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, Petitioners vs

Facts: Miguel "Lucky" Guillermo (Guillermo) and AV Manila Creative Production, Co. (AV Manila) filed a Complaint3 for
a sum of money and damages before the Regional Trial Court. Guillermo and AV Manila alleged that in the last few
months of the Administration of Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Arroyo Administration), then Acting
Secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways Victor Domingo (Acting Secretary Domingo), consulted
and discussed with Guillermo and AV Manila the urgent need for an advocacy campaign (Campaign).4 The purpose of
the Campaign was to counteract the public's negative perception of the performance of the outgoing Arroyo
Administration.5 Guillermo and AV Manila formally submitted in a letter-proposal, the concept of "Joyride," a
documentary film showcasing milestones of the Arroyo Administration which also includes comics for that
matter.6 Acting Secretary Domingo signed a marginal note on the letter-proposal, which read, "OK,
proceed!"7 Guillermo and AV Manila allegedly worked on "Joyride" which was aired on NBN-Channel 4.

Guillermo and AV Manila further claimed that communications and meetings on the Campaign and "Joyride" ensued
between them and various government agencies. Among the government agencies is the respondent Philippine
Information Agency.16 Petitioners alleged that Acting Secretary Domingo informed them that the total consideration of
₱25,000,000.00 for their services and deliverable items was acceptable and approved.

Petitioners averred to have delivered a total of 10,000 copies of the "Joyride" documentary to respondent Department
of Public Works and Highways,31 and billed respondent Philippine Information Agency the amount of ₱l0,000,000.00.
Thereafter, petitioners delivered 10,000 "Joyride" comics to the Department of Public Works and Highways, and
subsequently billed the Philippine Information Agency ₱l5,000,000.00. 32 No funds were released by the Philippine
Information Agency for the payment of the same. 33 After all the deliverables had been delivered, petitioners followed
up on the payment from the Philippine Information Agency. Despite several demands, no payments were made.

The Office of the Solicitor General moved to dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a cause of action and for failure
to exhaust administrative remedies. The Regional Trial Court of Marikina granted the Office of the Solicitor General's
Motion to Dismiss which was affirmed by the CA, ruling that petitioners failed to prove the existence of a
contract,47 considering that the elements of a contract were absent.

Issue: Is there a valid contract?

Ruling: No. The Complaint attempted to lay down the elements of a contract between the petitioners on one hand, and
respondents on the other. Thus, it alleged a series of communications, meetings, and memoranda, all tending to show
that petitioners agreed to complete and deliver the "Joyride" project, and that respondents agreed to pay
₱25,000,000.00 as consideration. However, as correctly pointed out by the respondent, contracts involving the
expenditure of public funds have additional requisites to be valid. The Administrative Code of 1987 expressly prohibits
the entering into contracts involving the expenditure of public funds unless two prior requirements are satisfied. First,
there must be an appropriation law authorizing the expenditure required in the contract. Second, there must be attached
to the contract a certification by the proper accounting official and auditor that funds have been appropriated by law
and such funds are available. Failure to comply with any of these two requirements renders the contract void. Hence,
Any contract entered into contrary to the requirements shall be void, and the officer or officers entering into the contract
shall be liable to the Government or other contracting party for any consequent damage to the same extent as if the
transaction had been wholly between private parties.

The Complaint, in the case at bar, completely ignored the foregoing requisites for the validity of contracts involving
expenditure of public funds. Thus, the Regional Trial Court could not order the enforcement of the alleged contract on
the basis of the Complaint, and the Complaint was properly dismissed for failure to state a cause of action.
CORPORATION, respondents.

Facts: A civil case was filed by respondent Pioneer Insurance as insurer-subrogee, to recover from either or both
defendants, jointly and severally, the sum of P21,937.75 representing the invoice value, freight costs and other
importation expenses of three (3) cases of radio and phonograph parts short-delivered from a total of eighty-six (86)
cases of said articles from Kobe, Japan, shipped aboard the SS "Don Jacinto II" of the defendant Northern Lines, Inc.,
The total shipment was insured by Pioneer.

The shipment was discharged from the carrying vessel into the custody of E. Razon, Inc., one of the arrastre operators
charged with the obligation of handling, custody and delivery of all cargo discharged. The shipment was delivered to
its consignee, MGM Importers with losses and damages valued at P 21,937.75. E. Razon certified that out of 86 cases
of radio parts loaded on board the SS 'DON JACINTO II" under Bill of Lading No. KM-18, only 83 cases had been
delivered to the consignee.

Formal claims were thus filed by MGM Importers with Northern Lines and E. Razon, as well as the Pioneer Insurance
Company. The latter indemnified the assured.

Court of First Instance of Manila rendered its decision ordering defendant E. Razon to indemnify plaintiff Pioneer, which
was affirmed by the CA.

The sole issue raised by the petitioner is the general limitation of its liability to P 2,000 per case lost or destroyed as
provided in the Revised Management Contract it had entered into with the Bureau of Customs. It is the petitioner's
contention that the provision of the Revised Management Contract denotes a clear rule in the limited liability of E.
Razon, Inc., that is, it should not exceed P 2,000 per package for lost or damaged cargo, except only in case the value
of the importation is specified, manifested or communicated in writing together with the certified packing list to the
contractor before the arrival of the goods. Petitioner reads the same to mean notification before arrival of the
vessel. Thus, not having been notified prior to the docking of the SS "Don Jacinto II," E. Razon denies its liability to
MGM Importers or to its subrogee Pioneer Insurance.

Issue: Is the liability of the petitioner limited to 2k per case lost?

Ruling: NO. It is unrebutted that MGM Importers, upon arrival of the shipment , declared the invoice, packing list and
other shipping documents for tax purposes, as well as for the assessment of arrastre charges and other fees. For the
purpose, the invoice, packing list and other shipping documents were presented to the Bureau of Customs as well as
to petitioner E. Razon for the proper assessment of the arrastre charges and other fees. Such manifestation satisfies
the condition of declaration of the actual invoices of the value of the goods before arrival of the goods, to overcome the
limitation of liability of the arrastre operator.

Indeed, the provision in the management contract regarding the declaration of the actual invoice value "before the
arrival of the goods" must be understood to mean a declaration before the arrival of the goods in the custody of the
arrastre operator, whether it be done long before the landing of the shipment at port, or immediately before turn-over
thereof to the arrastre operator's custody. What is essential is knowledge beforehand of the extent of the risk to be
undertaken by the arrastre operator, as determined by the value of the property committed to its care that it may define
its responsibility for loss or damage to such cargo and to ascertain compensation commensurate to such risk assumed
(Northern Motors, Inc. v. Prince Lines, 107 Phil. 253).<äre||anº•1àw> Having been duly informed of the actual invoice
value of the merchandise under its custody and having received payment of arrastre charges based thereon, E. Razon,
Inc., as arrastre operator, cannot in justice insist on a limitation of its liability, under the contract, to less than the value
of each undelivered case or package consigned to MGM Importers, Inc.
EMMA ADRIANO BUSTAMANTE, in her own behalf as Guardian-Ad-Litem of minors: ROSSEL, GLORIA,
BUSTAMANTE, petitioners,

Facts: A collision occurred between a gravel and sand truck and a Mazda passenger bus. The front left side portion
(barandilla) of the body of the truck sideswiped the left side wall of the passenger bus, ripping off the said wall from the
driver's seat to the last rear seat. Due to the impact, several passengers of the bus were thrown out and died as a result
of the injuries they sustained.

Immediately before the collision, the cargo truck and the passenger bus were approaching each other, coming from
the opposite directions of the highway. While the truck was still about 30 meters away, Susulin, the bus driver, saw the
front wheels of the vehicle wiggling. He also observed that the truck was heading towards his lane. Not minding this
circumstance due to his belief that the driver of the truck was merely joking, Susulin shifted from fourth to third gear in
order to give more power and speed to the bus, which was ascending the inclined part of the road, in order to overtake
or pass a Kubota hand tractor being pushed by a person along the shoulder of the highway. While the bus was in the
process of overtaking or passing the hand tractor and the truck was approaching the bus, the two vehicles sideswiped
each other at each other's left side.

The parents of the minors filed a case against the owners and drivers of the two vehicles. The RTC ruled that the both
drivers are solidarily liable for their acts are the proximate cause of the injury. CA reversed the decision contenting that
the doctrine of last clear chance is applicable, in that it is the bus driver who is liable for he has the last opportunity to
avoid the collision.

Issue: Whether the CA is correct

Ruling: NO. The respondent court adopted the doctrine of "last clear chance." The doctrine, stated broadly, is that the
negligence of the plaintiff does not preclude a recovery for the negligence of the defendant where it appears that the
defendant, by exercising reasonable care and prudence, might have avoided injurious consequences to the plaintiff
notwithstanding the plaintiff's negligence. As the doctrine is usually stated, a person who has the last clear chance or
opportunity of avoiding an accident, notwithstanding the negligent acts of his opponent or that of a third person imputed
to the opponent is considered in law solely responsible for the consequences of the accident.

In the recent case of Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, et al., the Court citing the
landmark decision held in the case of Anuran, et al. v. Buno, et al. (123 Phil. 1073) ruled that the principle of "last clear
chance" applies "in a suit between the owners and drivers of colliding vehicles. It does not arise where a passenger
demands responsibility from the carrier to enforce its contractual obligations. For it would be inequitable to exempt the
negligent driver of the jeepney and its owners on the ground that the other driver was likewise guilty of negligence."

Furthermore, "as between defendants: The doctrine cannot be extended into the field of joint tortfeasors as a test of
whether only one of them should be held liable to the injured person by reason of his discovery of the latter's peril, and
it cannot be invoked as between defendants concurrently negligent. As against third persons, a negligent actor cannot
defend by pleading that another had negligently failed to take action which could have avoided the injury." (57 Am. Jur.
2d, pp. 806-807).

All premises considered, the Court is convinced that the respondent Court committed an error of law in applying the
doctrine of last clear chance as between the defendants, since the case at bar is not a suit between the owners and
drivers of the colliding vehicles but a suit brought by the heirs of the deceased passengers against both owners and
drivers of the colliding vehicles. Therefore, the respondent court erred in absolving the owner and driver of the cargo
truck from liability.

Facts: Rogelio Monterola, a licensed driver, was traveling on board his Suzuki motorcycle the right lane along a dusty
national road in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. At about the same time, a cargo van of the LBC Air Cargo Incorporated, driven
by defendant Jaime Tano, Jr., was coming from the opposite direction on its way to the Bislig Airport. When Tano was
approaching the vicinity of the airport road entrance on his left, he saw two vehicles racing against each other from the
opposite direction. Tano stopped his vehicle and waited for the two racing vehicles to pass by. The stirred cloud of dust
made visibility extremely bad. Instead of waiting for the dust to settled, Tano started to make a sharp left turn towards
the airport road. When he was about to reach the center of the right lane, the motorcycle driven by Monterola suddenly
emerged from the dust and smashed head-on against the right side of the LBC van. Monterola died from the severe
injuries he sustained.

A civil suit was likewise instituted by the heirs of deceased Monterola against Tano and LBC Air Cargo Incorporated,
for the recovery of damages. The trial court dismissed both cases on the ground that the proximate cause of the
"accident" was the negligence of deceased Rogelio Monterola.

Private respondent appealed the dismissal of the civil case to the Court of Appeals. The appellate court reversed the
court a quo contending that it was the Tano’s sharp left which was the proximate cause of the death of Monterola.

Issue: Is the CA correct?

Ruling: Yes. The proximate cause of the accident was the negligence of Tano who, despite extremely poor visibility,
hastily executed a left turn (towards the Bislig airport road entrance) without first waiting for the dust to settle. It was
this negligent act of Tano, which had placed his vehicle (LBC van) directly on the path of the motorcycle coming from
the opposite direction, that almost instantaneously caused the collision to occur. Simple prudence required him not to
attempt to cross the other lane until after it would have been safe from and clear of any oncoming vehicle.

Petitioners poorly invoke the doctrine of "last clear chance" (also referred to, at times, as "supervening negligence" or
as "discovered peril"). The doctrine, in essence, is to the effect that where both parties are negligent, but the negligent
act of one is appreciably later in time than that of the other, or when it is impossible to determine whose fault or
negligence should be attributed to the incident, the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the impending harm
and failed to do so is chargeable with the consequences thereof. In the case at bench, the victim was traveling along
the lane where he was rightly supposed to be. The incident occurred in an instant. No appreciable time had elapsed,
from the moment Tano swerved to his left to the actual impact; that could have afforded the victim a last clear
opportunity to avoid the collision.
PANTRANCO NORTH EXPRESS, INC., Petitioner, v. MARICAR BASCOS BAESA, thru her personal guardian
FRANCISCA O. BASCOS, FE O. ICO, in her behalf and in behalf of her minor children, namely ERWIN, OLIVE,
EDMUNDO and SHARON ICO, Respondents.


AVAILABLE MEANS. — This doctrine of last chance has no application to a case where a person is to act
instantaneously, and if the injury cannot be avoided by using all means available after the peril is or should have been

Facts: The spouses Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa and their children, among them is Maricar, together with spouses
David Ico and Fe O. Ico with their son and seven other persons, were aboard a passenger jeepney on their way to a
picnic at Malalam River, Ilagan, Isabela, to celebrate the fifth wedding anniversary of Ceasar and Marilyn Baesa. The
group rode in the passenger jeepney driven by David Ico. From Ilagan, Isabela, they proceeded to San Felipe, taking
the highway going to Malalam River. Upon reaching the highway, the jeepney turned right and proceeded to Malalam
River at a speed of about 20 kph. While they were proceeding towards Malalam River, a speeding PANTRANCO bus
from Aparri, encroached on the jeepney’s lane while negotiating a curve, and collided with it. As a result of the
accident David Ico, spouses Ceasar Baesa and Marilyn Baesa and their children, except Maricar, died while the rest
of the passengers suffered injuries. After the accident the driver of the PANTRANCO Bus, Ambrosio Ramirez, went
into hiding.

Maricar Baesa, through her guardian, filed separate actions for damages arising from quasi-delict against
PANTRANCO. The CFI of Pangasinan rendered a decision against PANTRANCO. The CA affirmed.

Petitioner faults the Court of Appeals for not applying the doctrine of the "last clear chance" against the jeepney
driver. Petitioner claims that under the circumstances of the case, it was the driver of the passenger jeepney who had
the last clear chance to avoid the collision and was therefore negligent in failing to utilize with reasonable care and
competence his then existing opportunity to avoid the harm.

Issue: Whether the contention of the petitioner is correct

Ruling: NO. The doctrine applies only in a situation where the plaintiff was guilty of prior or antecedent negligence but
the defendant, who had the last fair chance to avoid the impending harm and failed to do so, is made liable for all the
consequences of the accident notwithstanding the prior negligence of the plaintiff

For the doctrine to be applicable, it is necessary to show that the person who allegedly had the last opportunity to avert
the accident was aware of the existence of the peril or should, with exercise of due care, have been aware of it. One
cannot be expected to avoid an accident or injury if he does not know or could not have known the existence of the
peril. In this case, there is nothing to show that the jeepney driver David Ico knew of the impending danger. When he
saw at a distance that the approaching bus was encroaching on his lane, he did not immediately swerve the jeepney
to the dirt shoulder on his right since he must have assumed that the bus driver will return the bus to its own lane upon
seeing the jeepney approaching from the opposite direction.

Moreover, both the trial court and the Court of Appeals found that at the time of the accident the Pantranco bus was
speeding towards Manila. By the time David Ico must have realized that the bus was not returning to its own lane, it
was already too late to swerve the jeepney to his right to prevent an accident. The speed at which the approaching bus
was running prevented David Ico from swerving the jeepney to the right shoulder of the road in time to avoid the
collision. Thus, even assuming that the jeepney driver perceived the danger a few seconds before the actual collision,
he had no opportunity to avoid it. This Court has held that the last clear chance doctrine "can never apply where the
party charged is required to act instantaneously, and if the injury cannot be avoided by the application of all means at
hand after the peril is or should have been discovered".