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ELCANO V HILL

77 SCRA 98
BARREDO; May 26, 1977

NATURE
Appeal from an order of the CFI Quezon City

FACTS
- Reginald Hill, a minor yet married at the time of occurrence, was criminally prosecuted for the killing of
Agapito Elcano (son of Pedro), and was acquitted for lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake.
- Pedro Elcano filed a complaint for recovery of damages from Reginald and his father Atty Marvin. CFI
dismissed it.

ISSUES
1. WON the civil action for damages is barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case wherein the
action for civil liability was not reversed
2. WON Article 2180 (2nd and last par) of the CC can be applied against Atty. Hill, notwithstanding the fact
that at the time of the occurrence, Reginald, though a minor, living with and getting subsistence from his
father, was already legally married

HELD
1. NO
-The acquittal of Reginal Hill in the criminal case has not extinguished his liability for quasi-delict, hence
that acquittal is not a bar to the instant action against him.
-Barredo v Garcia (dual charactercivil and criminal of fault or negligence as a source of obligation):
"The above case is pertinent because it shows that the same act may come under both the Penal Code and
the Civil Code. In that case, the action of the agent was unjustified and fraudulent and therefore could
have been the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a proper subject of a civil action
under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it was the employer and not the employee
who was being sued."
"It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been prosecuted in a criminal case
because his negligence causing the death of the child was punishable by the Penal Code. Here is therefore
a clear instance of the same act of negligence being a proper subject matter either of a criminal action
with its consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an entirely separate and independent civil action
for fault or negligence under article 1402 of the Civil Code. Thus, in this jurisdiction, the separate
individuality of a cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized,
even with regard to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have been prosecuted and convicted in
a criminal case aria for which, after un a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil liability arising
from his crime.
-Culpa aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in character or in violation of a penal law, whether
voluntary or negligent.
-ART 1162: "Obligations derived from quasi-delicts shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2, Title
XVII of this Book, (on quasi-delicts) and by special laws." More precisely, Article 2177 of the new code
provides:
"ART 277. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct
from the civil liability arising front negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover
damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant."
- According to the Code Commission: "The foregoing provision (Article 2177) through at first sight startling,
is not so novel or extraordinary when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil negligence. The
former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a 'culpa aquilian' or quasi-delict, of ancient
origin, having always had its own foundation and individuality, separate from criminal negligence. Such
distinction between criminal negligence and 'culpa extra-contractual' or 'cuasi-delito' has been sustained
by decision of the Supreme Court of Spain and maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura,
an outstanding Spanish jurist. Therefore, under the proposed Article 2177, acquittal from an accusation of
criminal negligence, whether on reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action ,
not for civil liability arising from criminal negligence, but for damages due to a quasi-delict or 'culpa
aquiliana'. But said article forestalls a double recovery,"
- Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to literally refer to only acts of negligence, the same
argument of Justice Bacobo about construction that upholds "the spirit that giveth life" rather than that
which is literal that killeth the intent of the lawmaker should be observed in applying the same. And
considering that me preliminary chapter on human relations of the new Civil Code definitely establishes
the separability and independence of liability in a civil action for acts criminal in character (under Articles
29 to 12) from the civil responsibility arising from crime fixed by Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code,
and, in a sense, the Rules of Court, under Sections 2 and 3 (c), Rule 111, contemplate also the same
separability, its "more congruent with the spirit of law, equity and justice, and more in harmony with
modern progress", to hold, as We do hold, that Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligence," covers
not only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary
or negligent.
- Consequently, a separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is
criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is
actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on both scores, and would be entitled in such
eventuality only to the bigger award of the two, assuming the awards made in the two cases vary.
- Briefly stated, We here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent
acts which may be punishable by law.
2. YES (but)
- Article 2180 applies to Atty. Hill notwithstanding the emancipation by marriage of Reginald . (However,
inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now of age, as a matter of equity, the liability of Atty. Hill has
become milling, subsidiary to that of his son.)
- While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation of the child (Article 327, Civil
Code), and under Article 397, emancipation takes place "by the marriage of the minor (child)", it is,
however, also clear that pursuant to Article 399, emancipation by marriage of the minor is not really
full or absolute. Thus "(E)mancipation by marriage or by voluntary concession shall terminate parental
authority over the child's person. It shall enable the minor to administer his property as though he was of
age, but he cannot borrow money or alienate or encumber real property without the consent of his father
or mother, or guardian. He can sue and be sued in court only with the assistance of his father, mother or
guardian."
- Under Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable not only for one's own acts
or omissions, but also for those of persons for whom one is responsible. The father and, in case of his
death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible. The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the
mother, are responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in their company."
- 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.
- It must be borne in mind that, according to Manresa, the reason behind the joint and solidary liability of
parents with their offending child under Article 2180 is that is the obligation of the parent to supervise
their minor children in order to prevent them from causing damage to third persons.
- On the other hand, the clear implication of Article 399, in providing that a minor emancipated by
marriage may not, nevertheless, sue or be sued without the assistance of the parents, is that such
emancipation does not carry with it freedom to enter into transactions or do any act that can give rise to
judicial litigation. And surely, killing someone else invites judicial action.
CINCO V CANONOY
90 SCRA 369
Melencio-Herrera; May 31, 1979

NATURE
Petition for review on certiorari

FACTS
- Cinco filed on Feb 25, 19701 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.
- 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.
- The City Court of Mandaue ordered the suspension of the civil case. Petitioners MFR having been denied,
he elevated the matter on Certiorari to the CFI Cebu., which in turn dismissed the petition.
Plaintiffs claims:
- it was the fault r negligence of the driver in the operation of the jeepney owned by the Pepitos which
caused the collision.
- Damages were sustained by petitioner because of the collision
- There was a direct causal connection between the damages he suffered and the fault and negligence of
private respondents.
Respondents Comments:
- They observed due diligence in the selection and supervision of employees, particularly of Romeo Hilot.

ISSUE
WON there can be an independent civil action for damage to property during the pendency of the criminal
action

HELD
YES
- Liability being predicated on quasi-delict, the civil case may proceed as a separate and independent civil
action, as specifically provided for in Art 2177 of the Civil Code.
- 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 prvided for in Articles 31, 32, 33, 34 and 2177 of the
Civil Code f 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.
- Petitioners cause of action is based on quasi-delict. The concept of quasi-delict, as enunciated in Art
2176 of the Civil Code, is so broad that in includes not only injuries to persons but also damage to
property. It makes no distinction between damage to persons on the one hand and damage to
property on the other. The word damage is used in two concepts: the harm done and reparation
for the harm done. And with respect to harm it is plain that it includes both injuries to person and
property since harm is not limited to personal but also to property injuries.
DISPOSITION Writ of Certiorari gr
Mendoza vs. Arrieta, 91 SCRA 113
Facts: On October 22, 1969, at around 4pm, a 3-way vehicular accident occurred along
Mac-Arthur Highway Bulacan, involving a Mercedez Benz owned and driven by petitioner,
a private jeep owned and driven by respondent Salazar and a gravel and sand truck
owned by respondent Timbol and driven by Montoya. As a consequence, separate
informations were filed against Salazar and Montoya.
At the trial, petitioner testified that Salazar overtook the truck, swerved to the left and
hit his car. He further testified that before impact, Salazar jumped from the jeep not
knowing that Salazar was hit by the truck of Montoya. Montoya affirmed this.
On the other hand, Salazar tried to show that after overtaking the truck, he flashed a
signal showing his intention to turn left but was stopped at by a policeman directing
traffic at the intersection which he contends to be the time he was hit by the truck
causing his jeep to hit petitioners car.
Issues:
(1) Whether or not the damages ensued to the vehicle of petitioner shall be the liability
of the driver of the jeep or of the truck.
(2) Whether or not the trucks owner may be held liable for damages caused by him
employee.
Held: Thus, the trial Court absolved jeep-owner-driver Salazar of any liability, civil and
criminal, in view of its findings that the collision between Salazar's jeep and petitioner's
car was the result of the former having been bumped from behind by the truck driven by
Montoya. Neither was petitioner awarded damages as he was not a complainant against
truck-driver Montoya but only against jeep-owner-driver Salazar.
That petitioner's cause of action against Timbol in the civil case is based on quasi-delict
is evident from the recitals in the complaint to wit: that while petitioner was driving his
car along MacArthur Highway at Marilao, Bulacan, a jeep owned and driven by Salazar
suddenly swerved to his (petitioner's) lane and collided with his car That the sudden
swerving of Salazar's jeep was caused either by the negligence and lack of skill of
Freddie Montoya, Timbol's employee, who was then driving a gravel and sand truck iii the
same direction as Salazar's jeep; and that as a consequence of the collision, petitioner's
car suffered extensive damages. Clearly, therefore, the two factors that a cause of action
must consist of, namely: (1) plaintiff's primary right, i.e., that he is the owner of a
Mercedes Benz, and (2) defendant's delict or wrongful act or omission which violated
plaintiff's primary right, i.e., the negligence or lack of skill either of jeep-owner Salazar or
of Timbol's employee, Montoya, in driving the truck, causing Salazar's jeep to swerve and
collide with petitioner's car, were alleged in the Complaint.
Consequently, petitioner's cause of action being based on quasi-delict, respondent Judge
committed reversible error when he dismissed the civil suit against the truck-owner, as
said case may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the
result of the latter.
In view of what has been proven and established during the trial, accused Freddie
Montoya would be held liable for having bumped and hit the rear portion of the jeep
driven by the accused Rodolfo Salazar. Considering that the collision between the jeep
driven by Rodolfo Salazar and the car owned and driven by Edgardo Mendoza was the
result of the hitting on the rear of the jeep by the truck driven by Freddie Montoya, this
Court behaves that accused Rodolfo Salazar cannot be held liable for the damages
sustained by Edgardo Mendoza's car.