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Secosa vs.

Heirs of Erwin Suarez Francisco

(433 SCRA 273 [2004])
Francisco, an 18 year old 3rd year physical therapy student was riding a motorcycle. A
sand and gravel truck was traveling behind the motorcycle, which in turn was being tailed by the
Isuzu truck driven by Secosa. The Isuzu cargo truck was owned by Dassad Warehousing and
Port Services, Inc..The three vehicles were traversing the southbound lane at a fairly high
speed. When Secosa overtook the sand and gravel truck, he bumped the motorcycle causing
Francisco to fall. The rear wheels of the Isuzu truck then ran over Francisco, which resulted in
his instantaneous death. Secosa left his truck and fled the scene of the collision.
The parents of Francisco, respondents herein, filed an action for damages against
Secosa, Dassad Warehousing and Port Services, Inc. and Dassads president, El
The court a quo rendered a decision in favor of herein respondents; thus petitioners
appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals, which unfortunately affirmed the appealed
decision in toto. Hence, the present petition.

Whether or not Dassads president, El BuenasucensoSy, can be held solidary liable with

No. Sy cannot be held solidarily liable with his co-petitioners. While it may be true that
Sy is the president of Dassad Warehousing and Port Services, Inc., such fact is not by itself
sufficient to hold him solidarily liable for the liabilities adjudged against his co-petitioners.
A corporation has a personality separate from that of its stockholders or members. The
doctrine of veil of corporation treats as separate and distinct the affairs of a corporation and its
officers and stockholders. As a rule, a corporation will be looked upon as a legal entity, unless
and until sufficient reason to the contrary appears. When the notion of legal entity is used to
defeat public convenience, justify wrong, protect fraud, or defend crime, the law will regard the
corporation as an association of persons. Also, the corporate entity may be disregarded in the
interest of justice in such cases as fraud that may work inequities among members of the
corporation internally, involving no rights of the public or third persons. In both instances, there
must have been fraud and proof of it.
The records of the case does not point toward the presence of any grounds enumerated
above that will justify the piercing of the veil of corporate entity such as to hold Sy, the president
of Dassad Warehousing and Port Services, Inc., solidarily liable with it.
Furthermore, the Isuzu cargo truck which ran over Francisco was registered in the name
of Dassad and not in the name of Sy. Secosa is an employee of Dassad and not of Sy. These
facts showed Sys exclusion from liability for damages arising from the death of Francisco.