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Crisostomo v.

CA, 409 SCRA 528 (2003)


Estela L. Crisostomo contracted the services of Caravan Travel and Tours

International, Inc. to arrange and facilitate her booking, ticketing and
accommodation in a tour dubbed "Jewels of Europe". The package tour cost her P74,
322.70. She was given a 5% discount on the amount, which included airfare, and
the booking fee was also waived because petitioners niece, Meriam Menor, was
formers companys ticketing manager.

Menor went to her aunts residence on a Wednesday to deliver petitioners travel

documents and plane tickets. Estela, in turn, gave Menor the full payment for the
package tour. Menor then told her to be at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport
(NAIA) on Saturday, two hours before her flight on board British Airways.

Without checking her travel documents, Estela went to NAIA on Saturday, to take
the flight for the first leg of her journey from Manila to Hongkong. She discovered
that the flight she was supposed to take had already departed the previous day. She
learned that her plane ticket was for the flight scheduled on June 14, 1991. She thus
called up Menor to complain.
Subsequently, Menor prevailed upon Estela to take another tour the "British
Pageant, which cost P20, 881.00. She gave caravan travel and tours P7, 980.00 as
partial payment and commenced the trip in July 1991.

Upon petitioners return from Europe, she demanded from respondent the
reimbursement of P61, 421.70, representing the difference between the sum she
paid for "Jewels of Europe" and the amount she owed respondent for the "British
Pageant" tour. Despite several demands, respondent company refused to reimburse
the amount, contending that the same was non-refundable.

Estela filed a complaint against Caravan travel and Tours for breach of contract of
carriage and damages.

A) Will the action prosper?

B) Will she be entitled to damages?


No, for there was no contract of carriage.

By definition, a contract of carriage or transportation is one whereby a certain

person or association of persons obligate themselves to transport persons, things,
or news from one place to another for a fixed price.

From the above definition, Caravan Travel and Tours is not an entity engaged in the
business of transporting either passengers or goods and is therefore, neither a
private nor a common carrier. Caravan Travel and Tours did not undertake to
transport Estela from one place to another since its covenant with its customers is
simply to make travel arrangements in their behalf. Caravan travel and tours
services as a travel agency include procuring tickets and facilitating travel permits
or visas as well as booking customers for tours.

While Estela concededly bought her plane ticket through the efforts of respondent
company, this does not mean that the latter ipso facto is a common carrier. At most,
Caravan Travel and Tours acted merely as an agent of the airline, with whom the
former ultimately contracted for her carriage to Europe.

B) No.

The negligence of the obligor in the performance of the obligation renders him liable
for damages for the resulting loss suffered by the obligee. Fault or negligence of the
obligor consists in his failure to exercise due care and prudence in the performance
of the obligation as the nature of the obligation so demands.

In the case at bar, Caravan Travel and Tours exercised due diligence in performing
its obligations under the contract and followed standard procedure in rendering its
services to Estela. The plane ticket issued to petitioner clearly reflected the
departure date and time, contrary to Estelas contention. The travel documents,
consisting of the tour itinerary, vouchers and instructions, were likewise delivered to
her two days prior to the trip. The Caravan Travel and Tours also properly booked
Estela for the tour, prepared the necessary documents and procured the plane
tickets. It arranged Estelas hotel accommodation as well as food, land transfers and
sightseeing excursions, in accordance with its avowed undertaking.

From the foregoing, it is clear that the Caravan Travel and Tours performed its
prestation under the contract as well as everything else that was essential to book
Estela for the tour.
Hence, Estela cannot recover and must bear her own damage.
First Philippine Industrial Corp. vs. CA

Petitioner is a grantee of a pipeline concession under Republic Act No. 387.
Sometime in January 1995, petitioner applied for mayors permit in Batangas.
However, the Treasurer required petitioner to pay a local tax based on gross receipts
amounting to P956,076.04. In order not to hamper its operations, petitioner paid the
taxes for the first quarter of 1993 amounting to P239,019.01 under protest. On
January 20, 1994, petitioner filed a letter-protest to the City Treasurer, claiming that
it is exempt from local tax since it is engaged in transportation business. The
respondent City Treasurer denied the protest, thus, petitioner filed a complaint
before the Regional Trial Court of Batangas for tax refund. Respondents assert that
pipelines are not included in the term common carrier which refers solely to
ordinary carriers or motor vehicles. The trial court dismissed the complaint, and
such was affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
Whether a pipeline business is included in the term common carrier so as to
entitle the petitioner to the exemption
Article 1732 of the Civil Code defines a "common carrier" as "any person,
corporation, firm or association engaged in the business of carrying or transporting
passengers or goods or both, by land, water, or air, for compensation, offering their
services to the public."
The test for determining whether a party is a common carrier of goods is:
(1) He must be engaged in the business of carrying goods for others as a public
employment, and must hold himself out as ready to engage in the transportation of
goods for person generally as a business and not as a casual occupation;
(2) He must undertake to carry goods of the kind to which his business is confined;
(3) He must undertake to carry by the method by which his business is conducted
and over his established roads; and
(4) The transportation must be for hire.
Based on the above definitions and requirements, there is no doubt that petitioner
is a common carrier. It is engaged in the business of transporting or carrying goods,
i.e. petroleum products, for hire as a public employment. It undertakes to carry for
all persons indifferently, that is, to all persons who choose to employ its services,
and transports the goods by land and for compensation. The fact that petitioner has
a limited clientele does not exclude it from the definition of a common carrier.
De Guzman v. CA
Respondent Ernesto Cendana was a junk dealer. He buys scrap materials and brings
those that he gathered to Manila for resale using 2 six-wheeler trucks. On the return
trip to Pangasinan, respondent would load his vehicle with cargo which various
merchants wanted delivered, charging fee lower than the commercial rates.
Sometime in November 1970, petitioner Pedro de Guzman contracted with
respondent for the delivery of 750 cartons of Liberty Milk. On December 1, 1970,
respondent loaded the cargo. Only 150 boxes were delivered to petitioner because
the truck carrying the boxes was hijacked along the way. Petitioner commenced an
action claiming the value of the lost merchandise. Petitioner argues that
respondent, being a common carrier, is bound to exercise extraordinary diligence,
which it failed to do. Private respondent denied that he was a common carrier, and
so he could not be held liable for force majeure. The trial court ruled against the
respondent, but such was reversed by the Court of Appeals.
(1) Whether or not private respondent is a common carrier
(2) Whether private respondent is liable for the loss of the goods
(1) Article 1732 makes no distinction between one whose principal business activity
is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and one who does such carrying only as
an ancillary activity. Article 1732 also carefully avoids making any distinction
between a person or enterprise offering transportation service on a regular or
scheduled basis and one offering such service on an occasional, episodic or
unscheduled basis. Neither does Article 1732 distinguish between a carrier offering
its services to the "general public," i.e., the general community or population, and
one who offers services or solicits business only from a narrow segment of the
general population. It appears to the Court that private respondent is properly
characterized as a common carrier even though he merely "back-hauled" goods for
other merchants from Manila to Pangasinan, although such backhauling was done
on a periodic or occasional rather than regular or scheduled manner, and even
though private respondent's principal occupation was not the carriage of goods for
others. There is no dispute that private respondent charged his customers a fee for
hauling their goods; that fee frequently fell below commercial freight rates is not
relevant here. A certificate of public convenience is not a requisite for the incurring
of liability under the Civil Code provisions.
(2) Article 1734 establishes the general rule that common carriers are responsible
for the loss, destruction or deterioration of the goods which they carry, "unless the
same is due to any of the following causes only:
a. Flood, storm, earthquake, lightning, or other natural disaster or calamity;
b. Act of the public enemy in war, whether international or civil;
c. Act or omission of the shipper or owner of the goods;
d. The character of the goods or defects in the packing or in the containers; and
e. Order or act of competent public authority."
The hijacking of the carrier's truck - does not fall within any of the five (5)
categories of exempting causes listed in Article 1734. Private respondent as
common carrier is presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently. This
presumption, however, may be overthrown by proof of extraordinary diligence on
the part of private respondent. We believe and so hold that the limits of the duty of
extraordinary diligence in the vigilance over the goods carried are reached where
the goods are lost as a result of a robbery which is attended by "grave or irresistible
threat, violence or force." we hold that the occurrence of the loss must reasonably
be regarded as quite beyond the control of the common carrier and properly
regarded as a fortuitous event. It is necessary to recall that even common carriers
are not made absolute insurers against all risks of travel and of transport of goods,
and are not held liable for acts or events which cannot be foreseen or are inevitable,
provided that they shall have complied with the rigorous standard of extraordinary

Transportation Case Digest: Calvo V. UCPB Gen Insurance Co. (2002)

G.R. No.148496 March 19, 2002

Lessons Applicable: Legal Effect (Transportation)


M At the time material to this case, Transorient Container Terminal Services, Inc.
(TCTSI) owned by Virgines Calvo entered into a contract with San Miguel Corporation
(SMC) for the transfer of 114 reels of semi-chemical fluting paper and 124 reels of
kraft liner board from the Port Area in Manila to SMC's warehouse at the Tabacalera
Compound, Romualdez St., Ermita, Manila.
M The cargo was insured by respondent UCPB General Insurance Co., Inc.
M July 14, 1990: arrived in Manila on board "M/V Hayakawa Maru" and later
on unloaded from the vessel to the custody of the arrastre operator, Manila Port
Services, Inc
M July 23 to July 25, 1990: Calvo withdrew the cargo from the arrastre operator
and delivered it to SMC's warehouse in Ermita, Manila
M July 25, 1990: goods were inspected by Marine Cargo Surveyors, who found
that 15 reels of the semi-chemical fluting paper were "wet/stained/torn" and 3 reels
of kraft liner board were likewise torn
M SMC collected payment from UCPB the total damage of P93,112 under its
insurance contract
M UCPB brought suit against Calvo as subrogee of SMC
M Calvo: Art. 1734(4) The character of the goods or defects in the
packing or in the containers
spoilage or wettage" took place while the goods were in the
custody of either the carrying vessel "M/V Hayakawa Maru," which transported the
cargo to Manila, or the arrastre operator, to whom the goods were unloaded and
who allegedly kept them in open air for 9 days notwithstanding the fact that some
of the containers were deformed, cracked, or otherwise damaged
M Trial Court: Calvo liable
M CA: affirmed
ISSUE: W/N Calvo can be exempted from liability under Art. 1734(4)


M mere proof of delivery of goods in good order to a carrier, and of their arrival
at the place of destination in bad order, makes out a prima facie case against the
carrier, so that if no explanation is given as to how the injury occurred, the carrier
must be held responsible
M extraordinary responsibility lasts from the time the goods are unconditionally
placed in the possession of and received by the carrier for transportation until the
same are delivered actually or constructively by the carrier to the consignee or to
the person who has the right to receive the same
M Article 1732. Common carriers are persons, corporations, firms or
associations engaged in the business of carrying or transporting passengers or
goods or both, by land, water, or air for compensation, offering their services to the
public."The above article makes no distinction between one
whose principal business activity is the carrying of persons or goods or both, and
one who does such carrying only as an ancillary activity . . . Article 1732 also
carefully avoids making any distinction between a person or enterprise offering
transportation service on a regular or scheduled basis and one offering such service
on an occasional, episodic or unscheduled basis. Neither does Article 1732
distinguish between a carrier offering its services to the "general public," i.e., the
general community or population, and one who offers services or solicits business
only from a narrow segment of the general population.
M concept of "common carrier" under Article 1732 may be seen to coincide
neatly with the notion of "public service," under the Public Service Act
(Commonwealth Act No. 1416, as amended) which at least partially supplements
the law on common carriers set forth in the Civil Code
M Under Section 13, paragraph (b) of the Public Service Act, "public service"
includes:" x x x every person that now or hereafter may own, operate, manage, or
control in the Philippines, for hire or compensation, with general or limited clientele,
whether permanent, occasional or accidental, and done for general business
purposes, any common carrier, railroad, street railway, traction railway, subway
motor vehicle, either for freight or passenger, or both, with or without fixed route
and whatever may be its classification, freight or carrier service of any class,
express service, steamboat, or steamship line, pontines, ferries and water craft,
engaged in the transportation of passengers or freight or both, shipyard, marine
repair shop, wharf or dock, ice plant, ice-refrigeration plant, canal, irrigation system,
gas, electric light, heat and power, water supply and power petroleum, sewerage
system, wire or wireless communications systems, wire or wireless broadcasting
stations and other similar public services. x x x"
M when Calvo's employees withdrew the cargo from the arrastre operator, they
did so without exception or protest either with regard to the condition of container
vans or their contents
Calvo must do more than merely show the possibility that some other
party could be responsible for the damage. It must prove that it used "all reasonable
means to ascertain the nature and characteristic of goods tendered for transport
and that it exercised due care in the handling
British Airways vs CA
G.R. No. 92288 February 9, 1993
Lessons Applicable: Actionable Document (Transportation)


M February 15, 1981: First International Trading and General Services Co. (First
Int'l), a duly licensed domestic recruitment and placement agency, received a telex
message from its principal ROLACO Engineering and Contracting Services (ROLACO)
in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to recruit Filipino contract workers in its behalf
M Early March 1981: ROLACO paid British Airways, Inc. (BA) Jeddah branch
the airfare tickets for 93 contract workers with specific instruction to transport the
workers to Jeddah on or before March 30, 1981
M As soon as BA received a prepaid ticket advice from its Jeddah branch
informed First Int'l.
Thereafter, First Int'l instructed ADB Travel and Tours. Inc. (its
travel agent) to book the 93 workers with BA but it failed
1 So First Int'l had to borrow P304,416.00 for
the purchase of airline tickets from the other airlines for
the 93 workers who must leave immediately since the
visas are valid only for 45 days and the Bureau of
Employment Services mandates that contract workers
must be sent to the job site within a period of 30 days
M First week of June, 1981: First Int'l was again informed by BA that it had
received a prepaid ticket advice from its Jeddah branch for the transportation of 27
contract workers.
M Immediately, First Int'l instructed its ADB to book the 27 contract
workers with the BA but only 16 seats were confirmed and booked on its June 9,
1981 flight.
M June 9, 1981: only 9 workers were able to board said flight while the
remaining 7 workers were rebooked to:
M June 30, 1981 - again cancelled by British without any prior notice to
either First Int'l or the workers
M July 4,1981 - (6 + 7 workers) 13 workers were again cancelled and rebooked
to July 7, 1981.
M July 6, 1981: First Int'l paid the travel tax of the workers as required
by BA but when the receipt of the tax payments was submitted, only 12 seats were
confirmed for July 7, 1981 flight
M July 7, 1981: Flight was again cancelled without any prior notice
M 12 workers were finally able to leave for Jeddah after First Int'l had bought
tickets from the other airlines
M As a result of these incidents, First Int'l sent a letter to BA demanding
compensation for the damages it had incurred by the repeated failure to transport
its contract workers despite confirmed bookings and payment of the corresponding
travel taxes.
M July 23, 1981: the counsel of First Int'l sent another letter to BA demanding
P350,000.00 damages and unrealized profit or income - denied
M August 8, 1981: First Int'l received a telex message from ROLACO cancelling
the hiring of the remaining recruited workers due to the delay in transporting the
workers to Jeddah.
M January 27, 1982: First Int'l filed a complaint for damages against First Int'l
M CA Affirmed RTC: BA to pay First Int'l damages, attorneys fees and costs
ISSUE: W/N BA is not liable because there was no contract of carriage as no ticket
was ever issued

HELD: Affirmed. MODIFICATION that the award of actual damages be deleted

(reimbursed by ROLACO)
M In dealing with the contract of common carriage of passengers for purpose of
accuracy, there are two (2) aspects of the same, namely:
1 (a) the contract "to carry (at some future time)," which
contract is consensual and is necessarily perfected by mere consent -
applicable in this case
2 (b) the contract "of carriage" or "of common carriage"
itself which should be considered as a real contract for not until the
carrier is actually used can the carrier be said to have already assumed
the obligation of a carrier
3 Even if a prepaid ticket advice (PTA) is merely an advice
from the sponsors that an airline is authorized to issue a ticket and
thus no ticket was yet issued, the fact remains that the passage had
already been paid for by the principal of the appellee, and the
appellant had accepted such payment
4 Besides, appellant knew very well that time was of the
essence as the prepaid ticket advice had specified the period of
compliance therewith, and with emphasis that it could only be used if
the passengers fly on BA
5 involvement of the BA in the contract "to carry" was well
demonstrated when the it immediately advised First Int'l
Acts of BA indeed constitute malice and evident bad faith which
had caused damage and besmirched the reputation and business image fo First Int'l

Dangwa Transpo vs CA
G.R. No. 95582 October 7, 1991
Lessons Applicable: Actionable Document (Transportation)
Laws Applicable: Art. 1733, Art. 1755

M May 13, 1985: Theodore M. Lardizabal was driving a passenger bus belonging
to Dangwa Transportation Co. Inc. (Dangwa)
M The bus was at full stop bet. Bunkhouses 53 and 54 when Pedro
Pedro Cudiamat fell from the platform of the bus when it
suddenly accelerated forward
1 Pedro was ran over by the rear right tires of
the vehicle
M Theodore first brought his other passengers and cargo to their
respective destinations before bringing Pedro to Lepanto Hospital where he expired
M Private respondents filed a complaint for damages against Dangwa for the
death of Pedro Cudiamat
1 Dangwa: observed and continued to observe the
extraordinary diligence required in the operation of the co. and the
supervision of the employees even as they are not absolute insurers of
the public at large
M RTC: in favour of Dangwa holding Pedrito as negligent and his negligence was
the cause of his death but still ordered to pay in equity P 10,000 to the heirs of
M CA: reversed and ordered to pay Pedrito indemnity, moral damages, actual
and compensatory damages and cost of the suit

ISSUE: W/N Dangwa should be held liable for the negligence of its driver Theodore

HELD: YES. CA affirmed.

M A public utility once it stops, is in effect making a continuous offer to bus
riders (EVEN when moving as long as it is still slow in motion)
M Duty of the driver: do NOT make acts that would have the effect of
increasing peril to a passenger while he is attempting to board the same
Premature acceleration of the bus in this case = breach of duty
M Stepping and standing on the platform of the bus is already considered a
passenger and is entitled all the rights and protection pertaining to such a
contractual relation
M Duty extends to boarding and alighting
M GR: By contract of carriage, the carrier assumes the express obligation to
transport the passenger to his destination safely and observe extraordinary
diligence with a due regard for all the circumstances, and any injury that might be
suffered by the passenger is right away attributable to the fault or negligence of the
M EX: carrier to prove that it has exercised extraordinary diligence as prescribed
in Art. 1733 and 1755 of the Civil Code
M Failure to immediately bring Pedrito to the hospital despite his serious
condition = patent and incontrovertible proof of their negligence
M Hospital was in Bunk 56
M 1st proceeded to Bunk 70 to allow a passenger (who later called the
family of Pedrito on his own will) to alight and deliver a refrigerator
In tort, actual damages is based on net earnings


G.R. No. 145804. February 6, 2003

Navidad was drunk when he entered the boarding platform of the LRT. He got into
an altercation with the SG Escartin. They had a fistfight and Navidad fell onto the
tracks and was killed when a train came and ran over him.

The Heirs of Navidad filed a complaint for damages against Escartin, the train
driver, (Roman) the LRTA, the Metro Transit Organization and Prudent Security
Agency (Prudent). The trial court found Prudent and Escartin jointly and severally
liable for damages to the heirs. The CA exonerated Prudent and instead held the
LRTA and the train driver Romero jointly and severally liable as well as removing the
award for compensatory damages and replacing it with nominal damages.

The reasoning of the CA was that a contract of carriage already existed between
Navidad and LRTA (by virtue of his havA ing purchased train tickets and the liability
was caused by the mere fact of Navidad's death after being hit by the train being
managed by the LRTA and operated by Roman. The CA also blamed LRTA for not
having presented expert evidence showing that the emergency brakes could not
have stopped the train on time.


(1) Whether or not LRTA and/or Roman is liable for the death.
(2) Whether or not Escartin and/or Prudent are liable.
(3) Whether or not nominal damages may coexist with compensatory damages.

(1) Yes. The foundation of LRTA's liability is the contract of carriage and its
obligation to indemnify the victim arising from the breach of that contract by reason
of its failure to exercise the high diligence required of a common carrier.
(2) Fault was not established. Liability will be based on Tort under Art. 2176 of the
New Civil Code.
(3) No. It is an established rule that nominal damages cannot co-exist with
compensatory damages.


Liability of LRTA Read Arts. 1755,1756, 1759 and 1763 of the New Civil Code

A common carrier is required by these above statutory provisions to use utmost

diligence in carrying passengers with due regard for all circumstances. This
obligation exists not only during the course of the trip but for so long as the
passengers are within its premises where they ought to be in pursuance to then
contract of carriage.

Art. 1763 renders a common carrier liable for death of or injury to passengers (a)
through the negligence or wilful acts of its employees or (b) on account of willful
acts or negligence of other passengers or of strangers if the common carriers
employees through theexercise of due diligence could have prevented or stopped
the act or omission. In case of such death or injury, a carrier is presumed to have
been at fault or been negligent, and by simple proof of injury, the passenger is
relieved of the duty to still establish the fault or negligence of the carrier or of its
employees and the burden shifts upon the carrier to prove that the injury is due to
an unforeseen event or to force majeure.

Liability of Security Agency If Prudent is to be held liable, it would be for a tort

under Art. 2176 in conjunction with Art. 2180. Once the fault of the employee
Escartin is established, the employer, Prudent, would be held liable on the
presumption that it did not exercise the diligence of a good father of the family in
the selection and supervision of its employees.
Relationship between contractual and non-contractual breach How then
must the liability of the common carrier, on the one hand, and an independent
contractor, on the other hand, be described? It would be solidary. 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 ontract would have itself constituted the source
of a quasi-delictual 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.

Nominal Damages - The award of nominal damages in addition to actual damages

is untenable. 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. It is an established rule that nominal damages cannot co-exist with
compensatory damages. The award was deleted/\.