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PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as Ascendants of AgapitoElcano,



REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and Natural Guardian of said minor, defendants-

G.R. No. L-24803 [May 26, 1977]

Facts of the Case:

Respondent Reginald Hill killed the son of the plaintiffs named Agapito Elcano. A criminal complaint was instituted
against him but he was acquitted on the ground that his act was not criminal, because of lack of intent to kill, couple
with mistake. Subsequently, plaintiffs filed a complaint for recovery of damages against defendant Reginald Hill, a
minor, married at the time of the occurrence, and his father, the defendant Marvin Hill, with who he was living and
getting subsistence, for the same killing. A motion to dismiss was filed by the defendants. The Court of First Instance
of Quezon City denied the motion. Nevertheless, the civil case was finally dismissed upon motion for reconsideration.


1. WON the present civil action for damages is barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case.

2. WON Article 2180 (2nd and last paragraphs) of the Civil Code may be applied against Atty. Hill, notwithstanding
the undisputed fact that at the time of the occurrence complained of. Reginald, though a minor, living with and getting
subsistence from his father, was already legally married.

Ruling of the Court:

1. No, the present civil action for damages is not barred by the acquittal of Reginald in the criminal case. Firstly, there
is a distinction as regards the proof required in a criminal case and a civil case. To find the accused guilty in a criminal
case, proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to
make the defendant pay in damages. Furthermore, a civil case for damages on the basis of quasi-delict does is
independently instituted from a criminal act. As such the acquittal of Reginald 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.

2. Yes, the above mentioned provision may still be applied against Atty Marvin Hill. Although parental authority is
terminated upon emancipation of the child, emancipation by marriage is not absolute, i.e. he can sue and be sued in
court only with the assistance of his father, mother or guardian. As in the present case, killing someone else
contemplated judicial litigation, thus, making Article 2180 apply to Atty. Hill.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.

No. 48006. July 8, 1942


A head-on collision between a taxicab owned by Barredo and a carretela occurred. The carretela was overturned and
one of its passengers, a 16-year old boy, the son of Garcia and Almario, died as a result of the injuries which he
received. The driver of the taxicab, an employee of Barredo, was prosecuted for the crime and was convicted. When
the criminal case was instituted, Garcia and Almario reserved their right to institute a separate civil action for damages.
Subsequently, Garcia and Almario instituted a civil action for damages against Barredo, the employer of the taxicab


Whether or not they can file a separate civil action against Fausto Barredo making him primarily and directly

(Foreword: The Barredo case was decided by the Supreme Court prior to the present Civil Code. However, the
principle enunciated in said case, that responsibility for fault or negligence as quasi-delict is distinct and separate from
negligence penalized under the Revised Penal Code, is now specifically embodied in Art. 2177 of the Civil Code.)

The defendant maintains that Fontanilla’s negligence being punishable by the Penal Code, his (defendant’s) liability as
an employer is only subsidiary, according to said Penal Code, but Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action and his
property has not been exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut thru the tangle that has, in the minds of many,
confused and jumbled together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes under the Penal Code and fault or negligence under
Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. According to the Supreme Tribunal of Spain:

“Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or ‘culpa aquiliana’ is a separate legal institution under the Civil
Code, with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and independent from a delict or crime.
Upon this principle, and on the wording and spirit of Article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct
responsibility of employers may be safely anchored.

“It will thus be seen that while the terms of Article 1902 of the Civil Code seem to be broad enough to cover the
driver’s negligence in the instant case, nevertheless Article 1903 limits cuasi-delitos TO ACTS OR OMISSIONS ‘NOT
PUNISHABLE BY LAW.’ But inasmuch as Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code punishes not only reckless but even
simple imprudence or negligence, the fault or negligence under Article 1902 of the Civil Code has apparently been
crowded out. It is this overlapping that makes the “confusion worse confounded.’ However, a closer study shows that
such a concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does not destroy the distinctionbetween the civil liability arising
from a crime and the responsibility for cuasi-delitos or culpa extra-contractual. The same negligent act causing
damages may produce civil liability arising from a crime under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code; or create an
action for cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual under Articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. “Some of the differences
between crimes under the Penal Code are:

“1. That crimes affect the public interest, while quasi-delitos are only of private concern.

“2. That consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal act, while the Civil Code, by means of
indemnification, merely repairs the damage.

“3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because for the former are punished only if there is a penal law clearly
covering them, while the latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which ‘ any kind of fault or negligence intervenes.’
However, it should be noted that not all violations of the penal law produce civil responsibility, such as begging
in contravention of ordinances, violation of the game laws, infraction of the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt.

“The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate individuality of cuasi-delitos or culpa aquiliana under the
Civil Code. Specifically they show that there is a distinction between civil liability arising from criminal negligence
(governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for fault or negligence under Articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code,
and that the same negligent act may produce either a civil liability arising from a crime under the Penal Code, or a
separate responsibility for fault or negligence under Articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more concretely the
authorities above cited render it inescapable to conclude that the employer – in this case the defendant-petitioner – is
primarily and directly liable under Article 1903 of the Civil Code.”


GR No. 161188, June 13, 2008


Artemio Cabansag (respondent) filed an action for damages in October 1991. According to respondent, he bought a 50-
square meter property from spouses Eugenio Gomez, Jr. and Felisa Duyan Gomez on July 23, 1990. Said property is
part of a 400-square meter lot registered in the name of the Gomez spouses. In October 1991, he received a demand
letter from Atty. Alexander del Prado (Atty. Del Prado), in behalf of Purisima Nala (Nala), asking for the payment of
rentals from 1987 to 1991 until he leaves the premises, as said property is owned by Nala, failing which criminal and
civil actions will be filed against him. Another demand letter was sent on May 14, 1991. Because of such demands,
respondent suffered damages and was constrained to file the case against Nala and Atty. Del Prado.

The lower court ordered Nala and Atty. Del Prado to pay Cabansag P150,000.00 by way of moral damages, P30,000.00
by way of exemplary damages, and P20,000.00 for reasonable attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. The Court of
Appeals, still found in favour of Cabansag but ordered the defendants to pay the amount of P30,000.00 by way of
moral damages. It further ordered to pay him exemplary damages in the amount of P10,000.00 and P10,000.00,
attorney's fees.

ISSUE: Whether or not Nala and Atty. Del Prado must be held liable for the payment of damages.


No, they are not liable. In order to be liable for damages under the abuse of rights principle, the following requisites
must concur: (a) the existence of a legal right or duty; (b) which is exercised in bad faith; and (c) for the sole intent of
prejudicing or injuring another. It should be stressed that malice or bad faith is at the core of Article 19 of the Civil

In the present case, there is nothing on record which will prove that Nala and her counsel, Atty. Del Prado, acted in bad
faith or malice in sending the demand letters to respondent. In the first place, there was ground for Nala's actions since
she believed that the property was owned by her husband Eulogio Duyan and that respondent was illegally occupying
the same. She had no knowledge that spouses Gomez violated the trust imposed on them by Eulogio and surreptitiously
sold a portion of the property to respondent. It was only after respondent filed the case for damages against Nala that
she learned of such sale. The bare fact that respondent claims ownership over the property does not give rise to the
conclusion that the sending of the demand letters by Nala was done in bad faith. Nala was acting well within her rights
when she instructed Atty. Del Prado to send the demand letters. She had to take all the necessary legal steps to enforce
her legal/equitable rights over the property occupied by respondent. One who makes use of his own legal right does no
injury. Thus, whatever damages are suffered by respondent should be borne solely by him.

Africa vs. Caltex, Boquiren and the CA| Makalintal G.R. No. L-12986, March 31, 1966 | 16 SCRA 448 FACTS •
A fire broke out at the Caltex service station in Manila. It started while gasoline was being hosed from a tank truck into
the underground storage, right at the opening of the receiving truck where the nozzle of the hose was inserted The fire
then spread to and burned several neighboring houses, including the personal properties and effects inside them. • The
owners of the houses, among them petitioners here, sued Caltex (owner of the station) and Boquiren (agent in charge of
operation). • Trial court and CA found that petitioners failed to prove negligence and that respondents had exercised
due care in the premises and with respect to the supervision of their employees. Both courts refused to apply the
doctrine of res ipsa loquitur on the grounds that “as to its applicability xxx in the Philippines, there seems to be nothing
definite,” and that while the rules do not prohibit its adoption in appropriate cases, “in the case at bar, however, we find
no practical use for such doctrine.”

ISSUES & ARGUMENTS W/N without proof as to the cause and origin of the fire, the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur
should apply as to presume negligence on the part of the appellees.

ipsa Loquitur is a rule to the effect that “where the thing which caused the injury complained of is shown to be under
the management of defendant or his servants and the accident is such as in the ordinary course of things does not
happen if those who have its management or control use proper care, it affords reasonable evidence, in absence of
explanation of defendant, that the incident happened because of want of care. • The aforesaid principle enunciated in
Espiritu vs. Philippine Power and Development Co. is applicable in this case. The gasoline station, with all its
appliances, equipment and employees, was under the control of appellees. A fire occurred therein and spread to and
burned the neighboring houses. The person who knew or could have known how the fire started were the appellees and
their employees, but they gave no explanation thereof whatsoever. It is fair and reasonable inference that the incident
happened because of want of care. • The report by the police officer regarding the fire, as well as the statement of the
driver of the gasoline tank wagon who was transferring the contents thereof into the underground storage when the fire
broke out, strengthen the presumption of negligence. Verily, (1) the station is in a very busy district and pedestrians
often pass through or mill around the premises; (2) the area is used as a car barn for around 10 taxicabs owned by
Boquiren; (3) a store where people hang out and possibly smoke cigarettes is located one meter from the hole of the
underground tank; and (4) the concrete walls adjoining the neighborhood are only 2 ½ meters high at most and cannot
prevent the flames from leaping over it in case of fire. Decision REVERSED. Caltex liable.