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Facts: On complaint of spouses Annabelle Rama Gutierrez and Eduardo (Eddie) Gutierrez, two (2)
criminal informations for libel were filed against Cristinelli S. Fermin and Bogs C. Tugas.
The June 14, 1995 headline and lead story of the tabloid says thatit is improbable for Annabelle Rama to
go to the US should it betrue that she is evading her conviction in an estafa case here in thePhilippines for
she and husband Eddie have more problems/casesto confront there. This was said to be due to their,
especiallyAnnabelle's, using fellow Filipinos money, failure to remit proceedsto the manufacturing
company of the cookware they were sellingand not being on good terms with the latter.
Annabelle Rama and Eddie Gutierrez filed libel cases againstFermin and Tugas before RTC of QC, Br. 218.
RTC: Fermin and Tugas found guilty of libel.
CA: Tugas was acquitted on account of non-participation butFermin's conviction was affirmed.
Fermin's motion for reconsideration was denied. She argues thatshe had no knowledge and participation
in the publication of thearticle, that the article is not libelous and is covered by the freedomof the press.
Issue: Whether petitioner is guilty of libel.
Held: A Libel is defined as a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or
imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor,
discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. In
determining whether a statement is defamatory, the words used are to be construed in their entirety and
should be taken in their plain and ordinary meaning as they would naturally be understood by persons
reading them, unless it appears that they were used and understood in another sense.
To say that the article, in its entirety, is not libelous disturbs one's sensibilities; it would certainly prick
one's conscience. There is evident imputation of the crime of malversation, or vices or defects for being
fugitives from the law. and of being a wastrel. The attribution was made publicly, considering that Gossip
Tabloid had a nationwide circulation. The victims were identified and identifiable. More importantly, the
article reeks of malice, as it tends to cause dishonor, discredit, or contempt of the complainants.
Petitioner claims that there was no malice on her part because allegedly, the article was merely a fair and
honest comment on the fact that Annabelle Rama Gutierrez was issued a warrant of arrest for her
conviction for estafa before Judge Palattao's court.
It can be gleaned form her testimony that petitioner had the motive to make defamatory imputations
against complainants. Thus, petitioner cannot, by simply making a general denial, convince us that there
was no malice on her part. Verily, not only was there malice in law, the article being malicious in itself, but
there was also malice in fact, as there was motive to talk ill against complainants during the electoral
Neither can petitioner take refuge in the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and of the press.
Although a wide latitude is given to critical utterances made against public officials in the performance of
their official duties, or against public figures on matters of public interest, such criticism does not
automatically fall within the ambit of constitutionally protected speech. If the utterances are false,
malicious, or unrelated to a public officer's performance of his duties or irrelevant to matters of public
interest involving public figures, the same may give rise to criminal and civil liability. While complainants
are considered public figures for being personalities in the entertainment business, media people,

including gossip and intrigue writers such as petitioner, do not have the unbridled license to malign their
honor and dignity by indiscriminately airing fabricated and malicious comments, whether in broadcast
media or in print, about their personal lives.
In view of the foregoing disquisitions, the conviction of petitioner for libel should be upheld.
With respect to the penalty to be imposed for this conviction, we note that the Court issued on 25 January
2008, Administrative Circular No. 08-2008 entitled Guidelines in the Observance of a Rule of Preference
in the Imposition of Penalties in Libel Cases. The circular expresses a preference for the imposition of a
FINE rather than imprisonment, given the circumstances attendant in the cases cited therein in which
only a fine was imposed by the Court on those convicted of libel. It also states that, if the penalty imposed
is merely a fine but the convict is unable to pay the same, the RPC provisions on subsidiary imprisonment
should apply.
However, the Circular likewise allows the court, in the exercise of sound discretion, the option to impose
imprisonment as penalty, whenever the imposition of a fine alone would depreciate the seriousness of the
offense, work violence on the social order, or otherwise be contrary to the imperatives of justice.


Facts: On August 18, 1995, the wife of private-complainant Atty. Jose J. Pieraz (Atty. Pieraz), retrieved a
letter from their mailbox addressed to her husband. The letter was open, not contained in an envelope,
and Atty. Pieraz wife put it on her husbands desk. On that same day, Atty. Pieraz came upon the letter
and made out its content.
Not personally knowing who the sender was, Atty. Pieraz, nevertheless, responded and sent a
communication by registered mail to said Buatis, Jr. who dispatched a second letter later on.
Reacting to the insulting words used by Buatis, Jr., particularly: "Satan, senile, stupid, [E]nglish carabao,"
Atty. Pieraz filed a complaint for libel against accused-appellant. Subject letter and its contents came to
the knowledge not only of his wife but of his children as well and they all chided him telling him:
"Ginagawa ka lang gago dito."
Issue: Whether accused is guilty of libel.
Held: Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code defines libel as a public and malicious imputation of a crime,
or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to
cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of
one who is dead.
For an imputation to be libelous, the following requisites must concur: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it
must be malicious; (c) it must be given publicity; and (d) the victim must be identifiable. 8
The last two elements have been duly established by the prosecution. There is publication in this case. In
libel, publication means making the defamatory matter, after it is written, known to someone other than
the person against whom it has been written.9 Petitioners subject letter-reply itself states that the same
was copy furnished to all concerned. Also, petitioner had dictated the letter to his secretary. It is enough
that the author of the libel complained of has communicated it to a third person.10 Furthermore, the letter,
when found in the mailbox, was open, not contained in an envelope thus, open to public.
The victim of the libelous letter was identifiable as the subject letter-reply was addressed to respondent
We shall then resolve the issues raised by petitioner as to whether the imputation is defamatory and
In determining whether a statement is defamatory, the words used are to be construed in their entirety
and should be taken in their plain, natural and ordinary meaning as they would naturally be understood
by persons reading them, unless it appears that they were used and understood in another sense. 11
For the purpose of determining the meaning of any publication alleged to be libelous, we laid down the
rule in Jimenez v. Reyes, to wit:
In Tawney vs. Simonson, Whitcomb & Hurley Co. (109 Minn., 341), the court had the following to say on
this point: "In determining whether the specified matter is libelous per se, two rules of construction are
conspicuously applicable: (1) That construction must be adopted which will give to the matter such a
meaning as is natural and obvious in the plain and ordinary sense in which the public would naturally
understand what was uttered. (2) The published matter alleged to be libelous must be construed as a

In applying these rules to the language of an alleged libel, the court will disregard any subtle or ingenious
explanation offered by the publisher on being called to account. The whole question being the effect the
publication had upon the minds of the readers, and they not having been assisted by the offered
explanation in reading the article, it comes too late to have the effect of removing the sting, if any there be,
from the words used in the publication.
Gauging from the abovementioned tests, the words used in the letter dated August 18, 1995 sent by
petitioner to respondent is defamatory. In using words such as "lousy", "inutile", "carabao English",
"stupidity", and "satan", the letter, as it was written, casts aspersion on the character, integrity and
reputation of respondent as a lawyer which exposed him to ridicule. No evidence aliunde need be adduced
to prove it. As the CA said, these very words of petitioner have caused respondent to public ridicule as
even his own family have told him: "Ginagawa ka lang gago dito."
Any of the imputations covered by Article 353 is defamatory; and, under the general rule laid down in
Article 354, every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good
intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. Thus, when the imputation is defamatory, the
prosecution need not prove malice on the part of petitioner (malice in fact), for the law already presumes
that petitioners imputation is malicious (malice in law).15 A reading of petitioners subject letter-reply
showed that he malevolently castigated respondent for writing such a demand letter to Mrs. Quingco.
There was nothing in the said letter which showed petitioners good intention and justifiable motive for
writing the same in order to overcome the legal inference of malice.

Magno v. People
Facts: In the afternoon of March 2, 1991, Cerelito, while at the upper portion of his house, saw Dolores
write on the wall at the back of her garage the following words: 'Huag Burahin Bawal Dumaan Dito ang
Maniac at Magnanakaw ng Aso katulad ni Cere Lito O. Cedring.
Feeling that he was the 'Cere', 'Lito or 'Cedring being alluded to, Cerelito reported the matter to the local
police and filed an affidavit-complaint with the Fiscal's Office.
Subsequently, or on March 9, 1991, at around 4:00 p.m., Rodelito, Cerelito's 16-year old son, while on his
way to buy bread at a nearby store, saw Dolores writing something on her garage's extension wall with the
use of a paint brush and red paint. In full, the writing reads: "HUAG BURAHIN BAWAL DUMAAN ANG
NG ASO KATULAD NI CERELITO." After reading what was thus written, Rodelito proceeded with his
errand and, upon reaching home, related what he saw to his father.
Again, feeling that he was the maniac and dog thief being referred to, Cerelito lost no time in filing a
complaint with the Baguio City Police (BCP). Pictures were then taken of the aforesaid writing on the wall.
Eventually, the Office of the City Prosecutor in Baguio, finding, following an investigation, probable cause
for libel against Dolores, filed the corresponding information giving rise to Criminal Case No. 8804-R.
Evidently apprised by the police of the complaint thus filed by Cerelito, Dolores, in the morning of March
15, 1991, went to the BCP sub-station to deliver her 3-page letter-answer written in yellow pad and
addressed to the station sub-commander.

At around 12:20 p.m. of the same day, March 15, 1991, Dolores handed to and instructed Evelyn
Arcartado, Cerelito's sister, to deliver an unsealed white, long, ordinary envelope to Fe Alejandro,
Cerelito's wife.Since Fe was out of the house at that time, Evelyn gave the unsealed envelope to Cerelito,
who immediately read the three (3) separate letters contained in the envelope. Evelyn followed suit
afterwards. Fe read the contents of the envelope upon reaching home late in the afternoon of March 15,

The first letter, unsigned and undated and written on yellow pad, was addressed to spouses Cerelito and
Fe Alejandro. Quoted, in part, in the information in Criminal Case No. 8806-R, this unsigned letter reads:

If your husband can't show any proof of his makating dila then comply & if your husband can't
understand this simple English dahil mangmang, dayukdok na galing sa isang kahig isang tukang pamilya
at walang pinagaralan, illiterate, mal educado kaya bastos eh huag na niya kaming idamay sa kaniyang
katangahan na alam na trabaho eh humawak ng grasa sa Saudi.Kaya iyong pambabastos mo at
pagdudumi niya sa pangalan naming at higit pa siyang marumi at putang ina rin niya.Galing siya sa p ng
baboy at hindi sa p ng tao.Huag niyang ikumpara ang pinangalingan niya sa pinangalingan namin.Siya
ang magnanakaw at mandaraya.Malinaw na ibidensiya iyan kinalagyan ng hagdan ninyo, di ba lampas
kayo sa lote ninyo.Pinalakad ninyo ang mojon para lumaki ang lote ninyo.Bago kayo magsalita

mambintang ng kapitbahay ninyo, tignan ninyo muna ang sarili ninyo. Mas mukha pang magnanakaw
ang asawa mo para malinaw.

The second letter is a photo-copy of the first, but with the following addendum written in ink at the back
page thereof which reads:

Ang tibay mo rin naman Mrs. Alejandro, makapal pa ang mukha mo at ikaw pa ang magpapablotter sa
akin para pagtakpan mo ang maniac mong asawa. Kailan mo masasabi na pumasok sa bakuran mo para
mamirhuesyo sa inyo. Tanga.

The third letter, a photocopy of Dolores signed letter dated March 15, 1991, to the Sub-Station 5
Commander of BCP purportedly in reply to the statement given by Fe Alejandro to the police station on
March 3, 1991, reads, in part, as follows:

The Sub Station Commander

Sub-Station 5
Marcos Highway, B.C.

Dear sir:


Allow me then to explain to you . . . why I call Mr. Alejandro a maniac.Pumasoksiya sa loteko sa garahe na
naging shelter (temporary) namin ng pamilya kopagkatapos ng lindol (3 weeks after) ng hatinggabi-lasing
na lasing nakapaa, bukasang zipper ng pantaloon nakayapak na walang sapin sa paa.Tulog na kami.We
were awakened by the constant barking of my dogs.I have 3 native dogs but 1 was slaughtered by Mr.
Cerelito Alejandro '.He is even a dog-napper. My Manang Louie can relate the incident since we were out
of the country x xx.I don't trust him as my kapitbahay na bantaysalakay.In simple tagalogmagnanakaw ng
aso para may malamon dahil takaw na takaw at walang maibili.

It is upon the foregoing factual backdrop that Dolores was charged with libel under four (4) separate
informations filed with the Regional Trial Court of Baguio City, docketed as Criminal Cases No. 8803-R,
8804-R, 8805-R and 8806-R and raffled to Branch 6 of the court.

Upon arraignment, Dolores, as accused, entered a plea of Not Guilty to each of the offenses charges in the
four informations aforecited. Following a joint trial, the trial court rendered judgment on September 23,
1993, finding her guilty of libel in both Criminal Cases Nos. 8804-R and 8806-R and sentencing her to
suffer imprisonment and ordering her to indemnify the offended party a certain sum as moral damages.
In Criminal Cases Nos. 8803-R and 8805-R, however, she was acquitted.

On Appeal, the appellate court affirmed in toto the judgment of conviction of the RTC. The appellate court
likewise denied the motion for reconsideration of Dolores Magno for lack of merit.

Issue: Whether Magno could be held liable for libel?

Held: The Supreme Court held that to be liable for libel under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, the
following elements must be shown to exist: (a) the allegation of a discreditable act or condition
concerning another; (b) publication of the charge; (c) identity of the person defamed; and (d) existence of

There can be no quibbling about the defamatory nature of the written imputation or allegations hurled
against Cerelito. And the derogatory writings were obviously made out of ill-will or revenge.The issue of
defamation, malice or the identity of the person defamed is not even raised in this recourse.

As earlier recited, the information in Criminal Case No. 8806-R arose out of what Dolores wrote about the
spouses Cerelito and Fe Alejandro contained in an unsealed envelope and delivered, through Evelyn
Arcartado, on March 15, 1991. Dolores contends that, from the time Evelyn was physically handed the
unsealed envelope to the time the latter turned it over to Cerelito, no one opened or read the offending
letter contained therein. Prescinding therefrom, Dolores argues against the existence of libel, citing, for
the purpose, American jurisprudence holding that "where libelous matter is communicated only to a
person defamed and he voluntarily discloses the contents of the libelous communication to others, the
originator of the libel is not responsible for the publication."Dolores argues that since the obnoxious letter
was addressed to spouses Cerelito and Fe Alejandro, Fe was, insofar as Cerelito is concerned, not a third
person for purposes of publication. She further declares that to call the husband (Cerelito) a thief in
connection with a charge that he and his wife had stolen goods, is not to speak words of defamation of him
alone so as to make the utterance in the presence of his wife a publication.

Publication, in the law of libel, means the making of the defamatory matter, after it has been written,
known to someone other than the person to whom it has been written. If the statement is sent straight to a
person for whom it is written there is no publication of it. The reason for this is that 'a communication of
the defamatory matter to the person defamed cannot injure his reputation though it may wound his selfesteem. A man's reputation is not the good opinion he has of himself, but the estimation in which others
hold him.

In People vs. Silvela, the Court ruled that sending an unsealed libelous letter to the offended party
constitutes publication. In the present case, there is no dispute that the unsealed envelope containing the
libelous letter was handed by Dolores to Evelyn Arcartado. Contextually, there was a reasonable
probability that the contents of the unsealed envelope, particularly the libelous letter, could have been
exposed to be read by Evelyn before delivering the same to Cerelito. However, Evelyn categorically
admitted not reading the letter at the first instance, reading it only after securing Cerelito's permission.

Writing to a person other than the person defamed is sufficient to constitute publication, for the person to
whom the letter is addressed is a third person in relation to its writer and the person defamed therein. Fe,
the wife, is, in context, a third person to whom the publication was made.

Finally, the Court cannot give credence to Dolores' allegation that she is not the author of the unsigned
libelous letter. It cannot be overstressed that she herself handed the unsigned letter to Evelyn Arcartado
with specific instructions to give the same to Fe Alejandro. Likewise, the contents of the letters are
basically reiteration/elaborations of Dolores' previous writing on the wall and her letter to the BCP SubStation commander. What the Court of Appeals said on this point is basic common sense and deserving of

The Supreme Court finds all the elements of libel to have been sufficiently established. Accordingly, the
ascription of reversible errors on the part of the CA and the trial court in adjudging Dolores guilty beyond
reasonable doubt of two counts of libel cannot be sustained.

Villanueva v. People (G.R. No. 160351)

Facts: Petitioner Noel Villanueva was a member of the Municipal Council while private complainant
Yolanda C. Castro was the Municipal Vice Mayor of Concepcion, Tarlac.

Sometime in September 1994, petitioner was filing an application for monetized leave for the approval of
herein complainant. The application was not immediately attended to by complainant as she was then
busy dictating some important matters to her secretary. A heated argument then ensued between the
complainant and the enraged defendant Villanueva. In the presence of several persons, defendant
Villanueva, in a loud voice and within hearing distance of everyone present, unlawfully, maliciously and
feloniously uttered in a serious and insulting manner the following words: (You are pretending to be clean
and honest yet you are not clean and honest, you are corrupt; you are like a red apple, but inside you are
worm infested and extremely dirty).

Issue: Whether the petitioner is guilty slight or serious oral defamation.

Held: Petitioner is guilty of slight oral defamation. Slander is libel committed by oral (spoken) means,
instead of in writing. The term oral defamation or slander as now understood, has been defined as the
speaking of base and defamatory words which tend to prejudice another in his reputation, office, trade,
business or means of livelihood. There is grave slander when it is of a serious and insulting nature. The
gravity of the oral defamation depends not only (1) upon the expressions used, but also (2) on the
personal relations of the accused and the offended party, and (3) the circumstances surrounding the case.
Indeed, it is a doctrine of ancient respectability that defamatory words will fall under one or the other,
depending not only upon their sense, grammatical significance, and accepted ordinary meaning judging
them separately, but also upon the special circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between
the offended party and the offender, which might tend to prove the intention of the offender at the time.

In the case at bar, as a public official, petitioner, who was holding the position of Councilor at that time, is
hidebound to be an exemplar to society against the use of intemperate language particularly because the
offended party was a Vice-Mayor. However, it should be noted that such scathing words were uttered by
petitioner in the heat of anger triggered by the fact, as found by the Court of Appeals, that complainant
refused, without valid justification to approve the monetization of accrued leave credits of petitioner.
The rule that all possible circumstances favorable to the accused must be taken in his favor. The slander
committed by petitioner can be characterized as slight slander following the doctrine that uttering
defamatory words in the heat of anger, with some provocation on the part of the offended party
constitutes only a light felony.

Caal v. People (G.R. No. 163181)

Facts: Petitioner is accused of bringing private complainant Daylinda Caal, into discredit, disrepute and
contempt when he unlawfully and publicly speak and utter against her the following insulting words and
which if translated in English language will mean (You afraid to the witness of Daylinda who had no how,
why you afraid to Daylinda, she live from stealing, she is a long time thieves) and other words of similar
Issue: Whether or not statements of petitioner Caal constitute oral defamation?
Held: Yes. To say that Daylinda is a thief is irrefragably grave oral defamation. This imputes to her a crime
that is dishonorable or contemptuous.
It must be remembered that every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if
no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. And malice may be inferred from the
style and tone of publication subject to certain exceptions which are not present in the case at bar. Indeed,
calling Daylinda a thief is defamation against her character and reputation sufficient to cause her
embarrassment and social humiliation.

Pader v. People (G.R. No. 139157)

Facts: On April 20, 1995, at about 8:00 p.m., Atty. Benjamin C. Escolango was conversing with his
political leaders at the terrace of his house at Morong, Bataan when petitioner appeared at the gate and
shouted Putang ina mo Atty. Escolango. Napakawalanghiya mo! The latter was dumbfounded and
embarrassed. At that time, Atty. Escolango was a candidate for vice mayor of Morong, Bataan in the
elections of May 8, 1995.
Issue: Whether petitioner is guilty of slight or serious oral defamation?
Held: Petitioner is guilty of slight oral defamation.
In resolving the issue, we are guided by a doctrine of ancient respectability that defamatory words will fall
under one or the other, depending not only upon their sense, grammatical significance, and accepted
ordinary meaning judging them separately, but also upon the special circumstances of the case,
antecedents or relationship between the offended party and the offender, which might tend to prove the
intention of the offender at the time.
Unquestionably, the words uttered were defamatory. Considering, however, the factual backdrop of the
case, the oral defamation was only slight. The parties were also neighbors; that petitioner was drunk at
the time he uttered the defamatory words; and the fact that petitioners anger was instigated by what Atty.
Escolango did when petitioners father died. In which case, the oral defamation was not of serious or
insulting nature.

Loney vs. People

This is a petition for review of the Decision dated 5 November 2001 and the Resolution dated 14 March
2002 of the Court of Appeals. The 5 November 2001 Decision affirmed the ruling of the Regional Trial
Court, Boac, Marinduque, Branch 94, in a suit to quash Informations filed against petitioners John Eric
Loney, Steven Paul Reid, and Pedro B. Hernandez ("petitioners"). The 14 March 2002 Resolution denied
petitioners motion for reconsideration.
Petitioners John Eric Loney, Steven Paul Reid, and Pedro B. Hernandez are the President and Chief
Executive Officer, Senior Manager, and Resident Manager for Mining Operations, respectively, of
Marcopper Mining Corporation ("Marcopper"), a corporation engaged in mining in the province of
Marcopper had been storing tailings from its operations in a pit in Mt. Tapian, Marinduque. At the base of
the pit ran a drainage tunnel leading to the Boac and Makalupnit rivers. It appears that Marcopper had
placed a concrete plug at the tunnels end. On 24 March 1994, tailings gushed out of or near the tunnels
end. In a few days, the Mt. Tapian pit had discharged millions of tons of tailings into the Boac and
Makalupnit rivers.
Issue: Whether all the charges filed against petitioners except one should be quashed for duplicity of
charges and only the charge for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property should stand; and
Held: The basic difficulty with the petitioners position is that it must be examined, not under the terms of
the first sentence of Article IV (22) of the 1973 Constitution, but rather under the second sentence of the
same section. The first sentence of Article IV (22) sets forth the general rule: the constitutional protection
against double jeopardy is not available where the second prosecution is for an offense that is different
from the offense charged in the first or prior prosecution, although both the first and second offenses may
be based upon the same act or set of acts. The second sentence of Article IV (22) embodies an exception to
the general proposition: the constitutional protection, against double jeopardy is available although the
prior offense charged under an ordinance be different from the offense charged subsequently under a
national statute such as the Revised Penal Code, provided that both offenses spring from the same act or
set of acts.
Thus, Relova is no authority for petitioners claim against multiple prosecutions based on a single act not
only because the question of double jeopardy is not at issue here, but also because, as the Court of Appeals
held, petitioners are being prosecuted for an act or incident punished by four national statutes and not by
an ordinance and a national statute. In short, petitioners, if ever, fall under the first sentence of Section
21, Article III which prohibits multiple prosecution for the same offense, and not, as in Relova, for
offenses arising from the same incident.

Abueva vs. People

Facts: Petitioner Teofilo Abueva y Cagasan was charged before the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, in
an information of Reckless Imprudence resulting in homicide for the death of Lourdes Mangruban
qualified by petitioners failure to render or lend assistance on the spot to the victim such help as may be
in the hands of the accused to give.
The information alleged that petitioner drove and moved a passenger bus out of the terminal building
even before Lourdes Mangruban, a passenger of said bus, could properly find and safely take her seat, and
that as a direct result of said negligence, recklessness and carelessness, LOURDES MANGRUBAN fell
down to the cemented pavement of the terminal road and sustained the injuries which caused her death.
The facts showed that the victim, Lourdes Mangruban, fell rather than jumped off the bus. The claim of
the defense that the deceased jumped off the bus is incredible and contrary to human experience.
Issues: Whether or not petitioner is liable for Reckless Imprudence resulting to homicide?
Held: Yes, Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code states that reckless imprudence consists in voluntarily,
but without malice, doing or failing to do an act from which material damage results by reason of
inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the person performing or failing to perform such act, taking
into consideration (1) his employment or occupation; (2) his degree of intelligence; (3) his physical
condition; and (4) other circumstances regarding persons, time and place.
Petitioner herein is a professional driver who has been in the employ of the bus company for 18 years and
has undergone training courses and seminars to improve his skills as a driver. He is expected to be well
aware of his responsibilities to his passengers. Not only must he make sure that they reach their
destinations on time, he must also ensure their safety while they are boarding, during the entire trip, and
upon disembarking from the vehicle.
Having failed to exercise due diligence that resulted in the tragic incident, petitioners liability for the
death of passenger Lourdes Mangruban, as found by the lower courts, must be sustained.