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I.

GENERAL CONCEPTS, PERSONS AND HUMAN RELATIONS

1. Abuse of Right

(1)
Coca-Cola Bottles Phil. Inc. v. Sps.Bernardo
G.R. No. 190667, November 7, 2016
By: Alba, Ma. Angela

Doctrine: An act that causes injury to another may be made the basis for an award for
damages.

Facts: Respondents Spouses Bernardo, who were doing business under the name Jolly
Beverage Enterprises, are distributors of Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines. Before their contract
expired, petitioner required respondents to submit a list of their customers on the pretext that it
would formulate a policy defining its territorial dealership in Quezon City.

Respondents discovered that petitioner started to reach out to the persons whose names were
on the list. Respondents also received reports that their delivery trucks were being trailed by
petitioners agents; and as soon as the trucks left, the latter would approach the formers
customers. Further, respondents found out that petitioner had employed a different pricing
scheme, such that the price given to distributors was significantly higher than that given to
supermarkets. It also enticed direct buyers and sari-sari store owners in the area with its "Coke
Alok" promo, in which it gave away one free bottle for every case purchased. It further engaged
a store adjacent to respondents' warehouse to sell the former's products at a substantially lower
price.

Respondents claimed that because of these schemes, they lost not only their major customers
but also small stores.Respondents filed a Complaint for damages, alleging that the acts of
petitioner constituted dishonesty, bad faith, gross negligence, fraud, and unfair competition in
commercial enterprise.

The RTC held petitioner liable for damages for abuse of rights in violation of Articles 19, 20, and
21 of the Civil Code and for unfair competition under Article 28. Petitioner elevated the case to
the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC Decision in toto.

Issue: Whether petitioner violated Articles 19, 20, 21 or 28 and thus, whether the award of
damages and attorneys fees was proper.

Held: YES. Articles 19, 20, and 21 of the Civil Code provide the legal bedrock for the award of
damages to a party who suffers damage whenever another person commits an act in violation
of some legal provision; or an act which, though not constituting a transgression of positive law,
nevertheless violates certain rudimentary rights of the party aggrieved. The use of unjust,
oppressive, or high-handed business methods resulting in unfair competition also gives a right
of action to the injured party as stated in Article 28 of the Civil Code, which provides:
Art. 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor through
the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive or highhanded
method shall give rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers damage.

Petitioner is not only a beverage giant, but also the manufacturer of the products; hence, it sets
the price. It took advantage of the information provided by respondents to facilitate its takeover
of the latters usual business area.

(2)
California Clothing, Inc. v. Quinones
G.R. No. 175822, 23 October 2013
By: Arid, Hannah Mhae G.

Doctrine: Any abuse in the exercise of a right and in the performance of duty causing damage or injury to
another is actionable under the Civil Code. Under the abuse of rights principle found in Article 19 of the Civil
Code, a person must, in the exercise of legal right or duty, act in good faith. He would be liable if he in-
stead acted in bad faith, with intent to prejudice another.

Facts: Respondent, Shirley G. Quiones, a ticketing agent of Cebu Pacific Air, bought a pair of black jeans worth
P2,098.00 from Guess USA Boutique. While she was on her way to Mercury Drug Store, a Guess employee
approached her and said that she failed to pay for the black jeans. She presented an official receipt and suggested
that they should talk about the matter in the Cebu Pacific Office located within the mall. While they were in the
office, the Guess employees allegedly humiliated her in front of the clients of Cebu Pacific, repeatedly demanded
payment and even searched the respondents wallet to check how much money she had. The Guess employees
submitted two letters to the Director of Cebu Pacific narrating the incident and and giving accusations against the
respondent.
Respondent filed a complaint for damages against the petitioners, California Clothing, Inc., Excelsis Villagonzalo,
Imelda Hawayon and Michelle S. Ybaez, alleging that due to the incident, she suffered physical anxiety, sleepless
nights, mental anguish, fright, serious apprehension, besmirched reputation, moral shock and humiliation. She
demanded payment for moral, nominal, and exemplary damages, as well as attorneys fees and litigation
expenses.
Petitioners stated that they approached the respondent to clarify whether or not payment was made and that they
approached and talked to the respondent in a gentle and polite manner. They sought payment for moral and
exemplary damages, attorneys fees and litigation expenses as counterclaim.

The Regional Trial Court dismissed both the complaint and counterclaim stating that the petitioners acted in good
faith and the respondent was the one who put herself in that situation by inviting the Guess employees to the Cebu
Pacific Office to discuss about the issue of payment. However, the Court of Appeals reversed and set aside the
Regional Trial Court decision stating that there was preponderance of evidence showing the petitioners acted in bad
faith but, Hawayon and Villagonzalo were absolved from liability due to good faith. Since petitioners acted in bad
faith, respondent was entitled to damages and attorneys fees.

Issue: Whether or not petitioners acted in bad faith which resulted to the abuse of rights in violation of the Civil
Code that warrants the award of the Court of Appeals of moral damages and attorneys fees to the respondent

Held: Yes, the Supreme Court affirmed CAs decision and held that the employees abused their rights and did not
have good faith in their actions against respondent where there was no clear evidence that she was evading to pay
for the merchandise.

The Court said that the petitioners had the right to verify from respondent whether she indeed made payment if
they had reason to believe that she did not. However, the exercise of such right is not without limitations. Any
abuse in the exercise of such right and in the performance of duty causing damage or injury to another is
actionable under the Civil Code. Under the abuse of rights principle found in Article 19 of the Civil Code, a person
must, in the exercise of legal right or duty, act in good faith. He would be liable if he instead acted in bad faith,
with intent to prejudice another. The principle of abuse of rights under Article 19 of the Civil Code is present in the
case. Respondent complained when petitioners embarrassed her and insisted that she did not pay for the black
jeans despite the issuance of an official receipt in her favor. It is evident from the circumstances of the case that
petitioners went overboard and tried to force respondent to pay the amount they were demanding. In the guise of
asking for assistance, petitioners even sent a demand letter to respondents employer not only informing it of the
incident but obviously imputing bad acts on the part of respondent. Petitioners claimed that after receiving the
receipt of payment and the item purchased, respondent "was noted to hurriedly left (sic) the store." They also
accused respondent that she was not completely being honest when she was asked about the circumstances of
payment.
The court cited the case of Carpio vs. Valmonte in which the elements of abuse of rights were enumerated. The
elements of abuse of rights are as follows: (1) there is a legal right or duty; (2) which is exercised in
bad faith; (3) for the sole intent of prejudicing or injuring another. The elements stated are complete
in the present case. First, petitioners continued to insist that there was no payment made when
respondent already presented the black jeans with the original receipt. Second, they accused the
respondent that not only did she fail to pay for the black jeans but she intentionally stole it and quickly
left the shop. Third, the letters sent to the respondents employer was not only intended to ask for
assistance in collection of the payment but also to ruin the respondents reputation. The exercise of
rights is subject to limitations. Thus, it must be in accordance with the purpose of its establishment
and not abused.

(3)
MARY JANE ABANAG vs. NICOLAS B. MABUTE
A.M. No. P-11-2922, April 4, 2011
By: Bernardo, Michael Gerard T.

Doctrine: To justify suspension or disbarment, the act complained of must not only be immoral, but grossly
immoral. A grossly immoral act is one that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or an act so
unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high degree. Mere sexual relations between two unmarried
and consenting adults are not enough to warrant administrative sanction for illicit behavior.

Facts: The complainant, a 23-year old unmarried woman, alleged that respondent courted her and professed his
undying love for her. Relying on respondents promise that he would marry her, she agreed to live with him. She
became pregnant, but after several months into her pregnancy, respondent brought her to a manghihilot and
tried to force her to take drugs to abort her baby. When she did not agree, the respondent turned cold and
eventually abandoned her. She became depressed resulting in the loss of her baby. She also stopped schooling
because of the humiliation that she suffered.

The respondent, for his part, confirmed that he met the complainant when he joined the Singles for Christ. He
described their liaison as a dating relationship. He admitted that the complainant would join him at his rented room
three to four times a week; when the complainant became pregnant, he asked her to stay and live with him. He
vehemently denied having brought the complainant to a local manghihilot and that he had tried to force her to
abort her baby. He surmised that the complainants miscarriage could be related to her epileptic attacks during her
pregnancy. The respondent further testified that the complainants mother did not approve of him, but the
complainant defied her mother and lived with him. He proposed marriage to the complainant, but her mother did
not like him as a son-in-law and ordered the complainant to return home. The complainant obeyed her mother.
They have separated ways since then, but he pledged his undying love for the complainant.

The complainant filed a case for for Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct against the respondent.

Issue: Whether or not the respondent committed immoral conduct.

Held: NO, The Court defined immoral conduct as conduct that is willful, flagrant or shameless, and that shows a
moral indifference to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the community. To justify suspension or
disbarment, the act complained of must not only be immoral, but grossly immoral. A grossly immoral act is one
that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or an act so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be
reprehensible to a high degree.

Mere sexual relations between two unmarried and consenting adults are not enough to warrant administrative
sanction for illicit behavior. The Court has repeatedly held that voluntary intimacy between a man and a woman
who are not married, where both are not under any impediment to marry and where no deceit exists, is neither a
criminal nor an unprincipled act that would warrant disbarment or disciplinary action.

(04)
Spouses Hing v. Choachuy
G.R. No. 179736, June 26, 2013
By: Bigornia, Donna
DOCTRINE: An individuals right to privacy under Article 26(1) of the Civil Code
should not be confined to his house or residence as it may extend to places where
he has the right to exclude the public or deny them access.

FACTS: Petitioner-spouses Bill and Victoria Hing filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
Mandaue City a Complaint for Injunction and Damages with prayer for issuance of a Writ of
Preliminary Mandatory Injunction/Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against respondents
Alexander Choachuy, Sr. and Allan Choachuy.

Petitioners are the registered owners of a parcel of land and respondents are the owners of
Aldo Development & Resources, Inc. (Aldo). Respondents constructed an auto-repair shop
building (Aldo Goodyear Servitec) located adjacent to the property of petitioners. Prior to
the present case, Aldo filed a case against petitioners for Injunction and Damages with Writ
of Preliminary Injunction/TRO claiming that petitioners were constructing a fence without a
valid permit and that the said construction would destroy the wall of its building, which is
adjacent to petitioners property. When Aldos application for preliminary injunction was
denied for failure to substantiate its allegations, it illegally set-up and installed on the
building of Aldo Goodyear Servitec two surveillance cameras, a stationary camera directly
facing petitioners property and a revolving camera covering a significant portion of the
same property, and that through their employees and without the consent of petitioners,
took pictures of petitioners on-going construction. It is the petitioners position that that the
acts of respondents violate formers right to privacy. Thus, petitioners prayed that
respondents be ordered to remove the video surveillance cameras and enjoined from
conducting illegal surveillance. Respondents argued that petitioners cannot invoke their
right to privacy since the property involved is not used as a residence. They also denied that
they installed the surveillance cameras and that they did not order their employees to take
picture of petitioners construction. They further posit that that they are not the owners of
Aldo but merely stockholders, hence, they are not the proper party to this suit.

ISSUE: a. Whether respondents are the proper parties to this suit.

b. Whether or not the respondents violated the petitioners right to privacy.

HELD: a. Yes.
A real party defendant is one who has a correlative legal obligation to redress a wrong done
to the plaintiff by reason of the defendant's act or omission which had violated the legal
right of the former.

It was the respondents who installed the cameras in order to fish for evidence, which could
be used against petitioners in another case. That when petitioners found out about the
cameras, they immediately brought their concerns to the respondent, the latter, however
did not seem to care. Moreover, although Aldo has a juridical personality separate and
distinct from its stockholders, records show that it is a family-owned corporation managed
by the Choachuy family.

b. Yes.

The right to privacy is enshrined in our Constitution and in our laws. The right to privacy is
the right of an individual "to be free from unwarranted publicity, or to live without
unwarranted interference by the public in matters in which the public is not necessarily
concerned." It is "the right to be let alone.

Article 26(1) of the Civil Code protects an individuals right to privacy and provides a legal
remedy against abuses that may be committed against him by other individuals. It states:
Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his
neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute
a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:

(1) Prying into the privacy of anothers residence;

This provision recognizes that a mans house is his castle, where his right to privacy cannot
be denied or even restricted by others. It includes "any act of intrusion into, peeping or
peering inquisitively into the residence of another without the consent of the latter." An
individuals right to privacy under Article 26(1) of the Civil Code should not be confined to
his house or residence as it may extend to places where he has the right to exclude the
public or deny them access. The phrase "prying into the privacy of anothers residence,"
therefore, covers places, locations, or even situations which an individual considers as
private. And as long as his right is recognized by society, other individuals may not infringe
on his right to privacy.

In ascertaining whether there is a violation of the right to privacy, courts use the
"reasonable expectation of privacy" test. This test determines whether a person has a
reasonable expectation of privacy and whether the expectation has been violated. The
reasonableness of a persons expectation of privacy depends on a two-part test: (1)
whether, by his conduct, the individual has exhibited an expectation of privacy; and (2) this
expectation is one that society recognizes as reasonable."

In this day and age, video surveillance cameras are installed practically everywhere for the
protection and safety of everyone. The installation of these cameras, however, should not
cover places where there is reasonable expectation of privacy, unless the consent of the
individual, whose right to privacy would be affected, was obtained. Nor should these
cameras be used to pry into the privacy of anothers residence or business office as it would
be no different from eavesdropping, which is a crime under Republic Act No. 4200 or the
Anti-Wiretapping Law.

Based on the ocular inspection, the revolving camera was set up deliberately to monitor the
on-going construction in his property. The monitor showed only a portion of the roof of the
factory of Aldo. If the purpose of respondents in setting up a camera at the back is to
secure the building and factory premises, then the camera should revolve only towards their
properties at the back. Respondents camera cannot be made to extend the view to
petitioners lot. To allow the respondents to do that over the objection of the petitioners
would violate the right of petitioners as property owners. "The owner of a thing cannot
make use thereof in such a manner as to injure the rights of a third person."

(05)
VIVARES v. ST. THERESAS COLLEGE
G.R. No. 202666, SEPTEMBER 9, 2014
Corona, Jose Enrico V.

DOCTRINE: OSN (Online Social Network) is precisely to give users the ability to interact
and to stay connected to other members of the same or different social media platform
through the sharing of statuses, photos, videos, among others, depending on the services
provided by the site. It is akin to having a room filled with millions of personal bulletin
boards or "walls," the contents of which are under the control of each and every user.
Choosing the privacy tools does not mean that a Facebook user automatically has a
protected expectation of privacy in all of his or her Facebook activities.

FACTS: Julia and Julienne were high school students. Julia, Julienne, and other students
change into their swimsuits for a beach party. They took photos of themselves only in their
undergarments. Angela uploaded the photos on her Facebook account. Some other students
reported the pictures to Escudero, a teacher.

The students logged in their accounts using STCs computers and showed Escudero the
pictures. Escudero was able to see the following: (a) Julia and Julienne drinking hard liquor
and smoking cigarettes inside a bar; and (b) Julia and Julienne along the streets of Cebu
wearing articles of clothing that show virtually the entirety of their black brassieres. What is
more, Escuderos students claimed that there were times when access to or the availability
of the identified students photos was not confined to the girls Facebook friends, but were,
in fact, viewable by any Facebook user.

Escudero then reported the pictures to STCs discipline-in-Charge. STC conducted an


investigation and decided to bar Julia, Julienne, and the others from joining the graduation
exercises.

Petitioners filed for writ of habeas data which was granted but later on dismissed by the RTC
upon respondents filing of written return.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was indeed an actual or threatened violation of the right to
privacy in the life, liberty, or security of the minors involved in this case warranting the writ
of habeas data.
HELD: NO.
RATIONALE: The writ of habeas data is a remedy available to any person whose right to
privacy in life, liberty or security is violated or threatened by an unlawful act or omission of
a public official or employee, or of a private individual or entity engaged in the gathering,
collecting or storing of data or information regarding the person, family, home and
correspondence of the aggrieved party. In developing the writ of habeas data, the Court
aimed to protect an individuals right to informational privacy, among others. Without an
actionable entitlement in the first place to the right to informational privacy, a habeas data
petition will not prosper.

THREE STRANDS OF RIGHT TO PRIVACY: 1. Locational/Situational 2. Informational (case at


bar) 3. Decisional

Briefly, the purpose of an OSN (Online Social Network) is precisely to give users the ability
to interact and to stay connected to other members of the same or different social media
platform through the sharing of statuses, photos, videos, among others, depending on the
services provided by the site. It is akin to having a room filled with millions of personal
bulletin boards or "walls," the contents of which are under the control of each and every
user.

Choosing the privacy tools does not mean that a Facebook user automatically has a
protected expectation of privacy in all of his or her Facebook activities. It is first necessary
that said user, in this case the children of petitioners, manifest the intention to keepcertain
posts private, through the employment of measures to prevent access thereto or to limit its
visibility.

Escudero was not a facebook friend of Julia, Julienne, and the other students who were in
the pictures. However, the students who showed Escudero the pictures were facebook
friends of Julia, Julienne, and the others.

It is well to emphasize at this point that setting a posts or profile details privacy to
"Friends" is no assurance that it can no longer be viewed by another user who is not
Facebook friends with the source of the content. The users own Facebook friend can share
said content or tag his or her own Facebook friend thereto, regardless of whether the user
tagged by the latter is Facebook friends or not with the former. Also, when the post is
shared or when a person is tagged, the respective Facebook friends of the person who
shared the post or who was tagged can view the post, the privacy setting of which was set
at "Friends."