was the proximate cause
of the payment of the forged checks by an impostor. BPI insists that the
doctrine of last clear chance should have been applied considering the
circumstances of this case. Under this doctrine, where both parties were
negligent and such negligence were not contemporaneous, the person who
has the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and fails to do so is
chargeable with the consequences, without reference to the prior negligence
of the other party.
Applying these principles, BPI's reliance on the doctrine of last clear
chance to clear it from liability is not well-taken. CBC had no prior notice of
the fraud perpetrated by BPI's employees on the pretermination of Eligia G.
Fernando's money market placement. Moreover, Fernando is not a depositor
of CBC. Hence, a comparison of the signature of Eligia G. Fernando with that
of the impostor Eligia G. Fernando, which CBC did, could not have resulted in
the discovery of the fraud. Hence, respondent CBC had no way to discover
the fraud at all. In fact, the records fail to show that respondent CBC had
knowledge, actual or implied, of the fraud perpetrated by the impostor and
the employees of BPI.
BPI further argues that the acts and omissions of are the cause "that
set into motion the actual and continuous sequence of events that produced
the injury and without which the result would not have occurred." BPI
anchors its argument on its stance that there was "a gap, a hiatus, an interval
between the issuance and delivery of said checks by BPI to the impostor and
their actual payment of CBC to the impostor. BPI points out that the gap of
one (1) day that elapsed from its issuance and delivery of the checks to the
impostor is material on the issue of proximate cause. At this stage, according
to BPI, there was yet no loss and the impostor could have decided to desist
from completing the same plan and could have held to the checks without
negotiating them.

34

the impostor's name as payee and the impostor's negotiating the said forged
checks by opening an account and depositing the same with respondent CBC
is not controlling. It is not unnatural or unexpected that after taking the risk
of impersonating Eligia G. Fernando with the connivance of BPI's employees,
the impostor would complete her deception by encashing the forged checks.
There is therefore, greater reason to rule that the proximate cause of the
payment of the forged checks by an impostor was due to the negligence of
BPI. This finding, notwithstanding, we are not inclined to rule that BPI must
solely bear the loss. Due care on the part of CBC could have prevented any
loss.
The Court cannot ignore the fact that the CBC employees closed
their eyes to the suspicious circumstances of huge over-the-counter
withdrawals made immediately after the account was opened. The opening
of the account itself was accompanied by inexplicable acts clearly showing
negligence. And while we do not apply the last clear chance doctrine as
controlling in this case, still the CBC employees had ample opportunity to
avoid the harm which befell both CBC and BPI. They let the opportunity slip
by when the ordinary prudence expected of bank employees would have
sufficed to seize it.
Both banks were negligent in the selection and supervision of their
employees resulting in the encashment of the forged checks by an impostor.
Both banks were not able to overcome the presumption of negligence in the
selection and supervision of their employees. It was the gross negligence of
the employees of both banks which resulted in the fraud and the subsequent
loss. While it is true that BPI's negligence may have been the proximate
cause of the loss, CBC's negligence contributed equally to the success of the
impostor in encashing the proceeds of the forged checks. Under these
circumstances, we apply Article 2179 of the Civil Code to the effect that while
CBC may recover its losses, such losses are subject to mitigation by the
courts.

BPI's contention that CBC alone should bear the loss must fail. The
gap of one (1) day between the issuance and delivery of the checks bearing
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Intoxication
E.M. Wright V Manila Electric R.R. & Light Co.
28 Phil 122 (October 1, 1914)

FACTS: Manila Electric is a corporation engaged in operating an electric


street railway. Wrights residence in Caloocan fronts on the street along
which defendants tracks run. To enter his premises from the street, Wright
must cross defendants tracks.
One night, Wright drove home in a calesa and in crossing the tracks
to enter the premises of his home, the horse stumbled, leaped forward, and
fell, throwing the Wright from the vehicle, causing injuries. On the location
where Wright crossed the tracks, the rails were above-ground, and the ties
upon which the rails rested projected from one-third to one-half of their
depth out of the ground, making the tops of the rails some 5 or 6 inches or
more above the level of the street.
Manila Electric admitted that it was negligent in maintaining its
tracks, but it also claimed that Wright was also negligent in that he was so
intoxicated, and such intoxication was the primary cause of the accident.

unsure footing and falling, the vehicle crashing against the rails with such
force as to break a wheel, might be sufficient to throw a person from the
vehicle no matter what his condition; and to conclude that, under such
circumstances, a sober man would not have fallen while a drunken man did,
is to draw a conclusion which enters the realm of speculation and guesswork.
Wright was not negligent. No facts to merit a higher award of damages to
plaintiff

US vs. Baggay
20 PHIL 142 (September 1, 1911)
Facts: Several persons were assembled in Baggay's house to hold a song
service called "buni." The Non-Christian Baggay without provocation,
suddenly attacked a woman named Bil-liingan with a bolo, inflicting a serious
wound on her head from which she died immediately. With the same bolo,
he likewise inflicted various wounds on the women named Calabayan,
Agueng, Quisamay, Calapini, and on his own mother, Dioalan.

The trial court held that both parties were negligent, but that
plaintiffs negligence was not as great as defendants. It awarded Wright
damages.

For this reason, the provincial fiscal filed a complaint in court


charging Baggay with murder. After trial and proof that the defendant was
suffering from mental aberration, the judge exempted Baggay from criminal
liability but was obliged to indemnify the heirs of the murdered woman. The
Baggay's counsel and his heirs appealed to this court.

ISSUE: Whether or not the negligence of Wright contributed to the principal


occurrence or only to his own injury.

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not an insane person, exempt from criminal liability
can still be civilly liable. (2) Can the heirs of Baggay be held civilly liable?

HELD: NO. Intoxication in itself is not negligence. It is but a circumstance to


be considered with the other evidence tending to prove negligence. No facts,
other than the fact that Wright was intoxicated, are stated 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
vehicle under the conditions described.

HELD: (1) YES. Civil liability accompanies criminal liability, because every
person liable criminally for a crime or misdemeanor is also liable for
reparation of damage and for indemnification of the harm done.

A horse crossing the railroad tracks with not only the rails but a
portion of the ties themselves aboveground, stumbling by reason of the

Civil liability may arise from acts ordinarily punishable under the
penal law, although the law has declared their perpetrators exempt from
criminal liability. Such is the case of a lunatic or insane person who, in spite
of his irresponsibility on account of the deplorable condition of his deranged
mind, is still reasonably and justly liable with his property for the
consequences of his acts, even though they be performed unwittingly. His

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fellows ought not to suffer for the disastrous results of his harmful acts
inspite of his unfortunate condition.
Law and society are under obligation to protect him during his
illness and so when he is declared to be liable with his property for
reparation and indemnification, he is still entitled to the benefit of what is
necessary for his decent maintenance, but this protection does not exclude
liability for damage caused to those who may have the misfortune to suffer
the consequences of his acts.
(2) Yes. The persons who are civilly liable for acts committed by a lunatic or
imbecile are those who have them under their authority, legal guardianship
or power, unless they prove that there was no blame or negligence on their
part.
Should there be no person having them under his authority, legal
guardian, or power, if such person be insolvent, the lunatic shall answer with
his own property, excepting that part which is exempted for their support in
accordance
with
the
civil
law.

Degrees of Negligence
Marinduque vs.Workmens Compensation
99 PHIL 48 (June 30, 1956)

36

HELD: YES. Marinduque Iron Mines alleged that the criminal case sentencing
Macunat to indemnify the heirs of Mamador was a suit for damages against a
third person, thereby having the effect of releasing the employer from
liability. The criminal case, however, was not a suit for damages against third
persons because the heirs did not intervene therein and they have not
received the indemnity ordered by the court. At any rate, even if the case
was against a third person, the court already decided in Nava vs. Inchausti
that criminal prosecution of the "other person" does not affect the liability of
the employer.
Marunduque also contended that the amicable settlement entered
into by Mamador's widow and Macunat barred the widow's claim against the
employer because she has already elected one of the remedies. This
contention cannot be sustained because what the widow waived was the
offender's criminal prosecution and not all civil action for damages.
2. NO. Mere riding on a haulage truck or stealing a ride thereon is not
negligence, ordinarily. It couldn't be, because transportation by truck is not
dangerous per se. Although the employer prohibited its employees to ride
the haulage trucks, its violation does not constitute negligence per se, but it
may be an evidence of negligence.
Under the circumstance, however, it cannot be declared negligence because
the prohibition had nothing to do with the personal safety of the riders.
Notorious negligence means the same as gross negligence which implies
"conscious indifference to consequences, or "pursuing a course of conduct
which would naturally and probably result in injury."

FACTS: A truck driven by Procopio Macunat, belonging to Marinduque Iron


Mines, turned over and hit a coconut tree resulting in the death of Pedro
Mamador and injury to the other laborers. Macunat was prosecuted,
convicted and was sentenced to indemnify the heirs of the deceased. He paid
nothing, however, to the latter. Madadors wife now seeks compensation by
Marinduque Iron Mines as the employer.

Res Ipsa Loquitur

ISSUES: (1) Whether or not Mamador has a right to be compensated by


Marinduque Iron Mines. (2) Whether or not there was notorious negligence
by Mamador for having violated the employers prohibition on riding
haulage trucks.

FACTS: Pedro Layugan testified that while he and his companion were
repairing the tire of their cargo truck that was parked along the right side of
the National Highway, Godofredo Isidros truck, recklessly driven by Daniel
Serrano bumped Layugan. As a result, Layugan had his left leg amputated.

Layugan vs. IAC


167 SCRA 363 November 14, 1968

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37
Defendant Isidro admitted his ownership of the vehicle involved in
the accident. Isidro said that Layugan was merely a bystander, not a truck
helper being a brother-in-law of the driver of said truck; that the truck
allegedly, while being repaired was parked, occupying almost half of the right
lane right after the curve; that the proximate cause of the incident was the
failure of the driver of the parked truck in installing the early warning device.
Daniel Serrano, defendant driver, said that he knew the
responsibilities of a driver; that before leaving, he checked the truck. The
truck owner used to instruct him to be careful in driving. He bumped the
truck being repaired by Layugan, while the same was at a stop. Serrano also
testified that, When I was a few meters away, I saw the truck which was
loaded with round logs. I stepped on my foot brakes but it did not function
with my many attempts. I have (sic) found out later that the fluid pipe on the
rear right was cut that's why the breaks did not function. Layugan, on the
other hand, claims that a warning device consisting of the lighted kerosene
lamp was placed 3-4 Meters from the back of the truck.
Isidro points to the driver of parked truck as negligent, and says that absent
such proof of care, it would, under the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur, there
exists a presumption of negligence on the part of the driver of the parked
cargo truck as well as his helper.

ISSUES
1. Whether or not defendant driver Serrano was negligent.
2. Whether or not the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur applies in this case.
HELD: 1. NO. The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a
particular case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant 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.
Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable
man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of
human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a prudent and

reasonable man would not do. Applying the definition and the test, it is clear
that the absence or want of care of Daniel Serrano has been established by
clear and convincing evidence. Whether the cargo truck was parked along
the road or on half of the shoulder of the road is immaterial taking into
account the warning device consisting of the lighted kerosene lamp placed 34m from the back of the truck. But despite this warning, the Isuzu truck
driven by Serrano, still bumped the rear of the parked cargo truck. As a direct
consequence of such accident, Layugan sustained injuries on his left forearm
and left foot.
2. NO. In our jurisdiction, Res ipsa loquitur as a rule of evidence is peculiar to
the law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be
established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof
of negligence. The doctrine is not a rule of substantive law but merely a
mode of proof or a mere procedural convenience. The doctrine merely
determines and regulates what shall be prima facie evidence thereof and
facilitates the burden of plaintiff of proving a breach of the duty of due care.
The doctrine can be invoked when and only when, under the
circumstances involved, direct evidence is absent and not readily available.
So, it is inapplicable where plaintiff has knowledge and testifies or presents
evidence as to the specific act of negligence which is the cause of the injury,
or where theres direct evidence as to the precise cause of the accident and
all the facts and circumstances attendant on the occurrence clearly appear.
And once the actual cause of injury is established beyond controversy, no
presumptions will be involved and the doctrine becomes inapplicable when
the circumstances show that no inference of defendant's liability can
reasonably be made, whatever the source of the evidence. In this case, it is
inapplicable because it was established by clear and convincing evidence the
negligence of the defendant driver.
(Note: The discussion in this case of res ipsa loquitur is merely stated in the
obiter dictum.)

Ramos vs. CA
321 SCRA 584 (December 29, 1999)

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Facts: Erlinda Ramos was a robust woman except for occasional complaints
of discomfort due to pains caused by the presence of a stone in her gall
bladder. She was advised to undergo an operation for the removal of the
stone in her gall bladder. She underwent a series of examinations which
included blood and urine tests which indicated she was fit for surgery.
She and her husband, Rogelio, met Dr. Hozaka, one of the
defendants in this case, for the first time. They agreed on the date of the
operation and the doctor decided that she undergo a cholecystectomy
operation. Erlinda was admitted in the hospital and was accompanied by her
sister-in-law, Herminda Cruz. At the operating room, Cruz saw about two or
three nurses and Dr. Perfecta Gutierrez, the other defendant, who was to
administer the anesthesia. Although not a member of the hospital staff,
Herminda Cruz introduced herself as the Dean of the College of Nursing at
the Capitol Medical Center and was allowed to stay inside the operating
room.
Hours later, Cruz, who was inside the operating room with the patient, heard
somebody say Dr. Hosaka is already here. As she held the hand of Erlinda,
she then saw Dr. Gutierrez intubating the hapless patient. She thereafter
heard Dr. Gutierrez say, ang hirap maintubate nito, mali yata ang
pagkakapasok. O lumalaki ang tiyan. Due to the remarks of Dr. Gutierrez,
she focused her attention on what Dr. Gutierrez was doing. She noticed a
bluish discoloration of the nailbeds of the left hand of Erlinda. Cruz then
heard Dr. Hosaka issue an order for someone to call Dr. Calderon, another
anesthesiologist. After Dr. Calderon arrived in the operating room, Cruz saw
him trying to intubate Erlinda. Erlindas nailbed became bluish and the
patient was placed in a trendelenburg position. Immediately, thereafter, Cruz
went out of the operating room, and told Erlindas husband (her brother)
that something wrong was happening. Cruz immediately rushed back, and
saw Erlinda was still in trendelenburg position. On that fateful day, she saw
Erlinda taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Erlinda stayed for about four
months in the hospital and has been in a comatose condition.
When asked by the hospital to explain what happened to the
patient, Doctors Gutierrez and Hosaka explained that the patient had
bronchospasm. After being discharged from the hospital, she has been
staying in their residence, still needing constant medical attention, with her

38

husband Rogelio incurring monthly expenses. She was diagnosed to be


suffering from diffuse cerebral parenchymal damage.
The Ramoses filed a civil case for damages against the private
respondents alleging negligence in the management and care of Erlinda
Ramos.
ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable. (2)
Whether or not private respondents were negligent in the care of Erlinda
during the anesthesia phase of the operation and, if in the affirmative,
whether the alleged negligence was the proximate cause of Erlindas
comatose condition. (3) Is the hospital liable?
Held: YES. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is appropriate in the case at bar.
As will hereinafter be explained, the damage sustained by Erlinda in her brain
prior to a scheduled gall bladder operation presents a case for the
application of the doctrine.
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 injury
occurs to a patient while under anesthesia, or to any and all anesthesia
cases. Each case must be viewed in its own light and scrutinized in order to
be within the res ipsa loquitur coverage.
Res ipsa loquitur is a Latin phrase which literally means the thing or
the transaction speaks for itself. The phrase res ipsa loquitur is a maxim
for the rule that the fact of the occurrence of an injury, taken with the
surrounding circumstances, may permit an inference or raise a presumption
of negligence, or make out a plaintiffs prima facie case, and present a
question of fact for defendant to meet with an explanation.
However, res ipsa loquitur is not a rule of substantive law and, as
such, does not create or constitute an independent or separate ground of
liability. Instead, it is considered as merely evidentiary or in the nature of a
procedural rule. Mere invocation and application of the doctrine does not
dispense with the requirement of proof of negligence. It is simply a step in
the process of such proof. Still, before resort to the doctrine may be allowed,
the following requisites must be satisfactorily shown: 1.The accident is of a
kind which ordinarily does not occur in the absence of someones negligence;

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2. It is caused by an instrumentality within the exclusive control of the


defendant or defendants; and 3. The possibility of contributing conduct
which would make the plaintiff responsible is eliminated.
In the above requisites, the fundamental element is the control of the
instrumentality which caused the damage. Such element of control must be
shown to be within the dominion of the defendant.
But it does not automatically apply to all cases of medical negligence as to
mechanically shift the burden of proof to the defendant to show that he is
not guilty of the ascribed negligence. The real question, therefore, is whether
or not in the process of the operation any extraordinary incident or unusual
event outside of the routine performance occurred. If there were such
extraneous interventions, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur may be utilized
and the defendant is called upon to explain the matter, by evidence of
exculpation, if he could.
(2) YES. Private respondents were unable to disprove the presumption of
negligence on their part. Their negligence was the proximate cause of her
condition. Dr. Gutierrez failed to properly intubate the patient. She admitted
that she saw Erlinda for the first time on the day of the operation. And no
prior consultations with, or pre-operative evaluation of Erlinda was done by
her. She was unaware of the physiological make-up and needs of Erlinda.
This is an act of exceptional negligence and professional irresponsibility.
Private respondents repeatedly hammered the view that the
cerebral anoxia which led to Erlindas coma was due to bronchospasm
mediated by her allergic response to a drug introduced into her system.
Proximate cause has been defined as that which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces injury, and
without which the result would not have occurred.
Respondent Dr. Hosakas negligence can be found in his failure to
exercise the proper authority (as the captain of the operative team) in not
determining, if his anesthesiologist observed proper anesthesia protocols. No
evidence on record exists to show that Dr. Hosaka verified if respondent Dr.
Gutierrez properly intubated the patient. Furthermore, it does not escape us
that respondent Dr. Hosaka had scheduled another procedure in a different
hospital at the same time as Erlindas cholecystectomy, and was in fact over

39

three hours late for the latters operation. Because of this, he had little or no
time to confer with his anesthesiologist regarding the anesthesia delivery.
(3) We now discuss the responsibility of the hospital. The unique practice
(among private hospitals) of filling up specialist staff with attending and
visiting consultants, who are allegedly not hospital employees, presents
problems in apportioning responsibility for negligence in medical malpractice
cases. The truth is, Private hospitals, hire, fire and exercise real control over
their attending and visiting consultant staff. While consultants are not,
technically employees, a point which respondent hospital asserts in denying
all responsibility for the patients condition, the control exercised, the hiring,
and the right to terminate consultants all fulfill the important hallmarks of an
employer-employee relationship, with the exception of the payment of
wages.
The basis for holding an employer solidarily responsible for the
negligence of its employee is found in Article 2180 of the Civil Code which
considers a person accountable not only for his own acts but also for those of
others based on the formers responsibility under a relationship 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 family 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
responsibility over respondent physicians, failed to adduce evidence showing
that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the hiring and
supervision of the latter. Upon these disquisitions we hold that private
respondents are solidarily liable for damages under Article 2176 of the Civil
Code.

Batiquin vs. CA
258 SCRA 334 (July 5, 1996)

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Facts: Mrs. Villegas consulted Dr. Batiquin for prenatal care. Dr. Batiquin,
along with other physicians and nurses, performed a caesarian operation on
Mrs. Villegas and successfully delivered the latters baby. After leaving the
hospital, Mrs. Villegas began to suffer abdominal pains and complained of
being feverish. She also gradually lost appetite, so she consulted Dr. Batiquin
at the latter's polyclinic who prescribed certain medicines for her. However,
the pains still kept recurring. She then consulted Dr. Ma. Salud Kho. After
examining her, Dr. Kho suggested that Mrs. Villegas submit to another
surgery.
When Dr. Kho opened the abdomen of Mrs. Villegas she found whitishyellow discharge inside, an ovarian cyst on each of the left and right ovaries
which gave out pus, dirt and pus behind the uterus, and a piece of rubber
which appeared to be a part of a rubber glove. This was the cause of the
infection of the ovaries the discomfort suffered by Mrs. Villegas.
The piece of rubber allegedly found was not presented in court.
There were also doubts as to the whereabouts of the piece of rubber, as 2
versions arose from Dr. Khos testimony: 1) that he sent it to a Pathologist in
Cebu and (2) he threw it away. But aside from Dr. Kho's testimony, the
Medical Certificate, the Progress Record, the Anesthesia Record, the Nurse's
Record, an the Physician's Discharge Summary mentioned the piece of
rubber. The trial court, however, regarded these documentary evidence as
mere hearsay, since those who prepared them did not testify in court.
The trial court ruled in favor of the defendants. The CA reversed the decision.
Issues: Whether or not Dr. Batiquin could be held liable under the doctrine of
res ipsa loquitur.
Held: While Dr. Batiquin claims that contradictions and falsities punctured
Dr. Kho's testimony, a reading of said testimony reveals no such infirmity and
establishes Dr. Kho as a credible witness. Dr. Batiquin failed to impute any
motive for Dr. Kho to state any untruth, leaving her trustworthiness
unimpaired.
Considering that we have assessed Dr. Kho to be a credible witness,
the rule of res ipsa loquitur comes to fore. In the instant case, all the

40

requisites for recourse to the doctrine are present. First, the entire
proceedings of the cesarean section were under the exclusive control of Dr.
Batiquin. In this light, the Dr. Batiquin were bereft of direct evidence as to
the actual culprit or the exact cause of the foreign object finding its way into
private respondent Villegas' body, which, needless to say, does not occur
unless through the intervention of negligence. Second, since aside from the
cesarean section, Villegas underwent no other operation which could have
caused the offending piece of rubber to appear in her uterus, it stands to
reason that such could only have been a byproduct of the cesarean section
performed by Dr. Batiquin. Dr. Batiquin failed to overcome the presumption
of negligence arising from resort to the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Dr.
Batiquin is therefore liable for negligently leaving behind a piece of rubber in
private respondent Villegas' abdomen and for all the adverse effects thereof.

D.M. Consunji vs. CA


357 SCRA 249 (April 20, 2001)
Facts: Jose Juego, a construction worker of D. M. Consunji, Inc., fell 14 floors
from the Renaissance Tower, Pasig City to his death. Investigation disclosed
that while victim Jose A. Juego together with Jessie Jaluag and Delso Destajo
were performing their work on board a steel platform with plywood flooring
and cable wires attached to its four corners and hooked at the 5 ton chain
block, when suddenly, the bolt or pin which was merely inserted to connect
the chain block with the platform came loose causing the whole platform
assembly and the victim to fall down to the basement of the elevator core of
the building under construction, save his 2 companions who luckily jumped
out for safety.
Jose Juegos widow, Maria, filed with the RTC a complaint for
damages against D.M. Consunji, Inc. The employer raised, among other
defenses, the widows prior availment of the benefits from the State
Insurance Fund. The RTC rendered a decision in favor of the widow. On
appeal by D. M. Consunji, the CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto.
Issue: Whether or not the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is applicable to prove
D.M. Consunjis negligence.

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Held: YES. As a rule of evidence, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur is peculiar to
the law of negligence which recognizes that prima facie negligence may be
established without direct proof and furnishes a substitute for specific proof
of negligence. It is based in part upon the theory that the defendant in
charge of the instrumentality which causes the injury either knows the cause
of the accident or has the best opportunity of ascertaining it and that the
plaintiff has no such knowledge, and therefore is compelled to allege
negligence in general terms and to rely upon the proof of the happening of
the accident in order to establish negligence. Res ipsa loquitur is a rule of
necessity and it applies where evidence is absent or not readily available,
provided the following requisites are present: (1) the accident was of a kind
which does not ordinarily occur unless someone is negligent; (2) the
instrumentality or agency which caused the injury was under the exclusive
control of the person charged with negligence; and (3) the injury suffered
must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part
of the person injured.
No worker is going to fall from the 14th floor of a building to the
basement while performing work in a construction site unless someone is
negligent; thus, the first requisite is present. As explained earlier, the
construction site with all its paraphernalia and human resources that likely
caused the injury is under the exclusive control and management of
appellant; thus, the second requisite is also present. No contributory
negligence was attributed to the appellees deceased husband; thus, the last
requisite is also present. A reasonable presumption or inference of
appellants negligence arises. Regrettably, petitioner does not cite any
evidence to rebut the inference or presumption of negligence arising from
the application of res ipsa loquitur, or to establish any defense relating to the
incident.

Defenses (Plaintiffs negligence)


Manila Electric Co. vs Remonquillo
99 PHIL 117 (May 18, 1956)

41

Facts: Efren Magno went to the house of Antonio Pealoza, his stepbrother,
to repair a leaking media agua. The media agua was just below the
window of the third floor of his stepbrothers house. Standing on said media
agua, Magno received from his son thru the window a galvanized iron sheet
to cover the leaking portion. The lower end of the iron sheet came into
contact with the electric wire of Manila Electric Company parallel to the
media agua, causing his death by electrocution.
Magnos widow and children filed suit to recover damages from the
company. Trial court rendered judgment in their favor. Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision.
The electric wire in question was an exposed, uninsulated primary
wire stretched between poles on the street and carrying a charge of 3600
volts. It was installed there some two years ago before Pealozas house was
constructed. During the construction of said house a similar incident took
place, with less tragic consequences. The owner of the house complained to
the defendant about the danger which the wire presented, and defendant
moved one end of the wire farther from the house by means of a brace, but
left the other end where it was. Regulations of the City required that all
wires be kept three feet from the building.There was no insulation that
could have rendered it safe, because there is no insulation material in
commercial use for such kind of wire (according to appellant, and this was
not refuted).
ISSUE: Whether or not Manila Electric is guilty of negligence.
HELD: NO. It was the victim who was guilty of negligence. The liability of
electric companies for damages or personal injury is governed by the rules of
negligence. Nevertheless such companies are not insurers of the safety of the
public.
The death of Magno was primarily caused by his own negligence,
and in some measure by the too close proximity of the media agua to the
electric wire of the company by reason of the violation of the original permit
given by the city and the subsequent approval of said illegal construction of
the media agua.

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The company cannot be expected to be always on the lookout for


any illegal construction which reduces the distance between its wires and
said construction, and to change the installation of its wires so as to preserve
said distance.
The violation of the permit for the construction was not the direct cause of
the accident. It merely contributed 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 he was qualified to do so. He
had training and experience for the job. He could not have been entirely a
stranger to electric wires and the danger lurking in them.

Bernardo vs. Legaspi


29 Phil 12 (December 23, 1914)
Facts: Due to a collision between the respective automobiles of Bernardo
and Legaspi, the former filed an action to recover damages for injuries
sustained by his car. Legaspi, on the other hand, filed a cross-complaint
alleging it was Bernardo's fault. He also asks for damages. The lower court
found upon that both the plaintiff and the defendant were negligent in
handling their automobiles and that said negligence was of such a character
and extent on the part of both as to prevent either from recovering.
ISSUE Whether or not the parties may recover damages
HELD: NO. Where two automobiles, going in opposite directions, collide on
turning a street corner, and it appears from the evidence and is found by the
trial court that the drivers thereof were equally negligent and contributed
equally to the principal occurrence as determining causes thereof, neither
can recover of the other for damages suffered.

Bernal vs. House

42

street. Purificacion was allowed to get a short distance in advance of her


mother and her friends.
While in front of the offices of the Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd.,
an automobile appeared which frightened the child. She turned to run, but
fell into the street gutter. At that time there was hot water running in the
gutter coming from the Electric Ice Plant of J.V. House. When the mother and
her companions reached the child, they found her face downward in the hot
water. The girl was taken to the provincial hospital. Despite his efforts, the
child died that same night. It was certified that the cause of death was
"Burns, 3rd Degree, whole Body", and that the contributory causes were
"Congestion of the Brain and visceras of the chest & abdomen.
The defense was that the hot water was permitted to flow down the
side of the street with the knowledge and consent of the authorities and that
the cause of death was other than the hot water; and that in the death the
plaintiffs contributed by their own fault and negligence. The trial judge
dismissed the action because of the contributory negligence of the plaintiffs.
Issue: Whether or not the action should be dismissed due to the contributory
negligence of the plaintiffs
Held: NO. The death of the child was the result of fault and negligence in
permitting hot water to flow through the public streets, endangering the
lives of passers-by who were unfortunately enough to fall into it. The mother
and her child had a perfect right to be on the street on the evening when the
religious procession was held. There was nothing abnormal 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 frightened child
running and falling into a ditch filled with hot water. . The contributory
negligence of the child and her mother, if any, does result not operate as a
bar to recovery, but in its strictest sense could only in reduction of the
damages.

54 PHIL 327 (January 30, 1930)

PLDT vs. CA
Facts: Fortunata Enverso with her daughter, Purificacion Bernal went to
Tacloban, Leyte to attend the procession on Holy Friday. After the
procession, accompanied by two other persons, they passed along a public

G.R. No. 57079 (September 29, 1989)

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FACTS: The jeep of Spouses Esteban ran over a mound of earth and fell into
an open trench, an excavation allegedly undertaken by PLDT for the
installation of its underground conduit system. The Spouses Estebans
complaint alleged that Antonio Esteban failed to notice the open trench
which was left uncovered because of the creeping darkness and the lack of
any warning light or signs. Gloria Esteban allegedly sustained injuries on her
arms, legs and face, leaving a permanent scar on her cheek, while the
respondent husband suffered cut lips. The windshield of the jeep was also
shattered.
PLDT, in its answer, denies liability on the contention that the
injuries sustained by Spouses Esteban 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 contractor which undertook the
said construction work. The trial court ruled in favor of Esteban spouses
whereas the CA reversed the ruling.
Issue: Whether or not the Estebans can claim damages from PLDT.
Held: NO. A person claiming damages for the negligence of another has the
burden of proving the existence of such fault or negligence causative thereof.
The facts constitutive of negligence must be affirmatively established by
competent evidence.
The accident was due to the lack of diligence of Antonio Esteban
and was not imputable to the negligent omission on the part of petitioner
PLDT. The jeep was running along the inside lane of Lacson Street. If it had
remained on that inside lane, it would not have hit the accident mound. That
plaintiffs jeep was on the inside lane before it swerved to hit the accident
mound could have been corroborated by a picture showing Lacson Street to
the south of the accident mound. Plaintiffs jeep was not running at 25
kilometers an hour as plaintiff husband claimed. At that speed, he could have
stepped on the brakes the moment it struck the accident mound.

43

Defenses (Contributory Negligence)


Genobiagon vs. Court of Appeals
178 SCRA 422 (September 22, 1957)
Facts: Genobiagon was driving a rig along T. Padilla St. in Cebu City. The
petitioner's vehicle was going so fast not only because of the steep downgrade of the road, but also because he was trying to overtake the rig ahead
of him.
As an old woman was crossing the street, Genobiagons rig bumped
her and caused her to fall in the middle of the road. Vicente Mangyao saw
the incident and shouted at Genobiagon but the latter refused to stop.
Genobiagon reasoned out that he did not bump the old woman and that it
was the old woman who bumped him. The old woman was brought to the
hospital but she died 3 days after. Petitioner was charged and convicted with
the crime of homicide thru reckless imprudence. CA affirmed the decision
but increased the civil liability from 6,000 to 12,000. Hence, this petition.
Issues: (1) Whether or not the court erred in the affirmation of conviction
(2) Whether or not the court unjustly increased the civil liability
Held: (1) No. The alleged contributory negligence of the victim, if any, does
not exonerate the accused. The defense of contributory negligence does not
apply in criminal cases committed through reckless imprudence, since one
cannot allege the negligence of another to evade the effects of his own
negligence.
(2) No. The prevailing jurisprudence in fact provides that indemnity
for death in homicide or murder is 30,000 (at present 50,000, this case was
decided in 1989).

The above findings clearly show that the negligence of Antonio


Esteban was not only 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 thereby precludes their right to recover damages.
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44

Rakes vs. Atlantic


G.R. No. 1719 (1907)
Facts: The plaintiff Rakes, one of a gang of eight negro laborers in the
employment of the defendant, was at work transporting iron rails from a
barge in the harbor to the company's yard near the malecon in Manila.
Plaintiff claims that but one hand car was used in this work. The defendant
Atlantic, has proved that there were two immediately following one another,
upon which were piled lengthwise seven rails, each weighing 560 pounds, so
that the ends of the rails lay upon two crosspieces or sills secured to the cars,
but without side pieces or guards to prevent them from slipping off.
According to the testimony of the plaintiff, the men were either in the rear of
the car or at its sides. According to that defendant, some of them were also
in front, hauling by a rope. At a certain spot at or near the water's edge the
track sagged, the tie broke, the car either canted or upset, the rails slid off
and caught the plaintiff, breaking his leg, which was afterwards amputated at
about the knee.
In order to charge the defendant with negligence, it was necessary
to show a breach of duty on its part in failing either to properly secure the
load on iron to vehicles transporting it, or to skillfully build the tramway or to
maintain it in proper condition, or to vigilantly inspect and repair the
roadway as soon as the depression in it became visible. It is upon the failure
of the defendant to repair the weakened track, after notice of its condition,
that the judge below based his judgment.
In respect of the second charge of negligence against the plaintiff,
the judgment below is not so specific. While the judge remarks that the
evidence does not justify the finding that the car was pulled by means of a
rope attached to the front end or to the rails upon it, and further that the
circumstances in evidence make it clear that the persons necessary to
operate the car could not walk upon the plank between the rails and that,
therefore, it was necessary for the employees moving it to get hold upon it as
best they could, there is no specific finding upon the instruction given by the
defendant to its employees to walk only upon the planks, nor upon the
necessity of the plaintiff putting himself upon the ties at the side in order to
get hold upon the car.

Issue: Whether or not there was contributory negligence on the part of


Rakes.
Held: While the plaintiff and his witnesses swear that not only were they not
forbidden to proceed in this way, but were expressly directed by the foreman
to do so, both the officers of the company and three of the workmen testify
that there was a general prohibition frequently made known to all the gang
against walking by the side of the car, and the foreman swears that he
repeated the prohibition before the starting of this particular load. On this
contradiction of proof we think that the preponderance is in favor of the
defendant's contention to the extent of the general order being made known
to the workmen. If so, the disobedience of the plaintiff in placing himself in
danger contributed in some degree to the injury as a proximate, although not
as its primary cause.
Difficulty seems to be apprehended in deciding which acts of the
injured party shall be considered immediate 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, independent of it, but contributing
under review was the displacement of the crosspiece or the failure to replace
it. this produced the event giving occasion for damages that is, the
shinking of the track and the sliding of the iron rails. To this event, the act of
the plaintiff in walking by the side of the car did not contribute, although it
was an element of the damage which came to himself. Had the 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 accident,
for which he would have been responsible. Where he contributes to the
principal occurrence, as one of its determining factors, he cannot recover.
Where, in conjunction with the occurrence, he contributes only to his own
injury, he may 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.

Philippine Bank of Commerce v CA (Lipana)


269 SCRA 695 (March 14, 1997)

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Facts: Rommel's Marketing Corporation (RMC) maintained two separate


current accounts with the Pasig Branch of PBCom in connection with its
business of selling appliances. From May 5, 1975 to July 16, 1976, Romeo
Lipana, RMCs GM, claims to have entrusted RMC funds in the form of cash
totaling P304,979.74 to his secretary, Irene Yabut, for the purpose of
depositing said funds to RMCs account with PBCom. It turned out, that these
deposits were not credited to RMC's account but were instead deposited to
the PBCom account of Yabut's husband, Bienvenido Cotas.

45

human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a prudent and
reasonable man would do.
Picart v. Smith, provides the test by which to determine the
existence of negligence in a particular case which may be stated as follows:
Did the defendant 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.

Irene Yabut would accomplish two copies of the deposit slip, an


original and a duplicate. The original showed the name of her husband as
depositor and his current account number. On the duplicate copy was
written the account number of her husband but the name of the account
holder was left blank. PBC's teller, Azucena Mabayad, would validate and
stamp both the original and the duplicate of these deposit slips retaining only
the original copy despite the lack of information on the duplicate slip. The
second copy was kept by Irene Yabut allegedly for record purposes. After
validation, Yabut would then fill up the name of RMC in the space left blank
in the duplicate copy and change the account number written thereon and
make it appear to be RMC's account number. She made her company
believe that the amounts she deposited were being credited to its account
when, in fact, they were being deposited in the account of her husband.

Applying the above test, it appears that the bank's teller, Ms.
Azucena Mabayad, was negligent in validating, officially stamping and signing
all the deposit slips prepared and presented by Ms. Yabut, despite the glaring
fact that the duplicate copy was not completely accomplished contrary to the
self-imposed procedure of the bank with respect to the proper validation of
deposit slips, original or duplicate, as testified to by Ms. Mabayad herself.
Negligence here lies not only on the part of Ms. Mabayad but also on the
part of the bank itself in its lackadaisical selection and supervision of Ms.
Mabayad. This was exemplified in the testimony of Mr. Romeo Bonifacio,
then Manager of the Pasig Branch of the petitioner bank and now its VicePresident, to the effect that, while he ordered the investigation of the
incident, he never came to know that blank deposit slips were validated in
total disregard of the bank's validation procedures.

During the entire period, PBCom had been regularly furnishing RMC
with monthly statements showing its current account balances.
Unfortunately, it was never the practice of Romeo Lipana to check these
monthly statements reposing complete trust and confidence to PBCom and
to his secretary. Upon discovery of the loss of its funds, RMC demanded from
petitioner bank the return of its money.

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
respondent, and not the latter's act of entrusting cash to a dishonest
employee, as insisted by the petitioners

Issue: Whether or not there was contributory negligence on the part of RMC.
Held: In the case at bench, there is no dispute as to the damage suffered by
the private respondent (plaintiff 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 other as the culprit.
Negligence is the omission to do something which a reasonable
man, guided by those considerations which ordinarily regulate the conduct of

Defenses (Fortuitous Event)


Juntilla vs. Fontanar
136 SCRA 624 (May 31, 1985)
Facts: Juntilla was a passenger of a public utility jeepney, being driven by
Defendant Berfol Camoro, enroute from Danao to Cebu City. The jeepney

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had fourteen (14) passengers in the back and three (3) at the front, one of
whom was Juntilla. Upon reaching Mandaue City, the right rear tire of the
jeepney exploded causing the vehicle to fall into a ditch and turn turtle. As
consequence, Juntilla was thrown out of the jeepney and sustained
lacerations to his right palm and suffered other injuries. Juntilla, still shocked,
went back to Danao City for medical help but on his way discovered that his
watch is missing.
Juntilla then filed a case for breach of contract of carriage with
damages before the City Court of Cebu, which found the respondents (the
driver, the franchise operator and owner) liable for the accident ordering the
latter to pay damages, including the value of watch lost by petitioner during
the incident. Upon appeal, the CFI, relying on a case decided by the Court of
4
Appeals (Rodriguez case), exonerated respondents on grounds that the
blowing of tire is a fortuitous event, and therefore beyond the control of the
latter.
Issues: (1) Whether or not the blowing of the tire a fortuitous event (2)
Whether or not the respondents should be held liable for breach of contract
of carriage.
Held: No. A fortuitous event has the following essential characteristics:
(a) The cause of the unforeseen or unexpected occurrence, or the
failure of the obligor to comply with his obligation must be
independent of human will.
(b) The event must be impossible to foresee 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
obligor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner.
(d) The obligor must be free from any participation in the aggravation if
the injury resulting to the oblige
The Supreme Court held that the cause of the incident was NOT
independent from human will. The accident was caused EITHER by the
negligence of the driver or because of the mechanical defects in the tire.

46

Common carriers should teach their drivers not to overload their


vehicles, not to exceed the speed limits and to know the correct measures to
take when a tire blows up, thus ensuring the safety of the passengers at all
times. In the instant case, the Supreme Court found that the jeep was
overloaded with passengers (17, excluding the driver), and was speeding. The
Court made the observation that a jeepney at a regular and safe speed would
not have jump into a ditch when the right rear tire blows up.
Neither can the driver and operator point liability to the manufacturer of
the tire. The Supreme Court, citing Necesito et. al. vs. Paras, held that:
xxx [A] passenger is entitled to recover damages from a carrier for
an injury resulting from a defect in appliance (tire) purchased from a
manufacturer, whenever it appears that the defect would have
been discovered by the carrier if it had exercised the degree of
carewith regard to the inspection and application of the necessary
tests*T+he manufacturer is considered the agent or servant of
the carrier as regards the work of the appliance (tire) xxx
Such rationale is based on the fact that the passenger has neither choice nor
control over the carriers selection of the tire. Having no privity with the
manufacturer or vendor of the tire, the passenger has no remedy against the
former, on the other hand, the carrier has. The sudden blowing up of the tire
may have been caused by too much air pressure. The Source of the common
carriers legal liability is the contract of carriage. The carrier binds itself to
carry the passengers safely as human care and foresight can provide, using
the utmost diligence of a very cautious person, with due regard for all
circumstances.

Hernandez vs. Commission on Audit


179 SCRA 39 (November 6, 1989)
Facts: At the time of the incident in question, Teodoro M. Hernandez was the
officer-in-charge and special disbursing officer of the Ternate Beach Project
of the Philippine Tourism Authority in Cavite. As such, he went to the main
office of the Authority in Manila on July 1, 1983 to encash two checks
covering the wages of the employees and the operating expenses of the
Project. He estimated that the money would be available by 10:00AM and

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that he would be back in Ternate by about 2:00PM. For some reason, the
processing of the checks was delayed and was completed only at 3:00PM.
Despite realizing that he would not reach ternate in time to distribute the
salary of the workers, Hernandez nevertheless decided to encash them. He
thought he had to do this for the benefit of the laborers, otherwise they
would have to wait until the following Tuesday, when the main office would
reopen. And so, on the same afternoon he collected the cash value of the
checks and left the main office a substantial amount of money.
Hernandez realized that had two choices, to (1) return to Ternate,
Cavite, the same afternoon and arrive there in the early evening; or (2) take
the money to his house in Marilao, Bulacan, spend the night there, and leave
for Ternate the following morning. He opted for the second, thinking it the
safer one. And so, he took a passenger jeep bound for his house in Bulacan.
While the vehicle was along EDSA, two persons boarded with knives
in hand. One pointed his weapon at the Hernandez side while the other slit
his pocket and forcibly took the money he was carrying. The two then
jumped out of the jeep and ran. Hernandez, after the initial shock,
immediately followed in desperate pursuit. He caught up with Virgilio Alvarez
and overcame him after a scuffle. Hernandez sustained injuries in the lip
arms and knees. Alvarez was subsequently charged with robbery and
pleaded guilty, but the robber who had the money escaped.
On July 5, 1983, Hernandez filed a request for relief from money
accountability under Section 638 of the Revised Administrative Code.
Deespite favorable endorsement by Philippine Tourism Authority and the
NCR Regional Director of the Commission on Audit, the Commission on
Audit, through then Chairman Francisco S. Tantuico, jr. denied the
Hernandez request. According to Tantuico, the loss of the P10,175.00 under
the accountability of Mr. Hernandez can be attributed to his negligence
because had he brought the cash proceeds of the checks (replenishment
fund) to the Beach Park in Ternate, Cavite, immediately after encashment for
safekeeping in his office, which is the normal procedure in the handling of
public funds.
Issue: Whether or not the COA acted with grave abuse of discretion in
holding Hernandez negligent.

47

Held: Section 638 of the Revised Administrative Code reads as follows:


Section 638. Credit for loss occurring in transit or due to casualty. Notice to
Auditor. When a loss of government funds or property occurs while the
same is in transit or is caused by fire, theft, or other casualty, the officer
accountable therefor or having custody thereof shall immediately notify the
Auditor General, or the provincial auditor, according as a matter is within
the original jurisdiction of the one or the other, and within thirty days or
such longer period as the Auditor, or provincial auditor, may in the
particular case allow, shall present his application for relief, with the
available evidence in support thereof. An officer who fails to comply with
this requirement shall not be relieved of liability or allowed credit for any
such loss in the settlement of his accounts.

Applying the letter and spirit of the above-mentioned laws, and after
considering the established facts in the light of the arguments of the parties,
this Court inclines in favor of the petitioner.
It is pointless to argue that Hernandez should have encashed the vouchers
earlier because they were dated anyway on June 29, 1983. He was not
obliged to encash the checks earlier and then again there might have been
any number of reasons why he did so only on July 1, 1983. The point is that
he did encash the checks on that date and took the money to Marilao and
not Ternate in view of the lateness of the hour. The question before us is
whether these acts are so tainted with negligence or recklessness as to justify
the denial of the petitioner's request for relief from accountability for the
stolen money.
It seems to us that the petitioner was moved only by the best of motives
when he encashed the checks on July 1, 1983, so his co-employees in Ternate
could collect their salaries and wages the following day. Significantly,
although this was a non-working day, he was intending to make the trip to
his office the following day for the unselfish purpose of accommodating his
fellow workers. The other alternative was to encash the check is on July 5,
1983, the next working day after July 1, 1983, which would have meant a 5day wait for the payment of the said salaries and wages. Being a modest
employee himself, Hernandoz must have realized the great discomfort it
would cause the laborer who were dependent on their wages for their

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sustenance and were anxious to collect their pay as soon as possible. For
such an attitude, Hernandez should be commended rather than faulted.
As for Hernandez's choice between Marilao, Bulacan, and Ternate, Cavite,
one could easily agree that the former was the safer destination, being
nearer, and in view of the comparative hazards in the trips to the two places.
It is true that the petitioner miscalculated, but the Court feels he should not
be blamed for that. The decision he made seemed logical at that time and
was one that could be expected of a reasonable and prudent person. And if,
as it happened, the two robbers attacked him in broad daylight in the jeep
while it was on a busy highway, and in the presence of other passengers, it
cannot be said that all this was the result of his imprudence and negligence.
This was undoubtedly a fortuitous event covered by the said provisions,
something that could not have been reasonably foreseen although it could
have happened, and did.

48

damages, actual damages, attorney's fees, plus the cost of the suit. The CA
affirmed the decision.
Issue: Whether or not the collapse of the ceiling was due to an act of God or
Force Majeure?
Held: No. The collapse of the ceiling was not due to Force Majeur. Mr. Jesus
Lim Ong, admitted that "he could not give any reason why the ceiling
collapsed." Having interposed it as a defense, it had the burden to prove that
the collapse was indeed caused by force majeure. It could not have collapsed
without a cause. The fact that Mr. Ong could not offer any explanation does
not imply force majeure.

Facts: Gloria E. Chatto and her 15-year old daughter, Lina, went to see the
movie "Mother Dear" at Superama I theater, owned by defendant Gotesco
Investment Corporation. They bought balcony tickets but even then were
unable to find seats. Hardly ten (10) minutes after entering the theater, the
ceiling of its balcony collapsed. The theater was plunged into darkness and
pandemonium ensued. Shocked and hurt, the mother and daughter
managed to crawl under the fallen ceiling. As soon as they were able to get
out to the street they walked the nearby FEU Hospital where they were
confined and treated for one (1) day.

Petitioner could have easily discovered the cause of the collapse if


indeed it were due to force majeure. To Our mind, 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, as the respondent Court impliedly
held, incompetent. He is not an engineer, but an architect who had not even
passed the government's examination. Verily, post-incident investigation
cannot be considered as material to the present proceedings. What is
significant is the finding of the trial court, affirmed by the respondent Court
that the collapse was due to construction defects. There was no evidence
offered to overturn this finding. The building was constructed barely four (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 at the
time of the collapse of the ceiling. Such defects could have been easily
discovered if only petitioner exercised due diligence and care in keeping and
maintaining the premises. But as disclosed by the testimony of Mr. Ong,
there was no adequate inspection of the premises before the date of the
accident. The fact that structural designs and plans of the building were duly
approved by the City Engineer and that building permits and certificate of
occupancy were issued, do not at all prove that there were no defects in the
construction, especially as regards the ceiling, considering that no testimony
was offered to prove that it was ever inspected at all.

Chatto filed a complaint for damages against Gotesco. Defendant tried to


avoid liability by alleging that the collapse of the ceiling of its theater was due
to force majeure. The trial court ordered Gotesco to pay the plaintiffs moral

Besides, even assuming for the sake of argument that, as petitioner


vigorously insists, the cause of the collapse was due to force majeure,
petitioner would still be liable because it was guilty of negligence, which the

We find, in sum, that under the circumstances as above narrated, the


petitioner is entitled to be relieved from accountability for the money
forcibly taken from him in the afternoon of July 1, 1983. To impose such
liability upon him would be to read the law too sternly when it should be
softened by the proven facts.

Gotesco vs. Chatto and Lina Delza Chatto


210 SCRA 18 (June 16, 1992)

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trial court denominated as gross. As gleaned from Bouvier's definition of and


Cockburn's elucidation on force majeure for one to be exempt from any
liability because of it, he must have exercised care, i.e., he should not have
been guilty of negligence.

Servando vs. Philippine Steam Navigation Co


117 SCRA 832
Facts: Clara Uy Bico and Amparo Servando loaded on board a vessel
owned by Philippine Steam Navigation cargoes consisting of 1,528 cavans of
rice and 44 cartons of colored paper for carriage from Manila to Pulupandan,
Negros Occidental. Bills of lading were issued by Philippine Navigation. The
cargoes were discharged in Negros Occidental Bureau of Customs
Warehouse as complete and in good order.
At about 2:00 PM of the same day, the Customs warehouse was
razed by a fire of unknown origin, destroying the cargoes. The claims for the
value of said goods were rejected by Philippine Steam, herein respondent.
Lower Court ordered Philippine Steam to pay Servando damages, including
legal interest from filing of the case. They also awarded damages to Uy Bico
the sum for the portion of the cargo which was not recovered by her. The
legal basis of the lower court for its decision if Article 1736:

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independent of the human will; 2. it must be impossible to foresee the event


which constitutes the 'caso fortuito', or if it can be foreseen, it must be
impossible to avoid; 3. the occurrence must be such as to render it
impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a normal manner.4. the
obligor must be free from any participation in the aggravation of the injury
resulting to the creditor. When the proximate cause of loss is a fortuitous
event or force majeure, the obligor is exempt from liability. This is provided
for by Article 1174 of the Civil Code.
Article 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the law, or when it is
otherwise declared by stipulation, or when the nature of the obligation
requires the assumption of risk, no person shall be responsible for those
events which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were
inevitable.

It should also be pointed out that in the Bill of Lading (BOL) existing
on the cargoes, the responsibility of the carrier has been limited as provided
by Clause 14.:
Not unless the loss or damage is caused by the negligence of the
carrier, the common carrier shall not be liable for such caused by
force majeures, accidents of sea, war and public enemies.
This is a mere reiteration of Article 1174.

Common carriers have the duty to observe extraordinary diligence from the
moment the goods are unconditionally placed in their possession until the
same are delivered, actually or constructively, by the carrier to the
consignee or to the person who has a right to receive them, without
prejudice to the provisions of Article 1738

It held that the delivery to the Bureau of Customs is not the constructive
delivery as contemplated in Article 1736, thus the common carrier continues
to be responsible.
Issue: Whether or not FIRE is a fortuitous event, absolving Respondents of
any liability?
Held: Yes. The burning of the warehouse was an extraordinary event
independent of the will of the respondents. The following characteristics of
caso fortuito are present. 1. the cause of the unforeseen event must be

Furthermore, the storage of the goods in the Customs warehouse while


waiting withdrawal by the petitioners was made with their knowledge and
consent. Since the warehouse belonged to and maintained by the
government, it would be unfair to impute negligence to Philippine Steam,
having no control over the same. There is also no proof or showing that the
fire can be imputable to the negligence of its employees. Judgment appealed
is set aside.

NAPOCOR vs. CA
GR Nos. 103442-45 (1993)
Facts: The controversy stemmed from separate complaints filed by several
residents of Norzagaray, Bulacan against petitioner, National Power Corp.
The residents seek to recover actual and other damages for the loss of lives

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due to the inundation of their town. The flooding was allegedly caused by
NAPOCORs acts of negligently releasing water in the spillways of Angat Dam
(hydroelectric plant). NAPOCOR, in its defense, maintains that (1) they
exercised due care and diligence in maintaining the power plant; (2)
petitioners duly notified the residents about the impending release of water
with the onset of typhoon kading and advised them to take necessary
precautions; and (3) that the damages incurred by private respondents were
caused by a fortuitous event or force majeure.
The lower court dismissed the complaints for lack of sufficient
evidence. The CA reversed the decision and awarded actual and moral
damages (plus litigation expenses) to the residents. The judgment was based
on a patent gross and evident lack of foresight, imprudence and negligence
in the management and operation of Angat Dam. The unholiness of the hour,
the extent of the opening of the spillways, and the magnitude of the water
released, are all but products of NAPOCORs headlessness, slovenliness, and
carelessness. The resulting flash flood and inundation of even areas (sic) one
(1) kilometer away from the Angat River bank would have been avoided had
NAPOCOR prepared the Angat Dam by maintaining a water elevation, which
would allow room for the expected torrential rains.
The CA also rejected the NAPOCORs plea that the incident was caused by a
fortuitous event.
Issue: Whether or not the incident was caused by a fortuitous event.
Held: The SC rendered its decision based on the same errors in G.R. No.
96410, entitled National Power Corporation, et al., vs. Court of Appeals, et al,
according to the Court, the proximate cause of the damage incurred by
private respondents was due to negligence of the NAPOCOR. The early
warning notice was insufficient. The SC cannot rule otherwise because its
decision is now binding.
To exempt the obligor from liability under Article 1174 (Acts of God)
of the Civil Code, the following must concur: (a) the cause of the breach of
the obligation must be independent of the will of the debtor; (b) the event
must be either unforseeable or unavoidable; (c) the event must be such as to
render it impossible for the debtor to fulfill his obligation in a moral manner;

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and (d) the debtor must be free from any participation in, or aggravation of
the injury to the creditor
Thus, if upon the happening of a fortuitous event or an act of God,
there concurs 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 Civil Code, which results in loss or damage, the obligor
cannot escape liability
The 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 agencies are to be excluded from creating or entering into the
cause of the mischief. Thus it has been held that when the negligence of a
person concurs with an act of God in producing a loss, such person is not
exempt from liability 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 any previous negligence or misconduct by which
that loss or damage may have been occasioned.

Southeastern College Inc. v CA


GR No. 126389 (July 10, 1998)
Facts: Private Respondents Dimaano are owners of a house in College Road,
Pasay City while petitioner Corporation, South Eastern College, owns a fourstorey school building along the same road. In October 1989, a powerful
typhoon called Saling hit the Metro. Buffeted by very strong winds, the
roof of petitioners building was partly ripped off and blown away, landing
and destroying portions of the roofing of Dimaanos house. An ocular
inspection was conducted by a team of engineers. They found that one factor
and perhaps, the most likely reason for the dislodging of the roofings
structural trusses is the improper anchorage of the trusses to the roof
beams, thus recommending the building to be declared a structural hazard.
Respondents filed a complaint based on culpa aquiliana, alleging
that the damage to their house rendered the same uninhabitable, forcing
them to stay temporarily in other houses. The Dimaanos sought to recover

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actual, moral and exemplary damages, including attorneys fees and costs
from petitioners. In their answer, Southeastern averred that the building
withstood several devastating typhoons and other calamities in the past
without its roofing giving way, and that typhoon Saling was an act of God.
In giving credence to the ocular inspection, the Trial court ruled in
favor of the Dimaanos and ordered the Southeastern to pay the decreed
damages sought. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision but reduced the
award of moral damages.
Issues: Whether or not the Southeastern College is liable for the damage.
Held: No. The antecedent of fortuitous event or caso fortuito is found in the
Partidas which defines it as an event which takes place by accident and could
not have been foreseen. In order that a fortuitous even may exempt a person
from liability, it is necessary that he be free from any previous negligence or
misconduct by reason which the loss may have been occasioned
There is no question that a typhoon or storm is a fortuitous even, a
natural occurrence which may be foreseen but is unavoidable despite any
amount of foresight, diligence or care. From these premises, we proceed to
determine whether Southeastern was negligent, such that if it were not the
damage caused to private respondents house could have been avoided? At
the outset it bears emphasizing that a person claiming damages for the
negligence of another has the burden of proving the existence of fault or
negligence. The facts constitutive of negligence must be affirmatively
established by competent evidence, not merely by presumption or
conclusions without basis of fact. The Dimaanos merely relied on the ocular
inspection, however by this basis, the relationship of cause and effect has
NOT been clearly shown.
On the other hand, petitioner elicited from private respondents city
building official, Jesus Reyna, that the original plans and design of
petitioners school building were approved including the certificate of
occupancy. Having obtained both, these are, at the least, prima facie
evidence of the regular and proper construction of a subject school building.
As to the damages, it is not enough that the damage be capable of
proof but must be actually proved with reasonable degree of certainty,

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pointing out specific facts that afford a basis for measuring whatever
compensatory damages are borne.

ASSUMPTION OF RISK
Afialda vs. Hisole
85 Phil 67 (November 29, 1949)
Facts: Loreto Afialda was employed by Hisole spouses as caretaker of their
carabaos. While tending to the animals, he was gored by one of them and
later died as a consequence. His sister then filed a complaint against the
spouses Hisole. The spouses filed a motion to dismiss, which the court
granted. Plaintiff now seeks to hold defendants liable under art. 1905 of the
Civil Code which states that The possessor of an animal or the one who uses
the same, is liable for any damages it may cause, even if such animal should
escape from him or stray away. This liability shall cease only in case the
damage should arise from force majeure or from the fault of the person who
may have suffered it.
Issue: Whether or not the owner of the animal is liable when the damage is
caused to its caretaker.
Held: No. The owner of an animal is answerable only for damages caused to
a stranger, and that damage caused to the caretaker of the animal the owner
would be liable only if he had been negligent or at fault under art. 1902 of
the Civil Code. In the case at bar, the animal was in the custody of the
caretaker. It was the caretakers business to try to prevent the animal from
causing injury or damage to anyone, including himself. Being injured by the
animal was one of the risks of the occupation which he had voluntarily
assumed and for which he must take the consequences. There was no
allegation of negligence on the part of the Hisole spouses. Thus, they are not
liable.

Ilocos Norte Electric Company (INEL Co.)vs. Court of


Appeals
179 SCRA 5 (November 6, 1989)

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Facts: In the evening of June 28 until the early morning of June 29, 1967,
typhoon 'Gening' buffeted the province of Ilocos Norte and brought heavy
rains and flooding. Between 5:30-6:00AM, Isabel Lao Juan (Nana Belen) along
with Aida Bulong and Linda Estavillo ventured out of her house and traversed
waist-deep flood to proceed to a store, which she owns to check if her
merchandise have been damaged. Suddenly, Nana Belen screaamed 'ay!' and
quickly sank into the water. The two girls attempted to help but fear
dissuaded them because on the spot where the deceased sank, they saw an
electric wire dangling from a post and moving in snake-like fashion in the
water. Ernesto dela Cruz tried to go to Nana Belen but he turned back
because the water was grounded. Ernesto informed Antonio Yabes that his
mother in law had been electrocuted and together they went to the City Hall
of Laoag to request the police to ask INELCO to cut off the current.
Subsequently, the search for the body began and such was found two meters
from an electric post.
In another place at about 4:00 A.M., Engineer Antonio Juan of the
NAPOCOR noticed certain fluctuations in their electric meter which indicated
such abnormalities as grounded or short-circuited lines. He then went out for
inspection and saw grounded and disconnected lines which were hanging
from posts to the ground. Since there were no INELCO linemen in sight, he
decided to go to the INELCO office but it was closed. On the way to INELCO,
he passed by Guerrero St. and saw and electric wire about 30 meters long
and the other end of the wire was seeming to play with the current of the
water. At about 8:00 A.M., he went out for inspection again and learned
about the death of Nana Belen. He tried to help revive the deceased but his
efforts proved futile. He also noticed a hollow wound on the left palm of the
victim. In the afternoon, he went on an inspection trip again and the wire
that he saw on Guerrero St. earlier was no longer there.
Dr. Castro examined the body of the deceased at around 8:00 A.M.
and noted that the skin was grayish or cyanotic which indicated death by
electrocution. The wound on the left palm was an electrically charged wound
or a first degree burn. The certificate of death prepared by Dr. Castro stated
the cause of death as 'circulatory shock electrocution'.
An action for damages was instituted by the heirs of the deceased.
INELCO, through its officers and employees who testified, claims that on and

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even before June 29, their electric system did not suffer from any defect that
might constitute hazard to life and property. Moreover, it was alleged that
the lines and devices were newly installed and they had installed safety
devices to prevent injuries to persons and damage to property in case of
natural calamities. INELCO also alleged that they had 12 linesmen charged
with the duty of checking the areas assigned to them. Fabico Abijero even
testified that in the early morning of June 29, he passed by the intersection
of Guerrero and Rizal streets and did not see any broken wires. He said that
what he saw were many people fishing out the body of the deceased. INELCO
also presented Dr. Briones who said that without an autopsy, no doctor or
medico-legal can speculate the cause of death. Moreover, he said that
cyanosis (lack of oxygen circulating in the blood) appears only in a live
person. INELCO also said that the deceased was negligent because she
installed a burglar deterrent by connecting a wire from the main house to the
iron gate, thus charging the latter with electric current whenever the switch
is on. INELCO then conjectures that the switch must have been left on,
causing the deceased electrocution when she tried to open her gate.
The CFI ruled in favor of INELCO. CA reversed.
Issues: (1) Whether or not the deceased died of electrocution. (2) Whether
or not petitioner INELCO may be held liable for the death of Isabel Lao Juan.
(3) Whether or not the maxim volenti non fit injuria can be applied in the
case at bar.
Held:
(1) YES. The nature of the wounds as described by the witnesses who saw
them can lead to no other conclusion than that they were burns and there
was nothing else in the street where the victim was wading thru which could
cause a burn except the dangling live wire of petitioner company. In the issue
of the burglar deterrent, the suggestion of petitioner that the switch was left
on is mere speculation, not backed up with evidence.
(2) YES. While it is true that typhoons and floods are considered Acts of God
for which no person may be held responsible, it was not said eventuality
which directly caused the victim's death. It was through the intervention of
petitioner's negligence that death took place. As stated by Engr. Juan in his
testimony, he saw no INELCO lineman and that the office of INELCO was

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closed. The SC held that in times of calamities, extraordinary diligence


requires a supplier of electricity to be in constant vigil to prevent or avoid any
probable incident that might imperil life or limb. The petitioner was negligent
in seeing to it that no harm is done to the general public. Furthermore, the
court held that when an act of God combines or concurs with the negligence
of the defendant (in this case the petitioner) to produce an injury, the
defendant is liable if the injury would not have resulted but for his own
negligent conduct or omission.
(3) NO. It is imperative to note the surrounding circumstances which
impelled the deceased to leave the comforts of a roof and brave the
subsiding typhoon. She went to her grocery store to see to it that the goods
were not flooded. It has been held that a person is excused from the force of
the rule, that when he voluntarily assents to a known danger he must abide
by the consequences, if an emergency is found to exist or if the life or
property of another is in peril or when he seeks to rescue his endangered
property. Clearly, an emergency was at hand as the deceased's property, a
source of her livelihood, was faced with an impending loss. Furthermore, she
was at a place where she had a right to be without regard to petitioner's
consent as she was on her way to protect her merchandise.

DUE DILIGENCE
Ramos, et al vs. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of the P.I., et al

53

Issue: Whether or not Pepsi Cola exercised due diligence in the selection of
its driver.
Held: Yes. When it was proven that the employer had carefully examined the
erring driver as to his qualifications, experience and record of service, such
evidence is sufficient to show that the employer exercised the diligence of a
good father of a family in the selection of the driver and rebuts the juris
tantum presumption that the employer was negligent. Juan Anasco,
personnel manager of Pepsi stated that before Bonifacio was hired, his
background, experience, physical capacity was checked. Also, he was asked
to submit clearance and also asked to take theoretical and practical driving
examination. Pepsi was also a member of the Safety Council.
Petitioner can no longer assail the credibility of Anasco. Findings of
CA are binding on SC. A motion for reconsideration was made stating that
respondents violated the Motor vehicle law. It was said that the truck was
overweight and running beyond the speed limit and that it was not equipped
with a rear vision mirror and with a helper. Such allegations failed to show
their basis. Patrolman Pahate did not affirm such allegations. Also, a special
permit may be granted for overweight trucks and the absence of such permit
was not proven. In Quasi delicts, the motor vehicle owner is not an absolute
owner against all damages caused by its driver. The owners responsibility
ceases once it proves that it has observed the diligence of a good father of a
family to prevent the damages.

19 SCRA 289 (1967)

Metro Manila Transit Corp. (MMTC) vs. CA

Facts: The car owned by Placido Ramos, while being driven by his son
Augusto, collided with a truck-tractor and trailer of Pepsi Cola, driven by i
Andres Bonifacio. Ramos filed a case at the CFI of Manila against Pepsi. CFI
found Bonifacio negligent and declared that Pepsi Cola failed to exercise the
due diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. Pepsi and
Bonifacio are held solidarily liable to pay P2,638.50 actual damages, P2,000
moral damages, P2000 exemplary damages and P1,000 Atty. fees.

223 SCRA 521 June 21, 1993

CA affirmed the decision of CFI regarding Bonifacio but absolved


Pepsi Cola from liability stating that Pepsi has sufficiently proved due
diligence in the selection of its employees.

Facts: Appellant Nenita Custodio boarded a jeepney driven by defendant


Agudo Calebag and owned by his co-defendant Victorino Lamayo. The
jeepney collided with an MMTC bus at the intersection of DBP Avenue and
Honeydew Road. MMTC bus was driven by defendant Godofredo Leonardo.
Both drivers failed to slow down or blow their horns. As a result of said
incident, Custodio was thrown out through the windshield and sustained
serious physical injuries. She was sent to the hospital and regained
consciousness only after a week.

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Appellant, assisted by her parents, filed a complaint for damages.


Defendants denied the material allegations. MMTC for its part presented
Milagros Garbo, its training officer, and Christian Bautista, its transport
supervisor, as two of its witnesses. Garbo testified that the company's bus
drivers undergo a series of training programs, examinations, clearances,
interviews and seminars for their selection. Bautista on the other hand,
testified that he ensured the drivers were in proper uniform, briefed in traffic
rules and regulations and fit to drive before the start of duty.
The trial court found both drivers negligent for non-observance of
appropriate traffic rules and regulations and for failure to take the usual
precautions when approaching an intersection. It however, absolved MMTC,
stating that it was careful and diligent in selecting its employees and strict
and diligent in supervising them as shown by the evidence. The CA modified
the said ruling, holding MMTC solidarily liable with the other defendants.
According to the CA, MMTC failed to substantiate its allegations that it
exercised the diligence of the good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of its employees. It pointed out the fact that Garbo and Bautista
failed to present documentary evidence to support their claims, such as the
clearances and test results of Leonardo or the written guidelines. As such,
the testimonies fall short of the required evidentiary quantum.
Issue: Whether or not the evidence of MMTC is sufficient to show that it
exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and
supervision of its employees.
Held: No. The SC agrees with the ruling of the CA.
In civil cases, the degree of evidence required of a party in order to
support his claim is preponderance of evidence, or that evidence adduced by
one party which is more conclusive and credible than that of the other party.
It is, therefore, incumbent on the plaintiff who is claiming a right to prove his
case. Corollary, defendant must likewise prove its own allegation to buttress
its claim that it is not liable. In fine, the party, whether plaintiff or defendant,
who asserts the affirmative of the issue has the burden of presenting at the
trial such amount of evidence required by law to obtain a favorable
judgment. In the case at bar, petitioner's attempt to prove it diligentissimi
patris familias in the selection and supervision of employees must fail as it

54

was unable to buttress the same with any other evidence, object or
documentary, which might obviate the apparent biased nature of the
testimony. MMTC only gave oral testimonies as its evidence, no
documentary proof was submitted upon request to further bolster its
defense. The mere formulation of various company policies on saftey
without showing that they were being complied with is not sufficient to
exempt petitioner from liability arising from negligence of its employees.
The SC does not find the evidence presented by petitioner
sufficiently convincing to prove the diligence of a good father of a family.
Hence, applying Art. 2180 in relation to Art. 2176, petitioner is held solidarily
liable with the other defendants.

PRESCRIPTION
Kramer vs. Court of Appeals
178 SCRA 518 (October 13, 1989)
Facts: On April 8, 1976, F/B Marjolea, a fishing boat owned by the petitioners
was navigating its way from Marinduque to Manila. Somewhere near
Maricabon Island and Cape Santiago, the boat collided with an inter-island
vessel, the M/V Asia Philippines, owned by the private respondent Trans-Asia
Shipping Lines, Inc.
F/B Marjolea sank, taking with it its fish catch. The captains of both
vessels filed their respective marine protests with the Board of Marine
Inquiry of the Philippine Coast Guard. The Board conducted an investigation
for the purpose of determining the proximate cause of the maritime
collision. On October 19, 1981, the Board concluded that the loss of the F/B
Marjolea and its fish catch was attributable to the negligence of the
employees of the private respondent who were on board the M/V Asia
Philippines during the collision. The findings made by the Board served as the
basis of a subsequent Decision of the Commandant of the Philippine Coast
Guard dated April 29, 1982 wherein the second mate of the M/V Asia
Philippines was suspended from pursuing his profession as a marine officer.
On May 30, 1985, the petitioners instituted a Complaint for
damages against the private respondent in the RTC. The private respondent

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filed a Motion seeking the dismissal of the Complaint on the ground of


prescription. He argued that under Article 1146 of the Civil Code, the
prescriptive period for instituting a Complaint for damages arising from a
quasi-delict like a maritime collision is four years. He maintained that the
petitioners should have filed their Complaint within four years from the date
when their cause of action accrued, i.e., from April 8, 1976 when the
maritime collision took place, and that accordingly, the Complaint filed on
May 30, 1985 was instituted beyond the four-year prescriptive period.
Petitioners contended that maritime collisions have peculiarities and
characteristics which only persons with special skill, training and experience
like the members of the Board of Marine Inquiry can properly analyze and
resolve. The petitioners argued that the running of the prescriptive period
was tolled by the filing of the marine protest and that their cause of action
accrued only on April 29, 1982, the date of the decision of the board become
final.
RTC ruled in favor of petitioners holding that in ascertaining
negligence relating to a maritime collision, there is a need to rely on highly
technical aspects attendant to such collision, and that the Board was
constituted precisely to answer the need. CA reversed the decision, holding
that it is clear that the cause of action of the petitioners accrued from the
occurrence of the mishap because that is the precise time when damages
were inflicted upon and sustained by the aggrieved party. It said that if the
tolling of the prescriptive period would hinge upon the discretion of a
government agency, said alternative could entail hazards. Hence the appeal.
Issue: Whether or not the action for quasi-delict is barred by prescription.
Held: Yes. Under Article 1146 of the Civil Code, an action based upon a quasidelict must be instituted within four years. The prescriptive period begins
from the day the quasi-delict is committed. The 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 whatever law it arises
or is created; b) an obligation on the part of defendant to respect such right;
and c) an act or omission on the part of such defendant violative 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.

55

Allied Banking Corporation vs. Court of Appeals


178 SCRA 526 (October 13, 1989)
Facts: In 1977, Joselito Yujuico obtained a loan from GEN BANK in the
amount of PhP500,000 and as evidence, it issued a promissory note payable
GEN BANK. At the time private respondent incurred the obligation, he was a
ranking officer of GENBANK and a member of the family which owns the
controlling interest in the bank. In 1980, the Central Bank issued a resolution
forbidding GENBANK from doing further business. Four days after, another
resolution was issued ordering the liquidation of GENBANK. Later, ALLIED
Bank acquired all the assets and assumed all the liabilities of GENBANK,
including the receivable due from private Yujuico.
Upon Yujuicos failure to pay, ALLIED Bank filed a complaint against
private respondent for the collection of a sum of money. The CA affirmed
the RTC decision in a special proceeding finding that the liquidation of
GENBANK was made in bad faith. This decision declared the liquidation of
GENBANK null and void. It was then that Yujuico filed the third party
complaint for damages alleging that by reason of the tortious interference by
the Central Bank with the affairs of GENBANK, he was prevented from paying
his loan.
Issue: Assuming that the Central Bank is guilty of tortious interference, has
the claim of Yujuico under the third party complaint prescribed?
Held: YES. An action for damages arising from quasi-delict or alleged tortious
interference should be filed within four (4) years from the day the cause of
action accrued. Since the cause of action accrued on 25 March 1980 (the
time when Central Bank issued a cease and desist order against GENBANK)
and the third party complaint was filed only on June 17 1987, the action has
prescribed.
It is from the date the act or omission violative of the right of a party
that the cause of action arises and it is from this date that the prescriptive
period must be reckoned. (Espaol vs. Chairman, Philippine Veterans)The
third party complaint should not be admitted.

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56

Causation (Proximate Cause)


Bataclan vs. Medina
G.R. No. L-10126 (1957)
Facts: Bus no. 30 of the Medina Transportation, operated by its owner,
Mariano Medina, left the town of Amadeo, Cavite, on its way to Pasay City,
driven by Conrado Saylon. Among the passengers were Juan Bataclan. While
the bus was running within the jurisdiction of Imus, Cavite, one of the front
tires burst causing the vehicle to zig-zag until it fell into a canal or ditch on
the right side of the road and turned turtle. Some of the passengers managed
to leave the bus, others had to be helped or pulled out, while the three
passengers seated beside the driver, namely Bataclan, Lara and the Visayan
and the woman behind them named Natalia Villanueva, could not get out
of the overturned bus. After half an hour, came about ten men, one of them
carrying a lighted torch made of bamboo with a wick on one end. These men
presumably approached the overturned bus, and almost immediately, a fire
started, consuming the bus, including the four passengers trapped inside. It
would appear that as the bus overturned, gasoline began to leak and escape
from the gasoline tank on the side of the chassis, spreading over and
permeating the body of the bus and the ground under and around it, and
that the lighted torch brought by one of the men who answered the call for
help set it on fire.
The heirs of the deceased brought an action to recover from
Mariano Medina compensatory, moral, and exemplary damages and
attorney's fees.

because it was dark (about 2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to carry a
light with them, and coming as they did from a rural area where lanterns and
flashlights were not available; and what was more natural than that said
rescuers should innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid and effect
the rescue requested from them.
In other words, the coming of the men with a torch was to be
expected and was a natural sequence of the overturning of the bus, the
trapping of some of its passengers and the call for outside help. What is
more, the burning of the bus can also in part be attributed to the negligence
of the carrier, through is driver and its conductor.
According to the witness, the driver and the conductor were on the
road walking back and forth. They, or at least, the driver should and must
have known that in the position in which the overturned bus was, gasoline
could and must have leaked from the gasoline tank and soaked the area in
and around the bus, this aside from the fact that gasoline when spilled,
specially over a large area, can be smelt and directed even from a distance,
and yet neither the driver nor the conductor would appear to have cautioned
or taken steps to warn the rescuers not to bring the lighted torch too near
the bus.

Fernando vs. Court of Appeals and the City of Davao


G.R. No. 92087 (May 8, 1992)

Issue: Whether or not the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan was not
the overturning of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the bus, including
himself and his co-passengers who were unable to leave it.

Facts: Morta, market master of Agdao Public Market requested with the
City Treasurer Office the emptying of a Septic tank in Agdao. An invitation to
bid was issued to Bertulano, Catarsa, Bascon, Bolo and Suner. Bascon won
the bid and signed the purchase order. Prior to the signing of purchase
order, Bertulano with four other companions- Liagoso, Fernando and Fajardo
Jr. was found dead inside the septic tank.

Held: The Court held that the proximate cause was the overturning of the
bus, this for the reason that when the vehicle turned not only on its side but
completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline from the tank was not
unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men with a lighted torch
was in response to the call for help, made not only by the passengers, but
most probably, by the driver and the conductor themselves, and that

While, Garcia died in the Regional Hospital after being rescued by a


fireman. Autopsy revealed diminution of oxygen and intake of sulfide gas as
cause of death. Investigation by the City Engineer Office learned that the 5
victims entered and re-emptied the tank without clearance and consent. The
heirs of the deceased filed a case for damages contending that it was the
gross negligence of the City of Davao for failing to clean the septic tank for 10

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years which resulted in the accumulation of hydrogen sulfide gas, and was
therefore the proximate cause of the death of the laborers. They further
contend that the market master failed to supervise the area where the tank
was located as a further reflection of the public respondents negligence.
Petitioners also insisted on the application of Article 24 of the New Civil
code. Art. 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the
parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance,
indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other handicap, the courts must
be vigilant for his protection.
Issue: WON proximate cause of death is the own negligence of the
plaintiffs?
Held: Yes. Proximate cause is that cause, which, in the natural and
continuous sequence unbroken by and efficient intervening cause, produces
the injury and without which the result would not have occurred.
While it may be true that the public respondent had been negligent
in the re emptying of the septic tank annually since 1956, the negligence is
not a continuing one. The public respondents have immediately responded
to such issue upon invitation to bid on the service of emptying the tank.
Public Respondents have also shown in court that people in the market have
been using the toilet for their necessities and remained uninjured.
As proven by Respondents, the septic tank was air-tight as provided
for by regulations. The accident of toxic gas leakage from the tank is unlikely
to happen unless one removes its covers. The accident occurred because the
victims have ontheir own and without authority opened the tank.
Bertulano who has offered his services to clean the septic tank is presumed
to know the hazards of his job. His and his mens failure to take
precautionary measures for their safety is the proximate case of the
accident. The Court also cited Culion vs. Phil Motors Corp. When a person
holds himself out as being competent to do things requiring professional skill,
he will be held liable for negligence if he fails to exhibit the skill of one
ordinarily skilled in the particular work he attempts to do. Furthermore, the
surreptitious way the victims did the job without clearance from the market
master and or the security jobs goes against their good faith.

57

Moreover, Article 24 of the NCC is inapplicable as there is total


absence of contractual relations between the victims and City of Davao that
will give rise to contractual obligations as the victims did not win the bidding.
It was not to Bertulano, but to Bascon, that the contract to clean the septic
tank was awarded.

Urbano vs. IAC


G.R. No. L-72964) (1988)
Facts: Petitioner, Filomeno Urbano quarreled with Marcelino Javier because
the latter opened the irrigation canal which caused the flooding of the place
where Urbano's palay was stored. Urbano hacked the right palm of Javier
with a bolo and caused an incised wound that was later treated. Urbano and
Javier agreed on an amicable settlement and petitioner paid for the hospital
bills.
22 days later, Javier was rushed to the hospital, he had a locked jaw
and was having convulsions, caused by tetanus toxin. The doctor noticed that
the wound was infected. The next day, Javier died. Petitioner was charged
with homicide and was later found guilty by the trial court. The IAC affirmed
the conviction. Petitioner filed a motion for new trial based on the affidavit
of the barangay captain that Javier was found catching fish on the irrigation
canal, 10 days prior to his death.
Issue: Whether or not the inflicting of the wound by petitioner was only a
remote, and not a proximate, cause.
Held: The inflicting of the wound is only a remote cause and petitioner
cannot be held liable therefor. A prior and remote cause cannot be made
the basis of an action if such remote cause did nothing more than furnish the
condition or give rise to the occasion by which the injury was made possible,
if there intervened between such prior or remote cause and the injury a
distinct, successive, unrelated and efficient cause of injury, even though such
injury would not have happened but for such condition or occasion. If no
danger existed in the condition except because of the independent cause,
such condition was not the proximate cause. And if an independent
negligent act or defective condition sets into operation the circumstances,

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which result in injury because of the prior defective condition, such


subsequent act or condition is the proximate cause.
The incubation period of tetanus, ranges from 2 to 56 days.
However, over 80 percent of patients become symptomatic within 14 days. A
short incubation period indicates severe disease, and when symptoms occur
within 2 or 3 days of injury, the mortality rate approaches 100 percent.
(NOTICE that it took Javier 22 days, from the time of the hacking, before he
had symptoms of Tetanus)
In the case at bar, the evidence on record does not clearly show that
the wound inflicted by Urbano was infected with tetanus at the time of the
hacking. The evidence merely confirms that the wound, which was already
healing at the time Javier suffered the symptoms of the fatal ailment,
somehow got infected with tetanus. However, as to when the wound was
infected is not clear. There is a likelihood that the wound was but the
remote cause and its subsequent infection (failure to take the necessary
precautions against tetanus) may have been the proximate cause of Javier's
death.

Phoenix Construction vs. IAC

58

the way of incoming traffic. There were neither lights nor any so-called "early
warning" reflector devices set anywhere near the dump truck, front or rear.
The dump truck had earlier that evening been driven home by petitioner
Armando Carbonel, its regular driver, with the permission of his employer
Phoenix, in view of work scheduled to be carried out early the following
morning, Dionisio claimed that he tried to avoid a collision 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 physical injuries including
some permanent facial scars, a "nervous breakdown" and loss of two gold
bridge dentures.
Dionisio commenced an action for damages in the Court of First
Instance of Pampanga basically claiming that the legal and proximate cause
of his injuries was the negligent manner in which Carbonel had parked the
dump truck entrusted to him by his employer Phoenix. Phoenix and
Carbonel, on the other hand, countered that the proximate cause of
Dionisio's injuries was his own recklessness in driving fast at the time of the
accident, while under the influence of liquor, without his 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 driver.
Issue: Whether or not the proximate cause of the accident is the negligence
of the driver or the negligence of Dionisio.

148 SCA 353 (L-652095) (1987)


Facts: In the early morning of 15 November 1975 at about 1:30 a.m.
private respondent Leonardo Dionisio was driving his way home from a
cocktails-and-dinner meeting with his boss. During the cocktails phase of the
evening, Dionisio had taken "a shot or two" of liquor. Dionisio was driving his
Volkswagen car and had just crossed the intersection of General Lacuna and
General Santos Streets at Bangkal, Makati, not far from his home, and was
proceeding down General Lacuna Street, when his car headlights (in his
allegation) suddenly failed. He switched his headlights on "bright" and
thereupon he saw a Ford dump truck looming some 2-1/2 meters away from
his car.
The dump truck, owned by and registered in the name of petitioner
Phoenix Construction Inc. ("Phoenix"), was parked on the right hand side of
General Lacuna Street facing the oncoming traffic. The dump truck was
parked askew in such a manner as to stick out onto the street, partly blocking

Held: It was the negligence of the truck driver. The legal and proximate cause
of the accident and of Dionisio's injuries was the wrongful or negligent
manner in which the dump truck was parked in other words, the negligence
of petitioner Carbonel. , the collision of Dionisio's car with the dump truck
was a natural and foreseeable consequence of the truck driver's negligence.
The truck driver's negligence far from being a "passive and static
condition" was rather an indispensable and efficient cause. The collision
between the dump truck and the private respondent's car would in an
probability not have occurred had the dump truck not been parked askew
without any warning lights or reflector devices. The improper parking of the
dump truck created an unreasonable risk of injury for anyone driving down
General Lacuna Street and for having so created this risk, the truck driver
must be held responsible. In our view, Dionisio's negligence, although later in

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point of time than the truck driver's negligence and therefore closer to the
accident, was not an efficient intervening or independent cause.
respondent Dionisio's negligence was "only contributory," that the
"immediate 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
TRIVIA: Did the headlights of Dionisio really turned off unexpectedly,
as he claims? Remember, this happened during Martial law years
when curfews were in effect. It was 1:30 AM and Dinisio was drunk.
Excellent!

Pilipinas Bank v. CA
G.R. No. 105410 (1994)
Facts: As payments for the purchased shoe materials and rubber shoes,
Florencio Reyes issued postdated checks to Winner Industrial Corporation
and Vicente Tui with due dates on October 10 and 12, 1979, respectively.
To cover the face value of the checks, plaintiff, on October 10,
1979, requested PCIB Money Shop's manager Mike Potenciano to effect the
withdrawal of P32,000.00 from his savings account therein and have it
deposited with his current account with Pilipinas Bank (then Filman Bank),
Bian Branch. Roberto Santos was requested to make the deposit. In
depositing in the name of FLORENCIO REYES, he inquired from the teller the
current account number of Florencio Reyes to complete the deposit slip he
was accomplishing.
He was informed that it was "815" and so this was the same current
account number he placed on the deposit slip below the depositor's name
FLORENCIO REYES. Nothing that the account number coincided with the
name Florencio, Efren Alagasi, then Current Account Bookkeeper of Pilipinas
Bank, thought it was for Florencio Amador who owned the listed account
number. He, thus, posted the deposit in the latter's account not noticing that
the depositor's surname in the deposit slip was REYES. On October 11, 1979,
the October 10, check in favor of Winner Industrial Corporation was

59

presented for payment. Since the ledger of Florencio Reyes indicated that his
account had only a balance of P4,078.43, it was dishonored and the payee
was advised to try it for next clearing. On October 15, 1979, the October 10,
1979 check was redeposited but was again dishonored. Likewise, the October
12, 1979 check in favor of Vicente Tui when presented for payment on that
same date met the same fate but was advised to try the next clearing. Two
days after the October 10 check was again dishonored, the payee returned
the same to Florencio Reyes and demanded a cash payment of its face value
which he did if only to save his name. The October 12, 1979 check was
redeposited on October 18, 1979, but again dishonored for the reason that
the check was drawn against insufficient fund. Furious over the incident, he
immediately proceeded to the bank and urged an immediate verification of
his account. Upon verification, the bank noticed the error. The P32,000.00
deposit posted in the account of Florencio Amador was immediately
transferred to the account of Reyes upon being cleared by Florencio Amador
that he did not effect a deposit in the amount of P32,000.00. The transfer
having been effected, the bank then honored the October 12, 1979, check.
Issue: WON the proximate cause of the mis-posting of deposit was due to
the error of the representative of Reyes
Held: No. For Article 2179 of the Civil Code to apply, it must be established
that private respondent's own negligence was the immediate and proximate
cause of his injury. The concept of proximate cause is well defined in our
corpus of jurisprudence as "any cause which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the result
complained of and without which would not have occurred and from which it
ought to have been forseen or reasonably anticipated by a person of
ordinary case that the injury complained of or some similar injury, would
4
result therefrom as a natural and probable consequence." In the case at
bench, the proximate cause of the injury is the negligence of petitioner's
employee in erroneously posting the cash deposit of private respondent in
the name of another depositor who had a similar first name. As held by the
trial court:
Applying the test, the bank employee is, on that basis, deemed to have
failed to exercise the degree of care required in the performance of his
duties. As earlier stated, the bank employee posted the cash deposit in the

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account of Florencio Amador from his assumption that the name Florencio
appearing on the ledger without, however, going through the full name, is
the same Florencio stated in the deposit slip. He should have continuously
gone beyond mere assumption, which was proven to be erroneous, and
proceeded with clear certainty, considering the amount involved and the
repercussions it would create on the totality of the person notable of which
is the credit standing of the person involved should a mistake happen. The
checks issued by the plaintiff in the course of his business were dishonored
by the bank because the ledger of Florencio Reyes indicated a balance
insufficient to cover the face value of checks.

Quezon City Government vs. Fulgencio Dacara


G.R. NO. 150304 (June 15, 2005)
Facts: Fulgencio Dacara, Jr., son of herein respondent was driving the Toyota
Corolla of his father along Matahimik St. in Quezon City. While driving, the
vehicle rammed into a pile of earth (street diggings) as the street was being
repaired by the Quezon City government. As result, Dacara allegedly
sustained bodily injuries and the vehicle suffered extensive damages when it
turned turtled as it hit the pile of earth.
Indemnification was sought from the City Government but it yielded
negative results. Dacara Sr. on behalf of his minor son filed a complaint for
damages against herein petitioner (QCG). In its answer, QCG alleged that the
diggings were provided with a mound of soil and barricaded with
reflectorized traffic paint with sticks placed before or after it which was
visible during the incident. QCG claimed that they exercised due care by
providing the area of the diggings all necessary measures to avoid accident.
Such claim was disproved by the investigation report which stated that the
deep excavation was without any warning device. The RTC, on the basis of
Art. 2189 of the Civil Code, rendered judgment in favor of Fulgencio Dacara
and ordered QCG to pay the former actual, moral and exemplary damages,
attorney's fees and costs of suit. CA affirmed. Hence, this petition.
Issues:

60

1.

Whether or not negligence of Fulgencio Dacara, Jr. was the


proximate cause of the accident.

2.

Whether or not award for moral damages is proper.

3.

Whether or not award for exemplary damages is proper.

HELD: (1) NO. Art. 2189 NCC capsulizes the responsibility of the city
government relative to the maintenance of roads and bridges since it
exercises the control and supervision over the same. Failure of the petitioner
to comply with the statutory provision found in the subject-article is
tantamount to negligence per se which renders the City government liable.
Petitioner pointed out that Fulgencio was driving at the speed of 60kph
which was above the maximum limit of 30kph when he met the accident, so
he can be presumed negligent based on Art. 2185. Such a matter was not
raised at any time during the trial and was only raised for the first time in
their Motion for Reconsideration. The SC held it was too late to raise such
issue .
(2) NO. Art. 2219(2) NCC specifically allows moral damages to be recovered
for quasi-delicts, provided that the act or omission caused physical injuries.
There can be no recovery or moral damages unless the quasi-delict resulted
in physical injury. In the case at bar, Fulgencio testified that he suffered a
deep cut on his left arm. However, no other evidence such as a medical
certificate, was presented to prove such bare assertion of physical injury.
Thus, there was no credible proof that would justify an award of moral
damages. Moral damages are not punitive in nature, but are designed to
compensate and alleviate in some way the physical suffering, mental
anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings,
moral shock, social humiliation, and similar injury inflicted on a person. Moral
damages cannot be awarded in the absence of proof that the person
experienced emotional and mental suffering. Mere allegations do not suffice,
clear and convincing proof is necessary.
(3) YES. Exemplary damages cannot be recovered as a matter of right, it is
subject to the discretion of the courts but cannot be awarded unless
claimants show their entitlement to moral, temperate or actual damages. In
the case at bar, petitioner's negligence was the proximate cause of the
incident, thereby establishing his right to actual damages. Art. 2231 NCC

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mandates that in cases of quasi-delicts, exemplary damages may be


recovered if the defendant acted with gross negligence. Such a circumstance
obtains in the instant case. The City Government failed to show the modicum
of responsibility, much less, care expected from them by the constituents of
the city. It is even more deplorable that it was a case of a street-digging in a
side street which caused the accident in the so-called 'premier city'.

61

horses head and fix the bit, an appreciable interval of time elapsed. The act
of Araneta is too remote from the accident to be considered as the
proximate cause.
By getting off and taking his post at the head of the horse, the driver
was the person primarily responsible for the control of the animal. Also,
evidence shows that the bridle was old and the leather is weak and easily
broken.

Urbano vs. IAC

Remote cause, distinguished from Proximate case

G.R. No. L-72964 (1988)


Facts: Supra

Gabeto vs. Araneta


G.R. No. 15674 (1921)
Facts: On Aug. 4, 1918, Basilio Ilano and Proceso Gayetano rode a
carromata (horse driven carriage) to go to a cockpit on Calle Ledesma in the
city of Iloilo. Agaton Araneta stepped out into the street and stopped the
horse. Araneta protested to the driver that he was the first one who called
for the carromata. The driver Julio Pagnaya pulled on the reins (one which
control the horse) of the bridle to free the horse from the control of Araneta.
Due to the rottenness of the reins, the bit (placed on the horses mouth for
control) came out of the horses mouth. Pagnaya got off the carromata and
pulled over the same near the curb and fixed the bit. While doing so, the
horse moved forward and pulled one wheel of the carromata uo on the
sidewalk and pushed Pagnaya. The carromata struck a police telephone box
and due to the crashing sound, the horse got frightened and set out at full
speed up the street.
Basilio Ilano was able to get off the carromata but Proceso Gayetano
retained his seat and when he jumped from the rig, he sustained injuries
which caused his death.

Held: There is a likelihood that the wound was but the remote cause and its
subsequent infection, for failure to take necessary precautions, with tetanus
may have been the proximate cause of Javier's death with which the
petitioner had nothing to do. As we ruled in Manila Electric Co. v. Remoquillo,
et al. (99 Phil. 118).
"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 by which the injury was made possible, if there intervened
between such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive,
unrelated, and efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would
not have happened but for such condition or occasion. If no danger existed in
the condition except because of the independent cause, such condition was
not the proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or defective
condition sets into operation the instances which result in injury because of
the prior defective condition, such subsequent act or condition is the
proximate cause." (45 C.J. pp. 931-932). (at p. 125)

Concurrent Cause, distinguished from Proximate

Issue: Whether or not the act of Araneta is the proximate cause of the
death of Gayetano.

Far Eastern Shipping Co. vs. Court of Appeals

Held: No. The mere act of Araneta of stopping the horse will not make him
liable. Evidence shows that when Pagnaya got out of the carromata to go the

Facts: Supra

G.R. 130068 (1998)

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Held: It may be said, 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, concurring with one or more efficient causes other than
piaintiff's, is the proximate cause of the injury. Accordingly, where several
causes combine to produce injuries, a person is not relieved from liability
because he is responsible for only one of them, it being sufficient that the
negligence of the person charged with injury is an efficient cause without
which the injury would not have resulted to as 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 not have resulted from his
negligence alone, without the negligence or wrongful acts of the other
concurrent rortfeasor. 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
recovery may be had against any or all of the responsible persons although
under the circumstances of the case, it may appear that one of them was
more culpable, and 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 wrongdoer is
responsible for the entire result and is liable as though his acts were the sole
cause of the injury.
There is no contribution between joint tortfeasors whose liability is
solidary since both of them are liable for the total damage. Where the
concurrent or successive negligent acts or omissions of two or more persons,
although acting independently, are in combination the direct and proximate
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
responsible for the whole injury. Where their concurring negligence resulted
in injury or damage to a third party, they become joint tortfeasors and are
solidarily liable for the resulting damage under Article 2194 of the Civil Code.

Subido vs. Custodio


L-21512 (Aug 31, 1966)
Facts: Agapito Custodio was a passenger of an LTB Bus. He was hanging on
the left side of the bus because it was full of passengers. A truck owned by

62

Subido which was coming from the opposite direction sideswiped the LTB
bus and injured Custodio who died as a result thereof. Both drivers were
found negligent- the LTB bus driver for having allowed a passenger to ride on
the running board of the bus and the driver of the truck for running at a
considerable speed while negotiating a sharp curb and running on the middle
instead of on the right side of the road. The owner and the driver of the truck
contended that the proximate cause of the death of Custodio was the
negligence of the driver of the LTB bus who allowed Custodio to ride on the
running board of the LTB bus.
Issue: Is there concurrent liability here in this case at bar? How does the
negligence of both parties affect the liability of both?
Held: Although the negligence of the carrier (LTB bus) and its driver is
independent, in its execution, of the negligence of the truck driver and its
owner, both acts of negligence are the proximate cause of death of Agapito
Custodio. In fact the negligence of the first two(2) would not have produced
this result without the negligence of petitioners herein (the owner and driver
of the truck). What is more, petitioners negligence was the last, in point of
time, for Custodio was on the running board of the carriers bus sometime
before petitioners truck came from the opposite direction, so that, in this
sense petitioners truck had the last clear chance. The owner and the driver
of the truck were held jointly and severally liable, together with the LTB bus
and its driver, to the heirs of Custodio.

TESTS of proximate cause- the BUT FOR test


Bataclan vs. Medina
102 Phil 181
Facts: supra
Held: There is no question that under the circumstances, the defendant
carrier is liable. The only question is to what degree. The trial court was of
the opinion that the proximate cause of the death of Bataclan was not the
overturning of the bus, but rather, the fire that burned the bus, including
himself and his co-passengers who were unable to leave it; that at the time
the fire started, Bataclan, though he must have suffered physical injuries,

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perhaps serious, was still alive, and so damages were awarded, not for his
death, but for the physical injuries suffered by him. We disagree. A
satisfactory definition of proximate cause is found in Volume 38, pages 695696 of American jurisprudence, cited by plaintiffs-appellants in their brief. It
is as follows:
. . . 'that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result
would not have occurred.' And more comprehensively, 'the proximate legal
cause is that acting first and producing the injury, either immediately or by
setting other events in motion, all constituting a natural and continuous
chain of events, each having a close causal connection with its immediate
predecessor, the final event in the chain immediately effecting the injury as
a natural and probable result of the cause which first acted, under such
circumstances that the person responsible for the first event should, as an
ordinary prudent and intelligent person, have reasonable ground to expect
at the moment of his act or default that an injury to some person might
probably result therefrom.

It may be that ordinarily, when a passenger bus overturns, and pins


down a passenger, merely causing him physical injuries, if through some
event, unexpected and extraordinary, the overturned bus is set on fire, say,
by lightning, or if some highwaymen after looting the vehicle sets it on fire,
and the passenger is burned to death, one might still contend that the
proximate cause of his death was the fire and not the overturning of the
vehicle. But in the present case under the circumstances obtaining in the
same, we do not hesitate to hold that the proximate cause was the
overturning of the bus, this for the reason that when the vehicle turned not
only on its side but completely on its back, the leaking of the gasoline from
the tank was not unnatural or unexpected; that the coming of the men with a
lighted torch was in response to the call for help, made not only by the
passengers, but most probably, by the driver and the conductor themselves,
and that because it was dark (about 2:30 in the morning), the rescuers had to
carry a light with them, and coming as they did from a rural area where
lanterns and flashlights were not available; and what was more natural than
that said rescuers should innocently approach the vehicle to extend the aid
and effect the rescue requested from them. In other words, the coming of
the men with a torch was to be expected and was a natural sequence of the
overturning of the bus, the trapping of some of its passengers and the call for
outside help. What is more, the burning of the bus can also in part be

63

attributed to the negligence of the carrier, through is driver and its


conductor.
According to the witness, the driver and the conductor were on the
road walking back and forth. They, or at least, the driver should and must
have known that in the position in which the overturned bus was, gasoline
could and must have leaked from the gasoline tank and soaked the area in
and around the bus, this aside from the fact that gasoline when spilled,
specially over a large area, can be smelt and directed even from a distance,
and yet neither the driver nor the conductor would appear to have cautioned
or taken steps to warn the rescuers not to bring the lighted torch too near
the bus. Said negligence on the part of the agents of the carrier come under
the codal provisions above-reproduced, particularly, Articles 1733, 1759 and
1763.

Substantial Factor Test


Philippine Rabbit vs. IAC and Casiano Pascua et al.
G.R. No. 66102-04 (August 30, 1990)
Facts: On the eve of Christmas 1966, seven passengers boarded a jeepney
bound for Pangasinan via Dau. Manalo drove the jeep owned by Magune
and Carreon. Reaching Tarlac, the right wheel of the jeep was detached
resulting to its 180 degree turn invading the other lane with the jeeps front
facing south. The bus driven by Del Rosario collided with the jeepney
resulting in the death of three passengers and physical injuries to some.
Manalo was convicted of Multiple Homicide and Serious Physical Injuries.
Manalo did not appeal. Three Civil Cases fro Damages docketed 1136; 39-40
was filed anchored on the contractual liability of the jeepney owner and
Philippine Rabbits liability based on quasidelict. Trial court decided against
the jeepney operator as well as the joint liability of his Insurance Agency for
Actual and Moral Damages. The Trial Court based its decisions on the
following:
(1)Testimony of passenger Pascua alleging that the driver was running really
fast. (2) Unrebutted testimony of Police Inspector on the sharp angle track
marks of the jeep; the observation of the skid marks. (3) Manalos Conviction

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on the Criminal Compalint (4)Application of Res Ipsa Loquitor, attesting to


the collision happening on the right of way of the bus.
CA reversed decision. It ordered Plaintiff bus operator and driver to pay
jointly and severally the damages awarded. It based its decisions primarily
on 1.) the doctrine of last clear chance. 2.) presumption of the responsibility
of the vehicle on the rear end to avoid collision with the vehicle in front. 3.)
the substantial test concluding Bus driver negligent by not making an effort
to avoid accident and being the physical force causing the injury and death of
passengers.
Issue:

Who has liability over the injuries and death of victims?

Held: The proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of the
jeepney operator for failure to exercise precautions needed. The carrier is
presumed to have been at fault unless it is caso fortuito or that he has
observed extra-ordinary diligence as provided in Articles 1733,55-56.
Negligence was proven based on the testimony-evidences adduced by the
trial court.
Last clear chance cannot be applied. It does not aride where a
passenger demands responsibility under culpa contractual. A negligent
driver and its owner cannot be exempted on the ground that the other party
was likewise guilty of negligence. The substantial factor test is testing
whether the actors conduct is a substantial factor in bringing about harm to
another. THE FACT THAT THE ACTOR NEITHER FORESAW NOR SHOULD HAVE
FORESEEN THE EXTENT OF HARM OR MANNER IN WHICH THE EVENT
OCCURRED DOES NOT PREVENT HIS LIABILITY. However, this test does not
apply. The court does not fault Reyes for not having avoided such sicne no
other options are available to him. The other lane even though empty was
narrow and covered with tall grass. The wheels of the bus were also clear of
the roadwasy except the outher left that hit the jeep. This clearly shows the
attempt to hit the jeep. Inability to avoid the jeep must have been due to
the limitations of options.
IAC decision is set aside. The Trial Court decision is Reinstated with
Modification that only the Operator and the Insurance Company is liable for
the victims and heirs. The driver cannot be held jointly and severally liable

64

with the carrier in Breach of Contract as provided in Article 2180 and to make
driver jointly and severally liable is to make the carriers liability a personal
one and not explicit.

Cause v. Condition
Phoenix Construction vs. IAC
148 SCRA 353 (Mar 10, 1987)
Facts: Supra
Held: Cause and condition. Many courts have sought to distinguish between
the active "cause" of the harm and the existing "conditions" upon which that
cause operated. If the defendant has created only a passive static condition
which made the damage possible, the defendant is said not to be liable. But
so far as the fact of causation is concerned, in the sense of necessary
antecedents which have played an important part in producing the result it is
quite impossible to distinguish between active forces and passive situations,
particularly since, as is invariably the case, the latter are the result of other
active forces which have gone before.
The defendant who spills gasoline about the premises creates a "condition,"
but the act may be culpable because of the danger of fire. When a spark
ignites the gasoline, the condition has done quite as much to bring about the
fire as the spark; and since that is the very risk which the defendant has
created, the defendant will not escape responsibility. Even the lapse of a
considerable time during which the "condition" remains static will not
necessarily affect liability; one who digs a trench in the highway may still be
liable to another who fans into it a month afterward. "Cause" and
"condition" still find occasional mention in the decisions; but the distinction
is now almost entirely discredited. So far as it has any validity at all, it must
refer to the type of case where the forces set in operation by the defendant
have come to rest in a position of apparent safety, and some new force
intervenes. But even in such cases, it is not the distinction between "cause"
and "condition" which is important but the nature of the risk and the
character of the intervening cause.

Manila Electric Co. vs. Remoquillo


G.R. No. L-8328 (1956)

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Facts: Efren Magno went to the 3-story house of his stepbrother to repair
a "media agua" said to be in a leaking condition. The "media agua" was just
below the window of the third story. Magno received from his son thru that
window a galvanized iron sheet to cover the leaking portion, 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. He died by electrocution.
His widow and children filed suit to recover damages from the
electric company.
Issue: Were the acts of Magno the proximate or the remote cause of the
incident.
Held: Magnos acts were the proximate cause. It is clear that the principal
and proximate cause of the electrocution was not the electric wire, evidently
a remote cause, but rather the reckless and negligent act of Magno in turning
around and swinging the galvanized iron sheet without taking any
precaution. Magno was expected, as a person who is deemed a professional
in his line of work, to have looked back toward the street and at the wire to
avoid contacting with the iron sheet, the same being length of 6 feet. For a
better understanding of the rule on remote and proximate cause with
respect to injuries, the following citation is helpful:
"A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of an action if such
remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise to the
occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there intervened between
such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive, unrelated,
and efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would not have
happened but for such condition or occasion. If no danger existed in the
condition except because of the independent cause, such condition was not
the proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or defective
condition sets into operation the circumstances which result in injury
because of the prior defective condition, such subsequent act or condition is
the proximate cause." (45 C. J. pp. 931-332.).

Furthermore, the owner of the house disregarded a city ordinance, declaring


illegal the length of less than 3 feet distance between a building and the
electric pole. And added to this violation, was its approval by the city through
its agent, possibly an inspector. The electric company cannot be expected to
be always on the lookout for any illegal construction which reduces the

65

distance between its wires and said construction, and after finding that said
distance of 3 feet had been reduced, to change the stringing or installation of
its wires so as to preserve said distance. It would be much easier for the City,
or rather it is its duty, to be ever on the alert and to see to it that its
ordinances are strictly followed by house owners and to condemn or
disapprove all illegal constructions.
Of course, in the present case, the violation of the permit for the
construction of the "media agua" was not the direct cause of the accident. It
merely contributed to it. And contrary to the case of Astudillo vs. Manila
electric, in the case at bar, the construction cannot be said to be a public
place as it is a private construction. The deceased person was also a person
of age who is expected to be more careful and knowledgeable as to what he
is doing.

Rodrigueza vs. Manila Railroad Co.


G.R. No.15688 (November 19, 1921)
Facts: Manila Railroad Co. operates a line through the district of Daraga. As
one of its trains passed over the line, sparks were emitted from the
smokestack of the locomotive, and fire was communicated to four houses
nearby, and they were entirely consumed. All of these houses were of light
construction except that of Rodriguezas, which was of strong materials,
though the roof was covered with nipa and cogon. The fire occurred
immediately after the passage of the train, and a strong wind was blowing it.
It doesnt appear whose house caught fire first, though Manila railroad
claimed that it was first communicated to Rodriguezas house and spread to
the others. The plaintiffs claim that Manila Railroad was negligent in the
following manners: a. in failing to exercise proper supervision over the
employees in charge of the locomotive; b. in allowing the locomotive which
emitted these sparks to be operated without having the smokestack
protected by some device for arresting sparks; c. in using in its locomotive
Bataan fuel, a fuel of known inferior quality which upon combustion,
produces sparks in great quanity. Manila Railroad, on the other hand, argued
that Rodriguezas house stood partly within the limits of the land owned by
it, thogh exactly how far away from the companys track does not appear. It
also claimed of notifying Rodrigueza to get his house off the land of the
company, and that Rodrigueza did not comply.

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66
Issue: Who should be liable?
Held: Manila Railroad should be liable. Whether or not the fire may have
been communicated through Rodriguezas house, or directly from the
locomotive is immaterial. With regards to the position of Rodriguezas house,
there is no proof that Rodrigueza unlawfully intruded upon the railroads
property in the act of building his house. Rodrigueza may have assumed the
risk of loss that might have resulted from fires occasioned by the defendants
locomotives if operated and managed with ordinary care. But he cannot be
held to have assumed the risk of any damage that might result from the
unlawful negligent acts of Manila Railroad. Nobody is bound to anticipate
and defend himselfagainst the possible negligence of another. The
circumstances cannot be imputed to him as contributory negligence
destructive of his right of action because, a) that condition was not created
by himself, b) his house remained on the ground by toleration and therefore
with the consent of the Railroad co., and c) even supposing the house to be
improperly there, this fact would not justify the defendant company in
negligently destroying it.

Efficient Intervening Cause


McKee vs. IAC
211 SCRA 517 (68102) (1992)
Facts: A cargo truck driven by Ruben Galang and owned by private
respondents Tayag and Manalo was travelling southward from Angeles City
to San Fernando, Pampanga, bound for Manila. On the other hand, a Ford
Escort car driven by Jose Koh, was on its way to Angeles City from San
Fernando. When the northbound car was about 10 meters away from the
southern approach of the bridge, 2 boys suddenly darted from the right side
of the road and into the lane of the car. The boys were moving back and
forth, unsure of whether to cross all the way to the other side or turn back.
Jose Koh blew the horn of the car, swerved to the left and entered
the lane of the truck; he then switched on the headlights of the car, applied
the brakes and thereafter attempted to return to his lane. Before he could do

so, his car collided with the truck. The collision occurred in the lane of the
truck, which was the opposite lane, on the said bridge. The said collision
resulted to the death of Jose Koh, Kim Koh McKee, and Loida Bondoc, and
physical injuries to George Koh McKee, Christopher Koh McKee, and Araceli
Koh McKee, all passengers of the Ford Escort. In the statement of Ruben
Galang to the investigating police officers immediately after the accident, he
admitted that he was travelling at 30 miles per hour (48 kph).
Two civil cases for damages were filed before the CFI of Pampanga.
The first civil case was for damages for the death of Jose Koh. The second
civil case, on the other hand, was for the damages for the death of one and a
half year old Kim Koh McKee and the physical injuries sustained by George
and Araceli. About a month later, a charge of reckless imprudence resulting
to multiple homicide, physical injuries and damage to property was filed
against Ruben Galang and was raffled in the same court where the second
civil case was assigned. In their Answer with Counterclaim for the first civil
case, private respondents asserted that it was the Ford Escort car which
"invaded and bumped the lane of the truck driven by Ruben Galang and, as
counterclaim, prayed for the award of attorney's fees, actual and liquidated
damages, moral damages and business losses.
In the second civil case, private respondents first filed a motion to
dismiss on grounds of pendency of another action and failure to implead an
indispensable party, Ruben Galang, the truck driver; they also filed a motion
to consolidate the case with the first civil case pending before Branch III of
the same court, which was opposed by the plaintiffs. Both motions were
denied by Judge Capulong. In the criminal case, a judgment of conviction was
rendered against Ruben Galang. Subsequently, Judge Mario Castaeda, Jr.
dismissed the two (2) civil cases and awarded the private respondents moral
damages, exemplary damages and attorney's fees. Ruben Galang appealed
the judgment of conviction but it was affirmed. Plaintiffs (McKee) on the
other hand, appealed the dismissal of the civil cases to the appellate court.
The appellate court reversed the decision of the trial court. The
decision is anchored principally on the respondent Court's findings that it
was Ruben Galang's inattentiveness or reckless imprudence which caused
the accident. The appellate court further said that the law presumes
negligence on the part of the defendants (private respondents), as employers

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of Galang, in the selection and supervision of the latter; it was further


asserted that these defendants did not allege in their Answers the defense of
having exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in selecting and
supervising the said employee. Private respondents filed a motion for
reconsideration alleging improper appreciation of facts and on the basis of
which, respondent court affirmed the trial court's decision in dismissing the
civil cases. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.
Hence, this petition.
Issue: Whether or not Jose Koh's negligence was the proximate cause of the
accident.
Held: NO. The respondent Court held that the fact that the car improperly
invaded the lane of the truck and that the collision occurred in said lane gave
rise to the presumption that the driver of the car, Jose Koh, was negligent.
On the basis of this presumed negligence, the appellate court immediately
concluded that it was Jose Koh's negligence that was the immediate and
proximate cause of the collision.
This is an unwarranted deduction as the evidence for the petitioners
convincingly shows that the car swerved into the truck's lane because as it
approached the southern end of the bridge, two boys darted across the road
from the right sidewalk into the lane of the car. Jose Koh's entry into the lane
of the truck was necessary in order to avoid what was, in his mind at that
time, a greater peril-death or injury to the two boys. Such act can hardly be
classified as negligent. No negligence could be imputed to Jose Koh. Any
reasonable and ordinary prudent man would have tried to avoid running
over the two boys by swerving the car away from where they were even if
this would mean entering the opposite lane. Avoiding such immediate peril
would be the natural course to take particularly where the vehicle in the
opposite lane would be several meters away and could very well slow down,
move to the side of the road and give way to the oncoming car.
Moreover, under what is known as the emergency rule, "one who
suddenly finds himself in a place of danger, and is required to act without
time to consider the best means that may be adopted to avoid the
impending danger, is not guilty of negligence, if he fails to adopt what
subsequently and upon reflection may appear to have been a better method,

67

unless the emergency in which he finds himself is brought about by his own
negligence." Although it may be said that the act of Jose Koh, if at all
negligent, was the initial act in the chain of events, it cannot be said that the
same caused the eventual injuries and deaths because of the occurrence of a
sufficient intervening cause, the negligent act of the truck driver, which was
the actual cause of the tragedy. The entry of the car into the lane of the truck
would not have resulted in the collision had the latter heeded the emergency
signals given by the former to slow down and give the car an opportunity to
go back into its proper lane. Instead of slowing down and swerving to the far
right of the road, which was the proper precautionary measure under the
given circumstances, the truck driver continued at full speed towards the car.
Moreover, the truck driver's negligence is apparent in the records.
He himself said that his truck was running at 30 miles (48 kilometers) per
hour along the bridge while the maximum speed allowed by law on a bridge
is only 30 kilometers per hour. Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, a person
driving a vehicle is presumed negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was
violating any traffic regulation. Clearly, therefore, it was the truck driver's
subsequent negligence in failing to take the proper measures and degree of
care necessary to avoid the collision which was the proximate cause of the
resulting accident.
Even if Jose Koh was indeed negligent, the doctrine of last clear
chance finds application here. Last clear chance is a doctrine in the law of
torts which states that the contributory negligence of the party injured will
not defeat the claim for damages if it is shown that the defendant might, by
the exercise of reasonable care and prudence, have avoided the
consequences of the negligence of the injured party. In such cases, the
person who had the last clear chance to avoid the mishap is considered in
law solely responsible for the consequences thereof

Manila Electric vs. Remonquillo


G.R. No. L-8328 (1956)
Facts: Supra

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Held: A prior and remote cause cannot be made the basis of an action if such
remote cause did nothing more than furnish the condition or give rise to the
occasion by which the injury was made possible, if there intervened between
such prior or remote cause and the injury a distinct, successive unrelated,
and efficient cause of the injury, even though such injury would not have
happened but for such condition or occasion. If no danger existed in the
condition except because of the independent cause, such condition was not
the proximate cause. And if an independent negligent act or defective
condition sets into operation the circumstances which result in injury
because of the prior defective condition, such subsequent act or condition is
the proximate cause. (45 C.J. p. 931.)

68

Issue: Are there independent causes/efficient intervening causes?


Held: None. The panic and stampede cannot be considered efficient
intervening causes. It is true that the petitioners non-compliance with the
ordinance was ahead and prior to the other events in point of time, in the
sense that it was contemporaneous with its occupancy of the building. But
the violation was a continuing one, since the ordinance was a measure of
safety designed to prevent a specific situation which would pose a danger to
the occupants of the building. That situation was undue overcrowding in case
it should become necessary to evacuate the building, which, it could be
reasonably foreseen, was bound to happen under emergency conditions if
there was only one stairway available.

Teague vs. Fernandez


51 SCRA 181 (L-29745) (1973)
NOTE: To easily remember, call this the Maghulos dili ka case.
Facts: Realistic Institute is a vocational school for hair and beauty culture
nd
owned and operated by defendant. It is located at the 2 floor of Gil-Armi
Building. A fire broke out 10 meters away from the building. The students
upon seeing the fire panicked. The six instructresses tried to calm them
down. Mrs. Prieto, one of the instructresses even slapped three students to
quiet them down. The panic could not be subdued, thereby causing a
stampede. No part of the building was burned. But after the panic was over,
four students including Lourdes Fernandez, sister of plaintiffs were found
dead.
Deceaseds five brothers and sisters filed an action for damages
against Teague, as owner and operator of Realistic Institute. CFI dismissed
the case. CA reversed, and awarded damages of P11,000. CA held that
defendants negligence was the proximate cause of Hernandez death. The
negligence was primarily predicated on the violation of the city ordinance of
Manila, which consisted in the fact that the second storey of the Gil-Armi
building had only one stairway, 1.5 meters wide, instead of two of at least
1.2 meters each, although at the time of the fire the owner of the building
had a second stairway under construction. Hence a petition for review was
filed in SC.

The violation of a statute or ordinance is not rendered remote as


the cause of an injury by the intervention of another agency if the occurrence
of the accident, in the manner in which it happened was the very thing which
the statute or ordinance was intended to prevent.

Urbano vs. IAC


G.R. No. L-72964 (1988)
Issue: Whether or not there was an efficient intervening cause from the time
Javier was wounded until his death which would exculpate Urbano from any
liability for Javier's death.
Held: Medically speaking, the reaction to tetanus found inside 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 the 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
tetanus, like lockjaw and muscle spasms. The following day, November 15,
1980, he died.
If, therefore, the wound of Javier inflicted by the appellant was
already infected by tetanus germs at the time, it is more medically probable
that Javier should have been infected with only a mild cause of tetanus
because the symptoms of tetanus appeared on the 22nd day after the

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hacking incident or more than 14 days 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 could have been infected with tetanus after the hacking
incident. Considering the circumstance surrounding Javier's death, his wound
could have been infected by tetanus 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 the victim's death must
convince a rational mind beyond reasonable doubt. The medical findings,
however, lead us to a distinct possibility that the infection of the 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, distinct
and foreign to the crime. (People v. Rellin, 77 Phil. 1038).

Last Clear Chance


Picart vs. Smith

69

consequences, without reference to the prior negligence of the other party.


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
ordinary intelligence and prudence and determines liability by that.

Bustamante vs. Court Of Appeals


193 SCRA 603 (February 6, 1991)
Facts: A bus was traversing an inclined road. The bus driver saw, from 30
meters away, a sand and gravel truck fast approaching with its front wheels
wiggling. The bus driver also observed that the truck was heading towards his
lane. Not minding this circumstance and believing that truck driver was
th
rd
merely joking, the bus driver shifted from 4 to 3 gear to gain more power
and speed in order to overtake a Kubota hand tractor being pushed by a
person along the shoulder of the highway. All of this happened while the
truck was descending and the bus was ascending the inclined part of the
road. The two vehicles sideswiped each other at each other's left side ripping
off the said wall of the bus from the driver's seat to the last rear seat.
Due to the impact, several passengers of the bus were thrown out
and died as a result of the injuries they sustained. The heirs sued the
respective owners and drivers of both the bus company and the truck. The
trial concluded that the negligent acts of both drivers contributed to or
combined with each other in directly causing the accident, thus the liability
of the two drivers for their negligence is solidary.

37 Phil 809 (March 15, 1918)


Facts: Supra. Note: This is the first time the doctrine of last clear chance was
introduced in Philippine Jurisprudence.
Held: The last clear chance was passed unto the defendant driving the
automobile. It was his duty to bring the car to an immediate stop or upon
seeing no other persons were on the bridge to take the other side and pass
far away from the pony to avoid collision. Instead of doing this, Smith ran
straight on until he was almost upon the horse. When Smith exposed the
horse and rider to this danger he was negligent in the eye of the law. Under
the circumstances, the law is that the person who has the last clear chance to
avoid the impending harm and fails to do is chargeable with the

The driver and owner of the truck appealed, the Court of Appeals, in
resolving the motion for reconsideration, absolved the owner and driver of
the truck based on the doctrine of last clear chance, saying that the bus
driver had the last clear chance to avoid the accident and that it is his
negligence which was the proximate cause of mishap.
Issue: Whether or not the doctrine of last clear chance is correctly applied.
Held: NO. The doctrine of Last Clear Chance is not applicable in this case.
The doctrine of last clear chance, stated broadly, is thatthe
negligence of the plaintiff does not preclude recovery for the negligence of
the defendant where it appears that the defendant, by exercising reasonable

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care and prudence, might have avoided injurious consequences to the


plaintiff notwithstanding the plaintiff's negligence. In other words, the
doctrine of last clear chance means that even though a person's own acts
may have placed him in a position of peril, and an injury results, the injured
person is entitled to recovery.
The practical import of the doctrine is that a negligent defendant is
held liable to a negligent plaintiff, if he (the defendant) were aware of the
plaintiffs peril, or should have been aware of it in the reasonable exercise of
due care, had in fact an opportunity to avoid the accident. And this is true
even if the plaintiff is grossly negligent.
The principle of last clear chance applies in a suit between the
owners and drivers of colliding vehicles. It does not arise where a
passenger demands responsibility from the carrier to enforce its
contractual obligations. For it would be inequitable to exempt the negligent
driver and its owners on the ground that the other driver was likewise guilty
of negligence.
The Court is convinced that the respondent Court committed an
error of law in applying the doctrine of last clear chance as between the
defendants, since the case at bar is not a suit between the owners and
drivers of the colliding vehicles but a suit brought by the heirs of the
deceased passengers against both owners and drivers of the colliding
vehicles. Therefore, the respondent court erred in absolving the owner and
driver of the cargo truck from liability.

70

Dionisio alleged that while he was crossing the intersection of


General Lacuna and General Santos Streets in Bangkal, Makati, not far from
his home, when his cars headlights suddenly failed. He switched his
headlights on "bright" and thereupon saw a Ford dump truck looming some
two and a half meters away. The Ford dump truck, owned and operated by
Phoenix Construction Inc. was parked askew partly blocking and facing the
way of incoming traffic. There were neither lights nor any so-called "early
warning" devices or reflectors set anywhere near the dump truck. The dump
truck had, earlier that evening, been driven home by Carbonel, its regular
driver.
Dionisio claimed that he tried to avoid a collision 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 physical injuries including some
permanent facial scars, a "nervous breakdown" and loss of two gold bridge
dentures.
Dionisio commenced an action for damages claiming that the legal
and proximate cause of his injuries was the negligent manner in 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 fast while under the
influence of liquor, without his 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 driver.
ISSUE: Whether or not the last clear chance doctrine should be applied,
therefore exculpating Phoenix from paying damages.
HELD: No. The Supreme Court held that private respondent Dionisio's
negligence was "only contributory," that the "immediate and proximate
cause" of the injury remained the truck driver's "lack of due care" and that
consequently Dionisio may recover damages though are subject to mitigation
by the courts (Article 2179, Civil Code of the Philippines).

Phoenix Construction Inc. vs. IAC


148 SCRA 353 (March 10, 1987)
NOTE: Emphasis is made on the obiter dictum.

Obiter Dictum by Justice Feliciano:

FACTS: On November 15, 1975 (During the period of Martial Law) at


approximately 1:30 AM, Leonardo Dionisio, driving his Volkswagen 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.

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 while the
petitioner truck driver was negligent, private respondent Dionisio had
the "last clear chance" of avoiding the accident and hence his injuries, and
that Dionisio having failed to take that "last clear chance" must bear his own

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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 for debate
whether, or to what extent, it has found its way into the Civil Code of the
Philippines.
The historical function of that doctrine of last clear chance was to
mitigate the harshness of another common law doctrine that of
contributory 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 negligence 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
grant recovery to a plaintiff who had also been negligent provided that the
defendant had the last clear chance to avoid the casualty and failed to do so.
Accordingly, 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 contributory negligence as an absolute bar to recovery by the plaintiff, has
itself been rejected, as it has been in article 2179 of the civil code.
Is there perhaps a general concept of "last clear chance" that may
be extracted from its common law matrix and utilized as a general rule in
negligence cases in a civil law jurisdiction like ours? We do not believe so.
Under Article 2179, the task of a court, in technical terms, is to 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
exercise in chronology or physics, as the petitioners seem to imply by the use
of terms like "last" or "intervening" or "immediate." The relative location in
the continuum of time of the plaintiff's and the defendant's negligent acts or
omissions, 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 party, and the character and gravity of the risks created
by such act or omission for the rest of the community. The petitioners urge
that the truck driver (and therefore his employer) should be absolved from
responsibility for his own prior negligence because the unfortunate plaintiff
failed to act with that increased diligence which had become necessary to
avoid the peril precisely created by the truck driver's own wrongful act or
omission. To accept this proposition is to come too close to wiping out the
fundamental principle of law that a man must respond for the foreseeable
consequences of his own negligent act or omission (NOTE: Parking the truck
askew facing incoming traffic). Our law on quasi-delicts seeks to reduce the
risks and burdens of living in society and to allocate them among the

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members of society. To accept the petitioners' proposition must tend to


weaken the very bonds of Society.
NOTE: The point in assigning this case is for students to realize that the
common law concepts of last clear chance and contributory negligence
are counter-intuitive. Interestingly, contributory negligence in our
jurisdiction does not mean that the plaintiff can no longer recover, but while
he may recover, the liability of person ultimately responsible is mitigated.
This is clearly visible from our treatment of contributory negligence in Art.
2179, which states:
Art. 2179. When the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate
and proximate cause of his injury, he cannot recover damages. But if
his negligence was only contributory, the immediate and proximate
cause of the injury being the defendant's lack of due care, the
plaintiff may recover damages, but the courts shall mitigate the
damages to be awarded. (n)

Philippine Bank Of Commerce vs. CA (Lipana)


269 SCRA 695 (March 14, 1997)
Facts: Rommel's Marketing Corporation (RMC) maintained two separate
current accounts with the Pasig Branch of PBCom in connection with its
business of selling appliances. From May 5, 1975 to July 16, 1976, Romeo
Lipana, RMCs GM, claims to have entrusted RMC funds in the form of cash
totaling P304,979.74 to his secretary, Irene Yabut, for the purpose of
depositing said funds to RMCs account with PBCom. It turned out, that these
deposits were not credited to RMC's account but were instead deposited to
the PBCom account of Yabut's husband, Bienvenido Cotas.
Irene Yabut would accomplish two copies of the deposit slip, an
original and a duplicate. The original showed the name of her husband as
depositor and his current account number. On the duplicate copy was
written the account number of her husband but the name of the account
holder was left blank. PBC's teller, Azucena Mabayad, would validate and
stamp both the original and the duplicate of these deposit slips retaining only
the original copy despite the lack of information on the duplicate slip. The
second copy was kept by Irene Yabut allegedly for record purposes. After
validation, Yabut would then fill up the name of RMC in the space left blank
in the duplicate copy and change the account number written thereon and
make it appear to be RMC's account number. She made her company

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believe that the amounts she deposited were being credited to its account
when, in fact, they were being deposited in the account of her husband.
During the entire period, PBCom had been regularly furnishing RMC
with monthly statements showing its current account balances.
Unfortunately, it was never the practice of Romeo Lipana to check these
monthly statements reposing complete trust and confidence to PBCom and
to his secretary. Upon discovery of the loss of its funds, RMC demanded from
petitioner bank the return of its money.
Issue: Whether the proximate cause of the loss is the bank's negligence or
that of RMCs.
Held: It was the negligence of PBComs teller, Ms. Azucena Mabayad,
coupled by the negligence of the bank in the selection and supervision of its
bank teller, which was the proximate cause of the loss. Proximate cause is
that cause, which, in natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any
efficient intervening cause, produces the injury, and without which the result
would not have occurred.
The bank's teller, Ms. Azucena Mabayad, was negligent in validating,
officially stamping and signing all the deposit slips presented by Ms. Yabut,
notwithstanding that the duplicate copy was not completely accomplished
contrary to PBComs SOP. In this case, were it not for the act of Ms.
Mabayad, Ms. Irene Yabut would not have had the facility with which to
perpetrate her fraudulent scheme.
Lastly, under the doctrine of "last clear chance" where both parties
are negligent, but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in time 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 the consequences thereof.
In this case, assuming that private respondent RMC was negligent in
entrusting cash to a dishonest employee, thus providing the latter with the
opportunity to defraud the company, the bank, thru its teller, had the last
clear opportunity to avert the injury by faithfully observing their selfimposed validation procedure.
Considering, however, that the fraud was committed in a span of
more than one (1) year covering various deposits, it cannot be denied that
RMC was likewise negligent in not checking its monthly statements of

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account. Had it done so, the company would have been alerted of the series
of frauds being committed by its secretary. Such omission by RMC is to be
considered contributory negligence on its part, which shall mitigate the
damages that may be awarded. AWARD: Of actual damages, RMC shall
shoulder 40% of the loss, while PBCom shall pay 60% of the loss.

Glan Peoples Lumber And Hardware vs. IAC


G.R. No. 70493 (May 18, 1989)
FACTS: Engineer Orlando T. Calibo was driving a Davao city-bound jeep
owned by the Bacnotan Consolidated Industries, Inc. Also aboard the jeep
were Agripino Roranes, and Maximo Patos.
A cargo truck driven by Paul Zacarias and loaded with cement bags,
GI sheets and plywood was coming from the opposite direction and bound
for South Cotabato. Just after the truck went across a bridge, it collided with
the jeep and as a consequence, Engineer Calibo died while Roranes and Patos
sustained physical injuries. Zacarias was unhurt.
As a result of the impact, the left side of the truck was slightly
damaged while the left side of the jeep, including its fender and hood, was
extensively damaged. After the impact, the jeep fell and rested on its right
side on the asphalted road a few meters to the rear of the truck, while the
truck was stopped on its wheels on the road.
A civil suit was filed by the wife of Calibo against Zacarias and the
owner of the truck. The lower court dismissed the case, and accepted the
argument that even if there was negligence on the part of Zacarias who
intruded about 25 centimeters to the lane of Calibo, the latter had the last
clear chance to avoid the accident.
The Court of Appeals reversed the decision on the ground that
Zacarias saw the jeep already at about 150 meters and Zacarias did not have
a drivers license at the time of the incident.
ISSUE: To whose negligence is the accident imputable?
HELD:. The evidence indicates that it was Engineer Calibos negligence that
was the proximate cause of the accident. Assuming there was antecedent
negligence on the part of Zacarias, Calibo had the last clear chance to avoid
the accident.

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73
Both drivers had a full view of each other's vehicle from a distance
of one hundred fifty meters. Both vehicles were travelling at a speed of
approximately thirty kilometers per hour. The survivors of the jeep admitted
that the truck was already at a full stop when they collided with it. The
logical conclusion is that the driver of the jeep had the last clear chance to
avoid the accident, while at that distance of thirty meters away from the
truck, by stopping in his turn or swerving his jeep away from the truck, either
of which he had sufficient time to do while running at a speed of only thirty
kilometers per hour. In those circumstances, his duty was to seize that
opportunity to avoid the mishap, not merely rely on a supposed right to
expect the truck to swerve and leave him a clear path.
The doctrine of the last clear chance provides as a valid and
complete defense to accident liability today as it did when invoked and
applied in the 1918 case of Picart vs Smith.

due diligence in the selection and supervision of its driver, Ambrosio


Ramirez.
ISSUE: Can PANTRANCO invoke the defense of Last Clear Chance?
HELD: No. Petitioner claims the driver of the jeepney had the last clear
chance to avoid the collision and hence, was negligent in failing to utilize
with reasonable care and competence the opportunity to avoid the harm.
The doctrine of the last clear chance simply, means that the
negligence of a claimant does not preclude recovery for the negligence of
defendant where it appears that the latter, by exercising reasonable care and
prudence, might have avoided injurious consequences to claimant
notwithstanding his negligence. 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 had the last opportunity to avert the accident was
aware of the existence of the peril or should, with exercise of due care,
have been aware of it

Pantranco vs. Baesa


179 SCRA 384 (November 1989)
FACTS: On June 12, 1981, at approximately 7:00 o'clock in the morning,
spouses Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa and their three children, along with
spouses David Ico and Fe Ico, their son Erwin Ico and seven other persons,
were onboard a passenger jeepney on their way to Malalam River, Isabela, to
have a picnic in celebration of spouses Baesas fifth wedding anniversary.
David Ico was driving.
Upon reaching the highway, the jeepney turned right at a speed of
about 20 KPH. A speeding PANTRANCO bus from Aparri, on-route to Manila,
encroached on the jeepney's lane while negotiating a curve, and collided
with it. David Ico, spouses Ceasar Baesa and Marilyn Baesa and two of their
children, died while the rest of the passengers sustained injuries. The
jeepney is extensively damaged. The driver of the bus went into hiding, and
has never been seen since.
Maricar Baesa through her guardian and Fe O. Ico filed separate
actions for damages arising from quasi-delict against PANTRANCO. The other
victims settled with Bus Company.

In this case, there is nothing to show that the jeepney driver David
Ico knew of the impending danger. When he saw at a distance that the
approaching bus was encroaching on his lane, he did not immediately swerve
the jeepney to the dirt shoulder on his right since he must have assumed that
the bus driver will return to its own lane upon seeing the jeepney approach
from the opposite direction.
Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that at the time
of the accident the Pantranco bus was speeding towards Manila. At the time
David Ico must have realized that the bus was not returning to its own lane, it
was already too late to swerve the jeepney to his right to prevent an
accident.
The Court held that the last clear chance doctrine "can never apply
where the party charged is required to act instantaneously, and if the injury
cannot be avoided by the application of all means at hand after the peril is
or should have been discovered"

Ong vs. Metropolitan Water District


G.R. No. L-7644 (August 29, 1958)

PANTRANCO, aside from pointing to the late David Ico's alleged


negligence as the proximate cause of the accident, invoked the defense of
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Facts: Metropolitan Water District owns and operates three swimming pools
in Balara, Quezon City. It allows the public to use the pools for a fee.
Dominador Ong, a 14-year old boy, went to the pool with his two
brothers. At about 4:35 p.m., Dominador told his brothers that he was going
to the locker room in an adjoining building to drink a bottle of coke. Upon
hearing this, Ruben and Eusebio Ong went to the bigger pool leaving
Dominador in the small pool. Later that day, a bather reported that a person
was underwater for too long. Upon hearing this, the lifeguard on duty dove
into the pool to retrieve Ongs lifeless body. Applying first aid, the lifeguard
tried to revive the boy.
Soon after, nurse Armando Rule came to render assistance,
followed by sanitary inspector Iluminado Vicente who, after being called by
phone from the clinic by one of the security guards, boarded a jeep carrying
with him the resuscitator and a medicine kit, and upon arriving he injected
the boy with camphorated oil. After the injection, Vicente left on a jeep in
order to fetch Dr. Ayuyao from the University of the Philippines. Meanwhile,
Abao continued the artificial manual respiration, and when this failed to
revive him, they applied the resuscitator until the two oxygen tanks were
exhausted.
The investigation revealed that the cause of death is asphyxia by
submersion in water. The parents of Ong brought this action for damages
against Metropolitan, alleging negligence on the selection and supervision of
its employees and if not negligent, they had the last clear chance to revive
Ong.

74

a clinic provided with oxygen resuscitator. And there are security guards who
are available always in case of emergency.
The record also shows that when the body of minor Ong was
retrieved from the bottom of the pool, the employees of Metropolitan did
everything possible to revive him. 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 from the University of the
Philippines who however arrived late. All of the foregoing shows that
Metropolitan has done all that is humanly possible under the circumstances
to restore minor Ongs life. For that reason it is unfair to hold it liable for his
death
THE LAST CLEAR CHANCE DOCTRINE IS INAPPLICABLE TO THIS
CASE. The record does not show how minor Ong came into the big swimming
pool. The doctrine of last clear chance simply means that the negligence of a
claimant does not preclude a recovery for the negligence of defendant where
it appears that the latter, by exercising reasonable care and prudence, might
have avoided injurious consequences to claimant notwithstanding his
negligence. Since it is not known how minor Ong came into the big swimming
pool and it being apparent that he went there without any companion in
violation of pool regulations and it appearing that lifeguard Abao responded
to the call for help as soon as his attention was called and immediately
exhausted all efforts to bring him back to life, it is clear that there is no room
for the application of the doctrine.

Issue: Whether or not Metropolitan is negligent in operating the pool.

ANURAN vs. BUO


Held: NO, Metropolitan is not negligent. Metropolitan has taken all
necessary precautions to avoid danger to the lives of its patrons. The
swimming pools are provided with a ring buoy, toy roof, towing line, oxygen
resuscitator and a first aid medicine kit. The bottoms of the pools are painted
black so as to insure clear visibility. On display in a conspicuous place are
rules and regulations governing the use of the pools Metropolitan also
employs six trained lifeguards, all of whom 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

17 SCRA 224 (May 20, 1966)


FACTS: On January 12, 1958, a passenger jeepney, driven by Buo, was on
the road to Taal, Batangas. It stopped to allow one of his passengers to
alight. But the jeepney was parked in such a way that of its width was on
the asphalted pavement of the road and the other half, on the right shoulder
of the said road. A motor truck speeding along, negligently bumped it from
behind, which such violence that three of its passengers died, while two
other passengers suffered injuries that required confinement in the
Provincial Hospital.

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The heirs of the dead and injured passengers filed a case against the
respective drivers and owners of the truck and of the jeepney to recover
damages. The Court of First Instance absolved the driver of the jeepney and
its owners, but it ordered the truck driver and the owners to pay damages.
Plaintiffs appealed to the Court of Appeals insisting that the driver and the
owners of the jeepney should also be made liable for damages.
ISSUE: Whether or not the driver and owners of the jeepney should also be
made liable.
HELD: YES. It must be remembered that the degree of diligence required of a
carrier in transporting its passengers is utmost diligence (Art. 1755) and
consequently, they are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted
negligently, unless they prove that they have observed extraordinary
diligence (Art. 1756). In this instance, this legal presumption of negligence is
confirmed by the appellate courts finding that the jeepney driver parked the
vehicle improperly. It must follow that the driver and the owners of the
jeepney must answer for injuries to its passengers.
Obiter dictum on Application of Principle of Last Clear Chance: The
principle of last clear chance applies in a suit between the owners and
drivers of the two colliding vehicles. It does not arise where a passenger
demands responsibility from the carrier to enforce its obligations under a
contract of carriage. For it would be inequitable to exempt the negligent
driver of the jeepney and its owners on the ground that the other driver was
likewise guilty of negligence. This principle does not apply in this case.

75

Canlas in the amounts of P40,000.00 and P460,000.00, respectively, but it


turned out that the check covering the bigger amount was not sufficiently
funded. In sum, the spouses Canlas received only PhP40,000.00, despite
delivering the TCTs to the supposed vendee.
On September 1982, Maosca, with the use of the SPA previously
issued by Canlas, was able to secure a P100,000.00 loan from a certain Atty.
Manuel Magno by mortgaging the same parcels of land, with the help of
impostors who misrepresented themselves as the spouses Canlas. On
September 29, 1982, Vicente Maoscam, using the same parcels of land as
security and through the involvement of the same impostors who again
introduced themselves as the Canlas spouses, applied and was approved of
another loan by Asian Savings Bank (ASB) in the amount of P500,000.00.
When the loan was not paid, the bank, extra-judicially foreclosed the
mortgage.
On January 1983, the spouses Canlas wrote a letter informing the
bank that the execution of subject mortgage over the two parcels of land was
without their authority. They requested that steps be taken to annul the
questioned mortgage.
Issues: Is the mortgage with the bank valid? And if the answer is in the
negative, should the bank bear the loss?
A contract of mortgage must be constituted only by the absolute owner on
the property mortgaged; a mortgage, constituted by an impostor is void.
Considering that it was established that the contract of mortgage was
entered into and signed by impostors who misrepresented themselves as the
spouses Canlas, the subject contract of mortgage is a complete nullity.

CANLAS vs. CA
G.R. No. 112160 (February 28 2000)
Facts: In August 1982, Osmundo S. Canlas, and Vicente Maosca, decided to
venture in business and to raise the capital needed therefor. Canlas executed
a Special Power of Attorney authorizing Maosca to mortgage two parcels of
land situated in BF Homes, Paranaque. Each lot has a semi-concrete
residential house in the name of the Canlas and his wife. Spouses Canlas
agreed to sell the two lots to Maosca, for and in consideration of PhP
850,000.00, P500,000.00 of which payable within one week, and the balance
of PhP 350,000.00 shall serve as serve as Canlas investment in the business.
Canlas delivered to Maosca the transfer certificates of title of the two lots
sold. Maosca, on his part, issued two postdated checks in favorof Osmundo

As to who shall bear the loss, The doctrine of last clear chance is
applicable, the respondent bank must suffer the resulting loss. In essence, the
doctrine of last clear chance is to the effect that where both parties are
negligent but the negligent act of one is appreciably later in point of time
than that of the other, or where it is impossible to determine whose fault or
negligence brought about the occurrence of the incident, the one who had
the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm but failed to do so, is
chargeable with the consequences arising therefrom. The respondent bank
did not observe the required diligence in verifying the real identity of the
couple who introduced themselves as the spouses Osmundo Canlas and
Angelina Canlas. Not a single identification card was presented by the
impostor-loan applicants to show their true identity. And yet the bank
approved the loan on sheer finding that the signatures affixed on a deed of

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mortgage previously executed in favor of a certain Atty. Magno matched the


signatures in the residence certificates presented by the impostors. In fact
the deed of mortgage referred to did not bear the tax identification number
of the spouses, as well as the Community Tax Certificate of Angelina Canlas.
Applying Art. 1173 It could be said that the degree of diligence
required of banks is more than that of a good father of a family in keeping
with their responsibility to exercise the necessary care and prudence in
dealing even on a registered or titled property. Under such principle, the
bank would be denied the protective mantle of the land registration law,
accorded to purchasers or mortgagees for value and in good faith. Asian
Savings Bank has to bear the loss.

Consolidated Bank vs. Court Of Appeals


G.R. No. 138569 (Sept. 11, 2003)
FACTS: LC Diaz and Co. (Diaz) is an accounting firm. Diaz has a savings
account with Consolidated Bank (the predecessor of Solidbank). In 1991,
Diaz, through its cashier, Macaraya, filled up a savings (cash) deposit slip for
PhP900.00 and check deposit slip for PhP50.00. Macaraya instructed the
firms messenger, Ismael Calapre, to deposit the money with Solidbank.
Macaraya also gave Calapre the Solidbank passbook. Calapre went to
Solidbank and presented to Teller No. 6 the two deposit slips and the
passbook. Since the transaction took time and Calapre had to make another
deposit for L.C. Diaz with Allied Bank, he left the passbook with
Solidbank. When Calapre returned to Solidbank to retrieve the passbook,
Teller No. 6 informed him that somebody got the passbook. Calapre went
back to L.C. Diaz and reported the incident to Macaraya.
Macaraya, together with Calapre, went to Solidbank. When
Macaraya asked for the passbook, Teller No. 6 told her that someone got the
passbook but she could not remember to whom she gave it to. Failing to g
retrieve the passbook, Macaraya returned to LC Diaz and reported the
matter. The next day, L.C. Diaz CEO, Luis Diaz, called up the bank to stop any
transaction involving the stolen passbook. Diaz learned that an unauthorized
withdrawal of 300,000 was made on same day the passbook was stolen. The
withdrawal slip bore the signatures of authorized signatories, who denied
signing the same. A certain Noel Tamayo received the PhP300,000.
In 1992, Diaz demanded from Solidbank the return of his money.
The trial court ruled in favor of the bank, saying that possession of the

76

passbook raises the presumption of ownership and payments made upon


production of the passbook shall have the same effect as if made to the
depositor. Noel Tamayo, at the time of the withdrawal, had possession of
the passbook and the withdrawal slip which bore signatures matching the
specimen signatures in the bank. The trial court, using the rules on
contractual obligations, said that the bank acted with care and observed the
rules on savings account when it allowed the withdrawal , concluding that
Diazs negligence was the proximate cause of the loss. The Court of Appeals
reversed, saying that the teller of the bank should have been more careful in
allowing the withdrawal. It said that although L.C. Diaz was negligent in
allowing a messenger to make its deposits and said messenger left the
passbook, by applying the last clear chance doctrine, the proximate cause of
the loss is attributable to the bank.
Issue: Is the last clear chance doctrine applicable in this case? Who is the
proximate cause of the loss?
Held: The rules on simple loan or mutuum apply in this case, hence, the bank
was liable for breach of contract and not by virtue of a quasi-delict.
Accordingly, the negligence of the bank is classified as Culpa contractual AND
NOT Culpa Aquilana, and therefore, the Last clear chance doctrine is
inapplicable. Because of a banks nature of business, a fiduciary relationship
is deemed written into every deposit agreement. This imposes a higher
degree of diligence than a good father of a family. While this does not
convert the contract into a trust agreement, the law requires of banks a
higher standard of integrity and performance in complying with its
obligations under the contract.
While the passbook is in the banks hands, the law imposes a high
degree of diligence in safeguarding the passbook. In culpa contractual, once
the plaintiff proves breach on the part of the defendant, there is the
presumption that the latter was negligent or at fault. The burden shifts to the
defendant to prove that he was not negligent. But in culpa aquiliana, the
plaintiff has the burden of proving the defendants negligence. Tellers must
return the passbook only to the depositor or his authorized representative.
Solidbank is bound by the negligence of its employees under the principle of
respondeat superior. And the defense of exercising the diligence in the
selection and supervision of employees is not a complete defense in culpa
contractual unlike in culpa aquiliana. Had the passbook not fallen into the
hands of the impostor, the loss would not have occurred. Hence, the
proximate cause of the loss the banks negligence in not returning the
passbook to Calapre. But L.C. Diaz was guilty of contributory negligence in

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allowing a withdrawal slip signed by its authorized signatories to fall into the
hands of an impostor. Thus, the liability of Solidbank should be reduced.

ENGADA vs. CA
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 Iloilo City. On board
was Sheila Seyan, the registered owner of the Tamaraw. The Tamaraw
passengers allegedly saw from the opposite direction a speeding Isuzu pickup, driven by Rogelio Engada. 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, encroaching 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 but 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. Seyan incurred P130,000 in medical expenses.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not the Last Clear Chance doctrine is applicable in favor of
Engada.
HELD: No. It is a settled rule that a driver abandoning his proper lane for the
purpose of overtaking another vehicle in an ordinary situation has the duty
to see to it that the road is clear and he should not proceed if he cannot do
so in safety. For failing to observe the duty of diligence and care imposed on
drivers of vehicles abandoning their lane, petitioner must be held liable.
Edwin Iran could not be faulted when, in his attempt to avoid the pick-up, he
swerved to his left.
Engadas acts placed Iran in an emergency situation which forced
him to act quickly. An individual who suddenly finds himself in a situation of
danger and is required 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 undertake what subsequently and upon reflection
may appear to be a better solution, unless the emergency was brought by his
own negligence.

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The doctrine of last clear chance states that a person who has the
last clear chance or opportunity to avoid an accident, notwithstanding the
negligent acts of his opponent, is considered in law solely responsible for the
consequences of the accident. However, the doctrine cannot be interposed
in cases where the emergency rule applies. Iran swerved to the left only to
avoid Engadas pickup, which was already on a head-on path towards Irans
Tamaraw jeepney. No convincing proof was adduced by Engada that Iran
could have avoided a head-on collision.

Strict liability
Vestil vs. IAC
G.R. No. 74431 (November 6, 1989)
Facts: On July 29, 1975, Theness Tan Uy was bitten by a dog while she was
playing with a child of Purita and Agustin Vestil in the house of the late
Vicente Miranda, the father of Purita. Thenese was rushed to the Hospital,
where she was treated for "multipte lacerated wounds on the forehead" and
administered an anti-rabies vaccine. She was discharged after nine days but
was readmitted a week later due to "vomiting of saliva." On August 15, 1975,
the child died. The cause of death was certified as bronchopneumonia.Theness developed hydrophobia, a symptom of rabies, as a result
of the dog bites, and asphyxia broncho-pneumonia, a complication of rabies,
which ultimately caused her death.
The Uys sued for damages, alleging that the Vestils were liable as
the possessors of the dog that bit and eventually killed their daughter. The
Uys claim that the Vestils are liable for the death of Theness, since they own
the dog that bit her. While the Vestils contend that the dog belonged to the
deceased Vicente Miranda, and that it was a tame animal, and that in any
case no one had witnessed it bite Theness.
Issue: Whether or not the Vestils are liable for the damage caused by the
dog.
Held: ART. 2183 states The possessor of an animal or whoever may make
use of the same is responsible for the damage which it may cause, although it
may escape or be lost. This responsibility shall cease only in case the damage

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should come from force majeure or from the fault of the person who has
suffered damage.
The obligation imposed by Article 2183 of the Civil Code is not based
on the negligence or on the presumed lack of vigilance of the possessor or
user of the animal causing the damage. It is based on natural equity and on
the principle of social interest that he who possesses animals for his utility,
pleasure or service must answer for the damage which such animal may
cause.
While it is true that she is not really the owner of the house, which
was still part of Vicente Miranda's estate, there is no doubt that she and her
husband were its possessors at the time of the incident in question. The
Vestils contention that they could not be expected to exercise remote
control of the dog is not acceptable. In fact, Article 2183 of the Civil Code
holds the possessor liable even if the animal should "escape or be lost" and
so be removed from his control. And it does not matter either that the dog
was tame and was merely provoked by the child into biting her. The law does
not speak only of vicious animals but covers even tame ones as long as they
cause injury. As for the belated allegations that Theness provoked the dog,
the Vestils forget that the deceased was only three years old at the time she
was attacked and can hardly be faulted for whatever she might have done to
the animal.
There is evidence showing that Theness and her family regularly
went to the house of the Vestils once or twice a week. The Court finds that
the link between the dog bites and the certified cause of death has been
satisfactorily established. The obligation imposed by Article 2183 of the Civil
Code is not based on the negligence or on the presumed lack of vigilance of
the possessor or user of the animal causing the damage. It is based on
natural equity and on the principle of social interest that he who possesses
animals for his utility, pleasure or service must answer for the damage which
such animal may cause.

Things thrown from a building


Dingcong vs. Kanaan

78
Facts: The Dingcong brothers leased the upper floor of house owned by
Emilia Saenz, where they established and managed the Central Hotel. A
guest by the name of Francisco Echivarria occupied Room No. 10 of the hotel
for P30. Kanaan, on the other hand, occupies the ground floor the house of
Saenz and where they established a store named
"American Bazaar"
dedicated to the buy and sell of articles and merchandise.
Echivarria, before going to bed, let his faucet leak while the pipes of
the hotel were undergoing repairs. A bucket was placed underneath the
leaking faucet to catch the dripping water, but still the bucket overflowed.
Water seeped through the floor and the merchandise in the bazaar below
got wet and caused damages worth around P1,000.00 (considerable amount
in 1941). The Kanaans brought an action for damages against the managers,
the brothers Dingcong, and Echivarria. During trial one of the Dingcong
brothers died, but suit continued against the surviving Dingcong.
Issue: Whether or not Jose Dingcong and Francisco Echevarria are liable
for damages.
Held: Francisco Echevarria, the hotel guest, is liable for being the one who,
by his negligence in leaving the faucet open, caused the water to spill on the
ground and wet the articles and merchandise of the Kanaans.
Jose Dingcong, the surviving co-renter and manager of the hotel,
had complete possession of the house, and consequently must also be
responsible for the damages caused. As a co-lessee and manager of the
hotel, the Dingcongs have to answer for the damage caused by things that
thrown or falling from the hotel (Art. 1910 of the Codigo Civil).
The Dingcongs likewise failed to exercise the diligence of a good
father of the family to prevent the damages. They knew that the pipes of the
hotel were under repair, as managers, they should have presumed that the
guest Echivarria would use the faucet, but only provided a bucket to deal
with the problem of the leaks.

Death/Injuries in the course of employment


Afable vs. Singer Sewing Machine Company
58 PHIL 14 (March 6, 1933)

G.R. No. L-47033 (April 25, 1941)


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Facts: Leopoldo Madlangbayan was a collector for the Singer Sewing


Machine Company in the district of San Francisco del Monte, outside of the
limits of the City of Manila. He was supposedly residing in his district
according to the records of the company. His compensation was on a
commission basis of eight percent on all collections made by him.
One Sunday, Leopoldo, while riding a bicycle, was ran over and
killed in the City of Manila by a truck driven by Vitaliano Sumoay. It appears
that Leopoldo had moved to Teodora Alonso St. in Manila without notifying
the company and that at the time of his death he was returning home after
making some collections in San Francisco del Monte. According to the
practice of the company, if collectors made collections on Sunday they were
required to deliver the amount collected to the company the next morning.
The widow and children of Leopoldo brought an action to recover from
Singer under Act No. 3428 (Workmens Compensation Act)
Issue: May the heirs of Leopoldo recover from the corporation considering
the nature of his employment and the manner of the injury?
Held: No. The accident which caused the death of the employee was not due
to and in pursuance of his employment. At the time that he was run over by
the truck, Leopoldo was not in pursuance of his employment, but was on his
way home after he had finished his work for the day and left the territory
where he was authorized to make collections for the defendant.

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the NATURE of the work in the scope of the workman's employment or


incidental to such employment, and accidents in which it is possible to trace
the injury to some risk or hazard to which the employee is exposed in a
special degree by reason of such employment. Risks to which all persons
similarly situated are equally exposed and not traceable in some special
degree to the particular employment are excluded.
Furthermore, it appears that the deceased had never notified the
defendant corporation of his change of residence from San Francisco del
Monte to Manila, and that the company did not know that he was living in
Manila on the day of the accident. Neither does the company did not
require its employees to work on Sunday, or furnish or require its agents to
use bicycles. These are additional reasons for holding that the accident was
not due to and in pursuance of the employment of the deceased. If the
deceased saw fit to change his residence from San Francisco del Monte to
Manila and to make use of a bicycle in going back and forth, he did so at his
own risk, as the company did not furnish him a bicycle or require him to use
one; and if he made collections on Sunday, he did not do so in pursuance of
his employment, and his employer is not liable for any injury sustained by
him.

Coca Cola Bottlers vs. Ca


G.R.No. 110295 (October 18, 1993)

The employer is not an insurer "against all accidental injuries which


might happen to an employee while in the course of the employment", and
as a general rule an employee is not entitled to recover from personal
injuries resulting from an accident that befalls him while going to or
returning from his place of employment, because such an accident DOES
NOT arise out of and in the course of his employment.

Facts: Lydia Geronimo is the proprietress of a school canteen. On August 12,


1989, a group of parents complained before Geronimo that they found fibrous
material in the bottles of Coke and Sprite that their children bought from her
store. Geronimo examined her stock and found that there were indeed
fibrous materials in the unopened soda bottles. She brought the bottles to
the Department of Health Regional Office and was informed that the soda
samples she sent were adulterated.

"The words 'arising out of' refer to the origin or cause of the
accident, and are descriptive of its character, while the words 'in the course
of' refer to the time, place, and circumstances under which the accident
takes place. By the use of these words it was not the intention of the
legislature to make the employer an insurer against all accidental injuries
which might happen to an employee while in the course of the employment,
but only for such injuries arising from or growing out of the risks peculiar to

Because of this, the canteen had to close down due to the big drop
in its sales of soft drinks. On Geronimo filed a complaint for damages against
Coca cola. Coca-Cola moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds of
failure to exhaust administrative remedies and prescription. According to
Coca-Cola, under the law on sales on breach of warranty, more particularly
Article 1561 , the action should have been brought within six months from
the delivery of the goods.

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Coca cola moved to dismiss on the basis of failure to exhaust all


administrative remedies and prescription. It contends that the existence of a
contractual relation between the parties (arising from the contract of sale)
bars the application of the law on quasi-delicts and that since Geronimos
cause of action arose from the breach of implied warranties, the complaint
should have been filed within six months from delivery of the soft drinks
pursuant to Article 1571 of the Civil Code. Geronimo claims that the cause of
action is based on injury to her right and can be brought within four years
pursuant to Article 1146 of the civil code.
Issue: Has

the action prescribed? Can Geronimos action based on quasi-delict


exist despite the pre-existing contract of sale?
Held: While it may be true that the pre-existing contract between the parties
may, as a general rule, bar the applicability of the law on quasi-delict, the
liability may itself be deemed to arise from quasi-delict, i.e., the act which
breaks the contract may also be a quasi-delict.
In Singson vs. Bank of the Philippine Islands," this Court stated: "We
have repeatedly held, however, that the existence of a contract between the
parties does not bar the commission of a tort by the one against the other
and the consequent recovery of damages therefor. Indeed, this view has
been, in effect, reiterated in a comparatively recent case. Thus, in Air France
vs. Carrascosa, involving an airplane passenger who, despite his first-class
ticket, had been illegally ousted from his first-class accommodation and
compelled to take a seat in the tourist compartment, was held entitled to
recover damages from the air-carrier, upon the ground of tort on the latter's
part, for, although the relation between the passenger and a carrier is
contractual both in origin and nature x x x the act that breaks the contract
may also be a tort.'''
Otherwise put, liability for quasi-delict may still exist despite the
presence of contractual relations. Therefore, Geronimo has four years to file
the case, reckoned from the time the cause of action accrued.

Interference of Contractual Relations

80

Facts: Cuddy was the owner of the film Zigomar. Gilchrist was the owner of
a theatre in Iloilo. They entered into a contract whereby Cuddy leased to
Gilchrist a movie entitled Zigomar for exhibition in his theatre for a week
for PhP125.
Days before the delivering the film, Cuddy returned the money already paid
by Gilchrist so that he can lease the film to cinema owners Espejo and
Zaldarriaga, who offered to pay a higher price for lease of the film.
Gilchrist filed a case for specific performance with prayer for
damages against Cuddy, Espejo and Zaldarriaga.
Issue: Whether such acts of Espejo and Zaldariaga were actionable and if so
under what legal principle. Can Espejo and Zaldariaga their lack of evil motive
use as defense by alleging that their intention was purely for business?
Held: The only motive for the interference with the Gilchrist - Cuddy contract
on the part of the appellants was a desire to make a profit by exhibiting the
film in their theater.There 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. Hence, they are liable to Gilchrist for the damages
caused by their acts.
The liability of the Espejo and Zaldriagga arises from unlawful acts
and not from contractual obligations, as they were under no such obligation
to induce Cuddy to violate his contract with Gilchrist. So that if the action of
Gilchrist had been one for damages, it would be governed by chapter 2, title
16, book 4 of the Civil Code.
Article 1902 of that code provides that a person who, by act or
omission, causes damages to another when there is fault or negligence, shall
be obliged to repair the damage so done.
There is nothing in this article which requires as a condition
precedent to the liability of a tort-feasor that he must know the identity of a
person to whom he causes damages. In fact, the chapter wherein this article
is found clearly shows that no such knowledge is required in order that the
injured party may recover for the damage suffered.

Gilchrist vs. Cuddy, et al.


29 Phil 542 (February 18, 1915)

So Ping Bun vs. CA


GR No. 120554 (September 21, 1999)

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81
FACTS: In 1963, Tek hua Trading, through its Managing Director So Pek Giok,
entered into a lease agreement with Dee C. Chuan & Sons Inc. (DCCSI )
covering four stalls in Binondo. The terms of the contract were initially for
one year but after its expiry, they continued on a month to month basis.
In 1976, Tek Hua Trading was dissolved with the original members
forming a new corporation named Tek Hua Enterprises, with Manuel Tiong as
one of the incorporators. So Ping Bun, on the death of his grandfather, So
Pek Giok (Managing director of defunct Tek Hua Trading), occupied the same
stalls for his own textile business under the name, Trendsetter Marketing.
In 1989, the lessor, DCCSI sent letters to Tek Hua Enterprises
advising that it will be increasing rent. Enclosed in both letters were new
lease contracts for signing. While the letters contained a statement that the
leases will be terminated if the contracts were not signed, the same were not
rescinded. In 1991, Manuel Tiong (incorporator of Tek Hua Enterrises) wrote
a letter to So Ping Bun asking him to vacate the four stalls:
Dear Mr. So,
Due to my closed (sic) business associate (sic) for three decades with your
late grandfather Mr. So Pek Giok and late father, Mr. So Chong Bon, I
allowed you temporarily to use the warehouse of Tek Hua Enterprising
Corp. for several years to generate your personal business.
Since I decided to go back into textile business, I need a warehouse
immediately for my stocks. Therefore, please be advised to vacate all your
stocks in Tek Hua Enterprising Corp. Warehouse. You are hereby given 14
days to vacate the premises unless you have good reasons that you have
the right to stay. Otherwise, I will be constrained to take measure to protect
my interest.
Please give this urgent matter your preferential attention to avoid
inconvenience on your part.

But instead of vacating the stalls, So Ping Bun was able to secure lease
agreements in favor Trendsetter Marketing from D.C. Chuan. Tek Hua
Enterprises filed a suit for injunction and pressed for the nullification of the
lease contracts between DCCSI and So Ping Bun and as well prayed for
damages.
ISSUE: Whether or not So Ping Bun was guilty of tortuous interference
of contract.

HELD: Yes. The elements of tort interference are (a) existence of a valid
contract (b) knowledge on the part of the third party of its existence (c)
interference of the third party is without legal justification or excuse. Since
there were existing lease contracts between DCCI and Tek Hua Enterprises,
the latter had property rights over the leased stalls. The action of Trendsetter
in asking DCCSI to execute the contracts in their favor was unlawful
interference.
As to the question of whether the interference may be justified, the
Supreme Court stated that it is sufficient that So Ping Buns conduct lies in a
proper business interest rather than in wrongful motives to conclude.
Nothing on the record imputes deliberate wrongful motives or malice on the
part of So Ping Bun. Hence, while there is tortuous interference, this lack of
malice precludes the award of damages.
But while the lower courts did not award damages. It does not
relieve petitioner of the legal liability for entering into contracts and causing
breach of existing ones. The Court of Appeals correctly confirmed the
permanent injunction and nullification of the lease contracts between DCCSI
and Trendsetter Marketing, without awarding damages. The injunction saved
the respondents from further damage or injury caused by petitioners
interference. But due to So Ping Buns action of interference, Tek Hua was
forced to seek relief through the Court and thereby incur expenses to protect
his interests. Attorneys fees are in order.

Guilatco vs. City of Dagupan


171 SCRA 382 (Mar 21, 1989)
Facts: Florentina Guilatco, a Court Interpreter, was about to board a tricycle
along a sidewalk when she accidentally fell into a manhole that was partially
covered by a concrete flower pot leaving a gaping hole about 2 ft long by 1
feet wide and 150 cm deep. Florentina suffered a fracture on her right leg
and as result thereof, had to be hospitalized. Florentina averred that she
suffered mental and physical pain, and that she has difficulty in locomotion.
She became incapable of reporting for duty within quite some time and thus
lost income. She also lost weight, and is no longer her former jovial self.
Florentina sued the City of Dagupan. The City contends that the
manhole is owned by the National and the sidewalk on which it is found is
located in Perez Blvd., which was also under the supervision of the National

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Government. While the lower court held the City of Dagupan liable, the
appellate court reversed the ruling on the ground that no evidence was
presented to prove that the City of Dagupan had "control or supervision"
over the Boulevard, where the manhole is located.
Issue: Whether or not the City of Dagupan is liable for damages?
Ruling: Yes. The City of Dagupan is liable for damages. The liability of public
corporations for damages arising from injuries suffered by pedestrians by
reason of the defective condition of roads is expressed in the Art. 2189 of
Civil Code, which states:
Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the death
of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of the defective condition
of roads, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works under
their control or supervision.

For liability to attach, it is not even necessary for the defective road or street
to belong to the province, city or municipality. The article only requires that
either control or supervision is exercised over the defective road or street.
In the case at bar, this control or supervision is provided for in the charter of
Dagupan City and is exercised through the City Engineer. This function of
supervision over streets, public buildings, and other public works is coursed
through a Maintenance Foreman and a Maintenance Engineer. Although
these last two officials are employees of the National Government, they are
detailed with the City of Dagupan and receive instruction and supervision
from the city through the City Engineer.
The express provision in the charter holding the city not liable for damages or
injuries sustained by persons or property due to the failure of any city officer
to enforce the provisions of the charter, cannot be used to exempt the city
from liability. The charter only lays down general rules regulating the liability
of the city. On the other hand article 2189 applies in particular to the liability
arising from "defective streets, public buildings and other public works.

Liability of Governmental Units


Worcester vs. Ocampo
22 PHIL 42 (Feb. 27, 1912)
Facts: Plaintiff, a former member of the Civil Commission and Secretary of
the Interior of the Insular Government, commenced an action against the

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writers, owners, directors, editors and administrators of the newspaper "El


Renacimiento (Muling Pagsilang) for recovery of damages resulting from an
alleged libelous editorial. Worcester alleged that the article attacked his
integrity and reputation while he was in office. The editorial "BIRDS OF PREY
was in the form of a blind-item which though not directly pointing to the
plaintiff was alleged to charge the latter with malfeasance in office and
criminal acts; with the prostitution of his office for personal ends; with
wasting public funds for the purpose of promoting his personal welfare; with
the violation of the laws of the Philippine Islands and the ordinances of the
city of Manila; with taking part in illegal combinations for the purpose of
robbing the people; with the object of gain for himself and for others; and
lastly with being "a bird of prey, which, for Worcester, alluded to him as an
eagle that surprises and devours, a vulture that gorges himself on dead and
rotten meat, an owl that affects a petulant omniscience, and a vampire that
sucks the blood of the victim until he leaves it bloodless.
After trial, the judge of the CFI rendered judgment in favor of
Worcester, holding all the defendants (except for Reyes, Aguilar and Liquete
who were found to be in asubordinate position and found to have merely
acted under the direction of their superiors) liable jointly and severally for
moral and punitive damages
Defendants contend that the editorial "Birds of Prey" does not refer
to a determinate person; and that, conceding that it does refer to the
plaintiff, none of the defendants, except Teodoro M. Kalaw, chief editor or
director is responsible for the writing, printing, or publication of the alleged
libelous article of the damages to the plaintiff resulting therefrom.
Issue: Whether or not the defendants are jointly and severally liable.]
Held:Yes. Joint tortfeasors are all the persons whocommand, instigate,
promote, encourage, advise, countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet the
commission of a tort, or who approve of it after it is done, if done for their
benefit.
Joint tortfeasors are jointly and severally liable for the tort which
they commit. They are each liable as principals, to the same extent and in
the same manner as if they had performed the wrongful act themselves. The
defendants may have been sued separately for the commission of the tort or
as it were here, might be sued jointly and severally. It is not necessary that

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the cooperation should be a direct, corporeal act. The person injured may
sue all of them, or any number less than all. Each is liable for the whole
damage caused by all, and altogether jointly liable for the whole damage. It is
no defense for one sued alone, that the others who participated in the
wrongful act are not joined with him as defendants; nor is it any excuse for
him that his participation in the tort was insignificant as compared with that
of the others. Joint tort feasors are not liable pro rata. The damages cannot
be apportioned among them, except among themselves. They cannot insist
paying an aliquot part. They are jointly and severally liable for the full
amount.

J. H. Chapman vs. James M. Underwood


27 Phil 374 (March 28, 1914)
Facts: J.H. Chapman visited a man by the name of Creveling, in front of
whose house the accident occurred. Chapman wanted to board a certain
"San Marcelino" single-track street-car coming from Santa Ana and bound for
Manila. Being told by Creveling that the car was approaching, he hurriedly,
passed from the gate of Crevelings home into the street for the purpose of
signaling and boarding the car. The car was a closed one, the entrance being
from the front or the rear platform. Chapman attempted to board the front
platform but, seeing that he could not reach it without extra exertion,
stopped beside the car, facing toward the rear platform, and waited for it to
come within reach for him to board. While in this position, he was struck
from behind and run over by Underwoods automobile.
Immediately prior to the incident, Underwoods automobile, which
was being driven by his chauffeur, followed behind a street car from Manila
bound to Santa Ana (Opposite direction of the San Marcelino street-car
that Chapman wanted to board). Just before reaching the scene of the
accident, the street car being followed by Underwood took the switched off
the main line to the left. Thereupon, Underwoods automobile no longer
followed that street-car nor went to the left, but either kept straight ahead
on the main street-car track or a bit to the right. The street-car which the
Chapman intended to board was on the main line and bound in an opposite
direction. When the front of the "San Marcelino" car (the one which plaintiff
attempted to board) was almost in front of Underwoods automobile, the
latters driver suddenly went to the right striking and running over Chapman.
The trial court rendered decision in favor of the defendant.
Issue: Is defendant liable in the case at bar?

83

Held: A careful examination of the record leads to the conclusion that the
Underwoods driver was guilty of negligence in running upon and over the
plaintiff. He was passing an incoming car upon the wrong side. The plaintiff,
out to board the car, was not obliged to observe whether a car was coming
upon him from his left hand. He had only to guard against those coming from
the right. He knew that, according to the law of the road, no automobile or
other vehicle coming from his left should pass upon his side of the car. He
needed only to watch for cars coming from his right, as they were the only
ones under the law permitted to pass upon that side of the street car.
Underwood, however, is not responsible for the negligence of his
driver, under the facts and circumstances of this case. As stated in the case of
Johnson vs. David (5 Phil. Rep., 663), the driver does not fall within the list of
persons in article 1903 of the Civil Code for whose acts the defendant would
be responsible. The owner of an automobile who permits his chauffeur to
drive up to Escolta, for example, at a speed of 60 miles an hour, without any
effort to stop him, although he has had a reasonable opportunity to do so,
becomes himself responsible, both criminally and civilly, for the results
produced by the acts of his chauffeur. On the other hand, if the driver, by a
sudden act of negligence, and without the owner having a reasonable
opportunity to prevent the acts or its continuance, injures a person or
violates the criminal law, the owner of the automobile, although present
therein at the time the act was committed, is not responsible, either civilly
or criminally, therefor. The act complained of must be continued in the
presence of the owner for such a length a time that the owner, by his
acquiescence, makes his driver's act his own.
In this case, it DOES NOT appear that, from the time the automobile
took the wrong side of the road to the commission of the injury, sufficient
time intervened to give the defendant an opportunity to correct the act of
his driver. Instead, it appears that the interval between the turning out to
meet and pass the street car and the happening of the accident was so small
as not to be sufficient to charge defendant with the negligence of the driver.

Caedo vs. Yu Khe Thai


G.R. No. L-20392 December 18, 1968
Facts: On March 24, 1958 on Highway 54 (now E. de los Santos Avenue) in
the vicinity of San Lorenzo Village, Marcial Caedo was driving his Mercury
car. With them in the car were Mrs. Caedo and three daughters. Coming
from the opposite direction was the Cadillac of Yu Khe Thai, with his driver
Rafael Bernardo at the wheel, taking the owner from his Paraaque home to

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Wack Wack for his regular round of golf. The two cars were traveling at fairly
moderate speeds, their headlights were mutually noticeable from a distance.
Ahead of the Cadillac, going in the same direction, was a caretella owned by
Pedro Bautista. The carretela was towing another horse by means of a short
rope coiled around the rig's vertical post on the right side and held at the
other end by Pedro's son, Julian Bautista.
Bernardo tried to overtake the carretela, instead of slowing down or
stopping behind the carretela until the lane was clear. Its rear bumper caught
the wheel of the carretela and wrenched it loose, and the car skidded to the
other lane. Caedo tried to avoid the collision at the last moment by going
farther to the right, but was unsuccessful.
Caedo and his family members were injured. They filed a suit for
recovery of damages from the defendants. The CFI Rizal rendered judgment
in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants, Yu Khe Thai and Rafael
Bernardo.
ISSUE: Is Yu Khe Thai, as owner of the Cadillac, solidarily liable with the
driver?
HELD:

No. The applicable law is Article 2184 of the Civil Code:


ART. 2184. In motor vehicle mishaps, the owner is solidarily liable
with his driver, if the former, who was in the vehicle, could have, by the use
of due diligence, prevented the misfortune. It is disputably presumed that a
driver was negligent, if he had been found guilty of reckless driving or
violating traffic regulations at least twice within the next preceding two
months.

Under the foregoing provision, if the causative factor was the driver's
negligence, the owner of the vehicle who was present is likewise held liable if
he could have prevented the mishap by the exercise of due diligence.
The basis of the master's liability in civil law is not respondent superior but
rather the relationship of paterfamilias. The theory is that ultimately the
negligence of the servant, if known to the master and susceptible of timely
correction by him, reflects his own negligence if he fails to correct it in order
to prevent injury or damage.
In the present case the defendants' evidence is that Rafael Bernardo
had been Yu Khe Thai's driver since 1937, and before that had been
employed by Yutivo Sons Hardware Co. in the same capacity for over ten

84

years. During that time he had no record of violation of traffic laws and
regulations. No negligence for having employed him at all may be imputed to
his master.
The time element was such that there was no reasonable
opportunity for Yu Khe Thai to assess the risks involved and warn the driver
accordingly.
The law does not require that a person must possess a certain
measure of skill or proficiency either in the mechanics of driving or in the
observance of traffic rules before he may own a motor vehicle. The test of his
intelligence, within the meaning of Article 2184, is his omission to do that
which the evidence of his own senses tells him he should do in order to avoid
the accident. And as far as perception is concerned, absent a minimum level
imposed by law, a maneuver that appears to be fraught with danger to one
passenger may appear to be entirely safe and commonplace to another.
Were the law to require a uniform standard of perceptiveness, employment
of professional drivers by car owners who, by their very inadequacies, have
real need of drivers' services, would be effectively proscribed.

Felina Rodriguez-Luna vs. IAC


G.R. No. L-62988 (February 28, 1985)
Facts: Roberto R. Luna who was killed in a vehicular collision. The collision
took place on January 18, 1970, at the go-kart practice area in Greenhills, San
Juan, Metro Manila. Those involved were the go-kart driven by the deceased,
a business executive, and a Toyota car driven by Luis dela Rosa, a minor of 13
years who had no driver's license.
Luna's heirs brought a suit for damages against Luis and his father,
Jose dela Rosa at the CFI Manila. The dela Rosas were sentenced to pay,
jointly and severally, to the heirs the sum of P1,650,000.00 as unearned net
earnings of Roberto Luna, P12,000.00 as compensatory damages, and
P50,000.00 for the loss of his companionship, with legal interest from the
date of this decision; plus attorney's fees in the sum of P50,000.00, and the
costs of suit.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the decision of the
trial court. However, upon a motion for reconsideration filed by the dela
Rosa, the CA reduced the unearned net earnings to P450,000.00.

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ISSUES: (1) Did the court err in reducing the amount of unearned income? (2)
Should the award for attorney's fees have legal interest?
HELD: (1)The award of P1,650,000.00 was based on two factors, namely: (a)
that the deceased Roberto R. Luna could have lived for 30 more years; and
(b) that his annual net income was P55,000.00, computed at P75,000.00
annual gross income less P20,000.00 annual personal expenses. The CA
sustained the trial court's conclusion with respect to Lunas life expectancy of
30 years and his annual income and expense.
In reducing Luna's life expectancy from 30 to 10 years, the CA said that
his habit and manner of life should be taken into account, i.e. that he had
been engaged in car racing as a sport both here and abroad - a dangerous
and risky activity tending to shorten his life expectancy. That Luna had
engaged in car racing is not based on any evidence on record. That Luna was
engaged in go-kart racing is the correct statement but then go-kart racing
cannot be categorized as a dangerous sport for go-karts are extremely low
slung, low powered vehicles, only slightly larger than foot-pedalled four
wheeled conveyances. It was error on the part of the Court of Appeals to
have disturbed the determination of the trial court which it had previously
affirmed.
Similarly, it was error for the Court of Appeals to reduce the net annual
income of the deceased by increasing his annual personal expenses but
without at the same time increasing his annual gross income. It stands to
reason that if his annual personal expenses should increase because of the
"escalating price of gas which is a key expenditure in Roberto R. Luna's social
standing" [a statement which lacks complete basis], it would not be
unreasonable to suppose that his income would also increase considering the
manifold sources thereof.
(2) Yes. The attorney's fees were awarded in the concept of damages in a
quasi-delict case and under the circumstances interest as part thereof may
be adjudicated at the discretion of the court. (See Art. 2211, Civil Code.) As
with the other damages awarded, the interest should accrue only from the
date of the trial court's decision.

Vicarious liability of Parents

85
Facts: Dante Capuno, the 15 year old minor son of Delfin Capuno and Boy
Scout Organization member, attended a parade upon the instruction of the
City schools supervisor. Dante, with other students, boarded a jeep and
drove the same when it ran with the driver in his left. Shortly after, Dante
sent the jeep tumbling, killing two of its passengers.
Issue: Whether or not the father is liable for the acts of his son in a parade?
Held: Yes. The civil liability imposed upon the father and mother for any
damages that may be caused by the minor children is a necessary
consequence of the parental authority they exercise over them, which
imposes upon parents the duty of supporting them, keeping them in their
company, educating them and instructing them in proportion to their
means, while, on the other hand, gives them the right to correct and
punish them in moderation. The only way to relieve them is if they prove
that they exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family. This
defendant failed to do.

Salen vs Balce
G.R.No. L-14414 (April 27 1960)
Facts: Gumersindo Balce, 14 years old, was convicted of homicide and was
sentenced to indemnify the heirs of the deceased the amount of P2,000. The
amount was not realized by the heirs after execution because Gumersido had
no property in his name so they demanded the father of the minor to
indemnify them.
Issue: Whether or not the father is liable for obligations arising from criminal
acts?
Held: Yes. While the court agrees with the theory that, as a rule, the civil
liability arising from a crime shall be governed by the provisions of the
Revised Penal Code, it disagrees with the contention that the subsidiary
liability of persons for acts of those who are under their custody should
likewise be governed by the same Code even in the absence of any provision
governing the case, for that would leave the transgression of certain right
without any punishment or sanction in the law. Such would be the case if we
would uphold the theory of appellee as sustained by the trial court.

Exconde vs .Capuno
G.R. No. L-10134 (June 29, 1957)
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A minor over 15 who acts with discernment is not exempt from


criminal liability, for which reason the Code is silent as to the subsidiary
liability of his parents should he stand convicted. In that case, resort should
be had to the general law which is our Civil Code. The particular law that
governs this case is Article 2180, the pertinent portion of which provides:
"The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
responsible for damages caused by the minor children who lived in their
company."
To hold that this provision does not apply to the instant case
because it only covers obligations which arise from quasi-delicts and not
obligations which arise from criminal offenses, would result in the absurdity
that while for an act where mere negligence intervenes the father or mother
may stand subsidiarily liable for the damage caused by his or her son, no
liability would attach if the damage is caused with criminal intent.

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caused by his or her son, no liability would attach if the damage is caused
with criminal intent.

Gutierrez vs. Gutierrez


G.R. No. 34840 (September 23, 1931)
Facts: Bonifacio Gutierrez, the 18 y/o son of Manuel Gutierrez, was driving
the family car with other family members overly speeding while approaching
a bridge which caused an accident with a passenger bus injuring Narcisso
Gutierrez (not related to Bonifacio and Manuel). It was later held that
Bonifacio is incompetent to drive.
Issue: Is the father liable for the act of his son?
Held: Yes. The theory of the law is that the running of the machine by a child
to carry other members of the family is within the scope of the owner's
business, so that he is liable for the negligence of the child because of the
relationship of master and servant.

FUELLAS v CADANO
G.R. No. 14409 (October 31, 1961)
Facts: Rico Fuellas took the pencil of one of his classmates. Pepito returned
the pencil which angered Rico who then held Pepitos neck and pushed him
on the floor. Their teacher separated them and ordered them to go home.
Rico met Pepito outside and repeated what he did earlier which broke
Pepitos right arm. Rico was later convicted for intentional felony with
discernment,and his father held subsidiarily liable for damages.
Issue: Whether or not the father is liable should his minor child act with
discernment in a criminal offense?
Held: Yes. Since Article 101 of the Revised Penal Code is silent as to the
subsidiary liability in case a minor child acts with discernment and become
criminally liable so the resort should be referring to the general law which is
the Civil Code.
The particular law that governs this case is Article 2180, the
pertinent portion of which provides: "The father and, in case of his death or
incapacity, the mother, are responsible for damages caused by the minor
children who live in their company." To hold that this provision does not
apply to the instant case because it only covers obligations which arise from
quasi-delicts and not obligations which arise from criminal offenses, would
result in the absurdity that while for an act where mere negligence
intervenes the father or mother may stand subsidiarily liable for the damage

Rodriguez-Luna v IAC
135 SCRA 241 (1985)
Facts: Luis dela Rosa, 13 years of age and without a drivers license, at that
time while driving a Toyota car negligently killed Roberto Luna who was
driving a Go-Kart in a practice run. Later, Luis already became of age,
married, with two children, and living in Madrid says that he has no
properties so a writ of execution cannot be enforced against him.
Issue: May the father still be held liable despite the attainment of majority by
his son at the time the decision was promulgated?
Held: Yes. Notwithstanding emancipation, he is still liable but as a matter of
equity, the liability shall become merely subsidiary.

Cuadra vs. Monfort


35 SCRA 160 (1970)

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Facts:Maria Teresa Cuadra and Maria Teresa Monfort, 13 years old, together
with three other classmates were assigned to weed the grass in the school
premises. Monfort pulled a prank to scare Cuadra by throwing a plastic
headband at her face and making it appear that it was an earthworm.
Unfortunately, the headband hit Cuadras right eye, blinding the same.
Issue: Is the father liable for his daughters acts?
Held: No. In the present case there is nothing from which it may be inferred
that the defendant could have prevented the damage by the observance of
due care, or that he was in any way remiss in the exercise of his parental
authority in failing to foresee such damage, or the act which caused it.
On the contrary, his child was at school, where it was his duty to
send her and where she was, as he had the right to expect her to be, under
the care and supervision of the teacher. And as far as the act which caused
the injury was concerned, it was an innocent prank not unusual among
children at play and which no parent, however careful, would have any
special reason to anticipate much less guard against. Nor did it reveal any
mischievous propensity, or indeed any trait in the child's character which
would reflect unfavorably on her upbringing and for which the blame could
be attributed to her parents.

Libi v. IAC

87
Issue: Is the father liable for Wendells acts?
Held: Yes. The father of Wendell did not exercise due diligence when he did
not prevent the kid from having access to the key which opens his safety
deposit box. The court did not give credence to the story of the Libis.
Amelita Libi, mother of Wendell, testified that her husband,
Cresencio Libi, owns a gun which he kept in a safety deposit box inside a
drawer in their bedroom. Each of the Wendells parents holds a key to the
safety deposit box and Amelita's key is always in her bag, all of which facts
were known to Wendell. They have never seen their son Wendell taking or
using the gun. She admitted, however, that on that fateful night the gun was
no longer in the safety deposit box. In view of these circumstances, it can be
deduced that the spouses Libi have not exercised the diligence of a good
father of a family by safely locking the fatal gun away. Wendell could not
have gotten hold thereof unless one of the keys to the safety deposit box
was negligently left lying around or he had free access to the bag of his
mother where the other key was.

Tamargo vs CA
G.R. No. 85044, June 3, 1992.

214 SCRA 16 (1990)


Facts: Wendell Libi, minor, was dumped by his sweetheart Julie Anne after
the latter found him to be sadistic and irresponsible. Wendell kept pestering
Julie Ann with demands for reconciliation but the Julie refused, prompting
him to resort to threats against her. In order to avoid him, Julie Ann stayed in
the house of her best friend, Malou Alfonso.
Later, Wendell took the key of deposit box, opened it and, and took the gun
stored inside. The gun belongs to his father, an agent of the Constabulary
Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU). Wendell went to his ex-sweetheart, killed her
and then committed suicide using the same gun. The parents of Julie Anne
sued the parents of Wendell for damages.
The Libis contend that an unknown third party, whom Wendell may have
displeased or antagonized by reason of his work as a narcotics informer of
the Constabulary Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU), must have caused Wendell's
death and then shot Julie Ann to eliminate any witness and thereby avoid
identification.

Facts: A case based on quasi-delict was filed against the natural parents of
Adelberto Bundoc, a minor, who shot Jennifer Tamargo with an air rifle
which caused her death. Prior to the incident, Adelberto has been the subject
of adoption proceedings filed by Rapisura spouses and after the incident, the
same was granted. In the Bundocs answer, they said that the Rapisuras are
the ones who should be liable since parental authority had shifted to the
adopting parents from the moment a successful petition was filed.
Issue: Who should be liable for the minors acts?
Held: Parental authority is not retroactively transferred to the adopting
parents especially with regard to quasi-delicts. The New Civil Code states
that, The father and the mother, are responsible for the damages caused by
the minor children who live in their company. The basis of the vicarious
liability rests upon the negligence in the obligation to supervise and control
the minor, and since the ones exercising parental authority and had physical
custody pending the adoption proceedings are still the natural parents over
the child, they should be the ones liable for any damage caused.

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88

Vicarious liability of teachers and heads of institutions


Mercado vs. CA
G.R. No. L-14342, May 30, 1960
Facts: Manuel Quisimbing, Jr., son of private respondents Ana and Manuel,
Sr., was the classmate of Augusto Mercado in the Lourdes School of Kanlaon,
Q.C. A melee ensued between the two on account of the latters (Augusto
Mercado) pitogo, an empty nutshell used by children as a coin bank. The
said coin bank was lent several times. As Mercado attempted to obtain the
same, Manuel Jr. told him not to do so because Renato was better at putting
the chain into the holes of the "pitogo". The fight started thereafter.
Augusto gave successive blows to Manuel, Jr., and as he clutched his
stomach, which bore the brunt of Augusto's anger, Augusto cut him on the
right cheek with a razor. Private respondents went to court asking for moral
damages on account of a) the wound inflicted by Augusto Mercado (2,000) ,
and b) moral damages due to the mental anguish of seeing their son
wounded (3,000). Although originally dismissed by the CFI of Manila, on
appeal, judgment was rendered in favor of respondents, ordering petitioner
to pay P2,000 as moral damages and P50 as medical expenses.
Petitioner argues that since the infliction of the wound occurred in a
Catholic School (during recess time), through no fault of the father,
petitioner herein, the teacher or head of the school should be held
responsible instead of the latter. Further, they claim that the award of moral
damages was excessive.
Issue: To whom does responsibility over the childs actions pass to, the
teacher or the parent? Was the award of moral damages excessive?
Held: As to the first issue, the Supreme Court held in Exconde vs. Capuno and
Capuno that responsibility over the childs actions must pass to the teacher.
However, this provision only applies to an institution of arts and trades not to
an academic educational institution. Further, upon reading the last
paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code, it would be seem that the clause
"so long as they remain in their custody," contemplates a situation where the

pupil lives and boards with the teacher, such that control, direction and
influence on the pupil supersedes those of the parents. Such a situation does
not appear in the case at bar; the pupils appear to go to school during school
hours and go back to their homes with their parents after school is over.
Similarly, paragraph 2 of said article, which makes father or mother
responsible for the damages caused by their minor children, cannot apply.
The claim of petitioner that responsibility should pass to the school must,
therefore, be held to be without merit.
As to the amount of moral damages, the Court held that while moral
damages included physical suffering, the decision of the court below does
not declare that any of the cases specified in Article 2219 of the Civil Code in
which moral damages may be recovered, has attended or occasioned the
physical injury. The only possible circumstance in the case at bar in which
moral damages are recoverable would be if a criminal offense or a quasidelict has been committed. It does not appear that a criminal action for
physical injuries was ever presented. Further, the offender was nine years old
and did not appear to have acted with discernment when he inflicted the
physical injuries on Manuel Quisumbing, Jr.
Further, even if we assume that the CA considered Mercado guilty
of a quasi-delict when it imposed moral damages, the facts found by said
court indicate that Augusto's resentment, was occasioned by the fact that
Manuel, Jr. had tried to intervene in or interfere with the attempt of
Mercado to get "his pitogo from Renato." It is, therefore, apparent that the
proximate cause of the injury caused to Quisumbing was Quisumbing's own
fault or negligence for having interfered with Mercado while trying to get the
pitogo from another boy.

Palisoc vs. CA
G.R. No. L-29025 (October 4, 1971)
Facts: Dominador Palisoc and the defendant Virgilio L. Daffon were
classmates and, together with another classmate Desiderio Cruz were in the
laboratory room located on the ground floor. At that time the classes were in
recess, Cruz and Daffon were working on a machine while Dominador

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Palisoc was merely looking on at them. Daffon made a remark to the effect
that Palisoc was acting like a foreman. Because of this remark Palisoc slapped
slightly Daffon on the face. Daffon, in retaliation, gave Palisoc a strong flat
blow on the face, followed by other fist blows to the stomach. Palisoc
retreated, but Daffon followed him and both exchanged blows until Palisoc
stumbled on an engine block causing him to fall face downward. Palisoc
became pale and fainted. First aid was administered to him but he was not
revived, so he was immediately taken to a hospital. He never regained
consciousness.
Trial ensued, with the trial court giving credence to Cruzs version of
the incident. The trial court found defendant Daffon liable for the quasi
delict under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. It held that "(T)he act of Daffon in
giving the deceased strong fist blows in the stomach which ruptured his
internal organs and caused his death falls within the purview of this article of
the Code."
The trial court, however, absolved from liability the three other
defendants-officials of the Manila Technical Institute, holding that Article
2180 of the Civil Code does not apply, as decided in Mercado v. CA.
Defendant was ordered to pay a) 6,000 for the death of Palisoc, b) 3,375 as
actual and compensatory damages, c) 5,000 as moral damages, d) 10,000 for
loss of earning capacity and e) 2,000 as attorneys fees. Appeal is raised on a
purely legal question.
Issue: Did the trial court err in absolving the defendants-school officials
instead of holding them jointly and severally liable with defendant Daffon,
for the damages awarded them as a result of their son's death?
Held: Yes. The Court ruled that the lower courts decision to absolve was
based on Mercado v. CA, which was based in turn on another dictum in the
earlier case of Exconde vs. Capuno, The dictum in such earlier case that "It is
true that under the law above-quoted, teachers or directors of arts and
trades are liable for any damage caused by their pupils or apprentices while
they are under their custody, but this applies to an institution of arts and
trades and not to any academic educational institution." The case at hand
was instituted directly against the school officials and squarely raises the
issue of liability of teachers and heads of schools under Article 2180, Civil

89

Code, for damages caused by their pupils and students against fellow
students on the school premises.
There is no question, either, that the school involved is a nonacademic school, the Manila Technical Institute being admittedly a technical
vocational and industrial school. With this in mind, the Court holds that
under the cited codal article, defendants head and teacher of the Manila
Technical Institute ( Valenton and Quibulue, respectively) are liable jointly
and severally for damages to plaintiffs-appellants for the death of the latter's
minor son at the hands of defendant Daffon at the school's laboratory room.
In the law of torts, the governing principle is that the protective
custody of the school heads and teachers is mandatorily substituted for that
of the parents. It becomes their obligation as well as that of the school itself
to provide proper supervision of the students' activities during the whole
time that they are at attendance in the school, including recess time, as well
as to take the necessary precautions to protect the students in their custody
from dangers and hazards that would reasonably be anticipated, including
injuries that some student themselves may inflict willfully or through
negligence on their fellow students.
There is nothing in the law that requires that for such liability to
attach, the pupil or student who commits the tortious act must live and
board in the school, as erroneously held by the lower court, and the dicta in
Mercado (as well as in Exconde) on which it relied, must now be deemed to
have been set aside by the present decision.

Amadora vs. CA
G.R. No. L-47745, April 15, 1988

Facts: Alfredo Amadora went to the San Jose-Recoletos on April 13, 1972,
and while in its auditorium was shot to death by Pablito Daffon, a classmate.
Daffon was convicted of homicide thru reckless imprudence. Additionally, a
civil action for damages was filed against the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos,
its rector the high school principal, the dean of boys, and the physics teacher,
together with Daffon and two other students, through their respective
parents.

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The Court of Appeals, in reversing the CFIs decision, found that


Article 2180 was not applicable as the Colegio de San Jose-Recoletos was not
a school of arts and trades but an academic institution of learning. It also
held that the students were not in the custody of the school at the time of
the incident as the semester had already ended, that there was no clear
identification of the fatal gun and that in any event the defendant, had
exercised the necessary diligence in preventing the injury.
The petitioners contend that their son was in the school to show his
physics experiment as a prerequisite to his graduation; hence, he was then
under the custody of the private respondents.
Earlier, Sergio Damaso, Jr., the dean of boys, confiscated from Jose
Gumban an unlicensed pistol but later returned it to him without making a
report to the principal or taking any further action. As Gumban was one of
the companions of Daffon when the latter fired the gun that killed Alfredo,
petitioners contend that this was the same pistol that had been confiscated
from Gumban and that their son would not have been killed if it had not
been returned by Damaso.
Issues: Does Article 2180 apply only to cases of tort which occur in schools of
arts and trades? When is a student said to be in the custody of the school?
Held: The Court held that Article 2180 should apply to all schools regardless
of its academic or non-academic status, since there is no substantial
difference between the two insofar as supervision, advice and insofar as torts
committed by their students are concerned. This is in line with the dissenting
opinion penned by Justice JBL Reyes in Exconde v. Capuno. The Court cannot
see why different degrees of vigilance should be exercised by the school
authorities on the basis only of the nature of their respective schools. No
plausible reason exists for relaxing that vigilance simply because the school is
academic in nature and for increasing such vigilance where the school is nonacademic. The teacher certainly should not be able to excuse himself by
simply showing that he is teaching in an academic school where, on the other
hand, the head would be held liable if the school were non-academic.
Further, following reddendo singgula singulis, in reading the
provision, teachers" should apply to the words "pupils and students" and
"heads of establishments of arts and trades" to the word "apprentices." The

90

latter can be traced from history, back when schools of arts and trades were
engaged in the training of artisans apprenticed to their master who
personally and directly instructed them on the technique and secrets of their
craft. The head of the school of arts and trades was such, a master, and was
personally involved in the task of teaching his students, who usually even
boarded with him and came under his constant control, supervision and
influence.
As regards the second issue, the Court held that while the custody
requirement does not mean that the student must be boarding with the
school authorities, it does signify that the student should be within the
control and under the influence of the school authorities at the time of the
occurrence of the injury. The student is deemed to be in the custody of the
school authorities as long as he is under the control and influence of the
school and within its premises, whether the semester has not yet begun or
has already ended. As long as it can be shown that the student is in the
school premises in pursuance of a legitimate student objective, in the
exercise of a legitimate student right, and even in the enjoyment of a
legitimate student right, and even in the enjoyment of a legitimate student
privilege, the responsibility of the school authorities over the student
continues.

Pasco vs. CFI


G.R. No. L-54357 (April 25, 1988)

Facts: On August 24, 1979 at about 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon, petitioner
Pasco, together with two companions, while walking inside the campus of
the private respondent Araneta University, after attending classes in said
university, was accosted and mauled by a group of Muslim students led by
Abdul Karim Madidis alias "Teng." Said Muslim group were also students of
the Araneta University. Petitioner was subsequently stabbed by Abdul and as
a consequence he was hospitalized at the Manila Central University (MCU)
Hospital where he underwent surgery to save his life.
Petitioner, assisted by his father Pedro Pasco, filed a complaint for damages
against Abdul Karim Madidis and herein private respondent Gregorio Araneta
University which was docketed as Civil Case No. SM-1027. Said school was

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impleaded as a party defendant based on Article 2180 of the Civil Code.


Subsequently, a motion to dismiss was filed by respondent school.
Respondent court granted the motion to dismiss, and likewise denied
petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
Issue: Is the provision in the last paragraph of Article 2180 of the Civil Code
equally applicable to academic institutions?
Held: The court rules in the negative, for surely the provision concerned
speaks only of "teachers or heads." Further, the court finds no necessity of
discussing the applicability of the Article to educational institutions (which
are not schools of arts and trades) for the issue in this petition.
NOTE: Compare this with the immediately preceding case.

YLarde vs. Aquino


G.R. No. L-33722 (July 29, 1988)

Facts: Supra
Issue: Whether or not under Art. 2176 and 2180, both the teacher and the
principal can be held liable for damages
Held: As to the principal, he cannot be made responsible for the death of the
child Ylarde, he being the head of an academic school and not a school of
arts and trades. In line with the ruling in Amadora vs. Court of Appeals,
under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, it is only the teacher and not the head of
an academic school who should be answerable for torts committed by their
students. This Court 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. Soriano, as principal,
cannot be held liable for the reason that the school he heads is an academic
school and not a school of arts and trades. Besides, as clearly admitted by
private respondent Aquino, private respondent Soriano did not give any
instruction regarding the digging.
From the foregoing, it can be easily seen that private respondent Aquino can
be held liable under Article 2180 of the Civil Code as the teacher-in-charge of
the children for being negligent in his supervision over them and his failure to

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take the necessary precautions to prevent any injury on their persons.


However, petitioners base the alleged liability of private respondent Aquino
on Article 2176. Were there acts and omissions on the part of private
respondent Aquino amounting to fault or negligence which have direct
causal relation to the death of his pupil Ylarde? The Court answered in the
affirmative. He is liable for damages.
Clearly, private respondent Aquino acted with fault and gross negligence
when he: (1) failed to avail himself of services of adult manual laborers and
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 the children to remain inside the pit even after they had finished
digging, knowing that the huge block was lying nearby and could be easily
pushed or kicked aside by any pupil who by chance may go to the perilous
area; (3) ordered them to level 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 check on the children's safety; and (5) left the
children close to the excavation, an obviously attractive nuisance.
The contention that private respondent Aquino exercised the utmost
diligence of a very cautious person is certainly without cogent basis. A
reasonably prudent person would have foreseen that bringing children to an
excavation site, and more so, leaving them there all by themselves, may
result in an accident. An ordinarily careful human being would not assume
that a simple warning "not to touch the stone" is sufficient to cast away all
the serious danger that a huge concrete block adjacent to an excavation
would present to the children. Moreover, a teacher who stands in loco
parentis to his pupils would have made sure that the children are protected
from all harm in his company

Salvosa vs. IAC


G.R. No. 70458 October 5, 1988
Facts: Within the premises of Baguio Colleges Foundation (BFC), an academic
institution, is an ROTC Unit, the Baguio Colleges Foundation Reserve Officers
Training Corps (ROTC) Unit, which is under the fifth control of the Armed
Forces of the Philippines. Jimmy B. Abon is its duly appointed armorer, who
received his appointment from the AFP, and is not an employee of the BCF.

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On 3 March 1977, at around 8:00 p.m., in the parking space of BCF,


Jimmy B. Abon shot Napoleon Castro a student of the University of Baguio
with an unlicensed firearm which the former took from the armory of the
ROTC Unit of the BCF. Napoleon Castro died and Jimmy B. Abon was
prosecuted for, and convicted of the crime of Homicide by Military
Commission No. 30, AFP.
Castro's heirs sued for damages impleading Jimmy B. Abon, Roberto
C. Ungos (ROTC Commandant Benjamin Salvosa (President and Chairman of
the Board of BCF), Jesus Salvosa (Executive Vice President of BCF), Libertad D.
Quetolio (Dean of the College of Education and Executive Trustee of BCF) and
the Baguio Colleges Foundation Inc. as party defendants. The trial court
rendered decision sentencing Abon, Salvosa and BCF jointly and severally
liable to the heirs of Castro.
ISSUE: Can Salvosa and the BCF be held solidarily liable with Abon for
damages under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, as a consequence of the
tortious act of Jimmy B. Abon?

HELD: No. Under the penultimate paragraph of Art. 2180 of the Civil Code,
teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades are hable for
"damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices, so long as they
remain in their custody." The rationale of such liability is that so long as the
student remains in the custody of a teacher, the latter "stands, to a certain
extent, in loco parentis [as to the student] and [is] called upon to exercise
reasonable supervision over the conduct of the [student]." Likewise, "the
phrase used in [Art. 2180 'so long as (the students) remain in their custody
means the protective and supervisory custody that the school and its heads
and teachers exercise over the pupils and students for as long as they are at
attendance in the school, including recess time."
In line with the case of Palisoc, a student not "at attendance in the
school" cannot be in "recess" thereat. A "recess," as the concept is embraced
in the phrase "at attendance in the school," contemplates a situation of
temporary adjournment of school activities where the student still remains
within call of his mentor and is not permitted to leave the school premises,
or the area within which the school activity is conducted. Recess by its nature

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does not include dismissal. Likewise, the mere fact of being enrolled or being
in the premises of a school without more does not constitute "attending
school" or being in the "protective and supervisory custody' of the school, as
contemplated in the law.
Jimmy B. Abon cannot be considered to have been "at attendance in
the school," or in the custody of BCF, when he shot Napoleon Castro.
Logically, therefore, petitioners cannot under Art. 2180 of the Civil Code be
held solidarily liable with Jimmy B. Abon for damages resulting from his acts.

St. Francis High School vs. CA


G.R. No. 82465 (February 25, 1991)

Facts: Ferdinand Castillo, a freshman student of Section 1-C at the St. Francis
High School, wanted to join a school picnic undertaken by Class I-B and Class
I-C at Talaan Beach, Sariaya, Quezon. Ferdinand's parents, spouses Dr.
Romulo Castillo and Lilia Cadiz Castillo, because of short notice, did not allow
their son to join but merely allowed him to bring food to the teachers for the
picnic, with the directive that he should go back home after doing so.
Ferdinand went on with them to the beach. During the picnic, one of the
female teachers was apparently drowning. Some of the students, including
Ferdinand, came to her rescue, but in the process, Ferdinand drowned.
The spouses Castillo filed a complaint against St. Francis High
School, represented by the spouses Fernando Nantes and Rosario Lacandula,
Benjamin Illumin (its principal), and the teachers: Tirso de Chaves, Luisito
Vinas, Connie Arquio, Nida Aragones, Yoly Jaro, and Patria Cadiz, for
Damages. The trial court decided against teachers Arquio, de Chaves, Vinas,
Aragones, Jaro and Cadiz, for failing to exercise the diligence required of
them by law under the circumstances to guard against the harm they had
foreseen. It dismissed the case against the St. Francis High School, Benjamin
Illumin and Aurora Cadorna for failing to show that they were responsible for
Castillo's death.
On appeal, the CA ruled that St. Francis HS and Illumin were liable
under Art 2176 taken together with the 1st, 4th and 5th paragraphs of Article
2180 of the Civil Code. Yoly Jaro and Nida Aragones, who had satisfactorily

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explained why they were late in going to the picnic site were absolved of
liability.

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diligence. Hence, the claim for moral or exemplary damages becomes


baseless.

ISSUES: (1) Were the school and their teachers negligent? (2)Is Art. 2180, in
relation to Art. 2176 of the New Civil Code is applicable? (3) Is the award of
exemplary and moral damages is proper?

PSBA vs. CA

HELD: The school and the principle are neither guilty of their own negligence
or guilty of the negligence of those under them. They cannot be held liable
for damages of any kind.

Facts: A stabbing incident on 30 August 1985 caused the death of Carlitos


Bautista while on the second-floor premises of the Philippine School of
Business Administration (PSBA). His parents filed a suit in the RTC of Manila
(Branch 47) presided over by Judge (now Court of Appeals justice) Regina
Ordoez-Benitez, for damages against the said PSBA and its corporate
officers. At the time of his death, Carlitos was enrolled in the third year
commerce course at the PSBA. It was established that his assailants were not
members of the school's academic community but were elements from
outside the school.

Under Article 2180, par. 4, before 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 was in the performance of
his assigned tasks. Mere knowledge by Illumin of the planning of the picnic
by the students and their teachers does not in any way or in any manner
show acquiescence or consent to the holding of the same. The application
therefore of Article 2180 has no basis in law and neither is it supported by
any jurisprudence.
No negligence could be attributable to the petitioners-teachers to warrant
the award of damages to the respondents-spouses. Arquio, class adviser of IC, did her best and exercised diligence of a good father of a family to prevent
any untoward incident or damages to all the students who joined the picnic.

With these facts in mind, no moral nor exemplary damages may be awarded
in favor of respondents-spouses. The case at bar does not fall under any of
the grounds to grant moral damages.
Moreover, as already pointed out hereinabove, petitioners are not guilty of
any fault or negligence, hence, no moral damages can be assessed against
them. While it is true that respondents-spouses did give their consent to
their son to join the picnic, this does not mean that the petitioners were
already relieved of their duty to observe the required diligence of a good
father of a family in ensuring the safety of the children. But in the case at bar,
petitioners were able to prove that they had exercised the required

G.R. No. 84698 (February 4, 1992)

PSBA sought to have the suit dismissed, alleging that since they are
being sued under Art 2180 of the Civil, the complaint lacks a cause of action
because they, as an academic institution, were beyond the ambit of the rule .
The courts denied the motion.

ISSUE: Is the PSBA liable under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code?
HELD: Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code,
establishes the rule of in loco parentis. Article 2180 plainly provides that the
damage should have been caused or inflicted by pupils or students of the
educational institution sought to be held liable for the acts of its pupils or
students while in its custody. This material situation does not exist in the
present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of Carlitos were not
students of the PSBA, for whose acts the school could be made liable.
However, it does not necessarily follow that PSBA is exculpated from liability.
When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment,
there is established a contract between them, resulting in bilateral
obligations which both parties are bound to comply with. The school
undertakes to provide the student with an education that would presumably
suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to pursue higher

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education or a profession. On the other hand, the student covenants to


abide by the school's academic requirements and observe its rules and
regulations.
Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual
relation between the PSBA and Carlitos Bautista, the rules on quasi-delict do
not really govern. A perusal of Article 2176 shows that obligations arising
from quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-contractual obligations, arise
only between parties not otherwise bound by contract, whether express or
implied. However, this impression has not prevented the Court from
determining the existence of a tort even when there obtains a contract.
Jurisprudence indicates that should the act which breaches a contract be
done in bad faith and be violative of Article 21, then there is a cause to view
the act as constituting a quasi-delict.
In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, there is no finding
that the contract between the school and Bautista had been breached thru
the former's negligence in providing proper security measures. This would be
for the trial court to determine. And, even if there be a finding of negligence,
the same could give rise generally to a breach of contractual obligation only.
Using the test of Cangco, the negligence of the school would not be relevant
absent a contract. In fact, that negligence becomes material only because of
the contractual relation between PSBA and Bautista. In other words, a
contractual relation is a condition sine qua non to the school's liability. The
negligence of the school cannot exist independently of the contract, unless
the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in Article 21 of the
Civil Code.
As the proceedings have yet to commence, only the trial court can
make a determination of material facts.

Soliman vs. Tuason


G.R. No. 66207 (May 18, 1992)
Facts: On 13 August 1982, Soliman, Jr., a regular student of Republic Central
Colleges (RCC), was in its campus ground and premises taking his morning
classes. Jimmy B. Solomon, who was on said date and hour in the premises of
said school performing his duties and obligations as a duly appointed security
guard under the employment, supervision and control of R.L. SECURITY

94

AGENCY, INC., headed by Mr. Benjamin Serrano, shot Soliman on the


abdomen with a .38 Caliber Revolver, a deadly weapon, which ordinarily such
wound sustained would have caused plaintiff's death were it not for the
timely medical assistance given to him.
Soliman filed a civil complaint for damages against private Republic
Central Colleges, the R.L. Security Agency Inc. and Jimmy B. Solomon, a
security guard. RCC filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that there was no
cause of action against it, and that it is free from liability because RCC was
not the employer of the security guard charged, Jimmy Solomon, and hence
was not responsible for any wrongful act of Solomon. They also argued that
Article 2180, 7th paragraph, of the Civil Code did not apply, since said
paragraph holds teachers and heads of establishment of arts and trades
liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices, while
security guard Jimmy Solomon was not a pupil, student or apprentice of the
school. The court granted the motion to dismiss.
ISSUE: Is RCC liable for damages?
Held: Yes, but RCC is not liable under Article 2180 par. 5 of the Civil Code.
RCC was not the employer of Jimmy Solomon. The employer of Jimmy
Solomon was the R.L. Security Agency Inc., while the school was the client or
customer of the R.L. Security Agency Inc. It is settled that where the security
agency, as here, recruits, hires and assigns the work of its watchmen or
security guards, the agency is the employer of such guards or watchmen.
Liability for illegal or harmful acts committed by the security guards attaches
to the employer agency, and not to the clients or customers of such agency.
Likewise, RCC is not liable under Article 2180 par 7. since there is no question
that Jimmy Solomon was not a pupil or student or an apprentice of the
Colleges, he being in fact an employee of the R.L. Security Agency Inc.,
However, it does not follow that RCC could not be held liable upon any other
basis in law. In PSBA, the Court held that Article 2180 of the Civil Code was
not applicable where a student had been injured by one who was an outsider
or by one over whom the school did not exercise any custody or control or
supervision. At the same time, however, the Court stressed that an implied
contract may be held to be established between a school which accepts
students for enrollment, on the one hand, and the students who are
enrolled, on the other hand, which contract results in obligations for both
parties.
As PSBA states, acts which are tortious or allegedly tortious in
character may at the same time constitute breach of a contractual, or other

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legal, obligation. Respondent trial judge was in serious error when he


supposed that petitioner could have no cause of action other than one based
on Article 2180 of the Civil Code. Respondent trial judge should not have
granted the motion to dismiss but rather should have, in the interest of
justice, allowed petitioner to prove acts constituting breach of an obligation
ex contractu or ex lege on the part of respondent Colleges.

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unemancipated minor while under their supervision, instruction, or custody.


However, for petitioner to be liable, there must be a finding that the act or
omission considered as negligent was the proximate cause of the injury
caused because the negligence must have a causal connection to the
accident. In this case, the respondents failed to show that the negligence of
petitioner was the proximate cause of the death of the victim.
The proximate cause of an injury is that cause, which, in natural and
continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces
the injury, and without which the result would not have occurred.

St. Marys Academy vs. Carpitanos


G.R. No. 143363 (February 6, 2002)
Facts: From 13 to 20 February 1995, St. Marys Academy of Dipolog City
conducted an enrollment drive for the school year 1995-1996. A facet of the
enrollment campaign was the visitation of schools from where prospective
enrollees were studying. Sherwin Carpitanos was part of the campaigning
group. Sherwin, along with other high school students rode a Mitsubishi jeep
owned by Vivencio Villanueva on their way to Larayan Elementary School,
Larayan, Dapitan City. The jeep was driven by James Daniel II then 15 years
old and a student of the same school. The jeep turned turtle. Sherwin died.
Spouses William Carpitanos and Lucia Carpitanos filed a case against
James Daniel II and his parents, James Daniel Sr. and Guada Daniel, the
vehicle owner, Vivencio Villanueva and St. Marys Academy before the
Regional Trial Court of Dipolog City. The RTC rendered judgment holding St.
Mary's Academy liable for damages, and the Daniels' subsidiarily liable.
James Daniel II and Villanueva were absolved of liability.
ISSUE: Is St. Mary's Academy liable for damages?
Held: No. Under Article 218 of the Family Code, the following shall have
special parental authority over a minor child while under their supervision,
instruction or custody: (1) the school, its administrators and teachers; or (2)
the individual, entity or institution engaged in child care. This special
parental authority and responsibility applies to all authorized activities,
whether inside or outside the premises of the school, entity or institution.
Thus, such authority and responsibility applies to field trips, excursions and
other affairs of the pupils and students outside the school premises
whenever authorized by the school or its teachers.
Under Article 219 of the Family Code, if the person under custody is
a minor, those exercising special parental authority are principally and
solidarily liable for damages caused by the acts or omissions of the

Considering it was the negligence of the minor driver or the


detachment of the steering wheel guide of the jeep owned by Villanueva
which caused the accident, an event over which St. Marys Academy had no
control, and which was the proximate cause of the accident, the school may
not be held liable for the death resulting from such accident.
Consequently, the school cannot be liable for moral damages.
Though incapable of pecuniary computation, moral damages may be
recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendants wrongful act or
omission. In this case, the proximate cause of the accident was not
attributable to petitioner.
Incidentally, there was no question that the registered owner of the
vehicle was respondent Villanueva. He never denied and in fact admitted
this fact. We have held that the registered owner of any vehicle, even if not
used for public service, would primarily be responsible to the public or to
third persons for injuries caused the latter while the vehicle was being driven
on the highways or streets.

Vicarious liability of owners and managers of


establishments
Philippine Rabbit vs. Philippine American
G.R. No. L-25142 (March 25, 1975)
Facts: In the complaint for damages filed by the Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines
and Pangalangan against Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., Balingit and Pineda,
it was alleged that on November 24, 1962, Pineda drove recklessly a freight
truck, owned by Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., along the national highway

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at Sto. Tomas, Pampanga. The truck bumped the bus driven by Pangalangan,
which was owned by Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. As a result of the
bumping, Pangalangan suffered injuries and the bus was damaged and could
not be used for seventy-nine days, thus depriving the company of earnings
amounting to P8,665.51. Balingit was the manager of Phil-American
Forwarders, Inc.
The case was dismissed based on the ground that Balingit as the
manager of Phil-American Forwarders, Inc., which together with Fernando
Pineda and Balingit, was sued for damages in an action based on quasi-delict
or culpa aquiliana, is not the manager of an establishment contemplated in
article 2180 of the Civil Code.
Issue: Do the terms "employers" and "owners and managers of an
establishment or enterprise" (dueos o directores de un establicimiento o
empresa) used in article 2180 of the Civil Code, formerly article 1903 of the
old Code, embrace the manager of a corporation owning a truck, the reckless
operation of which allegedly resulted in the vehicular accident from which
the damage arose?
Held: No. Those terms do not include the manager of a corporation. It may
be gathered from the context of article 2180 that the term "manager"
("director" in the Spanish version) is used in the sense of "employer".
Hence, under the allegations of the complaint, no tortious or quasidelictual liability can be fastened on Balingit as manager of Phil-American
Forwarders, Inc., in connection with the vehicular accident already
mentioned because he himself may be regarded as an employee or
dependiente of his employer, Phil-American Forwarders, Inc.
The bus company and its driver, in their appellants' brief, injected a
new factual issue which was not alleged in their complaint. They argue that
Phil- American Forwarders, Inc. is merely a business conduit of Balingit. That
argument implies that the veil of corporate fiction should be pierced and that
Phil-American Forwarders, Inc. and Balingit and his wife should be treated as
one and the same civil personality. This issue was not raised in the lower
court. The legal issue, which Philippine Rabbit and Pangalangan can ventilate
in this appeal, is one which was raised in the lower court and which is within
the issues framed by the parties (Sec. 18, Rule 46, Rules of Court).

96

Vicarious Liability of employers


Philtranco vs. CA
G.R. No. 120553 (June 17, 1997)
Facts: The heirs of Ramon A. Acuesta instituted n action against Philtranco.
They alleged that on March 24, 1990, about 6:00 o'clock, the victim Ramon A.
Acuesta was riding in his easy rider bicycle along the Gomez Street of
Calbayog City. Philtranco Bus No. 4025 with plate No. EVA-725 driven by
defendant Rogasiones Manilhig y Dolira, was being pushed by some persons
to start its engine. The engine started and continued running. It bumped
Acuesta and ran over him.
Philtranco, on the other hand, alleged that Manilhig, warmed up the
engine of the bus and made a few rounds within the city proper of Calbayog.
While the bus was cruising along Gomez Street, the victim, who was biking
towards the same direction as the bus, suddenly overtook two tricycles and
swerved left to the center of the road. The swerving was abrupt and so
sudden that even as Manilhig applied the brakes and blew the bus horn, the
victim was bumped from behind and run over by the bus.
The trial court rendered judgment holding Philtranco and Manilhig
jointly and severally liable. The CA affirmed the trial courts decision.
Issues: (1) Is Article 2194, instead of Article 2180 of the Civil Code applicable,
in other words, were Philtranco and Manilhig solidarily liable? (2) Is the
award of damages proper?
Held: Yes. The case is action for damages based on quasi-delict under Article
2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code against petitioner Manilhig and his
employer, petitioner Philtranco, respectively.
Under Article 2194 of the Civil Code, the liability of the registered owner of a
public service vehicle, like petitioner Philtranco, for damages arising from the
tortious acts of the driver is primary, direct, and joint and several or solidary
with the drive. Art. 2194. The responsibility of two or more persons who are
liable for a quasi-delict is solidary.
Since the employer's liability is primary, direct and solidary, its only recourse
if the judgment for damages is satisfied by it is to recover what it has paid
from its employee who committed the fault or negligence which gave rise to
the action based on quasi-delict.

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Art. 2181. Whoever pays for the damage caused by his dependents or
employees may recover from the latter what he has paid or delivered in
satisfaction of the claim. The award of "P200,000.00 as death indemnity" not
as compensation for loss of earning capacity. There is no evidence on the
victim's earning capacity and life expectancy. Only indemnity for death under
Article 2206 is due, which is fixed at P50,000.

Castilex vs. Vasquez


G.R. No. 132266 (December 21, 1999)
Facts: On 28 August 1988, at around 1:30 to 2:00 in the morning, Romeo So
Vasquez, was driving a Honda motorcycle around Fuente Osmea Rotunda.
Benjamin Abad was a manager of Appellant Castilex Industrial Corporation,
registered owner [of] a Toyota Hi-Lux Pick-up with plate no. GBW-794. Abad
drove the company car out of a parking lot but instead of going around the
Osmea rotunda he made a short cut against [the] flow of the traffic in
proceeding to his route to General Maxilom St. or to Belvic St. The pick-up
collided with the motorcycle. Abad brought Vasquez to the Southern Islands
Hospital and later to the Cebu Doctor's Hospital, where Vasquez
subsequently died.
An action for damages was instituted. The trial court ruled in favor of private
respondents Vicente and Luisa Vasquez and held Jose Benjamin Abad and
Castilex Industrial Corporation jointly and solidarily liable for damages. The
Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court holding ABAD and
CASTILEX liable but held that the liability of the latter is "only vicarious and
not solidary" with the former.
Issue: May the employer be held vicariously liable for the death resulting
from the negligent operation by a managerial employee of a company-issued
vehicle?
Held: Castilex contends that the par. 5 of Article 2180 of the Civil Code
should only apply to instances where the employer is not engaged in
business or industry. Since it is engaged in the business of manufacturing and
selling furniture it is therefore not covered by said provision. Instead, par. 4
should apply. This is not accurate.

Court of Appeals cannot, therefore, be faulted in applying the said paragraph


of Article 2180 of the Civil Code to this case.
Under par. 5 of Article 2180, whether or not engaged in any
business or industry, an employer is liable for the torts committed by
employees within the scope of his assigned tasks. But it is necessary to
establish the employer-employee relationship; once this is done, the plaintiff
must show, to hold the employer liable, that the employee was acting within
the scope of his assigned task when the tort complained of was committed. It
is only then that the employer may find it necessary to interpose the defense
of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the employee.
It is undisputed that ABAD was a Production Manager of petitioner
CASTILEX at the time of the tort occurrence. As to whether he was acting
within the scope of his assigned task is a question of fact, which the court a
quo and the Court of Appeals resolved in the affirmative.
The mere fact that ABAD was using a service vehicle at the time of
the injurious incident is not of itself sufficient to charge petitioner with
liability for the negligent operation of said vehicle unless it appears that he
was operating the vehicle within the course or scope of his employment.
In the case at bar, it is undisputed that ABAD did some overtime
work at the petitioner's office, which was located in Cabangcalan, Mandaue
City. Thereafter, he went to Goldie's Restaurant in Fuente Osmea, Cebu
City, which is about seven kilometers away from petitioner's place of
business. It was when ABAD was leaving the restaurant that the incident in
question occurred.
ABAD was engaged in affairs of his own or was carrying out a personal
purpose not in line with his duties at the time he figured in a vehicular
accident.
Since there is lack of evidence that ABAD was acting within the
scope of the functions entrusted to him, petitioner CASTILEX had no duty to
show that it exercised the diligence of a good father of a family in providing
ABAD with a service vehicle. Thus, justice and equity require that petitioner
be relieved of vicarious liability for the consequences of the negligence of
ABAD in driving its vehicle.

This court has applied par. 5 to cases where the employer was
engaged in a business or industry such as truck operators and banks. The
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98

Filamer vs. IAC


G.R. No. 75112 (August 17, 1992)
Facts: The private respondents, heirs of the late Potenciano Kapunan, seek
reconsideration of the decision rendered by this Court on October 16, 1990,
which ruled that Filamer is not liable for the injuries caused by Funtecha on
the grounds that the latter was not an authorized driver for whose acts the
petitioner shall be directly and primarily answerable, and that Funtecha was
merely a working scholar who, under Section 14, Rule X, Book III of the Rules
and Regulations Implementing the Labor Code is not considered an
employee of the petitioner.
Funtecha was a working student, being a part-time janitor and a
scholar of petitioner Filamer. He was, in relation to the school, an employee
even if he was assigned to clean the school premises for only two (2) hours in
the morning of each school day.
Having a student driver's license, Funtecha requested the driver,
Allan Masa, and was allowed, to take over the vehicle while the latter was on
his way home one late afternoon. Allan Masa turned over the vehicle to
Funtecha only after driving down a road, negotiating a sharp dangerous curb,
and viewing that the road was clear. A fast moving truck with glaring lights
nearly hit them so that they had to swerve to the right to avoid a collision.
The Pinoy jeep hit Potenciano Kapunan.
Issue:

Is Filamer, Funtechas employer, liable?

Held: Yes. In learning how to drive while taking the vehicle home in the
direction of Allan's house, Funtecha definitely was not having a joy ride.
Funtecha was not driving for the purpose of his enjoyment or for a "frolic of
his own" but ultimately, for the service for which the jeep was intended by
the petitioner school. Therefore, the Court is constrained to conclude that
the act of Funtecha in taking over the steering wheel was one done for and in
behalf of his employer for which act the petitioner-school cannot deny any
responsibility by arguing that it was done beyond the scope of his janitorial
duties. The clause "within the scope of their assigned tasks" for purposes of
raising the presumption of liability of an employer, includes any act done by
an employee, in furtherance of the interests of the employer or for the
account of the employer at the time of the infliction of the injury or damage.
Section 14, Rule X, Book III of the Rules implementing the Labor
Code, on which the petitioner anchors its defense, was promulgated only for

the purpose of administering and enforcing the provisions of the Labor Code
on conditions of employment. It is merely a guide to the enforcement of the
substantive law on labor.
The reliance on said rule is misplaced. An implementing rule on
labor cannot be used by an employer as a shield to avoid liability under the
substantive provisions of the Civil Code. There is evidence to show that there
exists in the present case an extra-contractual obligation arising from the
negligence or reckless imprudence of a person "whose acts or omissions are
imputable, by a legal fiction, to other(s) who are in a position to exercise an
absolute or limited control over (him)."
Funtecha is an employee of petitioner Filamer. The fact that
Funtecha was not the school driver or was not acting within the scope of his
janitorial duties does not relieve the petitioner of the burden of rebutting the
presumption juris tantum that there was negligence on its part either in the
selection of a servant or employee, or in the supervision over him. The
petitioner has failed to show proof of its having exercised the required
diligence of a good father of a family over its employees Funtecha and Allan.
FIlamer thus has an obligation to pay damages for injury arising
from the unskilled manner by which Funtecha drove the vehicle. In the
absence of evidence that the petitioner had exercised the diligence of a good
father of a family in the supervision of its employees, the law imposes upon it
the vicarious liability for acts or omissions of its employees. The liability of
the employer is, under Article 2180, primary and solidary. However, the
employer shall have recourse against the negligent employee for whatever
damages are paid to the heirs of the plaintiff.

NPC vs. CA
G.R. No. 119121 (August 14, 1998)
Facts: On July 22, 1979, a convoy of four (4) dump trucks owned by the
National Power Corporation (NPC) left Marawi city bound for Iligan city.
Unfortunately, enroute to its destination, one of the trucks with plate no
RFT-9-6-673 driven by a certain Gavino Ilumba figured in a head-on-collision
with a Toyota Tamaraw. The incident resulted in the death of three (3)
persons riding in the Toyota Tamaraw, as well as physical injuries to
seventeen other passengers.
The heirs of the victims filed a complaint for damages against NPC
and PHESCO before the then CFI of Lanao del Norte, Marawi City. The trial

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court rendered a decision absolving NPC of any liability and holding PHESCO,
Inc. and Gavino Ilumba jointly and severally liable. On Appeal, the CA
reversed the trial courts decision and held that as Phesco is a labor only
contractor, of Napocor the statute itself establishes an employer-employee
relationship between the employer (Napocor) and the employee (driver
Ilumba) of the labor only contractor (Phesco). NPC is therefore liable and not
Phesco.
Issue: As between NPC and PHESCO, who is the employer of Ilumba, driver of
the dumptruck which figured in the accident and which should, therefore,
would be liable for damages to the victims?
Held: Under the Memorandum, NPC had mandate to approve the "critical
path network and rate of expenditure to be undertaken by PHESCO.
Likewise, the manning schedule and pay scale of the workers hired by
PHESCO were subject to confirmation by NPC. Then too, it cannot be ignored
that if PHESCO enters into any sub-contract or lease, again NPC's
concurrence is needed. Another consideration is that even in the
procurement of tools and equipment that will be used by PHESCO, NPC's
favorable recommendation is still necessary before these tools and
equipment can be purchased. Notably, it is NPC that will provide the money
or funding that will be used by PHESCO to undertake the project.
Furthermore, it must be emphasized that the project being undertaken by
PHESCO, i.e., construction of power energy facilities, is related to NPC's
principal business of power generation. In sum, NPC's control over PHESCO in
matters concerning the performance of the latter's work is evident. It is
enough that NPC has the right to wield such power to be considered as the
employer.
Under this factual milieu, there is no doubt that PHESCO was
engaged in "labor-only" contracting vis--vis NPC and as such, it is considered
merely an agent of the latter. In labor-only contracting, an employeremployee relationship between the principal employer and the employees of
the "labor-only" contractor is created. Accordingly, the principal employer is
responsible to the employees of the "labor-only" contractor as if such
employees had been directly employed by the principal employer. Since
PHESCO is only a "labor-only" contractor, the workers it supplied to NPC,
including the driver of the ill-fated truck, should be considered as employees
of NPC. After all, it is axiomatic that any person (the principal employer) who
enters into an agreement with a job contractor, either for the performance
of a specified work or for the supply of manpower, assumes responsibility
over the employees of the latter.

99

It is apparent that Article 2180 of the Civil Code and not the Labor
Code, as NPC argues, that will determine the liability of NPC in a civil suit for
damages instituted by an injured person for any negligent act of the
employees of the "labor only" contractor. With respect to the liability of NPC
as the direct employer, Article 2180 of the Civil Code explicitly provides:
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.

In this regard, NPC's liability is direct, primary and solidary with PHESCO and
the driver. Of course, NPC, if the judgment for damages is satisfied by it, shall
have recourse against PHESCO and the driver who committed the negligence
which gave rise to the action.

Light Rail Transit vs. Navidad


G.R. No. 145804 (February 6, 2003)
Facts: On 14 October 1993, Nicanor Navidad, then drunk, entered the EDSA
LRT station after purchasing a "token" (representing payment of the fare).
While Navidad was standing on the platform near the LRT tracks, Junelito
Escartin, the security guard assigned to the area approached Navidad. A
misunderstanding or an altercation between the two apparently ensued that
led to a fist fight. No evidence, however, was adduced to indicate how the
fight started or who, between the two, 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 Roman, was coming in. Navidad
was struck by the moving train, and he was killed instantaneously.
Nicanors widow filed a complaint for damages against Junelito
Escartin, Rodolfo Roman, the LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization, Inc.
(Metro Transit), and Prudent for the death of her husband. The trial court
rendered decision holding Prudent and Escartin jointly and severally liable.
On appeal, the CA exonerated Prudent from any liability and, instead, held
the LRTA and Roman jointly and severally liable.
Issue:

(1) Is LRTA liable? (2)Is Roman an employee of LRTA and also liable?

Held: (1)Yes. Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common carrier, both
from the nature of its business and for reasons of public policy, is burdened

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with the duty of exercising utmost diligence in ensuring the safety of


passengers.
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 failure to exercise the high diligence required of the common
carrier. In the discharge 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 not relieved of its responsibilities under
the contract of carriage.
Prudents liability, If any, could only be for tort under the provisions of
Article 2176 and related provisions, in conjunction with Article 2180, of the
Civil Code.
A contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when the same act
or omission causes the injury, one resulting in culpa contractual and the
other 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
breaches the contract. Stated differently, when an act which constitutes a
breach of contract would have itself constituted the source of a quasidelictual liability 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.
However, the Court is concluded by the factual finding of the Court of
Appeals that "there is nothing to link (Prudent) to the death of Nicanor
(Navidad), for the reason that the negligence of its employee, Escartin, has
not been duly proven x x x." This finding of the appellate court is not without
substantial justification in our own review of the records of the case.
(2) No. There being no showing that Rodolfo Roman himself is guilty of any
culpable act or omission, he must also be absolved from liability. Needless to
say, the contractual tie between the LRT and Navidad is not itself a juridical
relation between the latter and Roman; thus, Roman can be made liable only
for his own fault or negligence.

Mckee vs. IAC


211 SCRA 517 (1992)

100

Facts: Supra
Issues: (1) Did Galangs negligence cause the collision? (2) Were Tayag and
Manalo liable for damages?
Held: Yes. The lower court held that Jose Koh was negligent for improperly
invading the lane of the truck. This is unwarranted because it is manifest that
no negligence can be imputed to Koh. In Picart vs. Smith (37 Phil 809, 813)
the Court held that:
The test by which to determine the existence of negligence in a particular
case may be stated as follows: Did the defendant 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.

It is manifest that no negligence could be imputed to Jose Koh. Any


reasonable and ordinary prudent man would have tried to avoid running
over the two boys by swerving the car away from where they were even if
this would mean entering the opposite lane.
The truck driver's negligence is apparent in the records. He himself
said that his truck was running at 30 miles (48 kilometers) per hour along the
bridge while the maximum speed allowed by law on a bridge is only 30
kilometers per hour. Under Article 2185 of the Civil Code, a person driving a
vehicle is presumed negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating
any traffic regulation. The truck driver's negligence was likewise duly
established through the testimony of Araceli Koh McKee which was duly
corroborated by the testimony of Eugenio Tanhueco, an impartial eyewitness
to the mishap.
Clearly, therefore, it was the truck driver's subsequent negligence in
failing to take the proper measures and degree of care necessary to avoid the
collision which was the proximate cause of the resulting accident.
(2) Yes. It was the truck driver'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 driver, the private respondents are, under Article
2180 of the Civil Code, directly and primarily liable for the resulting damages.
The presumption that they are negligent flows from the negligence of their
employee. That presumption, however, is only 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.

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101

Valenzuela vs. CA5


G.R. No. 115024 (1996)
Facts: The petitioner, Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela, was travelling along Aurora
Blvd. with a companion, Cecilia Ramon, heading towards the direction of
Manila. Suddenly, she noticed something 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 told by the people present that
her rear right tire was flat and that she cannot reach her home in that car's
condition, she parked along the sidewalk. 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 1987 Mitsubishi Lancer driven by
defendant Richard Li and registered in the name of defendant Alexander
Commercial, Inc. In her complaint, plaintiff prayed for moral damages in the
amount of P1 million, exemplary damages in the amount of P100,000.00 and
other medical and related expenses amounting to a total of P180,000.00,
including loss of expected earnings.
After trial, the lower court sustained the plaintiff's submissions and
found defendant Richard Li guilty of gross negligence and liable for damages
under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. The trial court likewise held Alexander
Commercial, Inc., Li's employer, jointly and severally liable for damages
pursuant to Article 2180.
Issues: (1) Whether or not, the petitioner is guilty of contributory
negligence? (2) Whether or not, respondents employer, Alexander
Commercial Inc, is liable for the acts of its employee?
RULING: (1) The SC ruled that the Valenzuela was not guilty of contributory
negligence. Valenzuela did exercise the standard reasonably 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
her 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 taken all reasonable precautions.
(2) Likewise, the SC ruled that the relationship in question is not
based on the principle of respondeat superior, which holds the master liable
5

for acts of the servant, but that of pater familias, in which the liability
ultimately falls upon the employer, for his failure to exercise the diligence of
a good father of the family in the selection and supervision of his employees.
It is up to this point, however, that our agreement with the respondent court
ends. Utilizing the bonus pater familias standard expressed in Article 2180 of
the Civil Code, hence, the court is of the opinion that Li's employer,
Alexander Commercial, Inc. is jointly and solidarily liable for the damage
caused by the accident of June 24, 1990.

Vicarious liability of the State


E. Merritt vs Government Of The Philippine Islands
G.R. No. L-11154

March 21, 1916

Facts: E. Merritt was riding on a motorcycle travelling at ten to twelve miles


per hour when he collided with the General Hospital ambulance which
turned suddenly and unexpectedly before reaching the center of the street
and without sounding its whistle or horn in violation of the Motor Vehicle
Act. The plaintiff suffered from fractures to the skull, material injury to the
grey matter and brain and a broken right leg as a result of the collision. He
was mentally and physically impaired such that he lost his efficiency in
constructing wooden buildings, which was his occupation.
Act No. 2457 was enacted specifically to authorize E.Merritt to bring
suit against the Government in order to fix the responsibility for the collision
between his motorcycle and the ambulance of the General Hospital, and to
determine the amount of the damages, if any, to which Mr. E. Merritt is
entitled on account of said collision.
The court found the chauffeur of the ambulance solely negligent and
awarded plaintiff a total P14,741.
Issue: Whether the Government is legally liable for the damages resulting
from the collision committed by the agent or employee of the Government
RULING: The SC increased the total damages awarded to plaintiff to P18,075
since he was incapacitated for a period of six months and not only for the
time he remained confined in the hospital.

Digest made by Cherie May Pastores


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The general rule is that the Government cannot be sued by an


individual without its consent. In accordance with Act No.2457, the plaintiff
was authorized to bring action against the Government in order to fix the
responsibility for the collision and to determine the amount of the damages,
if any. However, Act No. 2457 does not operate to extend the Government's
liability to any cause not previously recognized. According to the Civil Code
Article 1903 (now Art 2180):
The state is liable in this sense when it acts through a special agent, but
not when the damage should have been caused by the official to whom
properly it pertained to do the act performed, in which case the provisions
of the preceding article shall be applicable.

The responsibility of the state is limited to cases wherein it acts through a


special agent; a special agent is one who receives a definite and fixed order
or commission, foreign to the exercise of the duties of his office if he is a
special official. This does not apply to any executive agent who is an
employee of the acting administration and who on his own responsibility
performs the functions which are inherent in and naturally pertain to his
office and which are regulated by law and the regulations.
Therefore, the State is only liable for the acts of its agents, officers and
employees when they act as special agents within the meaning of paragraph
5 of article 1903 (now Article 2180); and that the chauffeur of the ambulance
of the General Hospital was not such an agent for which the State is made
liable.

Inocencio Rosete vs.The Auditor General

102

Issue: Whether the government is liable for the damages sustained by the
claimant under article 1903 of the Civil Code (now Article 2180)
Ruling: The pertinent provision reads as follows:
ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the preceding article is
enforceable not only for personal acts and omissions but also for
those persons for whom another is responsible.
The state is liable in the scene when it acts through a special agent, but not
when the damage should have been caused by the official to whom it
properly pertained to do the act performed, in which case the provisions of
the preceding article shall be applicable.
The court citing Merritt vs. Government of the Philippine Islands held that the
state is not liable for damages suffered by private individuals by government
employees in the discharge of their responsibilities unless such act was
committed by a special agent, duly empowered by a definite order or
commission to perform some act or charged with some definite purpose
which gives rise to the claim. Since the officers of the ECA did not act as
special agents and there is no negligence imputable to a special agent, the
government is not liable for the damages resulting from the negligence
complained of.
Act No. 327, authorizing the filing of claims against the Government
with the Insular Auditor, does not make any and all claims against the
Government allowable or the Government responsible for such claims.

G.R. No. L-1120 (August 31, 1948)


Facts: Inocencio Rosete and others filed a claim against the Government for
damages caused to buildings belonging to the claimants, which were
destroyed by fire from the contiguous warehouse of the Emergency Control
Administration, ECA, an office or agency of the Government. The fire was
initiated by the reckless ignition of a cigarette-lighter by a certain Jose Frayno
y Panlilio near a five-gallon drum where gasoline was drained and stored in
contrary to the provisions of Ordinances of the City of Manila.
The Insular Auditor denied or dismissed the claim of Rosete and
others in the amount of P35,376.

Mendoza vs. De Leon, et al.


G.R. No. L-9596

February 11, 1916

Facts: Marcos Mendoza was the highest bidder for the lease of an exclusive
ferry privilege in the municipality of Villasis, Pangasinan, and was duly
awarded the privilege under the provisions of Act No. 1643 of the Philippine
Commission. After a little more than a year, the municipal council of Villasis,
Pangasinan, through a resolution, awarded the franchise for the same ferry
to another person, forcibly ejecting Mendoza therefrom. The council claimed
that the ferry Mendoza was operating was not the one leased to him.

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Mendoza instituted an action for damages against the individual members of


the Municipal Council.
Issue: Whether the individual members of the Municipal Council are liable
to Mendoza for forcibly ejecting him from the leased ferry
Ruling: A municipality has a two-fold character of powers, namely
governmental and proprietary. With respect to liability, numerous cases
elucidate that the municipality is liable for the acts of its officers and agents
in the exercise of proprietary or corporate powers, but it is not liable for the
acts of its officers or agents in the performance of its governmental
functions.
Officers or agents of the Government charged with the performance
of governmental duties are not liable for the consequences of their official
acts, unless they have acted willfully and maliciously, and with the express
purpose of inflicting injury.

103

FACTS: Francisco Fontanilla, son of the spouses Jose and Virginia Fontanilla,
died as a result of an accident when a pickup owned and operated by the
National Irrigation Administration, a government agency, driven by Hugo
Garcia (a regular employee of said agency) bumped the bicycle he was riding.
The deceased was thrown 50 meters from the point of impact, while his
companion, who survived the incident, was thrown a bit further away.
Nevertheless, the NIA employees did not stop to assist the victims and
instead sped away.
The trial court directed respondent National Irrigation
Administration to pay damages (death benefits) and actual expenses to
petitioners.
Issue: Whether or not the award of moral damages, exemplary damages and
attorney's fees is legally proper in a complaint for damages based on quasidelict against the NIA
Ruling: The liability of the State has two aspects. namely:

In so far as its governmental functions are concerned, a municipality


is also not liable, unless expressly made so by statute; nor are its officers, so
long as they perform their duties honestly and in good faith.
But a municipality is not exempt from liability for the negligent
performance of its corporate or proprietary or business functions. In the
administration of its patrimonial property, it is to be regarded as a private
corporation or individual so far as its liability to third persons on contract or
in tort is concerned.
Mendoza had a vested right to the exclusive operation of the ferry; and there
is no evidence that there was justifiable reason for his eviction. The
contention that Mendoza was operating a ferry that was not leased to him is
untenable since it was the vice-president himself who personally placed him
in possession thereof, a fact know to the council members.
It cannot be said that the councilors acted honestly for the interests
of the municipality. Therefore, they are jointly and severally liable for the
damages sustained by the plaintiff from the rescission of his contract of lease
of the ferry privilege in question.

1. Its public or governmental aspects where it is liable for the tortious acts of
special agents only.
2. Its private or business aspects where it becomes liable as an ordinary
employer.

The National Irrigation Administration is a government corporation


and exercises proprietary functions, by express provision of Rep. Act No.
3601. As a corporate body performing non-governmental functions, it is
liable as an ordinary employer for the acts of its employees. As such, the NIA
becomes answerable for damages caused by its employees upon the
existence of negligence of supervision on its part.
At the time the accident took place, the employees and the driver
did not assist the victims and instead sped off even though there were dent
marks indicating they were aware they hit something or someone. The
strength of the impact also indicated that they were driving at a high speed
at the time the collision occurred.

Fontanilla vs. Maliaman


G.R. No. L-55963 December 1, 1989
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There was evident negligence on the part of NIA when its supervisor
within the group allowed the driver to travel at a high speed.
Considering the foregoing, respondent NIA is hereby directed to pay
herein petitioners-spouses the amounts of P12,000.00 for the death of
Francisco Fontanilla; P3,389.00 for hospitalization and burial expenses of the
aforenamed deceased; P30,000.00 as moral damages; P8,000.00 as
exemplary damages and attorney's fees of 20% of the total award.

City of Manila vs. Teotico


G.R. No. L-23052 (January 29, 1968)
Facts: Genaro N. Teotico fell inside an uncovered and unlighted manhole
when he attempted to board a jeepney at a "loading and unloading" zone. As
a result of the fall, Teoticos eyeglasses broke and its shards pierced his left
eyelid, impairing his vision. Aside from the lacerated wound in his left upper
eyelid, he also suffered from several contusions to his body and an allergic
eruption caused by anti-tetanus injections administered to him in the
hospital. His medical expenses amounted to P1,400.00.

104

conditions of road, streets, bridges, public buildings, and other public works
under their control or supervision.

Article 2189 governs liability due to "defective streets," in particular. Since


the present action is based upon the alleged defective condition of a road,
said Article 2189 is decisive thereon.
Even assuming that the incident took place in a national highway, it
is not necessary for liability to attach that the defective roads or
streets belongs to the province, city or municipality from which responsibility
is exacted. What Article 2189 requires is that the province, city or
municipality have either "control or supervision" over said street or road.
Republic Act No. 917 provides that the construction, maintenance
and improvement of national, provincial and city roads shall be accomplished
by the Highway District Engineers and Highway City Engineers.

Liability of employees
Araneta vs. De Joya

As a consequence of the foregoing occurrence, Teotico filed a


complaint for damages against the City of Manila, its mayor, city engineer,
city health officer, city treasurer and chief of police. The City of Manila and its
officers contended that every time a report that a cover of a manhole is
missing, the Office of the City Engineer immediately had it replaced and that
they were attentive thereto.
The trial court rendered a decision in favour of the City of Manila
but the Court of Appeals sentenced the City of Manila to pay damages
amounting to P6,750.00.
Issue: Whether the City of Manila is liable for payment of damages to Teotico
Held: Between RA 409, the Charter of Manila, exempting the City from
liability, and the Civil Code, the Civil Code applies because its subject-matter
is more particular. RA 409 refers to liability arising from negligence, in
general, regardless of the object thereof. On the other hand, Article 2189 of
the Civil Code of the Philippines provides:

G.R. No. L-25172 (May 24, 1974)


Facts: Antonio de Joya was the general manager of the Ace Advertising. He
proposed that an employee, Ricardo Taylor, be sent to the United States to
take up special studies in television. Although the board of directors failed to
act on the proposal, Taylor was still sent to the US, with the assurance that
Taylors expenses would be defrayed by parties other than the company.
Taylor received his salaries while abroad through checks and
vouchers signed by Luis Araneta (vice-president), Vicente Araneta (company
treasurer) or de Joya. The total costs of Taylors travel and study expenses
was P 5,043.20.
Ace Advertising filed a complaint with the court for the recovery of
the total amount disbursed to Taylor since the travel and expenses were
made without its knowledge, authority or ratification. A third-party
complaint was filed by de Joya against Vicente Araneta, Luis Araneta and
Taylor.

Provinces, cities and municipalities shall be liable for damages for the
death of, or injuries suffered by, any person by reason of defective
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Both Aranetas disowned any personal liability, claiming that they


signed the checks covering part of the travel expenses and payroll in good
faith since they were approved by de Joya.
The trial court ruled that de Joya was liable for the amount
disbursed by the company but dismissed the third party complaint, while the
Court of Appeals held that according to the facts of the case, the two
Aranetas were also privy to the unauthorized disbursement of the corporate
moneys jointly with the appellant.
Issue: Whether Luis Araneta is solidarily liable with de Joya and Vicente
Araneta for payment of the erroneously disbursed funds.
Ruling: Luis Araneta is guilty of a quasi-delict. His allegations of good faith
were not substantiated and established. In fact, as vice-president of the
company, Luis Araneta remained passive concerning the unauthorized
disbursement of corporate funds and approved three of the payroll checks
for Taylors salary. Luis Araneta evidently neglected to perform his duties as
an officer of the firm.
6

Applying Article 2194 of the New Civil Code, it is proper that the
other joint tortfeasors be made solidarily liable and shoulder their
proportional responsibility.

105

Issue: Whether Sy Bon Ping, as employer, and Mendoza, as employee are


solidarily liable for payment of damages to Lanuzo
Held: Plaintiff predicated his claim for damages on quasi-delict, which may
proceed independently and regardless of the result of the criminal case.
Salvador Mendoza is evidently primarily liable for his reckless driving
resulting to the damage caused to Lanuzo under Article 2176 of the Civil
7
Code
Sy Bon Ping, as employer, is also primary and direct under Article
2180 of the Civil Code, which explicitly provides:
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.
Sy Bon Ping failed to disprove the legal presumption of his
negligence in the selection and supervision of this employee (Article 2180)
and is primary and solidarily liable with Mendoza. Nevertheless, Sy Bon Ping
may demand reimbursement from Mendoza for whatever amount he will
8
have to pay the offended party to satisfy the claim for damages .

Malipol vs. Tan

Engineers/Architect- Nature of liability

G.R. No. L-27730 January 21, 1974

Lanuzo vs. Sy Bon Ping


G.R. No. L-53064 September 25, 1980
Facts: Salvador Mendoza, driver of Sy Bon Ping, recklessly and negligently
rammed the residential house and store or Felix Lanuzo. The total damage to
his property was P13,000 and he was deprived of his monthly income from
the store of P300.
In a complaint for damages instituted by Lanuzo independently from
the criminal action, the trial court ruled that Sy Bon Ping and Mendoza were
jointly and severally liable to pay Lanuzo P 13,000.00 as damages and P
300.00, representing Lanuzos monthly income, until the entire P 13,000.00
has been paid in full.
6

Art. 2194. The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for quasidelict is solidary

Facts: Pantaleon Malijan was walking with his companion Leonardo Amante
when he was hit by a gasoline tanker, got thrown to the ground and was ran
over by the tankers right wheel that got detached. Although he was brought
to the hospital, Malijan died that night from "possible traumatic cerebral
hemorrhage due to vehicular accident."
The gasoline tanker at that time was driven by Ernesto Labsan and
was used and owned by Lily Lim Tan for her gasoline business. The mother
and minor siblings of Malijan filed a complaint for damages against Tan and

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 quasi-delict and is governed by the
provisions of this Chapter
8
Whoever pays for the damage caused by his dependents or employees may recover from
the latter what he has paid or delivered in satisfaction of the claim

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Labsan. The trial court ruled that Labsan was primarily liable to pay the
damages, and in case he would not be able to do so, Tan would be
subsidiarily liable.
Issue: Whether the trial court erred in ruling Labsan as primarily liable for
damages, and Tan as subsidiarily liable.
Held: The court ruled that the trial court correctly denied the motion to set
aside order of default and for new trial; however, the trial court erred in
holding Tan subsidiarily liable.
The action was based on quasi-delict and not to demand civil
liability arising from a crime, since the complaint makes no mention of a
crime. Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the liability of the owners and
managers of an establishment or enterprise for damages caused by their
employees is primary and direct, not subsidiary.
Therefore, the employer, Lily Lim Tan, must be held primarily and
directly, not subsidiarily, liable for damages awarded in the decision of the
lower court, without prejudice to the right to demand reimbursement from
damages from Ernesto Labsan for whatever she would have to pay the
relatives of the deceased.

Viluan vs. CA
G.R. Nos. L-21477-81 (April 29, 1966)
Facts: The bus owned by Francisca Viluan, and driven by Hermenigildo
Aquino raced with the overtaking bus driven by Gregorio Hufana and owned
by Patricio Hufana. Aquino lost control of the bus, hitting a post and crashing
into a tree, after which it burst into flames wherein seven persons were killed
and thirteen others were injured.
In the complaint for breach of contract of carriage and damages
filed by the heirs of those who perished in the incident and Carolina Sabado,
an injured passenger, Vilaun and Aquino filed third party complaints against
Gregorio Hufana and his employer, Patricio Hufana, contending that the
incident was their fault.
The lower court found that the accident was due to the concurrent
negligence of the drivers of the two buses and held both the two drivers and
their employers jointly and severally liable for damages.

106

The Court of Appeals affirmed the finding of concurrent negligence


on the part of the two buses but held that only Vilaun is liable because
Aquino, as driver, cannot be made jointly and severally liable in a contract of
carriage. It ruled that the Hufanas cannot be made liable since the plaintiffs
did not amend their complaints in the main action so as to assert a claim
against them.
Issue: Whether Patricio and Gregorio Hufana should be made equally liable
although they were third-party defendants and not principal defendants
Held: The fact that the respondents were not sued as principal defendants
but were brought into the cases as third party defendants should not
preclude a finding of their liability.
Section 5 Rule 12 of the Rules of Court, precluding a judgment in favor of a
plaintiff and against a third party defendant where the plaintiff has not
amended his complaint to assert a claim against a third party defendant,
applies only to cases where the third party defendant is brought in on an
allegation of liability to the defendants. It does not apply where a third-party
defendant is impleaded on the ground of direct liability to the plaintiffs, in
which case no amendment of the plaintiffs complaint is necessary.
In this case the third-party complaints filed by Viluan and Aquino
charged Gregorio and Patrcio Hufana with direct liability to the plaintiffs.
Amendment of the complaint is not necessary and is merely a matter of form
since the liability of the Hufanas as third-party defendant was already
asserted in the third-party complaint.
Regardless whether the injury is quasi-delict or breach of contract of
carriage, 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 owners of the two vehicles are jointly and severally
liable for damages.

Torts with Independent Civil Actions (Violation of


Civil and Political rights)
Lim vs. Ponce De Leon
G.R. No. L-22554 August 29, 1975

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Facts: Jikil Taha sold a motor launch named M/L "SAN RAFAEL" to Alberto
Timbangcaya but a year later Timbangcaya filed a complaint with the Office
of the Provincial Fiscal that Taha forcibly took the motor launch.
Fiscal Francisco Ponce de Leon in his capacity as Acting Provincial
Fiscal of Palawan, filed an information for Robbery with Force and
Intimidation upon Persons against Jikil Taha and instructed Orlando Maddela,
Detachment Commander of Balabac to impound and take custody of the
motor launch, which was already sold to Delfin Lim. Fiscal de Leon informed
Maddela that the subsequent sale of the launch to Delfin Lim could not
prevent the court from taking custody of the same.
Lim filed a complaint for damages against Fiscal de Leon and Maddela. Lim
contended that there was a violation of his constitutional rights when the
motor launch was seized without a search warrant. As defense, de Leon and
Maddela contended that the motor launch was the corpus delicti in an
ongoing investigation and filed a counterclaim for malicious and groundless
filing of the complaint by Lim and Taha.
The trial court upheld the validity of the seizure of the motor launch
and ordered Taha and Lim to pay for damages.
Issue: Whether the constitutional rights of Jakil Taha and Delfin Lim was
violated, and if so, whether they are entitled to damages
Held: The taking of the motor launch was ruled to be in violation of the
constitutional right of the parties against unreasonable searches and seizure
as provided in the Bill of Rights since it was effected without a search
warrant, the authority of which lies with a magistrate or judge and not a
fiscal.
With respect to damages, Delfin Lim and Jikil Taha were entitled to
damages under Article 32 and 2219 of the New Civil Code for the violation of
their constitutional right. Good faith is not a defense against liability under
Article 32 of the NCC. To be liable it is enough that there was a violation of
the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs and it is not required that the act
was attended with bad faith or malice.
Therefore, Fiscal de Leon was liable to pay damages to Delfin Lim for
violating his constitutional right; but Orlando Maddela cannot be held
accountable because he acted upon the order of his superior officer believing
that there was a legal basis and authority to impound the launch.

107

Aberca vs. Ver


G.R. No. L-69866 April 15, 1988
Facts: The intelligence units of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, known as
Task Force Makabansa (TFM), were ordered by General Fabian Ver "to
conduct pre-emptive strikes against known communist-terrorist (CT). The
plaintiffs complained that in the execution of such order, the TFM raided
several places using defectively issued judicial warrants and arrested the
plaintiffs without warrant, confiscated personal property, interrogated
plaintiffs without council and employed threats, tortures and other forms of
violence.
The plaintiffs filed an action for damages, which was dismissed by
the trial court on the grounds that (1) the privilege of the writ of habeas
corpus was suspended, (2) the defendants were performing their official
duties and (3)the complaint states no cause of action.
Issue: Whether the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus
bars a civil action for damages for illegal searches conducted by military
personnel and other violations of rights and liberties guaranteed under the
Constitution, and if so, who should be made liable
Held: The contention that respondents are covered by state immunity for
acts done in the performance of their official duties was not accepted by the
court because plaintiffs may have been ordered to conduct pre-emptive
strikes against the communist terrorists but this did not amount to a blanket
license or a roving commission untramelled by any constitutional restraint.
In carrying out their task and mission, constitutional and legal safeguards
should still have been observed by respondents.
The plaintiffs cause of action were not barred by the suspension of
the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, which was explicitly recognized in
PD No. 1755:
However, when the action (for injury to the rights of the
plaintiff or for a quasi-delict) arises from or out of any act,
activity or conduct of any public officer involving the
exercise of powers or authority arising from Martial Law
including the arrest, detention and/or trial of the plaintiff,
the same must be brought within one (1) year.

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Even if the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus


suspended petitioners' right of action for damages for illegal arrest and
detention, it did not extend to suspend their right to demand damages for
injuries suffered through the confiscation of their private belongings, the
violation of their right to remain silent and to counsel and their right to
protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and against torture
and other cruel and inhuman treatment.
As to who should be made liable for damages, the doctrine
of respondent superior is applicable to the case. Article 32 speaks of an
officer or employee or person 'directly' or "indirectly" responsible for the
violation of the constitutional rights and liberties of another. Thus, the
person directly causing damage and the person indirectly responsible has
also to answer for the damages or injury caused to the aggrieved party.
Article 32 of the Civil Code encompasses within the ambit of its provisions
those directly, as well as indirectly, responsible for its violation.

MHP Garments vs. CA


G.R. No. 86720 September 2, 1994
Facts: MHP Garments, Inc. had the exclusive franchise to sell and distribute
official Boy Scouts uniforms, supplies, badges, and insignias. When MHP
Garments received information that Agnes Villa Cruz, Mirasol Lugatiman, and
Gertrudes Gonzales were selling Boy Scouts items and paraphernalia without
any authority, Larry de Guzman, an employee of MHP Garments, together
with members of the police constabulary, went to the stores of Cruz,
Lugatiman, and Gonzales at the Marikina Public Market and seized these
items. The seizure caused a commotion to the embarrassment of Cruz,
Lugatiman and Gonzales.
MHP Garments instituted a criminal complaint for unfair
competition against the vendors. The Provincial fiscal dismissed the
complaint and ordered the return of the seized items. Cruz, Lugatiman and
Gonzales instituteed an action for sums of money and damages against MHP
Garments and de Guzman. MHP Garments contend that they should not be
made liable for damages since they did not commit the act of seizure.
Issue: Whether MHP Garments and de Guzman should be held liable for the
seizure of the goods in question although it was the Police constabulary who
effected the seizure

108

Held: The seizure was conducted without a warrant in evident violation of


the constitutional right of the vendors. The facts of the case did not justify
the warrantless search and seizure of the vendors goods. There was
sufficient time for de Guzman in behalf of MHP Garments to secure a
warrant from the time of receipt of the information and the raid of the
stores.
Although the Philippine Constabulary conducted the raid, their
omission as party to the complaint does not exculpate MHP Garments and de
Guzman from liability. The company was indirectly involved in transgressing
the rights of Cuz, Lugatiman and Gonzales.
It was MHP Garments who instigated the raid and the raid was
conducted with the active participation of their employee, Larry de Guzman,
who apparently assented to the conduct of the raid and is as liable to the
same extent as the officers themselves. The corporation is also liable to the
same extent as the officers when it received the goods for safekeeping and
refused to surrender them for quite a time despite the dismissal of its
complaint for unfair competition.

Independent Civil Action (Defamation, Fraud and


Physical Injuries)
Marcia et al. vs.CA
G.R. No. L-34529 January 27, 1983
Facts: A passenger bus operated by private respondent Victory Liner,
Inc.,driven by its employee, Felardo Paje, collided with a jeep driven by
Clemente Marcia, resulting in the latter's death and in physical injuries to
Edgar Marcia and Renato Yap.
An information for homicide and serious physical injuries thru
reckless imprudence was filed against the driver while an action for damages
was filed by Edgar Marcia and Renato Yap, and the heirs of Clemente Marcia
against the Victory Liner, Inc. and Felardo Paje.
The trial court initially convicted Paje of the offense charged, but on
appeal, Paje was acquitted after it was found that he was not speeding and
was diligent, but the collision, nevertheless, took place and was a fortuitous

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event. It further ruled that criminal negligence was wanting and that Paje
was not even guilty of civil negligence.
The court dismissed the civil case against Paje and Victory Liner
ruling that they could not be held civilly liable after it had ruled in the
criminal action that negligence was wanting and that the collision was a case
of pure accident.
Issue: Whether the acquittal in the criminal case would result in the dismissal
in the civil case
Held: The judgment of acquittal included a declaration that the fact from
which civil liability may arise did not exist. In acquitting Paje, the court ruled
that the event was an accident and that Paje was without fault, and it is only
proper that the civil case be dismissed.
Furthermore, the charge against Felardo Paje was not for homicide
and physical injuries but for reckless imprudence or criminal negligence
resulting in homicide and physical injuries. They are not one of the three (3)
crimes mentioned in Article 33 of the Civil Code and, therefore, no civil action
shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, which provides:
ART. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil
action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the
criminal action may be brought by the injured party. Such civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution,
and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.

Therefore, it was only proper that the court dismiss the civil case against Paje
and Victory Liner since Paje was acquitted of the fact from which the civil
case arose.

109

Sec. 2.
Independent civil action. In the cases provided for in Articles
31, 32, 33, 34 and 2177 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, an independent
civil action entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be
brought by the injured party during the pendency of the criminal case,
provided the right is reserved as required in the preceding section. Such civil
action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall
require only a preponderance of evidence." (Rule 111, Rules of Court.)
Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries,
a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct
from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured
party. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the
criminal prosecution, and shall require only a
preponderance of evidence.

The Court found the case impressed with merit.


Issues: (1) Whether or not the civil case can carry on independently of the
criminal case. (2) Whether or not physical injuries of Article 33 encompass
other bodily injury in its definition
Held: (1)Yes. Rule 111 Section 2 creates an exception to the rule when the
offense is defamation, fraud, or physical injuries. In these cases, a civil action
may be filed independently of the criminal action, even if there has been no
reservation made by the injured party; the law itself in this article makes
such reservation.
(2)Yes. The Code Commission discussed that the term "physical injuries" is
used in a generic sense. It is not the crime of physical injuries defined in the
Revised Penal Code. It includes not only physical injuries by consummated,
frustrated and attempted homicide but also any other bodily injury including
battery based on the American Law.

Arafiles v. Phil. Journalists

Madeja v. Caro

GR No 135306 (2003)

211 Phil 469 (December 21, 1983)

Facts: In 1987, Emelita Despuig, working as a grant-in-aid scholar at a Manila


university and as an office worker at a government office in Quezon City, was
raped by her boss, a government agency director, last March 15, but afraid to
lose her job and of being harmed she chose to keep her ordeal to herself.

Facts: Dra. Eva Japzon is accused of homicide through reckless imprudence


for the death of Cleto Madejo after an appendectomy. The widow of Madejo
filed a criminal complaint and reserved her right to claim for a separate
action for damages. The judge dismissed the civil case because of Rule 111
3(a) but the petitioner appealed to the SC by using Rule 111 Section 2 ROC in
relation to Article 33 of the NCC, which states:

On the second night, she was almost raped again by the same man,
Catalino Arafiles. However, the bellboy and the security guard noticed
something suspicious as Emelita was fighting back while they were checking

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in the Flamingo Hotel, thus the bellboy followed them to their room. Arafiles
rushed to leave as soon as he paid money to the bellboy and the security
guard not to report the same.
Emelita reported the same information to the police and she was
interviewed by Romy Morales, a journalist of Peoples Journal Tonight.
During the following day, the news was part of the headlines in the said
newspaper. After a year of publication, Arafiles filed a complaint for damages
arising from the said publication against the journalist and its employer.
Arafiles alleged that on account of the grossly malicious and overly
sensationalized reporting in the news item prepared by respondent
Morales, edited by respondent Buan, Jr., allowed for publication by
respondent Villareal, Jr. as president of Philippine Journalists, Inc., and
published by respondent Philippine Journalists, Inc., aspersions were cast on
his character; his reputation as a director of the NIAS at the Philippine
Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration
(PAGASA) was injured; he became the object of public contempt and ridicule
as he was depicted as a sex-crazed stalker and serial rapist; and the news
item deferred his promotion to the position of Deputy Administrator of
PAGASA. The RTC of Quezon City ruled in favor of Arafiles granting him
awards for damages. 1.) P1,000,000.00, as nominal damages; 2.) P50,000.00,
as exemplary damages; 3.) P1,000.000.00, as moral damages; 4.) P50,000.00,
as attorneys fees; and 5.) Costs of suit. .
CA reversed RTCs decision. MR from CA made by Arafiles was denied. Hence
they elevated it to the SC.

110

action for libel under this article shall be instituted and prosecuted to final
judgment and proved by preponderance of evidence separately from and
entirely independent of the institution, pendency or result of the criminal
action because it is governed by the provisions of the New Civil Code and not
by the Revised Penal Code governing the criminal offense charged and the
civil liability arising therefrom
In actions for damages for libel, it is axiomatic that the published
work alleged to contain libelous material must be examined and viewed as a
whole. The article must be construed as an entirety including the headlines,
as they may enlarge, explain, or restrict or be enlarged, explained or
strengthened or restricted by the context. Whether or not it is libelous,
depends upon the scope, spirit and motive of the publication taken in its
entirety.
Arafiles brands the news item as a malicious sensationalization of
a patently embellished and salacious narration of fabricated facts involving
rape and attempted rape incidents. For, so petitioner argues, the police
blotter which was the sole basis for the news item plainly shows that there
was only one count of abduction and rape reported by Emelita.
The presentation of the news item subject of petitioners
complaint may have been in a sensational manner, but it is not per se
illegal. In determining the manner in which a given event should be
presented as a news item and the importance to be attached thereto,
newspapers must enjoy a certain degree of discretion.

Defamation
Issue: Whether or not the publication of the news item was not attended
with malice, hence, must free respondents of liability for damages.
Held: Yes. There was no malice in the article. Art. 33. In cases of defamation,
fraud, and physical injuries, a civil action for damages, entirely separate and
distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such
civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, shall
require only a preponderance of evidence.
Article 33 contemplates a civil action for the recovery of damages
that is entirely unrelated to the purely criminal aspect of the case. A civil

MVRS vs. Islamic


GR 135306 (January 28, 2003)
Facts: Bulgar, a local tabloid, published an article in 1992 about the Muslims
practical customs stating:
ALAM BA NINYO?
Na ang mga baboy at kahit anong uri ng hayop sa Mindanao
ay hindi kinakain ng mga Muslim?
Para sa kanila ang mga ito ay isang sagradong bagay. Hindi
nila ito kailangang kainin kahit na sila pa ay magutom at

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mawalan ng ulam sa tuwing sila ay kakain. Ginagawa nila


itong Diyos at sinasamba pa nila ito sa tuwing araw ng
kanilang pangingilin lalung-lalo na sa araw na tinatawag
nilang Ramadan."

Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines filed a complaint alleging the


libelous statement as insulting and damaging because words alluding to pig
as the God of Muslims were with intent to hurt the feelings, cast insult, and
disparage the Muslims and Islam.
MVRS contended however, that they did not mention respondents
as the object of the article, thus not entitled to damages.
In defense, the article was only an expression of their belief or opinion.
The RTC dismissed their case because there was no cause of action.
The plaintiffs were not specifically identified for defmation.
In 1998, the CA reversed the decision.
Hence, this review.
Issue: Whether or not the Islamic Council was entitled to moral damages,
exemplary damages, attorneys feed, and costs of suit
Held: No. Words that are merely insulting are not actionable as libel or
slander per se. Mere words of abuse whether written or spoken do not
constitute a basis for an action for defamation in the absence of an allegation
for special damages. There is NO identifiable person who was allegedly
injured by the article. Muslims do not have a single common reputation that
will give them a common or general interest in the subject matter of the
controversy.
Requisites to recovery are the following:
1. Published a statement
2. That was defamatory
3. Of and concerning the plaintiff
To maintain an action, the plaintiff must be the person with reference to
whom the statement was made as this is vital for a group or class to prove
they have been defamed.

Fraud
Salta v. De Veyra

111

Facts: Amayra Salta was employed as branch manager of the Philippine


National Bank (PNB). As such, his duty was to grant loans or to recommend
the granting of loans, depending on the the amount of the loan applied for.
PNB filed two civil complaints against Salta charging him of
indiscriminately granting certain loans in a manner characterized by
negligence, fraud, and manifest partiality, and upon securities not
commensurate with the amount of the loans. The two civil cases were
assigned to two different salas of the Court of First Instance of Manila. At the
same time, the bank caused to be filed, a criminal case, based on the same
acts.
Petitioner was acquitted in the criminal case on the ground that the
elements of the crime charged were not proven. Based on his acquittal
petitioner filed a Motion to Dismiss in each of the two civil cases. The two
presiding judges in the separate civil cases took diametrically opposing views.
One judge denied his motion and the other granted it. Hence, these petitions
by the Philippine National Bank in one case and by Salta in the other.
Issue: Whether or not the motion to dismiss the civil cases should be
affirmed or denied.
Held: The motion to dismiss should be denied and the other order granting
such should be reversed. The filing in this case of a civil action separate from
the criminal action is fully warranted under the provision of Article 33 of the
New Civil Code.
The criminal case is for the prosecution of an offense the main
element of which is fraud. . Based on the same acts for which the criminal
action was filed, the civil actions very clearly alleged fraud and negligence as
having given rise to the cause of action averred in the complaints. The
following allegation in the complaints unmistakably shows that the
complaints do contain sufficient averment of fraud: "That there was fraud
committed by the defendant in granting the aforesaid loans which rendered
him liable for his acts, which fraud is positively and easily identifiable in the
manner and scheme aforementioned."
The civil actions can be maintained regardless of the outcome of the
criminal action.

202 Phil 527 (September 30, 1982)


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Physical Injuries
Capuno v. Pepsi Cola
G.R. No. L-19331 (1965)
Facts: The case arose from a vehicular collision which occurred on January 3,
1953 in Apalit, Pampanga. Involved were a Pepsi-Cola delivery truck driven
by Jon Elordi and a private car driven by Capuno. The collision proved fatal to
the latter as well as to his passengers, the spouses Florencio Buan and
Rizalina Paras.
Elordi was charged with triple homicide through reckless imprudence;
the information was subsequently amended to include claims for damages by
the heirs of the three victims. While the criminal case was pending, the
Intestate Estate of the Buan spouse and their heirs filed a civil case. Included
in the complaint was a claim for indemnity in the sum of P2,623.00 allegedly
paid by the Estate to the heirs of Capuno under the Workmen's
Compensation Act.
On June 11, 1958 the parties in Civil Case No. 838 entered into a
"Compromise and Settlement." For P290,000.00 the Buan Estate gave up its
claims for damages, including the claim for reimbursement of the sum of
P2,623.00 previously paid to the heirs of Capuno "under the Workmen's
Compensation Act." The Court approved the compromise and accordingly
dismissed the case on the following June 17.
At that time the criminal case was still pending; judgment was rendered
only on April 15, 1959, wherein the accused Elordi was acquitted of the
charges against him. Prior thereto, or on September 26, 1958, however,
herein appellants commenced a civil action for damages against the PepsiCola Bottling Company of the Philippines and Jon Elordi. This is the action
which, upon appellees' motion, was dismissed by the Court a quo in its order
of February 29, 1960, from which order the present appeal has been taken.
Issue: Whether or not the action had already prescribed.
Held: Yes. The action has prescribed. The civil action for damages could have
been commenced by appellants immediately upon the death of their
decedent, Cipriano Capuno, on January 3, 1953 or thereabouts, and the same
would not have been stayed by the filing of the criminal action for homicide

through reckless imprudence. But the complaint here was filed only on
September 26, 1958, or after the lapse of more than five years.
In the case of Diocosa Paulan, et al. vs. Zacarias Sarabia, et al., G.R.
No. L-10542, promulgated July 31, 1958, SC held that an action based on a
quasi-delict is governed by Article 1150 of the Civil Code as to the question of
when the prescriptive period of four years shall begin to run, that is, "from
the day (the action) may be brought," which means from the day the quasidelict occurred or was committed.
The foregoing considerations dispose of appellants' contention that
the four-year period of prescription in this case was interrupted by the filing
of the criminal action against Jon Elordi inasmuch as they had neither waived
the civil action nor reserved the right to institute it separately. Such
reservation was not then necessary; without having made it they could file
as in fact they did a separate civil action even during the pendency of the
criminal case and consequently, as held in Paulan v. Sarabia, supra, "the
institution of a criminal action cannot have the effect of interrupting the
institution of a civil action based on a quasi-delict."

Corpus v. Paje
G.R. No. L-26737 (1969)
Facts: On December 23, 1956, a passenger bus of the Victory Liner
Transportation Co., Inc., driven by Felardo Paje, collided within the
municipality of Lubao, Pampanga, with a jeep driven by Clemente Marcia,
resulting in the latter's death and in physical injuries to two other persons.
An information for homicide and double serious physical injuries through
reckless imprudence was filed against Felardo Paje. In 1962, the heirs of
Clemente Marcia reserved their right to institute a separate civil action for
damages. Paje was convicted and pending appeal, the heirs of the Clemente
Marcia filed a separate civil action for damages based on the criminal act and
praying that Victory Liner pay jointly and severally the damages claimed by
the heirs. Paje was acquitted by the CA. During the pre-trial of the civil case,
the Court dismissed the same because the cause of action being a quasidelict has prescribed.
Issue: Whether or not the dismissal of the case is proper by reason of
prescription

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Held: Yes. The trial courts finding was correct that the cause of action has
prescribed in 1962. An action upon a quasi-delict must be instituted within
four (4) years (Article 1146, Civil Code). The four-year prescriptive period
began to run from the day the quasi-delict was committed, or from
December 23, 1956, and the running of the period was not interrupted by
the institution of the criminal action for reckless imprudence. Six years have
already lapsed.

Dulay v. CA
GR No 108017 (1995)
Facts: On December 7, 1988, an altercation between Benigno Torzuela and
Atty. Napoleon Dulay occurred at the "Big Bang 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. Napoleon Dulay.
The widow of Atty. Dulay filed an action for damages against the
employer and the security guard and prayed to be awarded actual,
compensatory, moral and exemplary damages, and attorney's fees. She
alleges that the Secuity agency has concurrent negligence as Torzuela, their
employee:
Defendant TORZUELA'S wanton and reckless discharge of the firearm
issued to him by defendant SAFEGUARD and/or SUPERGUARD was the
immediate and proximate cause of the injury, while the negligence of
defendant SAFEGUARD and/or SUPERGUARD consists in its having failed
to exercise the diligence of a good father of a family in the supervision
and control of its employee to avoid the injury.
SUPERGUARD filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground that the complaint
does not state a valid 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 committed with deliberate intent (dolo), the civil
liability therefore is governed by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, which
states:
"ARTICLE 100.
Civil liability of a person guilty of a felony. Every
person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable."
1.

However, petitioner contends further that Article 2180 of the Civil


Code shall govern and that it is independent from the subsidiary civil

113
2.

liability of the employer under Article 103 of the Revised Penal


Code.
That the act of Torzuela is actionable under Article 33 of the New
Civil Code:

"ARTICLE 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries, a civil


action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal
action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall
proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require
only a preponderance of evidence."
Issue: Whether or not the civil action is founded on quasi-delict and should
the employer be held jointly liable for damages. Whether or not physical
injuries include consummated homicide for Article 33 to apply in the case
Held: Yes to both issues. The SC ruled in favor of the petitioner. Wellentrenched is the doctrine that Article 2176 covers not only acts committed
with negligence, but also acts which are voluntary and intentional.
Private respondents further aver that Article 33 of the New Civil
Code applies only to injuries intentionally committed pursuant to the ruling
in Marcia v. CA. However, the term "physical injuries" in Article 33 has
already been construed to include bodily injuries causing death (Capuno v.
Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of the Philippines). It is not the crime of physical
injuries defined in the Revised Penal Code. It includes not only physical
injuries but also consummated, frustrated, and attempted homicide

Intentional Tort (Abuse of Right)


Velayo v. Shell
100 Phil 186 (July 30, 1957)
Facts: Commercial Air Lines, Inc., referred to as CALI, is a corporation duly
organized and existing in accordance with the Philippines laws, and
previously engaged in air transportation business. The Shell Company of the
P. I., Ltd., is a corporation organized under the laws of England and duly
licensed to do business in the Philippines.
CALIs operations needed fuel, thus it had a number of persons
extending credit to said corporation. However, on August 1948, CALI had

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financial difficulties and had to call on an informal meeting of creditors


because they were in the state of insolvency.
Soon thereafter, the big creditors present in the meeting discussed
preferences of credit. The creditors present agreed to the formation of a
working committee to continue to order of payment and to supervise the
preservation of the properties of the corporation while they attempted to
come to an understanding as a fair distribution of assets among them.
The committee consists of Mr. Fitzgerald, Mr. Agcaoili, and Atty. Sycip.
Creditors agreed not to file a suit. However, on the day of the meeting of the
working committee, they received a letter from Shell regarding its transfer of
credit of CALI to the Shell Oil based in the US.
The American corporation, Shell, then sued CALI for the amount of the
credit thus assigned. A writ of attachment was issued against a C-54 PLANE in
Ontario International Airport. And on January 5,1949, a judgment by default
had been issued by the American court against CALI. The stockholders of CALI
were unaware of this.
On December 17, 1948, Velayo filed for a writ of injunction to stop the
foreign court from prosecuting the claim, and in the alternative, he prayed
for damages in double the amount of the plane which was attached. The
plaintiff having failed to restrain the progress of the attachment suit in the
US by denial of the application of the writ of injunction and the
consequences on execution of the C-54 plane in the state of California, USA,
he confines his action to the recovery of damages against the defendant.
The complaint was dismissed, hence this petition.

114

It is evident that Shell, upon learning the precarious economic


situation of CALI and that will all probability, it could not get much of its
outstanding credit because of the preferred claims of other creditors,
entirely disregarded all moral inhibitory tenets.
The telegraphic transfer made without knowledge and at the back
of other creditors of CALI may be a shrewd and surprise move that enabled
Shell to collect almost all if not the entire amount of its credit, but the
Supreme Court cannot countenance such attitude at all,and much less from a
foreign corporation to thedetriment of Philippine Government and local
business.
Shells transfer of credit would have been justified only if Fitzgerald
had declined to take part in the working committee and frankly and honestly
informed the other creditors present that he had no authority to bind his
principal and that the latter was to be left free to collect its credit from CALI
by whatever means his principal deemed wise and were available to it. But
then, such information would have dissolved all attempts to come to an
amicable conciliation and would have precipitated the filing of CALIs
voluntary insolvency proceedings and nullified the intended transfer of
Shells credit to American Shell.
It may be said that article 19 only contains a mere declaration of
principles and while such statement is essentially correct, yet We find that
such declaration is implemented by Article 21 and the sequence of the same
chapter, which prescribe the following:
Article 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another
in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy
shall compensate the latter for the damage.

Issues: Whether or not Shell acted in bad faith and betrayed the trust and
confidence of the creditors of CALI. Whether or not by reason of betrayal of
trust, Shell should be liable for damages.

Saudi Arabia v. CA
Held: Yes. Chapter 2 of the preliminary title of the Civil Code on Human
relations provides:
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the
performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due,
and observe honesty and good faith.

297 SCRA 469 (October 8, 1998)

Facts: Private respondent Milagros Morada was a flight attendant of


Petitioner Company. During a stop-over in Jakarta, she went to a disco with 2
of her fellow crew members Thamer and Allah (both surnamed Al-Gazzawi)

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and had breakfast in their hotel room. While there, Allah left and Thamer
attempted to rape her.
She was saved by hotel security personnel who heard her cries for help.
She later filed a case against them. The two were arrested and detained by
Jakarta police. When Morada returned to Jeddah (the base of operations of
petitioner), she was asked to go to Jakarta to arrange for the release of the
two men. She proceeded to Jakarta but she refused to cooperate. She was
eventually allowed to return to Jeddah but barred from Jakarta flights. The
Indonesian authorities eventually deported the 2 men, through the
intercession of the Saudi govt., after 2 weeks of detention. They were put
back in service while respondent Morada was transferred to Manila.
Two years later, she was asked by her superiors to see Mr. Miniewy, the
Chief Legal Officer of Saudi Air, in Jeddah. When they met, he brought her to
the police station where her passport was taken and she was questioned
about the Jakarta incident. Miniewy merely stood as the police put pressure
on her to drop the case against the two men. Not until she agreed to do so
did the police return her passport and allowed her to catch a later flight out
of Jeddah.
A year and a half later, she was again asked to go to Jeddah to see
Miniewy. When she did, a certain Khalid of Saudia brought her to a Saudi
court where she was asked to sign a document written in Arabic. She was
told that it was necessary to close the case against Thamer and Allah. As it
turned out, she signed a document to appear before the court a week later.
When the date of appearance came, she complied but only after being
assured by Saudias Manila manager that the investigation was a routine and
posed no danger to her.
She was brought before the court and was interrogated by a Saudi judge
and let go, however, just as she was about to board a plane home, she was
told that she had been forbidden to take flight. She was later told to remain
in Jeddah and her passport was again confiscated.
A few days later, she was again brought before the same court where
the Saudi judge, to her astonishment and shock, sentenced her to 5 months
imprisonment and 286 lashes. Only then did she realize that the Saudi court
had tried her, together with Thamer and Allah for what happened in Jakarta.
The court found her guilty of adultery; going to a disco, dancing and listening
to music in violation of Islamic laws; and socializing with the male crew, in
contravention of Islamic tradition.

115

Facing conviction, she sought help from her employer, petitioner Saudi
Arabian Air but she was denied assistance of any kind. She asked the Phil.
Embassy to help her. 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 Saudi Arabian Air without being informed of the cause.
She then filed a complaint for damages against Saudi Arabian Air and Mr.
Al-Balawi, its country manager. Saudi Arabian Air filed a motion to dismiss
raising the issues of lack of cause of action and lack of jurisdiction.
Issues: Whether or not Morada had a cause of action (2) Which law should
govern, Phil. Law or Saudi Law?
Held: YES, she has a cause of action. She aptly predicated her cause of action
on Art.19 and Art.21 of the CC. As held in PNB v CA, the aforecited
provisions on human relations were intended to expand the concept of torts
in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold no. of
moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically provide
in the statutes.
Although Art.19 merely declares a principle of law, Art.21 gives flesh to its
provisions.
She was the one made to face trial for very serious charges, including
adultery and violation of Islamic laws and tradition. Saudi Arabian Air may
have acted beyond its duties as employer in turning her over to Jeddah
officials. Its purported act contributed to or even proximately caused
additional humiliation, misery and suffering of private respondent, Morada.
Saudi Air allegedly facilitated the arrest, detention and prosecution of
Morada under the guise of petitioners authority as employer, taking
advantage of the trust, confidence and faith she reposed upon it. As
purportedly found by the Prince of Makkah, the alleged conviction and
imprisonment of Morada was wrongful. But these capped the injury or harm
allegedly inflicted upon her person and reputation, for which petitioner could
be liable as claimed, to provide compensation or redress for the wrongs
done, once duly proven.
2. Philippine Law should be applied. Choice of law rules invariably consist of a
factual relationship (such as property right, contract claim) and a connecting
factor or point of contact, such as the situs of the res, the place of
celebration, the place of performance, or the place of wrongdoing.

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Considering that the complaint in the court a quo is one involving


torts, the connecting factor or point of contact could be the place or
places where the tortious conduct or lex loci actus occurred. And applying
the torts principle in a conflicts case, the SC finds that the Philippines could
be said as a situs of the tort (the place where the alleged tortious conduct
took place). This is because it is in the Philippines where petitioner allegedly
deceived private respondent, a Filipina residing and working here.
The SC held what is important here is the place where the over-all
harm or the totality of the alleged injury to the person, reputation, social
standing and human rights of complainant, had lodged according to the
private respondent. All told, it is not without basis to identify the Philippines
as the situs of the alleged tort.
The SC finds it necessary to apply the State of the most significant
relationship rule, which should be appropriate to apply given the factual
context of the case. In applying said principle to determine the State which
has the most significant relationship, the following contacts are to be taken
into account and evaluated according to their relative importance with
respect to the particular issue:

116

dual capacity as a purchasing agent and administrative assistant to the


engineering operations manager. In 1972, GLOBE MACKAY discovered
fictitious purchases and other fraudulent transactions for which it lost several
thousands of pesos.
According to Tobias it was him who actually discovered the
anomalies and reported them on November 10, 1972 to his immediate
superior Eduardo T. Ferraren and to petitioner Herbert C. Hendry who was
then the Executive Vice-President and General Manager of GLOBE MACKAY.
However, his superiors twisted the facts and alleged that it was
Tobias who was their number one suspect. This led to the different
investigations including a lie detector test to make Tobias admit something
he did not do. He was later on dismissed by Globe Mackay. Unemployed,
Tobias tried applying for a new job in RETELCO.
However, the petitioner, without being asked by RETELCO, wrote a letter
to the latter stating that Tobias was dismissed by GLOBE MACKAY due to
dishonesty. Tobias filed a civil case. The RTC awarded damages and the Court
of Appeals affirmed said judgment.

(A) the place where the injury occurred;


(B) the place where the conduct causing the injury occurred;
(C) the domicile, residence, nationality, place of incorporation and place of
business of the parties, and;
(D) the place where the relationship, if any, between the parties is centered.
There is basis for the claim that the over-all injury occurred and lodged in the
Philippines. Private respondent is a resident Filipina national, working with
petitioner, a resident foreign corporation engaged in international air
carriage business here. Thus, the relationship between the parties was
centered here.

Globe Mackay v. CA
176 SCRA 778 (August 25, 1989)
Facts: Restituto M. Tobias, the private respondent, was employed by
petitioner Globe Mackay Cable and Radio Corporation (GLOBE MACKAY) in a

Issue: Whether or not petitioners are liable for damages to private


respondent.
Held: Yes. An employer who harbors suspicions that an employee has
committed dishonesty might be justified in taking the appropriate action
such as ordering an investigation and directing the employee to go on a
leave. Firmness and the resolve to uncover the truth would also be expected
from such employer. But the high-handed treatment accorded Tobias by
petitioners was certainly uncalled for.
Petitioners contend that they could not be made liable for damages
in the lawful exercise of their right to dismiss private respondent. This does
not, however, leave private respondent with no relief because Article 21 of
the Civil Code provides that:
Art. 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a
manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for the damage.

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Several other tortious acts were committed by petitioners against Tobias


after the latter's termination from work. The damage incurred by Tobias was
not only in connection with the abusive manner in which he was dismissed
but was also the result of several other quasi-delictual acts committed by
petitioners such as the filing of six criminal complaints which amount to
malicious prosecution.

Albenson v. CA
G.R. No. 88694 (January 11, 1993)
Facts: Albenson Enterprises delivered to Guaranteed Industries mild steel
plates and as payment, it was paid with a check amounting to P2,575 drawn
against the account of E.L Woodworks.
The check was dishonored, Albenson, traced the origin of the check. The
result from the SEC shows that the president of Guaranteed Industries and
the owner of E.L Woodworks were one and the same with the name of
Eugenio S. Baltao. Albenson made extrajudicial demand but Eugenio Baltao
denied that he issued a check, urging the petitioner to file a complaint
through Fiscal Sumaway for violation of BP 22.
Fiscal Sumaway claimed that he had given Eugenio S. Baltao opportunity
to submit controverting evidence, but the latter failed to do so and
therefore, was deemed to 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 preliminary investigation conducted by Fiscal
Sumaway, and that he never had any dealings with Albenson.
The complaint of Albenson was dismissed and Baltaos complaint was given
merit and the RTC ruled in favor of him.
Issue: Whether or not Eugene Baltao is entitled to such damages for abuse of
rights and malicious prosecution.

117

Held: No, the SC found no cogent reason to award such damages in favor of
Eugene Baltao.
Article 19, known to contain what is commonly referred to as the
principle of abuse of rights, sets certain standards which may be observed
not only in the exercise of one's rights but also in the performance of one's
duties. These standards are the following: to act with justice; to give
everyone his due; and to observe honesty and good faith.
The law, therefore, recognizes the primordial limitation on all rights:
that in their exercise, the norms of human conduct set forth in Article 19
must be observed. A right, though by itself legal because recognized or
granted by law as such, may nevertheless become the source of some
illegality. When a right is exercised in a manner which does not conform with
norms enshrined in Article 19 and results in damage to another, a legal
wrong is thereby committed for which the wrongdoer must be held
responsible . . . ."
What prompted petitioners to file the case for violation of Batas
Pambansa Bilang 22 against 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 respondent.
It appears however, that there was a mistake in identity as there
were three (3) men having the name Eugenio Baltao that were all doing
business in the building where E.L Woodworks was situated. It was most
probably the son, Eugene Baltao III who issued the check to Albenson, which
Mr. Eugene Baltao never during the investigation.
The mere act of submitting a case to the authorities for prosecution
does not make one liable for malicious prosecution. An award of damages
and attorney's fees is unwarranted where the action was filed in good faith.
If damage results from a person's exercising his legal rights, it is damnum
absque injuria.
Nor is he entitled to compensatory damages because he did not
present proof of the cost of the medical treatment which he claimed to have
undergone as a result of the nervous breakdown he suffered, nor did he
present proof of the actual loss to his business caused by the unjust litigation

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against him. In determining actual damages, the court cannot rely on


speculation, conjectures or guesswork as to the amount. Without the actual
proof of loss, the award of actual damages becomes erroneous.
There is no evidence of the other party having acted in wanton,
fraudulent or reckless, or oppressive manner, neither may exemplary
damages be awarded (Dee Hua Liong Electrical Equipment Corporation vs.
Reyes, 145 SCRA 488 [1986]).The award of attorney's fees must be
disallowed where the award of exemplary damages is eliminated (Article
2208, Civil Code; Agustin vs. Court of Appeals, 186 SCRA 375 [1990]).
Moreover, there was no malicious prosecution against private respondent,
attorney's fees cannot be awarded him on that ground.

Amonoy v. Gutierrez
351 SCRA 731 (2001)
Facts: The house of spouses Gutierrez was situated in a lot foreclosed and
bought by Sergio Amonoy. In April and May 1986, an Order of Demolition of
the house was issued by the trial court but was enjoined by a temporary
restraining order (TRO) granted to respondents on June 2, 1986.
In 1988, the TRO was made permanent by the Court, but the house
of respondents had already been destroyed. The Court of Appeals held
petitioner liable to respondents for P250,000.00 for actual damages thereof.
Hence, the appeal to the SC where petitioner asserted the principle of
damnum absque injuria.
Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct in deciding that the
Amonoy was liable to the respondents for damages
Held: Yes. Amonoy invokes the principle of damnun absque injuria, the
maxim that damage resulting from the legitimate exercise of a person's
rights is a loss without injury for which the law gives no remedy. In other
words, one who merely exercises one's rights does no actionable injury and
cannot be held liable for damages.
The SC finds damnum absque injuria not applicable to this case.
Amonoy did not heed to the TRO issued by the Court. He was already in bad

118

faith when he continued the demolition despite the issuance of a TRO. The
demolition of respondents' house by petitioner, despite his receipt of the
TRO, was not only an abuse but also an unlawful exercise of such right.
Amonoys liability is premised on the obligation to repair or to make
whole the damage caused to another by reason of one's act or omission,
whether done intentionally or negligently and whether or not punishable by
law.

UE v. Jader
G.R. No. 132344 (2000)
Facts: Romeo Jader, a law student enrolled in the University of the East,
failed to take the regular final examination in Practice Court I for which he
was given an incomplete grade in the 1st semester of his last year (19871988). After completing his 2nd semester, Jader filed an application for the
removal of the incomplete grade given him by Professor Carlos Ortega. This
was approved by Dean Celedonio Tiongson after paying the required fee. He
took the examination, and on May 30, 1988, Professor Carlos Ortega
submitted his grade, a five (5).
Deliberations were held, with Jaders name appearing in the
tentative list of candidates for graduation, but annotated with his
deficiencies. Invitations were also made, with Jaders name appearing as one
of the candidates, albeit annotated as to the tentative nature of the list.
Jader attended the said graduation ceremony, vested with all the rites
symbolic of his graduation from law school. Believing he had successfully
graduated, he took a leave of absence without pay to prepare for the bar
examination. Upon his enrollment in the pre-bar review of the Far Eastern
University, however, Jader learned of his deficiency, dropped out of the same
and ultimately did not take the bar examination.
Jader sued UE for damages for suffering moral shock, mental
anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings and
sleepless nights arising from the latters negligence. Awards of moral and
exemplary damages, unrealized income, attorneys fees, and costs of suit
were also prayed for.

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UE denied liability, arguing that it never led Jader to believe that he


completed the requirements for a Law degree when his name was included
in the tentative list of graduating students. Trial ensued, with the lower court
ruling in favor of Jader, ordering UE to pay 35,470 with legal rate of interest,
and 5,000 for attorneys fees and cost of suit. This was modified by the CA to
the effect of requiring UE to pay Jader an additional 50,000 for moral
damages.
Issue: Is UE liable to Romeo Jader, despite the formers allegation that the
proximate and immediate cause of the alleged damages incurred arose out
of his own negligence in not verifying the result of his removal exam?
Held: UE is still liable to respondent Jader. In a contract of education, since
the contracting parties are the school and the student, the latter is not dutybound to deal with the formers agents, although nothing prevents either
professors or students from sharing with each other such information. It is
the contractual obligation of the school to timely inform and furnish
sufficient notice and information to each and every student as to whether he
or she had already complied with all the requirements for the conferment of
a degree or whether they would be included among those who will graduate.
In belatedly informing Jader, UE cannot be said to have acted in
good faith. Absence of good faith must be sufficiently established for a
successful prosecution by the aggrieved party in a suit for abuse of right
under Article 19 of the Civil Code. It connotes an honest intention to abstain
from taking undue advantage of another, even though the forms and
technicalities of the law, together with the absence of all information or
belief of facts, would render the transaction unconscientious.
The school exercises general supervision and exclusive control over
the professors with respect to the submission of reports involving the
students standing, with exclusive control meaning that no other person or
entity had any control over the instrumentality which caused the damage or
injury.
Being a university engaged in legal education, it should have
practiced what it inculcates in its students, specifically the principle of good
dealings in Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code, the former provision intended

119

to expand the concept of torts by granting adequate legal remedy for the
untold number of moral wrongs, impossible for human foresight to provide
specifically in statutory law.
UE failed to act seasonably and cannot feign ignorance that Jader
will not prepare himself for the bar exams, since that is precisely the
immediate concern after graduation of an LL.B. graduate. Liability arose from
its failure to promptly inform him of the exam results and in misleading the
latter into believing that he had satisfied all course requirements.
While UE was guilty of negligence and liable to Jader for actual
damages, he should not have been awarded moral damages. At the very
least, it behooved on Jader to verify whether he has completed all necessary
requirements to be eligible for the bar examinations. As a senior law student,
he should have been responsible enough to ensure that all his affairs were in
order. The Court fails to see how he could have suffered untold
embarrassment in attending the graduation rites, enrolling in the bar review
classes and not being able to take the bar exams. If Jader was indeed
humiliated, he brought this upon himself by not verifying all the
requirements including his school records, before preparing himself for the
bar examination.

Garciano v. CA, et al.


G.R. No. 96126 (1992)
Facts: Esteria Garciano was hired to teach during the 1981-82 school year in
the Immaculate Concepcion Institute in the Island of Camotes. Before the
school year ended, she applied for an indefinite LOA because her daughter
was taking her to Austria, her daughters place of employment. The
application was recommended for approval by the school principal, Emerito
O. Labajo, and approved by the President of the school's Board of Directors.
On June 1, 1982, Emerito Labajo addressed a letter to the Garciano, stating
that by way of the decision of school founder, Fr. Joseph Wiertz, the
president of the PTA and the school faculty, they have decided to terminate
her services due to: a) absence of a written contract of employment due to
Garcianos refusal to sign one, and b) the difficulty of getting a substitute for
her on a temporary basis as no one would accept the position without a

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written contract. Upon Garcianos arrival from Austria, and after several
inquiries about the matter, the Board of Directors without the consent of the
school founder signed a letter, reinstating Garciano to her former position,
with a statement declaring the previous communication received had been
declared null and void for not bearing the sanction or authority of the Board.
Subsequently, the president, vice president, secretary, and three members of
the Board of Directors resigned from their positions "for the reason that the
ICI Faculty, has reacted acidly to the Board's deliberations for the
reinstatement of Garciano.
A complaint for damages was filed in the RTC-Cebu against Fr.
Wiertz, Emerito Labajo, and some members of the faculty of the school for
discrimination and unjust and illegal dismissal. After trial, the lower court
ruled in favor of Garciano, ordering Wiertz and Co. to pay 200,000 as moral
damages, 50,000 exemplary damages, 32,400 as lost earnings for 9 years and
10,000 as litigation and attorneys fees. On appeal, the Appellate Court
reversed the ruling of the lower court, dismissing the complaint and
absolving Wiertz and Co. Following the denial of their motion for
reconsideration, Garciano seeks redress in the High Court.
Issues: Did the CA err in absolving Wiertz and Co. from liability by faulting
Esteria Garciano for her failure to report back to work? Should they be held
liable for damages?
Held: The High Court ruled in the negative. It held that the board of directors
of the Immaculate Concepcion Institute, which possesses the authority to
hire and fire teachers and other employees of the school, did not dismiss the
Garciano, but merely directed her to report for work. While the Wiertz and
Co. sent her a letter of termination through her husband, as discovered by
the CA, Wiertz and Co. were aware of their lack of authority to do so. The
letter of termination they sent to Garciano through her husband had no legal
effect, and did not prevent her from reporting for work. There was no reason
why she could not continue with her teaching in the school.
No evidence had been presented to show that defendantsappellants prevented her from reporting for work. An acidic reaction made
by Wiertz and Co. can be seen as nothing more than a reaction to what they
perceived as an affront to their collective prestige. It would appear,

120

therefore, that plaintiff-appellee voluntarily desisted from her teaching job in


the school and has no right to recover damages from defendants-appellants.
They actually did nothing to physically prevent her from reassuming her post,
as ordered by the school's Board of Directors
With regard to damages, liability under Articles 19, 20 and 21 of the
Civil Code arises only from unlawful, willful or negligent acts that are contrary
to law, or morals, good customs or public policy.
Given that Garciano's discontinuance from teaching was her own
choice, whatever loss she may have incurred in the form of lost earnings was
self-inflicted. Volenti non fit injuria. With respect to Garciano's claim for
moral damages, since the right to recover them under Article 21 is based on
equity, he who comes to court to demand equity must come with clean
hands. In this case, Garciano is not without fault. Her indefinite leave of
absence, followed by her failure to report in time for the opening of classes,
as well as her refusal to sign a written contract of employment and her
ignorance of the Boards order to return to work are reflections of her fault.

Barons vs. CA
G.R. No. 126486 (1998)
Facts: Phelps Dodge, Philippines, Inc. (PDPI), appointed Barons Marketing,
Corporation (BMC) as one of its dealers of electrical wires and cables. The
latter was given 60 days credit for its purchases of plaintiff's electrical
products, to be reckoned from the date of delivery by Phelps Dodge of its
products.
For the period covering December 1986 to August 17, 1987, BMC
purchased, on credit, from PDPI various electrical wires and cables in the
total amount of P4,102,438.30, which were subsequently sold to MERALCO.
Sales invoices issued by PDPI to BMC stipulate a 12% interest on the amount
due for attorneys fees and collection. On September 7, 1987, defendant paid
plaintiff the amount of P300,000.00 out of its total purchases, leaving an
unpaid account on the aforesaid deliveries of P3,802,478.20. Demand for
payment was made several times by PDPI, which was responded to by BMC
with a request that it be able to pay its obligation in monthly installments of

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500,000 at 1% interest per annum. The offer was rejected by PDPI, who
reiterated its demand for full payment.
A complaint was filed by PDPI before the Pasig RTC against BMC for
the recovery of the unpaid balance for made deliveries worth 3,108,000, as
well as interest, exemplary damages of at least 100,000, the cost of the suit,
as well as attorneys fees at the rate of 25% of the amount demanded. In
response, BMC, although admitting that the said purchases were theirs,
disputed the amount claimed by PDPI, asserting that the acts were
perpetrated to induce humiliation and in abuse of PDPIs rights.

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With this in mind, BMCs prayer for moral and exemplary damages
must also be rejected, in lieu of Article 2219 (10).
As to the second issue, the Court ruled that the stipulation provided
constitutes a penal clause, and thus, BMC is required to pay interest,
attorneys fees and collection fees. However, given the power of the courts
to reduce the penalty whenever it is found to be iniquitous or
unconscionable, the Court believes that 10% of the principal amount is
adequate to cover both attorneys and collection fees.

BPI vs. CA
After trial, judgment was rendered in favor of PDPI, ordering BMC
to pay for the unpaid balance of their purchases at 12% interest per annum,
attorneys fees at 25% of the preceding obligation, exemplary damages
worth 10,000 and the cost of the suit.
On appeal, the judgment was modified to adopt the original amount of
unpaid deliveries (3,802,478.20) at 12% per annum and 5% of the said
obligation as attorneys fees.
Issue/s: Is PDPI guilty of abuse of right? If not, can PDPI recover interest and
attorneys fees?
Held: The Court held that BMCs theory that PDPI abused its rights by
rejecting the formers offer of settlement, subsequently followed by the filing
of the present complaint was untenable. To invoke Article 19 of the Civil
Code, the defendant must act with bad faith or intent to prejudice the
plaintiff. Quoting Tolentino, abuse of right exists when it is exercised for the
only purpose of prejudicing or injuring another.
Given this premise, the Courts held that PDPIs act of rejecting
BMCs offer to settle was not made to prejudice or injure BMC. It is also a
fundamental rule that good faith is presumed and that the burden of proving
bad faith rests upon the party alleging the same. BMC, in this case, has failed
to prove the bad faith of PDPI. On the contrary, the Court finds the reasons
of PDPI to be legitimate. As pointed out, the corporation had its own "cash
position to protect in order for it to pay its own obligations."

G.R. No. 120639 (1998)


Facts: Ricardo Marasigan, a lawyer by profession, was a complimentary
member of the BPI Express Card Corporation (BECC) from February 1988 to
February 1989. Said corporation issued him Credit Card No. 100-012-5534
with a credit limit of P3,000.00. Said membership to BECC was renewed until
February 1990 at an increased credit limit of P5,000.00. The contention arose
when Marasigan failed to timely pay his account for October 1989 amounting
to P8,987.84. Through Marasigans secretary, BECC informed him that they
are demanding immediate payment of his balance, the deposit of a
P15,000.00 to cover his future bills, and threatened to suspend his credit
card. A postdated check was issued by Marasigan from the Far East Bank and
Trust, Co. and was received by BECCs co-employees on November 23, 1989.
The same was forwarded to the collection department a week later. 5 days
after receipt, BECC served Marasigan a letter informing him of the temporary
suspension of his credit card privileges and the inclusion of his account
number in their Caution List. He was also told to refrain from further use of
his credit card to avoid any inconvenience/embarrassment and that his
membership will be permanently cancelled unless he settles his outstanding
account with the defendant within 5 days from receipt of the letter.
Marasigan, however, did not receive the letter before December 8, 1989, the
day wherein he entertained several guests at Caf Adriatico. Upon
presentment of his credit card to foot the bill of P735.32, said card was
dishonored. One of his guests, Mary Ellen Ringler, paid the bill by using her
own credit card.

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Correspondence was sent out by Marasigan, seeking that he be sent


the exact bill due him as of December 15, 1989, to withhold the deposit of
his postdated check, and return the same due to his instruction to stop
payment. No reply was given by BECC, prompting Marasigan to send another
letter reminding the BECC that he had long cancelled whatever arrangement
he entered into with the Corporation and requested for his correct billing,
less improper charges and penalties, and for an explanation within 5 days
from receipt thereof why his card was dishonored on December 8, 1989
despite assurance by defendant's personnel-in-charge, otherwise court
action shall be filed to hold defendant responsible for the humiliation and
embarrassment suffered by him. In turn, final demand was sent to Marasigan
dated March 21, 1990 requiring him to pay in full his overdue account,
including stipulated fees and charges, within 5 days from receipt thereof or
face court action, as well as replace the postdated check with cash within the
same period or face criminal suit for violation of the B.P. 22. Marasigan, in
turn, demanded BECCs compliance with his earlier request, or face court
action.

122

harm which results from the injury, while damages are the recompense or
compensation awarded for the damage suffered.
In order to maintain an action for the injury, one must establish that
such injuries resulted from a breach of duty which a defendant owed to a
plaintiff - a concurrence of injury to the plaintiff and legal responsibility by
the person causing it. The underlying basis for the award of tort damages is
the premise that an individual was injured in contemplation of law. Thus,
there must first be a breach of some duty and the imposition of liability for
that breach before damages may be awarded; and the breach of such duty
should be the proximate cause of the injury.

Acts Contra Bonus Mora


Ruiz v. Secretary of National Defense
G.R.

A complaint for damages against BECC was filed before the Makati
RTC. After trial, the lower court ruled in favor of Marasigan, finding BECC had
abused its right in contravention of Article 19 of the Civil Code. It ordered
BECC to pay a) 100,000 as moral damages, b) 50,000 as exemplary damages
and c) 20,000 as attorneys fees. On the other hand, the lower court ordered
Marasigan to pay for his outstanding obligation worth 14,439.41.
On appeal, the decision was affirmed but modified, ordering BECC
to pay a) 50,000 as moral damages, b) 25,000 as exemplary damages and c)
10,000 as attorneys fees.
Issue: In canceling Marasigans credit card, did BECC abuse his right under
the terms and conditions of their contract?
Held: BECC did not abuse its right. To find the existence of an abuse of right
under Article 19 the following elements must be present: (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.

No.

L-15526

(1963)

Facts: Allied Technologists, Inc. (ATI) and the Republic of the Philippines
entered into a contract for the construction of the Veterans Memorial
Hospital in September 11, 1950. Ruiz and Herrera were stockholders of ATI.
The construction of the said hospital was halted in 1955, followed by the
filing of 2 civil cases in succession by Ruiz and Herrera against ATI, the
Secretary of National Defense, Col. Nicolas Jimenez, the head of the
Engineering Group of the DND and Pablo Panlilio, as Auditor of the DND.
The first case (CC No. 23778) was dismissed by the CFI on October 12, 1954
as affirmed by the high Court on July 7, 1955. Civil Case No. 26601 was also
dismissed on September 13, 1955. On appeal, the high Court reversed the
order of dismissal, under the impression that the real controversy was
confined merely between Panlilio, Ruiz and Herrera over the 15% of the
contract price, which was retained by the DND, which was originally made to
answer for any claim or lien that might arise, in the course of the
construction. Civil Case No. 26601 was remanded to its court of origin for
further proceedings.

The Court went on to distinguish damage, damages and injury, the


latter being an illegal invasion of a legal right, damage is the loss, hurt, or
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Panlilio and ATI filed their amended answers, stating that the amount
retained by the DND was already paid to ATI, as sought for by the Ruiz and
Herrera in their complaint. In view of this development, the trial court invited
the parties to a conference, in which the Ruiz and Herrera indicated their
conformity, to the dismissal of the complaint with respect to the retention of
the 15% of the contract price; but insisted upon the hearing of the second
question, which sought the declaration and recognition of Ruiz and Herrera,
as two of the three architects of the hospital. The trial court dismissed the
complaint, for being moot and academic.
Issue: Did the lower court err in ordering the dismissal of the case?
Held: The trial court made no error. Ruiz and Herrera contend that the only
ground relied upon by the trial court to dismiss the case without trial is the
allegation that the amount retained by the DND had already been paid, yet
except for this bare allegation, no evidence was adduced to prove the truth
of the same. Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that the same is true,
nevertheless the first part of the first cause of action still remains, for which
they had insisted upon a hearing to establish their right to be recognized as
two of the three architects of the hospital; that because the pleadings do not
show any ground which might legally justify the action taken by the lower
court, the latter should not have ordered the dismissal of the entire case but
should have ordered only the striking out of the moot portion of appellants'
first cause of action, based upon Article 21 of the Civil Code.
This cannot be given merit. As found by the trial court, Ruiz and Herreras
first cause of action is composed of: a) judicial declaration or recognition that
Ruiz and Herrera, together with Panlilio, were the architects of the Veterans
Hospital; and b) injunction restraining government officials paying Panlilio
the sum retained, as per stipulation contained in the contract.
By discarding the Secretary and other officials of the DND, as defendants,
Ruiz and Herrera could not expect the trial court to order them to recognize
and declare them co-architects in the construction of the hospital. And, as
the amount retained by the Department on the contract price, which
retention was authorized by the contract, was, as sought by the appellants,
already paid to the ATI, there is nothing more for the trial court to decide,
even without first ruling on the special defenses of Panlilio and ATI.

123

Ruiz and Herreras reliance on Article 21 of the Civil Code is unfounded. They
contend that the word "injury" in the said article, refers not only to any
indeterminate right or property, but also to honor or credit. However,
although this article envisions a situation where a person has a legal right
which is violated by another in a manner contrary to morals, good customs
or public policy, it presupposes loss or injury, material or otherwise, which
one may suffer as a result of said violation. The pleadings do not show that
damages were ever asked in connection with this case, predicated upon the
said article. Under the facts and circumstances in this case, one cannot
plausibly sustain the contention that the failure or refusal to extend the
recognition was an act contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.

Breach of promise to marry, seduction and sexual


assault
Wassmer vs. Velez
G.R. No. L-20089 (1964)
Facts: Francisco X. Velez and Beatriz P. Wassmer, following their mutual
promise of love, decided to get married and set September 4, 1954 as the big
day. On September 2, 1954 Velez left Wassmer with a note stating that the
wedding must be postponed, as Velezs mother opposes it. He also asked
Wassmer not to fuss. The following day, however, Velez sent Wassmer
another telegram, stating that nothing has changed, and he shall return very
soon. Velez was never seen by Wassmer nor heard from again after that.
Wassmer filed a suit for damages against Velez. Velez filed no
answer and was declared in default. Judgment was rendered in favor of
Wassmer, ordering Velez to pay P2,000.00 as actual damages; P25,000.00 as
moral and exemplary damages; P2,500.00 as attorney's fees; and the costs of
the suit. Velez filed a petition for relief from orders, judgment and
proceedings and motion for new trial and reconsideration. Plaintiff moved to
strike it out, but the Court ordered the parties to explore at this stage of the
proceedings the possibility of arriving at an amicable settlement.
Following a series of failed attempts to amicably settle the matter,
the court issued an order denying defendant's aforesaid petition. Hence,

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Velezs appeal to the high Court. In support of his "motion for new trial and
reconsideration," defendant asserts that the judgment is contrary to law. The
reason given is that "there is no provision of the Civil Code authorizing" an
action for breach of promise to marry. As stated in Hermosisima vs. Court of
Appeals, a mere breach of a promise to marry is not an actionable wrong.
Issue: Should the lower courts decision be set aside, removing Wassmers
right to claim damages?
Held: The lower courts decision must be affirmed, as what was done by the
high Court in this case. The extent to which acts not contrary to law may be
perpetrated with impunity, is not limitless for Article 21 of said Code
provides that "any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in a
manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall
compensate the latter for the damage."
The record reveals that Wassmer and Velez applied for a license to
contract marriage, set a wedding day for September 4, 1954, Printed and
distributed wedding invitations to relatives, friends and acquaintances,
purchased dresses and other apparel for the important occasion and the like.
And then, with but two days before the wedding, Velez simply left.
Surely this is not a case of mere breach of promise to marry. As
stated, mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong. But to
formally set a wedding and go through all the above-described preparation
and publicity, only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be
solemnized, is quite different. This is palpably and unjustifiably contrary to
good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in
accordance with Article 21 aforesaid.
Velez also contends that the moral damages awarded were
excessive, and should be totally eliminated. This argument, however is
devoid of merit. Under the above-narrated circumstances of this case
defendant clearly acted in a "wanton, reckless and oppressive manner." The
high Court's opinion, however, is that considering the particular
circumstances of this case, P15,000.00 as moral and exemplary damages is
deemed to be a reasonable award.

124

TANJANCO vs. SANTOS


G.R. No. L-18630 (1966)
Facts: Apolonio Tanjanco courted Araceli Santos, the former expressing and
professing his undying love and affection for her who also, in due time
reciprocated the tender feelings. In consideration of Tanjancos promise to
marry Santos, she consented to Tanjancos pleas for carnal knowledge, as a
result of which Santos conceived a child. To avoid embarrassment and social
humiliation due to her pregnancy, Santos resigned from her job in IBM,
Philippines as a secretary, thereby unable to support herself and her baby.
Tanjanco, on the other hand, refused to marry Santos, as well as recognize
their unborn child, prompting her to file suit to compel Tanjanco to recognize
the unborn child she was bearing, to give her support of not less than
P430.00 a month, plus P100,000.00 in moral and exemplary damages and
P10,000.00 attorney's fees. Tanjanco, in turn, filed a motion to dismiss.
The lower court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause
of action. On appeal, the CA held that no cause of action was shown to
compel recognition of a child as yet unborn, nor for its support, but decreed
that the complaint did state a cause of action for damages, premised on
Article 21 of the Civil Code. It set aside the lower courts decision and
directed the same to proceed with the case. This prompted Tanjanco to
appeal to the high Court.
Issue: Is Tanjanco correct in pleading that actions for breach of a promise to
marry are not permissible in this jurisdiction?
Held: The Court ruled in the affirmative. The Appellate court erred by relying
upon a memorandum submitted by the Code Commission to the Legislature
in 1949 to support the original draft of the Civil Code, which provided this
example:
"A" seduces the nineteen-year old daughter of "X". A promise of
marriage either has not been made, or cannot be proved. The girl
becomes pregnant. Under the present laws, there is no crime, as the
girl is above eighteen 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 though the girl and

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her family have suffered incalculable moral damage, she and her
parents cannot bring any action for damages. But under the
proposed article (now Article 21), she and her parents would have
such a right of action.
Indeed, the CA overlooked the fact that the memorandum referred to a tort
upon a minor who has been seduced, which connotes essentially the idea of
deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of confidence on the part of the
seducer to which the woman has yielded.
Given the circumstances of this case, the facts stand out that for one
whole year, from 1958 to 1959, Santos, a woman of adult age, maintained
intimate sexual relations with Tanjanco with repeated acts of intercourse.
Such conduct is incompatible with the idea of seduction. There is
voluntariness and mutual passion in this case, for had the she been deceived,
had she surrendered exclusively because of the deceit, artful persuasions and
wiles of the Tanjanco, she would not have again yielded to his embraces,
much less for one year, without exacting early fulfillment of the alleged
promises of marriage, and would have cut all sexual relations upon finding
that defendant did not intend to fulfill his promises. Hence, we 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 Instance in
dismissing the complaint.
The dismissal, however, must be understood to be without
prejudice to whatever actions may correspond to the child of Tanjanco. On
that point, this Court makes no pronouncement, since the child's own rights
are not here involved.

Bunag vs. CA
G.R. No. 101749 (1992)
Facts: Conrado Bunag, Jr. and Zenaida Cirilo, after reaching a hotel/motel
and having sexual intercourse, went to Pamplona in Las Pias, where they
lived together as husband and wife for 21 days, even filing an application for
a marriage license in Cavite. Bunag, Jr., however, withdrew the application
on October 1, 1973.

125

Cirilos version of the case recites that she and Bunag were lovers.
She also states was brought to the hotel/motel against her will where Bunag
succeeded in raping her, and that thereafter, she was allowed to go home
only after they were married. They then went to Bunags grandmothers
house in Las Pias where they lived as husband and wife, but on September
29, 1973, Bunag left and never returned, bringing Cirilo humiliation and
shame because of Bunags deception. This was corroborated by Cirilos uncle,
Vivencio, who added that Bunags father, Bunag, Sr. wanted to settle things
and have the couple wed.
Bunag, Jr., on the other hand, insists that he did not rape Cirilo. In
fact, he and Cirilo had plans to elope and get married. However, due to bitter
disagreements over money and threats to his person, Bunag, Jr. broke off the
engagement.
A complaint for damages was filed by Cirilo for Bunag, Jr.s broken
promise of marriage. In finding that Bunag, Jr. had forcibly abducted and
raped Cirilo, the trial court ruled for Cirilo ordering Bunag, Jr. to pay
P80,000.00 as moral damages, P20,000.00 as exemplary damages,
P20,000.00 by way of temperate damages, and P10,000.00 for and as
attorney's fees, as well as the costs of suit. Conrado Bunag, Sr. was absolved
from any and all liability. On appeal, the CA ruled to affirm the decision of the
lower court. Hence, this petition for review.
Issue: Is Bunag, Jr. correct in asserting that since the action involved breach
of promise to marry, the trial court erred in awarding damages?
Held: The high Court held that while it is true that in this jurisdiction, the
time-honored rule that an action for breach of promise to marry has no
standing in the civil law, apart from the right to recover money or property
advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise.
The award of moral damages is allowed in cases specified in or
analogous to those provided in Article 2219 of the Civil Code. Correlatively,
under Article 21 of said Code, in relation to Article 2219 (10), any person who
willfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to
morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for moral
damages. Article 21 was adopted to remedy the countless gaps in the

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statutes which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless even though
they have actually suffered material and moral injury, and is intended to
vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that untold number of moral wrongs
which is impossible for human foresight to specifically provide for in the
statutes.
Under the prevailing circumstances, the acts of Bunag, Jr. in forcibly
abducting Cirilo and having carnal knowledge with her against her will, and
thereafter promising to marry her in order to escape criminal liability, only to
renege on such promise after cohabiting with her for twenty-one days,
constitute acts contrary to morals and good customs. These are grossly
insensate and reprehensible transgressions which justify the award of moral
and exemplary damages, pursuant to Article 21 in relation to paragraphs 3
and 10, Article 2219, and Article 2229 and 2234 of Civil Code. Further, the
dismissal of the criminal case against Bunag, Jr. for rape did not carry with it
the extinction of the civil action.

Constantino vs. Mendez


G.R. No. 57227 (1992)
Facts: Amelita Constantino worked as a waitress at Tonys Restaurant in Sta.
Cruz, Manila. It was here where she met Ivan Mendez. Following their first
meeting, Mendez invited her to dinner at the Hotel Enrico. While dining,
Mendez professed his love for Constantino. Constantino asked to be brought
home, to which Mendez agreed, on the pretext of getting something in
return. Promising to marry her, Mendez succeeded in having sexual
intercourse with Constantino, then after confessing that he was a married
man. This continued on to the months of September and November.
Constantino eventually got pregnant, and asked for help from Mendez to
support the child, but this plea fell on deaf ears. Constantino was forced to
leave her work as a waitress, as a result. This prompted Constantino to file
for acknowledgment, support and the payment of actual, moral and
exemplary damages. In response, Mendez denied having sexual relations
with Constantino and prayed for the dismissal of the case. He further prayed
for the payment of exemplary damages and litigation expense including
attorney's fees for the filing of the malicious complaint.

126

The lower court ruled in favor of Constantino, ordering Mendez to


pay P8,000.00 by way of actual and moral damages; and P3,000.00, as and
by way of attorney's fees, as well as the costs of the suit. Both parties filed a
motion for reconsideration, with the trial court finding merit in Constantinos
motion, amending its decision by ordering Mendez to pay for actual and
moral damages, hospital expenses of P200.00, permanent monthly support
of P300.00, P5,000.00 as attorneys fees, and to recognize Michael
Constantino as the illegitimate son of Ivan Mendez. On appeal, the CA
dismissed the amended decision.
Issue: Is Amelita Constantino entitled to damages in this case?
Held: The high Court ruled in the negative. Amelita's claim for damages,
which is based on Articles 19 and 21 of the Civil Code, sits on the theory
that through Ivan's promise of marriage, she surrendered her virginity. The
high Court, however, agrees with the Court of Appeals that mere sexual
intercourse is not by itself a basis for recovery of damages. Damages could
only be awarded if sexual intercourse was not a product of voluntariness and
mutual desire.
At the time Amelita met Ivan at Tony's Restaurant, she was already
28 years old and admitted that she was attracted to Ivan. Her attraction is
the reason why she surrendered her womanhood. Had she been induced or
deceived because of a promise of marriage, she could have immediately
severed her relation with Ivan when she was informed after their first sexual
contact sometime in August, 1974, that he was a married man. Her
declaration that in the months of September, October and November, 1974,
they repeated their sexual intercourse only indicates that passion and not
the alleged promise of marriage was the moving force that made her submit
herself to Ivan.

Quimiguing vs. Icao


G.R. No. 26795 (1970)
Facts: Carmen Quimiguing, assisted by her parents, sued Felix Icao. The
parties were neighbors in Dapitan City, and had close and confidential
relations. Icao, although married, succeeded in having carnal intercourse

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with Quimiguing several times by force and intimidation, and without her
consent. As a result, she became pregnant, despite efforts and drugs
supplied by Icao, forcing her had to stop studying. Hence, she now claims
support at P120.00 per month, damages and attorney's fees. Icao, on the
other hand, moved to dismiss for lack of cause of action since the complaint
did not allege that the child had been born. After hearing arguments, the trial
judge sustained defendant's motion and dismissed the complaint.
Quimiguing moved to amend the complaint to allege that as a result of the
intercourse, plaintiff had later given birth to a baby girl; but the court,
sustaining Icao's objection, ruled that no amendment was allowable, since
the original complaint averred no cause of action. Hence the appeal directly
to this Court.

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two eventually fell in love with each other and conducted clandestine trysts
not only in the town of Gasan but also in Boac where Lolita used to teach in a
barrio school. Eventually, Lolitas parents found out and forbade Alfonso
from going to their house and from further seeing Lolita.
Sometime in April, 1957, Lolita was staying with her brothers and
sisters at their residence at 54-B Espaa Extension, Quezon City. On April 14,
1957, Lolita disappeared from said house. After she left, her brothers and
sisters checked her things and found that Lolita's clothes were gone.
However, plaintiffs found a note on a crumpled piece of paper inside
Lolita's aparador. The disappearance of Lolita was reported to the police
authorities and the NBI but up to the present there is no news or trace of her
whereabouts.

Issue: Was the trial court correct in sustaining Icaos motion?


Held: The high Court ruled in the negative. A conceived child, although as yet
unborn, is given by law a provisional personality of its own for all purposes
favorable to it, as explicitly provided in Article 40 of the Civil Code. Therefore,
an unborn child has a right to receive support from its progenitors, even if
the said child is only "en ventre de sa mere."
Further, for a married man to force a woman not his wife to yield to
his lust (as averred in the original complaint in this case) constitutes a clear
violation of the rights of his victim that entitles her to claim compensation for
the damage caused, as mandated by Article 21 of the Civil Code, in relation
to Article 2219 (3,10).
Hence, Quimiguing herself had a cause of action for damages under
the terms of her complaint, and the dismissal of the same constitutes an
error on the part of the lower court.

Pe vs. Pe
G.R. No. L-17396 (1962)
Facts: The case originates from the parents, brothers and sisters of one Lolita
Pe, who had gone missing on April 14, 1957 and at that time, was a single, 24
year old woman. Sometime in 1952, Alfonso frequented the house of Lolita
on the pretext that he wanted her to teach him how to pray the rosary. The

This prompted the filing of the current action with the CFI-Manila to
recover moral, compensatory, exemplary and corrective damages in the
amount of P94,000.00 exclusive of attorney's fees and expenses of litigation.
Defendant, after denying some allegations contained in the complaint, set up
as a defense that the facts alleged therein, even if true, do not constitute a
valid cause of action.
The lower court, finding that Alfonso had carried on a love affair
with Lolita Pe, being a married man himself, declared that Alfonso cannot be
held liable for moral damages, it appearing that Lolitas relatives failed to
prove that Alfonso deliberately and in bad faith tried to win Lolita's affection.
So it rendered a decision dismissing the complaint
Issue: May the parents and siblings of Lolita Pe recover damages based on
the fact that defendant, being a married man, carried on a love affair with
Lolita Pe thereby causing them injury in a manner contrary to morals, good
customs and public policy?
Held: The present action is based on Article 21 of the New Civil Code.
Conversely, the trial court considered the complaint not actionable for the
reason that they failed to prove that Alfonso deliberately and in bad faith
tried to win Lolita's affection.

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The high Court refused to align itself to this view. The circumstances under
which defendant tried to win Lolita's affection cannot lead, to any other
conclusion than that it was he who seduced the latter to the extent of
making her fall in love with him, as shown by the fact that defendant
frequented the house of Lolita on the pretext that he wanted her to teach
him how to pray the rosary. Because of the frequency of his visits to the
latter's family who was allowed free access because he was a collateral
relative and was considered as a member of her family, the two eventually
fell in love with each other and conducted clandestine love affairs not only in
Gasan but also in Boac.
Indeed, no other conclusion can be drawn from this chain of events
than that Alfonso, through a clever strategy, succeeded in winning the
affection and love of Lolita to the extent of having illicit relations with her.
The wrong he has caused her and her family is indeed immeasurable
considering the fact that he is a married man. Verily, he has committed an
injury to Lolita's family in a manner contrary to morals, good customs and
public policy as contemplated in Article 21 of the new Civil Code.

Malicious Prosecution
Lao vs. Associated Anglo American Tobacco
G.R. No. 47013 (2000)
Facts: The Associated Anglo-American Tobacco Corporation (AATC) entered
into a "Contract of Sales Agent" with Andres Lao. Under the contract, Lao
agreed to sell cigarettes manufactured and shipped by the AATC to his
business address in Tacloban City. Lao would in turn remit the sales proceeds
to AATC. For his services, Lao would receive commission depending on the
kind of cigarettes sold, fixed monthly salary, and operational allowance. As a
guarantee to Lao's compliance with his contractual obligations, his brother
1
Jose and his father Tomas executed a deed of mortgage in favor of AATC in
the amount of P200,000.00.
Lao regularly remitted the proceeds of his sales to AATC, generating,
in the process, a great deal of business. However, in February 1968 and until
about seven (7) months later, Lao failed to accomplish his monthly sales
report. He was reminded of his enormous accounts and the difficulty of

128

obtaining a tally thereon despite Lao's avowal of regular remittances of his


collections. Sometime later, Esteban Co, the vice-president and general
manager of AATC, summoned Lao to Pasay City for an accounting where it
was established that Lao's liability amounted to P525,053.47. And so, Lao
and his brother Lao Y Ka, enlisted the services of the Sycip Gorres and Velayo
Accounting Firm (SGV) to check and reconcile the accounts.
Subsequently, AATC discovered that Lao was engaging in the
construction business so much so that it suspected that Lao was diverting the
proceeds of his sales to finance his business. In the demand letter of April 15,
1979,counsel for AATC sought payment of the obligations of Lao, warning
him of the intention of AATC to foreclose the mortgage. Attached to said
letter was a statement of account indicating that Lao's total obligations duly
supported by receipts amounted to P248,990.82.
Ngo Kheng was sent by AATC to supervise the sales operations of
Lao in Samar and Leyte. It was discovered that, contrary to Lao's allegation
that he still had huge collectibles from his customers, nothing was due to
AATC from Lao's clients. From then on, Lao no longer received shipments
from AATC which transferred its vehicles to another compound controlled by
Ngo Kheng. Shipments of cigarettes and the corresponding invoices were
also placed in the name of Ngo Kheng.
On May 21, 1970, Andres, Jose and Tomas Lao brought a complaint
for accounting and damages with writ of preliminary injunction against AATC
before the then CFI of Leyte in Tacloban City. The lower court ordered AATC
to undergo a court-supervised accounting and to pay Lao: a) P180,000
representing actual loss of earnings, b) moral damages in the amount of
P130,000.00, c) exemplary damages in the amount of P50,000.00, d)
attorney's fees in the amount of P40,000.00, e) the compensation of the
commissioners pro-rata and f) the cost of the suit. Upon conclusion of the
accounting, the lower court revised its ruling, declaring Andres Lao's
accountability to AATC in the amount of P167,745.20 and ordering him to
pay same to AATC. On appeal, AATC was ordered by the CA to pay plaintiffs
P150,000.00 actual damages for loss of earnings, P30,000.00 by way of moral
damages and P10,000.00 for exemplary damages. The supplemental decision
issued by the lower court, further, was reversed and set aside.

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During the pendency of civil case, Esteban Co, as vice-president of AATC filed
a criminal case for estafa against Lao. Without awaiting the determination of
the criminal case, Lao lodged a complaint for malicious prosecution. The
court ruled in favor of Lao declaring that the estafa case was filed without
probable cause and with malice and ordered AATC and Esteban Co to jointly
and severally pay Lao: a) P30,000 as actual damages, b) P150,000.00 as moral
damages, c)P100,000.00 as exemplary damages and, d) P50,000.00 as
attorney's fees and costs.
Issue: Is AATC liable for malicious prosecution?
Held: No. A reading of the complaint reveals that the complaint for malicious
prosecution was founded on the filing of estafa against Lao. As such, it was
prematurely filed and it failed to allege a cause of action.
The Court ruled that the complaint for damages based on malicious
prosecution and/or on Articles 20 and 21 should have been dismissed for lack
of cause of action. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming the decision of the
trial court. It should be stressed, however, that the dismissal of subject
complaint should not be taken as an adjudication on the merits, the same
being merely grounded on the failure of the complaint to state a cause of
action.
Malicious prosecution has been defined as an action for damages
brought by one against whom a criminal prosecution, 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.

Que vs. IAC

129

articles sold which Que had not corrected. Que for his part argued that the
allegedly defective articles were never returned to him until after he had
filed the charge for estafa and that Nicolas had earlier merely ignored his
complaints about the dishonored checks.
Que filed a complaint for estafa against Nicolas in the office of the city fiscal
of Caloocan City for the issuance of several dishonored checks upon
presentment. The charge was dismissed for lack of merit, the investigating
fiscal holding that the controversy was an accounting matter that did not
necessarily involve deceit on the part of Nicolas. Subsequently, Nicolas filed
his own complaint for damages against Que with the CFI-Bulacan, for what
he claimed was his malicious prosecution by the latter. Que now claims
harassment. In his counterclaim, he averred that Nicolas had maliciously filed
the complaint in Bulacan although he was a resident of Caloocan City; that
the private respondent was really indebted to him in any case and that it was
he who had suffered damages as a result of the unwarranted suit.
Originally, the lower court held in favor of Antonio and awarded him the
total amount of P80,500.00 in moral, exemplary, and nominal damages plus
a P4,000.00 attorney's fee and the costs of the suit, finding was that Que had
acted maliciously in filing the estafa charge and in alleging that the plaintiff
had issued the dishonored checks with deceit.
Ques motion for reconsideration was denied. A second motion for
reconsideration was filed after a motion to stay the running of the period of
appeal was filed. This second motion found merit, and reversed the original
decision, awarding Que 10,000 as moral damages.
On appeal, the IAC reinstating the original decision of the trial court in favor
of Nicolas.

G.R. No. L-66865 (1989)

Issue: Had Magtanggol Que instituted a malicious prosecution against


Antonio Nicolas?

Facts: The origin of this dispute goes back to when Que and Nicolas were still
in amicable terms. In July and August of 1975, Nicolas ordered from Que
certain amounts of canvass strollers which were delivered to and accepted
by Nicolas, who issued five checks therefore to Que worth P7,600. Nicolas,
however, ordered the bank to stop payment because of defects in the

Held: The high Court ruled in the negative. It is evident that Que was not
motivated by ill feeling but by anxiety to protect his rights when he filed the
criminal complaint for estafa with the fiscal's office. If he averred that the
Antonio had no funds in the bank when he issued the postdated checks and
intended to cheat him, it was because the circumstances of the case as Que

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saw them led him to this conclusion. Even if the fiscal found that no deceit
was involved and that the petitioner's claim was unfounded, the mistaken
charge was nonetheless, in the legal sense, not malicious. As previously held
in Manila Gas Corporation v. Court of Appeals, To constitute malicious
prosecution, there must be proof that the prosecution was prompted by a
sinister design to vex and humiliate a person that it was initiated deliberately
by the defendant knowing that his charges were false and
groundless. Concededly, the mere act of submitting a case to the authorities
for prosecution does not make one liable for malicious prosecution.
The criminal complaint filed by the petitioner was not a mere ploy to enforce
the payment of his account by Nicolas. There was here a genuine protest
over the abrupt and suspicious order to stop the encashment of the checks
issued to him by the private respondent. On the contrary, there is a stronger
suggestion of malice on the part of Nicolas when he filed his suit for damages
against Que in Bulacan, notwithstanding that the place of business was in
Caloocan. However, inasmuch as good faith is presumed, and applying this
presumption both to the petitioner and the private respondent, we hereby
rule that, absent sufficient rebuttable evidence, neither of them is guilty of
malice in their mutual relations.

Drilon vs CA
G.R. No. 107019 (March 20, 1997)
Facts: Drilon and company seek the reversal of the C.A. resolution
affirming the orders of Judge Macli-ing denying their motion to dismiss the
complaint of malicious prosecution filed by Homobono Adaza.
General Renato de Villa on March 20, 1990 requested the DOJ to
order the investigation of several individuals, including Adaza, which he
believed participated in the fail December 1989 coup dtat. Such was
referred to the Special Composite Team of Prosecutors for inquiry. Said team
from sufficient basis for Adazas prosecution and their report became the
basis for the filing of a complaint for the crime of rebellion with murder and
frustrated murder on April 18, 1990 before the RTC of Quezon City. Adaza
then filed a complaint for damages on July 11, 1990 alleging that the
information filed against him was a clear case of wilful and malicious

130

prosecution and that the crime of rebellion with murder and frustrated
murder was non-existent in the statute books.
Drilon and company filed a Motion to Dismiss Adaza's complaint on
the ground that it states no actionable wrong constituting a valid cause of
action on October 15, 1990. On February 8, 1991, Judge Macli-ing denied
petitioners' Motion to Dismiss.
Drilon and Company then filed on June 5, 1991 a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 before the Court of Appeals; alleging Judge Macli-ing
had committed a grave abuse of discretion in denying their motion to dismiss
Adazas complaint on the ground that the later had sufficient cause of action.
Issue: Whether or not Adazas complaint has sufficient cause of action.
Held: No, Adazas complaint does not have a sufficient cause of action. In
fact his complaint suffers a fatal infirmity as it does not state a cause of
action on its face and must thus be dismissed.
Malicious prosecution has been defined in the Philippine jurisdiction
as, An action for damages brought by one against whom a criminal
prosecution, 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 the 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 for a civil action for damages for malicious
prosecution are found in the provisions of the New Civil Code on Human
Relations and on damages particularly Articles 19, 20, 21, 26, 29, 32, 33, 35,
2217 and 2219 (8). To prove malicious prosecution the all the following
elements must be proven and concur: (1) the fact of the prosecution and the
further fact that the defendant was himself the prosecutor and that the
action finally terminated with an acquittal; (2) that in bringing the action, the
prosecutor acted without probable cause; and (3) that the prosecutor was
actuated or impelled by legal malice, that is by improper or sinister motive.

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None of the above requisites were shown in the complaint of Adaza,


thus rendering it dismissible under Sec. 1(g), Rule 16 of the Revised Rules of
Court. The fact that Adaza was granted bail on account of a writ of habeas
corpus is not sufficient ground for the filing of his complaint.
Moreover a complaint for malicious prosecution can only be filed if
legal prosecution has been carried out without probable cause. Probable
cause has been proven by the special composite team of prosecutors, and
thus malicious prosecution has not been committed.
The prosecutors decision not to apply the doctrine enunciated in
the case of People vs. Hernandez which enunciates that murder and common
crimes committed as a necessary means for rebellion must be complexed,
cannot be held as malicious as the prosecutors believed that the case
against Adaza could be differentiated. The prosecutors believe that said acts
of murder and frustrated murder committed by Adaza were not necessary
for the rebellion.
Adazas error of failing to allege sufficient facts to constitute a cause
of action for malicious prosecution on the face of his complaint should have
been painfully obvious to Judge Macli-ing. The judges failure to notice such
and denying the motion to dismiss the said complaint for said reason is
indeed a grave abuse of discretion.

Public Humiliation
Patricio vs. Leviste

131

A criminal complaint for slander by deed was filed, but was


subsequently dismissed. Fr. Patricio then filed a complaint for damages
which was decided in his favor on April 18, 1978 resulting in the award of
moral damages of P 10,000, exemplary damages of P 1,000 and attorneys
fees of 2,000. Fr. Patricio filed for a motion of execution of judgement on
June 9, 1978, but was informed that such could not be done as a pending
motion for reconsideration was apparently filed. Fr. Patricio then replied
that the filing of said motion was without notice to him nor was there proof
of service, thus the case had become final and unappealable. Bacalocos
replied stating that a copy of the motion had been served by ordinary mail to
the petitioner.
On August 3, 1979 the trial court ordered the dismissal of Fr.
Patricios complaint stating that the motion for reconsideration must be
given due course and that the award of moral and exemplary damages was
not proper as compensatory or actual damages have not been proven. Fr.
Patricio then filed this petition for review on certiorari, contenting that he
had not been served notice of the motion for reconsideration, nor was there
proof of such service, that the sending of the copy of said motion by regular
mail did not cure said defect and finally that actual damages need not be
proven before moral damages are given. Bacalocos replied that the order of
the court a quo worked to inform Fr. Patricio of the motion and gave the
latter opportunity to be heard; curing the defect. Bacalocos also reasoned
that moral damages cannot be given as his act of slapping the priest was an
accident cause by drunkenness and is absent of any bad faith.
Issue:

G.R. No. L-51832 (April 26, 1989)


Facts: Fr. Rafael Patricio, director general of the 1976 town fiesta of Pilar,
Capiz was was slapped in public by Bienvenido Bacalocos, who was then the
president of the association of barangay captains of Pilar, Capiz. The incident
occurred on May 16, 1976 at about 10 p.m. during the benefit dance at the
public auditorium. Bacalocos was then drunk and hand injured his hand after
smashing his bottle of alcohol on the table. Bacalocos then approached Fr.
Patricio and suddenly hit the latters face with his bloodied hand.

Whether Bacalocos is liable for damages?

Held: Yes, he is liable for damages. With respect to the deficiency in the
notice for the motion of reconsideration, the court deems the defect cured.
Despite the fact that the notice was mailed via regular service and not
registered mail, such technicality may be set aside because ultimately Fr.
Patricio was able to appear before the court and have his side heard. Such is
the spirit and purpose of the rule on notice and hearing.
As regards to the complaint for damages, the lower courts theory
that moral damages may only be awarded when actual damages are proven
is untenable. Moral damages may be awarded in appropriate cases referred

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to in the chapter on human relations of the Civil Code (Articles 19 to 36),


without need of proof that physical injury was caused upon the complainant.
There is no question that moral damages may be recovered in cases where a
defendant's wrongful act or omission has caused the complainant physical
suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation,
wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation and similar injury; as is, in
the case at bar.
Bacalocos assertion that bad faith was not present when he hit the
priest is also wanting, due to the fact that it was proven that a long time feud
existed between their families. Further, Bacalocos cannot hide behind the
fact that he was drunk as he should be held responsible for all his actions.
Thus, Fr. Patricio may be awarded moral and exemplary damages,
together with attorneys fees for Bacalocos acts which are violation of article
21 in relation to article 2219 of the New Civil Code.

Grand Union Supermarket, Inc. vs. Espino


Gr No. L-48250 (December 28, 1979)
Facts: Jose J. Espino a civil engineer and an executive at Proctor and
Gamble was shopping at South Supermarket in Makati on the morning of
August 22, 1970. He had picked up a rat tail file from one of the shelves,
placed it in his shirt pocket, with a good part of it exposed, and forgot to pay
for it when he got to the cashier. As he and his wife and daughters were
leaving the supermarket with their shopping bags, a security guard of the
store approached Espino and informed him that he had an item in his pocket
which he did not pay for. Espino immediately apologised and started to walk
towards the cashier to pay for the item. He was then stopped by the guard
and asked to go to the back of the supermarket to write an incident report as
this was supposedly the procedure of the establishment.
Espino stated on the report that he put the item in his pocket as he
was talking with his helper while in the store and that he merely forgot to
present it to the cashier. Espino was then lead into the Supermarket and the
report was given to Nelia Santos-Fandino who was seated at a desk beside
the first checkout counter. Nelia after reading the report remarked that this
was another case of theft, to which Espino explained that he merely forgot

132

the rat tail in his pocket and that he had the intention to pay for it. Neilia
then replied to the effect that that was the same thing all shoplifters say
when they are caught. This was done while people were lining up and paying
for the items they shopped. Espino was then made to pay a fine of 5 pesos,
which Nelia reasoned was a prize for the guard who apprehended him.
Espino then paid the fine and was made to line up at the cashier to pay for
the item. As he waited in line he was stared at and people were talking
about him. Extremely humiliated by the incident he immediately left the
premises after paying.
Espino filed a complaint on October 8, 1970 founded on article 21 in
relation to article 2219 of the New Civil Code and prayed for damages. The
CFI of Pasig, Rizal dismissed the complaint; but the Court of Appeals reversed
such. Espino was granted moral damages at P 75,000, exemplary damages of
P 25,000 Pesos, attorneys fees at P 5,000 and the return of the P 5 fine.
Grand Union Supermarket now appeals said decision citing that Espino was
guilty of theft and that their action of apprehending and fining him was
merely an exercise of their right to protect their property as enunciated in
article 429 of the New Civil Code. They also stated that there was probable
cause for his apprehension, that it was not done with malice or bad faith and
the proximate cause for such was Espinos own actions. They also argued
that even if damages were in order, the amounts awarded were
unconscionable.
Issue: Whether the act of apprehending Espino in such a manner would
render the supermarket liable?
Held: Yes, such actions do render the supermarket liable. The court
believes Espino committed an honest mistake when he forgot to pay for his
item. This was proven by the fact that he put it in his pocket while he was
preoccupied and that he apologised and immediately moved to pay for such
at the instance the guard alerted him. The fact that he was an engineer, an
executive of Proctor and Gamble, an esteemed member of society and a
regular customer of the supermarket also belies motive to steal an item of an
insignificant amount, which he was more than capable of paying for.
Further, he was also in the company of his family, a deterrent from criminal
activity.

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It is also evident from the facts of the case that Espino was falsely
accused of being a shoplifter in a manner contrary to morals, good customs
or public policy and thus may be awarded damages. His being identified as a
shoplifter in the incident report, being called such by Nelia and being made
to pay a fine with a threat to call the police and report the incident if he
would not do so, truly caused him humiliation and embarrassment.
However, the amount of damages should be modified. Espinos
forgetfulness was the proximate cause of the incident, and such contributory
negligence would work to reduce the damages awarded, as enunciated in
article 2214 of the New Civil Code. The court also considers the fact that the
presence of shoppers in the premises was merely coincidental as it is a public
place and their presence was not actively called for by the management in
order to humiliate Espino. The court also believes that the managements
policy to have Espino brought to the back of the supermarket to make a
report and to present him to one of the officers was not intentionally done to
humiliate him because the supermarkets business success would be
compromised if it was seen that their public relations with customers were
intentionally such. Moral damages are reduced to P 5,000, exemplary
damages are deleted, attorneys fees are reduced to P 2,000 and the P 5 fine
must be returned.

Unjust Dismissal
Singapore Airlines vs. Pano
Gr No. L-47739 June 22, 1983
Melencio-Herrera, J.
Facts: Carlos E. Cruz accepted employment as Engineer Officer with
Singapore Airlines on August 30, 1974. His contract included a bond binding
him for five years. He signed the contract with B.E. Villanueva as surety.
Later on Singapore airlines claimed that Cruz had breached the
contract by going on unauthorized leave without pay without the requisite
approval of his superiors. The airline sought payment of liquidated damages
of $53,968.00 or (P161,904.00); $883.91 or (P2,651.73) as overpayment in
salary; $61.00 or (P183.00) for cost of uniforms and accessories supplied by

133

the company plus $230.00, or (P690.00), for the cost of a flight manual; and
$1,533.71, or (P4,601.13) corresponding to the vacation leave he had availed
of but to which he was no longer entitled; exemplary damages attorney's
fees; and costs.
Cruz argued that there could not be any breach of contract as he
was not actually required to serve for five years straight. He further posited
that he had left the company on valid grounds which was accepted by the
company, and thus no damages may be awarded. Villanueva on the other
hand filled a cross-claim against Cruz for any damages the former may be
held liable against the airline. Villanueva argued that he was not a surety but
a mere guarantor.
On October 28, 1977, Judge Pano dismissed the complaint,
counterclaim and cross-claim for lack of jurisdiction; stating that the issue
stems from an employer-employee relationship and thus jurisdiction is
vested exclusively with the Labor Arbiter as enunciated in article 216 of the
Labor Code. Singapore airlines filed for reconsideration, which was
subsequently denied, thus their recourse to the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether the case is cognizable by the Civil Courts or the Labor
Arbiter?
Held: The Civil Courts hold jurisdiction over the case at bar. The case is
actually grounded on the breach of contract by Cruz and not on his
employer-employee relationship with the airline.
This was clearly
manifested by Cruzs refusal and failure to report for duty without just cause
and with malice and bad faith when he took his unauthorized leave which
was in contravention with the stipulations of his contract. It is evident that
the complaint was anchored on the effects of Cruzs abandonment of work,
which entitled the airline to damages.
Singapore Airlines does not seek the application of Labor laws but of
the Civil Code regarding liquidated damages for the breach of a contract.
Secondarily, the assertion of Villanueva that he is a mere guarantor is
definitely a civil issue outside of the Labor Arbiters jurisdiction.
Thus, the case must be remanded to the proper Regional Trial Court.

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134

Medina vs. Castro-Bartolome


G.R. No. L-59825 (September 11, 1982)
Facts: On December 20, 1977 at about 1 in the afternoon Cosme de
Aboitiz, the president and chief executive officer, went to the Pepsi-Cola
plant in Muntinlupa and shouted at Ernesto Medina, the former plant
manager and Jose G. Ong, the former plant comptroller. De Aboitiz did so in
front of all the employees, exclaiming:
GOD DAMN IT. YOU FUCKED ME UP ... YOU SHUT UP! FUCK YOU!
YOU ARE BOTH SHIT TO ME! YOU ARE FIRED (Medina). YOU TOO
ARE FIRED! '(Ong)
Medina and Ong filed a joint complaint for oral defamation on
January 9, 1978 but the judge dismissed the complaint during the preliminary
investigation on the ground that such expletives were said not as an insult or
to cause humiliation, but merely as an expression of anger and displeasure
on the part of de Aboitiz. Medina and Ong subsequently filed a petition for
review which reversed the earlier resolution.
Apparently de Aboitiz was angry because the Muntinlupa plant had
been delayed in the use of promotional crowns. Medina reasoned in his
complaint that his plant was not that only one which was delayed and thus
there was no cause for his humiliating dismissal. Further he opined that such
removal was calculated in order to bring about the most humiliation as it was
done in front of all of his subordinates hours before the Christmas party; the
dismissal was executed by de Aboitiz himself and not another lower ranking
officer, that it was made just after they were awarded loyalty rings for their
long service with the company and that it was done just five days before
Christmas.
The court awarded Medina and Ong P 300,000 in moral damages, P
100,000 in exemplary damages, P 5,000 in litigation expenses and P 10,000
and P 200 per appearance as attorneys fees. De Aboitiz moved to dismiss
said complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, but was subsequently
denied because the case was declare to be a civil case for damages and not
one regarding their employer-employee relationship, which would in the
latter case be cognizable by the Labor Arbiter.

On January 23, 1981 de Aboitiz again filed a second motion to


dismiss on the ground that P.D. No. 1691 amending Art. 217 of the Labor
Code of the Philippines and Batasan Pambansa Bldg. 70 which took effect on
May 1, 1980, amending Art. 248 of the Labor Code vested exclusive
jurisdiction to the Labor Arbiter and included Art. 248, thereof ... "which may
include claims for damages and other affirmative reliefs." Thus, the case was
regarded by the court a quo as now being within the jurisdiction of the Labor
Arbiter. Said court also ruled that because said presidential decree was a
curative statute, it could be applied retroactively and thus the case was
dismissed.
Issue: Whether the promulgation of P.D. No. 1691 did indeed remove the
case from the jurisdiction of the Civil Courts?
Held: No, said law did not do so. The Labor Code has no relevance in the
case as it does not provide the reliefs sought for by Medina and Ong. Said
reliefs could only be granted by the Civil Code as it is an action for torts and
damages. Medina and Ong did not allege any unfair labor practice in their
complaint. Thus this case is governed by the Civil Code and not the Labor
Code. The petition is granted and the case reinstated to be decided on the
merits.

Derelection of duty
Amaro vs. Sumanguit
Gr No. L-14986 (July 31, 1962)
Facts: On October 5, 1958 Jose amaro was assaulted and shot near the city
government building of Silay, Negros Occidental by a police officer. He,
together with his father and witnesses went to the office of Ambrosio
Sumanguit, the chief of police of the city to complain. However instead of
gaining assistance they were harassed terrorized and were forced to give up
prosecuting the crime. Amaro still persisted and obtained the aid of the city
attorney who was about to file an information for the illegal discharge of
firearm against one of the police officers. Because of this, the harassment by
the chief of police continued, trying to force the Amaros to give up and sign
prepared affidavits exculpating the police from dereliction of duty with
regard to the above said crime.

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The complaint was dismissed upon Sumanguits motion, on the


ground that it does not it does not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause
of action.
Issue:

Whether such dismissal is valid on such ground?

Held: No, such dismissal was invalid. Although the complaint did not
specifically allege so, it was an action predicated on articles 21 and 27 of the
Civil Code. The facts presented although vague do constitute an actionable
dereliction of duty as enunciated in article 27 as the chief of police refused to
give them assistance without just cause, when it was said officers duty to
perform such.
Although the complaint was imperfectly drafted, ambiguous,
indefinite and uncertain, such are not grounds for dismissal of the case under
Rule 8. The proper procedure would be to ask for a bill of particulars under
Rule 16 to fix said curable defects.
The Amaros have recourse to file their complaint for illegal
discharge of firearm directly with the city attorney and/or file an
administrative complaint against the chief of police. Both of which do not
preclude an action for damages under article 27 of the Civil Code. Thus, the
dismissal is set aside and the case remanded to the appropriate court for
further proceedings.

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Upon seeing a reprint of the advertisement on the same paper on


January 5, 1969, Dr. Aramil immediately wrote said reality corporation
stating that the latter did not obtain permission to post his house in the
advertisement and depict it as being owned by another family. Dr. Aramil
explained that it has caused him humiliation as his colleagues and friends
who recognize his house or have been to such have uttered remarks
questioning the ownership of his house, his integrity, if he rented the house
from the Arcadios and even that his wife was that of another husband. He
then warned the corporation that he would pursue legal action if such acts
were not explained satisfactorily to him within one week of receipt of the
letter.
Said letter was received and answered by Ernesto Magtoto, an
officer of said corporation who was in charge of advertising. He immediately
stopped its publication and contacted Dr. Aramil to apologise. However no
rectification or apology was ever published. Dr. Aramils counsel demanded
actual, moral and exemplary damages of P 110,000 from the corporation on
February 20, 1969. The corporation answered by claiming that it was an
honest mistake and that a rectification will be made.
The corporation published a new advertisement on March 18, 1969
which again portrayed the Arcadio family, but this time with their real house.
However no apology or rectification was included. This led to the filing of a
complaint for damages against the said corporation on March 29, 1969. The
lower court and appellate court ruled in favor of Dr. Aramil; awarding him P
8,000 as actual damages, P 20,000 as moral damages and P 2,000 for
attorneys fees.

Violation of human dignity and Privacy


Issue:
St. Louis Realty Corporation vs. C.A.
GR No L-46061 (November 14, 1984)
Facts: St. Louis Reality Corp. caused to be published on the December 15,
1968 Sunday Times an advertisement featuring the house of Dr. Conrado J.
Aramil. Said advertisement was entitled Where the Heart is, showed a
picture of Dr. Aramils house but with the family of Arcadio S. Acradio
depicted as the owners. It also had written text stating that the Arcadios had
purchased such house in Brookside Hills village at an affordable rate. Such
was done without the permission of Dr. Aramil.

Whether the case is covered by article 26 of the Civil Code?

Held: Yes, the case falls under said article which warrants the award of
damages to Dr. Aramil. Said article provides that "every person shall respect
the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other
persons". "Prying into the privacy of another's residence" and "meddling
with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another" and "similar
acts", "though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a
cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief". Such article was
violated when the corporation released an advertisement depicting Dr.
Armils home to be that of another, without Dr. Aramils permission. Further,
bad faith and negligence was evident as the corporation refused to publish a
rectification or apology despite demands.

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The damages awarded are proper being enunciated by Articles


2200, 2208 and 2219 of the Civil Code. Article 2219 allows moral damages for
acts mentioned in Article 26.

Concepcion v. CA
Gr No 120706 (January 31, 2000)
Facts: Nestor Nicolas and family were leases of an apartment owned by
Florence Conception located at San Joaquin, Pasig City. Nestor was engaged
in the business of supplying office equipment, appliances and other fixtures
to government agencies. He had convinced Florence to join in by inputting
capital in exchange for an equal division of profits earned.
The problem started when Florences deceased husbands brother,
Rodrigo Conception, suddenly confronted Nestor at his apartment on the
second week of July 1985. He accused Nestor of being an adulterer,
receiving P 100,000 from Florence to go to Baguio with his family, but
secretly returning to Manila to have a tryst with Florence. Nestor even
accompanied Rodrigo to ask the relatives whom the rumor allegedly came
from, they however denied any knowledge. Rodrigo again accused Nestor of
being an adulterer when they met Florence at the terrace of her residence
when the two confronted her about the rumor. Both Nestor and Florence
denied such. Rodrigo continued to harass Florence via phone, even saying
that he would kill her if anything should happen to his mother.
As a result Nestor felt ashamed and embarrassed to face his
neighbors as they had heard or had been present during Rodrigos
confrontation. His business was also in decline as Florence discontinued her
capital input. Moreover, his wife, Allem started to distrust him and constant
fighting ensued due to the rumor spread by Rodrigo. Nestor then demanded
that Rodrigo make a public apology and pay damages. Rodrigo refused to do
so and reasoned that he was only protecting his familys reputation. The RTC
and Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Nestor, awarding him P 50,000 for
moral damages, P25,000 for exemplary damages, P 10,000 for attorneys fees
and the cost of suit.
Issue:

Whether the awarding is with basis or not?

136

Held: Yes, such decision is with legal and factual basis. First, Rodrigos
claim that the awarding was without legal basis is bereft of merit. His actions
of confronting Nestor in the latters apartment and hurling accusations that
Nestor was an adulterer within view and hearing range of the public is
indeed a violation of articles 26 and 2219 of the Civil Code as such an act is
indeed a form of defamation and intrudes into the privacy of Nestors home
and family life. Further, under article 2217 of the Civil Code, moral damages
which include physical suffering, mental anguish, fright, serious anxiety,
besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral shock, social humiliation,
and similar injury, although incapable of pecuniary computation, may be
recovered if they are the proximate result of the defendant's wrongful act or
omission. Such was manifest when Nestor was so humiliated that he could
not face his neighbours, his constant quarrels with his wife and the decline of
his business.
Rodrigos second contention that the facts and circumstances of the
case were manifestly overlooked misunderstood or glossed over by
respondent court which, if considered, would change the verdict. The court
sees no such error. The totality of the evidence and facts presented truly
show that Rodrigo had defamed Nestor. The minor inconsistencies of the
testimonies and affidavits of witnesses do not debunk Nestors case; in fact
they are a badge of its authenticity as experience would dictate that minor
inconsistencies are to be expected.
Rodrigos final contention is that the appellate court did not take
into account the fact that the lower courts judge who penned the decision
was not the original judge who heard his case; and is thus not in a position to
properly weigh the facts and circumstances of the case leading to a flawed
decision. The court finds this untenable. First off the Supreme Court as a
rule respects the finds of the lower court and shall not disturb such unless it
finds good reason to do so. No such reason in this case exists or has been
proven. The mere fact that the lower court judge who penned the decision
was not the one who heard the case does not destroy the presumption of
regularity of the judges performance. The judge is presumed and held to
have made his decision after reviewing the facts and circumstances which
are kept in the records of the case.
Thus the totality of the facts and circumstances lead the court to
believe that indeed Rodrigo had defamed Nestor and is thus liable for
damages. The damages previously awarded are affirmed.

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137

Concept of Damages
Heirs of Borlado vs. Vda. De Bulan
G.R. 114118 (2001)
Facts: A parcel of land owned by Serapio Borlado, grandfather of petitioners,
was sold for consideration to Francisco Bacero who in turn sold it to the
Spouses Bienvenido Bulan and Salvacion Borbon, respondents herein. The
respondents had been in continuous, peaceful, uninterrupted, adverse and
exclusive possession of the lot until petitioners forcibly entered and wrested
physical possession thereof from them.
Respondents filed an ejectment suit against petitioners, which was
decided in their favour. The court ordered petitioners to vacate the land and
to pay to respondents a total amount of One Thousand One Hundred (1,100)
cavans of palay as well as attorneys fees and the cost of suit.
Issue:
lot.

Whether the CA erred in declaring the respondents as owners of the

Held: The defendants, Twao and Castro, are not entitled to moral damages.
The law on damages is found on Title XVII of the Civil Code but rules
governing damages laid down in other laws, and the principles of the general
law on damages are adopted in so far as they are not in consistent with the
Code.
Moral damages may be recovered, among others, in cases of malicious
prosecution. But in order that moral damages may be recovered in
connection with a writ of attachment, malice must exist.
The Rules of Court requiring the attachment plaintiff to provide a
bond from which the costs and all damages are to be enforced should the
court find that the plaintiff is not entitled to the attachment merely provides
recovery on the bond based on the undertaking and not from any tortious
act. Consequently, the appellees may recover only the actual damages and
not moral damages.

Actual or Compensatory Damages


Algarra vs. Sandejas
GR No L-8385 (March 24, 1914)

Held: The petition was denied since the issue involved was factual and did
not fall under the exceptions that the SC may not review factual findings of
the CA on appeal via certiorari. However, the court modified the judgment
with respect to the award of the cavans of palay as a form of damages in the
absence of legal basis since "Palay" is not legal tender currency in the
Philippines.

Facts: Plaintiff filed a civil action against defendant for injuries resulting from
an automobile collision due to the latters fault. At the time of the accident,
plaintiff sold the products of a distillery and made an average of P50 per
month. As a result of the collision, plaintiff incurred medical expenses, and
suffered business losses with only four out of his twenty regular customers
remaining.

Lazatin vs. Twano

The lower court refused to grant plaintiffs claim for injuries to his
business due to his enforced absence therefrom.

GR No. L-12736 (July 31, 1961)


Facts: Properties of appellant Lazatin were levied and sold in public auction
to satisfy a judgment in favour of herein appellees Twao and Castro. Lazatin
deposited the redemption price with the Sheriff before the expiration of the
redemption period. To ensure payment of claim in the present action, Lazatin
secured a writ of attachment on the amount deposited.

Issue: Whether plaintiff is entitled to damages for injuries to his business


Held: An action for damages is based on Article 1902, which provides:
A person who, by act or omission, causes damage to another
where there is fault or negligence shall be obliged to repair the
damage so done.

Issue: Whether the estate of Lazatin is liable to pay damages for the alleged
malicious attachment
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Actual damages include not only loss already suffered, but loss of profits
which may not have been realized. Under both American Law and the
Spanish Civil Code, actual damages for a negligent act or omission include
those foreseen at the time of the injury or its necessary consequence.
Evidently, plaintiff is entitled to recover damages resulting from his actual
incapacity. With respect to the damage to his business the court ruled that
the profits of an established business may be considered in calculating the
measure of damages for an interruption of it.

Kinds of Actual Damages


Integrated Packaging Corp. vs. CA
GR No. 115117 (June 8, 2000)
Facts: Petitioner, Integrated Packaging, and private respondent, Fil-Anchor
Paper Co., Inc., entered into a contract whereby private respondent would
deliver 3450 reams of printing paper on specified schedules to be paid within
a maximum period of ninety days. Private respondent delivered 1097 out of
3450 reams to petitioner, but the latter failed to pay the amount due causing
private respondent to file a collection suit against petitioner.
In its counterclaim petitioner contends that by reason of
respondents failure to deliver the 3450 reams as agreed upon, it was unable
to complete its printing obligation with Philacor resulting to actual damages
and unrealized expected profits.
Issue: Whether private respondent is liable for petitioners breach of
contract with Philacor.
Held: Private respondent was justified in suspending its deliveries when
petitioner failed to pay within ninety days from receipt of the goods as
agreed upon. Neither may private respondent be held liable for the breach of
contract committed by petitioner against Philacor when respondent was not
a party thereto.
Indemnification for damages includes loss suffered or actual
damages (damnum emergens) and profits which the obligee failed to obtain
or compensatory damages (lucrum cessans); however, it is necessary to
prove actual amount of loss. The court ruled that it was erroneous to
conclude that petitioner would have earned a profit of P 790, 324.30 since
these were based on speculation and were hypothetical. Neither is petitioner

138

entitled to moral damages in the absence of bad faith, or gross negligence


amounting to bad faith.

Attorneys fees
Quirante v. Intermediate Appellate Court
G.R. No. 73886 (January 31, 1989)
Facts: On June 18, 1983, herein petitioner Quirante filed a motion in the trial
court for the confirmation of his attorney's fees. According to him, there was
an oral agreement between him and the late Dr.Casasola with regard to his
attorney's fees, which agreement was allegedly confirmed in writing by the
widow, Asuncion Vda. De Casasola, and the two daughters of the deceased,
namely Mely C. Garcia and Virginia C. Nazareno. Petitioner avers that
pursuant to said agreement, the attorney's fees would be computed as
follows:
A. In case of recovery of the P120,000.00 surety bond, the
attorney's fees of the undersigned counsel (Atty. Quirante) shall be
P30,000.00.
B. In case the Honorable Court awards damages in excess of the
P120,000.00 bond, it shall be divided equally between the Heirs of I.
Casasola, Atty. John C. Quirante and Atty. Dante Cruz.
The trial court granted the motion for confirmation in an order dated March
20, 1984, despite an opposition thereto. It also denied the motion for
reconsideration of the order of confirmation in its second order dated May
25, 1984. The Court of Appeals set aside the two orders and made the
previous restraining order permanent.
Issue: Whether or not Petitioner Quirante is allowed to recover his attorneys
fees even if the case has not yet been decided?
Held: What is being claimed here as attorney's fees by petitioners is,
however, different from attorney's fees as an item of damages provided for
under Article 2208 of the Civil Code, wherein the award is made in favor of
the litigant, not of his counsel, and the litigant, not his counsel, is the
judgment creditor who may enforce the judgment for attorney's fees by
14
execution. Here, the petitioner's claims are based on an alleged contract
for professional services, with them as the creditors and the private
respondents as the debtors.

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139
Since the main case from which the petitioner's claims for their fees
may arise has not yet become final, the determination of the propriety of
said fees and the amount thereof should be held in abeyance. This procedure
gains added validity in the light of the rule that the remedy for recovering
attorney's fees as an incident of the main action may be availed of only when
something is due to the client. Thus, it was ruled that:
... an attorney's fee cannot be determined until after the main
litigation has been decided and the subject of recovery is at the
disposition of the court. The issue over attorney's fee only arises
when something has been recovered from which the fee is to be
15
paid.
As regards to the effect of the alleged confirmation of the attorney's fees by
some of the heirs of the deceased. We are of the considered view that the
orderly administration of justice dictates that such issue be likewise
determined by the court a quo inasmuch as it also necessarily involves the
same contingencies in determining the propriety and assessing the extent of
recovery of attorney's fees by both petitioners herein. The court below will
be in a better position, after the entire case shall have been adjudicated,
inclusive of any liability of PHILAMGEN and the respective participations of
the heirs of Dr.Casasola in the award, to determine with evidentiary support
such matters like the basis for the entitlement in the fees of petitioner Dante
Cruz and as to whether the agreement allegedly entered into with the late
Dr.Casasola would be binding on all his heirs, as contended by petitioner
Quirante.
We, therefore, take exception to and reject that portion of the
decision of the respondent court which holds that the alleged confirmation
to attorney's fees should not adversely affect the non-signatories thereto,
since it is also premised on the eventual grant of damages to the Casasola
family, hence the same objection of prematurity obtains and such a holding
may be pre-emptive of factual and evidentiary matters that may be
presented for consideration by the trial court. WHEREFORE, with the
foregoing observation, the decision of the respondent court subject of the
present recourse is hereby AFFIRMED.

Interest
Crismina Garments, Inc. vs. CA
G.R. No.128721 (March 9, 1999)
Facts: Petitioner (Crismina Garments) contracted the services of the
respondent (DWilmar Garments) for sewing 20,762 pairs of denims. The
total of which amounted to 76,410.
Petitioner failed to pay the aforesaid amount. As a result,
Respondent filed a complaint against petitioner for the collection of
payment. Trial Court ruled in favor of the respondent and ordered the
petitioner to pay the sum of 76,140 with interest at 12% per annum. CA
affirmed the trial Courts ruling. Hence, a Petition for review was filed.
Petitioner submits that the interest rate should be 6% pursuant to
Art. 2209 of the Civil Code. On the other hand private respondent maintains
that the interest rate should be 12% per annum in accordance with Central
bank Act, since the money sought to be recovered by her is in the form of
forbearance.
Issue: Whether or not it is proper to impose interest at the rate of 12% per
annum for an obligation that does not involve a loan or forbearance of
money in the absence of stipulation of the parties.
Held: Because the amount due in this case arose from a contract for a piece
of work, not from a loan or forbearance of money, the legal interest of six
percent (6%) per annum should be applied.
Furthermore, since the amount of the demand could be established
with certainty when the complaint was filed, the six percent (6%) interest
should be computed from the filing of the said complaint. But after the
judgment becomes final and executory until the obligation is satisfied, the
interest should be reckoned at twelve percent (12%) per year.
Private respondent maintains that the twelve percent (12%) interest
should be imposed, because the obligation arose from a forbearance of

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money. This is erroneous. In eastern Shipping, the Court observed that


forbearance in the context of the usury law is a contractual obligation of
lender or creditor to refrain, during a given period of time, from requiring the
borrower or debtor to repay a loan or debt then due and payable. Using this
standard, the obligation in this case was obviously not a forbearance of
money, goods or credit.

Mitigation of Liability
Cerrano vs. Tan Chuco
38 Phil 392 (August 1, 1918)
Facts: Tan Chuco, who was then the owner of casco No. 1033, rented it to
Vicencio Cerrano at a monthly rental of P70. Tan Chuco notified Vicencio
Cerrano that in the following month it would be necessary to send the casco
to Malabon for repairs. Cerrano then informed Tan Chuco that he would like
to rent the casco again after repairs had been completed. Tan Chuco
indicated that he was willing to rent it, but would expect P80 a month for it,
by which Cerrano acceded to the demand. About one week before the end of
the repair period, Tan Chuco sold the casco to Siy Cong Bieng & Co. Santos,
the man who had been employed by Cerrano, upon hearing of the said sale
went to the office of Siy Cong Bieng & Co. and asked for employment in the
same capacity. Cerrano, claiming that he was entitled to the possession of
the casco under his contract with Tan Chuco, regardless of its sale to Siy Cong
Bieng & Co. induced Santos to refuse to take orders from the new owners.
As a result Siy Cong Bieng & Co. were obliged to bring an action of
replevin against Santos for the recovery of the possession of their casco.
Upon this judgment was entered for the delivery of casco to Siy Cong Bieng&
Co. and for damages. Cerrano, paid the judgment in favor of Siy Cong Bieng&
Co. in the replevin suit, for which he had become liable under the terms of
the delivery bond.
Issue: Whether Tan Chuco is liable for damages for breach of contract.

140

Ruling: Yes. Under the terms of his contract Tan Chuco was bound to deliver
the casco to Cerrano for one month from the date upon which the repairs
were ended, but was under no obligation to renew the contract at the end of
the month. By selling the casco to Siy Cong Bieng & Co. he broke his contract
with Cerrano and is responsible for the damages caused by his failure to give
Cerrano possession of the casco for the term of one month. The Court is of
the opinion that Cerrano is entitled to recover damages for the breach of
contract, the profit by which he would have been able to make had the
contract been performed.
Article 1106 of the Civil Code establishes the rule that prospective
profits may be recovered as damages, while article 1107 of the same Code
provides that the damages recoverable for the breach of obligations not
originating in fraud (dolo) are those which were or might have been foreseen
at the time the contract was entered into. Applying these principles to the
facts in this case, we think that it is unquestionable that defendant must be
deemed to have foreseen at the time he made contract that in the event of
his failure perform it, the plaintiff would be damaged by the loss of the profit
he might reasonably have expected to derive from its use.

Moral Damages
Kierulf vs. CA
G.R. No. 99301 (March 13, 1997)
Facts: The Pantranco bus was traveling along EDSA from Congressional
Avenue towards Clover Leaf, Balintawak. The driver lost control of the bus
along the way, causing it to swerve to the left, and then to fly over the center
island occupying the east-bound lane of EDSA. The front of the bus bumped
the front portion of an Isuzu pickup driven by Legaspi. Damages to both
vehicles occured and physical injuries were inflicted on Legaspi and his
passenger Lucila Kierulf, both of whom were treated at the Quezon City
General Hospital. The bus also hit and injured a pedestrian who was then
crossing EDSA. Despite the impact, said bus continued to move forward and
its front portion rammed against a Caltex gasoline station, damaging its
building and gasoline dispensing equipment. As a consequence of the

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incident, Lucila suffered injuries. The injuries sustained by Lucila required


major surgeries like "tracheotomy, open reduction, mandibular fracture,
intermaxillary repair of multiple laceration" and prolonged treatment by
specialists. Legaspi also suffered injuries.The front portion of the pickup
truck, owned by Spouses Kierulf, was smashed to pieces. The cost of repair
was estimated at P107,583.50.
Pantranco in its petition alleged that it was driven by Jose Malanum.
While cruising along EDSA, a used engine differential accidentally and
suddenly dropped from a junk truck in front of the bus. Said differential hit
the under chassis of the bus, throwing Malanum off his seat and making him
lose control of said bus. The bus swerved to the left, hit the center island,
and bumped the pickup of the spouses.
The plaintiffs alleged that the moral damages awarded by
Respondent Court are "clearly and woefully not enough." The established
guideline in awarding moral damages takes into consideration several
factors, some of which are the social and financial standing of the injured
parties and their wounded moral feelings and personal pride. The Kierulf
spouses add that the Respondent Court should have considered another
factor: the loss of their conjugal fellowship and the impairment or
destruction of their sexual life and that the moral damages awarded in favor
of Lucila should be increased to P1,000,000.00, not only for Lucila but also for
her husband Victor who also suffered "psychologically." Pantranco rebuts
that Article 2219 of the Civil Code provides that only the person suffering the
injury may claim moral damages. Additionally, no evidence was adduced to
show that the consortium had indeed been impaired and the Court cannot
presume that marital relations disappeared with the accident
Issue: How much moral, exemplary and actual damages are victims of
vehicular accidents entitled to?
Held: The Supreme Court ruled in this case that the Rodriguez case clearly
reversed the original common law view first enunciated in the case of
Deshotel vs. Atchison, that a wife could not recover for the loss of her
husband's services by the act of a third party. Rodriguez ruled that when a
person is injured to the extent that he/she is no longer capable of giving love,

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affection, comfort and sexual relations to his or her spouse, that spouse has
suffered a direct and real personal loss. The loss is immediate and
consequential rather than remote and unforeseeable; it is personal to the
spouse and separate and distinct from that of the injured person.
Whether Rodriguez may be cited as authority to support the award
of moral damages to Victor and/or LucilaKierulf for "loss of consortium,"
however, cannot be properly considered in this case.
Victor's claim for deprivation of his right to consortium, although
argued before Respondent Court, is not supported by the evidence on
record. His wife might have been badly disfigured, but he had not testified
that, in consequence thereof, his right to marital consortium was affected.
Clearly, Victor (and for that matter, Lucila) had failed to make out a case for
loss of consortium, unlike the Rodriguez spouse. Again, we emphasize that
this claim is factual in origin and must find basis not only in the evidence
presented but also in the findings of the Respondent Court. For lack of
factual basis, such claim cannot be ruled upon by this Court at this time. The
social and financial standing of Lucila cannot be considered in awarding
moral damages. The factual circumstances prior to the accident show that
no "rude and rough" reception, no "menacing attitude," no "supercilious
manner," no "abusive language and highly scornful reference" was given her.
The social and financial standing of a claimant of moral damages may be
considered in awarding moral damages only if he or she was subjected to
contemptuous conduct despite the offender's knowledge of his or her social
and financial standing.
Be that as it may, it is still proper to award moral damages to
Petitioner Lucila for her physical sufferings, mental anguish, fright, serious
anxiety and wounded feelings. She sustained multiple injuries on the scalp,
limbs and ribs. She lost all her teeth. She had to undergo several corrective
operations and treatments. Despite treatment and surgery, her chin was still
numb and thick. She felt that she has not fully recovered from her injuries.
She even had to undergo a second operation on her gums for her dentures to
fit. She suffered sleepless nights and shock as a consequence of the
vehicular accident. In this light and considering further the length of time
spent in prosecuting the complaint and this appeal, we find the sum of

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P400,000.00 as moral damages for Petitioner Lucila to be fair and just under
the circumstances.

Proof and Proximate Cause


Miranda-Ribaya vs. Carbonell
G.R. No. L-49390 January 28, 1980
Facts: Mrs. Niceta Miranda-Ribaya was engaged sometime in 1968 in the
pawnshop business and in the buying and selling of jewelry.
Prior to April 23, 1968 one of her agents, Mrs. Josefina Roco-Robles,
informed her that a millionaire logger by the name of Marino Bautista was
interested to buy big diamond stones.
Mrs. Ribaya accompanied by her agent, Mrs. Robles dropped by the
house of Mr. and Mrs. Marino Bautista on April 23, 1968 at La Salle Street,
Greenhills Mandaluyong, Rizal. Mrs. Ribaya was convinced that the Bautistas
were millionaires as represented by her agent. On that occasion both Mr.
and Mrs. Bautista were present together with Gloria Duque, the secretary of
Mr. Bautista, and the couple's daughter, Teresita.
Mrs. Ribaya sold to the Bautistas 10 pieces of jewelry for the price of
P222,000.00 (originally priced at P224,000.00). Mr. Bautista acknowledged
the receipt of the jewelry as well as the agreed purchase price by signing the
receipt and Mrs. Ribaya in turn was paid in the form of the two (2) Equitable
Banking Corporation checks Nos. 10767485-A for P112,000.00 (Annex B of
the complaint) and No. 10755100-A for P110,000.00, both checks postdated
June 23, 1968. Mrs. Ribaya then executed a voucher evidencing said payment
Mrs. Ribaya, accompanied by Miss Narcisa Gosioco, went back the
next day to request Bautista to break up the Equitable Banking Corporation
Check No. 10755100-A for P110,000.00 into separate check inasmuch as part
of the jewelry sold to Bautista the previous day belonged to Mrs. Gosioco.
Bautista accommodated them with four (4) Bank of Amerca checks DD-8112
for P14,000.00, DD-8113 for P34,000.00, DD- 8114 for P12,000.90 and DD9115 for P50,000.00 P110,000.00, all postdated June 23, 1968. Mrs. Ribaya

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delivered Account Nos. 8113 and 8114 to Miss. Gosioco and kept for herself
checks Nos. 8115 and 8112. On the same day, she also sold to the Bautistas 4
pieces worth P94,000.00. Bautista issued Bank of America Checks Nos. DD8106 forP12,000.00, DD-8111 for P12,000.00, DD-8110 for P35,000.00, and
DD-8107 for P35,000.00, all post dated June 23, 1968.
As some of the owners of the jewelry sold to the defendants by
Ribaya on April 23, 1968 and April 24, 1968 wanted to get back their jewelry,
Mrs. Ribaya on May 15, 1968 went back to the house of the Bautistas
accompanied by Gloria Duque bringing with her 3 pieces of jewelry in
exchange for some pieces previously sold to defendant Bautista. She left the
jewelry with Bautista but instead of exchanging the jewelry Bautista issued to
Mrs. Ribaya another Bank of America check No. DD-8130 for P45,000.00
postdated July 17, 1968.
Ribaya tried to contact Bautista when the checks matured, but were
unable to do so. She deposited the checks to her account but they were
dishonored by the bank for the reason that the accounts of the defendant
were closed.

Suspecting that the Bautistas might have pawned the pieces of jewelry
purchased from her, she went to the pawnshop section of the Manila Police
Department and discovered that most of the jewelry she had sold to the
defendants were pledged to various pawnshops in Manila.
Mrs. Ribaya confronted Marino Bautista, who assured her that he
would pay her their obligation. After failing to comply, Mrs. Ribaya
demanded from Bautista the surrender of the pawnshop tickets covering the
pledge of the jewelry he obtained from her. She was able to redeem part of
the jewelry she delivered to the Bautistas.
It was computed that Bautista's obligations amounted to
P125,460.79.
The trial court rendered judgment sentencing the Bautistas to pay
petitioners the sum of P125,460.79 with interest and 25% thereof for
attorney's fees and expenses of litigation. The claim for moral and exemplary

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damages was denied on the ground that the evidence adduced by the
plaintiffs [was] insufficient to warrant its grant.
ISSUE: Are petitioners entitled to moral and exemplary damages?
HELD: Yes. In Francisco vs. Government Service Insurance System, the Court
had sustained the trial court's appealed decision denying the therein
prevailing plaintiff's claim for moral and exemplary damages "not only on
account of the plaintiff's failure to take the witness stand and testify to her
social humiliation, wounded feelings, anxiety, etc., but primarily because a
breach of contract like that of defendant, not being malicious or fraudulent,
does not warrant the award of moral damages.
Here, the facts and circumstances are totally different. In that case,
therein plaintiff failed to take the witness stand and defendant's breach of
contract was held to be not malicious and fraudulent. In the present case,
petitioner took the witness stand and established by uncontradicted
testimony that due to respondents' deceitful and malevolent acts of
defraudation, she had suffered "extreme" anguish and "could not sleep for
three months," since she was forced to close her pawnshop, sell some of her
personal jewelries and borrow money in order to pay off the owners of the
jewelries wrongfully gotten by respondents from her. The evidence of record
shows the magnitude of respondents' wanton, fraudulent and malevolent
acts of defraudation.
Petitioners' testimonial evidence to the effect that she suffered
"extremely" and that for three months she could not sleep was a clear
demonstration of her physical suffering, mental anguish and serious anxiety
and similar injury, resulting from respondents' malevolent acts that show her
to be clearly entitled to moral damages.
Petitioners having established the more damages, are entitled in
addition thereto, to exemplary damages. The wantonness and malevolence
through which respondents defrauded petitioners, deceitfully incurring and
then evading settlement of their just liability certainly justifies the award of
exemplary damages by way of example and correction for the public good
and also to serve as a deterrent to the commission of similar misdeeds by
others, even if the transaction were viewed as a breach of civil contract.

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Del Rosario vs. CA


G.R. No. 118325 (January 29, 1997)
Facts: In selling to the public roofing materials known as "Banawe" shingles,
Metal Forming Corporation (MFC) made representations on the durability of
the product and the sturdiness of its installation, characterizing the shingles
as "STRUCTURALLY SAFE AND STRONG" and that the "BANAWE METAL TILE
structure acts as a single unit against wind and storm pressure due to the
strong hook action on its overlaps". It prompted the Del Rosarios to buy the
"Banawe" shingles and have them installed at their residence.
Two months after installation, portions of the roof of the Del
Rosarios were blown away by the typhoon "Ruping", and the same acted in
parts (instead of as a single unit) when strong winds blew, a part remaining
while another part was blown off.
The Del Rosarios' filed a complaint on November 21, 1990, charging
MFC with a violation of Section 3 of Act No. 3740, "An Act to Penalize
Fraudulent Advertising, Mislabeling or Misbranding of Any Product, Stocks,
Bonds, etc." After due proceedings, the DTI rendered judgment sentencing
MFC to pay an "administrative fine of P10,000.00".
MFC however declined to concede liability for the other damages
claimed by the Del Rosario Spouses to have been caused to the interior of
their home. The spouses sought to recover from MFC, damages resulting
from the events just narrated, contending that aside from the destruction of
the roof of their house, injury was also caused to its electrical wiring, ceiling,
furtures, walls, wall paper, wood parquet flooring and furniture. They
reckoned their actual damages at P1,008,003.00 and prayed for an award to
them of moral damages in the sum of P3,000,000,00, exemplary damages in
the amount of P1,000,000.00, and attorney's fees in the sum of
P1,000,000.00.
MFC moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of cause of action,
alleging that it had no contractual relationship with the Del Rosarios since
the contract for the purchase and installation of the roofing, upon which the
latter's claims were based, was actually entered into between it and another

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person, Jesus M. Puno (an engineer identified as the Del Rosarios'


contractor).

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De la Torre, 55 SCRA 340 [1974.] and are allowable only when specifically
prayed for in the complaint. (San Miguel Brewery, Inc. v. Magno, 21 SCRA
292 [1968])

Judgment was rendered in favor of the Del Rosarios.

Raagas vs. Traya


Issue: Are the Spouses entitled to moral damages?
Held: Yes. It is indisputable that (1) the tiles were delivered to the Del
Rosarios and used in fabricating the roof of their home, and (2) that it was
the employees and workers of MFC who (a) delivered the shingles or metal
tiles to the construction site of the Del Rosarios' home, and (b) undertook
and completed the installation thereof. These they did in bad faith, using
inferior materials and assembling them in a manner contrary to MFC's
express representations in its brochures and advertisements circulated and
broadcast to the general public which representations had, in the first
place, induced the Del Rosarios to choose the metal tiles in question for their
roofing. In fine, since MFC, in bad faith and with gross negligence, infringed
the express warranty made by it to the general public in connection with the
"Banawe" tiles brought to and set up in the house of the Del Rosarios who
had relied on the warranty, and thereby caused them considerable injury,
the identity of the individual who actually dealt with MFC and asked the
latter to make such delivery and installation is of little moment.
That MFC did in truth act with bad faith, in flagrant breach of its
express warranties made to the general public and in wanton disregard of
the rights of the Del Rosarios who relied on those warranties, is adequately
demonstrated by the recorded proofs. The law explicitly authorizes the
award of moral damages "in breaches of contract where the defendant acted
fraudulently or in bad faith." There being, moreover, satisfactory evidence of
the psychological and mental trauma actually suffered by the Del Rosarios,
the grant to them of moral damages is warranted. In Makabili v. Court of
Appeals, the court held that:
It is essential. . . . in the award of damages that the claimant must
have satisfactorily proven during the trial the existence of the factual basis
of the damages and its causal connection to defendant's acts. This is so
because moral damages though incapable of pecuniary estimation, are in
the category of an award designed to compensate the claimant for actual
injury suffered and not to impose a penalty on the wrongdoer (Enervida v.

G.R. No. L-20081, February 27, 1968


Facts: Spouses Melquiades Raagas and Adela Laudiano Raagas filed on April
1, 1960, a complaint with the Court of First Instance of Leyte against Octavio
Traya, his wife, and Bienvenido Canciller, alleging in essence that on or about
April 9, 1958, while the latter was "recklessly" driving a truck owned by his
co-defendants, along the public highway in MacArthur, Leyte, the said
vehicle ran over the plaintiffs' three-year old son Regino causing his
instantaneous death. The plaintiffs ask for actual damages in the sum of
P10,000, moral, nominal and corrective damages in a sum to be determined
by the court, P1,000 as attorney's fees, P1,000 for expenses of litigation, plus
costs.
Defendants specifically denied that Canciller was "driving recklessly"
at the time of the mishap, and assert that the truck "was fully loaded and
was running at a very low speed and on the right side of the road"; that it
was the child who "rushed from an unseen position and bumped the truck so
that he was hit by the left rear tire of the said truck and died", and
consequently the defendants are not to blame for the accident which was
"entirely attributable to an unforeseen event" or due to the fault of the child
and negligence of his parents; that the defendant-spouses have exercised
due diligence in the selection and supervision of their driver Canciller, whom
they hired in 1946 only after a thorough study of his background as a truck
driver; and that each time they allowed him to drive it was only after a check
of his physical condition and the mechanical fitness of the truck assigned to
him.
On June 24 it rendered a judgment on the pleadings, condemning
the defendants, jointly and severally, to pay "to the plaintiffs the sum of
P10,000 for the death of their child Regino Laudiano Raagas, P2,000 for
moral damages, P1,000 actual damages, P1,000 for attorney's fees, and the
costs."

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On May 4 the plaintiffs' moved for a judgment on the pleadings,


upon the claim that the defendants' answer not only "failed to tender an
issue" but as well "admitted material allegations" of the complaint.

145

that the claimant satisfactorily prove the existence of the factual basis of
the damage and its causal relation to defendant's acts."
There is a need of a full-blown trial on the merits.

The court reasoned that the denial in the answer of the charge of
reckless driving "did not affect the plaintiffs' positive allegation in their
complaint that the truck . . . did not have a current year registration plate . . .
for the year 1958 when the accident occurred that "this failure . . . has the
effect of admitting hypothetically that they operated ... the said truck
without proper license . . . when the accident occurred," and that "unless
there is proof to the contrary, it is presumed that a person driving a motor
vehicle has been negligent if at the time of the mishap, he was violating any
traffic regulation (article 2185, new Civil Code)." The court went on to
conclude that under the circumstances a judgment on the pleadings was
"irremediably proper and fitting."

Issue: Did the court act correctly in rendering judgment on the pleadings?
Held: No. The plaintiffs' claim for actual, moral, nominal and corrective
damages, was controverted by the averment in the answer to the effect that
the defendants "have no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief
as to the truth of the allegations" as to such damages, "the truth of the
matter being that the death of Regino Raagas was occasioned by an
unforeseen event and/or by the fault of the small boy Regino Raagas or his
parents." Such averment has the effect of tendering a valid issue.
The court has previously held that we held even if the allegations
regarding the amount of damages in the complaint are not specifically
denied in the answer, such damages are not deemed admitted. It has also
declared in no uncertain terms that actual damages must be proved, and that
a court cannot rely on "speculation, conjecture or guesswork" as to the fact
and amount of damages, but must depend on actual proof that damage had
been suffered and on evidence of the actual amount.
Moreover, in Malonzo vs. Galang et. al., L-13851, July 27, 1960, the
court reaffirmed the rule that although an allegation is not necessary in
order that moral damages may be awarded, "it is, nevertheless, essential

Enervida vs. Dela Torre


G.R. No. L-38037 (January 28, 1974)

Facts: Petitioner, Roque Enervida, filed a complaint against the defendantspouses de la Torre, praying that the deed of sale executed on December 3,
1957 by his deceased father, Ciriaco Enervida, over a parcel of land covered
by a Homestead Patent be declared null and void for having been executed
within the prohibited period of five years, in violation of Section 118 of
Commonwealth Act 141 (Public Land Law) and that he be allowed to
repurchase said parcel of land for being the legitimate son and sole heir of
his deceased father.
The defendants filed their answer, stating that the plaintiff has no
cause of action against them as his father, Ciriaco Enervida, is still living, the
petitioner is not only son of Ciriaco Enervida as he has also four other living
children and that the sale of the property in question did not take place
within the prohibited period provided for in Section 118 of the Public Land
Law, the sale having taken place on November 20, 1957, although ratified
and acknowledged on December 3, 1957, before a Notary Public.
During the pre-trial conference, petitioner admitted that his father
is still living and that he has four other living brothers and sisters who were
not joined as party-plaintiffs. He also admitted that the sale of the land in
question actually took place on November 20, 1957, but was formalized only
on December 3, 1957. He likewise admitted that the homestead patent was
issued on November 17, 1952 to his father, which was beyond the prohibited
period of 5 years. The CFI ruled that petitioner has no cause of action and
was prompted with malice and bad faith in taking his action to court by
alleging false statement in his complaint. The court dismissed the case and
ordered the petitioner to pay the defendants P2000 as actual moral and
exemplary damages and pay also the attorneys fees. On appeal to Court of

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Appeals, it certified the case to the Supreme Court for it involved purely
question of law.
Issue: Whether or not it is proper to award the defendant an actual moral
and exemplary damages when plaintiff filed unfounded civil case.
Held: NO. The Supreme Court ruled that with regard to the award of TWO
THOUSAND PESOS "in concept of actual, moral and exemplary damages ...",
the same is not proper for it would ran counter to the decision of this Court
9
in Deogracias Malonzo vs Gregoria Galang where it was ruled:
It will be observed that unlike compensatory or actual damages which are
generally recoverable in tort cases as long as there is satisfactory proof
thereof (Art. 2202), the Code has chosen to enumerate the cases in which
moral damages, may be recovered (Art. 2219). A like enumeration is made
in regard to the recovery of attorney's fees as an item of damage (Art.
2208). But the two enumerations differ in the case of a clearly unfounded
suit, which is expressly mentioned in Art. 2208 (par. 4), as justifying an
award of attorney's fees, but is not included in the enumeration of Art.
2219 in respect to moral damages. It is true that Art. 2219 also provides
that moral damages may be awarded in "analogous cases" to those
enumerated, but we do not think the Code intended" a clearly unfounded
civil action or proceedings" to be one of these analogous cases wherein
moral damages may be recovered, or it would have expressly mentioned
it in Art. 2219, as it did in Art. 2208; or else incorporated Art. 2208 by
reference in Art. 2219. Besides, Art. 2219 Specifically mentions "quasidelicts causing physical injuries", as an instance when moral damages may
be allowed, thereby implying that all other quasi-delicts not resulting in
physical injuries are excluded (Strebel vs. Figueras, 96 Phil. 321),
excepting, of course, the special torts referred to in Art. 309, par. 9, Art.
2219) and in Arts. 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, and 34, 35 on the chapter on
human relations (par. 10, Art. 2219).

Furthermore, while no proof of pecuniary loss is necessary in order that


moral damages may be awarded, the amount of indemnity being left to the
discretion of the court (Art. 2216), it is, nevertheless, essential that the
claimant satisfactorily prove the existence of the factual basis of the damage
(Art. 2217) and its causal relation to defendant's acts. This is so because
moral damages, though incapable of pecuniary estimation, are in the
9

146

category of an award designed to compensate the claimant for actual injury


suffered and not to impose a penalty on the wrongdoer (Algara vs. Sandejas,
27 Phil. 294).
The trial court and the Court of Appeals both seem to be of the
opinion that the mere fact that respondent were sued without any legal
foundation entitled them to an award of moral damages, hence they made
no definite finding as to what the supposed moral damages suffered consist
of. Such a conclusion would make of moral damages a penalty, which they
are not, rather than a compensation for actual injury suffered, which they
are intended to be. Moral damages, in other words, are not corrective or
exemplary damages.

People vs. Bugayong


G.R. No. 126518 (December 2, 1998)

Facts: Alberto Cauan and Leticia Yu Cauan got married on May 14, 1978. Out
of this marital union they begot 3 children: Albert, Honeylet and Arlene. They
separated in 1983. Albert and Arlene stayed with their mother Leticia while
Honeylet stayed with her grandmother Anita Yu. Leticia cohabited with the
accused Rodelio Bugayong and had one child, Catherine Bugayong.
On October 15, 1994 Bugayong had Arlene hold his penis inside the
room he shared with Leticia. At that time, Catherine Bugayong, who was 6
years old was also inside the same room and her father, the accused was
letting her sleep. Bugayong threatened to maim Arlene if she did not hold his
penis. When the penis was already hard and stiff, he placed it inside the
mouth of Arlene and a white substance came out from the penis. Catherine
saw this incident.
On the basis of a medico-legal examination conducted by the NBI,
and testimonies, Bugayong was convicted. Upon appeal, among other issued
involving the defects of the information, he questions the award of
PhP50,000.00 in damages ex-delicto in favor of the offended party:
Issue: Does the award damages by the trial court have basis?

109 Phil. 16, 18, 19


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Held: The court affirmed his conviction. The trial court correctly awarded
P50,000 as indemnity ex delicto, an amount which is automatically granted
to the offended party without need of further evidence other than the fact of
the commission of rape.
Consistent with recent jurisprudence, appellant should also be ordered to
pay the victim the additional amount of P50,000 as moral damages. In People
v. Prades, the Court resolved that "moral damages may additionally be
awarded to the victim in the criminal proceeding, in such amount as the
Court deems just, without the need for pleading or proof of the basis thereof
as has heretofore been the practice."

147

Trinidad for a proposal for the payment of her indebtedness, since according
to GSIS the one-year period for redemption had expired.
Atty. Francisco protested against the GSIS request for proposal of
payment because of the existence of the agreed offer dated 20 February
1959. However, GSIS countered stating that the telegram should be
disregarded in view of its failure to express the contents of the board
resolution due to the error of its minor employees in couching the correct
wording of the telegram which provides that approval of the compromise is
subject to the condition that Mr. Vicente J. Francisco shall pay all expenses
incurred by the GSIS in the foreclosure of the mortgage.
GSIS moved for the consolidated the title to the compound in its name, and
gave notice thereof to the plaintiff and to each occupant of the compound.
Hence, the plaintiff instituted the present suit, for specific performance and
damages.

Francisco vs. GSIS


7 SCRA 577 (March 30, 1963)
Facts: Trinidad Francisco, in consideration of a loan in the amount of
P400,000.00, mortgaged in favor of the GSIS a parcel of land with twenty-one
(21) bungalows, known as Vic-Mari Compound, located at Baesa, Quezon
City, payable within ten (10) years in monthly installments and with interest
of 7%per annum compounded monthly.
Because of her failure to comply with the mortgaged, GSIS extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage. GSIS itself was the buyer of the property
in theforeclosure sale.
On 20 February 1959, the Trinidads father, Atty. Vicente J.
Francisco, sent a letter to the general manager of the GSIS offering a
compromise that P30,000 which GSIS owes him be credited to Trinidads
unpaid monthly installments and that GSIS would take over the
administration of the mortgaged property and collect all monthly
installments amounting to about P5,000 of more than 31 lots and houses
until the debt is fully covered. This was approved by GSIS through Andal.
Remittances were made, totaling P698,726.10 sent by Trinidad to
GSIS through Andal, all of which were received and duly receipted for.
However, GSIS sent 3 letters, all of which were signed by Andal, asking

After trial, the court below found the following:


(a) Declaring null and void the consolidation in the name of the
defendant, Government Service Insurance System, of the title of the VICMARI Compound; said title shall be restored to the plaintiff; and all
payments made by the plaintiff, after her offer had been accepted by the
defendant, must be credited as amortizations on her loan; and (b) Ordering
the defendant to abide by the terms of the contract created by plaintiff's
offer and it's unconditional acceptance, with costs against the defendant.

Both parties appealed. GSIS appealed the decision of declaring null and void
the consolidation of the lots, while Trinidad appealed because the trial court
did not award the P535,000.00 damages and attorney's fees she claimed.
Issue: Is the lower court correct in not awarding damages to plaintiff?
Held: YES. The court a quo correctly refused to award such actual or
compensatory damages because it could not determine with reasonable
certainty the difference between the offered price and the actual value of
the property, for lack of competent evidence. Without proof we cannot
assume, or take judicial notice, as suggested by the plaintiff, that the practice

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of lending institutions in the country is to give out as loan 60% of the actual
value of the collateral.
There was no error also denying moral damages, not only on
account of the plaintiff's failure to take the witness stand and testify to her
social humiliation, wounded feelings, anxiety, etc., as the decision holds, but
primarily because a breach of contract like that of defendant, not being
malicious or fraudulent, does not warrant the award of moral damages under
Article 2220 of the Civil Code.
There is also no basis for awarding exemplary damages either, because this
species of damages is only allowed in addition to moral, temperate,
liquidated, or compensatory damages, none of which have been allowed in
this case.
As to attorneys' fees, we agree with the trial court's stand that, in
view of the absence of gross and evident bad faith in defendant's refusal to
satisfy the plaintiff's claim, and there being none of the other grounds
enumerated in Article 2208 of the Civil Code, such absence precludes a
recovery. The award of attorneys' fees is essentially discretionary in the trial
court, and no abuse of discretion has been shown.

Expertravel & Tours, Inc. vs. Court Of Appeals


309 SCRA 141 (June 25, 1999)
Facts: On 07 October 1987, Expertravel& Tours, Inc., ("Expertravel"), a
domestic corporation engaged in the travel agency business, issued to
private respondent Ricardo Lo four round-trip plane tickets for Hongkong,
together with hotel accommodations and transfers, for a total cost of
P39,677.20. Alleging that Lo had failed to pay the amount due, Expertravel
caused several demands to be made. Since the demands were ignored by Lo,
Expertravel filed a court complaint for recovery of the amount claimed plus
damages.
Respondent Lo explained, in his answer, that his account with
Expertravel had already been fully paid. The outstanding account was

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remitted to Expertravel through its then Chairperson, Ms. Ma. Rocio de Vega,
who was theretofore authorized to deal with the clients of Expertravel. The
payment was evidenced by a Monte de Piedad Check for P42,175.20 for
which Ms. de Vega, in turn, issued City Trust Check No. 417920 in favor of
Expertravel for the amount of P50,000.00, with the notation "placement
advance for Ricardo Lo, etc." Per its own invoice, Expertravel received the
sum on 10 October 1987.
The trial court, affirmed by the appellate court, held that the
payment made by Lo was valid awarding moral damages, attorneys fees and
cost of the suit in favor of Lo. Hence, this petition.
Issue: Can moral damages be recovered in a clearly unfounded suit? Can
moral damages be awarded for negligence or quasi-delict that did not result
to physical injury to the offended party?
Held: NO. Although the institution of a clearly unfounded civil suit can at
times be a legal justification for an award of attorney's fees, such filing,
however, has almost invariably been held not to be a ground for an award of
moral damages. The rationale for the rule is that the law could not have
meant to impose a penalty on the right to litigate. The anguish suffered by a
person for having been made a defendant in a civil suit would be no different
from the usual worry and anxiety suffered by anyone who is haled to court, a
situation that cannot by itself be a cogent reason for the award of moral
damages. If the rule were otherwise, then moral damages must every time
be awarded in favor of the prevailing defendant against an unsuccessful
plaintiff.
NO. An award of moral damages would require certain conditions
to be met; to wit: (1) First, there must be an injury, whether physical, mental
or psychological, clearly sustained by the claimant; (2) second, there must be
a culpable act or omission factually established; (3) third, the wrongful act or
omission of the defendant is the proximate cause of the injury sustained by
the claimant; and (4) fourth, the award of damages is predicated on any of
the cases stated in Article 2219.Under the provisions of this law, in culpa
contractual or breach of contract, moral damages may be recovered when
the defendant acted in bad faith or was guilty of gross negligence (amounting

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to bad faith) or in wanton disregard of his contractual obligation and,


exceptionally, when the act of breach of contract itself is constitutive of tort
resulting in physical injuries. By special rule in Article 1764, in relation to
Article 2206, of the Civil Code, moral damages may also be awarded in case
the death of a passenger results from a breach of carriage.
In culpa aquiliana, or quasi-delict, (a) when an act or omission
causes physical injuries, or (b) where the defendant is guilty of intentional
tort, moral damages may aptly be recovered. This rule also applies, as
aforestated, to contracts when breached by tort. In culpa criminal, moral
damages could be lawfully due when the accused is found guilty of physical
injuries, lascivious acts, adultery or concubinage, illegal or arbitrary
detention, illegal arrest, illegal search, or defamation. Malicious prosecution
can also give rise to a claim for moral damages. The term "analogous cases,"
referred to in Article 2219, following the ejusdem generis rule, must be held
similar to those expressly enumerated by the law.

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in the same place by Metro Drug, the total value of which amounted to
P32,034.42. In partial payment of these receivables, a check was drawn by
Silverio, Jr. under the account name Farmacia delos Remedios amounting to
P14,180.46. The check however was subsequently dishonored due to
insufficient funds.
Metro Drug filed a telegram addressed to Aklan Drug demanding full
payment of outstanding account for P27,938.06. Lamenta tried to collect
from Editha Mijares for the disputed claim, but Editha referred him to Mr.
Silverio as the new operator and concessionaire of the drugstore. She
informed him verbally that they have no more business inside the Ospital ng
Maynila as the cooperative drugstore has already stopped operations.
Despite said verbal notice, the demand telegram addressed to Aklan Drug
was still sent to Editha Mijares. On Lamenta's follow-up of said telegram,
Editha again directed Lamenta to see Solomon Silverio, the new owner of the
drugstore.

Unfounded suits
Editha and Glicerio Mijares vs. CA and Metro Drug, Inc.
G.R. No. 113558 (April 18, 1997)
Facts: Petitioners Editha Mijares and Glicerio T. Mijares owners of Aklan Drug
had been buying pharmaceutical products from private respondent Metro
Drug since 1976. Editha Mijares, aside from being the operator of Aklan Drug,
was also an officer of the Ospital Ng Maynila Consumers Cooperative, a
concessionaire of a small area right inside the hospital compound where it
operated a drugstore. The Ospital ng Maynila Cooperative also had some
transactions with Metro Drug as supplier of pharmaceutical products.
Subsequently, the Cooperative was dissolved and stopped its operations in
October 1986.
On November 1, 1986, a Contract of Lease was entered into
between the City of Manila as lessor and Solomon Silverio, Jr. as lessee.
Silverio, Jr. as the new lessee, put up a drugstore on the same area occupied
by the Cooperative. On November 26, 1986, Metro Drug delivered
pharmaceutical products to the said store thru Dioscoro Lamenta, its
salesman/collector. More deliveries of pharmaceutical products were made

Thereafter, Metro Drug filed before the Regional Trial Court of


Manila a complaint for a sum of money against petitioners Editha Mijares
and Glicerio T. Mijares. Petitioners in their "Answer with Compulsory
Counterclaim," denied Metro Drug's allegations and interposed a
counterclaim for malicious prosecution and prayed for moral damages,
attorneys fees and expenses of suit.
The RTC concluded that the Mijareses were not the owners of said
drugstore when the deliveries were made and the absence of any privity of
relations between the parties at the time of the deliveries precludes any
cause of action in favor of Metro Drug against the Mijareses. Thus, the RTC
dismissed the complaint and ordered Metro Drug to pay the petitioners
P30,000.00 for moral damages, P10,000.00 as attorney's fees and the costs
of suit. The Court of Appeals however reversed the decision of the RTC.
Issue: Whether the award of moral damages in favor of the Mijareses was
proper.

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Held: No. The Mijareses have failed to show that Metro Drug was motivated
by bad faith when it instituted the action for collection. In China Banking
Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, we held that:
x x x Malicious prosecution, both in criminal and civil cases, requires the
presence of two elements, to wit: a) malice; and b) absence of probable
cause. Moreover, there must be proof that the prosecution was prompted by
a sinister design to vex and humiliate a person, and that it was initiated
deliberately knowing that the charge was false and baseless (Manila Gas
Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 100 SCRA 602 [1980]). Hence, mere filing of
a suit does not render a person liable for malicious prosecution should he be
unsuccessful, for the law could not have meant to impose a penalty on the
right to litigate (Ponce v. Legaspi, 208 SCRA 377 [1992]; Saba v. Court of
Appeals, 189 SCRA 50 [1990]); Rubio v. Court of Appeals, 141 SCRA 488
[1986]). Settled in our jurisprudence is the rule that moral damages cannot
be recovered from a person who has filed a complaint against another in
good faith, or without malice or bad faith (Philippine National Bank v. Court
of Appeals, 159 SCRA 433 [1988]; R & B Surety and Insurance v. Intermediate
Appellate Court, 129 SCRA 736 [1984]). If damage results from the filing of
the complaint, it is damnum absque injuria (Ilocos Norte Electrical Company
v. Court of Appeals, 179 SCRA 5 [1989]).
For the same reasons, the award for attorney's fees and expenses of
litigation must likewise be deleted.

De la Pena vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 81827 (March 28, 1994)

150

after its survey or else "lose his preferential right thereto." However, no such
application was filed.
Meanwhile, Ciriaco transferred his rights over another 1 hectare
portion of the lot to Michael Doble who in turn sold his rights to Ricardo Tan
(private respondents father).
When a survey of the lot was conducted, it was found out that the
lands occupied by de la Pena was bigger by hectare than what he actually
bought and paid for from Ciriaco and the land sold to Dobles (later acquired
by Tan) was very much smaller than what he actually bought. Although the
3/4-hectare portion was part of the area acquired by Doble, it was de la Pea
who cultivated the same without objection from Doble. However, when
Ricardo Tan acquired the lot, he built a fence to reclaim the portion, but de la
Pena kept destroying it; hence, the start of a boundary dispute.
On April 1977, de la Pena then filed a complaint for forcible entry
against Tan. The MTC which ruled in favor of de la Pena concluded that de la
Pena had prior possession of the land. The decision was affirmed by the CFI.
On July 1977, during the pendency of the forcible entry case, de la
Pena instituted the present action for reconveyance with damages against
Tan with the RTC. De la Pena alleged that Tan fraudulently registered the
hectare portion which was actually cultivated by the former. The trial court
ruled in favor of the Tan since the disputed hectare portion was not part of
the area bought and paid for by de la Pena. De la Pena was declared a mere
trespasser and planter in bad faith. His prayer for damages was likewise
denied. Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court, hence this
petition.

Facts: Ciriaco Reducto was occupying a 24 hectare parcel of land in Davao


Del Norte for which he filed a Homestead Application. At the same time, a
certain Potenciano Nazaret likewise filed an application for the same lot.

Issue: Whether or not the award for attorney's fees, moral damages and
expenses of litigation against the petitioner are proper.

Reducto later transferred his possessory right over the 6 hectares of


the lot to petitioner Pantaleon de la Pena. After it was ascertained in a field
verification that de la Pena had a better right to acquire the portion claimed
by him being its actual occupant and cultivator, the Director of Lands
directed de la Pena to apply for the portion himself within sixty (60) days

Held: It is well-settled that reconveyance is a remedy granted only to the


owner of the property alleged to be erroneously titled in another's name. In
the case at bench, de la Pena does not claim to be the owner of the disputed
portion. Admittedly, what he has is only a "preferential right" to acquire
ownership thereof by virtue of his actual occupation since January 1947.
However, de la Pena's possession is not one that could ripen into ownership.

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Title to alienable public lands can be established through open, continuous,


and exclusive possession for at least thirty (30) years. It must be noted that
the dispute regarding the 3/4-hectare portion started even before a free
patent and OCT could be issued to private respondent in 1975. As early as
1956, the controversy already began between de la Pena and Tan's father.
Hence,petitioner's possession falls short of the required period. Not being
the owner, de la Pena cannot maintain the present suit.

An award for attorney's fees and moral damages on the sole basis
of an action later declared to be unfounded in the absence of a deliberate
intent to cause prejudice to the other party is improper. The right to litigate
is so precious that penalty should not be charged on those who may exercise
it erroneously.

J Marketing vs. Sia

151

motorcycle to petitioner and instead told petitioners representative to file a


case in court. Hence, petitioner filed a complaint for replevin with damages
against private respondent Felicidad C. Sia, Jr. before the Regional Trial Court
of Tacloban City, Branch 8.
Private respondent filed a third party complaint against Renato Pelande Jr.,
Said third party complaint was declared in default.
After trial, the lower court rendered a decision dismissing
petitioners complaint but awarded damages and attorneys fees to private
respondent. On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the court a
quo.Hence this petition.
Issue: Whether the award of damages and attorneys fee is proper?
Held: NO. A persons right to litigate should not be penalized by holding him
liable for damages, especially when he believes he has a rightful claim against
another although found to be erroneous.

285 SCRA 580 (January 29, 1998)


Facts: J Marketing, herein petitioner, a company engaged in the business of
appliances and motorcycles, received on April 24, 1983 from Kawasaki
Motors (Phils.) a brand new Kawasaki motorcycle, color Blue, Mode HD-11
(1985) with Engine No. G7E-04848 and Chassis No.KG-805535. Upon receipt,
petitioners representative placed motorcycle in the bodega of YKS Bldg..
However, petitioner found out that the motorcycle unit was missing in the
bodega and the loss immediately reported to the police authorities
specifically to the Headquarters Constabulary Highway Patrol District.
Petitioner upon tracing found the motorcycle in possession of FelicidadSia Jr.,
herein respondent, who bought a motorcycle from one Renato Pelande, Jr.
Petitioners representative went to the house of the private
respondent and examined the chassis and motor numbers of the motorcycle
and found out that the chassis and motor numbers of the motorcycle in
private respondents possession have been tampered to jibe with the chassis
and motor numbers of the motorcycle unit previously purchased by Renato
Pelande, Jr. from petitioner. When petitioners representative confronted
private respondent at the Constabulary Highway Patrol Group office anent
the questionable motorcycle, private respondent refused to return the said

In the case at bar, petitioner filed for replevin case against private
respondent because of the latters own challenge that if he has a right over
the motorcycle petitioner should file a case in court. Therefore, it cannot be
said that the institution of the replevin suit was tainted with gross or evident
bad faith or was done to maliciously to harass, embarrass, annoy or ridicule
private respondent.
Moreover, the adverse result of an action dismissal of petitioners
complaint does not per se make an act unlawful and subject the actor to
the payment of moral damages. It is not a sound public policy to place a
premium on the right to litigate. No damages can be charged on those who
may exercise such precious right in good faith, even if done erroneously.
Further, the award of exemplary damages has no factual basis. It is
a requisite that the act must be accompanied by bad faith or done in wanton,
fraudulent or malevolent manner - circumstances which are absent in this
case. In addition, exemplary damages cannot be awarded as the requisite
element of compensatory damages was not present.
As to the attorneys fees, an adverse decision does not ipso facto
justify the award thereof to the winning party. Petitioner honestly thought

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that they had a good cause of action, so notwithstanding the dismissal of


their case, no attorneys fees can be granted to private respondent.
Considering that the latter claims to be the owner of the motorcycle,
petitioner was compelled to sue him. When the former necessarily
became a party defendant no attorneys fees and litigation expenses can
automatically be recovered even if he should win, it is not the fact of winning
alone that entitles recovery of such items but rather the attendance of
special circumstances - the enumerated exceptions in Article 2208 of the
New Civil Code. There being no bad faith reflected in petitioners persistence
in pursuing its case, other than an erroneous conviction of the righteousness
of its cause, attorneys fees cannot be recovered as cost.

Cometa vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 141855 (February 6, 2001)
Facts: Petitioner State Investment Trust, Inc. (SITI) extended loans in various
amounts to Guevent Industrial Development Corp., (GIDC). However, GIDC
failed to pay on the dates the loans became due. For this reason, GIDC
agreed to mortgage several parcels of land to SITI. When GIDC again
defaulted, SITI foreclosed the mortgages and it acquired the properties as
the highest bidder.
Thereafter, GIDC filed a case alleging that there were irregularities in
the foreclosure of the mortgages. The case was eventually settled through a
compromise agreement. A dispute later arose concerning the interpretation
of the said agreement, as Honeycomb Builders, Inc. (HBI) offered to purchase
from GIDC the lot covered by the agreement and the latter agreed but SITI as
mortgagee refused to give its consent to the sale. The trial court directed
SITI to accept the offer of HBI. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
same
Meanwhile, respondent HBI applied to the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board (HLURB) for a permit to develop the property in question.
Its application was granted, on account of which respondent HBI built a
condominium on the property. When respondent HBI applied for a license to
sell the condominium units it was required by the HLURB to submit an
Affidavit of Undertaking which in effect stated that the mortgagee (SITI) of
the said property to be developed agrees to release the mortgage on the said

152

property as soon as the full purchase price of the same is paid by the buyer.
Respondent HBI submitted the required affidavit purportedly executed by
Cometa as president of SITI (mortgagee).
Petitioner Cometa denied that he ever executed the affidavit. The
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) found Cometa's signature to be
forgery on the basis of which a complaint for falsification of public document
was filed against HBI president Guevara. However, the Rizal Provincial
Prosecutor's Office found no probable cause against Guevara and accordingly
dismissed the complaint.
On appeal, Secretary Drilon reversed the decision of the prosecutor
and ordered it to file information against Guevara. The trial court dismissed
the criminal case. Thereafter, Guevara and HBI file a complaint for malicious
prosecution against Cometa and SITI.
Issue: Whether or not the case for malicious prosecution states a cause of
action.
Held: A complaint for malicious prosecution sates a cause of action if it
alleges that (1) the defendant was himself the prosecutor or that at leas he
instigated the prosecution; (2) the prosecution finally terminated in the
plaintiff's acquittal; (3) that in bringing the action the prosecutor acted
without probable cause; and (4) that the prosecutor was actuated by
malice, i.e. by improper and sinister motives.
The mere allegation in a complaint for malicious prosecution that an
information was filed after preliminary investigation and that a warrant of
arrest was there after issued does not by itself negate allegations in the same
complaint that the prosecution was malicious. All criminal prosecutions are
by direction and control of the public prosecutor. To sustain petitioners'
stand that an allegation in a complaint for malicious prosecution that the
information in the criminal case was filed after appropriate preliminary
investigation negates a contrary allegation that the filing of the case was
malicious would result in the dismissal of every action for malicious
prosecution.

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Triple Eight Integrated Services, Inc vs. NLRC


299 SCRA 608 (December 3, 1998)
Facts: In August 1992, private respondent Osdana was recruited by
petitioner for employment with the latters principal, Gulf Catering Company
(GCC), a firm based in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Under the original
employment contract, Osdana was engaged to work as Food Server for a
period of thirty-six (36) months with a salary of five hundred fifty Saudi Rials.
Osdana claims she was required by petitioner to pay a total of
P11,950.00 in placement fees and other charges, for which no receipt was
issued. She was likewise asked to undergo a medical examination conducted
by the Philippine Medical Tests System, a duly accredited clinic for overseas
workers, which found her to be Fit of Employment.
Petitioner asked Osdana to sign another Contractor. Employee
Agreement which provided that she would be employed as a waitress for
twelve (12) months with a salary of two hundred eighty US dollars ($280). It
was this employment agreement which was approved by the Philippine
Overseas Employment Administration(POEA).
Osdana left for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and commenced working for
GCC. She was assigned to the College of Public Administration of the Oleysha
University and, contrary to the terms and conditions of the employment
contract, was made to wash dishes, cooking pots, and utensils, perform
janitorial work and other tasks which were unrelated to her job designation
as waitress. She was made to work a gruelling twelve-hour shift, without
overtime pay.
Osdana suffered from numbness and pain in her arms. The pain was
such that she had to be confined at a housing facility of GCC from June 18 to
August 22, 1993, during which period, she was not paid her salaries.
Osdana was allowed to resume work, this time as Food Server and
Cook at the Hota Bani Tameem Hospital, where she worked seven days a
week from August 22 to October 5, 1993. Again, she was not compensated.
Then, from October 6 to October 23, 1993, Osdana was again confined for no
apparent reason. During this period, she was still not paid her salary.

153

On October 24, 1993, she was re-assigned to the Oleysha University


to wash dishes and do other menial tasks. Osdana worked long hours and
under harsh conditions. She was diagnosed as having Bilateral Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome, a condition precipitated by activities requiring repeated flexion,
pronation, and supination of the wrist and characterized by excruciating pain
and numbness in the arms.
Osdana underwent two surgical operations. Between these
operations, she was not given any work assignments even if she was willing
and able to do lightwork in accordance with her doctors advice. Again,
Osdana was not paid any compensation for the period between February to
April 22, 1994.
Osdana was discharged from the hospital on April 25,1994. The
medical report stated that she had very good improvement of the
symptoms and she was discharged on the second day of the operation. Four
days later, however, she was dismissed from work, allegedly on the ground
of illness. She was not given any separation pay nor was she paid her salaries
for the periods when she was not allowed to work.
Upon her return to the Philippines, Osdana sought the help of
petitioner, but to no avail. She was thus constrained to file a complaint
before the POEA.
ISSUES: Whether or not NLRC committed grave abuse of discretion for the
following reasons: (a) ruling in favor of Osdana even if there was no factual
or legal basis for the award; and (b) holding petitioner solely liable for her
claims despite the fact that its liability is joint and several with its principal,
GCC.
HELD: The decisions of both the labor arbiter and the NLRC were based
mainly on the facts and allegations in Osdanas position paper and
supporting documents. We find these sufficient to constitute substantial
evidence to support the questioned decisions.
Generally, findings of facts of quasi-judicial agencies like the NLRC
are accorded great respect and, at times, even finality if supported by
substantial evidence. This Court, therefore, upholds the finding of herein
public respondents that the facts and the evidence on record adduced by

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Osdana and taken in relation to the answer of petitioner show that indeed
there was breach of the employment contract and illegal dismissal
committed by petitioners principal.
Article 284 of the Labor Code is clear on the matter of termination
by reason of disease or illness, viz:
Art. 284. Disease as a ground for termination An employer may terminate
the services of an employee who has been found to be suffering from any
disease and whose continued employment is prohibited bylaw or prejudicial
to his health as well as the health of his co-employees: x x x

Specifically, Section 8, Rule 1, Book VI of the Omnibus Rules


Implementing the Labor Code provides:
Sec. 8. Disease as a ground for dismissal Where the employee
suffers from a disease and his continued employment is prohibited
by law or prejudicial to his health or to the health of his coemployees, the employer shall not terminate his employment unless
there is a certification by competent public authority that the
disease is of such nature or at such a stage that it cannot be cured
within a period of six (6) months with proper medical treatment. If
the disease or ailment can be cured within the period, the employer
shall not terminate the employee but shall ask the employeeto take
a leave. The employer shall reinstate such employee to his former
position immediately upon the restoration of his normal health.
Viewed in the light of the foregoing provisions, the manner by which Osdana
was terminated was clearly in violation of the Labor Code and its
implementing rules and regulations. Osdanas continued employment
despite her illness was not prohibited by law nor was it prejudicial to her
health, as well as that of her co-employees.
In fact, the medical report issued after her second operation stated that she
had very good improvement of the symptoms. Besides, Carpal Tunnel
Syndrome is not a contagious disease.
Petitioner has not presented any medical certificate or similar
document from a competent public health authority in support of its claims.
If, indeed, Osdana was physically unfit to continue her employment, her

154

employer could have easily obtained a certification to that effect from a


competent public health authority in Saudi Arabia, thereby heading off any
complaint for illegal dismissal. The requirement for a medical certificate
under Article 284 of the Labor Code cannot be dispensed with; otherwise, it
would sanction the unilateral and arbitrary determination by the employer of
the gravity or extent of the employees illness and thus defeat the public
policy on the protection of labor.
As regards the monetary award of salaries for the unexpired portion
of the employment contract, unpaid salaries and salary differential granted
by public respondents to Osdana, petitioner assails the same for being
contrary to law, evidence and existing jurisprudence, all of which therefore
constitutes grave abuse of discretion.
Although this contention is without merit, the award for salaries for
the unexpired portion of the contract must, however, be reduced. Paragraph
5, Section 10 of R.A. No. 8042, applies in this case, thus:
In case of termination of overseas employment without just,
valid or authorized cause as defined by law or contract, the worker shall be
entitled to the full reimbursement of his placement fee with interest at
twelve percent (12%) per annum, plus his salaries for the unexpired portion
of his employment contract or for three (3) months for every year of the
unexpired term, whichever is less.

While it would appear that the employment contract approved by the POEA
was only for a period of twelvemonths, Osdanas actual stint with the foreign
principal lasted for one year and seven-and-a-half months. It may be
inferred, therefore, that the employer renewed her employment contract for
another year. Thus, the award for the unexpired portion of the contract
should have been US$1,260 (US$280 x 4 months) or its equivalent in
Philippine pesos, not US$2,499 as adjudged by the labor arbiter and affirmed
by the NLRC.
As for the award for unpaid salaries and differential amounting to
US$1,076 representing seven months unpaid salaries and one month
underpaid salary, the same is proper because, as correctly pointed out by
Osdana, the no work, no pay rule relied upon by petitioner does not apply
in this case. In the first place,the fact that she had not worked from June 18

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to August 22, 1993 and then from January 24 to April 29,1994, was due to
her illness which was clearly work-related. Second, from August 23 to
October 5, 1993,Osdana actually worked as food server and cook for seven
days a week at the Hota Bani Tameem Hospital, but was not paid any salary
for the said period. Finally, from October 6 to October 23, 1993, she was
confined to quarters and was not given any work for no reason at all.
With respect to the award of moral and exemplary damages, the
same is likewise proper but should be reduced. Worth reiterating is the rule
that moral damages are recoverable where the dismissal of the employee
was attended by bad faith or fraud or constituted an act oppressive to labor,
or was done in amanner contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy.
Likewise, exemplary damages may be awarded if the dismissal was effected
in a wanton, oppressive or malevolent manner.
Finally, petitioner alleges grave abuse of discretion on the part of
public respondents for holding it solely liable for the claims of Osdana
despite the fact that its liability with the principal is joint and several.
Petitioner misunderstands the decision in question. It should be noted that
contrary to petitioners interpretation, the decision of the labor arbiter which
was affirmed by the NLRC did not really. Petitioner was the only one held
liable for Osdanas monetary claims because it was the only respondent
named in the complaint and it does not appear that petitioner took steps to
have its principal included as co-respondent. Thus, the POEA, and later the
labor arbiter, did not acquire jurisdiction over the foreign principal.

People of the Philippines vs. Pirame


G.R. No. 121998 (March 9, 2000)

Facts: Teodorico Cleopas and Florencio Pirame were both convicted by the
trial court for murder, the eye-witness Cipriano Supero saw them killing one
Pedro Torrenueva by hitting him with iron pipe while being held by the
accused Florencio Pirame. The trial court ordered to indemnify the surviving
spouse of the deceased victim Pedro Torrenueva in the amount of
P50,000.00 each and the amount of P23,214.00 representing burial and
incidental expenses and P50,000 representing moral and exemplary damages
and in all instances without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.

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Pirame appealed the trial courts decision denying his participation in the
crime and alleging that the evidence against him was weak to begin with as
the eye-witness testimony was unbelievable, improbable and unreliable, as
he claims that Superos testimony were inconsistent and that he only
volunteered to testify two months after the crime. And so the case was
elevated to the Supreme Court.
Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred regarding the conviction and
awarding of damages
Held: The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the trial court. Although
there may be inconsistencies on minor details, the same do not impair the
credibility of the witnesses where there is consistency in relating the
principal occurrence and positive identification of the assailants. Slight
contradictions in fact even serve to strengthen the sincerity of the witness
and prove that his testimony is not rehearsed. They are safeguards against
memorized perjury. As to the delay, it was a result of the fear that was
instilled upon him upon seeing the killing with his own eyes.
Regarding the amount of the damages awarded, the order to pay the
widow of the victim P50,000.00 as civil indemnity and P23,214.00 as actual
damages, as well as the costs was AFFIRMED, but the award of P50,000.00 as
moral and exemplary damages was DELETED, there being no legal and factual
basis. The award of P50,000.00 from each accused as moral and exemplary
damages, however, is unsupported. The widow of the victim did not testify
on any mental anguish or emotional distress, which she suffered as a result
of her husband's death. The absence of any generic aggravating circumstance
attending the crime likewise disqualified the award of exemplary damages.
The attendance of evident premeditation in the commission of the crime,
though alleged in the information, is not supported by the evidence, as there
is no showing as to when appellant and his co-accused determined to kill the
victim. Likewise, abuse of superior strength, being absorbed by
treachery, cannot be considered as an aggravating circumstance in this case.

Arcona vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 134784 (December 9, 2002)

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Facts: In the evening of June 27, 1986, Napoleon Ong and Edgardo
Talanquines were walking along the national highway at Barangay Labog,
Brookes Point, Palawan, on their way home after coming from a birthday
party. When they were near the house of Jerry Boston, Edgardo heard a loud
thud. He turned around saw Napoleon slump to the ground. Suddenly,
someone hit Edgardo from behind with a piece of bamboo, causing him to
fall. He saw no one in the immediate premises except Carlos Arcona, the
petitioner. Edgardo then stood up and ran towards the house of Cesar
Umapas to ask for help.
Petitioner voluntarily surrendered. In his defense, petitioner alleged
that in the evening of June 27, 1986, he was walking alone when he met
Napoleon Ong and Edgardo Talanquines. Without any provocation, Napoleon
suddenly drew his bolo and swung the bolo at him twice but missed him. He
then drew out his knife and stabbed Napoleon. When he saw Edgardo
Talanquines rushing towards him, he grabbed a piece of bamboo from the
newly constructed culvert and hit the former on the left arm. Talanquines
ran away. Petitioner also left the premises and went home. On the way, he
met his brother, Benito, and together they proceeded to their house. After
trial, the court a quo rendered judgment convicting Carlos of Homicide and
acquitting Benito Arcona and ordered that the former pay the amount of
30,000 pesos for the death of Napoleon Ong and 10,000 pesos moral
damages. For the charge of Slight Physical Injuries Benito Arcona was found
guilty and Carlos was acquitted. On appeal, the Court affirmed the decision
of the lower court but increased the civil indemnity to the heirs of Napoleon
Ong to 50,000 pesos.
Petitioner Carlos Arcona y Moban and his brother Benito Arcona y
Moban were charged with Murder and Frustrated Murder in separate
informations. The charges arose from the death of Napoleon Ong after he
was attacked and stabbed by Carlos and Benito Arcona y Moban.
Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals was correct in increasing the civil
indemnity due to the heirs of Napoleon Ong.

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Held: Yes. The Court of Appeals was correct in increasing the amount of civil
indemnity to P50,000.00, in line with existing jurisprudence. In cases of
murder, homicide, parricide and rape, civil indemnity in the amount of
P50,000.00 is automatically granted to the offended party or his heirs in case
of his death, without need of further evidence other than the fact of the
commission of the crime.
On the other hand, the award of moral damages in the sum of P
10,000.00 must be increased to P50,000.00. As borne out by human nature
and experience, a violent death invariably and necessarily brings about
emotional pain and anguish on the part of the victims family. It is inherently
human to suffer sorrow, torment, pain and anger when a loved one becomes
the victim of a violent or brutal killing. Such violent death or brutal killing not
only steals from the family of the deceased his precious life, deprives them
forever of his love, affection and support, but often leaves them with the
gnawing feeling that an injustice has been done to them. For this reason,
moral damages must be awarded even in the absence of any allegation and
proof of the heirs emotional suffering.

Factors in determining amount


Philippine National Bank vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 116181 (April 17, 1996)
Facts: Carmelo H. Flores (Flores) purchased from petitioner at its Manila
Pavilion Hotel unit, two (2) manager's checks worth P500,000.00 each. A
receipt for said amount was issued by the petitioner. Subsequently, Flores
presented these checks at the Baguio Hyatt Casino unit of petitioner.
Petitioner refused to encash the checks but after a lengthy discussion, it
agreed to encash one (1) of the checks. However, it deferred the payment of
the other check until after Flores agreed that it be broken down to five (5)
manager's checks of P100,000.00 each. Furthermore, petitioner refused to
encash one of the five checks until after it is cleared by the Manila Pavilion
Hotel unit. Having no other option, Flores agreed to such an arrangement.
However, upon his return to Manila, he made representations to PNB
through its Malate Branch so that the check may be encashed but to no
avail. Flores, thereafter, wrote a letter to his counsel informing the latter of
the aforementioned events. A Formal Demand was made by private
respondent's counsel but petitioner persisted in its refusal to honor the
check. Left with no other choice, Flores filed a case with the Regional Trial

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Court which ruled in his favor ordering PNB, among others, to pay the
amount of the checks dishonored plus moral damages in the amount of
1,000,000.00 pesos. The same was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Issue: Whether or not the award of P1,000,000.00 moral damages in addition
to actual claim of inordinately disproportionate and unconscionable
Held: YES. We concur with the findings of the trial court and the Court of
Appeals as to the award of moral damages, however the amount of
P1,000,000.00 for moral damages in addition to Flores' actual claim of
P100,000.00 is "inordinately disproportionate and unconscionable." The
following factors were taken into consideration:
First, Flores' contention that he lost the opportunity to purchase a house and
lot in Baguio City due to petitioner's gross negligence is based solely on his
own testimony and a mere general statement at that. The broker he named
during his cross-examination, Mr. Nick Buendia was not even presented to
confirm the aforementioned allegation.
Second, the award of moral damages in the amount of P1,000,000.00 is
obviously not proportionate to the actual losses of P100,000.00 sustained by
Flores. The moral damages awarded must be commensurate with the loss or
injury suffered. Moral damages though incapable of pecuniary estimations,
are in the category of an award designed to compensate the claimant for
actual injury suffered and not to impose a penalty on the wrongdoer. It is not
intended to enrich a complainant at the expense of the defendant. They are
awarded only to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversion or
amusements that will serve to obviate the moral suffering he has undergone,
by reason of the defendant's culpable action. Its award is aimed at the
restoration, within the limits of the possible, of the spiritual status quo ante,
and it must be proportional to the suffering inflicted.

Gregorio Fule vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 112212 (March 2, 1998)
Facts: Gregorio Fule, a corporate secretary of Rural Bank of Alaminos
and also a jeweler on the side, acquired a 10-hectare property in
Tanay, Rizal. The property used to be under the name of Fr. Antonio

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Jacobe. Fr. Jacobe had mortgaged it earlier to the Rural Bank of


Alaminos to secure a loan, but the mortgage was later foreclosed and
the property was offered for public auction.
Fule, as corporate secretary of the bank, asked Remelia
Dichoso and Oliva Mendoza to look for a buyer who might be
interested in the Tanay property. The two found a buyer in private
respondent Dr. Ninevetch Cruz. At the same time, it so happened that
Fule had shown interest in buying a pair of emerald-cut diamond
earrings owned by Dr. Cruz. Subsequently, negotiations for the barter
of the jewelry and the property ensued. However, it was later on
found out that no barter was feasible because the 1-year period of
redemption had not yet expired. To get over this legal impediment,
Fule executed a deed of redemption on behalf of Fr. Jacobe, the latter
purportedly sold the property to Fule.
One day, Fule arrived at Atty. Belarminos (private petitioners
lawyer) residence with Dichoso and Mendoza to execute a deed of
absolute sale. Fule issued a certification stating that the actual
consideration of the sale was Php200,000.00 and not Php80,000.00 as
indicated in the deed. Since the earrings were appraised at only
Php160,000.00, the remaining Php40,000.00 was to be paid later in
cash. This was done apparently to minimize the capital gains tax which
Fule would have to shoulder.
Fule later headed for the bank to meet Cruz and pick up the
earrings. There, Dr. Cruz and the bank cashier then opened the safety
deposit box. Dr. Cruz retrieved a transparent plastic or cellophane bag
with the jewelry inside and handed the same to Fule. The latter took
the jewelry from the bag, went near the electric light at the banks
lobby, held the jewelry against the light and examined it for ten to
fifteen minutes. After a while, Dr. Cruz asked, Okay na ba iyan?
Petitioner expressed his satisfaction by nodding his head. When asked
if the jewelry was ok, Fule nodded to express his satisfaction. Fule
paid the agents $300 and some pieces of jewelry.
On the evening of the same day, Fule arrived at the residence
of Atty. Belarmino complaining that the jewelry given to him, as
proven by a tester, was fake. Fule then accused Dichoso and
Mendoza of deceiving him which they, however, denied. They

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countered that Fule could not have been fooled because he had vast
experience with jewelry. Nevertheless, Fule took back the $300 and
the jewelry he paid them.
Fule filed a complaint before the Regional Trial Court against
Cruz and Atty. Bellarmino praying, among other things, that the
contract of sale over the Tanay property be declared null and void on
the ground of fraud and deceit. The lower court issued a temporary
restraining order directing the Register of Deeds of Rizal to refrain
from acting on the pertinent documents involved in the transaction.
However, the same court lifted its previous order and denied the
prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction.
After trial, the lower court rendered its decision in favor of
Cruz and Atty. Bellarmino. In awarding damages to the defendants,
the lower court found that Fule acted in bad faith. The court awarded
Cruz and Atty. Bellarmino moral damages and exemplary damages.
The court also granted both P25,000.00 each as attorneys fees and
litigation expenses. A petition with the Court of Appeals yielded the
same result, hence this petition.
Issue: Whether or not the appellate court erred in awarding damages.
Held: No. In the instant case, the trial court awarded damages
analogous to malicious prosecution under Article 2219(8) of the NCC
for the following reasons:
The malice with which Fule filed the case is apparent. As an
experienced jeweler who thoroughly examined the earrings himself
and went so far as to sketch them earlier, it is illogical that he would
fail to exert extra effort to check its genuineness at the precise
moment of the exchange. His acts thus failed to accord with what an
ordinary prudent man would have done in the same situation.
As an experienced businessman and banker, he was shrewd
enough to bloat the propertys price from Php25,000.00 to
Php75,000.00 only a few days after he had purchased it for a far
lower cost, the value of which still fell short of the diamond earrings
price.

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Also, it took him 2 hours of unexplained delay before


complaining that the earrings were counterfeita period in which
anything could have happened while Fule was in possession of the
jewelry.
Given this, it would appear that the cause of action in the
instant case was contrived by Fule himself in hopes of obtaining a
favorable outcome in his complaint to take the real jewelry, return a
fake, and get back the property. This is plain and simple, unjust
enrichment. All that considered the damages prayed for were
reasonably proportionate to the sufferings Cruz and Atty. Bellarmino
underwent.
Petitioner filed a malicious and unfounded case all the while
dragging down private respondents, whose reputations had been
soiled by Fules coming to court with unclean hands. Because of the
falsity, malice and baseless nature of the complaint, Cruz and Atty.
Bellarmino were compelled to litigate and are thus also entitled to the
awarding of attorneys fees under Article 2208.

Philippine Airlines vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 120262 (July 17, 1997)
Facts: Pantejo, then City Fiscal of Surigao City, boarded a PAL plane in Manila
and disembarked in Cebu City where he was supposed to take his connecting
flight to Surigao City However, due to typhoon Osang, the connecting flight
to Surigao City was cancelled.
To accommodate the needs of its stranded passengers, PAL initially
gave out cash assistance and, the next day for their expected stay of two
days in Cebu. Pantejo requested instead that he be billeted in a hotel at PAL's
expense because he did not have cash with him at that time, but PAL
refused. Thus, respondent Pantejo was forced to seek and accept the
generosity of a co-passenger. when the flight for Surigao was resumed,
respondent Pantejo came to know that the hotel expenses of his copassengers, were reimbursed by PAL. At this point, respondent Pantejo
informed Oscar Jereza, PAL's Manager for Departure Services at Mactan
Airport and who was in charge of cancelled flights, that he was going to sue
the airline for discriminating against him. It was only then that Jereza offered

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to pay respondent Pantejo P300.00 which, due to the ordeal and anguish he
had undergone, the latter decline. The Regional Trial Court of Surigao City,
rendered judgment in the action for damages filed by Pantejo against
Philippine Airlines, Inc., ordering the latter to pay Pantejo among others,
P150,000.00 as moral damages. On appeal, respondent court affirmed the
decision of the court a quo, but with the exclusion of the award of attorney's
fees and litigation expenses.
Issue: WON the award of P 150,000.00 as moral damages was proper.
Held: Yes. Moral damages are emphatically not intended to enrich a plaintiff
at the expense of the defendant. They are awarded only to allow the former
to obtain means, diversion, or amusements that will serve to alleviate the
moral suffering he has undergone due to the defendant's culpable action and
must, perforce, be proportional to the suffering inflicted. However,
substantial damages do not translate into excessive damages. Under the
peculiar circumstances of this case, the awards for actual, moral and
exemplary damages granted in the judgment of respondent court, for the
reasons meticulously analyzed and thoroughly explained in its decision, are
just and equitable.

Valenzuela vs. CA
G.R. No. 115024 (February 7, 1996)

Facts: Ma. Lourdes Valenzuela was driving along Aurora Blvd. when
she realized she had a flat tire. She parked along the sidewalk, put on
her emergency lights, and opened the cars trunk. She was at the left
side of the rear of her car. While she was talking to a man who will
help her fix the tire, she was suddenly bumped by a car driven by
defendant Richard Li which was registered in the name of Alexander
Commercial, Inc.
Because of the impact, Valenzuela was thrown against the
windshield of Lis car and fell onto the ground. The cars windshield on
the other hand, was also destroyed,. Valenzuela's left leg was severed
up to the middle of her thigh, with only some skin and sucle
connected to the rest of the body. She was confined in the hospital

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for 20 days and was eventually fitted with an artificial leg. She then
filed a claim for damages against Li.

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 to avoid colliding with
the oncoming vehicle, and bumped Valenzuela's car. He claimed to
not have seen the car due to its midnight blue color. He argued that
there was no parking light or an early warning device, and that the
area was poorly lighted. Li and Alexander Commercial, Inc.
counterclaimed for damages, alleging that Valenzuela was the one
who was reckless or negligent. The RTC found Li and Alexander
Commercial, Inc. solidarily liable. CA absolved Alexander Commercial,
Inc.
Issue: Whether nor not the damages should be mitigated due to the
contributory negligence of Valenzuela for parking along Aurora Blvd,
which happens to be a no parking zone.
Held: Contributory negligence is a conduct on the part of the injured
party, contributing as a legal cause to the harm he has suffered, which
falls below the standard to which he is required to conform for his
own protection. The "emergency rule," on the other hand, as adopted
by this Court in Gan vs. Court of Appeals, is where an individual who
suddenly finds himself in a situation of danger and is required 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
undertake what subsequently and upon reflection may appear to be a
better solution, unless the emergency was brought by his own
negligence.
While the emergency rule applies to those cases in which
reflective thought or the opportunity to adequately weigh a
threatening situation is absent, the conduct which is required of an

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individual in such cases is dictated not exclusively by the suddenness


of the event which absolutely negates thoughtful care, but by the
over-all nature of the circumstances. A woman driving a vehicle
suddenly crippled by a flat tire on a rainy night will not be faulted for
stopping at a point 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 parking zone or turn on a dark
street or alley where she would likely find no one to help her.
As a result of the accident, Valenzuela underwent a traumatic
amputation of her left lower extremity at the distal left thigh just
above the knee. Because of this, Valenzuela will forever be deprived
of the full ambulatory functions of her left extremity, even with the
use of state of the art prosthetic technology. Well beyond the period
of hospitalization (which was paid for by Li), she will be required to
undergo adjustments in her prosthetic devise due to the shrinkage of
the stump from the process of healing. The damage done to her
would not only be permanent and lasting, it would also be
permanently changing and adjusting to the physiologic changes which
her body would normally undergo through the years. The
replacements, changes, and adjustments will require corresponding
adjustive physical and occupational therapy. All of these adjustments,
it has been documented, are painful.
The foregoing discussion does not even scratch the surface of
the nature of the resulting damage because it would be highly
speculative to estimate the amount of psychological pain, damage
and injury which goes with the sudden severing of a vital portion of
the human body. A prosthetic device, however technologically
advanced, will only allow a reasonable amount of functional
restoration of the motor functions of the lower limb. The sensory
functions are forever lost. The resultant anxiety, sleeplessness,
psychological injury, mental and physical pain are inestimable.

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discretion, we are of the opinion that the amount of P1,000,000.00


granted by the trial court is in greater accord with the extent and
nature of the injury -physical and psychological - suffered by
Valenzuela as a result of Lis grossly negligent driving of his Mitsubishi
Lancer in the early morning hours of the accident.

Aurelio Sumaplong vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 123404 (February 26, 1997)
Facts: Sumalpong shot Ramos after the former slapped Ramoss wife.
Before the incident, the accused called upon the spouses and inquired
if they knew the person who stoned his house. During the
conversation, Sumalpong accused Ramos of throwing stones at his
house. Because of this, Leodarda, the wife of Ramos, remarked that
Sumalpong should first confirm the information he received before
accusing anyone. after hearing Leonardas remark, Sumalpong shot
her at the back of her head (though apparently, Leonarda was not
harmed). Ramos rushed towards Sumalpong who then shot Ramos
twice but missed. They wrestled and in the act, Sumalpong bit on
Ramos ear, causing its mutilation.
The trial court conviicted Sumalpong of attempted homicide.
It awarded Ramos P 16,800.00 for the loss of his crops due to his
failure to attend to his farm due to the injuries inflicted upon him by
Sumalpong. The court also awarded Ramos P2,000.00 for
hospitalization expenses, and P5,000.00 by way of moral damages. On
appeal, the CA affirmed Sumalpongs conviction. It however removed
the award for loss of crops and hospitalization expenses, increased
moral damages to P10,000.00, and awarded nominal damages in the
same amount.
Issue: Whether or not the petitioner is guilty and liable for damages.

As the amount of moral damages are subject to this Courts


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Ruling: In view of the foregoing, this Court cannot but concur with the
trial court and the Court of Appeals in finding the petitioner guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime charged. Anent the award of
damages, however, this Court upholds the Court of Appeals' ruling on
the matter. Eliminating the award of actual or compensatory damages
in the form of hospitalization expenses and loss of income, the Court
of Appeals cited the failure of the complainant to offer any proof of
the same. To justify a grant of actual or compensatory damages, it is
necessary to prove with a reasonable degree of certainty, premised
upon competent proof and on the best evidence obtainable by the
injured party, the actual amount of loss.
Anent the increase in the amount of moral damages awarded,
suffice it to state that the nature of the injuries and the degree of
physical suffering endured by the complainant warrants the same.
The tragic incident caused a mutilation of complainant's left ear and a
permanent scar on his right forearm. These injuries have left indelible
marks on the complainant's body and will serve as a constant
reminder of this traumatic experience. The Court finds the award of
nominal and moral damages both in the amount of P10,000.00
justified under the circumstances.

Lopez vs. Pan-American World Airways


G.R. No. L-22415 (March 30, 1966)

Facts: Sen. Fernando Lopez, his wife, son-in-law, and his daughter
made reservations, through their agency, for first class
accommodations in the Tokyo San
Francisco flight of PAN-AM. PAN-AM's San Francisco head
office confirmed their reservations. Subsaquently, first class tickets
were issued, with the total fare having been previously paid.

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As scheduled, they left Manila and as soon as they arrived in


Tokyo, they contacted PAN-AM's Tokyo office regarding their
accommodations. PAN-AM's Tokyo office informed them that the first
class seats were all already booked and that they could not take the
flight unless they took the tourist class. Due to pressing engagements
in the US, they were constrained to take PAN-AM's flight as tourist
passengers.
Sen. Lopez filed a suit for damages alleging breach of
contracts done in bad faith by PAN-AM out of racial prejudice against
Orientals. He asked for actual and moral damages, exemplary
damages, and attorney's fees plus costs. PAN-AM asserted that its
failure to provide first class accommodations to Sen. Lopez and his
family was due to honest error of its employees.
Issue: Whether or not the award for moral damages and exemplary
damages could be increased.
Held: The Court ruled in favor of Sen. Lopez and his family and
increased the amounts of moral and exemplary damages.
Moral damages are recoverable in breach of contracts where
the defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith (Art. 2220). While
exemplary or corrective damages may be imposed by way of example
or correction for the public good in breach of contracts where the
defendant acted in a wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or
malevolent manner (Art. 2229, 2232). Written contracts for an
attorney's services, on the other hand, shall control the amount to be
paid unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable
(Sec. 24, Rule 138, ROC).
Factors in determining amount for moral damages:
The amount of damages awarded in this appeal has been
determined by adequately considering the official, political, social,
and financial standing of the offended parties on one hand, and the

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business and financial position of the offender on the other. The


present rate of exchange and the terms at which the amount of
damages awarded would approximately be in U.S. dollars has also
been considered.
MORAL DAMAGES
As a proximate result of PAN-AMs breach in bad faith of its
contracts, Sen. Lopez and his family suffered social humiliation,
wounded feelings, serious anxiety and mental anguish. It may not be
humiliating to travel as tourist passengers; it is humiliating to be
compelled to travel as such, contrary to what is rightfully to be
expected from the contractual undertaking.
Sen. Lopez was then Senate President Pro Tempore.
International carriers like defendant know the prestige of such an
office. For the Senate is not only the Upper Chamber of the Philippine
Congress, but the nation's treaty-ratifying body. He was also former
Vice-President of the Philippines. Mrs. Maria Lopez, as wife of the
Senator, shared his prestige and therefore his humiliation. In addition,
she suffered physical discomfort during the 13-hour trip; her reason
for going to the US was actually for medical check-up and relaxation.
The fact that the seating spaces in the tourist class are quite narrower
than in first class will suffice to show that she indeed experienced
physical suffering during the trip. Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Montelibano,
Jr., were travelling as immediate members of the family of Sen. Lopez.
Even if they initially wanted to change their seat reservations from
first class to tourist class, they eventually paid for first class seats.
Hence, they also suffered social humiliation.
EXEMPLARY DAMAGES
In view of its nature, it should be imposed in such an amount
as to effectively deter similar breach of contracts in the future by
defendant or other airlines.

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Producers Bank of the Philippines vs. CA and Spouses Chua


G.R. No. 111584 (September 17, 2001)
Facts: Salvador Chua was originally a depositor of Pacific Banking
Corporation. He was offered by the manager of Producers Bank of the
Philippines to transfer his account with them. The manager assured
Chua that if he was to transfer his account the latter would enjoy
longer loan terms and lower interest rates. Chua later on decided to
transfer his account to Producers Bank. There, he maintained
substantial savings and current deposits with the banks Bacolod
branch. He also obtained various loans, one of which amounted to P
2,000,000.00 which was secured by a real estate mortgage.
Later on, unfortunate events started to happen to Chua as a
client of Producers Bank. The amount which he deposited into his
savings account was never credited. It was discovered that the branch
manager absconded with the money of the banks depositors. The
bank also dishonored the checks drawn by Chua on the ground of
insufficient funds despite the fact that there was a balance deposit
sufficient to cover the amount of the checks.
These events prompted Chua and his wife to request for
copies of their ledgers covering their savings and current accounts.
However, the bank refused to grant their request. Due to the bank's
refusal, the couple instituted an action for damages against the bank.
The bank, on the other hand, filed a petition for extrajudicial
foreclosure of the real estate mortgage which covered Chuas
previous loan. As a result, spouses Chuas filed a complaint for
injunction and damages, alleging that the petition for extrajudicial
foreclosure was without basis and was instituted maliciously in order
to harass them. The trial court and the appellate court ruled in favor
of Spouses Chua, hence awarding damages.
Issue: Are Spouses Chua entitled to moral, exemplary, and actual
damages?

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Held: The Court held that Spouses Chua are entitled to moral and
exemplary damages. Moral and exemplary damages may be awarded
without proof of pecuniary loss. In awarding both, the court shall take
into account the circumstances surrounding the case and assess
damages according to its discretion.
The dishonor of Chuas checks and the foreclosure case
initiated by the bank against Chua adversely affected his credit
standing, as well as his business dealings. Article 2217, in relation to
Article 2220, entitles Spouses Chua to moral damages. Obviously, the
bank's wrongful acts caused serious anxiety, embarrassment, and
humiliation to Chua.
The acts of the bank (the malicious and unwarranted
application for extrajudicial foreclosure done by the bank to harass,
embarrass, annoy, and ridicule Chua, as well as the bank's failure to
credit the deposit of Chua which constituted gross negligence in the
performance of the banks contractual obligation) were accompanied
by bad faith and done in wanton, fraudulent and malevolent manner
warranting the award of exemplary damages in favor of Chua, in
accordance with Article 2232 of the Civil Code.
Of course, a plaintiff need not prove the actual extent of
exemplary damages, for its determination is addressed to the sound
discretion of the court upon proof of the plaintiff's entitlement to
moral, temperate, or compensatory damages (Article 2234, Civil
Code).
Anent the award of actual damages, the injured party must
prove his case in order to recover. When the existence of a loss is
established, absolute certainty as to its amount is not required. The
benefit to be derived from a contract which one of the parties has
absolutely failed to perform is of necessity to some extent, a matter
of speculation, but the injured party is not to be denied for that
reason alone. He must produce the best evidence of which his case is
susceptible and if that evidence warrants the inference that he has

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been damaged by the loss of profits which he might with reasonable


certainty have anticipated but for the defendant's wrongful act, he is
entitled to recover (Cerreno vs. Tan Chuco, 28 Phil. 312 [1914] quoted
in Central Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, 63 SCRA 431
[1975]).
Applying the foregoing test to the instant case, the Court finds
the evidence of Chua insufficient to be considered within the purview
of "best evidence." The bare assertion of Salvador Chua that he lost
an average of P18,000.00 per month is inadequate if not speculative
and should be admitted with extreme caution since it is not supported
by independent evidence. Chua could have presented evidence as
reports on the average actual profits earned by their gasoline
business, their financial statements, and other evidence of
profitability which could aid the court in arriving with reasonable
certainty at the amount of profits which private respondents failed to
earn. Thus there can be no award of exemplary damages.

Who may recover?


Strebel vs Figueras
96 PHIL 321 (December 29, 1954)

Facts: Emilio Strebel seeks to recover damages against Figueras (acting


Secretary of Labor), Jose (Dir. of labor) and Ruperto (Asst. City Fiscal of
Manila) alleging as ground, three causes of action:
1. That out of spite against him and his family, defendants used
their political influence in attempting to build a drainage
through a gasoline station operated by a partnership, to
which Strebel is a partner.
2. That defendants, by making use of their official and political
connections, was able to induce the Secretary of Justice to
transfer one Dr. Hernandez from being an officer of the
Bureau of Immigration to that of the Bureau of Prisons.

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Strebel claims that Dr. Hernandez is his son-in-law, being the


husband of his (Strebels) step-daughter.
3. Defendants caused the laborers of Strebels gasoline station
to file false cases against him for violation of a
Commonwealth Act prohibiting compulsion of vwork beyond
eight (8) hours. While the case was dismissed, Defendants
issued a press conference questioning the dismissal
besmirching his reputation nonetheless.
Issue: Is plaintiff entitled to damages?
Held: No, on all causes of action. As to the first cause of action, the
Supreme Court ruled that the drainage project has not begun, therefore,
no damage was suffered by plaintiff.
As to the third cause of action, the court ruled that since no
information has been filed by the Fiscal, the charge of malicious
prosecution cannot prosper. While plaintiff also maintains that at any
case, defendants are liable under their misconduct via tortuous act, the
old civil code, which was the law in effect at the time of the commission
of the crime, moral damages may not be recovered in cases of crime or
tort unless it results from physical injuries.
NOTE: FOCUS on this-- As to the second cause of action, Strebel
claims that by reason of the malicious transfer of Dr. Hernandez to the
Office of the Bureau of Prisons, he has suffered moral and mental
suffering and therefore entitled to moral damages. As to the alleged
press conference, no mention of the case number of a specific person
was made, hence, there could be no damage suffered.
The Supreme Court elucidates "As a general rule, the right of
recovery for mental suffering resulting from bodily injuries is restricted to
the person who has suffered the bodily hurt, and there can be no
recovery for distress caused by sympathy for another's suffering, or for
fright due to a wrong against a third person. So the anguish of mind
arising as to the safety of others who may be in personal peril from the
same cause cannot be taken into consideration It furthered by saying
that damages are not recoverable for fright or shock even when

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sustained as result of willful act, unless such act was directed toward
person or property or person seeking recovery.
The rule on this point, as stated in the American Jurisprudence,
is: "In law mental anguish is restricted as a rule, to such mental pain or
suffering as arises from an injury or wrong to the person himself, as
distinguished from that form of mental suffering which is the
accompaniment of sympathy or sorrow for another's suffering or which
arises from a contemplation of wrongs committed on the person of
another. Pursuant to the rule stated, a husband or wife cannot recover
for mental suffering caused by his or her sympathy for the other's
suffering." It should be noted that plaintiff is not even related to Dr.
Hernandez. The latter's wife is a daughter of Mrs. Strebel by a previous
marriage. Hence Dr. Hernandez is merely related by affinity, not to
Strebel, but to a relative by affinity of said plaintiff.

ABS-CBN vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 128690 (January 29, 1999)
Facts: In 1990, ABS-CBN and Viva executed a Film Exhibition Agreement
whereby Viva gave ABS-CBN an exclusive right to exhibit some Viva films.
ABS-CBN shall have the right of first refusal to the next twenty-four (24) Viva
films for TV telecast under such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties
hereto, provided, however, that such right shall be exercised by ABS-CBN
from the actual offer in writing.
Viva, through defendant Del Rosario, offered ABS-CBN, through its
vice-president Charo Santos-Concio, a list of three(3) film packages (36 title)
from which ABS-CBN may exercise its right of first refusal. ABS-CBN, however
"can tick off only ten (10) titles" (from the list) "we can purchase" and
therefore did not accept said list. Subsequently, Del Rosario approached ABSCBN's Ms. Concio, with a list consisting of 52 original movie titles (i.e. not yet
aired on television) including the 14 titles subject of the present case, as well
as 104 re-runs (previously aired on television) from which ABS-CBN may
choose another 52 titles, as a total of 156 titles, proposing to sell to ABS-CBN
airing rights over this package of 52 originals and 52 re-runs.

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Del Rosario and ABS-CBN general manager, Eugenio Lopez III, met at
the Tamarind Grill Restaurant in Quezon City to discuss the package proposal
of Viva. Mr. Lopez testified that he and Mr. Del Rosario allegedly agreed that
ABS-CRN was granted exclusive film rights to fourteen (14) films for a total
consideration of P36 million; that he allegedly put this agreement as to the
price and number of films in a "napkin'' and signed it and gave it to Mr. Del
Rosario.
On the other hand, Del Rosario denied having made any agreement
with Lopez regarding the 14 Viva films; denied the existence of a napkin in
which Lopez wrote something; and insisted that what he and Lopez discussed
at the lunch meeting was Viva's film package offer of 104 films (52 originals
and 52 re-runs) for a total price of P60 million. Mr. Lopez promising to make
a counter proposal which came in the form of a proposal contract.
Thereafter, Del Rosario and Mr. Graciano Gozon discussed the terms and
conditions of Viva's offer to sell the 104 films, after the rejection of the same
package by ABS-CBN. On April 07, 1992, defendant Del Rosario received
through his secretary, a handwritten note from Ms. Concio, which reads:
"Here's the draft of the contract. I hope you find everything in order," to
which was attached a draft exhibition agreement a counter-proposal
covering 53 films, 52 of which came from the list sent by defendant Del
Rosario and one film was added by Ms. Concio, for a consideration of P35
million.
The said counter proposal was however rejected by Viva's Board of
Directors on the evening of the same day, April 7, 1992, as Viva would not
sell anything less than the package of 104 films for P60 million pesos and
such rejection was relayed to Ms. Concio. After the rejection of ABS-CBN and
following several negotiations and meetings defendant Del Rosario and
Viva's President Teresita Cruz, in consideration of P60 million, signed a letter
of agreement granting RBS the exclusive right to air 104 Viva-produced
and/or acquired films including the fourteen (14) films subject of the present
case.
Thereafter, ABS-CBN filed before the RTC a complaint for specific
performance with a prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or
temporary restraining order against private respondents Republic
Broadcasting Corporation, Viva Production and Del Rosario. RTC rendered a

165

decision in favor of RBS and VIVA and against ABS-CBN, ordering the latter to
pay, among others, P5 million as and by way of moral damages. On appeal,
respondent court found reasonable basis for the award of moral damages
holding that RBS's reputation was debased by the filing of the complaint and
denied VIVA and Del Rosario's appeal because it was "RBS and not VIVA
which was actually prejudiced when the complaint was filed by ABS-CBN."

Issue: Whether or not ABS-CBN is entitled to the award of moral damages.


Held: No. As to moral damages, RBS's claim for moral damages could possibly
fall only under item (10) of Article 2219, thereof which reads:
(10) Acts and actions referred to in Articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,
32, 34, and 35.
Moral damages are in the category of an award designed to compensate the
claimant for actual injury suffered. and not to impose a penalty on the
wrongdoer. The award is not meant to enrich the complainant at the expense
of the defendant, but to enable the injured party to obtain means, diversion,
or amusements that will serve to obviate then moral suffering he has
undergone. It is aimed at the restoration, within the limits of the possible, of
the spiritual status quo ante, and should be proportionate to the suffering
inflicted. Trial courts must then guard against the award of exorbitant
damages; they should exercise balanced restrained and measured objectivity
to avoid suspicion that it was due to passion, prejudice, or corruption on the
part of the trial court. The award of moral damages cannot be granted in
favor of a corporation because, being an artificial person and having
existence only in legal contemplation, it has no feelings, no emotions, no
senses, It cannot, therefore, experience physical suffering and mental
anguish, which call be experienced only by one having a nervous
65
system. The statement in People v. Manero and Mambulao Lumber
Co. v. PNB that a corporation may recover moral damages if it "has a good
reputation that is debased, resulting in social humiliation" is an obiter
dictum. On this score alone the award for damages must be set aside, since
RBS is a corporation.

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National Power v. Philipp Brothers


G.R. No 126204 (November 20, 2001)

Facts: The National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) issued invitations to bid


for the supply and delivery of 120,000 metric tons of imported coal for its
Batangas Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant in Calaca, Batangas.
The Philipp Brothers Oceanic, Inc. (PHIBRO) prequalified and was
allowed to participate as one of the bidders. After the public bidding was
conducted, PHIBRO's bid was accepted. NAPOCOR's acceptance was
conveyed in a letter dated July 8, 1987, which was received by PHIBRO on
July 15, 1987. On July 10, 1987, PHIBRO sent word to NAPOCOR that
industrial disputes might soon plague Australia, the shipment's point of
origin, which could seriously hamper PHIBRO's ability to supply the needed
coal. From July 23 to July 31, 1987, PHIBRO again apprised NAPOCOR of the
situation in Australia, particularly informing the latter that the ship owners
therein are not willing to load cargo unless a "strike-free" clause is
incorporated in the charter party or the contract of carriage. In order to
hasten the transfer of coal, PHIBRO proposed to NAPOCOR that they equally
share the burden of a "strike-free" clause. NAPOCOR refused. Consequently,
in October 1987, NAPOCOR once more advertised for the delivery of coal to
its Calaca thermal plant. PHIBRO participated anew in this subsequent
bidding.
On November 24, 1987, NAPOCOR disapproved PHIBRO's
application for pre-qualification to bid for not meeting the minimum
requirements. Upon further inquiry, PHIBRO found that the real reason for
the disapproval was its purported failure to satisfy NAPOCOR's demand for
damages due to the delay in the delivery of the first coal shipment. This
prompted PHIBRO to file an action for damages with application for
injunction against NAPOCOR. In its complaint, PHIBRO alleged that
NAPOCOR's act of disqualifying it in the October 1987 bidding and in all
subsequent biddings was tainted with malice and bad faith and prayed for
actual, moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees. Trial court
rendered a decision in favor of PHIBRO, ordering NAPOCOR among others, to
pay PHIBRO actual, moral, exemplary damages and costs.

Issue: Whether or not PHIBRO is entitled to the award of moral damages.


Held: No. Moral damages are not, as a general rule, granted to a corporation.
While it is true that besmirched reputation is included in moral damages, it
cannot cause mental anguish to a corporation, unlike in the case of a natural
person, for a corporation has no reputation in the sense that an individual
has, and besides, it is inherently impossible for a corporation to suffer mental
anguish. In LBC Express, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, it was ruled that "Moral
damages are granted in recompense for physical suffering, mental anguish,
fright, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings, moral
shock, social humiliation, and similar injury. A corporation, being an artificial
person and having existence only in legal contemplation, has no feelings, no
emotions, no senses; therefore, it cannot experience physical suffering and
mental anguish. Mental suffering can be experienced only by one having a
nervous system and it flows from real ills, sorrows, and griefs of life all of
which cannot be suffered by respondent bank as an artificial person."

Nominal Damages
Ventanilla vs. Gregorio Centeno
G.R. No. 14333 (January 28, 1961)
Facts: Ventanilla instituted this action to recover damages against his lawyer,
Atty. Centeno for neglecting to perfect within the reglementary period his
appeal from an adverse judgment rendered by the CFI of Manila. Trial courts
facts showed that the required appeal bond was not filed by Atty. Centeno.
The fact that the record on appeal was admitted for filing is the best
evidence that Atty. Centeno had not in fact filed any appeal bond. The record
on appeal was disapproved because it was filed out of time and no appeal
bond had been filed by the plaintiff. Trial court rendered judgment in favor of
Ventanilla ordered Centeno to pay Ventanilla the sum of P200 as nominal
damages and the costs. Ventanilla appealed to the Court of Appeals and
claimed that the trial court erred, among others, in ordering Centeno to pay
only the sum of P200, and not P2,000 as nominal damages.
Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in the amount of the award of
nominal damages.
Held: No. Relative to the sufficiency of the sum of P200 as nominal damages
awarded by the trial court to the appellant, article 2221 of the new Civil Code

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provides: Nominal damages are 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 purpose of indemnifying the
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.
The assessment of nominal damages is left to the discretion of the
court, according to the circumstances of the case. Considering the
circumstances, as found by the trial court, and the degree of negligence
committed by the appellee, a lawyer, in not depositing on time the appeal
bond and filing the record on appeal within the extension period granted by
the court, which brought about the refusal by the trial court to allow the
record on appeal, the amount of P200 awarded by the trial court to the
appellant as nominal damages may seem exiguous. Nevertheless, considering
that nominal damages are not for indemnification of loss suffered but for the
vindication or recognition of a right violated or invaded; and that even if the
appeal in civil case No. 18833 had been duly perfected, it was not an
assurance that the appellant would succeed in recovering the amount he had
claimed in his complaint, the amount of P2,000 the appellant seeks to
recover as nominal damages is excessive. After weighing carefully all the
considerations, the amount awarded to the appellant for nominal damages
should not be disturbed.

Robes-Francisco Realty and Development Corp. vs.CFI


G.R. No. L-41093 (October 30, 1978)
Facts: On May 1962, private respondent Millan bought a lot from petitioner
corporation Robes-Francisco Realty and Development Corporation (RobesFrancisco for brevity). Millan paid the installments in full on December 22,
1971, but it was only on March 2, 1973 that a Deed of Absolute Sale was
executed in her favor. Notwithstanding the lapse of almost three (3) years
since she made her last payment, Robes-Francisco still failed to convey the
corresponding transfer certificate of title (TCT) to Millan. Due to this, Millan
was compelled to file a complaint for specific performance and damages
against Robes-Francisco in 1974. One of the prayers in the complaint include
the payment of damages, corrective and actual in the sum of P15,000.00.

167

The trial court ruled in favor of Millan and ordered Robes-Francisco


to pay her nominal damages in the amount of P20,000.00 plus attorneys
fees in the amount of P5,000.00 and costs. Robes-Francisco now questions
the award for nominal damages of P20,000.00 and attorneys fees of
P5,000.00 which are allegedly excessive and unjustified.
Issue: Whether or not the trial court was correct in awarding nominal
damages?
Held: The trial court did not err in awarding nominal damages. However, the
circumstances of the case warrant a reduction of the amount granted to
Millan. There can be no dispute that Robes-Francisco was guilty of delay,
amounting to nonperformance of its obligation, in issuing the TCT to Millan
who had fully paid her installments. Article 1170 of the Civil Code expressly
provides that those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of
fraud, negligence or delay and those who in any manner contravene the
tenor thereof, are liable for damages. However, Millan submitted her case
without presenting evidence on the actual damages suffered by her as a
result of the non-performance of Robes-Franciscos obligation under the
deed of sale.
NONETHELESS, the facts show that the right of the vendee
to acquire title over the lot was violated by Robes-Francisco. This entitles her
at the very least to nominal damages. Nominal damages are not intended for
indemnification of loss suffered but for the vindication or recognition of a
right violated or invaded. They are recoverable where some injury has been
done the amount of which the evidence fails to show, the assessment of
damages being left to the discretion of the court according to the
circumstances of the case.
In the situation before Us, We are of the view that the amount of
P20,000.00 is excessive. The admitted fact that Robes-Francisco failed to
furnish Millan the TCT because said lot was mortgaged to GSIS does not in
itself show that there was bad faith. Bad faith cannot be presumed. Millans
contention that the P20,000.00 award may be considered in the nature of
exemplary damages cannot be upheld because in case of breach of contract,
exemplary damages may be awarded if the guilty party acted in wanton,
fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner.

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People vs Gopio
G.R. No. 133925 (November 29, 2000)
Facts: Agustin Gopio was accused of committing statutory rape on Ma.
Princess Millano y, San Diego, an 11 year-old girl, against her will.
The incident was said to have taken place while the Brgy. San
Pascual, Obando Bulacan, was celebrating its town fiesta. The victim
allegedly went to Gopios store to buy cooking oil around 10:00 am but
instead was taken to the bedroom where she was raped. The victim kept
silent about the incident for fear of Gopio and of what her parents would
do to her. Likewise, the victim was ashamed and worried that her friends
would spread the news regarding her unfortunate experience.
On two other occasions, also in 1995, the victim related that she
was again raped by Gopio but remained silent about it.
It was only when the victim was examined Municipal Health
Clinic for complaints of pain in her navel that her mother, Luzviminda,
discovered that her daughter was no longer a virgin. Upon inquiry,
Princess admitted that Gopio had raped her.
The trial court convicted Gopio guilty of statutory rape,
sentencing him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The court
further ruled that Gopio is liable to indemnify the heirs of the victim in
the amount of P3,727.00 as actual damages, P30,000.00, as moral
damages, and to pay the costs of the suit.
Issues: (1) Whether Gopio is liable of statutory rape and (2) whether
Gopio is liable to pay the heirs of the victim actual and moral damages
Held: (1) The Court affirmed the ruling of the trial court convicting the
accused of statutory rape. The testimony of the victim was clear and
categorical, positively identifying the accused as the perpetrator of the
crime.
(2) However, with respect to the award of actual damages, the
court ruled that the award of actual damages in the amount of P 3727.00
was deleted in the absence of proof as required in Article 219910.

10

Article 2199. Except as provided by law or by stipulation, one is entitled to


an adequate compensation only for such pecuniary loss suffered by him as he

To be entitled to actual and compensatory damages, there must


be competent proof constituting evidence of the actual amount thereof,
such as receipts showing the expenses incurred on account of the rape
incident.
Among the evidence presented by the mother to establish a
claim for actual damages, only the laboratory fee in the amount of
P350.00 was duly receipted, the rest were merely a doctors prescription
and a handwritten list of expenses.
Nevertheless, the court ruled that under Article 2221 of the Civil
Code, the complainants were entitled to nominal damages. Nominal
damages are adjudicated in order that the right of the plaintiff, which has
been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be vindicated or
recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the plaintiff for any
loss suffered by him.
As has been held, whenever there has been a violation of an
ascertained legal right, although no actual damages resulted or none are
shown, the award of nominal damages is proper.
The victims family evidently incurred expenses due to the crime
committed and the victim also suffered pains in her navel. Hence, the
court awarded them P2,000 for nominal damages and increased the
moral damages from P30,000.00 to P50,000.00.

Dr. Armovit, et al. vs. CA and Northwest Airlines, Inc.


G.R. No. 88561 (April 20, 1990)
Facts: Dr. Herman Armovit, a Filipino physician residing in the United
States, along with his family, came home to the Philippines for a
Christmas visit.
They purchased three round plane tickets from Northwest
Airlines, and was confirmed as OK by a Northwest Airlines ticket sales
agent. The Armovits even reconfirmed their date of departure through
their representative Ernesto Madriaga who personally presented the
three (3) tickets at the Northwest Airlines Roxas Boulevard office.

has duly proved. Such compensation is referred to as actual or compensatory


damages.

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For their return flight, the Armovits arrived in the airport at 9:15
in the morning for their 10:30 AM flight, only to be rudely informed that
they cannot be accommodated because the 10:30 AM flight was
erroneous and that the 9:15 AM flight was already taking off.
The family was bumped off at the Manila International Airport.
Dr. Armovit complained that as a result of the bump off he was not
able to keep his appointments with his patients and that the family
suffered anguish, wounded feelings, and serious anxiety day and night
until they were informed that seats were available for them the following
day.
The trial court awarded the Armovits actual, moral, exemplary
and nominal damages; but on appeal the Court of Appeals deleted the
award of moral and nominal damages.
Issue: Whether the Armovits are entitled to moral and exemplary
damages arising from the breach of the contract of carriage
Held: The deletion of the moral damages on the ground that petitioners
did not take the witness stand to testify on "their social humiliation,
wounded feelings and anxiety, and that the breach of contract was not
malicious or fraudulent" was improper. Northwest Airlines was found
guilty of gross negligence in the issuance of the tickets with the
erroneous entry of date of departure and its failure to change the same
when the Armovits had reconfirmed their flight. The gross negligence of
the airline amounted to malice and bad faith and tainted the breach of
air transportation contract.
There was sufficient indicia of malice and bad faith on the part of
the airline when it issued the tickets, failed to correct the dates and
rudely informed the Armovits that they were not to be accommodated.
The petitioners are evidently entitled to moral damages. Their
failure to testify is of no moment since it was explained the assassination
of Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. resulting to turmoil in the country
refrained the Armovits from coming back to testify; nevertheless, Atty.
Raymundo Armovit who was with the complainants at the time of the
incident, took the witness stand. By the same token to provide an
example for the public good, an award of exemplary damages is also

169

proper. Nevertheless, the deletion of the nominal damages by the


appellate court is well-taken since there is an award of actual damages.
Nominal damages cannot co-exist with actual or compensatory damages.

Temperate Damages
People vs. Singh
G.R. No. 129782 (June 29, 2001)

Facts: Dilbang Singh, the private compalinant in the frustrated murder


case, recalled that while he was cleaning his motorbike in front of his
appartment, Dalvir, Balwinder, Gurmok, Jarnail, Amarjit, Mohinder,
Dial, Kuldip --all surnamed Singh-- Johander Singh Dhillon, and Malkit
Singh Dhillon arrived, shouting foul remarks in their native language
and demanded Surinder Singh to come out of the apartment. When
Surinder Singh came out of his apartment, Dalvir Singh tried to stab
him but Surinder was able to move away. Dalvir Singh told his
companions to hold Surinder Singh and thereafter, Dial and Johinder
each held the arms of Surinder, while Kuldip pushed Surinder. Dalvir
Singh then stabbed Surinder on the right side of his stomach, causing
the latter to fall.
Dial Singh said that Surinder failed to give money and if others
will also refuse, the same fate will happen to them. As Surinder Singh
tried to get up, Malkit and Jarnail started hitting him with lead pipes,
while Johinder and Dial punched and kicked him. Amarjit, who was
holding a gun, warned everyone not to help Surinder or else he will
shoot.
While all these things were going on, private complainant
Dilbag Singh tried to stop them but Balwinder Singh stabbed him on
his back. Gurmok likewise stabbed him with a bolo, but he was not hit
as he was able to move to one side. After that, the ten (10) accused

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Indians left. Thereafter, Dilbag Singh and Surinder Singh, were


brought to the hospital. Surinder was pronounced dead on arrival.
Issue: Whether or not the court a quo erred in awarding excessive
damages against accused-appellants.
Held: In the criminal case for frustrated murder, the trial court
awarded private complainant Dilbag Singh the amount of P16,000.00
representing his hospitalization and medical expenses, and P
30,000.00 as attorneys fees. For his hospitalization and medical
expenses, the receipts submitted to support said claim amounted only
to P370.50. Hence, Dilbag Singh is entitled only to the said
amount. The award of attorneys fees is hereby deleted. Nonetheless,
private complaint is entitled to moral damages in the amount of
P50,000.00 for the suffering he endured from appellants felonious
acts.
In the criminal case for murder, only the following expenses
were proven to recover actual damages: funeral expenses and air
ticket/freight of the cadaver. The amounts for hospitalization
expenses are deleted since it is not supported by evidence. Attorneys
fees and the compensation for loss of earning capacity, are likewise
deleted for lack of basis. However, the trial courts award of
P50,000.00 as civil indemnity, and P50,000.00 moral damages are
affirmed.
Awards for loss of earning capacity partake of damages which
must be proven not only by credible and satisfactory evidence, but
also by unbiased proof. The testimony of Balwinder Singh Gill, first
cousin of the deceased, on the alleged income of the deceased, is not
enough. The best evidence to substantiate income earned by
foreigners while in the Philippines is the payment of taxes with the
Bureau of Internal Revenue. Absent such proof, bare allegation is
insufficient. Nevertheless, considering that the definite proof of
pecuniary loss cannot be offered, and the fact of loss has been
established, appellants shall pay the heirs of Surinder Singh temperate
damages.

People of the Philippines vs. Edison Plazo


G.R. No. 120547 (January 29, 2001)

170
Facts: Leonor Fabula went out of her house in May-anao, Tigaon, Camarines
Sur to buy sugar at a nearby store. When she reached the store, she saw
appellant boxing her son Romeo Fabula and banging his head on the post of
the store, while asking him why he told the police about his brother and the
location of appellant's house. When Leonor sought to intervene, appellant
got angry at her.
She became afraid and asked for help but nobody went near them.
Romeo freed himself from the hold of appellant and ran away. Appellant
chased Romeo with a small bolo known locally as "gatab." Leonor shouted at
appellant to stop but the latter did not heed her pleas. Appellant caught up
with Romeo and stabbed him at the back causing Romeo to fall on the
ground. Appellant continued to stab Romeo in the upper and lower chest
area. Leonor continued shouting for help and eventually someone came to
help. However, when she saw her son no longer moving, she told the people
not to touch or move him because she was going to the Poblacion of Tigaon
to get a policeman.
When Patrolmen Virgilio Azucena and Jose Madera arrived at the
scene of the crime, they saw the fallen body of Romeo with a small bolo
imbedded on his chest and the detached handle of the bolo on the ground
near his body. On June 10, 1991, appellant was charged with the crime of
murder After trial, the trial court rendered its decision finding appellant
guilty of the crime of murder and ordered Plazo to indemnify the heirs of the
late Fabula for the latter's death the sum of Fifty Thousand Pesos
(P50,000.00); the sum of Fifteen Thousand Seven Hundred Twelve Pesos
(P15,712.00) as actual damages; and the sum of Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00) as moral damages.
Issue: Whether or not the lower court erred in the award of actual damages.
Held: The trial court correctly awarded the amount of P50,000.00 as
indemnity. However, the award of actual damages in the amount of
P15,712.00 was based solely on the bare assertions of the mother of the
victim. The Court can only grant such amount for expenses if they are
supported by receipts. In the absence thereof, no actual damages can be
awarded. However, in lieu of actual damages, TEMPERATE DAMAGES under

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Art. 2224 of the Civil Code may be recovered where it has been shown that
the victim's family suffered some pecuniary loss but the amount thereof
cannot be proved with certainty. We find the award of P15,000.00 as
temperate damages reasonable. Moral damages cannot be awarded in the
absence of any evidence to support its award.

PNB vs.

CA11

G.R. No. 108630 (April 2, 1996)

Facts: private respondent Loreto Tan is the owner of the land which
has been expropriated by the government. After the proceedings, Tan
requested the release to him of the expropriation price of P32,
480.00. The trial court ordered the PNB to release the same to Tan as
deposited in it by the government. Petitioners Asst.branch manager,
Juan Tagamolilia, issued managers check for the said amount and
delivered it to Sonia Gonzaga without Tans knowledge. As a
consequence, Tan demanded the payment from PNB which refused
on the ground that they had already paid the same based on the SPA
allegedly executed in her favour by Tan. Tan therefore executed an
affidavit contending that he had never executed such SPA nor
authorized Gonzaga to receive it. PNB, on the other hand, failed to
produce the SPA as directed by the court. The TC ruled against the
PNB. CA affirmed the same but deleted the award of P5, 000.00 for
exemplary damages and P5, 000.00 for attorneys fees.

171

(2) The award of attorneys fees is proper under Art. 2208 of


the CC since Tan is forced to litigate to protect his rights, but the
award of exemplary damages is properly deleted. Under Art. 2232 of
the CC, exemplary damages may be awarded if a part acted in a
wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive or malevolent manner.
However, they cannot be recovered as a matter of right; the court
has yet to decide whether or not they should be adjudicated. In the
case at bar, while there is a clear breach of petitioners obligation to
pay private respondents, there is no evidence that it acted in a
fraudulent, wanton, reckless or oppressive manner. Furthermore,
there is no award to compensatory damages which is a prerequisite
before exemplary damages may be awarded.

Issues: (1) Whether or not an SPA existed. (2) Whether or not the
award of attorneys fees and exemplary damages is proper.
Held: (1) No. Under the best evidenced rule, only the original
document is the best evidence of the fact as to whether the creditor
authorized a third person to receive the payment from the debtor and
in the absence of such document, the debtors argument regarding
due payment must fail.
In this case, since PNB failed to prove the SPA as an evidence,
its contention that they paid petitioner must fail.

11

Digest made by Fritzielyn Palmiery


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