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Persons and Family Relations | AY 2013-2014 Source: Rabuya Annotations Page 1 of 6

"good faith": honest intention to abstain from taking any

CIVIL CODE NOTES | Arts. 19-36 unconscientious advantage of another

CHAPTER 2: Elements of abuse of rights

HUMAN RELATIONS 1. legal right or duty
2. exercise of the same in bad faith (intent)
ARTS. 19-36 are devoted to the regulation of human relations; 3. sole purpose: to prejudice or injure another
contains basic principles to be observed for the
a) rightful relationship between human beings and A19, A21 and A 22, COMPARED:
b) for the stability of the social order
only lays down the rule of conduct for the government and for
Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in
the maintenance of human relations
the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his
- does not provide a remedy
due, and observe honesty and good faith.
- must necessarily result to damages mentioned in A20, A21, or
other provision of the law
- generally, an action for damages under A 20 or A21 would
Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, willfully or
be proper
negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter
for the same.
- general sanction for all other provisions of law which do not
Art. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another provide for a sanction
in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs, or public - Elements:
policy, shall compensate the latter for the damage. 1. illegal act ("contrary to law")
2. intent or negligence
3. damage
Damnum absque injuria A21
"Damage resulting from the legitimate exercise of a person's - deals with acts contra bonus mores (against good morals)
rights is a loss without injury." - Elements:
- one who merely exercises one's rights does no actionable 1. legal act
injury and cannot be held for damages; the law does not 2. contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy
prescribe a remedy therefrom 3. intent to injure
- indispensable: valid exercise of a right
- therefore, the principle is inapplicable where: A19 = A21 because they both require intent.
a) there is an abuse of rights, or when While A20 covers even negligent acts.
b) the exercise of a right is suspended or
extinguished pursuant to a court order Breach of Promise to Marry

Examples: GENERALLY: breach of action to marry per se is not an

- the principle cannot be invoked in the case of a public officer actionable wrong (De Jesus v. Syquia)
who proceeded with the destruction of a property pursuant to a
court order even when the same was already suspended by a EXCEPTION: to be actionable, there must be some act
TRO (Amonoy v. Gutierrez) independent of the breach of promise to marry such as
a. if there is fraud or deceit
ART. 19 b. when expenses have been incurred
c. when the woman was forcibly abducted and raped
Principle of abuse of rights
- A19 is a departure from the Classical Theory of damnum A. Fraud or deceit
absque injuria There must be
- the modern tendency is to grant indemnity for damages in 1. Fraud or deceit (e.g. proposal to marry) as the proximate
cases where there is an abuse of rights, even when the act is cause of
not illicit 2. Attainment of something (e.g. carnal knowledge, acceptance
- A19 sets standards to be observed in the exercise of rights of love)
and in the performance of duties 3. Proof of a) lack of intention to marry or that b) the promise
- a violation of A19 which results to damages amounts to a legal was only a subtle scheme or deceptive device
wrong for which the wrongdoer must be held responsible 4. "contrary to morals, good customs, or public policy"
- what is sought to be written into the law is the pervading
principle of equity and justice above strict legalism B. Expenses already incurred
- where the plaintiff has actually incurred expenses for the
- ART. 19 was intended to expand the concept of torts by wedding and the necessary incidents thereof, the plaintiff has
granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of the right to recover money or property advanced by him upon
moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to provide the faith of such promise
specifically in statutory law
C. Forcible abduction and rape
- requires malice thus GOOD FAITH is a defense

Reviewer Author: Maritoni B. Molina

Persons and Family Relations | AY 2013-2014 Source: Rabuya Annotations Page 2 of 6
- where the man has actually committed forcible abduction and
rape and thereafter promised to marry her in order to escape - A23 covers involuntary acts or acts which though foreseen
criminal liability only to renege the promise could not have been avoided
- Involuntary acts cannot generally create an obligation but they
Malicious Prosecution do so only when through the same, the author has been
- anchored on A21, A2217 and A2219(8), CC
- one cannot be held liable for damages for malicious
prosecution when he acted with probable cause
Art. 24. In all contractual, property, or other relations, when one
of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral
Requisites of malicious prosecution
dependency, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender
1. fact of prosecution
age, or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his
- where defendant himself was the prosecutor
- and which action was finally terminated with an
2. no probable cause Art. 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or
3. impelled by malice or sinister motive
display during a period of public want or emergency may be
stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any
government or private charitable institution.
Art. 22. Every person, through an act of performance by
another, or any other means, acquires or comes into
SIMILARITY: court intervention/duty under specified
possession of something at the expense of the latter without just
or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Protection of the Disadvantaged
Art. 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to
- A24 calls on the court to be vigilant in the protection of those
another's property was not due to the fault or negligence of the
who are disadvantaged in life
defendant, the latter shall be liable for indemnity if through the
- supplemented by A1332:
act or event, he was benefited.
"When one of the parties is unable to read, or if the
contract is in a language not understood by him, and mistake or
SIMILARITY: Both A 21 and A22 deal with unjust enrichment of fraud is alleged, the person enforcing the contract must show
one at the expense of another that the terms thereof have been fully explained to the former."

Accion in Rem Verso - legislative intent: protection of the weak and uneducated who
Action for unjust enrichment. are prone to falling victims to unscrupulous persons or those
- action for recovery of what has been paid for or delivered who may have used influence in entering into agreements
without just cause or legal ground
Thoughtless Extravagance in Expenses
Distinguished from Solutio Indebiti (A2154)
- A2154: "If something is received where there is no right to Requisites
demand, and it was unduly delivered through mistake, the 1. acute public want or emergency
obligation to return it arises." 2. person seeking to stop it must be
- A2154 is applicable only when a. a government institution
1. payment is made when there is no binding relation b. or a private charitable institution
between the payor (who has no obligation to pay) and the
person who received the payment
2. payment is made through mistake
Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality,
- mistake, therefore, is essential in A2154 while it is not
privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons.
necessary in accion in rem verso
The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a
criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages,
Requisites of accion in rem verso
prevention, and other relief:
1. defendant has been enriched
2. plaintiff has suffered a loss
(1) Prying into the privacy of another's residence;
3. enrichment is without just or legal ground
4. plaintiff has no other action based on contract, quasi-
(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations
contract or quasi-delict
of another;
Liability Without Fault or Negligence
(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
(liability even when cause was accident or a fortuitous event)
(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious life,
lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other
- A23 recognizes liability even without fault or negligence and
personal condition.
even when the event producing loss to another is accidental or
fortuitous, provided that another person was benefited through
the same damaging event or act

Reviewer Author: Maritoni B. Molina

Persons and Family Relations | AY 2013-2014 Source: Rabuya Annotations Page 3 of 6
Protection of Human Dignity
Art. 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted
on the ground that his guilt was not proven beyond reasonable
Philosophy behind A26
doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission
- the human personality must be exalted
may be instituted. Such action requires only preponderance of
- the touchstone of every system of law, of the culture and
evidence. Upon the motion of the defendant, the court may
civilization of every country, is how far it dignifies man; if
order the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case
the statutes insufficiently protect a person from being unjustly
the complaint should be found to be malicious.
humiliated, in short, if human personality is not exalted, then the
laws are indeed defective
If in a criminal case, the judgment of acquittal is based upon
reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of
Enumeration, not exclusive
any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of
- enumerations in A26 are not exclusiive but are merely
the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground.
examples and do not preclude other similar or analogous acts
EXPLAINER: A29 is about the right to institute a separate
civil action upon the satisfaction of 4 elements:
1. private offended party opted to recover damages on
Art. 27. Any person suffering material or moral damage
the basis of the defendant's civil liability arising from a crime
because a public servant or employee refuses or neglects,
(ex delito, A100, RPC)
without just cause, to perform his official duty, may file and
2. He also opted to institute his civil action,
action for damages and other relief against the latter, without
expressly or impliedly, with the criminal action
prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be
3. Acquittal on criminal action is based on reasonable
doubt as to his guilt;
4. That said ground was
a) declared in the judgment
Art. 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or
b) inferable from the text
industrial enterprises or in labor, through the use of force,
intimidation, deceit, machination, or any other unjust,
- where all of the aforementioned assumptions are present, A29
oppressive, or highhanded method, shall give rise to a right of
automatically reserves to the offended party the right to institute
action by the person who thereby suffers the damage.
and independent civil action for damages
- this despite the fact that
a. the injured party has already previously opted to
Liability of Public Servants or Employees recover damages ex delicto under A100, RPC and
b. the offender was acquitted therein
General rule
- a public officer, whether judicial, quasi-judicial or executive, is Civil Liability Arising from Criminal Offenses
not personally liable to one injured in consequence of an act
performed within the scope of his official authority and in line of Delict as a source of civil liability
his official duty A1157(4): Delict is one of the sources of obligations
A100, RPC: Every person criminally liable is also civilly liable
Remedy: A27
Basis of civil liability arising from crime
Scope of A27 - traditional theory: that a person committing a crime offends two
- A27 does not cover all cases of official wrongs; it is limited to entities, namely:
refusal or neglect to perform official duties a. society in which he lives or the State (law)
* This article does not cover malfeasance and misfeasance but b. the individual member of the society (person, right,
only nonfeasance property, honor, chastity)
- civil liability arising from crime is based on the damage
Requisites of action A27 caused to another
1. defendant is a public official charged with the performance - what gives rise to the civil liability is really the obligation and
of official duties moral duty of everyone to repair or make whole the damage
2. violation of an official duty in favor of an individual caused to another by reason of his own act or omission
3. willfullness or negligence in violation of said duty - criminal liability will only give rise to civil liability only if the
4. injury caused to the individual same felonious act or omission results in damage or injury to
Malice or inexcusable negligence - civil actions are evidently founded on the damage or injury
- A27 presupposes that the refusal or omission of a public caused to another
official is attributable to malice or inexcusable negligence - criminal actions are punishable provided it is covered by a
penal law, whether or not it causes damage to another
Unfair Competition
- employment of deception or any other means contrary to good Acquittal of the accused
faith by which he shall pass off the goods manufactured by him Sec. 2, Rule 111, RRCP
or in which he deals, or his business, or services for those of "The extinction of penal action does not carry with it extinction of
one having established such good will, or who shall commit any civil action. However, the civil action based on delict shall be
acts calculated to produce said result deemed extinguished if there is a finding in a judgment in the
criminal action that the act or omission from which the civil
liability may arise did not exist."

Reviewer Author: Maritoni B. Molina

Persons and Family Relations | AY 2013-2014 Source: Rabuya Annotations Page 4 of 6

Art. 30. When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil
ACQUITTAL --------------> Extinguishment
liability arising from a criminal offense and no criminal
(provided there was declaration of civil liability
proceedings are instituted during the pendency of the civil case,
that the facts from which the
a preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to
civil liability might arise DID NOT EXIST)
prove the act complained of.

Acquittal based on reasonable doubt * still ex delicto

- the judgment only extinguishes the liability of the accused for
damages only when it includes a declaration that the facts from Art. 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not
which the civil liability might arise did not exist
arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such
- civil liability is NOT EXTINGUISHED where:
civil action may proceed independently of the criminal
1. acquittal is based on reasonable doubt (as only a
proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.
preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases, A29, CC)
2. the court expressly declares that the liability of the
accused is not criminal but only civil in nature * different source of liability: quasi-delicts (A2176, CC)
3. liability does not arise from or is based upon the
criminal act of which the accused was acquitted (acquittal not
connected to acts on which civil liability is based)

Reason for A29 Institution of Civil Actions Ex Delicto

- the old rule that the acquittal of the accused in a criminal case
also releases him from civil liability is one of the most serious General rule: Rule of Implied Institution
flaws in the Philippine legal system; sweeping - when a criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the
- such confused thinking is caused by failure to distinguish recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall
between civil liability and criminal liability be deemed instituted with the criminal action

No need for separate action Exceptions:

- judgment on civil liability may be rendered on the same 1. when civil action is waived
criminal case as there is no explicit statement that a separate 2. when civil action is reserved
fling is the only and exclusive mode of recovering damages; a 3. when civil action is instituted prior to criminal action
separate civil action may nonetheless be filed 4. when civil action is instituted, but there was no criminal
- no sound reason to make separate filing compulsory because:
a. facts have already been proved in the criminal When civil action is reserved
proceedings; a. the reservation of the right should be made before the
b. due process has already been accorded the prosecution starts presenting its evidence (BEFORE)
accused b. separate civil action cannot be instituted until final judgment
c. there would be needless clogging of court dockets in the criminal case is rendered (AFTER)
d. there would be unnecessary duplication of litigation
with all its attendant loss of time, effort, and money of litigants When civil action is instituted prior to criminal action
* subject to A36 (prejudicial questions)
- A29 merely emphasizes that acquittal from a criminal case a. suspension of civil case until final judgment in the criminal
does not preclude automatically action for civil liability case
b. consolidation of the criminal and civil case may be had
- a rendition of judgment of acquittal and a judgment awarding
damages in the same criminal action can stand side by side When civil action is instituted, but no criminal action
- exactly: A30
- a separate civil action is specifically need where additional - nature of evidence: preponderance of evidence
facts have to be established or more evidence must be adduced
A31 Explanation
- A31 does not provide for an independent action (Justice
Capistrano); independent civil actions are in A32, A33, and A34
- private rights - social order - civil liability involved here arises not from a criminal act but
- reparation of damages - punishment or correction of from a different source
the offender
- preponderance of evidence - proof beyond reasonable Quasi-delict as a separate source of obligation
doubt * SEE Own illustration: pg. 90, Rabuya

Acquittal of the accused, irrelevant in quasi-delict

A1813: "There may be a compromise upon the civil action - Sec. 2(b), Rule 111, RRCP refers exclusively to the liability
arising from the crime; but the public action for the imposition of founded on A100, RPC (general rules and exceptions on civil
the legal penalty shall not thereby be extinguished." liabilities arising from crimes)

Reviewer Author: Maritoni B. Molina

Persons and Family Relations | AY 2013-2014 Source: Rabuya Annotations Page 5 of 6
caveat: Sec. 2, Rule 111
- on the other hand the civil liability for the same act considered
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the
as a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished
defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the
even by declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act
aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate
charged has not happened or has not been committed by the
and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such
civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal
caveat: A2177, CC
prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and may be proved by a
preponderance of evidence.
A2177: Responsibility for fault or negligence under the
preceding article (A2176) is entirely separate and distinct from
The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary
the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code.
damages may also be adjudicated.
But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same
act or omission of the defendant.
The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a
judge unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the
Quasi-delict covers acts criminal in character
Penal Code or other penal statute.
illustration: pg. 91, Rabuya

Art. 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual,

who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates, or in any Art. 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a
manner impairs or impedes any of the following rights and civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the
liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil
damages: action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution,
and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
(1) Freedom of religion;
(2) Freedom of speech;
* still ex delicto
(3) Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical
(4) Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention; Art. 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force
(5) Freedom of suffrage; refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case
of danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be
(6) The right against deprivation of property without due process primarily liable for damages, and the city or municipality shall be
of law; subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil action herein
(7) The right to a just compensation when private property is recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings,
taken for public use; and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such
(8) The right to the equal protection of the laws; action.
(9) The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;
Independent Civil Actions
(10) The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
(11) The privacy of communication and correspondence; SIMILARITIES:
- proceeds independently of the criminal action
(12) The right to become a member of associations or societies - requires only a preponderance of evidence
for purposes not contrary to law; - no double recovery of damages under Sec. 3, Rule 111
(13) The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition
the Government for redress of grievances; Civil Damages For Violation of Constitutional Liberties
(14) The right to be a free from involuntary servitude in any Under A32
(15) The right of the accused against excessive bail; - in most cases, the threat to freedom originates from the
(16) The right of the accused to be heard by himself and abuses of power by government officials and peace officers
counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the - defeat of claims altogether because of the failure in criminal
accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to prosecution, leaving the citizen without redress
meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory - proof beyond reasonable doubt v. preponderance of evidence
process to secure the attendance of witness in his behalf; - some violations of rights are not criminal and are therefore not
(17) Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against
one's self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being Good faith, immaterial; Includes negligent acts
induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make such - public officials in the past have abused their powers on the
confession, except when the person confessing becomes a pretext of justifiable motives or good faith in the performance of
State witness; their duties
(18) Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual
punishment, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in A33 Explained
accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared
unconstitutional; and - an acquittal in a criminal case is not a bar to the filing of an
(19) Freedom of access to the courts. action for civil damages, for one may not be criminally liable and
still civilly liable

Reviewer Author: Maritoni B. Molina

Persons and Family Relations | AY 2013-2014 Source: Rabuya Annotations Page 6 of 6
- prejudicial question may suspend criminal action if
- contemplates the civil action for recovery of damages that is 1. civil case must involve facts intimately related to those
entirely unrelated to the purely criminal aspect of the case upon which the criminal prosecution would be based
2. resolution of the issues raised in the civil case would
Civil action allowed to be instituted ex-delicto necessarily determine the innocence of the accused in
- the underlying purpose of the principle under consideration is the criminal case
to allow the citizen to enforce his rights in a private action
brought upon him, regardless of the action of the State attorney Elements of prejudicial question
- it is the issue in the civil case that is prejudicial to the
"Physical Injuries" continuation of the criminal action, and not vice versa
- the term is used in A33 in its generic sense and not like the 1. previously instituted civil action involves an issue similarly
crime defined in the RPC or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent
- it includes not only physical injuries but also attempted, criminal action
frustrated and consummated homicide 2. resolution of the same determines WON the criminal action
- should mean bodily injury may proceed

- A33 offenses (defamation, fraud, physical injuries) are Suspension of proceedings

considered in their generic sense - may be filed:
a. in the office of the prosecutor or in the court
Criminal negligence included in A33 conducting the preliminary investigation
- negligent acts, and not only intentional ones, are included (e.g. c. in the same criminal action at any time before the
homicide through reckless imprudence) prosecution starts, when the criminal action has been filed in
court for trial
Art. 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal
suspension =/= dismissal
offense, charges another with the same, for which no
independent civil action is granted in this Code or any special
* a criminal prosecution does not constitute prejudicial question
law, but the justice of the peace finds no reasonable grounds to
to administrative proceeding for disbarment or suspension of a
believe that a crime has been committed, or the prosecuting
attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the
complaint may bring a civil action for damages against the
alleged offender. Such civil action may be supported by a
preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant's motion, the
court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the
defendant in case the complaint should be found to be

If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should

be presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall
be suspended until the termination of the criminal proceedings.

Art. 36. Pre-judicial questions, which must be decided before

any criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed,
shall be governed by rules of court which the Supreme Court
shall promulgate and which shall not be in conflict with the
provisions of this Code.

Prejudicial Question, Explained

- one which arises in a case, the resolution of which question is
logical antecedent of the issue involved in said case
- one based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but
so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or
innocence of the accused

Suspension of criminal action due to prejudicial Q

- situation: a civil action and a criminal action both pend and
there exists in the former an issue which must be preemptively
resolved before the criminal action may proceed
-howsoever the issue raised in the civil action is resolved would
be determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused in the
criminal case

Reviewer Author: Maritoni B. Molina