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Republic of the Philippines On 27 October 1987, private respondent, without the assistance of

SUPREME COURT counsel, filed with the aforesaid trial court a complaint2 for damages
Manila against the petitioner for the alleged violation of their agreement to get
married. She alleges in said complaint that: she is twenty-two (22) years
THIRD DIVISION old, single, Filipino and a pretty lass of good moral character and
reputation duly respected in her community; petitioner, on the other
hand, is an Iranian citizen residing at the Lozano Apartments, Guilig,
Dagupan City, and is an exchange student taking a medical course at the
G.R. No. 97336 February 19, 1993 Lyceum Northwestern Colleges in Dagupan City; before 20 August
1987, the latter courted and proposed to marry her; she accepted his love
GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH, petitioner, on the condition that they would get married; they therefore agreed to
vs. get married after the end of the school semester, which was in October
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and MARILOU T. of that year; petitioner then visited the private respondent's parents in
GONZALES, respondents. Bañaga, Bugallon, Pangasinan to secure their approval to the marriage;
sometime in 20 August 1987, the petitioner forced her to live with him
Public Attorney's Office for petitioner. in the Lozano Apartments; she was a virgin before she began living with
him; a week before the filing of the complaint, petitioner's attitude
Corleto R. Castro for private respondent. towards her started to change; he maltreated and threatened to kill her;
as a result of such maltreatment, she sustained injuries; during a
confrontation with a representative of the barangay captain of Guilig a
day before the filing of the complaint, petitioner repudiated their
DAVIDE, JR., J.: marriage agreement and asked her not to live with him anymore and;
the petitioner is already married to someone living in Bacolod City.
This is an appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court Private respondent then prayed for judgment ordering the petitioner to
seeking to review and set aside the Decision1 of the respondent Court of pay her damages in the amount of not less than P45,000.00,
reimbursement for actual expenses amounting to P600.00, attorney's
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 24256 which affirmed in toto the 16 fees and costs, and granting her such other relief and remedies as may
October 1939 Decision of Branch 38 (Lingayen) of the Regional Trial be just and equitable. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No.
Court (RTC) of Pangasinan in Civil Case No. 16503. Presented is the 16503.
issue of whether or not damages may be recovered for a breach of
promise to marry on the basis of Article 21 of the Civil Code of the In his Answer with Counterclaim,3 petitioner admitted only the personal
Philippines. circumstances of the parties as averred in the complaint and denied the
rest of the allegations either for lack of knowledge or information
The antecedents of this case are not complicated: sufficient to form a belief as to the truth thereof or because the true facts
are those alleged as his Special and Affirmative Defenses. He thus
claimed that he never proposed marriage to or agreed to be married with
the private respondent; he neither sought the consent and approval of
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her parents nor forced her to live in his apartment; he did not maltreat respondent. The petitioner was thus ordered to pay the latter damages
her, but only told her to stop coming to his place because he discovered and attorney's fees; the dispositive portion of the decision reads:
that she had deceived him by stealing his money and passport; and
finally, no confrontation took place with a representative of the IN THE LIGHT of the foregoing consideration,
barangay captain. Insisting, in his Counterclaim, that the complaint is judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and
baseless and unfounded and that as a result thereof, he was unnecessarily against the defendant.
dragged into court and compelled to incur expenses, and has suffered
mental anxiety and a besmirched reputation, he prayed for an award of 1. Condemning (sic) the defendant to pay the plaintiff the
P5,000.00 for miscellaneous expenses and P25,000.00 as moral sum of twenty thousand (P20,000.00) pesos as moral
damages. damages.

After conducting a pre-trial on 25 January 1988, the trial court issued a 2. Condemning further the defendant to play the plaintiff
Pre-Trial Order4 embodying the stipulated facts which the parties had the sum of three thousand (P3,000.00) pesos as atty's fees
agreed upon, to wit: and two thousand (P2,000.00) pesos at (sic) litigation
expenses and to pay the costs.
1. That the plaintiff is single and resident (sic) of Bañaga,
Bugallon, Pangasinan, while the defendant is single, 3. All other claims are denied.6
Iranian citizen and resident (sic) of Lozano Apartment,
Guilig, Dagupan City since September 1, 1987 up to the The decision is anchored on the trial court's findings and conclusions
present; that (a) petitioner and private respondent were lovers, (b) private
respondent is not a woman of loose morals or questionable virtue who
2. That the defendant is presently studying at Lyceum readily submits to sexual advances, (c) petitioner, through machinations,
Northwestern, Dagupan City, College of Medicine, deceit and false pretenses, promised to marry private respondent, d)
second year medicine proper; because of his persuasive promise to marry her, she allowed herself to
be deflowered by him, (e) by reason of that deceitful promise, private
3. That the plaintiff is (sic) an employee at Mabuhay respondent and her parents — in accordance with Filipino customs and
Luncheonette , Fernandez Avenue, Dagupan City since traditions — made some preparations for the wedding that was to be
July, 1986 up to the present and a (sic) high school held at the end of October 1987 by looking for pigs and chickens,
graduate; inviting friends and relatives and contracting sponsors, (f) petitioner did
not fulfill his promise to marry her and (g) such acts of the petitioner,
4. That the parties happened to know each other when who is a foreigner and who has abused Philippine hospitality, have
the manager of the Mabuhay Luncheonette, Johhny offended our sense of morality, good customs, culture and traditions.
Rabino introduced the defendant to the plaintiff on The trial court gave full credit to the private respondent's testimony
August 3, 1986. because, inter alia, she would not have had the temerity and courage to
come to court and expose her honor and reputation to public scrutiny
After trial on the merits, the lower court, applying Article 21 of the Civil and ridicule if her claim was false.7
Code, rendered on 16 October 1989 a decision5 favoring the private
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The above findings and conclusions were culled from the detailed thereafter consulted a lawyer who accompanied her to
summary of the evidence for the private respondent in the foregoing the barangay captain in Dagupan City. Plaintiff, her
decision, digested by the respondent Court as follows: lawyer, her godmother, and a barangay tanod sent by the
barangay captain went to talk to defendant to still
According to plaintiff, who claimed that she was a virgin convince him to marry plaintiff, but defendant insisted
at the time and that she never had a boyfriend before, that he could not do so because he was already married
defendant started courting her just a few days after they to a girl in Bacolod City, although the truth, as stipulated
first met. He later proposed marriage to her several times by the parties at the pre-trial, is that defendant is still
and she accepted his love as well as his proposal of single.
marriage on August 20, 1987, on which same day he
went with her to her hometown of Bañaga, Bugallon, Plaintiff's father, a tricycle driver, also claimed that after
Pangasinan, as he wanted to meet her parents and inform defendant had informed them of his desire to marry
them of their relationship and their intention to get Marilou, he already looked for sponsors for the wedding,
married. The photographs Exhs. "A" to "E" (and their started preparing for the reception by looking for pigs
submarkings) of defendant with members of plaintiff's and chickens, and even already invited many relatives
family or with plaintiff, were taken that day. Also on that and friends to the forthcoming wedding. 8
occasion, defendant told plaintiffs parents and brothers
and sisters that he intended to marry her during the Petitioner appealed the trial court's decision to the respondent Court of
semestral break in October, 1987, and because plaintiff's Appeals which docketed the case as CA-G.R. CV No. 24256. In his
parents thought he was good and trusted him, they agreed Brief,9 he contended that the trial court erred (a) in not dismissing the
to his proposal for him to marry their daughter, and they case for lack of factual and legal basis and (b) in ordering him to pay
likewise allowed him to stay in their house and sleep moral damages, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and costs.
with plaintiff during the few days that they were in
Bugallon. When plaintiff and defendant later returned to On 18 February 1991, respondent Court promulgated the challenged
Dagupan City, they continued to live together in decision 10 affirming in toto the trial court's ruling of 16 October 1989.
defendant's apartment. However, in the early days of In sustaining the trial court's findings of fact, respondent Court made the
October, 1987, defendant would tie plaintiff's hands and following analysis:
feet while he went to school, and he even gave her
medicine at 4 o'clock in the morning that made her sleep First of all, plaintiff, then only 21 years old when she met
the whole day and night until the following day. As a defendant who was already 29 years old at the time, does
result of this live-in relationship, plaintiff became not appear to be a girl of loose morals. It is
pregnant, but defendant gave her some medicine to abort uncontradicted that she was a virgin prior to her
the fetus. Still plaintiff continued to live with defendant unfortunate experience with defendant and never had
and kept reminding him of his promise to marry her until boyfriend. She is, as described by the lower court, a
he told her that he could not do so because he was already barrio lass "not used and accustomed to trend of modern
married to a girl in Bacolod City. That was the time urban life", and certainly would (sic) not have allowed
plaintiff left defendant, went home to her parents, and "herself to be deflowered by the defendant if there was
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no persuasive promise made by the defendant to marry he openly admitted that when he studied in Bacolod City
her." In fact, we agree with the lower court that plaintiff for several years where he finished his B.S. Biology
and defendant must have been sweethearts or so the before he came to Dagupan City to study medicine, he
plaintiff must have thought because of the deception of had a common-law wife in Bacolod City. In other words,
defendant, for otherwise, she would not have allowed he also lived with another woman in Bacolod City but
herself to be photographed with defendant in public in so did not marry that woman, just like what he did to
(sic) loving and tender poses as those depicted in the plaintiff. It is not surprising, then, that he felt so little
pictures Exhs. "D" and "E". We cannot believe, compunction or remorse in pretending to love and
therefore, defendant's pretense that plaintiff was a promising to marry plaintiff, a young, innocent, trustful
nobody to him except a waitress at the restaurant where country girl, in order to satisfy his lust on her. 11
he usually ate. Defendant in fact admitted that he went to
plaintiff's hometown of Bañaga, Bugallon, Pangasinan, and then concluded:
at least thrice; at (sic) the town fiesta on February 27,
1987 (p. 54, tsn May 18, 1988), at (sic) a beach party In sum, we are strongly convinced and so hold that it was
together with the manager and employees of the defendant-appellant's fraudulent and deceptive
Mabuhay Luncheonette on March 3, 1987 (p. 50, tsn id.), protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff
and on April 1, 1987 when he allegedly talked to that made her surrender her virtue and womanhood to
plaintiff's mother who told him to marry her daughter him and to live with him on the honest and sincere belief
(pp. 55-56, tsn id.). Would defendant have left Dagupan that he would keep said promise, and it was likewise
City where he was involved in the serious study of these (sic) fraud and deception on appellant's part that
medicine to go to plaintiff's hometown in Bañaga, made plaintiff's parents agree to their daughter's living-
Bugallon, unless there was (sic) some kind of special in with him preparatory to their supposed marriage. And
relationship between them? And this special relationship as these acts of appellant are palpably and undoubtedly
must indeed have led to defendant's insincere proposal of against morals, good customs, and public policy, and are
marriage to plaintiff, communicated not only to her but even gravely and deeply derogatory and insulting to our
also to her parents, and (sic) Marites Rabino, the owner women, coming as they do from a foreigner who has
of the restaurant where plaintiff was working and where been enjoying the hospitality of our people and taking
defendant first proposed marriage to her, also knew of advantage of the opportunity to study in one of our
this love affair and defendant's proposal of marriage to institutions of learning, defendant-appellant should
plaintiff, which she declared was the reason why plaintiff indeed be made, under Art. 21 of the Civil Code of the
resigned from her job at the restaurant after she had Philippines, to compensate for the moral damages and
accepted defendant's proposal (pp. 6-7, tsn March 7, injury that he had caused plaintiff, as the lower court
1988). ordered him to do in its decision in this case. 12

Upon the other hand, appellant does not appear to be a Unfazed by his second defeat, petitioner filed the instant petition on 26
man of good moral character and must think so low and March 1991; he raises therein the single issue of whether or not Article
have so little respect and regard for Filipino women that 21 of the Civil Code applies to the case at bar. 13
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It is petitioner's thesis that said Article 21 is not applicable because he had plainly overlooked facts of substance or value which, if considered,
had not committed any moral wrong or injury or violated any good might affect the result of the case. 15
custom or public policy; he has not professed love or proposed marriage
to the private respondent; and he has never maltreated her. He criticizes Petitioner has miserably failed to convince Us that both the appellate
the trial court for liberally invoking Filipino customs, traditions and and trial courts had overlooked any fact of substance or values which
culture, and ignoring the fact that since he is a foreigner, he is not could alter the result of the case.
conversant with such Filipino customs, traditions and culture. As an
Iranian Moslem, he is not familiar with Catholic and Christian ways. He Equally settled is the rule that only questions of law may be raised in a
stresses that even if he had made a promise to marry, the subsequent petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. It
failure to fulfill the same is excusable or tolerable because of his is not the function of this Court to analyze or weigh all over again the
Moslem upbringing; he then alludes to the Muslim Code which evidence introduced by the parties before the lower court. There are,
purportedly allows a Muslim to take four (4) wives and concludes that however, recognized exceptions to this rule. Thus, in Medina
on the basis thereof, the trial court erred in ruling that he does not posses vs.Asistio, Jr., 16 this Court took the time, again, to enumerate these
good moral character. Moreover, his controversial "common law life" is exceptions:
now his legal wife as their marriage had been solemnized in civil
ceremonies in the Iranian Embassy. As to his unlawful cohabitation with xxx xxx xxx
the private respondent, petitioner claims that even if responsibility could
be pinned on him for the live-in relationship, the private respondent (1) When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely
should also be faulted for consenting to an illicit arrangement. Finally, on speculation, surmises or conjectures (Joaquin v.
petitioner asseverates that even if it was to be assumed arguendo that he Navarro, 93 Phil. 257 [1953]); (2) When the inference
had professed his love to the private respondent and had also promised made is manifestly mistaken, absurb or impossible (Luna
to marry her, such acts would not be actionable in view of the special v. Linatok, 74 Phil. 15 [1942]); (3) Where there is a grave
circumstances of the case. The mere breach of promise is not abuse of discretion (Buyco v. People, 95 Phil. 453
actionable. 14 [1955]); (4) When the judgment is based on a
misapprehension of facts (Cruz v. Sosing,
On 26 August 1991, after the private respondent had filed her Comment L-4875, Nov. 27, 1953); (5) When the findings of fact
to the petition and the petitioner had filed his Reply thereto, this Court are conflicting (Casica v. Villaseca, L-9590 Ap. 30,
gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their 1957; unrep.) (6) When the Court of Appeals, in making
respective Memoranda, which they subsequently complied with. its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the
same is contrary to the admissions of both appellate and
As may be gleaned from the foregoing summation of the petitioner's appellee (Evangelista v. Alto Surety and Insurance Co.,
arguments in support of his thesis, it is clear that questions of fact, which 103 Phil. 401 [1958]);
boil down to the issue of the credibility of witnesses, are also raised. It (7) The findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to
is the rule in this jurisdiction that appellate courts will not disturb the those of the trial court (Garcia v. Court of Appeals, 33
trial court's findings as to the credibility of witnesses, the latter court SCRA 622 [1970]; Sacay v. Sandiganbayan, 142 SCRA
having heard the witnesses and having had the opportunity to observe 593 [1986]); (8) When the findings of fact are
closely their deportment and manner of testifying, unless the trial court conclusions without citation of specific evidence on
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which they are based (Ibid.,); (9) When the facts set forth But the Code Commission had gone farther than the
in the petition as well as in the petitioners main and reply sphere of wrongs defined or determined by positive law.
briefs are not disputed by the respondents (Ibid.,); and Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the
(10) The finding of fact of the Court of Appeals is statutes, which leave so many victims of moral wrongs
premised on the supposed absence of evidence and is helpless, even though they have actually suffered
contradicted by the evidence on record (Salazar v. material and moral injury, the Commission has deemed
Gutierrez, 33 SCRA 242 [1970]). it necessary, in the interest of justice, to incorporate in
the proposed Civil Code the following rule:
Petitioner has not endeavored to joint out to Us the existence of any of
the above quoted exceptions in this case. Consequently, the factual Art. 23. Any person who wilfully causes
findings of the trial and appellate courts must be respected. loss or injury to another in a manner that
is contrary to morals, good customs or
And now to the legal issue. public policy shall compensate the latter
for the damage.
The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an
actionable wrong. 17 Congress deliberately eliminated from the draft of An example will illustrate the purview of the foregoing
the New Civil Code the provisions that would have made it so. The norm: "A" seduces the nineteen-year old daughter of
reason therefor is set forth in the report of the Senate Committees on the "X". A promise of marriage either has not been made, or
Proposed Civil Code, from which We quote: can not be proved. The girl becomes pregnant. Under the
present laws, there is no crime, as the girl is above
The elimination of this chapter is proposed. That breach nineteen years of age. Neither can any civil action for
of promise to marry is not actionable has been definitely breach of promise of marriage be filed. Therefore,
decided in the case of De Jesus vs. Syquia. 18 The history though the grievous moral wrong has been committed,
of breach of promise suits in the United States and in and though the girl and family have suffered incalculable
England has shown that no other action lends itself more moral damage, she and her parents cannot bring action
readily to abuse by designing women and unscrupulous for damages. But under the proposed article, she and her
men. It is this experience which has led to the abolition parents would have such a right of action.
of rights of action in the so-called Heart Balm suits in
many of the American states. . . . 19 Thus at one stroke, the legislator, if the forgoing rule is
approved, would vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for
This notwithstanding, the said Code contains a provision, Article 21, that untold number of moral wrongs which it is
which is designed to expand the concept of torts or quasi-delict in this impossible for human foresight to provide for
jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of specifically in the statutes. 21
moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically
enumerate and punish in the statute books. 20 Article 2176 of the Civil Code, which defines a quasi-delict thus:

As the Code Commission itself stated in its Report:


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Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter. It is essential,
there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the however, that such injury should have been committed in a manner
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre- contrary to morals, good customs or public policy.
existing contractual relation between the parties, is called
a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this In the instant case, respondent Court found that it was the petitioner's
Chapter. "fraudulent and deceptive protestations of love for and promise to marry
plaintiff that made her surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and
is limited to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion to live with him on the honest and sincere belief that he would keep said
of willfulness or intent. Quasi-delict, known in Spanish legal promise, and it was likewise these fraud and deception on appellant's
treatises as culpa aquiliana, is a civil law concept while torts is part that made plaintiff's parents agree to their daughter's living-in with
an Anglo-American or common law concept. Torts is much him preparatory to their supposed marriage." 24 In short, the private
broader than culpa aquiliana because it includes not only respondent surrendered her virginity, the cherished possession of every
negligence, but international criminal acts as well such as assault single Filipina, not because of lust but because of moral seduction —
and battery, false imprisonment and deceit. In the general the kind illustrated by the Code Commission in its example earlier
scheme of the Philippine legal system envisioned by the adverted to. The petitioner could not be held liable for criminal
Commission responsible for drafting the New Civil Code, seduction punished under either Article 337 or Article 338 of the
intentional and malicious acts, with certain exceptions, are to be Revised Penal Code because the private respondent was above eighteen
governed by the Revised Penal Code while negligent acts or (18) years of age at the time of the seduction.
omissions are to be covered by Article 2176 of the Civil
Code. 22 In between these opposite spectrums are injurious acts Prior decisions of this Court clearly suggest that Article 21 may be
which, in the absence of Article 21, would have been beyond applied in a breach of promise to marry where the woman is a victim of
redress. Thus, Article 21 fills that vacuum. It is even postulated moral seduction. Thus, in Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals,25 this
that together with Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code, Article Court denied recovery of damages to the woman because:
21 has greatly broadened the scope of the law on civil wrongs;
it has become much more supple and adaptable than the Anglo- . . . we find ourselves unable to say that petitioner
American law on torts. 23 is morally guilty of seduction, not only because he is
approximately ten (10) years younger than the
In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21, We are of the complainant — who was around thirty-six (36) years of
opinion, and so hold, that where a man's promise to marry is in fact the age, and as highly enlightened as a former high school
proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his teacher and a life insurance agent are supposed to be —
representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate when she became intimate with petitioner, then a mere
cause of the giving of herself unto him in a sexual congress, proof that apprentice pilot, but, also, because the court of first
he had, in reality, no intention of marrying her and that the promise was instance found that, complainant "surrendered herself" to
only a subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle her to petitioner because, "overwhelmed by her love" for him,
accept him and to obtain her consent to the sexual act, could justify the she "wanted to bind" him by having a fruit of their
award of damages pursuant to Article 21 not because of such promise to engagement even before they had the benefit of clergy.
marry but because of the fraud and deceit behind it and the willful injury
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In Tanjanco vs. Court of Appeals, 26 while this Court likewise hinted at And in American Jurisprudence we find:
possible recovery if there had been moral seduction, recovery was
eventually denied because We were not convinced that such seduction On the other hand, in an action by the
existed. The following enlightening disquisition and conclusion were woman, the enticement, persuasion or
made in the said case: deception is the essence of the injury; and
a mere proof of intercourse is insufficient
The Court of Appeals seem to have overlooked that the to warrant a recovery.
example set forth in the Code Commission's
memorandum refers to a tort upon a minor who had Accordingly it is not seduction where the
been seduced. The essential feature is seduction, that in willingness arises out of sexual desire of
law is more than mere sexual intercourse, or a breach of curiosity of the female, and the defendant
a promise of marriage; it connotes essentially the idea of merely affords her the needed
deceit, enticement, superior power or abuse of opportunity for the commission of the act.
confidence on the part of the seducer to which the It has been emphasized that to allow a
woman has yielded (U.S. vs. Buenaventura, 27 Phil. 121; recovery in all such cases would tend to
U.S. vs. Arlante, 9 Phil. 595). the demoralization of the female sex, and
would be a reward for unchastity by
It has been ruled in the Buenaventura case (supra) that which a class of adventuresses would be
— swift to profit. (47 Am. Jur. 662)

To constitute seduction there must in all xxx xxx xxx


cases be some sufficient promise or
inducement and the woman must yield Over and above the partisan allegations, the fact stand
because of the promise or other out that for one whole year, from 1958 to 1959, the
inducement. If she consents merely from plaintiff-appellee, a woman of adult age, maintain
carnal lust and the intercourse is from intimate sexual relations with appellant, with repeated
mutual desire, there is no seduction (43 acts of intercourse. Such conduct is incompatible with
Cent. Dig. tit. Seduction, par. 56) She the idea of seduction. Plainly there is here voluntariness
must be induced to depart from the path and mutual passion; for had the appellant been deceived,
of virtue by the use of some species of had she surrendered exclusively because of the deceit,
arts, persuasions and wiles, which are artful persuasions and wiles of the defendant, she would
calculated to have and do have that effect, not have again yielded to his embraces, much less for one
and which result in her person to year, without exacting early fulfillment of the alleged
ultimately submitting her person to the promises of marriage, and would have cut short all
sexual embraces of her seducer (27 Phil. sexual relations upon finding that defendant did not
123). intend to fulfill his defendant did not intend to fulfill his
promise. Hence, we conclude that no case is made under
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article 21 of the Civil Code, and no other cause of action has knowingly given herself to a man, it cannot be said
being alleged, no error was committed by the Court of that there is an injury which can be the basis for
First Instance in dismissing the complaint. 27 indemnity.

In his annotations on the Civil Code, 28 Associate Justice Edgardo L. But so long as there is fraud, which is characterized by
Paras, who recently retired from this Court, opined that in a breach of willfulness (sic), the action lies. The court, however,
promise to marry where there had been carnal knowledge, moral must weigh the degree of fraud, if it is sufficient to
damages may be recovered: deceive the woman under the circumstances, because an
act which would deceive a girl sixteen years of age may
. . . if there be criminal or moral seduction, but not if the not constitute deceit as to an experienced woman thirty
intercourse was due to mutual lust. (Hermosisima vs. years of age. But so long as there is a wrongful act and a
Court of Appeals, resulting injury, there should be civil liability, even if the
L-14628, Sept. 30, 1960; Estopa vs. Piansay, Jr., L- act is not punishable under the criminal law and there
14733, Sept. 30, 1960; Batarra vs. Marcos, 7 Phil. 56 should have been an acquittal or dismissal of the criminal
(sic); Beatriz Galang vs. Court of Appeals, et al., L- case for that reason.
17248, Jan. 29, 1962). (In other words, if the CAUSE be
the promise to marry, and the EFFECT be the carnal We are unable to agree with the petitioner's alternative proposition to
knowledge, there is a chance that there was criminal or the effect that granting, for argument's sake, that he did promise to marry
moral seduction, hence recovery of moral damages will the private respondent, the latter is nevertheless also at fault. According
prosper. If it be the other way around, there can be no to him, both parties are in pari delicto; hence, pursuant to Article
recovery of moral damages, because here mutual lust has 1412(1) of the Civil Code and the doctrine laid down in Batarra
intervened). . . . vs. Marcos, 32 the private respondent cannot recover damages from the
petitioner. The latter even goes as far as stating that if the private
together with "ACTUAL damages, should there be any, such as respondent had "sustained any injury or damage in their relationship, it
the expenses for the wedding presentations (See Domalagon v. is primarily because of her own doing, 33 for:
Bolifer, 33 Phil. 471).
. . . She is also interested in the petitioner as the latter
29
Senator Arturo M. Tolentino is also of the same persuasion: will become a doctor sooner or later. Take notice that she
is a plain high school graduate and a mere employee . . .
It is submitted that the rule in Batarra vs. Marcos, 30 still (Annex "C") or a waitress (TSN, p. 51, January 25, 1988)
subsists, notwithstanding the incorporation of the present in a luncheonette and without doubt, is in need of a man
article31 in the Code. The example given by the Code who can give her economic security. Her family is in dire
Commission is correct, if there was seduction, not need of financial assistance. (TSN, pp. 51-53, May 18,
necessarily in the legal sense, but in the vulgar sense of 1988). And this predicament prompted her to accept a
deception. But when the sexual act is accomplished proposition that may have been offered by the
without any deceit or qualifying circumstance of abuse petitioner. 34
of authority or influence, but the woman, already of age,
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These statements reveal the true character and motive of the petitioner. about by the imposition of undue influence of the party
It is clear that he harbors a condescending, if not sarcastic, regard for on whom the burden of the original wrong principally
the private respondent on account of the latter's ignoble birth, inferior rests, or where his consent to the transaction was itself
educational background, poverty and, as perceived by him, dishonorable procured by
employment. Obviously then, from the very beginning, he was not at all fraud. 36
moved by good faith and an honest motive. Marrying with a woman so
circumstances could not have even remotely occurred to him. Thus, his In Mangayao vs. Lasud, 37 We declared:
profession of love and promise to marry were empty words directly
intended to fool, dupe, entice, beguile and deceive the poor woman into Appellants likewise stress that both parties being at fault,
believing that indeed, he loved her and would want her to be his life's there should be no action by one against the other (Art.
partner. His was nothing but pure lust which he wanted satisfied by a 1412, New Civil Code). This rule, however, has been
Filipina who honestly believed that by accepting his proffer of love and interpreted as applicable only where the fault on both
proposal of marriage, she would be able to enjoy a life of ease and sides is, more or less, equivalent. It does not apply where
security. Petitioner clearly violated the Filipino's concept of morality one party is literate or intelligent and the other one is not.
and brazenly defied the traditional respect Filipinos have for their (c.f. Bough vs. Cantiveros, 40 Phil. 209).
women. It can even be said that the petitioner committed such
deplorable acts in blatant disregard of Article 19 of the Civil Code which We should stress, however, that while We find for the private
directs every person to act with justice, give everyone his due and respondent, let it not be said that this Court condones the deplorable
observe honesty and good faith in the exercise of his rights and in the behavior of her parents in letting her and the petitioner stay together in
performance of his obligations. the same room in their house after giving approval to their marriage. It
is the solemn duty of parents to protect the honor of their daughters and
No foreigner must be allowed to make a mockery of our laws, customs infuse upon them the higher values of morality and dignity.
and traditions.
WHEREFORE, finding no reversible error in the challenged decision,
The pari delicto rule does not apply in this case for while indeed, the the instant petition is hereby DENIED, with costs against the petitioner.
private respondent may not have been impelled by the purest of
intentions, she eventually submitted to the petitioner in sexual congress SO ORDERED.
not out of lust, but because of moral seduction. In fact, it is apparent that
she had qualms of conscience about the entire episode for as soon as she Feliciano, Bidin, Romero and Melo, JJ., concur.
found out that the petitioner was not going to marry her after all, she left
him. She is not, therefore, in pari delicto with the petitioner. Pari Gutierrez, Jr., J., is on leave.
delicto means "in equal fault; in a similar offense or crime; equal in guilt
or in legal fault." 35At most, it could be conceded that she is merely in
delicto.
# Footnotes
Equity often interferes for the relief of the less guilty of
the parties, where his transgression has been brought
10 | P a g e
1 Annex "G" of Petition; Rollo, 53-62. Per Associate SCRA 503 [1979]; People vs. Arciaga, 98 SCRA 1
Justice Alicia V. Sempio-Diy, concurred in by Associate [1980]; People vs. Marzan, 128 SCRA 203 [1984];
Justices Jose C. Campos, Jr. and Jaime M. Lantin. People vs. Alcid, 135 SCRA 280 [1985]; People vs.
Sanchez, 199 SCRA 414 [1991]; and People vs. Atilano,
2 Annex "A" of Petition; Rollo, 20-22. 204 SCRA 278 [1991].

3 Annex "B" of Petition; Rollo, 23-24. 16 191 SCRA 218 [1990], footnote omitted; see also,
Remalante vs. Tibe, 158 SCRA 138 [1988].
4 Annex "C", Id.; Id., 25.
17 Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals, 109 Phil. 629
5 Annex "D" of Petition; Rollo, 26-33. Per Judge [1960]; Estopa vs. Piansay, 109 Phil. 640 [1960].
Antonio M. Belen.
18 58 Phil. 866 [1933].
6 Id., 33.
19 Congressional Record, vol. IV, No. 79, Thursday, 14
7 Rollo, 31-33. May 1949, 2352.

8 Rollo, 54-55. 20 Philippine National Bank vs. Court of Appeals, 83


SCRA 237 [1978].
9 Exhibit "E" of Petition; Rollo, 34-50.
21 Report of the Code Commission, 39-40. This passage
10 Annex "G", Id.; Id.; 53-62. is quoted, except for the last paragraph, in Tanjanco vs.
Court of Appeals, 18 SCRA 994, 996-997 [1966]; the
11 Rollo, 58-59. Article 23 referred to is now Article 21.

12 Rollo, 61. 22 Report of the Code Commission, 161-162.

13 Id., 11. 23 TOLENTINO, A.M., Commentaries and


Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, vol.
14 In support thereof, he cites Despi vs. Aliosco, [CA] 1, 1985 ed., 72.
64 O.G.; Wassmer vs. Velez, 12 SCRA 648 [1964];
Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals, 109 Phil. 629 [1960]; 24. Rollo, 61.
and Estopa vs. Piansay, 109 Phil. 640 [1960].
25. Supra.
15 People vs. Garcia, 89 SCRA 440 [1979]; People vs.
Bautista, 92 SCRA 465 [1979]; People vs. Abejuela, 92 26. Supra.

11 | P a g e
27 At pages 997-999. Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
28 Civil Code of the Philippines Annotated, vol. I, Manila
Eleventh ed., (1984), 91-92.
FIRST DIVISION
29 Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code
of the Philippines, vol. 1, 1985 ed., 76-77, omitting G.R. No. 110295 October 18, 1993
footnotes.
COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILIPPINES, INC.,
30 7 Phil. 156 [1906]. vs.

31 Article 21. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (Fifth Division) and MS.
LYDIA GERONIMO, respondents.
32 Supra.
Angara, Abello, Concepcion, Regala & Cruz Law Offices for petitioner.
33 Rollo, 16.
Alejandro M. Villamil for private respondent.

DAVIDE, JR., J.:

This case concerns the proprietress of a school canteen which had to


34 Id., 16-17. close down as a consequence of the big drop in its sales of soft drinks
triggered by the discovery of foreign substances in certain beverages
35 Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth ed., 1004. sold by it. The interesting issue posed is whether the subsequent action
for damages by the proprietress against the soft drinks manufacturer
36 37 Am Jur 2d, 401, omitting citations. should be treated as one for breach of implied warranty against hidden
defects or merchantability, as claimed by the manufacturer, the
37 11 SCRA 158 [1964]; see also, Liguez vs. Court of petitioner herein which must therefore be filed within six months from
Appeals 102 Phil. 577 [1975]. the delivery of the thing sold pursuant to Article 1571 of the Civil Code,
or one for quasi-delict, as held by the public respondent, which can be
filed within four years pursuant to Article 1146 of the same Code.

On 7 May 1990, Lydia L. Geronimo, the herein private respondent, filed


a complaint for damages against petitioner with the Regional Trial Court
(RTC) of Dagupan City. 1 The case was docketed as Civil Case No. D-
9629. She alleges in her complaint that she was the proprietress of

12 | P a g e
Kindergarten Wonderland Canteen docketed as located in Dagupan remedies does not apply as the existing administrative remedy is not
City, an enterprise engaged in the sale of soft drinks (including Coke adequate. It also stated that the complaint is based on a contract, and not
and Sprite) and other goods to the students of Kindergarten Wonderland on quasi-delict, as there exists pre-existing contractual relation between
and to the public; on or about 12 August 1989, some parents of the the parties; thus, on the basis of Article 1571, in relation to Article 1562,
students complained to her that the Coke and Sprite soft drinks sold by the complaint should have been filed within six months from the
her contained fiber-like matter and other foreign substances or particles; delivery of the thing sold.
he then went over her stock of softdrinks and discovered the presence
of some fiber-like substances in the contents of some unopened Coke Her motion for the reconsideration of the order having been denied by
bottles and a plastic matter in the contents of an unopened Sprite bottle; the trial court in its Order of 17 April 1991, 7the private respondent came
she brought the said bottles to the Regional Health Office of the to this Court via a petition for review on certiorari which we referred to
Department of Health at San Fernando, La Union, for examination; the public respondent "for proper determination and disposition. 8 The
subsequently, she received a letter from the Department of Health public respondent docketed the case as CA-G.R. SP No. 25391.
informing her that the samples she submitted "are adulterated;" as a
consequence of the discovery of the foreign substances in the beverages, In a decision promulgated on 28 January 1992, 9 the public respondent
her sales of soft drinks severely plummeted from the usual 10 cases per annulled the questioned orders of the RTC and directed it to conduct
day to as low as 2 to 3 cases per day resulting in losses of from P200.00 further proceedings in Civil Case No. D-9629. In holding for the private
to P300.00 per day, and not long after that she had to lose shop on 12 respondent, it ruled that:
December 1989; she became jobless and destitute; she demanded from
the petitioner the payment of damages but was rebuffed by it. She Petitioner's complaint being one for quasi-delict, and not
prayed for judgment ordering the petitioner to pay her P5,000.00 as for breach of warranty as respondent contends, the
actual damages, P72,000.00 as compensatory damages, P500,000.00 as applicable prescriptive period is four years.
moral damages, P10,000.00 as exemplary damages, the amount equal to
30% of the damages awarded as attorney's fees, and the costs. 2 It should be stressed that the allegations in the complaint
plainly show that it is an action or damages arising from
The petitioner moved to dismiss 3 the complaint on the grounds of respondent's act of "recklessly and negligently
failure to exhaust administrative remedies and prescription. Anent the manufacturing adulterated food items intended to be sold
latter ground, the petitioner argued that since the complaint is for breach or public consumption" (p. 25, rollo). It is truism in legal
of warranty under Article 1561 of the said Code. In her procedure that what determines the nature of an action
Comment 4 thereto, private respondent alleged that the complaint is one are the facts alleged in the complaint and those averred
for damages which does not involve an administrative action and that as a defense in the defendant's answer (I Moran 126;
her cause of action is based on an injury to plaintiff's right which can be Calo v. Roldan, 76 Phil. 445; Alger Electric, Inc. v. CA,
brought within four years pursuant to Article 1146 of the Civil Code; 135 SCRA 340).
hence, the complaint was seasonably filed. Subsequent related pleadings
were thereafter filed by the parties. 5 Secondly, despite the literal wording of Article 2176 of
the Civil code, the existence of contractual relations
In its Order of 23 January 1991, 6 the trial court granted the motion to between the parties does not absolutely preclude an
dismiss. It ruled that the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative
13 | P a g e
action by one against the other for quasi-delict arising SHOW THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT'S CAUSE
from negligence in the performance of a contract. OF ACTION IS BASEDON BREACH OF A SELLER'S
IMPLIED WARRANTIES UNDER OUR LAW ON
In Singson v. Court of Appeals (23 SCRA 1117), the Supreme Court SALES.
ruled:
II.
It has been repeatedly held: that the
existence of a contract between the CORROLARILY, THE HONORABLE COURT OF
parties does not bar the commission of a APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE AND
tort by the one against the other and the REVERSIBLE ERROR IN OVERRULING
consequent recovery of damages therefor PETITIONER'S ARGUMENT THAT PRIVATE
. . . . Thus in Air France vs. Carrascoso, . RESPONDENT'S CAUSE OF ACTION HAD
. . (it was held that) although the relation PRESCRIBED UNDER ARTICLE 1571 OF THE
between a passenger and a carrier is CIVIL CODE. 12
"contractual both in origin and in nature
the act that breaks the contract may also The petitioner insists that a cursory reading of the complaint will reveal
be a tort. that the primary legal basis for private respondent's cause of action is
not Article 2176 of the Civil Code on quasi-delict — for the complaint
Significantly, in American jurisprudence, from which does not ascribe any tortious or wrongful conduct on its part — but
Our law on Sales was taken, the authorities are one in Articles 1561 and 1562 thereof on breach of a seller's implied warranties
saying that he availability of an action or breach of under the law on sales. It contends the existence of a contractual relation
warranty does not bar an action for torts in a sale of between the parties (arising from the contract of sale) bars the
defective goods. 10 application of the law on quasi-delicts and that since private
respondent's cause of action arose from the breach of implied
Its motion for the reconsideration of the decision having been denied by warranties, the complaint should have been filed within six months
the public respondent in its Resolution of 14 May 1993, 11 the petitioner room delivery of the soft drinks pursuant to Article 171 of the Civil
took his recourse under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. It alleges Code.
in its petition that:
In her Comment the private respondent argues that in case of breach of
I. the seller's implied warranties, the vendee may, under Article 1567 of
the Civil Code, elect between withdrawing from the contract or
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS demanding a proportionate reduction of the price, with damages in
COMMITTED A GRAVE AND REVERSIBLE either case. She asserts that Civil Case No. D-9629 is neither an action
ERROR IN RULING THAT ARTICLE 2176, THE for rescission nor for proportionate reduction of the price, but for
GENERAL PROVISION ON QUASI-DELICTS, IS damages arising from a quasi-delict and that the public respondent was
APPLICABLE IN THIS CASE WHEN THE correct in ruling that the existence of a contract did not preclude the
ALLEGATIONS OF THE COMPLAINT CLEARLY action for quasi-delict. As to the issue of prescription, the private
14 | P a g e
respondent insists that since her cause of action is based on quasi-delict, vendee. While it may be true that the pre-existing contract between the
the prescriptive period therefore is four (4) years in accordance with parties may, as a general rule, bar the applicability of the law on quasi-
Article 1144 of the Civil Code and thus the filing of the complaint was delict, the liability may itself be deemed to arise fromquasi-delict, i.e.,
well within the said period. the acts which breaks the contract may also be a quasi-delict. Thus,
in Singson vs. Bank of the Philippine Islands, 17 this Court stated:
We find no merit in the petition. The public respondent's conclusion that
the cause of action in Civil Case No. D-9629 is found on quasi- We have repeatedly held, however, that the existence of
delict and that, therefore, pursuant to Article 1146 of the Civil Code, it a contract between the parties does not bar the
prescribes in four (4) years is supported by the allegations in the commission of a tort by the one against the other and the
complaint, more particularly paragraph 12 thereof, which makes consequent recovery of damages therefor. 18 Indeed, this
reference to the reckless and negligent manufacture of "adulterated food view has been, in effect, reiterated in a comparatively
items intended to be sold for public consumption." recent case. Thus, in Air France
19
vs. Carrascoso, involving an airplane passenger who,
The vendee's remedies against a vendor with respect to the warranties despite hi first-class ticket, had been illegally ousted
against hidden defects of or encumbrances upon the thing sold are not from his first-class accommodation and compelled to
limited to those prescribed in Article 1567 of the Civil Code which take a seat in the tourist compartment, was held entitled
provides: to recover damages from the air-carrier, upon the ground
of tort on the latter's part, for, although the relation
Art. 1567. In the case of Articles 1561, 1562, 1564, 1565 between the passenger and a carrier is "contractual both
and 1566, the vendee may elect between withdrawing in origin and nature . . . the act that breaks the contract
from the contract and demanding a proportionate may also be a tort.
reduction of the price, with damages either
case. 13 Otherwise put, liability for quasi-delict may still exist despite
the presence of contractual relations. 20
The vendee may also ask for the annulment of the contract upon proof
of error or fraud, in which case the ordinary rule on obligations shall be Under American law, the liabilities of a manufacturer or seller
applicable. 14 Under the law on obligations, responsibility arising from of injury-causing products may be based on
21 22 23
fraud is demandable in all obligations and any waiver of an action for negligence, breach of warranty, tort, or other grounds
future fraud is void. Responsibility arising from negligence is also such as fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. 24Quasi-delict, as
demandable in any obligation, but such liability may be regulated by the defined in Article 2176 of the Civil Code, (which is known in
courts, according to the circumstances. 15 Those guilty of fraud, Spanish legal treaties as culpa aquiliana, culpa extra-
negligence, or delay in the performance of their obligations and those contractual or cuasi-delitos) 25 is homologous but not identical
who in any manner contravene the tenor thereof are liable for to tort under the common law, 26 which includes not only
damages. 16 negligence, but also intentional criminal acts, such as assault and
battery, false imprisonment and deceit. 27
The vendor could likewise be liable for quasi-delict under Article 2176
of the Civil Code, and an action based thereon may be brought by the
15 | P a g e
It must be made clear that our affirmance of the decision of the public 9 Annex "A" of Petition; Rollo, 36-43. Per Associate
respondent should by no means be understood as suggesting that the Justice Ricardo L. Pronove, Jr., concurred in by
private respondent's claims for moral damages have sufficient factual Associate Justices Nicolas P. Lapeña, Jr. and Consuelo
and legal basis. Ynares-Santiago.

IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the instant petition is hereby 10 Rollo, 40-41. Citing CJS Supp. Products Liability § 9;
DENIED for lack of merit, with costs against the petitioner. Guarino vs. Mine Safety Appliance Co., 44 ALR 3d 470,
255 N.E. 2d 173; Goldberg vs. Kollsman Instrument
SO ORDERED. Corp., 12 N.Y. 2d 432, 436, 191 N.E. 2d 82-83; Greco
vs. S.S. Kresge Co. 12 N.E. 2d 557, 561.
Cruz, Bellosillo and Quiason, JJ., concur.
11 Annex "B" of Petition; Rollo, 45.
Griño-Aquino, J., is on leave.
12 Rollo, 14-15.
# Footnotes
13 The first remedy is known as the redhibitory action
1 Annex "C" of Petition; Rollo, 46-49. and the second, the accion quanti minoris.
(TOLENTINO, A.M., Commentaries and Jurisprudence
2 Rollo, 46-48. on the Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. V, 1992 ed.,
123).
3 Annex "D" of Petition; Rollo, 58-59.
14 TOLENTINO, supra.
4 Annex "E" of Petition; Rollo, 58-59.
15 Article 1171 and 1172, Civil Code.
5 Reply to the Comment (Annex "F" of Petition);
Rejoinder to Reply (Annex "G" of Petition); Surrejoinder 16 Article 1170, Civil Code.
(Annex "H" of Petition).
17 23 SCRA 1117 [1968]. See also Araneta vs. De Joya,
6 Annex "I" of Petition; Rollo, 77-78. Per Judge Eloy R. 57 SCRA 59 [1974].
Bello, Jr.
18 Citing Cangco vs. Manila Railroad, 38 Phil. 768;
7 Annex "J" of Petition; Rollo, 79-81. Yamada vs. Manila Railroad, 33 Phil. 8; Vasquez vs.
Borja, 74 Phil. 560.
8 Rollo, 13, 39.
19 18 SCRA 155 [1966].

16 | P a g e
20 PARAS, E.L., Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. V, Cruz & Avecilla for appellants.
1990 ed., 995-996, citing Air France vs. Carrascoso and
Singson vs. Bank of Philippine Islands, supra. Marvin R. Hill & Associates for appellees.

21 63 AM JUR 2d Products Liability, §25.

22 Id., § 91. BARREDO, J.:

23 Id., § 123. Appeal from the order of the Court of First Instance of Quezon City
dated January 29, 1965 in Civil Case No. Q-8102, Pedro Elcano et al.
24 Id., §153. vs. Reginald Hill et al. dismissing, upon motion to dismiss of
defendants, the complaint of plaintiffs for recovery of damages from
25 Report of the Code Commission on the Proposed defendant Reginald Hill, a minor, married at the time of the occurrence,
Civil Code of the Philippines, 161. and his father, the defendant Marvin Hill, with whom he was living and
getting subsistence, for the killing by Reginald of the son of the
26 Vasquez vs. De Borja, 74 Phil. 560 [1944]. plaintiffs, named Agapito Elcano, of which, when criminally
prosecuted, the said accused was acquitted on the ground that his act
27 Report of the Code Commission on the Proposed was not criminal, because of "lack of intent to kill, coupled with
Civil Code of the Philippines, 162. mistake."

Actually, the motion to dismiss based on the following grounds:

Republic of the Philippines 1. The present action is not only against but a violation
SUPREME COURT of section 1, Rule 107, which is now Rule III, of the
Manila Revised Rules of Court;

SECOND DIVISION 2. The action is barred by a prior judgment which is now


final and or in res-adjudicata;
G.R. No. L-24803 May 26, 1977
3. The complaint had no cause of action against
PEDRO ELCANO and PATRICIA ELCANO, in their capacity as defendant Marvin Hill, because he was relieved as
Ascendants of Agapito Elcano, deceased, plaintiffs-appellants, guardian of the other defendant through emancipation by
vs. marriage.
REGINALD HILL, minor, and MARVIN HILL, as father and
Natural Guardian of said minor, defendants-appellees. (P. 23, Record [p. 4, Record on Appeal.])

17 | P a g e
was first denied by the trial court. It was only upon motion for THE ACTION IS BARRED BY A PRIOR JUDGMENT
reconsideration of the defendants of such denial, reiterating the above WHICH IS NOW FINAL OR RES-ADJUDICTA;
grounds that the following order was issued:
III
Considering the motion for reconsideration filed by the
defendants on January 14, 1965 and after thoroughly THE PRINCIPLES OF QUASI-DELICTS, ARTICLES
examining the arguments therein contained, the Court 2176 TO 2194 OF THE CIVIL CODE, ARE
finds the same to be meritorious and well-founded. INAPPLICABLE IN THE INSTANT CASE; and

WHEREFORE, the Order of this Court on December 8, IV


1964 is hereby reconsidered by ordering the dismissal of
the above entitled case. THAT THE COMPLAINT STATES NO CAUSE OF
ACTION AGAINST DEFENDANT MARVIN HILL
SO ORDERED. BECAUSE HE WAS RELIEVED AS GUARDIAN OF
THE OTHER DEFENDANT THROUGH
Quezon City, Philippines, January 29, 1965. (p. 40, EMANCIPATION BY MARRIAGE. (page 4, Record.)
Record [p. 21, Record on Appeal.)
It appears that for the killing of the son, Agapito, of plaintiffs-appellants,
Hence, this appeal where plaintiffs-appellants, the spouses Elcano, are defendant- appellee Reginald Hill was prosecuted criminally in
presenting for Our resolution the following assignment of errors: Criminal Case No. 5102 of the Court of First Instance of Quezon City.
After due trial, he was acquitted on the ground that his act was not
THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN DISMISSING THE criminal because of "lack of intent to kill, coupled with mistake."
CASE BY UPHOLDING THE CLAIM OF Parenthetically, none of the parties has favored Us with a copy of the
DEFENDANTS THAT - decision of acquittal, presumably because appellants do not dispute that
such indeed was the basis stated in the court's decision. And so, when
I appellants filed their complaint against appellees Reginald and his
father, Atty. Marvin Hill, on account of the death of their son, the
THE PRESENT ACTION IS NOT ONLY AGAINST appellees filed the motion to dismiss above-referred to.
BUT ALSO A VIOLATION OF SECTION 1, RULE
107, NOW RULE 111, OF THE REVISED RULES OF As We view the foregoing background of this case, the two decisive
COURT, AND THAT SECTION 3(c) OF RULE 111, issues presented for Our resolution are:
RULES OF COURT IS APPLICABLE;
1. Is the present civil action for damages barred by the acquittal of
II Reginald in the criminal case wherein the action for civil liability, was
not reversed?

18 | P a g e
2. May Article 2180 (2nd and last paragraphs) of the Civil Code he this jurisdiction, the separate individuality of a cuasi-
applied against Atty. Hill, notwithstanding the undisputed fact that at delito or culpa aquiliana, under the Civil Code has been
the time of the occurrence complained of. Reginald, though a minor, fully and clearly recognized, even with regard to a
living with and getting subsistenee from his father, was already legally negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have been
married? prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for
which, after such a conviction, he could have been sued
The first issue presents no more problem than the need for a reiteration for this civil liability arising from his crime. (p. 617, 73
and further clarification of the dual character, criminal and civil, of fault Phil.) 2
or negligence as a source of obligation which was firmly established in
this jurisdiction in Barredo vs. Garcia, 73 Phil. 607. In that case, this It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court
Court postulated, on the basis of a scholarly dissertation by Justice specifically applied article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is
Bocobo on the nature of culpa aquiliana in relation to culpa thus that although J. V. House could have been
criminal or delito and mere culpa or fault, with pertinent citation of criminally prosecuted for reckless or simple negligence
decisions of the Supreme Court of Spain, the works of recognized and not only punished but also made civilly liable
civilians, and earlier jurisprudence of our own, that the same given act because of his criminal negligence, nevertheless this
can result in civil liability not only under the Penal Code but also under Court awarded damages in an independent civil action
the Civil Code. Thus, the opinion holds: for fault or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil
Code. (p. 618, 73 Phil.) 3
The, above case is pertinent because it shows that the
same act machinist. come under both the Penal Code and The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked
the Civil Code. In that case, the action of the agent killeth should ordinarily be sufficient to dispose of this case. But
unjustified and fraudulent and therefore could have been inasmuch as we are announcing doctrines that have been
the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to little understood, in the past, it might not he inappropriate
be also a proper subject of a civil action under article to indicate their foundations.
1902 of the Civil Code. It is also to be noted that it was
the employer and not the employee who was being sued. Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in articles 365 punishes
(pp. 615-616, 73 Phil.). 1 not only reckless but also simple negligence. If we were
to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code refer
It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case only to fault or negligence not punished by law,
could have been prosecuted in a criminal case because accordingly to the literal import of article 1093 of the
his negligence causing the death of the child was Civil Code, the legal institution of culpa
punishable by the Penal Code. Here is therefore a clear aquiliana would have very little scope and application in
instance of the same act of negligence being a proper actual life. Death or injury to persons and damage to
subject matter either of a criminal action with its property- through any degree of negligence - even the
consequent civil liability arising from a crime or of an slightest - would have to be Idemnified only through the
entirely separate and independent civil action for fault or principle of civil liability arising from a crime. In such a
negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code. Thus, in state of affairs, what sphere would remain for cuasi-
19 | P a g e
delito or culpa aquiliana? We are loath to impute to the extra-contractual. In the present case, we are asked to
lawmaker any intention to bring about a situation so help perpetuate this usual course. But we believe it is
absurd and anomalous. Nor are we, in the interpretation high time we pointed out to the harms done by such
of the laws, disposed to uphold the letter that killeth practice and to restore the principle of responsibility for
rather than the spirit that giveth life. We will not use the fault or negligence under articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil
literal meaning of the law to smother and render almost Code to its full rigor. It is high time we caused the stream
lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such full- of quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana to flow on its own
grown development as culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito, natural channel, so that its waters may no longer be
which is conserved and made enduring in articles 1902 diverted into that of a crime under the Penal Code. This
to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code. will, it is believed, make for the better safeguarding or
private rights because it realtor, an ancient and additional
Secondary, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, remedy, and for the further reason that an independent
proof of guilt beyond reasonable doubt is required, while civil action, not depending on the issues, limitations and
in a civil case, preponderance of evidence is sufficient to results of a criminal prosecution, and entirely directed by
make the defendant pay in damages. There are numerous the party wronged or his counsel, is more likely to secure
cases of criminal negligence which can not be shown adequate and efficacious redress. (p. 621, 73 Phil.)
beyond reasonable doubt, but can be proved by a
preponderance of evidence. In such cases, the defendant Contrary to an immediate impression one might get upon a reading of
can and should be made responsible in a civil action the foregoing excerpts from the opinion in Garcia that the concurrence
under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Otherwise. of the Penal Code and the Civil Code therein referred to contemplate
there would be many instances of unvindicated civil only acts of negligence and not intentional voluntary acts - deeper
wrongs. "Ubi jus Idemnified remedium." (p. 620,73 reflection would reveal that the thrust of the pronouncements therein is
Phil.) not so limited, but that in fact it actually extends to fault or culpa. This
can be seen in the reference made therein to the Sentence of the Supreme
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions Court of Spain of February 14, 1919, supra, which involved a case of
of both the Penal Code and the Civil Code on this fraud or estafa, not a negligent act. Indeed, Article 1093 of the Civil
subject, which has given rise to the overlapping or Code of Spain, in force here at the time of Garcia, provided textually
concurrence of spheres already discussed, and for lack of that obligations "which are derived from acts or omissions in which fault
understanding of the character and efficacy of the action or negligence, not punishable by law, intervene shall be the subject of
for culpa aquiliana, there has grown up a common Chapter II, Title XV of this book (which refers to quasi-delicts.)" And
practice to seek damages only by virtue of the civil it is precisely the underline qualification, "not punishable by law", that
responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that there Justice Bocobo emphasized could lead to an ultimo construction or
is another remedy, which is by invoking articles 1902- interpretation of the letter of the law that "killeth, rather than the spirit
1910 of the Civil Code. Although this habitual method is that giveth lift- hence, the ruling that "(W)e will not use the literal
allowed by, our laws, it has nevertheless rendered meaning of the law to smother and render almost lifeless a principle of
practically useless and nugatory the more expeditious such ancient origin and such full-grown development as culpa
and effective remedy based on culpa aquiliana or culpa aquiliana or quasi-delito, which is conserved and made enduring in
20 | P a g e
articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code." And so, because construction that upholds "the spirit that giveth lift- rather than that
Justice Bacobo was Chairman of the Code Commission that drafted the which is literal that killeth the intent of the lawmaker should be observed
original text of the new Civil Code, it is to be noted that the said Code, in applying the same. And considering that the preliminary chapter on
which was enacted after the Garcia doctrine, no longer uses the term, 11 human relations of the new Civil Code definitely establishes the
not punishable by law," thereby making it clear that the concept of culpa separability and independence of liability in a civil action for acts
aquiliana includes acts which are criminal in character or in violation of criminal in character (under Articles 29 to 32) from the civil
the penal law, whether voluntary or matter. Thus, the corresponding responsibility arising from crime fixed by Article 100 of the Revised
provisions to said Article 1093 in the new code, which is Article 1162, Penal Code, and, in a sense, the Rules of Court, under Sections 2 and 3
simply says, "Obligations derived from quasi-delicto shall be governed (c), Rule 111, contemplate also the same separability, it is "more
by the provisions of Chapter 2, Title XVII of this Book, (on quasi- congruent with the spirit of law, equity and justice, and more in harmony
delicts) and by special laws." More precisely, a new provision, Article with modern progress"- to borrow the felicitous relevant language
2177 of the new code provides: in Rakes vs. Atlantic. Gulf and Pacific Co., 7 Phil. 359, to hold, as We
do hold, that Article 2176, where it refers to "fault or negligencia covers
ART. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under not only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character,
the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from whether intentional and voluntary or negligent. Consequently, a
the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal separate civil action lies against the offender in a criminal act, whether
Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted,
the same act or omission of the defendant. provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is actually charged
also criminally, to recover damages on both scores, and would be
According to the Code Commission: "The foregoing provision (Article entitled in such eventuality only to the bigger award of the two,
2177) through at first sight startling, is not so novel or extraordinary assuming the awards made in the two cases vary. In other words, the
when we consider the exact nature of criminal and civil negligence. The extinction of civil liability referred to in Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111,
former is a violation of the criminal law, while the latter is a "culpa refers exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised
aquiliana" or quasi-delict, of ancient origin, having always had its own Penal Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as
foundation and individuality, separate from criminal negligence. Such a quasi-delict only and not as a crime is not estinguished even by a
distinction between criminal negligence and "culpa extracontractual" or declaration in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not
"cuasi-delito" has been sustained by decision of the Supreme Court of happened or has not been committed by the accused. Briefly stated, We
Spain and maintained as clear, sound and perfectly tenable by Maura, here hold, in reiteration of Garcia, that culpa aquiliana includes
an outstanding Spanish jurist. Therefore, under the proposed Article voluntary and negligent acts which may be punishable by law.4
2177, acquittal from an accusation of criminal negligence, whether on
reasonable doubt or not, shall not be a bar to a subsequent civil action, It results, therefore, that the acquittal of Reginal Hill in the criminal case
not for civil liability arising from criminal negligence, but for damages has not extinguished his liability for quasi-delict, hence that acquittal is
due to a quasi-delict or 'culpa aquiliana'. But said article forestalls a not a bar to the instant action against him.
double recovery.", (Report of the Code) Commission, p. 162.)
Coming now to the second issue about the effect of Reginald's
Although, again, this Article 2177 does seem to literally refer to only emancipation by marriage on the possible civil liability of Atty. Hill, his
acts of negligence, the same argument of Justice Bacobo about
21 | P a g e
father, it is also Our considered opinion that the conclusion of appellees else invites judicial action. Otherwise stated, the marriage of a minor
that Atty. Hill is already free from responsibility cannot be upheld. child does not relieve the parents of the duty to see to it that the child,
while still a minor, does not give answerable for the borrowings of
While it is true that parental authority is terminated upon emancipation money and alienation or encumbering of real property which cannot be
of the child (Article 327, Civil Code), and under Article 397, done by their minor married child without their consent. (Art. 399;
emancipation takes place "by the marriage of the minor (child)", it is, Manresa, supra.)
however, also clear that pursuant to Article 399, emancipation by
marriage of the minor is not really full or absolute. Thus Accordingly, in Our considered view, Article 2180 applies to Atty. Hill
"(E)mancipation by marriage or by voluntary concession shall terminate notwithstanding the emancipation by marriage of Reginald. However,
parental authority over the child's person. It shall enable the minor to inasmuch as it is evident that Reginald is now of age, as a matter of
administer his property as though he were of age, but he cannot borrow equity, the liability of Atty. Hill has become milling, subsidiary to that
money or alienate or encumber real property without the consent of his of his son.
father or mother, or guardian. He can sue and be sued in court only with
the assistance of his father, mother or guardian." WHEREFORE, the order appealed from is reversed and the trial court
is ordered to proceed in accordance with the foregoing opinion. Costs
Now under Article 2180, "(T)he obligation imposed by article 2176 is against appellees.
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 Fernando (Chairman), Antonio, and Martin, JJ., concur.
death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible. The father and, in case
of his death or incapacity, the mother, are responsible for the damages Concepcion Jr., J, is on leave.
caused by the minor children who live in their company." In the instant
case, it is not controverted that Reginald, although married, was living Martin, J, was designated to sit in the Second Division.
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 Separate Opinions
the joint and solidary liability of presuncion 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. 5 On the other hand, the clear implication of Article 399, AQUINO, J, concurring:
in providing that a minor emancipated by marriage may not,
nevertheless, sue or be sued without the assistance of the parents, is that Article 2176 of the Civil Code comprehends any culpable act, which is
such emancipation does not carry with it freedom to enter into blameworthy, when judged by accepted legal standards. "The Idea thus
transactions or do any act that can give rise to judicial litigation. (See expressed is undoubtedly board enough to include any rational
Manresa, Id., Vol. II, pp. 766-767, 776.) And surely, killing someone
22 | P a g e
conception of liability for the tortious acts likely to be developed in any "Sin embargo, para no ineurrir en error hay que tener en
society." (Street, J. in Daywalt vs. Corporacion de PP. Agustinos cuenta que los lineage. del precepts contenido en el
Recoletos, 39 Phil. 587, 600). See article 38, Civil Code and the ruling presente articulo son bastante mas reducidos, pues no se
that "the infant tortfeasor is liable in a civil action to the injured person hallan comprendidos en el todos los datios que pues tener
in the same manner and to the same extent as an adult" (27 Am. Jur. 812 por causa la culpa o la negligencia.
cited by Bocobo, J., in Magtibay vs. Tiangco, 74 Phil. 576, 579).
"En efecto, examinando detenidamente la terminos
general de la culpa y de la negligencia. se observe que,
tanto en una como en otra de dichas causas, hay tres
generoso o tres especies distintas, a saber:

Separate Opinions 1. La que represents una accion u omision voluntaria por


la que results incumplida una obligacion anteriormente
AQUINO, J, concurring: constituida.

Article 2176 of the Civil Code comprehends any culpable act, which is 2. La que sin existencia de una obligacion anterior
blameworthy, when judged by accepted legal standards. "The Idea thus produce un dano o perjuicio que, teniendo su origen en
expressed is undoubtedly board enough to include any rational un hecho ilicito, no reviste los caracteres de delito o falta;
conception of liability for the tortious acts likely to be developed in any y
society." (Street, J. in Daywalt vs. Corporacion de PP. Agustinos
Recoletos, 39 Phil. 587, 600). See article 38, Civil Code and the ruling 3. La que teniendo por origen un hecho que constituya
that "the infant tortfeasor is liable in a civil action to the injured person delito o falta produce una responsabilidad civil como
in the same manner and to the same extent as an adult" (27 Am. Jur. 812 accesoria de la responsabilidad criminal.
cited by Bocobo, J., in Magtibay vs. Tiangco, 74 Phil. 576, 579).
"La primera de estas tres especies de culpa o negligencia
Footnotes es siempre accesoria de una obligacion principal, cuyo
incumplimiento da origen a la terminos especial de la
1 Referring to Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain culpa en materia de contratos, y el eatudio de esta debe
of February 14, 1919. harms al examinar cada contrato, en especial, como lo
hicimos asi, analizando entoces los peculiares efectos de
2 Referring to Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil. 821. dicha culpa en cada uno de ellos.

3 Referring to Bernal et al, vs. House et al., 54 Phil. 327. "La tercera de las especies citadas es accesoria tambien,
pues no puede concebirse su existencia sin la de un
4 Parenthetically, Manresa seemingly holds. the contrary delicto o falts que la produzca. Es decir, que solo al lado
view thus: de la responsabilidad criminal puede supuesto esa
responsabilidad civil y la obligacion proveniente de la
23 | P a g e
culpa, ineurrir como una consecuencia de la deberes de precaucion y de prudencia que impuesta los
responsabilidad criminal, y, por consiguente, su examen vinculos civiles que unicamente al obligado con las
y regulacion perusal. al Derecho penal. persons., por quienes debe representacion, el mal
causado, Por ese motivo coloca dicha obligacion entre
"Como consecuencia de ello, results que la unica especie las que prudencia de la culpa of negligentj (pp. 670671,
de culpa y omisiones o negligencia que puede ser y es Manresa, Codigo Civil Espanol, Vol. XII.)
meanwhile.' del presente capitulo, es la separability, o
sea la que sin la existencia de una obligacion anterior, y
sin ningun antecedents contractual, produce un dano o
perjuico que tiene su origen en una accion u omision
culpable solo civilmente; as decir, que siendo ilicita, no
reviste sin embargo, los caracteres de un delito o falta por
no estar penada por la ley. Y aun dentro de estos lineage
hay que restringir aun mas los terminos o la materia
propria de este articulo, el cual se refiere unicamente a la
culpa o negligencia personates del obligado, pero no a
las que prudencia de actos o de omisiones de persons.,
distintas de este." (pp. 642-643, Vol. XII, Manresa,
Codigo Civil Espanol.)

5 "Nuestro Codigo no ha seguido la escuela italiana, sino


que mas bien se ha instantaneous, en el criterio de la
doctrina full-grown puesto que impone la obligacion de
reparar, el dano causado en virtud de una presuncion
juris tecum de culpa por parte del que tiene bajo su
autoridad o dependecia al causante del daho, derivada del Republic of the Philippines
hicimos de no haber puesto el cuidado y la vinculos SUPREME COURT
debida en los actos de sus subordinados para evitar dicho Manila
resultado. Asi es que, segun el parrafo ultimo del art.
1,903, cesa dicha responsabilidad cuando se prueba que THIRD DIVISION
los obligados por los actos ajenos emplearon toda la
diligencia de un buen padre de familia. Luego no es la G.R. No. 48541 August 21, 1989
causa de la obligacion impuesta la representacion, ni el
interes, ni la necesidad de que haya quienes responda del BERNABE CASTILLO (In his own behalf, and in behalf of
dano causado por el que no tiene personalidad in SERAPION CASTILLO, who has since then become deceased, and
garantias de specialist. para responsabilidad por siendo EULOGIO CASTILLO, his minor child) and GENEROSA
sino el incumplimiento implicito o supuesto de los
24 | P a g e
GALANG CASTILLO, petitioners-appellants, Castillo, then a minor child, as passengers, bound and
vs. northward for Binmaley, Pangasinan at the rate of 25
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, JUANITO kilometers per hour. Just past San Nicolas bridge,
ROSARIO and CRESENCIA ROSARIO, respondents-appellees. Villasis, he noticed, from a distance of 120 meters more
or less, a speeding oncoming car with Plate No. L-27045
Lino R. Eugenio for petitioners. '64 Cavite, along the same lane (facing north) he was
driving, overtaking a cargo truck ahead of it. He switched
Eduardo G. Rosario for private respondents. on his headlights to signal the car to return to its own
right lane as the way was not clear for it to overtake the
truck.

FERNAN, C.J.: The car turned out to be driven by the private respondent,
Juanito Rosario, with his wife, Cresencia Rosario. The
In this petition for review on certiorari, petitioners seek the reversal of signal was disregarded, as the car proceeded on its
the February 13, 1978 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. direction southward on the right lane (facing
52567-R, entitled "Bernabe Castillo, et al. v. Juanita Rosario, et north).lâwphî1.ñèt In order to evade the impending
al," affirming the dismissal by the Court of First Instance of Manila of collision, petitioner Bernabe Castillo swerved his jeep to
the complaint for damages filed by petitioners against private the right towards the shoulder and applied on the brakes,
respondents. Said dismissal was decreed on the basis of the evidence and leaving his feet on it, even, immediately after the
before the trial court as well as the decision of the Court of Appeals in impact. The car rested on the shoulder of the right lane.
CA-G.R. No. 07684-CR, entitled "People v. Juanito Rosario." The jeep's rear left wheel was on the road, leaving short
tiremarks behind it; while the car left long tire-marks,
Petitioners and private respondents figured in a vehicular accident on specially its left rear wheel. The jeep suffered a shattered
May 2, 1965 at Bagac, Villasis, Pangasinan, which caused injuries to windshield, pushed-in radiator. The left mid-portion of
their persons and damage to their respective vehicles. its bumper badly dented. The car had a flat tire on its
right front wheel; its right fender badly dented as the
The parties have conflicting versions as to what actually transpired on headlamp on top of it. The bumber stooped downward,
that fateful day; each party pointing to the negligence of the other as the because it went thru under the bumper of the jeep.
proximate cause of the accident. Thus, as expected in cases like this, the
main issue is: Who was at fault? According to the petitioners, the The driver of the jeep, including his passengers suffered
accident happened as follows: 1 physical injuries. Bernabe Castillo, with the patella of his
right knee, fractured, suffered serious physical injuries,
On May 2, 1985, at about 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, in other parts of his body. Serapion Castillo whose head
petitioner Bernabe Castillo was driving his jeep with crushed through the windshield, was nearly beheaded,
Plate No. J-4649 '64 Manila on the right lane of the while the other two passengers suffered multiple slight
McArthur Highway with Generosa Castillo, his wife, and less serious injuries.
father Serapion Castillo, seated in front and Eulogio
25 | P a g e
Private respondents, on the other hand, have their own version of the But barely had the said defendant parked his car on the
accident and thus asseverate as follows: 2 left shoulder of the road and just as he was about to get
off to fix the flat tire, the car was suddenly bumped by
Sometime in the early afternoon of May 2, 1965, the the jeep driven by Bernabe Castillo which came from the
private respondents, together with their small daughter, opposite direction. (TSN, C. Rosario, p. 32; J. Rosario,
were on their way from San Carlos City (Pangasinan) to p. 6, "Request for Admission") Both vehicles were
Olongapo City where they resided at the time and where damaged, the car suffering the heavier damage. (Please
Juanito Rosario, a member of the US Navy, had been see Annex "C", "Request for Admission") Passengers of
temporarily stationed. They rode in the family car. (TSN, the jeep sustained injuries while those of the car were
C. Rosario, p. 35; J. Rosario, pp. 2, 12 Annex "D", badly shaken.
"Request for Admission")
On June 30, 1965, a civil case for the recovery of damages for the
At or about 2:30 p.m. of the same date, as Juanito injuries sustained by petitioners and for the damage to their vehicle as a
Rosario who was driving the car, and his two passengers, result of the collision, was instituted by the petitioners in the Court of
were along MacArthur Highway in Barrio Bacag, First Instance of Manila. While this case was pending, the Provincial
Villasis, Pangasinan, going towards the south, they saw Fiscal of Pangasinan filed an information dated September 29, 1965
ahead of them a big heavily loaded cargo truck. (TSN, B. against Juanito Rosario, private respondent herein, for double physical
Castillo, p. 532, Annex "B", "Request for Admission") injuries; double less serious physical injuries; and damage to property
The truck was moving very slowly because of its heavy thru reckless imprudence, in the Court of First Instance of Urdaneta.
load so that Juanito Rosario decided to overtake it. But Respondent Juanito Rosario was prosecuted and convicted by the trial
before doing so, he first saw to it that the road was clear court in the criminal case. He appealed to the Court of Appeals, which
and as additional precautionary measure, he blew his rendered a decision 3 acquitting him from the crime charged on the
horn several times at the time he was overtaking the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.
truck. (TSN, Juanito Rosario, pp. 4, 11; C. Rosario, pp.
31-41, Annex "B", "Request for Admission") In the meantime, private respondents thru counsel, filed a "Request for
Admission" 4 on April 3, 1972 in the civil case, requesting petitioners to
Then as the car was about to overtake the slow moving admit the truthfulness of the facts set forth therein as well as the
cargo truck, the car's front left tire suddenly burst due to correctness and genuineness of the documents attached thereto. On May
pressure causing the car to swerve to the left and 5,1972, petitioners filled a "Manifestation", 5 admitting the allegations
naturally making steering and control difficult. Because in the "Request for Admission" with some qualifications. Later, both
of the tendency of the car to veer towards the left due to parties submitted their respective memoranda.
the blown out tire, the driver steered the car towards the
direction where he could find a safe place to park and fix On the basis of the testimonies and evidence submitted by the
the tire. He finally brought the car to a halt at the left petitioners, as well as the records of the criminal case attached in the
shoulder of the road (facing south). (TSN, C. Rosario, p. "Request for Admission" of the private respondents, the Court of First
31; J. Rosario, pp. 4, 17, Annex "D", "Request for Instance of Manila rendered a decision 6 on December 28, 1972,
Admission") dismissing the complaint of the petitioners against private respondents
26 | P a g e
as well as the counterclaim of private respondents against the Civil Code, with a substantively all its own, and individuality that is
petitioners. On January 24, 1973, petitioners appealed to the Court of entirely apart and independent from a delict or crime. A distinction
Appeals. On February 13, 1978, the Court of Appeals affirmed the exists between the civil liability arising from a crime and the
decision 7 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. responsibility for quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual. The same
negligence causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a
Hence, the present petition for review on certiorari. 8 The petitioners- crime under the Penal Code, or create an action for quasidelictos
appellants raise in issue before Us the following questions, to wit: or culpa extra-contractual under the Civil Code. Therefore, the acquittal
or conviction in the criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil
1) Is the decision of the Court of Appeals, where its case. 11
dispositive part, or "fallo", states that the guilt of the
(appellant) accused was not proved beyond reasonable In the case of Azucena v. Potenciano, L-14028, June 30, 1962, 5 SCRA
doubt final and conclusive, on an action for damages 468, 470-471, this Court held:
based on quasi-delict?;
... in the criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting
2) Are the testimonies given in a criminal case, without in serious physical injuries ..., the judgment of acquittal
strict compliance with Section 41 Rule 130 and without does not operate to extinguish the civil liability of the
opportunity to cross examine the witnesses who made defendant based on the same incident. The civil action is
these testimonies, admissible evidence in a subsequent entirely independent of the criminal case according to
case and can be the basis of a valid decision?; Articles 33 and 2177 of the Civil Code. There can be no
logical conclusion than this, for to subordinate the civil
3) Is an action for damages based on quasi-delict barred action contemplated in the said articles to the result of
by a decision of the appellate court acquitting the the criminal prosecution — whether it be conviction or
accused, the body of which lays the blame on the plaintiff acquittal — would render meaningless the independent
but in its dispositive part, declares the guilt of the character of the civil action and the clear injunction in
accused not proved beyond reasonable doubt ? 9 Article 31, that his action may proceed independently of
the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of
The main thrust of this petition for review which stems from a cause of the latter.
action based on quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana (being a recovery for
damages arising from the vehicular accident), is that petitioners were But this rule is not without exception. Thus, Section 2 (c) of Rule 111
deprived of due process because their civil action was decided on the of the Rules of Court provides:
basis of private respondent Juanita Rosario's acquittal in the criminal
case for reckless imprudence. Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it
extinction of the civil, unless the extinction proceeds
There is no dispute that the subject action for damages, being civil in from a declaration from a final judgment that the fact
nature, is separate and distinct from the criminal aspect, necessitating from which the civil action might arise did not exist.
only a preponderance of evidence. According to a number of cases, 10 a
quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the
27 | P a g e
In a previous case, CA-G.R. No. 07684-CR, People v. Rosario, the was actually the proximate cause of the collision. With this findings, the
Court of Appeals after a painstaking analysis of. (a) the testimonial Court of Appeals exonerated Juanito Rosario from civil liability on the
evidence; (b) the relative positions of the two vehicles as depicted in the ground that the alleged negligence did not exist.
sketches; (c) the distance of each of the two vehicles from the cemented
edge of the road; (d) the point of impact; (e) the visible tire marks, and As earlier stated, the questioned decision of the Court of Appeals was
(f) the extent of the damage caused upon each of the two vehicles, ruled an affirmation of the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila.
that it was the driver of the jeep and not the accused driver of the car During the trial of the case before the Court of First Instance, the private
who was negligent and accordingly acquitted the latter. 12 respondents were not present, in view of the fact that they were out of
the country at that time. Their counsel introduced as part of their
Negligence, being the source and foundation of actions of quasi-delict, evidence, the records in the criminal case, in accordance with Section
is the basis for the recovery of damages. In the case at bar, the Court of 41, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. 14 These records were attached to
Appeals found that no negligence was committed by Juanito Rosario to their "Request for Admission" and were substantially admitted by
warrant an award of damages to the petitioners. petitioners. The said records were mostly composed of transcripts of the
hearing in the criminal case. Petitioners raised, as one of their
Respondent Appellate Court states: objections, the propriety and correctness of admitting and adopting
these transcripts as part of the record in the civil case. According to
In acquitting defendant-appellee Juanito Rosario in CA- them, this is a violation of Section 41, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court,
G.R. No. 07684-CR on October 28, 1968, this Court held on the ground that petitioners were not given the opportunity to cross-
that the collision was not due to the negligence of Juanito examine. We have to disagree. A careful reading of the transcripts
Rosario but it was Castillo's own act of driving the jeep would reveal that then counsel for petitioners, Atty. Nicodemo Ferrer,
to the shoulder [of the road] where the car was that was actively participated during the proceedings of the criminal case. He
actually the proximate cause of the collision.' (Ibid., p. raised various objections, 15 in the course of the trial. Petitioners,
183) With this finding, this Court actually exonerated therefore, thru counsel had the opportunity to cross-examine the
appellee Juanito Rosario from civil liability. Since witnesses.
plaintiffs-appellants' civil action is predicated upon
Juanito Rosario's alleged negligence which does not Thus, the admission of the said testimonies cannot be set aside.
exist, it follows that his acquittal in the criminal action,
which is already final, carried with it the extinction of Finally, in a long line of decisions, this Court has held time and again
civil responsibility arising therefrom. (Corpus vs. Paje, that the findings of facts by the Court of Appeals are conclusive and not
28 SCRA 1062, 1064, 1067; Faraon vs. Priela, 24 SCRA reviewable by the Supreme Court. 16
582, 583; De Soriano vs. Albornoz, 98 Phil. 785,
787788; Tan vs. Standard Vacuum Oil Co., 91 Phil. 672, In Macadangdang v. Court of Appeals, 100 SCRA 73 and Tolentino v.
675). 13 De Jesus, 56 SCRA 167, it was held that:

It was the Court of Appeals findings that the collision was not due to the Findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are conclusive
negligence of Juanita Rosario but rather it was Castillo's own act of on the parties and on the Supreme Court, unless (1) the
driving the jeep to the shoulder of the road where the car was, which conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on
28 | P a g e
speculations, surmises and conjectures; (2) the inference Julio Villamor, ponente; Justices Hermogenes
made is manifestly mistaken; (3) there is grave abuse of Concepcion, Jr. and Angel H. Mojica, concurring.
discretion; (4) the judgment is based on misapprehension
of facts; (5) the Court of Appeals went beyond the issues 4 Rollo, p. 47; Record on Appeal, pp. 63-68.
of the case and its findings are contrary to the admission
of both appellant and appellee; (6) the findings of facts 5 Rollo, p. 47; Record on Appeal, pp. 79-81.
of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial
court; (7) said findings of facts are conclusions without 6 Rollo, p. 47; Record on Appeal, pp. 168-188, penned
citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (8) by Judge Hilarion V. Jarencio.
the facts set forth in the petition as well as in the
petitioner's main and reply briefs are not disputed by the 7 Rollo, pp. 123-128, Case docketed as CA-G.R. 52567-
respondent; and (9) when the finding of facts of the Court R, by the Eight Division, composed of Justice Crisolito
of Appeals is premised on the absence of evidence and is Pascual, ponente, and Justices Mariano Agcaoili and
contradicted by evidence on record. Rafael Climaco, concurring.

Finding that the questioned decision does not fall under any of the 8 Rollo, pp. 7-45.
exceptions cited above, we find no cogent reason to disturb the findings
and conclusions of the Court of Appeals. 9 Rollo, p. 110; Brief of Petitioners, pp. 5-6.

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the petition is hereby denied. 10 Diana, et al. v. Batangas Transportation Co., L-4920,
No pronouncement as to costs. June 29, 1953, 93 Phil. 391, 395; Lanuzo v. Sy Bon Ping,
et al., L-53064, September 25, 1980, 100 SCRA 205;
SO ORDERED. Garcia, et al. v. Judge Florida et al., L-35095, August 31,
1973, 52 SCRA 420.
Gutierrez, Jr., Feliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.
11 Dionisio, et al. v. Hon. Alvendia, L-1 0567,
November 26, 1957, 102 Phil. 443; Chan v. Hon. Yatco,
L-11163, April 30, 1958, 103 Phil. 1126; Batangas
Footnotes Laguna Tayabas Bus Co., Inc., et al. v. Court of Appeals,
et. al., L-33138-39, June 27, 1975, 64 SCRA 427; Elcano
1 Rollo, p. 110, Brief of Petitioners, pp. 1-3. v. Hill, L-24803, May 26, 1977, 77 SCRA 98; Virata, et
al. v. Ochoa, L-46179, January 31, 1978, 81 SCRA 472;
2 Rollo, pp. 144-146. Heirs of Pedro Tayag v. Alcantara, et. al., L-50959, July
23, 1980, 98 SCRA 723.
3 Rollo, p. 122, Case docketed as CA-G.R. No. 07684-
CR by the First Division, composed of Presiding Justice 12 Rollo, pp. 114-122.

29 | P a g e
13 Rollo, pp. 127-128. G.R. No. 80194 March 21, 1989

14 Rule 111, Section 41. TESTIMONY AT A FORMER EDGAR JARANTILLA, petitioner,


TRIAL. - The testimony of a witness deceased or out of vs.
the Philippines, or unable to testify, given in a former COURT OF APPEALS and JOSE KUAN SING, respondents.
case between the same parties relating to the same
matter, the adverse party having had an opportunity to Corazon Miraflores and Vicente P. Billena for petitioner.
cross-examine him, may be given in evidence.
Manuel S. Gemarino for private respondent.
15 Original Record, pp. 101, 104,106 & 107.

16 Philippine Surety & Insurance Co., v. Zabal, 21


SCRA 682; PAL v. Salcedo, 21 SCRA 372; Coingco v. REGALADO, J.:
Flores, 82 Phil. 284; Fong v. Javier, 107 Phil. 392;
Castillo v. Pasco, 11 SCRA 103; Laperal v. William, 13 The records show that private respondent Jose Kuan Sing was "side-
SCRA 27; Conejero v. Court of Appeals, 16 SCRA 775; swiped by a vehicle in the evening of July 7, 1971 in lznart Street, Iloilo
Sta. Ana v. Hernandez, 18 SCRA 973; Rizal Cement v. City" 1 The respondent Court of Appeals concurred in the findings of
Villareal, 135 SCRA 16 [19853; Dulos Realty v. C.A., the court a quo that the said vehicle which figured in the mishap, a
157 SCRA 426; Director of Lands v. Funtillo, 142 SCRA Volkswagen (Beetle type) car, was then driven by petitioner Edgar
57 (1986). Jarantilla along said street toward the direction of the provincial capitol,
and that private respondent sustained physical injuries as a
consequence. 2

Petitioner was accordingly charged before the then City Court of Iloilo
for serious physical injuries thru reckless imprudence in Criminal Case
No. 47207 thereof. 3 Private respondent, as the complaining witness
therein, did not reserve his right to institute a separate civil action and
he intervened in the prosecution of said criminal case through a private
prosecutor. 4 Petitioner was acquitted in said criminal case "on
reasonable doubt".5

Republic of the Philippines On October 30, 1974, private respondent filed a complaint against the
SUPREME COURT petitioner in the former Court of First Instance of Iloilo, Branch
Manila IV, 6 docketed therein as Civil Case No. 9976, and which civil action
involved the same subject matter and act complained of in Criminal
SECOND DIVISION Case No. 47027. 7 In his answer filed therein, the petitioner alleged as
special and affirmative detenses that the private respondent had no cause
30 | P a g e
of action and, additionally, that the latter's cause of action, if any, is petitioner was acquitted in the criminal action on reasonable doubt and
barred by the prior judgment in Criminal Case No. 47207 inasmuch as no civil liability was adjudicated or awarded in the judgment of
when said criminal case was instituted the civil liability was also acquittal.
deemed instituted since therein plaintiff failed to reserve the civil aspect
and actively participated in the criminal case. 8 Prefatorily, We note that petitioner raises a collateral issue by faulting
the respondent court for refusing to resolve an assignment of error in his
Thereafter, acting on a motion to dismiss of therein defendant, the trial appeal therein, said respondent court holding that the main issue had
court issued on April 3, 1975 an order of denial, with the suggestion that been passed upon by this Court in G.R. No. L-40992 hereinbefore
"(t)o enrich our jurisprudence, it is suggested that the defendant brings mentioned. It is petitioner's position that the aforesaid two resolutions
(sic) this ruling to the Supreme Court by certiorari or other appropriate of the Court in said case, the first dismissing the petition and the second
remedy, to review the ruling of the court". 9 denying the motion for reconsideration, do not constitute the "law of the
case' which would control the subsequent proceed ings in this
On June 17, 1975, petitioner filed in this Court a petition for certiorari, controversy.
prohibition and mandamus, which was docketed as G.R. No. L-
40992, 10 assailing the aforesaid order of the trial court. Said petition 1. We incline favorably to petitioner's submission on this score.
was dismissed for lack of merit in the Court's resolution of July 23,
1975, and a motion for reconsideration thereof was denied for the same The "doctrine of the law of the case" has no application at the aforesaid
reason in a resolution of October 28, 1975. 11 posture of the proceedings when the two resolutions were handed down.
While it may be true that G.R. No. L-40992 may have involved some of
After trial, the court below rendered judgment on May 23, 1977 in favor the issues which were thereafter submitted for resolution on the merits
of the herein private respondent and ordering herein petitioner to pay by the two lower courts, the proceedings involved there was one
the former the sum of P 6,920.00 for hospitalization, medicines and so for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus assailing an interlocutory
forth, P2,000.00 for other actual expenses, P25,000.00 for moral order of the court a quo, specifically, its order denying therein
damages, P5,000.00 for attorney's fees, and costs. 12 defendants motion to dismiss. This Court, without rendering a specific
opinion or explanation as to the legal and factual bases on which its two
On July 29, 1987, the respondent Court of Appeals 13 affirmed the resolutions were predicated, simply dismissed the special civil action on
decision of the lower court except as to the award for moral damages that incident for lack of merit. It may very well be that such resolution
which it reduced from P25,000.00 to P18,000.00. A motion for was premised on the fact that the Court, at that stage and on the basis of
reconsideration was denied by respondent court on September 18, the facts then presented, did not consider that the denial order of the
1987. 14 court a quo was tainted with grave abuse of discretion. 15 To repeat, no
rationale for such resolutions having been expounded on the merits of
The main issue for resolution by Us in the present recourse is whether that action, no law of the case may be said to have been laid down in
the private respondent, who was the complainant in the criminal action G.R. No. L-40992 to justify the respondent court's refusal to consider
for physical injuries thru reckless imprudence and who participated in petitioner's claim that his former acquittal barred the separate action.
the prosecution thereof without reserving the civil action arising from
the act or omission complained of, can file a separate action for civil 'Law of the case' has been defined as the opinion
liability arising from the same act or omission where the herein delivered on a former appeal. More specifically, it
31 | P a g e
means that whatever is once irrevocably established, as We also note the reminder of petitioner that in Roa vs. De la Cruz, et
the controlling legal rule of decision between the same al., 20 it was held that where the offended party elected to claim
parties in the same case continues to be the law of the damages arising from the offense charged in the criminal case through
case, whether correct on general principles or not, so her intervention as a private prosecutor, the final judgment rendered
long as the facts on which such decision was predicated therein constituted a bar to the subsequent civil action based upon the
continue to be the facts of the case before the court (21 same cause. It is meet, however, not to lose sight of the fact that the
C.J.S. 330). (Emphasis supplied). 16 criminal action involved therein was for serious oral defamation which,
while within the contemplation of an independent civil action under
It need not be stated that the Supreme Court being the Article 33 of the Civil Code, constitutes only a penal omen and cannot
court of last resort, is the final arbiter of all legal otherwise be considered as a quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana under
questions properly brought before it and that Articles 2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code. And while petitioner draws
its decision in any given case constitutes the law of that attention to the supposed reiteration of the Roa doctrine in the later case
particular case . . . (Emphasis supplied). 17 of Azucena vs. Potenciano, et al., 21 this time involving damage to
property through negligence as to make out a case of quasi-delict under
It is a rule of general application that the decision of an Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code, such secondary reliance is
appellate court in a case is the law of the case on the misplaced since the therein plaintiff Azucena did not intervene in the
points presented throughout all the subsequent criminal action against defendant Potenciano. The citation of Roa in the
proceedings in the case in both the trial and the appellate later case of Azucena was, therefore, clearly obiter and affords no
courts, and no question necessarily involved and decided comfort to petitioner.
on that appeal will be considered on a second appeal or
writ of error in the same case, provided the facts and These are aside from the fact that there have been doctrinal, and even
issues are substantially the same as those on which the statutory, 22 changes on the matter of civil actions arising from criminal
first question rested and, according to some authorities, offenses and quasi-delicts. We will reserve our discussion on the
provided the decision is on the merits . . . 18 statutory aspects for another case and time and, for the nonce, We will
consider the doctrinal developments on this issue.
2. With the foregoing ancillary issue out of the way, We now consider
the principal plaint of petitioner. In the case under consideration, private respondent participated and
intervened in the prosecution of the criminal suit against petitioner.
Apropos to such resolution is the settled rule that the same act or Under the present jurisprudential milieu, where the trial court acquits
omission (in this case, the negligent sideswiping of private respondent) the accused on reasonable doubt, it could very well make a pronounce
can create two kinds of liability on the part of the offender, that is, civil ment on the civil liability of the accused 23 and the complainant could
liability ex delicto and civil liability ex quasi delicto. Since the same file a petition for mandamus to compel the trial court to include such
negligence can give rise either to a delict or crime or to a quasi-delict or civil liability in the judgment of acquittal. 24
tort, either of these two types of civil liability may be enforced against
the culprit, subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code Private respondent, as already stated, filed a separate civil aciton after
that the offended party cannot recover damages under both types of such acquittal. This is allowed under Article 29 of the Civil Code. We
liability. 19
32 | P a g e
have ruled in the relatively recent case of Lontoc vs. MD Transit & Taxi from the criminal offense. There is persuasive logic in the view that,
Co., Inc., et al. 25that: under such circumstances, the acquittal of the accused foreclosed the
civil liability based on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code which
In view of the fact that the defendant-appellee de la Cruz presupposes the existence of criminal liability or requires a conviction
was acquitted on the ground that 'his guilt was not of the offense charged. Divested of its penal element by such acquittal,
proven beyond reasonable doubt' the plaintiff-appellant the causative act or omission becomes in effect a quasi-delict, hence
has the right to institute a separate civil action to recover only a civil action based thereon may be instituted or prosecuted
damages from the defendants-appellants (See Mendoza thereafter, which action can be proved by mere preponderance of
vs. Arrieta, 91 SCRA 113). The well-settled doctrine is evidence. 28 Complementary to such considerations, Article 29
that a person, while not criminally liable may still be enunciates the rule, as already stated, that a civil action for damages is
civilly liable. 'The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the not precluded by an acquittal on reasonable doubt for the same criminal
civil liability of the accused only when it includes a act or omission.
declaration that the facts from which the civil liability
might arise did not exist'. (Padilla vs. Court of Appeals, The allegations of the complaint filed by the private respondent supports
129 SCRA 558 cited in People vs. Rogelio Ligon y Tria, and is constitutive of a case for a quasi-delict committed by the
et al., G.R. No. 74041, July 29, 1987; Filomeno Urbano petitioner, thus:
vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 72964,
January 7, 1988). The ruling is based on Article 29 of the 3. That in the evening of July 7, 197l at
Civil Code which provides: about 7:00 o'clock, the plaintiff crossed
Iznart Street from his restaurant situated
When the accused in a criminal at 220 lznart St., Iloilo City, Philippines,
prosecution is acquitted on the ground on his way to a meeting of the Cantonese
that his guilt has not been proved beyond Club at Aldeguer Street, Iloilo City and
reasonable doubt, a civil action for while he was standing on the middle of
damages for the same act or omission the street as there were vehicles coming
may be instituted. Such action requires from the Provincial Building towards
only a preponderance of evidence ... 26 Plazoleta Gay, Iloilo City, he was
bumped and sideswiped by Volkswagen
Another consideration in favor of private respondent is the doctrine that car with plate No. B-2508 W which was
the failure of the court to make any pronouncement, favorable or on its way from Plazoleta Gay towards
unfavorable, as to the civil liability of the accused amounts to a the Provincial Capitol, Iloilo City, which
reservation of the right to have the civil liability litigated and determined car was being driven by the defendant in
in a separate action. The rules nowhere provide that if the court fails to a reckless and negligent manner, at an
determine the civil liability it becomes no longer enforceable. 27 excessive rate of speed and in violation of
the provisions of the Revised Motor
Furthermore, in the present case the civil liability sought to be recovered Vehicle (sic) as amended, in relation to
through the application of Article 29 is no longer that based on or arising the Land Transportation and Traffic Code
33 | P a g e
as well as in violation of existing city filing a separate civil action for damages, especially considering that the
ordinances, and by reason of his accused therein was acquitted because his guilt was not proved beyond
inexcusable lack of precaution and failure reasonable doubt; that the two cases were anchored on two different
to act with due negligence and by failing causes of action, the criminal case being on a violation of Article 365 of
to take into consideration (sic) his degree the Revised Penal Code while the subsequent complaint for damages
of intelligence, the atmospheric was based on a quasi-delict; and that in the judgment in the criminal
conditions of the place as well as the case the aspect of civil liability was not passed upon and resolved.
width, traffic, visibility and other Consequently, said civil case may proceed as authorized by Article 29
conditions of lznart Street; 29 of the Civil Code.

Since this action is based on a quasi-delict, the failure of the respondent Our initial adverse observation on a portion of the decision of
to reserve his right to file a separate civil case and his intervention in the respondent court aside, We hold that on the issues decisive of this case
criminal case did not bar him from filing such separate civil action for it did not err in sustaining the decision a quo.
damages. 30 The Court has also heretofore ruled in Elcano vs.
Hill 31 that — WHEREFORE, the writ prayed for is hereby DENIED and the decision
of the respondent Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, without costs.
... a separate civil action lies against the offender in a
criminal act whether or not he is criminally prosecuted SO ORDERED.
and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended
party is not allowed, if he is also actually charged Melencio-Herrera, Paras, Padilla and Sarmiento, JJ., concur.
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. In other words, the extinction of civil liability Footnotes
referred to in Par. (c) of Sec. 3 Rule 111, refers
exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of 1 Rollo, 24.
the Revised Penal Code; whereas the civil liability for
the same act considered as a quasi-delict only and not as 2 Ibid 22-23.
a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration in the
criminal case that the criminal act charged has not 3 Ibid., 41.
happened or has not been committed by the accused . . .
4 Ibid., 23-24.
The aforecited case of Lontoc vs. MD Transit & Taxi Co., Inc., et al.
involved virtually the same factual situation. The Court, in arriving at 5 Ibid., 49.
the conclusion hereinbefore quoted, expressly declared that the failure
of the therein plaintiff to reserve his right to file a separate civil case is 6 Presided over by Judge Valerie V. Rovira.
not fatal; that his intervention in the criminal case did not bar him from
34 | P a g e
7 Rollo, 5-6, 50. 19 Barredo vs. Garcia, et al., 73 Phil. 607 (1942);
Mendoza vs. Arrieta, 91 SCRA 113 (1979); Padilla vs.
8 Ibid., 6, 51. Court of Appeals, et al. 129 SCRA 558 (1984).

9 Ibid., 51. 20 107 Phil. 8 (1960).

10 Edgar Jarantilla, Petitioner vs. Honorable Valerio v. 21 5 SCRA 468 (1962).


Rovira, et al., Respondents.
22 The original provisions thereon in Sec. 1, Rule 107 of
11 Rollo, 52. the 1940 Rules of Court were revised in Secs. 1 to 5, Rule
111 of the 1964 Rules of Court. Amendments were
12 Ibid., 57. thereafter introduced by Secs. 1 to 6, Rule 111 of the
1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure which were further
13 Fourteenth Division, Justice Jesus M. Elbinias, amended in 1988 (see Footnote 26, infra).
ponente, Justices Fidel P. Purisima and Emeterio C. Cui,
concurring. 23 Padilla vs. Court of Appeals, et al., supra, People vs.
Jalandoni, 131 SCRA 454 (1984);
14 Rollo, 32, 34-36.
24 Maximo vs. Gerochi Jr., 144 SCRA 325 (1986). 24
15 See Moreno vs. Macadaeg, 7 SCRA 700 (1963); Maximo vs. Gerochi Jr., supra; see also Sec. 2, Rule 120,
Espiritu, et al. vs. Solidum, et al., 52 SCRA 131 (1973). Rules of Court.

16 People vs. Olarte 19 SCRA 494 (1967), citing People 25 G.R. No. L-48949, April 15, 1988.
vs. Pinuila, 55 O.G. 4228 (1958).
26 The same rule was provided in Sec. 3(c) Rule 111 of
17 Kabigting vs. Acting Director of Prisons, G.R. No. L- the 1964 Rules of Court, reproduced in Sec. 3(b), Rule
15548, Oct. 20, 1962, cited in Gokongwei, Jr. vs. 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, and is now
Securities and Exchange Commission, et al., 89 SCRA found in Sec. 2(b), Rule 111, under the amendments last
336 (1979). approved in the resolution of the Court on July 7, 1988.

18 Trinidad vs. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila, 27 Bachrach Motors Co. vs. Gamboa, 101 Phil. 1219
63 Phil. 881, 913 (1924), citing 4 C.J. 1093-1096, sec. (1957); Bernaldez vs. Bohol Land Transportation Co., 7
8075. SCRA 276 (1963).

28 See Sangco, Philippine Law on Torts and Damages,


1984 Ed, 555.

35 | P a g e
29 Record on Appeal, 1-2.

30 Dula, et al. vs. Dianala et al., 132 SCRA 245 (1984).

31 77 SCRA 98 (1977).

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila

EN BANC

G.R. No. L-48006 July 8, 1942

FAUSTO BARREDO, petitioner,


vs.
SEVERINO GARCIA and TIMOTEA ALMARIO, respondents.

Celedonio P. Gloria and Antonio Barredo for petitioner.


Jose G. Advincula for respondents.

BOCOBO, J.:

This case comes up from the Court of Appeals which held the petitioner
herein, Fausto Barredo, liable in damages for the death of Faustino
Garcia caused by the negligence of Pedro Fontanilla, a taxi driver
employed by said Fausto Barredo.

At about half past one in the morning of May 3, 1936, on the road
between Malabon and Navotas, Province of Rizal, there was a head-on
collision between a taxi of the Malate Taxicab driven by Pedro
Fontanilla and a carretela guided by Pedro Dimapalis. The carretela was
overturned, and one of its passengers, 16-year-old boy Faustino Garcia,
suffered injuries from which he died two days later. A criminal action
was filed against Fontanilla in the Court of First Instance of Rizal, and
he was convicted and sentenced to an indeterminate sentence of one year

36 | P a g e
and one day to two years of prision correccional. The court in the of the Civil Code. Article 1903 of the Civil Code is found in
criminal case granted the petition that the right to bring a separate civil Chapter II, Title 16, Book IV of the Civil Code. This fact makes
action be reserved. The Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence of the said article to a civil liability arising from a crime as in the case
lower court in the criminal case. Severino Garcia and Timotea Almario, at bar simply because Chapter II of Title 16 of Book IV of the
parents of the deceased on March 7, 1939, brought an action in the Court Civil Code, in the precise words of article 1903 of the Civil Code
of First Instance of Manila against Fausto Barredo as the sole proprietor itself, is applicable only to "those (obligations) arising from
of the Malate Taxicab and employer of Pedro Fontanilla. On July 8, wrongful or negligent acts or commission not punishable by law.
1939, the Court of First Instance of Manila awarded damages in favor
of the plaintiffs for P2,000 plus legal interest from the date of the The gist of the decision of the Court of Appeals is expressed thus:
complaint. This decision was modified by the Court of Appeals by
reducing the damages to P1,000 with legal interest from the time the ... We cannot agree to the defendant's contention. The liability
action was instituted. It is undisputed that Fontanilla 's negligence was sought to be imposed upon him in this action is not a civil
the cause of the mishap, as he was driving on the wrong side of the road, obligation arising from a felony or a misdemeanor (the crime of
and at high speed. As to Barredo's responsibility, the Court of Appeals Pedro Fontanilla,), but an obligation imposed in article 1903 of
found: the Civil Code by reason of his negligence in the selection or
supervision of his servant or employee.
... It is admitted that defendant is Fontanilla's employer. There is
proof that he exercised the diligence of a good father of a family The pivotal question in this case is whether the plaintiffs may bring this
to prevent damage. (See p. 22, appellant's brief.) In fact it is separate civil action against Fausto Barredo, thus making him primarily
shown he was careless in employing Fontanilla who had been and directly, responsible under article 1903 of the Civil Code as an
caught several times for violation of the Automobile Law and employer of Pedro Fontanilla. The defendant maintains that Fontanilla's
speeding (Exhibit A) — violation which appeared in the records negligence being punishable by the Penal Code, his (defendant's)
of the Bureau of Public Works available to be public and to liability as an employer is only subsidiary, according to said Penal code,
himself. Therefore, he must indemnify plaintiffs under the but Fontanilla has not been sued in a civil action and his property has
provisions of article 1903 of the Civil Code. not been exhausted. To decide the main issue, we must cut through the
tangle that has, in the minds of many confused and jumbled
The main theory of the defense is that the liability of Fausto Barredo is together delitos and cuasi delitos, or crimes under the Penal Code and
governed by the Revised Penal Code; hence, his liability is only fault or negligence under articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. This
subsidiary, and as there has been no civil action against Pedro should be done, because justice may be lost in a labyrinth, unless
Fontanilla, the person criminally liable, Barredo cannot be held principles and remedies are distinctly envisaged. Fortunately, we are
responsible in the case. The petitioner's brief states on page 10: aided in our inquiry by the luminous presentation of the perplexing
subject by renown jurists and we are likewise guided by the decisions
... The Court of Appeals holds that the petitioner is being sued of this Court in previous cases as well as by the solemn clarity of the
for his failure to exercise all the diligence of a good father of a consideration in several sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain.
family in the selection and supervision of Pedro Fontanilla to
prevent damages suffered by the respondents. In other words, Authorities support the proposition that a quasi-delict or "culpa
The Court of Appeals insists on applying in the case article 1903 aquiliana " is a separate legal institution under the Civil Code with a
37 | P a g e
substantivity all its own, and individuality that is entirely apart and The father and in, case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
independent from delict or crime. Upon this principle and on the liable for any damages caused by the minor children who live
wording and spirit article 1903 of the Civil Code, the primary and direct with them.
responsibility of employers may be safely anchored.
Guardians are liable for damages done by minors or
The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code and Revised Penal Code are incapacitated persons subject to their authority and living with
as follows: them.

CIVIL CODE Owners or directors of an establishment or business are equally


liable for any damages caused by their employees while engaged
ART. 1089 Obligations arise from law, from contracts and in the branch of the service in which employed, or on occasion
quasi-contracts, and from acts and omissions which are unlawful of the performance of their duties.
or in which any kind of fault or negligence intervenes.
The State is subject to the same liability when it acts through a
xxx xxx xxx special agent, but not if the damage shall have been caused by
the official upon whom properly devolved the duty of doing the
ART. 1092. Civil obligations arising from felonies or act performed, in which case the provisions of the next preceding
misdemeanors shall be governed by the provisions of the Penal article shall be applicable.
Code.
Finally, teachers or directors of arts trades are liable for any
ART. 1093. Those which are derived from acts or omissions in damages caused by their pupils or apprentices while they are
which fault or negligence, not punishable by law, intervenes under their custody.
shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter II, Title XVI of this
book. The liability imposed by this article shall cease in case the
persons mentioned therein prove that they are exercised all the
xxx xxx xxx diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage.

ART 1902. Any person who by an act or omission causes ART. 1904. Any person who pays for damage caused by his
damage to another by his fault or negligence shall be liable for employees may recover from the latter what he may have paid.
the damage so done.
REVISED PENAL CODE
ART. 1903. The obligation imposed by the next preceding
article is enforcible, not only for personal acts and omissions, ART. 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. — Every
but also for those of persons for whom another is responsible. person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.

38 | P a g e
ART. 101. Rules regarding civil liability in certain cases. — secondarily, or, if there be no such persons, those doing the act shall be
The exemption from criminal liability established in liable, saving always to the latter that part of their property exempt from
subdivisions 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 of article 12 and in subdivision 4 execution.
of article 11 of this Code does not include exemption from civil
liability, which shall be enforced to the following rules: ART. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern
keepers and proprietors of establishment. — In default of
First. In cases of subdivision, 1, 2 and 3 of article 12 the civil persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavern keepers, and any
liability for acts committed by any imbecile or insane person, other persons or corporation shall be civilly liable for crimes
and by a person under nine years of age, or by one over nine but committed in their establishments, in all cases where a violation
under fifteen years of age, who has acted without discernment of municipal ordinances or some general or special police
shall devolve upon those having such person under their legal regulation shall have been committed by them or their
authority or control, unless it appears that there was no fault or employees.
negligence on their part.
Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution of goods
Should there be no person having such insane, imbecile or minor taken by robbery or theft within their houses lodging therein, or
under his authority, legal guardianship, or control, or if such the person, or for the payment of the value thereof, provided that
person be insolvent, said insane, imbecile, or minor shall such guests shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself,
respond with their own property, excepting property exempt or the person representing him, of the deposit of such goods
from execution, in accordance with the civil law. within the inn; and shall furthermore have followed the
directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have
Second. In cases falling within subdivision 4 of article 11, the given them with respect to the care of and vigilance over such
person for whose benefit the harm has been prevented shall be goods. No liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence
civilly liable in proportion to the benefit which they may have against or intimidation against or intimidation of persons unless
received. committed by the innkeeper's employees.

The courts shall determine, in their sound discretion, the proportionate ART. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. — The
amount for which each one shall be liable. subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article shall
also apply to employers, teachers, persons, and corporations
When the respective shares can not be equitably determined, even engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their
approximately, or when the liability also attaches to the Government, or servants, pupils, workmen, apprentices, or employees in the
to the majority of the inhabitants of the town, and, in all events, discharge of their duties.
whenever the damage has been caused with the consent of the
authorities or their agents, indemnification shall be made in the manner xxx xxx xxx
prescribed by special laws or regulations.
ART. 365. Imprudence and negligence. — Any person who, by
Third. In cases falling within subdivisions 5 and 6 of article 12, the reckless imprudence, shall commit any act which, had it been
persons using violence or causing the fear shall be primarily liable and intentional, would constitute a grave felony, shall suffer the
39 | P a g e
penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision The distinctive nature of cuasi-delitos survives in the Civil Code.
correccional in its minimum period; if it would have constituted According to article 1089, one of the five sources of obligations is this
a less grave felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum legal institution of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual: "los actos . .
and medium periods shall be imposed. . en que intervenga cualquier genero de culpa o negligencia." Then
article 1093 provides that this kind of obligation shall be governed by
Any person who, by simple imprudence or negligence, shall Chapter II of Title XVI of Book IV, meaning articles 1902-0910. This
commit an act which would otherwise constitute a grave felony, portion of the Civil Code is exclusively devoted to the legal institution
shall suffer the penalty of arresto mayor in its medium and of culpa aquiliana.
maximum periods; if it would have constituted a less serious
felony, the penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period shall Some of the differences between crimes under the Penal Code and
be imposed." the culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito under the Civil Code are:

It will thus be seen that while the terms of articles 1902 of the Civil 1. That crimes affect the public interest, while cuasi-delitos are only of
Code seem to be broad enough to cover the driver's negligence in the private concern.
instant case, nevertheless article 1093 limits cuasi-delitos to acts or
omissions "not punishable by law." But inasmuch as article 365 of the 2. That, consequently, the Penal Code punishes or corrects the criminal
Revised Penal Code punishes not only reckless but even simple act, while the Civil Code, by means of indemnification, merely repairs
imprudence or negligence, the fault or negligence under article 1902 of the damage.
the Civil Code has apparently been crowded out. It is this overlapping
that makes the "confusion worse confounded." However, a closer study 3. That delicts are not as broad as quasi-delicts, because the former are
shows that such a concurrence of scope in regard to negligent acts does punished only if there is a penal law clearly covering them, while the
not destroy the distinction between the civil liability arising from a latter, cuasi-delitos, include all acts in which "any king of fault or
crime and the responsibility for cuasi-delitos or culpa extra-contractual. negligence intervenes." However, it should be noted that not all
The same negligent act causing damages may produce civil liability violations of the penal law produce civil responsibility, such as begging
arising from a crime under article 100 of the Revised Penal Code, or in contravention of ordinances, violation of the game laws, infraction of
create an action for cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual under the rules of traffic when nobody is hurt. (See Colin and Capitant, "Curso
articles 1902-1910 of the Civil Code. Elemental de Derecho Civil," Vol. 3, p. 728.)

The individuality of cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual looms clear Let us now ascertain what some jurists say on the separate existence of
and unmistakable. This legal institution is of ancient lineage, one of its quasi-delicts and the employer's primary and direct liability under article
early ancestors being the Lex Aquilia in the Roman Law. In fact, in 1903 of the Civil Code.
Spanish legal terminology, this responsibility is often referred to as
culpa aquiliana. The Partidas also contributed to the genealogy of the Dorado Montero in his essay on "Responsibilidad" in the "Enciclopedia
present fault or negligence under the Civil Code; for instance, Law 6, Juridica Española" (Vol. XXVII, p. 414) says:
Title 15, of Partida 7, says: "Tenudo es de fazer emienda, porque, como
quier que el non fizo a sabiendas en daño al otro, pero acaescio por su El concepto juridico de la responsabilidad civil abarca diversos
culpa." aspectos y comprende a diferentes personas. Asi, existe una
40 | P a g e
responsabilidad civil propiamente dicha, que en ningun casl quebrantos y menoscabos, el agraviado excusa procurar el ya
lleva aparejada responsabilidad criminal alguna, y otra que es conseguido desagravio; pero esta eventual coincidencia de los
consecuencia indeclinable de la penal que nace de todo delito o efectos, no borra la diversidad originaria de las acciones civiles
falta." para pedir indemnizacion.

The juridical concept of civil responsibility has various aspects Estas, para el caso actual (prescindiendo de
and comprises different persons. Thus, there is a civil culpas contractuales, que no vendrian a cuento y que tiene otro
responsibility, properly speaking, which in no case carries with regimen), dimanan, segun el articulo 1902 del Codigo Civil, de
it any criminal responsibility, and another which is a necessary toda accion u omision, causante de daños o perjuicios, en que
consequence of the penal liability as a result of every felony or intervenga culpa o negligencia. Es trivial que acciones
misdemeanor." semejantes son ejercitadas ante los Tribunales de lo civil
cotidianamente, sin que la Justicia punitiva tenga que mezclarse
Maura, an outstanding authority, was consulted on the following case: en los asuntos. Los articulos 18 al 21 y 121 al 128 del Codigo
There had been a collision between two trains belonging respectively to Penal, atentos al espiritu y a los fines sociales y politicos del
the Ferrocarril Cantabrico and the Ferrocarril del Norte. An employee mismo, desenvuelven y ordenan la materia de responsabilidades
of the latter had been prosecuted in a criminal case, in which the civiles nacidas de delito, en terminos separados del regimen por
company had been made a party as subsidiarily responsible in civil ley comun de la culpa que se denomina aquiliana, por alusion a
damages. The employee had been acquitted in the criminal case, and the precedentes legislativos del Corpus Juris. Seria intempestivo un
employer, the Ferrocarril del Norte, had also been exonerated. The paralelo entre aquellas ordenaciones, y la de la obligacion de
question asked was whether the Ferrocarril Cantabrico could still bring indemnizar a titulo de culpa civil; pero viene al caso y es
a civil action for damages against the Ferrocarril del Norte. Maura's necesaria una de las diferenciaciones que en el tal paralelo se
opinion was in the affirmative, stating in part (Maura, Dictamenes, Vol. notarian.
6, pp. 511-513):
Los articulos 20 y 21 del Codigo Penal, despues de distribuir a
Quedando las cosas asi, a proposito de la realidad pura y neta de su modo las responsabilidades civiles, entre los que sean por
los hechos, todavia menos parece sostenible que exista cosa diversos conceptos culpables del delito o falta, las hacen
juzgada acerca de la obligacion civil de indemnizar los extensivas a las empresas y los establecimientos al servicio de
quebrantos y menoscabos inferidos por el choque de los trenes. los cuales estan los delincuentes; pero con caracter subsidiario,
El titulo en que se funda la accion para demandar el o sea, segun el texto literal, en defecto de los que sean
resarcimiento, no puede confundirse con las responsabilidades responsables criminalmente. No coincide en ello el Codigo
civiles nacidas de delito, siquiera exista en este, sea el cual sea, Civil, cuyo articulo 1903, dice; La obligacion que impone el
una culpa rodeada de notas agravatorias que motivan sanciones articulo anterior es exigible, no solo por los actos y omisiones
penales, mas o menos severas. La lesion causada por delito o propios, sino por los de aquellas personas de quienes se debe
falta en los derechos civiles, requiere restituciones, reparaciones responder; personas en la enumeracion de las cuales figuran los
o indemnizaciones, que cual la pena misma atañen al orden dependientes y empleados de los establecimientos o empresas,
publico; por tal motivo vienen encomendadas, de ordinario, al sea por actos del servicio, sea con ocasion de sus funciones. Por
Ministerio Fiscal; y claro es que si por esta via se enmiendan los esto acontece, y se observa en la jurisprudencia, que las
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empresas, despues de intervenir en las causas criminales con el attorney; and it is clear that if by this means the losses and
caracter subsidiario de su responsabilidad civil por razon del damages are repaired, the injured party no longer desires to seek
delito, son demandadas y condenadas directa y aisladamente, another relief; but this coincidence of effects does not eliminate
cuando se trata de la obligacion, ante los tribunales civiles. the peculiar nature of civil actions to ask for indemnity.

Siendo como se ve, diverso el titulo de esta obligacion, y Such civil actions in the present case (without referring to
formando verdadero postulado de nuestro regimen judicial la contractual faults which are not pertinent and belong to another
separacion entre justicia punitiva y tribunales de lo civil, de scope) are derived, according to article 1902 of the Civil Code,
suerte que tienen unos y otros normas de fondo en distintos from every act or omission causing losses and damages in which
cuerpos legales, y diferentes modos de proceder, habiendose, por culpa or negligence intervenes. It is unimportant that such
añadidura, abstenido de asistir al juicio criminal la Compañia del actions are every day filed before the civil courts without the
Ferrocarril Cantabrico, que se reservo ejercitar sus acciones, criminal courts interfering therewith. Articles 18 to 21 and 121
parece innegable que la de indemnizacion por los daños y to 128 of the Penal Code, bearing in mind the spirit and the social
perjuicios que le irrogo el choque, no estuvo sub judice ante el and political purposes of that Code, develop and regulate the
Tribunal del Jurado, ni fue sentenciada, sino que permanecio matter of civil responsibilities arising from a crime, separately
intacta, al pronunciarse el fallo de 21 de marzo. Aun cuando el from the regime under common law, of culpa which is known
veredicto no hubiese sido de inculpabilidad, mostrose mas as aquiliana, in accordance with legislative precedent of
arriba, que tal accion quedaba legitimamente reservada para the Corpus Juris. It would be unwarranted to make a detailed
despues del proceso; pero al declararse que no existio delito, ni comparison between the former provisions and that regarding
responsabilidad dimanada de delito, materia unica sobre que the obligation to indemnify on account of civil culpa; but it is
tenian jurisdiccion aquellos juzgadores, se redobla el motivo pertinent and necessary to point out to one of such differences.
para la obligacion civil ex lege, y se patentiza mas y mas que la
accion para pedir su cumplimiento permanece incolume, extraña Articles 20 and 21 of the Penal Code, after distriburing in their
a la cosa juzgada. own way the civil responsibilities among those who, for
different reasons, are guilty of felony or misdemeanor, make
As things are, apropos of the reality pure and simple of the facts, such civil responsibilities applicable to enterprises and
it seems less tenable that there should be res judicata with regard establishments for which the guilty parties render service, but
to the civil obligation for damages on account of the losses with subsidiary character, that is to say, according to the wording
caused by the collision of the trains. The title upon which the of the Penal Code, in default of those who are criminally
action for reparation is based cannot be confused with the civil responsible. In this regard, the Civil Code does not coincide
responsibilities born of a crime, because there exists in the latter, because article 1903 says: "The obligation imposed by the next
whatever each nature, a culpa surrounded with aggravating preceding article is demandable, not only for personal acts and
aspects which give rise to penal measures that are more or less omissions, but also for those of persons for whom another is
severe. The injury caused by a felony or misdemeanor upon civil responsible." Among the persons enumerated are the
rights requires restitutions, reparations, or indemnifications subordinates and employees of establishments or enterprises,
which, like the penalty itself, affect public order; for this reason, either for acts during their service or on the occasion of their
they are ordinarily entrusted to the office of the prosecuting functions. It is for this reason that it happens, and it is so
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observed in judicial decisions, that the companies or enterprises, existence of a prejudicial act committed by the employee, but it
after taking part in the criminal cases because of their subsidiary is not subsidiary in the sense that it can not be instituted till after
civil responsibility by reason of the crime, are sued and the judgment against the author of the act or at least, that it is
sentenced directly and separately with regard to the obligation, subsidiary to the principal action; the action for responsibility
before the civil courts. (of the employer) is in itself a principal action. (Laurent,
Principles of French Civil Law, Spanish translation, Vol. 20, pp.
Seeing that the title of this obligation is different, and the 734-735.)
separation between punitive justice and the civil courts being a
true postulate of our judicial system, so that they have different Amandi, in his "Cuestionario del Codigo Civil Reformado" (Vol. 4, pp.
fundamental norms in different codes, as well as different modes 429, 430), declares that the responsibility of the employer is principal
of procedure, and inasmuch as the Compaña del Ferrocarril and not subsidiary. He writes:
Cantabrico has abstained from taking part in the criminal case
and has reserved the right to exercise its actions, it seems Cuestion 1. La responsabilidad declarada en el articulo 1903 por
undeniable that the action for indemnification for the losses and las acciones u omisiones de aquellas personas por las que se debe
damages caused to it by the collision was not sub judice before responder, es subsidiaria? es principal? Para contestar a esta
the Tribunal del Jurado, nor was it the subject of a sentence, but pregunta es necesario saber, en primer lugar, en que se funda el
it remained intact when the decision of March 21 was rendered. precepto legal. Es que realmente se impone una responsabilidad
Even if the verdict had not been that of acquittal, it has already por una falta ajena? Asi parece a primera vista; pero semejante
been shown that such action had been legitimately reserved till afirmacion seria contraria a la justicia y a la maxima universal,
after the criminal prosecution; but because of the declaration of segun la que las faltas son personales, y cada uno responde de
the non-existence of the felony and the non-existence of the aquellas que le son imputables. La responsabilidad de que
responsibility arising from the crime, which was the sole subject tratamos se impone con ocasion de un delito o culpa, pero no por
matter upon which the Tribunal del Jurado had jurisdiction, causa de ellos, sino por causa del causi delito, esto es, de la
there is greater reason for the civil obligation ex lege, and it imprudencia o de la negligencia del padre, del tutor, del dueño o
becomes clearer that the action for its enforcement remain intact director del establecimiento, del maestro, etc. Cuando cualquiera
and is not res judicata. de las personas que enumera el articulo citado (menores de edad,
incapacitados, dependientes, aprendices) causan un daño, la ley
Laurent, a jurist who has written a monumental work on the French Civil presume que el padre, el tutor, el maestro, etc., han cometido una
Code, on which the Spanish Civil Code is largely based and whose falta de negligencia para prevenir o evitar el daño. Esta falta es
provisions on cuasi-delito or culpa extra-contractual are similar to la que la ley castiga. No hay, pues, responsabilidad por un hecho
those of the Spanish Civil Code, says, referring to article 1384 of the ajeno, sino en la apariencia; en realidad la responsabilidad se
French Civil Code which corresponds to article 1903, Spanish Civil exige por un hecho propio. La idea de que esa responsabilidad
Code: sea subsidiaria es, por lo tanto, completamente inadmisible.

The action can be brought directly against the person responsible Question No. 1. Is the responsibility declared in article 1903 for
(for another), without including the author of the act. The action the acts or omissions of those persons for who one is responsible,
against the principal is accessory in the sense that it implies the subsidiary or principal? In order to answer this question it is
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necessary to know, in the first place, on what the legal provision That is to say, one is not responsible for the acts of others,
is based. Is it true that there is a responsibility for the fault of because one is liable only for his own faults, this being the
another person? It seems so at first sight; but such assertion doctrine of article 1902; but, by exception, one is liable for the
would be contrary to justice and to the universal maxim that all acts of those persons with whom there is a bond or tie which
faults are personal, and that everyone is liable for those faults gives rise to the responsibility. Is this responsibility direct or
that can be imputed to him. The responsibility in question is subsidiary? In the order of the penal law, the Penal Code
imposed on the occasion of a crime or fault, but not because of distinguishes between minors and incapacitated persons on the
the same, but because of the cuasi-delito, that is to say, the one hand, and other persons on the other, declaring that the
imprudence or negligence of the father, guardian, proprietor or responsibility for the former is direct (article 19), and for the
manager of the establishment, of the teacher, etc. Whenever latter, subsidiary (articles 20 and 21); but in the scheme of the
anyone of the persons enumerated in the article referred to civil law, in the case of article 1903, the responsibility should be
(minors, incapacitated persons, employees, apprentices) causes understood as direct, according to the tenor of that articles, for
any damage, the law presumes that the father, guardian, teacher, precisely it imposes responsibility "for the acts of those persons
etc. have committed an act of negligence in not preventing or for whom one should be responsible."
avoiding the damage. It is this fault that is condemned by the
law. It is, therefore, only apparent that there is a responsibility Coming now to the sentences of the Supreme Tribunal of Spain, that
for the act of another; in reality the responsibility exacted is for court has upheld the principles above set forth: that a quasi-
one's own act. The idea that such responsibility is subsidiary is, delict or culpa extra-contractual is a separate and distinct legal
therefore, completely inadmissible. institution, independent from the civil responsibility arising from
criminal liability, and that an employer is, under article 1903 of the Civil
Oyuelos, in his "Digesto: Principios, Doctrina y Jurisprudencia, Code, primarily and directly responsible for the negligent acts of his
Referentes al Codigo Civil Español," says in Vol. VII, p. 743: employee.

Es decir, no responde de hechos ajenos, porque se responde solo One of the most important of those Spanish decisions is that of October
de su propia culpa, doctrina del articulo 1902; mas por 21, 1910. In that case, Ramon Lafuente died as the result of having been
excepcion, se responde de la ajena respecto de aquellas personas run over by a street car owned by the "compañia Electric Madrileña de
con las que media algun nexo o vinculo, que motiva o razona la Traccion." The conductor was prosecuted in a criminal case but he was
responsabilidad. Esta responsabilidad, es directa o es acquitted. Thereupon, the widow filed a civil action against the street
subsidiaria? En el orden penal, el Codigo de esta clase distingue car company, paying for damages in the amount of 15,000 pesetas. The
entre menores e incapacitados y los demas, declarando directa la lower court awarded damages; so the company appealed to the Supreme
primera (articulo 19) y subsidiaria la segunda (articulos 20 y 21); Tribunal, alleging violation of articles 1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code
pero en el orden civil, en el caso del articulo 1903, ha de because by final judgment the non-existence of fault or negligence had
entenderse directa, por el tenor del articulo que impone la been declared. The Supreme Court of Spain dismissed the appeal,
responsabilidad precisamente "por los actos de aquellas saying:
personas de quienes se deba responder."
Considerando que el primer motivo del recurso se funda en el
equivocado supuesto de que el Tribunal a quo, al condonar a la
44 | P a g e
compañia Electrica Madrileña al pago del daño causado con la affecting, in accordance with article 1903, among other persons,
muerte de Ramon La fuente Izquierdo, desconoce el valor y the managers of establishments or enterprises by reason of the
efectos juridicos de la sentencia absolutoria deictada en la causa damages caused by employees under certain conditions, it is
criminal que se siguio por el mismo hecho, cuando es lo cierto manifest that the civil jurisdiccion in taking cognizance of the
que de este han conocido las dos jurisdicciones bajo diferentes same act in this latter aspect and in ordering the company,
as pectos, y como la de lo criminal declrao dentro de los limites appellant herein, to pay an indemnity for the damage caused by
de su competencia que el hecho de que se trata no era one of its employees, far from violating said legal provisions, in
constitutivo de delito por no haber mediado descuido o relation with article 116 of the Law of Criminal
negligencia graves, lo que no excluye, siendo este el unico Procedure, strictly followed the same, without invading
fundamento del fallo absolutorio, el concurso de la culpa o attributes which are beyond its own jurisdiction, and without in
negligencia no califacadas, fuente de obligaciones civiles segun any way contradicting the decision in that cause. (Emphasis
el articulo 1902 del Codigo, y que alcanzan, segun el 1903, netre supplied.)
otras perosnas, a los Directores de establecimientos o empresas
por los daños causados por sus dependientes en determinadas It will be noted, as to the case just cited:
condiciones, es manifesto que la de lo civil, al conocer del
mismo hehco baho este ultimo aspecto y al condenar a la First. That the conductor was not sued in a civil case, either separately
compañia recurrente a la indemnizacion del daño causado por or with the street car company. This is precisely what happens in the
uno de sus empleados, lejos de infringer los mencionados textos, present case: the driver, Fontanilla, has not been sued in a civil action,
en relacion con el articulo 116 de la Ley de Enjuciamiento either alone or with his employer.
Criminal, se ha atenido estrictamente a ellos, sin invadir
atribuciones ajenas a su jurisdiccion propia, ni contrariar en lo Second. That the conductor had been acquitted of grave criminal
mas minimo el fallo recaido en la causa. negligence, but the Supreme Tribunal of Spain said that this did not
exclude the co-existence of fault or negligence, which is not qualified,
Considering that the first ground of the appeal is based on the on the part of the conductor, under article 1902 of the Civil Code. In the
mistaken supposition that the trial court, in sentencing present case, the taxi driver was found guilty of criminal negligence, so
the Compañia Madrileña to the payment of the damage caused that if he had even sued for his civil responsibility arising from the
by the death of Ramon Lafuente Izquierdo, disregards the value crime, he would have been held primarily liable for civil damages, and
and juridical effects of the sentence of acquittal rendered in the Barredo would have been held subsidiarily liable for the same. But the
criminal case instituted on account of the same act, when it is a plaintiffs are directly suing Barredo, on his primary responsibility
fact that the two jurisdictions had taken cognizance of the same because of his own presumed negligence — which he did not overcome
act in its different aspects, and as the criminal jurisdiction — under article 1903. Thus, there were two liabilities of Barredo: first,
declared within the limits of its authority that the act in question the subsidiary one because of the civil liability of the taxi driver arising
did not constitute a felony because there was no grave from the latter's criminal negligence; and, second, Barredo's primary
carelessness or negligence, and this being the only basis of liability as an employer under article 1903. The plaintiffs were free to
acquittal, it does no exclude the co-existence of fault or choose which course to take, and they preferred the second remedy. In
negligence which is not qualified, and is a source of civil so doing, they were acting within their rights. It might be observed in
obligations according to article 1902 of the Civil Code, passing, that the plaintiff choose the more expeditious and effective
45 | P a g e
method of relief, because Fontanilla was either in prison, or had just alcoholes por las ganancias que dejo de obtener al verse privado
been released, and besides, he was probably without property which de servir los pedidos que se le habian hecho por los remitentes
might be seized in enforcing any judgment against him for damages. en los envases:

Third. That inasmuch as in the above sentence of October 21, 1910, the Considerando que sobre esta base hay necesidad de estimar los
employer was held liable civilly, notwithstanding the acquittal of the cuatro motivos que integran este recurso, porque la demanda
employee (the conductor) in a previous criminal case, with greater inicial del pleito a que se contrae no contiene accion que nazca
reason should Barredo, the employer in the case at bar, be held liable for del incumplimiento del contrato de transporte, toda vez que no
damages in a civil suit filed against him because his taxi driver had been se funda en el retraso de la llegada de las mercancias ni de
convicted. The degree of negligence of the conductor in the Spanish case ningun otro vinculo contractual entre las partes contendientes,
cited was less than that of the taxi driver, Fontanilla, because the former careciendo, por tanto, de aplicacion el articulo 371 del Codigo
was acquitted in the previous criminal case while the latter was found de Comercio, en que principalmente descansa el fallo recurrido,
guilty of criminal negligence and was sentenced to an indeterminate sino que se limita a pedir la reparaction de los daños y perjuicios
sentence of one year and one day to two years of prision correccional. producidos en el patrimonio del actor por la injustificada y
dolosa negativa del porteador a la entrega de las mercancias a su
(See also Sentence of February 19, 1902, which is similar to the one nombre consignadas, segun lo reconoce la sentencia, y cuya
above quoted.) responsabilidad esta claramente sancionada en el articulo 1902
del Codigo Civil, que obliga por el siguiente a la Compañia
In the Sentence of the Supreme Court of Spain, dated February 14, 1919, demandada como ligada con el causante de aquellos por
an action was brought against a railroad company for damages because relaciones de caracter economico y de jurarquia administrativa.
the station agent, employed by the company, had unjustly
and fraudulently, refused to deliver certain articles consigned to the Considering that the sentence, in question recognizes, in virtue
plaintiff. The Supreme Court of Spain held that this action was properly of the facts which it declares, in relation to the evidence in the
under article 1902 of the Civil Code, the court saying: case: (1) that the invoice issued by the railroad company in favor
of the plaintiff contemplated that the empty receptacles referred
Considerando que la sentencia discutida reconoce, en virtud de to in the complaint should be returned to the consignors with
los hechos que consigna con relacion a las pruebas del pleito: wines and liquors; (2) that when the said merchandise reached
1.º, que las expediciones facturadas por la compañia ferroviaria their destination, their delivery to the consignee was refused by
a la consignacion del actor de las vasijas vacias que en su the station agent without justification and with fraudulent intent,
demanda relacionan tenian como fin el que este las devolviera a and (3) that the lack of delivery of these goods when they were
sus remitentes con vinos y alcoholes; 2.º, que llegadas a su demanded by the plaintiff caused him losses and damages of
destino tales mercanias no se quisieron entregar a dicho considerable importance, as he was a wholesale vendor of wines
consignatario por el jefe de la estacion sin motivo justificado y and liquors and he failed to realize the profits when he was
con intencion dolosa, y 3.º, que la falta de entrega de estas unable to fill the orders sent to him by the consignors of the
expediciones al tiempo de reclamarlas el demandante le receptacles:
originaron daños y perjuicios en cantidad de bastante
importancia como expendedor al por mayor que era de vinos y
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Considering that upon this basis there is need of upholding the action in which the official criminally responsible must be made
four assignments of error, as the original complaint did not primarily liable and his employer held only subsidiarily to him.
contain any cause of action arising from non-fulfillment of a According to this theory the plaintiff should have procured the
contract of transportation, because the action was not based on arrest of the representative of the company accountable for not
the delay of the goods nor on any contractual relation between repairing the track, and on his prosecution a suitable fine should
the parties litigant and, therefore, article 371 of the Code of have been imposed, payable primarily by him and secondarily
Commerce, on which the decision appealed from is based, is not by his employer.
applicable; but it limits to asking for reparation for losses and
damages produced on the patrimony of the plaintiff on account This reasoning misconceived the plan of the Spanish codes upon
of the unjustified and fraudulent refusal of the carrier to deliver this subject. Article 1093 of the Civil Code makes obligations
the goods consigned to the plaintiff as stated by the sentence, arising from faults or negligence not punished by the law,
and the carrier's responsibility is clearly laid down in article subject to the provisions of Chapter II of Title XVI. Section 1902
1902 of the Civil Code which binds, in virtue of the next article, of that chapter reads:
the defendant company, because the latter is connected with the
person who caused the damage by relations of economic "A person who by an act or omission causes damage to
character and by administrative hierarchy. (Emphasis supplied.) another when there is fault or negligence shall be obliged
to repair the damage so done.
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 "SEC. 1903. The obligation imposed by the preceeding
of the agent was unjustified and fraudulent and therefore could have article is demandable, not only for personal acts and
been the subject of a criminal action. And yet, it was held to be also a omissions, but also for those of the persons for whom
proper subject of a civil action under article 1902 of the Civil Code. It they should be responsible.
is also to be noted that it was the employer and not the employee who
was being sued. "The father, and on his death or incapacity, the mother,
is liable for the damages caused by the minors who live
Let us now examine the cases previously decided by this Court. with them.

In the leading case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. (7 Phil., xxx xxx xxx
359, 362-365 [year 1907]), the trial court awarded damages to the
plaintiff, a laborer of the defendant, because the latter had negligently "Owners or directors of an establishment or enterprise
failed to repair a tramway in consequence of which the rails slid off are equally liable for the damages caused by their
while iron was being transported, and caught the plaintiff whose leg was employees in the service of the branches in which the
broken. This Court held: latter may be employed or in the performance of their
duties.
It is contended by the defendant, as its first defense to the action
that the necessary conclusion from these collated laws is that the xxx xxx xxx
remedy for injuries through negligence lies only in a criminal
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"The liability referred to in this article shall cease when An examination of this topic might be carried much further, but
the persons mentioned therein prove that they employed the citation of these articles suffices to show that the civil
all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the liability was not intended to be merged in the criminal nor even
damage." to be suspended thereby, except as expressly provided in the law.
Where an individual is civilly liable for a negligent act or
As an answer to the argument urged in this particular action it omission, it is not required that the injured party should seek out
may be sufficient to point out that nowhere in our general a third person criminally liable whose prosecution must be a
statutes is the employer penalized for failure to provide or condition precedent to the enforcement of the civil right.
maintain safe appliances for his workmen. His obligation
therefore is one 'not punished by the laws' and falls under civil Under article 20 of the Penal Code the responsibility of an
rather than criminal jurisprudence. But the answer may be a employer may be regarded as subsidiary in respect of criminal
broader one. We should be reluctant, under any conditions, to actions against his employees only while they are in process of
adopt a forced construction of these scientific codes, such as is prosecution, or in so far as they determine the existence of the
proposed by the defendant, that would rob some of these articles criminal act from which liability arises, and his obligation under
of effect, would shut out litigants against their will from the civil the civil law and its enforcement in the civil courts is not barred
courts, would make the assertion of their rights dependent upon thereby unless by the election of the injured person. Inasmuch as
the selection for prosecution of the proper criminal offender, and no criminal proceeding had been instituted, growing our of the
render recovery doubtful by reason of the strict rules of proof accident in question, the provisions of the Penal Code can not
prevailing in criminal actions. Even if these articles had always affect this action. This construction renders it unnecessary to
stood alone, such a construction would be unnecessary, but clear finally determine here whether this subsidiary civil liability in
light is thrown upon their meaning by the provisions of the Law penal actions has survived the laws that fully regulated it or has
of Criminal Procedure of Spain (Ley de Enjuiciamiento been abrogated by the American civil and criminal procedure
Criminal), which, though never in actual force in these Islands, now in force in the Philippines.
was formerly given a suppletory or explanatory effect. Under
article 111 of this law, both classes of action, civil and criminal, The difficulty in construing the articles of the code above cited
might be prosecuted jointly or separately, but while the penal in this case appears from the briefs before us to have arisen from
action was pending the civil was suspended. According to article the interpretation of the words of article 1093, "fault or
112, the penal action once started, the civil remedy should be negligence not punished by law," as applied to the
sought therewith, unless it had been waived by the party injured comprehensive definition of offenses in articles 568 and 590 of
or been expressly reserved by him for civil proceedings for the the Penal Code. It has been shown that the liability of an
future. If the civil action alone was prosecuted, arising out of a employer arising out of his relation to his employee who is the
crime that could be enforced only on private complaint, the penal offender is not to be regarded as derived from negligence
action thereunder should be extinguished. These provisions are punished by the law, within the meaning of articles 1902 and
in harmony with those of articles 23 and 133 of our Penal Code 1093. More than this, however, it cannot be said to fall within
on the same subject. the class of acts unpunished by the law, the consequence of
which are regulated by articles 1902 and 1903 of the Civil Code.
The acts to which these articles are applicable are understood to
48 | P a g e
be those not growing out of pre-existing duties of the parties to the ground, the automobile still moved along a distance of about
one another. But where relations already formed give rise to 2 meters, this circumstance shows the fact that the automobile
duties, whether springing from contract or quasi contract, then entered Solana Street from Real Street, at a high speed without
breaches of those duties are subject to articles 1101, 1103, and the defendant having blown the horn. If these precautions had
1104 of the same code. A typical application of this distinction been taken by the defendant, the deplorable accident which
may be found in the consequences of a railway accident due to caused the death of the child would not have occurred.
defective machinery supplied by the employer. His liability to
his employee would arise out of the contract of employment, that It will be noticed that the defendant in the above case could have been
to the passengers out of the contract for passage, while that to prosecuted in a criminal case because his negligence causing the death
the injured bystander would originate in the negligent act itself. 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
In Manzanares vs. Moreta, 38 Phil., 821 (year 1918), the mother of the either of a criminal action with its consequent civil liability arising from
8 of 9-year-old child Salvador Bona brought a civil action against a crime or of an entirely separate and independent civil action for fault
Moreta to recover damages resulting from the death of the child, who or negligence under article 1902 of the Civil Code. Thus, in this
had been run over by an automobile driven and managed by the jurisdiction, the separate individually of a cuasi-delito or culpa
defendant. The trial court rendered judgment requiring the defendant to aquiliana under the Civil Code has been fully and clearly recognized,
pay the plaintiff the sum of P1,000 as indemnity: This Court in affirming even with regard to a negligent act for which the wrongdoer could have
the judgment, said in part: been prosecuted and convicted in a criminal case and for which, after
such a conviction, he could have been sued for this civil liability arising
If it were true that the defendant, in coming from the southern from his crime.
part of Solana Street, had to stop his auto before crossing Real
Street, because he had met vehicles which were going along the Years later (in 1930) this Court had another occasion to apply the same
latter street or were coming from the opposite direction along doctrine. In Bernal and Enverso vs. House and Tacloban Electric & Ice
Solana Street, it is to be believed that, when he again started to Plant, Ltd., 54 Phil., 327, the parents of the five-year-old child,
run his auto across said Real Street and to continue its way along Purificacion Bernal, brought a civil action to recover damages for the
Solana Street northward, he should have adjusted the speed of child's death as a result of burns caused by the fault and negligence of
the auto which he was operating until he had fully crossed Real the defendants. On the evening of April 10, 1925, the Good Friday
Street and had completely reached a clear way on Solana Street. procession was held in Tacloban, Leyte. Fortunata Enverso with her
But, as the child was run over by the auto precisely at the daughter Purificacion Bernal had come from another municipality to
entrance of Solana Street, this accident could not have occurred attend the same. After the procession the mother and the daughter with
if the auto had been running at a slow speed, aside from the fact two others were passing along Gran Capitan Street in front of the offices
that the defendant, at the moment of crossing Real Street and of the Tacloban Electric & Ice Plant, Ltd., owned by defendants J. V.
entering Solana Street, in a northward direction, could have seen House, when an automobile appeared from the opposite direction. The
the child in the act of crossing the latter street from the sidewalk little girl, who was slightly ahead of the rest, was so frightened by the
on the right to that on the left, and if the accident had occurred automobile that she turned to run, but unfortunately she fell into the
in such a way that after the automobile had run over the body of street gutter where hot water from the electric plant was flowing. The
the child, and the child's body had already been stretched out on child died that same night from the burns. The trial courts dismissed the
49 | P a g e
action because of the contributory negligence of the plaintiffs. But this the International Garage of Manila, to be used by him in carrying
Court held, on appeal, that there was no contributory negligence, and passengers during the fiesta of Tuy, Batangas. Leynes was ordered by
allowed the parents P1,000 in damages from J. V. House who at the time the lower court to pay P1,000 as damages to the plaintiff. On appeal this
of the tragic occurrence was the holder of the franchise for the electric Court reversed the judgment as to Leynes on the ground that he had
plant. This Court said in part: shown that the exercised the care of a good father of a family, thus
overcoming the presumption of negligence under article 1903. This
Although the trial judge made the findings of fact hereinbefore Court said:
outlined, he nevertheless was led to order the dismissal of the
action because of the contributory negligence of the plaintiffs. It As to selection, the defendant has clearly shown that he
is from this point that a majority of the court depart from the exercised the care and diligence of a good father of a family. He
stand taken by the trial judge. The mother and her child had a obtained the machine from a reputable garage and it was, so far
perfect right to be on the principal street of Tacloban, Leyte, on as appeared, in good condition. The workmen were likewise
the evening when the religious procession was held. There was selected from a standard garage, were duly licensed by the
nothing abnormal in allowing the child to run along a few paces Government in their particular calling, and apparently
in advance of the mother. No one could foresee the coincidence thoroughly competent. The machine had been used but a few
of an automobile appearing and of a frightened child running and hours when the accident occurred and it is clear from the
falling into a ditch filled with hot water. The doctrine announced evidence that the defendant had no notice, either actual or
in the much debated case of Rakes vs. Atlantic Gulf and Pacific constructive, of the defective condition of the steering gear.
Co. ([1907]), 7 Phil., 359), still rule. Article 1902 of the Civil
Code must again be enforced. The contributory negligence of the The legal aspect of the case was discussed by this Court thus:
child and her mother, if any, does not operate as a bar to
recovery, but in its strictest sense could only result in reduction Article 1903 of the Civil Code not only establishes liability in
of the damages. cases of negligence, but also provides when the liability shall
cease. It says:
It is most significant that in the case just cited, this Court specifically
applied article 1902 of the Civil Code. It is thus that although J. V. "The liability referred to in this article shall cease when
House could have been criminally prosecuted for reckless or simple the persons mentioned therein prove that they employed
negligence and not only punished but also made civilly liable because all the diligence of a good father of a family to avoid the
of his criminal negligence, nevertheless this Court awarded damages in damage."
an independent civil action for fault or negligence under article 1902 of
the Civil Code. From this article two things are apparent: (1) That when an
injury is caused by the negligence of a servant or employee there
In Bahia vs. Litonjua and Leynes (30 Phil., 624 [year 1915), the action instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence
was for damages for the death of the plaintiff's daughter alleged to have on the part of the matter or employer either in the selection of
been caused by the negligence of the servant in driving an automobile the servant or employee, or in supervision over him after the
over the child. It appeared that the cause of the mishap was a defect in selection, or both; and (2) that presumption is juris tantum and
the steering gear. The defendant Leynes had rented the automobile from not juris et de jure, and consequently, may be rebutted. It
50 | P a g e
follows necessarily that if the employer shows to the satisfaction his servant. (Bahia vs.Litonjua and Leynes [1915], 30 Phil., 624;
of the court that in selection and supervision he has exercised the Cangco vs. Manila Railroad Co. [1918], 38 Phil., 768.)
care and diligence of a good father of a family, the presumption
is overcome and he is relieve from liability. In Walter A. Smith & Co. vs. Cadwallader Gibson Lumber Co., 55 Phil.,
517 (year 1930) the plaintiff brought an action for damages for the
This theory bases the responsibility of the master ultimately on demolition of its wharf, which had been struck by the steamer Helen C
his own negligence and not on that of his servant. belonging to the defendant. This Court held (p. 526):

The doctrine of the case just cited was followed by this Court in Cerf vs. The evidence shows that Captain Lasa at the time the plaintiff's
Medel (33 Phil., 37 [year 1915]). In the latter case, the complaint alleged wharf collapsed was a duly licensed captain, authorized to
that the defendant's servant had so negligently driven an automobile, navigate and direct a vessel of any tonnage, and that the appellee
which was operated by defendant as a public vehicle, that said contracted his services because of his reputation as a captain,
automobile struck and damaged the plaintiff's motorcycle. This Court, according to F. C. Cadwallader. This being so, we are of the
applying article 1903 and following the rule in Bahia vs. Litonjua and opinion that the presumption of liability against the defendant
Leynes, said in part (p. 41) that: has been overcome by the exercise of the care and diligence of a
good father of a family in selecting Captain Lasa, in accordance
The master is liable for the negligent acts of his servant where with the doctrines laid down by this court in the cases cited
he is the owner or director of a business or enterprise and the above, and the defendant is therefore absolved from all liability.
negligent acts are committed while the servant is engaged in his
master's employment as such owner. It is, therefore, seen that the defendant's theory about his secondary
liability is negatived by the six cases above set forth. He is, on the
Another case which followed the decision in Bahia vs. Litonjua and authority of these cases, primarily and directly responsible in damages
Leynes was Cuison vs. Norton & Harrison Co., 55 Phil., 18 (year 1930). under article 1903, in relation to article 1902, of the Civil Code.
The latter case was an action for damages brought by Cuison for the
death of his seven-year-old son Moises. The little boy was on his way Let us now take up the Philippine decisions relied upon by the
to school with his sister Marciana. Some large pieces of lumber fell from defendant. We study first, City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., 52
a truck and pinned the boy underneath, instantly killing him. Two Phil., 586 (year 1928). A collision between a truck of the City of Manila
youths, Telesforo Binoya and Francisco Bautista, who were working for and a street car of the Manila Electric Co. took place on June 8, 1925.
Ora, an employee of defendant Norton & Harrison Co., pleaded guilty The truck was damaged in the amount of P1,788.27. Sixto Eustaquio,
to the crime of homicide through reckless negligence and were the motorman, was prosecuted for the crime of damage to property and
sentenced accordingly. This Court, applying articles 1902 and 1903, slight injuries through reckless imprudence. He was found guilty and
held: sentenced to pay a fine of P900, to indemnify the City of Manila for
P1,788.27, with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. Unable
The basis of civil law liability is not respondent superior but the to collect the indemnity from Eustaquio, the City of Manila filed an
relationship of pater familias. This theory bases the liability of action against the Manila Electric Company to obtain payment, claiming
the master ultimately on his own negligence and not on that of that the defendant was subsidiarily liable. The main defense was that the
defendant had exercised the diligence of a good father of a family to
51 | P a g e
prevent the damage. The lower court rendered judgment in favor of the It is not clear how the above case could support the defendant's
plaintiff. This Court held, in part, that this case was governed by the proposition, because the Court of Appeals based its decision in the
Penal Code, saying: present case on the defendant's primary responsibility under article 1903
of the Civil Code and not on his subsidiary liability arising from
With this preliminary point out of the way, there is no escaping Fontanilla's criminal negligence. In other words, the case of City of
the conclusion that the provisions of the Penal Code govern. The Manila vs. Manila Electric Co., supra, is predicated on an entirely
Penal Code in easily understandable language authorizes the different theory, which is the subsidiary liability of an employer arising
determination of subsidiary liability. The Civil Code negatives from a criminal act of his employee, whereas the foundation of the
its application by providing that civil obligations arising from decision of the Court of Appeals in the present case is the employer's
crimes or misdemeanors shall be governed by the provisions of primary liability under article 1903 of the Civil Code. We have already
the Penal Code. The conviction of the motorman was a seen that this is a proper and independent remedy.
misdemeanor falling under article 604 of the Penal Code. The
act of the motorman was not a wrongful or negligent act or Arambulo vs. Manila Electric Co. (55 Phil., 75), is another case invoked
omission not punishable by law. Accordingly, the civil by the defendant. A motorman in the employ of the Manila Electric
obligation connected up with the Penal Code and not with article Company had been convicted o homicide by simple negligence and
1903 of the Civil Code. In other words, the Penal Code affirms sentenced, among other things, to pay the heirs of the deceased the sum
its jurisdiction while the Civil Code negatives its jurisdiction. of P1,000. An action was then brought to enforce the subsidiary liability
This is a case of criminal negligence out of which civil liability of the defendant as employer under the Penal Code. The defendant
arises and not a case of civil negligence. attempted to show that it had exercised the diligence of a good father of
a family in selecting the motorman, and therefore claimed exemption
xxx xxx xxx from civil liability. But this Court held:

Our deduction, therefore, is that the case relates to the Penal In view of the foregoing considerations, we are of opinion and
Code and not to the Civil Code. Indeed, as pointed out by the so hold, (1) that the exemption from civil liability established in
trial judge, any different ruling would permit the master to article 1903 of the Civil Code for all who have acted with the
escape scot-free by simply alleging and proving that the master diligence of a good father of a family, is not applicable to the
had exercised all diligence in the selection and training of its subsidiary civil liability provided in article 20 of the Penal Code.
servants to prevent the damage. That would be a good defense
to a strictly civil action, but might or might not be to a civil The above case is also extraneous to the theory of the defendant in the
action either as a part of or predicated on conviction for a crime instant case, because the action there had for its purpose the enforcement
or misdemeanor. (By way of parenthesis, it may be said further of the defendant's subsidiary liability under the Penal Code, while in the
that the statements here made are offered to meet the argument case at bar, the plaintiff's cause of action is based on the defendant's
advanced during our deliberations to the effect that article 0902 primary and direct responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code.
of the Civil Code should be disregarded and codal articles 1093 In fact, the above case destroys the defendant's contention because that
and 1903 applied.) decision illustrates the principle that the employer's primary
responsibility under article 1903 of the Civil Code is different in
character from his subsidiary liability under the Penal Code.
52 | P a g e
In trying to apply the two cases just referred to, counsel for the defendant for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana? We are loath to impute to the
has failed to recognize the distinction between civil liability arising from lawmaker any intention to bring about a situation so absurd and
a crime, which is governed by the Penal Code, and the responsibility anomalous. Nor are we, in the interpretation of the laws, disposed to
for cuasi-delito or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code, and has uphold the letter that killeth rather than the spirit that giveth life. We
likewise failed to give the importance to the latter type of civil action. will not use the literal meaning of the law to smother and render almost
lifeless a principle of such ancient origin and such full-grown
The defendant-petitioner also cites Francisco vs. Onrubia (46 Phil., development as culpa aquiliana or cuasi-delito, which is conserved and
327). That case need not be set forth. Suffice it to say that the question made enduring in articles 1902 to 1910 of the Spanish Civil Code.
involved was also civil liability arising from a crime. Hence, it is as
inapplicable as the two cases above discussed. Secondly, to find the accused guilty in a criminal case, proof of guilt
beyond reasonable doubt is required, while in a civil case,
The foregoing authorities clearly demonstrate the separate individuality preponderance of evidence is sufficient to make the defendant pay in
of cuasi-delitos or culpa aquiliana under the Civil Code. Specifically damages. There are numerous cases of criminal negligence which can
they show that there is a distinction between civil liability arising from not be shown beyond reasonable doubt, but can be proved by a
criminal negligence (governed by the Penal Code) and responsibility for preponderance of evidence. In such cases, the defendant can and should
fault or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code, and be made responsible in a civil action under articles 1902 to 1910 of the
that the same negligent act may produce either a civil liability arising Civil Code. Otherwise, there would be many instances of unvindicated
from a crime under the Penal Code, or a separate responsibility for fault civil wrongs. Ubi jus ibi remedium.
or negligence under articles 1902 to 1910 of the Civil Code. Still more
concretely, the authorities above cited render it inescapable to conclude Thirdly, to hold that there is only one way to make defendant's liability
that the employer — in this case the defendant-petitioner — is primarily effective, and that is, to sue the driver and exhaust his (the latter's)
and directly liable under article 1903 of the Civil Code. property first, would be tantamount to compelling the plaintiff to follow
a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining relief. True, there is
The legal provisions, authors, and cases already invoked should such a remedy under our laws, but there is also a more expeditious way,
ordinarily be sufficient to dispose of this case. But inasmuch as we are which is based on the primary and direct responsibility of the defendant
announcing doctrines that have been little understood in the past, it under article 1903 of the Civil Code. Our view of the law is more likely
might not be inappropriate to indicate their foundations. to facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure indicated by
the defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it being a matter of
Firstly, the Revised Penal Code in article 365 punishes not only reckless common knowledge that professional drivers of taxis and similar public
but also simple negligence. If we were to hold that articles 1902 to 1910 conveyance usually do not have sufficient means with which to pay
of the Civil Code refer only to fault or negligence not punished by law, damages. Why, then, should the plaintiff be required in all cases to go
according to the literal import of article 1093 of the Civil Code, the legal through this roundabout, unnecessary, and probably useless procedure?
institution of culpa aquiliana would have very little scope and In construing the laws, courts have endeavored to shorten and facilitate
application in actual life. Death or injury to persons and damage to the pathways of right and justice.
property through any degree of negligence — even the slightest —
would have to be indemnified only through the principle of civil liability At this juncture, it should be said that the primary and direct
arising from a crime. In such a state of affairs, what sphere would remain responsibility of employers and their presumed negligence are
53 | P a g e
principles calculated to protect society. Workmen and employees should for fault or negligence under articles 1902 et seq. of the Civil Code to
be carefully chosen and supervised in order to avoid injury to the public. its full rigor. It is high time we caused the stream of quasi-delict or culpa
It is the masters or employers who principally reap the profits resulting aquiliana to flow on its own natural channel, so that its waters may no
from the services of these servants and employees. It is but right that longer be diverted into that of a crime under the Penal Code. This will,
they should guarantee the latter's careful conduct for the personnel and it is believed, make for the better safeguarding of private rights because
patrimonial safety of others. As Theilhard has said, "they should it re-establishes an ancient and additional remedy, and for the further
reproach themselves, at least, some for their weakness, others for their reason that an independent civil action, not depending on the issues,
poor selection and all for their negligence." And according to Manresa, limitations and results of a criminal prosecution, and entirely directed
"It is much more equitable and just that such responsibility should fall by the party wronged or his counsel, is more likely to secure adequate
upon the principal or director who could have chosen a careful and and efficacious redress.
prudent employee, and not upon the injured person who could not
exercise such selection and who used such employee because of his In view of the foregoing, the judgment of the Court of Appeals should
confidence in the principal or director." (Vol. 12, p. 622, 2nd Ed.) Many be and is hereby affirmed, with costs against the defendant-petitioner.
jurists also base this primary responsibility of the employer on the
principle of representation of the principal by the agent. Thus, Oyuelos Yulo, C.J., Moran, Ozaeta and Paras, JJ., concur.
says in the work already cited (Vol. 7, p. 747) that before third persons
the employer and employee "vienen a ser como una sola personalidad,
por refundicion de la del dependiente en la de quien le emplea y utiliza."
("become as one personality by the merging of the person of the EN BANC
employee in that of him who employs and utilizes him.") All these
observations acquire a peculiar force and significance when it comes to [G.R. No. 129029. April 3, 2000]
motor accidents, and there is need of stressing and accentuating the
responsibility of owners of motor vehicles. RAFAEL REYES TRUCKING CORPORATION, petitioner,
vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and ROSARIO P. DY (for
Fourthly, because of the broad sweep of the provisions of both the Penal herself and on behalf of the minors Maria Luisa, Francis Edward,
Code and the Civil Code on this subject, which has given rise to the Francis Mark and Francis Rafael, all surnamed Dy), respondents.
overlapping or concurrence of spheres already discussed, and for lack
of understanding of the character and efficacy of the action for culpa DECISION
aquiliana, there has grown up a common practice to seek damages only
by virtue of the civil responsibility arising from a crime, forgetting that PARDO, J.:
there is another remedy, which is by invoking articles 1902-1910 of the
Civil Code. Although this habitual method is allowed by our laws, it has The case is an appeal via certiorari from the amended decision[1] of the
nevertheless rendered practically useless and nugatory the more Court of Appeals[2] affirming the decision and supplemental decision of
expeditious and effective remedy based on culpa aquiliana or culpa the trial court,[3] as follows:
extra-contractual. In the present case, we are asked to help perpetuate
this usual course. But we believe it is high time we pointed out to the
harm done by such practice and to restore the principle of responsibility
54 | P a g e
"IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby the death of Francisco Dy, Jr.; @ Pacquing and damages
rendered dismissing the appeals interposed by both to his Nissan Pick-Up bearing Plate No. BBG-957 in the
accused and Reyes Trucking Corporation and affirming total amount of P2,000,000.00.
the Decision and Supplemental Decision dated June 6,
1992 and October 26, 1992 respectively. "CONTRARY TO LAW.

"SO ORDERED."[4] "Cauayan, Isabela, October 10, 1989.

The facts are as follows: "(Sgd.) FAUSTO C. CABANTAC


"Third Assistant Provincial Prosecutor"
On October 10, 1989, Provincial Prosecutor Patricio T. Durian of
Isabela filed with the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan Upon arraignment on October 23, 1989, the accused entered a plea of
an amended information charging Romeo Dunca y de Tumol with not guilty. On the same occasion, the offended parties (Rosario P. Dy
reckless imprudence resulting in double homicide and damage to and minor children and Angelina M. Balcita and minor son Paolo) made
property, reading as follows: a reservation to file a separate civil action against the accused arising
from the offense charged.[5] On November 29, 1989, the offended
"That on or about the 20th day of June, 1989, in the parties actually filed with the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19,
Municipality of Cauayan, Province of Isabela, Cauayan a complaint against petitioner Rafael Reyes Trucking
Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Corporation, as employer of driver Romeo Dunca y de Tumol, based
Court, the said accused being the driver and person-in- on quasi delict. The petitioner settled the claim of the heirs of Feliciano
charge of a Trailer Truck Tractor bearing Plate No. N2A- Balcita (the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident). The
867 registered in the name of Rafael Reyes Trucking private respondents opted to pursue the criminal action but did not
Corporation, with a load of 2,000 cases of empty bottles withdraw the civil case quasi ex delicto they filed against petitioner. On
of beer grande, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously December 15, 1989, private respondents withdrew the reservation to file
drove and operated the same while along the National a separate civil action against the accused and manifested that they
Highway of Barangay Tagaran, in said Municipality, in would prosecute the civil aspect ex delicto in the criminal
a negligent, careless and imprudent manner, without due action.[6] However, they did not withdraw the separate civil action based
regard to traffic laws, rules and ordinances and without on quasi delict against petitioner as employer arising from the same act
taking the necessary precautions to prevent injuries to or omission of the accused driver.[7]
persons and damage to property, causing by such
negligence, carelessness and imprudence the said trailer Upon agreement of the parties, the trial court consolidated both criminal
truck to hit and bump a Nissan Pick-up bearing Plate No. and civil cases and conducted a joint trial of the same.
BBG-957 driven by Feliciano Balcita and Francisco Dy,
Jr., @ Pacquing, due to irreversible shock, internal and The facts, as found by the trial court, which appear to be undisputed, are
external hemorrhage and multiple injuries, open wounds, as follows:
abrasions, and further causing damages to the heirs of
Feliciano Balcita in the amount of P100,000.00 and to
55 | P a g e
"The defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation is a swerved to the left invading the lane of the Nissan. As a
domestic corporation engaged in the business of result, Duncas vehicle rammed the incoming Nissan
transporting beer products for the San Miguel dragging it to the left shoulder of the road and climbed a
Corporation (SMC for short) from the latters San ridge above said shoulder where it finally stopped. (see
Fernando, Pampanga plant to its various sales outlets in Exh. A-5, p. 8, record). The Nissan was severely
Luzon. Among its fleets of vehicles for hire is the white damaged (Exhs. A-7, A-8, A-9 and A-14, pp. 9-11,
truck trailer described above driven by Romeo Dunca y record), and its two passengers, namely: Feliciano
Tumol, a duly licensed driver. Aside from the Balcita and Francisco Dy, Jr. died instantly (Exh. A-19)
Corporations memorandum to all its drivers and helpers from external and internal hemorrhage and multiple
to physically inspect their vehicles before each trip (Exh. fractures (pp. 15 and 16, record).
15, pars. 4 & 5), the SMCs Traffic Investigator-Inspector
certified the roadworthiness of this White Truck trailer "For the funeral expenses of Francisco Dy, Jr. her widow
prior to June 20, 1989 (Exh. 17). In addition to a spent P651,360.00 (Exh. I-3). At the time of his death he
professional drivers license, it also conducts a rigid was 45 years old. He was the President and Chairman of
examination of all driver applicants before they are hired. the Board of the Dynamic Wood Products and
Development Corporation (DWPC), a wood processing
"In the early morning of June 20, 1989, the White Truck establishment, from which he was receiving an income
driven by Dunca left Tuguegarao, Cagayan bound to San of P10,000.00 a month (Exh. D). In the Articles of
Fernando, Pampanga loaded with 2,000 cases of empty Incorporation of the DWPC, the spouses Francisco Dy,
beer "Grande" bottles. Seated at the front right seat Jr. and Rosario Perez Dy appear to be stockholders of
beside him was Ferdinand Domingo, his truck helper 10,000 shares each with par value of P100.00 per share
("pahinante" in Pilipino). At around 4:00 oclock that out of its outstanding and subscribed capital stock of
same morning while the truck was descending at a slight 60,000 shares valued at P6,000,000.00 (Exhs. K-1 & 10-
downgrade along the national road at Tagaran, Cauayan, B). Under its 1988 Income Tax Returns (Exh. J) the
Isabela, it approached a damaged portion of the road DWPC had a taxable net income of P78,499.30 (Exh. J).
covering the full width of the trucks right lane going Francisco Dy, Jr. was a La Salle University graduate in
south and about six meters in length. These made the Business Administration, past president of the Pasay
surface of the road uneven because the potholes were Jaycees, National Treasurer and President of the
about five to six inches deep. The left lane parallel to this Philippine Jaycees in 1971 and 1976, respectively, and
damaged portion is smooth. As narrated by Ferdinand World Vice-President of Jaycees International in 1979.
Domingo, before approaching the potholes, he and He was also the recipient of numerous awards as a civic
Dunca saw the Nissan with its headlights on coming leader (Exh. C). His children were all studying in
from the opposite direction. They used to evade this prestigious schools and spent about P180,000.00 for
damaged road by taking the left lance but at that their education in 1988 alone (Exh. H-4).
particular moment, because of the incoming vehicle,
they had to run over it. This caused the truck to bounce "As stated earlier, the plaintiffs procurement of a writ of
wildly. Dunca lost control of the wheels and the truck attachment of the properties of the Corporation was
56 | P a g e
declared illegal by the Court of Appeals. It was shown "2. Ordering the plaintiff in Civil Case No. Br. 19-424 to
that on December 26, 1989, Deputy Sheriff Edgardo pay the defendant therein actual damages in the amount
Zabat of the RTC at San Fernando, Pampanga, attached of P84,000.00; and
six units of Truck Tractors and trailers of the Corporation
at its garage at San Fernando, Pampanga. These vehicles "3. Ordering the dismissal of the complaint in Civil Case
were kept under PC guard by the plaintiffs in said garage No. Br. 19-424.
thus preventing the Corporation to operate them.
However, on December 28, 1989, the Court of Appeals "No pronouncement as to costs.
dissolved the writ (p. 30, record) and on December 29,
1989, said Sheriff reported to this Court that the attached "SO ORDERED.
vehicles were taken by the defendants representative,
Melita Manapil (Exh. O, p. 31, record). The defendants "Cauayan, Isabela, June 6, 1992.
general Manager declared that it lost P21,000.00 per day
for the non-operation of the six units during their "(Sgd.) ARTEMIO R. ALIVIA
attachment (p. 31, t.s.n., Natividad C. Babaran, "Regional Trial Judge"[9]
proceedings on December 10, 1990)."[8]
On September 3, 1992, petitioner and the accused filed a notice of
On June 6, 1992, the trial court rendered a joint decision, the dispositive appeal from the joint decision.[10]
portion of which reads as follows:
On the other hand, private respondents moved for amendment of the
"WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations dispositive portion of the joint decision so as to hold petitioner
judgment is hereby rendered: subsidiarily liable for the damages awarded to the private respondents
in the event of insolvency of the accused.[11]
"1. Finding the accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Double On October 26, 1992, the trial court rendered a supplemental decision
Homicide through Reckless Imprudence with violation amending the dispositive portion by inserting an additional paragraph
of the Motor Vehicle Law (Rep. Act No. 4136), and reading as follows:
appreciating in his favor the mitigating circumstance of
voluntary surrender without any aggravating "2:A Ordering the defendant Reyes Trucking
circumstance to offset the same, the Court hereby Corporation subsidiarily liable for all the damages
sentences him to suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties awarded to the heirs of Francisco Dy, Jr., in the event of
of four months and one day of arresto mayor as minimum insolvency of the accused but deducting therefrom the
to three years, six months and twenty days as maximum; damages of P84,000.00 awarded to said defendant in the
to indemnify the Heirs of Francisco Dy. Jr. in the amount next preceding paragraph; and x x x"[12]
of P3,000,000.00 as compensatory damages,
P1,000,000.00 as moral damages, and P1,030,000.00 as
funeral expenses;
57 | P a g e
On November 12, 1992, petitioner filed with the trial court a civil action by the offended parties against the employer
supplemental notice of appeal from the supplemental decision.[13] of the truck driver?

During the pendency of the appeal, the accused jumped bail and fled to 2.....May the Court award damages to the offended
a foreign country. By resolution dated December 29, 1994, the Court of parties in the criminal case despite the filing of a civil
Appeals dismissed the appeal of the accused in the criminal case.[14] action against the employer of the truck driver; and in
amounts exceeding that alleged in the information for
On January 6, 1997, the Court of Appeals rendered an amended decision reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and damage
affirming that of the trial court, as set out in the opening paragraph of to property?[22]
this decision.[15]
We grant the petition, resolving under the circumstances pro hac vice to
On January 31, 1997, petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration of the remand the cases to the trial court for determination of the civil liability
amended decision.[16] of petitioner as employer of the accused driver in the civil action quasi
ex delicto re-opened for the purpose.
On April 21, 1997, the Court of Appeals denied petitioners motion for
reconsideration for lack of merit.[17] In negligence cases, the aggrieved party has the choice between (1) an
action to enforce civil liability arising from crime under Article 100 of
Hence, this petition for review.[18] the Revised Penal Code; and (2) a separate action for quasi delictunder
Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. Once the choice is
On July 21, 1997, the Court required respondents to comment on the made, the injured party can not avail himself of any other remedy
petition within ten (10) days from notice.[19] because he may not recover damages twice for the same negligent act
or omission of the accused.[23] This is the rule against double recovery.
On January 27, 1998, the Solicitor General filed his comment.[20] On
April 13, 1998, the Court granted leave to petitioner to file a reply and In other words, "the same act or omission can create two kinds of
noted the reply it filed on March 11, 1998.[21] liability on the part of the offender, that is, civil liability ex delicto, and
civil liability quasi delicto" either of which "may be enforced against
We now resolve to give due course to the petition and decide the case. the culprit, subject to the caveat under Article 2177 of the Civil Code
that the offended party can not recover damages under both types of
Petitioner raises three (3) grounds for allowance of the petition, which, liability."[24]
however, boil down to two (2) basic issues, namely:
In the instant case, the offended parties elected to file a separate civil
1.....May petitioner as owner of the truck involved in the action for damages against petitioner as employer of the accused, based
accident be held subsidiarily liable for the damages on quasi delict, under Article 2176 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.
awarded to the offended parties in the criminal action Private respondents sued petitioner Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation,
against the truck driver despite the filing of a separate as the employer of the accused, to be vicariously liable for the fault or
negligence of the latter. Under the law, this vicarious liability of the
employer is founded on at least two specific provisions of law.
58 | P a g e
The first is expressed in Article 2176 in relation to Article 2180 of the The intention of private respondents to proceed primarily and directly
Civil Code, which would allow an action predicated on quasi-delict to against petitioner as employer of accused truck driver became clearer
be instituted by the injured party against the employer for an act or when they did not ask for the dismissal of the civil action against the
omission of the employee and would necessitate only a preponderance latter based on quasi delict.
of evidence to prevail. Here, the liability of the employer for the
negligent conduct of the subordinate is direct and primary, subject to the Consequently, the Court of Appeals and the trial court erred in holding
defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision of the the accused civilly liable, and petitioner-employer of the accused
employee. The enforcement of the judgment against the employer in an subsidiarily liable for damages arising from crime (ex delicto) in the
action based on Article 2176 does not require the employee to be criminal action as the offended parties in fact filed a separate civil action
insolvent since the nature of the liability of the employer with that of the against the employer based on quasi delict resulting in the waiver of the
employee, the two being statutorily considered joint tortfeasors, is civil action ex delicto.
solidary.[25] The second, predicated on Article 103 of the Revised Penal
Code, provides that an employer may be held subsidiarily civilly liable It might be argued that private respondents as complainants in the
for a felony committed by his employee in the discharge of his duty. criminal case withdrew the reservation to file a civil action against the
This liability attaches when the employee is convicted of a crime done driver (accused) and manifested that they would pursue the civil liability
in the performance of his work and is found to be insolvent that renders of the driver in the criminal action. However, the withdrawal is
him unable to properly respond to the civil liability adjudged.[26] ineffective to reverse the effect of the reservation earlier made because
private respondents did not withdraw the civil action against petitioner
As regards the first issue, the answer is in the negative. Rafael Reyes based on quasi delict. In such a case, the provision of Rule 111, Section
Trucking Corporation, as employer of the accused who has been 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure is clear that the
adjudged guilty in the criminal case for reckless imprudence, can not be reservation to file or the filing of a separate civil action results in a
held subsidiarily liable because of the filing of the separate civil action waiver of other available civil actions arising from the same act or
based on quasi delict against it. In view of the reservation to file, and omission of the accused. Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 2 enumerated
the subsequent filing of the civil action for recovery of civil liability, the what are the civil actions deemed waived upon such reservation or
same was not instituted with the criminal action. Such separate civil filing, and one of which is the civil indemnity under the Revised Penal
action was for recovery of damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal
Code, arising from the same act or omission of the accused.[27] Procedure specifically provides:

Pursuant to the provision of Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 3 of the 1985 "A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the
Rules of Criminal Procedure, when private respondents, as others. The institution of, or the reservation of the right
complainants in the criminal action, reserved the right to file the separate to file, any of said civil actions separately waives the
civil action, they waived other available civil actions predicated on the others."
same act or omission of the accused-driver. Such civil action includes
the recovery of indemnity under the Revised Penal Code, and damages The rationale behind this rule is the avoidance of multiple suits between
under Articles 32, 33, and 34 of the Civil Code of the Philippines arising the same litigants arising out of the same act or omission of the offender.
from the same act or omission of the accused.[28] The restrictive phraseology of the section under consideration is meant
to cover all kinds of civil actions, regardless of their source in law,
59 | P a g e
provided that the action has for its basis the same act or omission of the In this case, accused-driver jumped bail pending his appeal from his
offender.[29] conviction. Thus, the judgment convicting the accused became final and
executory, but only insofar as the penalty in the criminal action is
However, petitioner as defendant in the separate civil action for concerned. The damages awarded in the criminal action was invalid
damages filed against it, based on quasi delict, may be held liable because of its effective waiver. The pronouncement was void because
thereon. Thus, the trial court grievously erred in dismissing plaintiffs the action for recovery of the civil liability arising from the crime has
civil complaint. And the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial been waived in said criminal action.
courts decision. Unfortunately private respondents did not appeal from
such dismissal and could not be granted affirmative relief.[30] With respect to the issue that the award of damages in the criminal
action exceeded the amount of damages alleged in the amended
The Court, however, in exceptional cases has relaxed the rules "in order information, the issue is de minimis. At any rate, the trial court erred in
to promote their objectives and assist the parties in obtaining just, awarding damages in the criminal case because by virtue of the
speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action or reservation of the right to bring a separate civil action or the filing
proceeding"[31]or exempted "a particular case from the operation of the thereof, "there would be no possibility that the employer would be held
rules."[32] liable because in such a case there would be no pronouncement as to the
civil liability of the accused.[35]
Invoking this principle, we rule that the trial court erred in awarding
civil damages in the criminal case and in dismissing the civil action. As a final note, we reiterate that "the policy against double recovery
Apparently satisfied with such award, private respondent did not appeal requires that only one action be maintained for the same act or omission
from the dismissal of the civil case. However, petitioner did appeal. whether the action is brought against the employee or against his
Hence, this case should be remanded to the trial court so that it may employer.[36] The injured party must choose which of the available
render decision in the civil case awarding damages as may be warranted causes of action for damages he will bring.[37]
by the evidence.[33]
Parenthetically, the trial court found the accused "guilty beyond
With regard to the second issue, the award of damages in the criminal reasonable doubt of the crime of Double Homicide Through Reckless
case was improper because the civil action for the recovery of civil Imprudence with violation of the Motor Vehicle Law (Rep. Act No.
liability was waived in the criminal action by the filing of a separate 4136)." There is no such nomenclature of an offense under the Revised
civil action against the employer. As enunciated in Ramos vs. Penal Code. Thus, the trial court was misled to sentence the accused "to
Gonong,[34] "civil indemnity is not part of the penalty for the crime suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties of four (4) months and one (1)
committed." The only issue brought before the trial court in the criminal day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to three (3) years, six (6) months
action is whether accused Romeo Dunca y de Tumol is guilty of reckless and twenty (20) days of prision correccional, as maximum." This is
imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property. The action erroneous because in reckless imprudence cases, the actual penalty for
for recovery of civil liability is not included therein, but is covered by criminal negligence bears no relation to the individual willful crime or
the separate civil action filed against the petitioner as employer of the crimes committed, but is set in relation to a whole class, or series of
accused truck-driver. crimes.[38]

60 | P a g e
Unfortunately, we can no longer correct this judgment even if (2) In Civil Case No. Br. 19-424, the Court orders the case re-opened to
erroneous, as it is, because it has become final and executory. determine the liability of the defendant Rafael Reyes Trucking
Corporation to plaintiffs and that of plaintiffs on defendants
Under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code, criminal negligence "is counterclaim.
treated as a mere quasi offense, and dealt with separately from willful
offenses. It is not a question of classification or terminology. In No costs in this instance.
intentional crimes, the act itself is punished; in negligence or
imprudence, what is principally penalized is the mental attitude or SO ORDERED.
condition behind the act, the dangerous recklessness, lack of care or
foresight, the imprudencia punible. Much of the confusion has arisen Bellosillo, Melo, Kapunan, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-
from the common use of such descriptive phrase as homicide through Santiago, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
reckless imprudence, and the like; when the strict technical sense is,
more accurately, reckless imprudence resulting in homicide; or simple Davide, Jr., C.J. see dissenting opinion.
imprudence causing damages to property."[39]
Puno, J., concur but pro hac vice.
There is need, therefore, to rectify the designation of the offense without
disturbing the imposed penalty for the guidance of bench and bar in Vitug, J., see separate opinion.
strict adherence to precedent.
Mendoza, J., see dissenting opinion.
WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition and SETS ASIDE the
amended decision and resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. Panganiban, J., in the result.
CR No. 14448, promulgated on January 6, 1997, and the joint decision
of the Regional Trial Court, Isabela, Branch 19, Cauayan, in Criminal Quisumbing. J., concur in separate opinion of J. Vitug.
Case No. Br. 19-311 and Civil Case No. Br. 19-424, dated June 6, 1992.
Purisima, J., join Justice Mendozas dissenting opinion.
IN LIEU THEREOF, the Court renders judgment as follows:

(1) In Criminal Case No. Br. 19-311, the Court declares the accused
Romeo Dunca y de Tumol guilty beyond reasonable doubt of reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide and damage to property, defined and [1]
In CA-G. R. CR No. 14448, promulgated on January 6, 1997.
penalized under Article 365, paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code, [2]
Ibay-Somera, J., ponente, Lipana-Reyes+, and Vasquez, JJ.,
with violation of the automobile law (R. A. No. 4136, as amended), and concurring.
sentences him to suffer two (2) indeterminate penalties of four (4) [3]
Dated June 6, 1992, and October 26, 1992, respectively, in
months and one (1) day of arresto mayor, as minimum, to three (3) Consolidated Criminal Case No. Br. 19-311 and Civil Case No. Br. 19-
years, six (6) months and twenty (20) days of prision correccional, as 424, Regional Trial Court, Cauayan, Isabela, Judge Artemio R. Alivia,
maximum,[40] without indemnity, and to pay the costs, and presiding.

61 | P a g e
[4] [36]
Rollo, pp. 35-43. Maniago vs. Court of Appeals, supra, at p. 687.
[5] [37]
See Manifestation, Rollo, p. 55. Barredo vs. Garcia, 73 Phil. 607 (1942), reiterated in Maniago vs.
[6]
Ibid., pp. 55-56. Court of Appeals, supra.
[7] [38]
Civil Case No. Br. 19-424. Quizon vs. The Justice of the Peace of Pampanga, 97 Phil. 342, 346
[8]
Petition, Annex "F", Rollo, pp. 64-80, at pp. 67-69. (1955)
[9] [39]
Petition, Annex "F", Rollo, pp. 64-80. Quizon vs. The Justice of the Peace of Pampanga, supra, at p. 345.
[10] [40]
Rollo, pp. 81-82. This was the penalty imposed by the trial court, which has become
[11]
It is not indicated when the motion for amendment of the trial courts final and executory.
decision was filed, but this fact is mentioned in the trial courts THIRD DIVISION
supplemental decision of October 26, 1992.
[12]
Rollo, pp. 83-84.
[13]
Rollo, pp. 85-86.
[14]
CA Record, pp. 92-94. [G.R. No. 145391. August 26, 2002]
[15]
Rollo, pp. 35-43.
[16]
Petition, Annex "J", Rollo, pp. 87-91.
[17]
Rollo, p. 45. AVELINO CASUPANAN and ROBERTO
[18]
Filed on June 13, 1997, Rollo, pp. 11-33. CAPITULO, petitioners, vs. MARIO LLAVORE
[19]
Rollo, p. 96. LAROYA, respondent.
[20]
Rollo, pp. 114-120.
[21]
Rollo, p. 133. DECISION
[22]
Petition, par. V, Rollo, pp. 11-33, at p. 19.
[23]
Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 5, 1985 Rules on Criminal CARPIO, J.:
Procedure; Article 2177, Civil Code; Virata vs. Ochoa, 81 SCRA 472
(1978)
[24] The Case
Jarantilla vs. Court of Appeals, 171 SCRA 429, 436 (1989)
[25]
Article 2194, Civil Code of the Philippines.
[26]
Franco vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 178 SCRA 331, 338 (1989)
[27] This is a petition for review on certiorari to set aside the
Maniago vs. Court of Appeals, 253 SCRA 674, 681(1996)
[28] Resolution[1] dated December 28, 1999 dismissing the petition for
Rule 111, Section 1, paragraph 2, 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure.
[29] certiorari and the Resolution[2] dated August 24, 2000 denying the
Pamaran, The 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure Annotated, 1998
motion for reconsideration, both issued by the Regional Trial Court of
edition, pp. 128-129.
[30] Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66, in Special Civil Action No. 17-C (99).
Policarpio vs. Court of Appeals, 269 SCRA 344, 357 (1997)
[31]
Nerves vs. Civil Service Commission, 276 SCRA 610, 617 (1997)
[32]
Blanco vs. Bernabe, 63 Phil. 124 (1936)
[33] The Facts
Guaring, Jr. vs. Court of Appeals, 336 Phil. 274, 283 (1997)
[34]
72 SCRA 562, 566 (1976)
[35]
Maniago vs. Court of Appeals, supra, at p. 686.
62 | P a g e
Two vehicles, one driven by respondent Mario Llavore Laroya Casupanan and Capitulo filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the
(Laroya for brevity) and the other owned by petitioner Roberto Capitulo Capas RTC denied the same in the Resolution of August 24, 2000.
(Capitulo for brevity) and driven by petitioner Avelino Casupanan
Hence, this petition.
(Casupanan for brevity), figured in an accident. As a result, two cases
were filed with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC for brevity)
of Capas, Tarlac. Laroya filed a criminal case against Casupanan for
reckless imprudence resulting in damage to property, docketed as The Issue
Criminal Case No. 002-99. On the other hand, Casupanan and Capitulo
filed a civil case against Laroya for quasi-delict, docketed as Civil Case The petition premises the legal issue in this wise:
No. 2089.
When the civil case was filed, the criminal case was then at its In a certain vehicular accident involving two parties, each one of them
preliminary investigation stage. Laroya, defendant in the civil case, filed may think and believe that the accident was caused by the fault of the
a motion to dismiss the civil case on the ground of forum-shopping other. x x x [T]he first party, believing himself to be the aggrieved party,
considering the pendency of the criminal case. The MCTC granted the opted to file a criminal case for reckless imprudence against the second
motion in the Order of March 26, 1999 and dismissed the civil case. party. On the other hand, the second party, together with his operator,
believing themselves to be the real aggrieved parties, opted in turn to
On Motion for Reconsideration, Casupanan and Capitulo insisted file a civil case for quasi-delict against the first party who is the very
that the civil case is a separate civil action which can proceed private complainant in the criminal case.[4]
independently of the criminal case. The MCTC denied the motion for
reconsideration in the Order of May 7, 1999. Casupanan and Capitulo Thus, the issue raised is whether an accused in a pending criminal
filed a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 before the Regional Trial case for reckless imprudence can validly file, simultaneously and
Court (Capas RTC for brevity) of Capas, Tarlac, Branch 66,[3] assailing independently, a separate civil action for quasi-delict against the private
the MCTCs Order of dismissal. complainant in the criminal case.

The Trial Courts Ruling The Courts Ruling

The Capas RTC rendered judgment on December 28, 1999 Casupanan and Capitulo assert that Civil Case No. 2089, which the
dismissing the petition for certiorari for lack of merit. The Capas MCTC dismissed on the ground of forum-shopping, constitutes a
RTC ruled that the order of dismissal issued by the MCTC is a final counterclaim in the criminal case. Casupanan and Capitulo argue that if
order which disposes of the case and therefore the proper remedy should the accused in a criminal case has a counterclaim against the private
have been an appeal. The Capas RTC further held that a special civil complainant, he may file the counterclaim in a separate civil action at
action for certiorari is not a substitute for a lost appeal. Finally, the the proper time. They contend that an action on quasi-delict is different
Capas RTC declared that even on the premise that the MCTC erred in from an action resulting from the crime of reckless imprudence, and an
dismissing the civil case, such error is a pure error of judgment and not accused in a criminal case can be an aggrieved party in a civil case
an abuse of discretion. arising from the same incident. They maintain that under Articles 31 and
63 | P a g e
2176 of the Civil Code, the civil case can proceed independently of the Forum-Shopping
criminal action. Finally, they point out that Casupanan was not the only
The essence of forum-shopping is the filing of multiple suits
one who filed the independent civil action based on quasi-delict but also
involving the same parties for the same cause of action, either
Capitulo, the owner-operator of the vehicle, who was not a party in the
simultaneously or successively, to secure a favorable
criminal case.
judgment.[8] Forum-shopping is present when in the two or more cases
In his Comment, Laroya claims that the petition is fatally defective pending, there is identity of parties, rights of action and reliefs
as it does not state the real antecedents. Laroya further alleges that sought.[9] However, there is no forum-shopping in the instant case
Casupanan and Capitulo forfeited their right to question the order of because the law and the rules expressly allow the filing of a separate
dismissal when they failed to avail of the proper remedy of appeal. civil action which can proceed independently of the criminal action.
Laroya argues that there is no question of law to be resolved as the order
Laroya filed the criminal case for reckless imprudence resulting in
of dismissal is already final and a petition for certiorari is not a substitute
damage to property based on the Revised Penal Code while Casupanan
for a lapsed appeal.
and Capitulo filed the civil action for damages based on Article 2176 of
In their Reply, Casupanan and Capitulo contend that the petition the Civil Code. Although these two actions arose from the same act or
raises the legal question of whether there is forum-shopping since they omission, they have different causes of action. The criminal case is
filed only one action - the independent civil action for quasi- based on culpa criminal punishable under the Revised Penal Code while
delictagainst Laroya. the civil case is based on culpa aquiliana actionable under Articles 2176
and 2177 of the Civil Code. These articles on culpa aquiliana read:
Nature of the Order of Dismissal
The MCTC dismissed the civil action for quasi-delict on the ground Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another, there
of forum-shopping under Supreme Court Administrative Circular No. being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage done. Such
04-94. The MCTC did not state in its order of dismissal[5] that the fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual relation
dismissal was with prejudice. Under the Administrative Circular, the between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the
order of dismissal is without prejudice to refiling the complaint, unless provisions of this Chapter.
the order of dismissal expressly states it is with prejudice.[6] Absent a
declaration that the dismissal is with prejudice, the same is deemed Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding
without prejudice. Thus, the MCTCs dismissal, being silent on the article is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising
matter, is a dismissal without prejudice. from negligence under the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover
damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant.
Section 1 of Rule 41[7] provides that an order dismissing an action
without prejudice is not appealable. The remedy of the aggrieved party
Any aggrieved person can invoke these articles provided he proves,
is to file a special civil action under Rule 65. Section 1 of Rule 41
by preponderance of evidence, that he has suffered damage because of
expressly states that where the judgment or final order is not appealable,
the fault or negligence of another. Either the private complainant or the
the aggrieved party may file an appropriate special civil action under
accused can file a separate civil action under these articles. There is
Rule 65. Clearly, the Capas RTCs order dismissing the petition for
nothing in the law or rules that state only the private complainant in a
certiorari, on the ground that the proper remedy is an ordinary appeal, is
criminal case may invoke these articles.
erroneous.
64 | P a g e
Moreover, paragraph 6, Section 1, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on waives the action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or institutes
Criminal Procedure (2000 Rules for brevity) expressly requires the the civil action prior to the criminal action.
accused to litigate his counterclaim in a separate civil action, to wit:
Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised
SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. (a) x x x. Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the
Civil Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of
No counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint may be filed by the accused.
the accused in the criminal case, but any cause of action which could
have been the subject thereof may be litigated in a separate civil A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The
action. (Emphasis supplied) institution of, or the reservation of the right to file, any of said civil
actions separately waives the others.
Since the present Rules require the accused in a criminal action to file
his counterclaim in a separate civil action, there can be no forum- The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil actions shall be
shopping if the accused files such separate civil action. made before the prosecution starts to present its evidence and under
circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to
Filing of a separate civil action
make such reservation.
Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure (1985
Rules for brevity), as amended in 1988, allowed the filing of a separate In no case may the offended party recover damages twice for the same
civil action independently of the criminal action provided the offended act or omission of the accused.
party reserved the right to file such civil action. Unless the offended
party reserved the civil action before the presentation of the evidence x x x. (Emphasis supplied)
for the prosecution, all civil actions arising from the same act or
omission were deemed impliedly instituted in the criminal case. These Section 1, Rule 111 of the 1985 Rules was amended on December
civil actions referred to the recovery of civil liability ex-delicto, the 1, 2000 and now provides as follows:
recovery of damages for quasi-delict, and the recovery of damages for
violation of Articles 32, 33 and 34 of the Civil Code on Human SECTION 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. (a) When a
Relations. criminal action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil
liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted
Thus, to file a separate and independent civil action for quasi-delict
with the criminal actionunless the offended party waives the civil
under the 1985 Rules, the offended party had to reserve in the criminal
action, reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil
action the right to bring such action. Otherwise, such civil action was
action prior to the criminal action.
deemed impliedly instituted in the criminal action. Section 1, Rule 111
of the 1985 Rules provided as follows:
The reservation of the right to institute separately the civil action shall
be made before the prosecution starts presenting its evidence and under
Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions. When a criminal
circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to
action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is
make such reservation.
impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party
65 | P a g e
xxx Under Section 2, Rule 111 of the amended 1985 Rules, a separate
civil action, if reserved in the criminal action, could not be filed until
(b) x x x after final judgment was rendered in the criminal action. If the separate
civil action was filed before the commencement of the criminal action,
Where the civil action has been filed separately and trial thereof has not the civil action, if still pending, was suspended upon the filing of the
yet commenced, it may be consolidated with the criminal action upon criminal action until final judgment was rendered in the criminal
application with the court trying the latter case. If the application is action.This rule applied only to the separate civil action filed to recover
granted, the trial of both actions shall proceed in accordance with section liability ex-delicto. The rule did not apply to independent civil actions
2 of this rule governing consolidation of the civil and criminal based on Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code, which could
actions. (Emphasis supplied) proceed independently regardless of the filing of the criminal action.
The amended provision of Section 2, Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, what is deemed instituted
continues this procedure, to wit:
with the criminal action is only the action to recover civil liability arising
from the crime or ex-delicto. All the other civil actions under Articles
SEC. 2. When separate civil action is suspended. After the criminal
32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code are no longer deemed instituted,
action has been commenced, the separate civil action arising therefrom
and may be filed separately and prosecuted independently even without
cannot be instituted until final judgment has been entered in the criminal
any reservation in the criminal action. The failure to make a reservation
action.
in the criminal action is not a waiver of the right to file a separate and
independent civil action based on these articles of the Civil Code. The
If the criminal action is filed after the said civil action has already
prescriptive period on the civil actions based on these articles of the
been instituted, the latter shall be suspended in whatever stage it may
Civil Code continues to run even with the filing of the criminal
be found before judgment on the merits. The suspension shall last
action. Verily, the civil actions based on these articles of the Civil Code
until final judgment is rendered in the criminal action. Nevertheless,
are separate, distinct and independent of the civil action deemed
before judgment on the merits is rendered in the civil action, the same
instituted in the criminal action.[10]
may, upon motion of the offended party, be consolidated with the
Under the present Rule 111, the offended party is still given the criminal action in the court trying the criminal action. In case of
option to file a separate civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto consolidation, the evidence already adduced in the civil action shall be
by reserving such right in the criminal action before the prosecution deemed automatically reproduced in the criminal action without
presents its evidence. Also, the offended party is deemed to make such prejudice to the right of the prosecution to cross-examine the witnesses
reservation if he files a separate civil action before filing the criminal presented by the offended party in the criminal case and of the parties
action. If the civil action to recover civil liability ex-delicto is filed to present additional evidence. The consolidated criminal and civil
separately but its trial has not yet commenced, the civil action may be actions shall be tried and decided jointly.
consolidated with the criminal action. The consolidation under this Rule
does not apply to separate civil actions arising from the same act or During the pendency of the criminal action, the running of the period of
omission filed under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code.[11] prescription of the civil action which cannot be instituted separately or
whose proceeding has been suspended shall be tolled.
Suspension of the Separate Civil Action

66 | P a g e
x x x. (Emphasis supplied) criminal action. Clearly, Section 3 of Rule 111 refers to the offended
party in the criminal action, not to the accused.
Thus, Section 2, Rule 111 of the present Rules did not change the rule
Casupanan and Capitulo, however, invoke the ruling in Cabaero vs.
that the separate civil action, filed to recover damages ex-delicto, is
Cantos[12] where the Court held that the accused therein could validly
suspended upon the filing of the criminal action. Section 2 of the present
institute a separate civil action for quasi-delict against the private
Rule 111 also prohibits the filing, after commencement of the criminal
complainant in the criminal case. In Cabaero, the accused in the
action, of a separate civil action to recover damages ex-delicto.
criminal case filed his Answer with Counterclaim for malicious
When civil action may proceed independently prosecution. At that time the Court noted the absence of clear-cut rules
governing the prosecution on impliedly instituted civil actions and
The crucial question now is whether Casupanan and Capitulo, who
the necessary consequences and implications thereof. Thus, the Court
are not the offended parties in the criminal case, can file a separate civil
ruled that the trial court should confine itself to the criminal aspect of
action against the offended party in the criminal case. Section 3, Rule
the case and disregard any counterclaim for civil liability. The Court
111 of the 2000 Rules provides as follows:
further ruled that the accused may file a separate civil case against the
offended party after the criminal case is terminated and/or in accordance
SEC 3. When civil action may proceed independently. - In the cases
with the new Rules which may be promulgated. The Court explained
provided in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code of the
that a cross-claim, counterclaim or third-party complaint on the civil
Philippines, the independent civil action may be brought by
aspect will only unnecessarily complicate the proceedings and delay the
the offended party. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action
resolution of the criminal case.
and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. In no case,
however, may the offended party recover damages twice for the same Paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111 was incorporated in
act or omission charged in the criminal action. (Emphasis supplied) the 2000 Rules precisely to address the lacuna mentioned
in Cabaero. Under this provision, the accused is barred from filing a
Section 3 of the present Rule 111, like its counterpart in the counterclaim, cross-claim or third-party complaint in the criminal
amended 1985 Rules, expressly allows the offended party to bring an case. However, the same provision states that any cause of action which
independent civil action under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil could have been the subject (of the counterclaim, cross-claim or third-
Code.As stated in Section 3 of the present Rule 111, this civil action party complaint) may be litigated in a separate civil action. The present
shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only Rule 111 mandates the accused to file his counterclaim in a separate
a preponderance of evidence. In no case, however, may the offended civil action which shall proceed independently of the criminal action,
party recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the even as the civil action of the offended party is litigated in the criminal
criminal action. action.
There is no question that the offended party in the criminal action Conclusion
can file an independent civil action for quasi-delict against the
Under Section 1 of the present Rule 111, the independent civil
accused. Section 3 of the present Rule 111 expressly states that the
action in Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code is not deemed
offended party may bring such an action but the offended party may not
instituted with the criminal action but may be filed separately by the
recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the
offended party even without reservation. The commencement of the
criminal action does not suspend the prosecution of the independent
67 | P a g e
civil action under these articles of the Civil Code. The suspension in Thus, the civil action based on quasi-delict filed separately by
Section 2 of the present Rule 111 refers only to the civil action arising Casupanan and Capitulo is proper. The order of dismissal by the MCTC
from the crime, if such civil action is reserved or filed before the of Civil Case No. 2089 on the ground of forum-shopping is erroneous.
commencement of the criminal action.
We make this ruling aware of the possibility that the decision of the
Thus, the offended party can file two separate suits for the same act trial court in the criminal case may vary with the decision of the trial
or omission. The first a criminal case where the civil action to recover court in the independent civil action. This possibility has always been
civil liability ex-delicto is deemed instituted, and the other a civil case recognized ever since the Civil Code introduced in 1950 the concept of
for quasi-delict - without violating the rule on non-forum shopping. The an independent civil action under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the
two cases can proceed simultaneously and independently of each Code. But the law itself, in Article 31 of the Code, expressly provides
other. The commencement or prosecution of the criminal action will not that the independent civil action may proceed independently of the
suspend the civil action for quasi-delict. The only limitation is that the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the
offended party cannot recover damages twice for the same act or latter. In Azucena vs. Potenciano,[13] the Court declared:
omission of the defendant. In most cases, the offended party will have
no reason to file a second civil action since he cannot recover damages x x x. There can indeed be no other logical conclusion than this, for to
twice for the same act or omission of the accused. In some instances, the subordinate the civil action contemplated in the said articles to the result
accused may be insolvent, necessitating the filing of another case of the criminal prosecution whether it be conviction or acquittal would
against his employer or guardians. render meaningless the independent character of the civil action and the
clear injunction in Article 31 that this action 'may proceed
Similarly, the accused can file a civil action for quasi-delict for the
independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result
same act or omission he is accused of in the criminal case. This is
of the latter.
expressly allowed in paragraph 6, Section 1 of the present Rule 111
which states that the counterclaim of the accused may be litigated in a
More than half a century has passed since the Civil Code introduced
separate civil action. This is only fair for two reasons. First, the accused
the concept of a civil action separate and independent from the criminal
is prohibited from setting up any counterclaim in the civil aspect that is
action although arising from the same act or omission. The Court,
deemed instituted in the criminal case. The accused is therefore forced
however, has yet to encounter a case of conflicting and irreconcilable
to litigate separately his counterclaim against the offended party. If the
decisions of trial courts, one hearing the criminal case and the other the
accused does not file a separate civil action for quasi-delict, the
civil action for quasi-delict. The fear of conflicting and irreconcilable
prescriptive period may set in since the period continues to run until the
decisions may be more apparent than real. In any event, there are
civil action for quasi-delict is filed.
sufficient remedies under the Rules of Court to deal with such remote
Second, the accused, who is presumed innocent, has a right to possibilities.
invoke Article 2177 of the Civil Code, in the same way that the offended
One final point. The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure took
party can avail of this remedy which is independent of the criminal
effect on December 1, 2000 while the MCTC issued the order of
action. To disallow the accused from filing a separate civil action
dismissal on December 28, 1999 or before the amendment of the rules.
for quasi-delict, while refusing to recognize his counterclaim in the
The Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure must be given retroactive
criminal case, is to deny him due process of law, access to the courts,
effect considering the well-settled rule that -
and equal protection of the law.
68 | P a g e
[9]
x x x statutes regulating the procedure of the court will be construed as International School, Inc. (Manila) vs. Court of Appeals, 309 SCRA
applicable to actions pending and undetermined at the time of their 474 (1999).
passage. Procedural laws are retroactive in that sense and to that [10]
Neplum, Inc. vs. Evelyn V. Orbeso, G. R. No. 141986, prom. July
extent.[14]
11, 2002, at pp. 11-12.
[11]
WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is hereby Section 1 of Rule 31, however, allows consolidation, in the
GRANTED. The Resolutions dated December 28, 1999 and August 24, discretion of the trial court, of actions involving common questions of
2000 in Special Civil Action No. 17-C (99) are ANNULLED and Civil law or fact pending before the same court (Cojuangco, Jr. vs. Court of
Case No. 2089 is REINSTATED. Appeals (203 SCRA 619 [1991]), or pending even in different branches
of the same regional trial court if one of the cases has not been partially
SO ORDERED.
tried (Raymundo vs. Felipe, 42 SCRA 615 [1971]).
Puno, (Chairman), Panganiban, JJ., concur. [12]
271 SCRA 391 (1997).
Sandoval-Gutierrez, J., on leave.
[13]
5 SCRA 468 (1962).
[14]
People vs. Arrojado, 350 SCRA679 (2001) citing Ocampo vs. Court
of Appeals, 180 SCRA 27 (1989), Alday vs. Camilon, 120 SCRA 521
[1]
Penned by Judge Josefina D. Ceballos. (1983) & People vs. Sumilang, 77 Phil 764 (1946).
[2]
Penned by Judge Cesar M. Sotero. SECOND DIVISION
[3]
Docketed as Special Civil Action No. 17-C (99).
[4]
Petition for Review on Certiorari dated October 27, 2000, pp. 1 &
2; Rollo, pp. 9 &10. [G.R. No. 151452. July 29, 2005]
[5]
Records of Special Civil Action No. 17 C-99, Order of March 26,
1999, pp. 12-14.
SPS. ANTONIO C. SANTOS and ESPERANZA C. SANTOS,
[6]
Sto. Domingo-David vs. Guerrero, 296 SCRA 277 (1998). NORA BARNALO, BELINDA LUMACTAD,
[7]
Section 9, Rule 40 (Appeal from Municipal Trial Courts to the MARIENELA DY, NIKKA SANTOS and LEONARDO
Regional Trial Courts) provides: FERRER, petitioners, vs. HON. NORMANDIE B.
PIZARDO, as Presiding Judge, RTC of Quezon City,
SEC. 9. Applicability of Rule 41. The other provisions of Rule 41 shall Branch 101, DIONISIO M SIBAYAN, and VIRON
apply to appeals provided for herein insofar as they are not inconsistent TRANSPORTATION COMPANY, INC., represented by
with or may serve to supplement the provisions of this Rule. VIRGILIO Q. RONDARIS,
[8]
Melo vs. Court of Appeals, 318 SCRA 94 (1999). President/Chairman, respondents.

DECISION

69 | P a g e
TINGA, J.: ten (10) years reckoned from the finality of the judgment in the criminal
action. As there was no appeal of the decision convicting Sibayan, the
In this Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] dated March 1, 2002, complaint which was filed barely two (2) years thence was clearly filed
petitioners assail the Resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated within the prescriptive period.
September 10, 2001 and January 9, 2002, respectively dismissing their
The trial court dismissed the complaint on the principal ground that
petition for certiorari and denying their motion for reconsideration,
the cause of action had already prescribed. According to the trial court,
arising from the dismissal of their complaint to recover civil indemnity
actions based on quasi delict, as it construed petitioners cause of action
for the death and physical injuries of their kin.
to be, prescribe four (4) years from the accrual of the cause of action.
The following facts are matters of record. Hence, notwithstanding the fact that petitioners reserved the right to file
a separate civil action, the complaint ought to be dismissed on the
In an Information dated April 25, 1994, Dionisio M. Sibayan
ground of prescription.[5]
(Sibayan) was charged with Reckless Imprudence Resulting to Multiple
Homicide and Multiple Physical Injuries in connection with a vehicle Improper service of summons was likewise cited as a ground for
collision between a southbound Viron Transit bus driven by Sibayan dismissal of the complaint as summons was served through a certain
and a northbound Lite Ace Van, which claimed the lives of the vans Jessica Ubalde of the legal department without mentioning her
driver and three (3) of its passengers, including a two-month old baby, designation or position.
and caused physical injuries to five (5) of the vans passengers. After
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration pointing out yet again
trial, Sibayan was convicted and sentenced to suffer the penalty of
that the complaint is not based on quasi delict but on the final judgment
imprisonment for two (2) years, four (4) months and one (1) day to four
of conviction in the criminal case which prescribes ten (10) years from
(4) years and two (2) months. However, as there was a reservation to
the finality of the judgment.[6] The trial court denied petitioners motion
file a separate civil action, no pronouncement of civil liability was made
for reconsideration reiterating that petitioners cause of action was based
by the municipal circuit trial court in its decision promulgated on
on quasi delict and had prescribed under Article 1146 of the Civil Code
December 17, 1998.[2]
because the complaint was filed more than four (4) years after the
On October 20, 2000, petitioners filed a complaint for damages vehicular accident.[7] As regards the improper service of summons, the
against Sibayan, Viron Transit and its President/Chairman, Virgilio Q. trial court reconsidered its ruling that the complaint ought to be
Rondaris, with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, pursuant to dismissed on this ground.
their reservation to file a separate civil action.[3] They cited therein the
Petitioners filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals
judgment convicting Sibayan.
which dismissed the same for error in the choice or mode of
Viron Transit moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds of appeal.[8] The appellate court also denied petitioners motion for
improper service of summons, prescription and laches, and defective reconsideration reasoning that even if the respondent trial court judge
certification of non-forum shopping. It also sought the dropping of committed grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order of
Virgilio Q. Rondaris as defendant in view of the separate personality of dismissal, certiorari is still not the permissible remedy as appeal was
Viron Transit from its officers.[4] available to petitioners and they failed to allege that the petition was
brought within the recognized exceptions for the allowance of certiorari
Petitioners opposed the motion to dismiss contending, among in lieu of appeal.[9]
others, that the right to file a separate action in this case prescribes in
70 | P a g e
In this petition, petitioners argue that a rigid application of the rule certified true copy of the assailed order of the trial court; and non-
that certiorari cannot be a substitute for appeal will result in a judicial indication of the full names and addresses of petitioners in the petition.
rejection of an existing obligation arising from the criminal liability of
Petitioners filed a Reply[11] dated September 14, 2002, while private
private respondents. Petitioners insist that the liability sought to be
respondents filed a Rejoinder[12] dated October 14, 2002, both in
enforced in the complaint arose ex delicto and is not based on quasi
reiteration of their arguments.
delict. The trial court allegedly committed grave abuse of discretion
when it insisted that the cause of action invoked by petitioners is based We grant the petition.
on quasi delict and concluded that the action had prescribed. Since the
Our Revised Penal Code provides that every person criminally
action is based on the criminal liability of private respondents, the cause
liable for a felony is also civilly liable.[13] Such civil liability may consist
of action accrued from the finality of the judgment of conviction.
of restitution, reparation of the damage caused and indemnification of
Assuming that their petition with the appellate court was consequential damages.[14] When a criminal action is instituted, the civil
procedurally flawed, petitioners implore the Court to exempt this case liability arising from the offense is impliedly instituted with the criminal
from the rigid operation of the rules as they allegedly have a legitimate action, subject to three notable exceptions: first, when the injured party
grievance to vindicate, i.e., damages for the deaths and physical injuries expressly waives the right to recover damages from the
caused by private respondents for which no civil liability had been accused; second, when the offended party reserves his right to have the
adjudged by reason of their reservation of the right to file a separate civil civil damages determined in a separate action in order to take full control
action. and direction of the prosecution of his cause; and third, when the injured
party actually exercises the right to maintain a private suit against the
In their Comment[10] dated June 13, 2002, private respondents insist
offender by instituting a civil action prior to the filing of the criminal
that the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of prescription was in
case.
order. They point out that the averments in the complaint make out a
cause of action for quasi delict under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Notably, it was the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, as amended
Civil Code. As such, the prescriptive period of four (4) years should be in 1988, which governed the institution of the criminal action, as well
reckoned from the time the accident took place. as the reservation of the right to file a separate civil action. Section 1,
Rule 111 thereof states:
Viron Transit also alleges that its subsidiary liability cannot be
enforced since Sibayan was not ordered to pay damages in the criminal
Section 1. Institution of criminal and civil actions.When a criminal
case. It is Viron Transits contention that the subsidiary liability of the
action is instituted, the civil action for the recovery of civil liability is
employer contemplated in Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code
impliedly instituted with the criminal action, unless the offended party
presupposes a situation where the civil aspect of the case was instituted
waives the civil action, reserves his right to institute it separately, or
in the criminal case and no reservation to file a separate civil case was
institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
made.
Private respondents likewise allege that the recourse to the Court of Such civil action includes recovery of indemnity under the Revised
Appeals via certiorari was improper as petitioners should have appealed Penal Code, and damages under Articles 32, 33, 34 and 2176 of the Civil
the adverse order of the trial court. Moreover, they point out several Code of the Philippines arising from the same act or omission of the
other procedural lapses allegedly committed by petitioners, such as lack accused.
of certification against forum-shopping; lack of duplicate original or
71 | P a g e
A waiver of any of the civil actions extinguishes the others. The A reading of the complaint reveals that the allegations therein are
institution of, or the reservation of the right to file, any of said civil consistent with petitioners claim that the action was brought to recover
actions separately waives the others. civil liability arising from crime. Although there are allegations of
negligence on the part of Sibayan and Viron Transit, such does not
The reservation of the right to institute the separate civil actions shall be necessarily mean that petitioners were pursuing a cause of action based
made before the prosecution starts to present its evidence and under on quasi delict, considering that at the time of the filing of the
circumstances affording the offended party a reasonable opportunity to complaint, the cause of action ex quasi delicto had already prescribed.
make such reservation. Besides, in cases of negligence, the offended party has the choice
between an action to enforce civil liability arising from crime under the
In no case may the offended party recover damages twice for the same Revised Penal Code and an action for quasi delict under the Civil Code.
act or omission of the accused.
An act or omission causing damage to another may give rise to two
separate civil liabilities on the part of the offender, i.e., (1) civil
When the offended party seeks to enforce civil liability against the
liability ex delicto, under Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code; and (2)
accused by way of moral, nominal, temperate or exemplary damages,
independent civil liabilities, such as those (a) not arising from an act or
the filing fees for such action as provided in these Rules shall constitute
omission complained of as a felony, e.g., culpa contractual or
a first lien on the judgment except in an award for actual damages.
obligations arising from law under Article 31 of the Civil Code,
intentional torts under Articles 32 and 34, and culpa aquiliana under
In cases wherein the amount of damages, other than actual, is alleged in
Article 2176 of the Civil Code; or (b) where the injured party is granted
the complaint or information, the corresponding filing fees shall be paid
a right to file an action independent and distinct from the criminal action
by the offended party upon filing thereof in court for trial.
under Article 33 of the Civil Code.[15] Either of these liabilities may be
enforced against the offender subject to the caveat under Article 2177
Petitioners expressly made a reservation of their right to file a
of the Civil Code that the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the
separate civil action as a result of the crime committed by Sibayan. On
same act or omission of the defendant and the similar proscription
account of this reservation, the municipal circuit trial court, in its
against double recovery under the Rules above-quoted.
decision convicting Sibayan, did not make any pronouncement as to the
latters civil liability. At the time of the filing of the complaint for damages in this case,
the cause of action ex quasi delicto had already prescribed. Nonetheless,
Predicating their claim on the judgment of conviction and their
petitioners can pursue the remaining avenue opened for them by their
reservation to file a separate civil action made in the criminal case,
reservation, i.e., the surviving cause of action ex delicto. This is so
petitioners filed a complaint for damages against Sibayan, Viron Transit
because the prescription of the action ex quasi delicto does not operate
and its President/Chairman. Petitioners assert that by the institution of
as a bar to an action to enforce the civil liability arising from crime
the complaint, they seek to recover private respondents civil liability
especially as the latter action had been expressly reserved.
arising from crime. Unfortunately, based on its misreading of the
allegations in the complaint, the trial court dismissed the same, The case of Mendoza v. La Mallorca Bus Company[16] was decided
declaring that petitioners cause of action was based on quasi delict and upon a similar set of facts. Therein, the driver of La Mallorca Bus
should have been brought within four (4) years from the time the cause Company was charged with reckless imprudence resulting to damage to
of action accrued, i.e., from the time of the accident. property. The plaintiff made an express reservation for the filing of a
72 | P a g e
separate civil action. The driver was convicted which conviction was Now the procedural issue. Admittedly, petitioners should have
affirmed by this Court. Later, plaintiff filed a separate civil action for appealed the order of dismissal of the trial court instead of filing a
damages based on quasi delict which was ordered dismissed by the trial petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. Such procedural
court upon finding that the action was instituted more than six (6) years misstep, however, should be exempted from the strict application of the
from the date of the accident and thus, had already prescribed. rules in order to promote their fundamental objective of securing
Subsequently, plaintiff instituted another action, this time based on the substantial justice.[20] We are loathe to deprive petitioners of the
subsidiary liability of the bus company. The trial court dismissed the indemnity to which they are entitled by law and by a final judgment of
action holding that the dismissal of the earlier civil case operated as a conviction based solely on a technicality. It is our duty to prevent such
bar to the filing of the action to enforce the bus companys subsidiary an injustice.[21]
liability.
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered SETTING ASIDE
We held that the dismissal of the action based on culpa aquiliana is the resolutions of the Court of Appeals dated September 10, 2001 and
not a bar to the enforcement of the subsidiary liability of the employer. January 9, 2002, respectively dismissing the present action and denying
Once there is a conviction for a felony, final in character, the employer petitioners motion for reconsideration, as well as the orders of the lower
becomes subsidiarily liable if the commission of the crime was in the court dated February 26, 2001 and July 16, 2001. Let the case be
discharge of the duties of the employees. This is so because Article 103 REMANDED to the trial court for further proceedings.
of the Revised Penal Code operates with controlling force to obviate the
SO ORDERED.
possibility of the aggrieved party being deprived of indemnity even after
the rendition of a final judgment convicting the employee. Puno, (Chairman), Austria-Martinez, Callejo, Sr., and Chico-
Nazario, JJ., concur.
Seen in this light, the trial court should not have dismissed the
complaint on the ground of prescription, but instead allowed the
complaint for damages ex delicto to be prosecuted on the
merits, considering petitioners allegations in their complaint, opposition
to the motion to dismiss[17] and motion for reconsideration[18] of the [1]
Rollo, pp. 25-45.
order of dismissal, insisting that the action was to recover civil liability [2]
Id. at 57-63.
arising from crime.
[3]
RTC Records, pp. 1-5.
This does not offend the policy that the reservation or institution of
a separate civil action waives the other civil actions. The rationale [4]
Id. at 20-32.
behind this rule is the avoidance of multiple suits between the same [5]
litigants arising out of the same act or omission of the Id. at 54-56, Order dated February 26, 2001.
offender.[19] However, since the stale action for damages based on quasi [6]
Id. at 57-66.
delict should be considered waived, there is no more occasion for [7]
petitioners to file multiple suits against private respondents as the only Id. at 79-82.
recourse available to them is to pursue damages ex delicto. This [8]
CA Records, pp. 60-61, Resolution dated September 10, 2001 penned
interpretation is also consistent with the bar against double recovery for by Associate Justice Teodoro P. Regino and concurred in by
obvious reasons.
73 | P a g e
Associate Justices Delilah Vidallon-Magtolis and Jose L. Sabio, DECISION
Jr.
[9] CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
Id. at 77-78, Resolution dated January 9, 2002.
[10]
Rollo, pp. 207-240. Assailed before Us is the decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
[11] CV No. 55909 which affirmed in toto the decision2 of the Regional Trial
Id. at 289-314.
Court (RTC) of Dagupan City, Branch 42, in Civil Case No. D-10086,
[12] finding petitioners Mauricio Manliclic and Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines,
Id. at 315-321.
[13] Inc. (PRBLI) solidarily liable to pay damages and attorney’s fees to
Art. 100. respondent Modesto Calaunan.
[14]
Art. 104, Revised Penal Code.
[15] The factual antecedents are as follows:
Cancio v. Isip, G.R. No. 133978, November 12, 2002, 391 SCRA
393. The vehicles involved in this case are: (1) Philippine Rabbit Bus No.
[16] 353 with plate number CVD-478, owned by petitioner PRBLI and
No. L-26407, March 31, 1978, 82 SCRA 243.
[17]
driven by petitioner Mauricio Manliclic; and (2) owner-type jeep with
RTC Records, pp. 37-41. plate number PER-290, owned by respondent Modesto Calaunan and
[18]
Id. at 57-60. driven by Marcelo Mendoza.
[19]
Rafael Reyes Trucking Corporation v. People, 386 Phil 41 (2000). At around 6:00 to 7:00 o’clock in the morning of 12 July 1988,
[20]
Ramiscal v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 140576-99, December 13, respondent Calaunan, together with Marcelo Mendoza, was on his way
2004, 446 SCRA 166. to Manila from Pangasinan on board his owner-type jeep. The
[21]
Philippine Rabbit Bus was likewise bound for Manila from Concepcion,
Diana v. Batangas Transportation Co., 93 Phil. 391 (1953). Tarlac. At approximately Kilometer 40 of the North Luzon Expressway
in Barangay Lalangan, Plaridel, Bulacan, the two vehicles collided. The
Republic of the Philippines front right side of the Philippine Rabbit Bus hit the rear left side of the
SUPREME COURT jeep causing the latter to move to the shoulder on the right and then fall
Manila on a ditch with water resulting to further extensive damage. The bus
veered to the left and stopped 7 to 8 meters from point of collision.
THIRD DIVISION
Respondent suffered minor injuries while his driver was unhurt. He was
G.R. No. 150157 January 25, 2007 first brought for treatment to the Manila Central University Hospital in
Kalookan City by Oscar Buan, the conductor of the Philippine Rabbit
MAURICIO MANLICLIC and PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS Bus, and was later transferred to the Veterans Memorial Medical Center.
LINES, INC., Petitioners,
vs. By reason of such collision, a criminal case was filed before the RTC of
MODESTO CALAUNAN, Respondent. Malolos, Bulacan, charging petitioner Manliclic with Reckless
74 | P a g e
Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical Injuries, Francisco Tuliao testified that his brother-in-law, respondent Calaunan,
docketed as Crim. Case No. 684-M-89. Subsequently on 2 December left for abroad sometime in November, 1989 and has not returned since
1991, respondent filed a complaint for damages against petitioners then. Rogelio Ramos took the stand and said that his brother, Fernando
Manliclic and PRBLI before the RTC of Dagupan City, docketed as Ramos, left for Amman, Jordan, to work. Rosalia Mendoza testified that
Civil Case No. D-10086. The criminal case was tried ahead of the civil her husband, Marcelo Mendoza, left their residence to look for a job.
case. Among those who testified in the criminal case were respondent She narrated that she thought her husband went to his hometown in
Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos. Panique, Tarlac, when he did not return after one month. She went to
her husband’s hometown to look for him but she was informed that he
In the civil case (now before this Court), the parties admitted the did not go there.1awphil.net
following:
The trial court subpoenaed the Clerk of Court of Branch 8, RTC,
1. The parties agreed on the capacity of the parties to sue and be Malolos, Bulacan, the court where Criminal Case No. 684-M-89 was
sued as well as the venue and the identities of the vehicles tried, to bring the TSNs of the testimonies of respondent
involved; Calaunan,5 Marcelo Mendoza6 and Fernando Ramos7 in said case,
together with other documentary evidence marked therein. Instead of
2. The identity of the drivers and the fact that they are duly the Branch Clerk of Court, it was Enrique Santos Guevara, Court
licensed; Interpreter, who appeared before the court and identified the TSNs of
the three afore-named witnesses and other pertinent documents he had
3. The date and place of the vehicular collision; brought.8 Counsel for respondent wanted to mark other TSNs and
documents from the said criminal case to be adopted in the instant case,
4. The extent of the injuries suffered by plaintiff Modesto but since the same were not brought to the trial court, counsel for
Calaunan and the existence of the medical certificate; petitioners compromised that said TSNs and documents could be
offered by counsel for respondent as rebuttal evidence.
5. That both vehicles were going towards the south; the private
jeep being ahead of the bus; For the defendants, petitioner Manliclic and bus conductor Oscar Buan
testified. The TSN9 of the testimony of Donato Ganiban, investigator of
6. That the weather was fair and the road was well paved and the PRBLI, in Criminal Case No. 684-M-89 was marked and allowed to
straight, although there was a ditch on the right side where the be adopted in the civil case on the ground that he was already dead.
jeep fell into.3
Respondent further marked, among other documents, as rebuttal
When the civil case was heard, counsel for respondent prayed that the evidence, the TSNs10 of the testimonies of Donato Ganiban, Oscar Buan
transcripts of stenographic notes (TSNs)4 of the testimonies of and petitioner Manliclic in Criminal Case No. 684-M-89.
respondent Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the
criminal case be received in evidence in the civil case in as much as The disagreement arises from the question: Who is to be held liable for
these witnesses are not available to testify in the civil case. the collision?

75 | P a g e
Respondent insists it was petitioner Manliclic who should be liable Petitioner PRBLI maintained that it observed and exercised the
while the latter is resolute in saying it was the former who caused the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of
smash up. its employee, specifically petitioner Manliclic.

The versions of the parties are summarized by the trial court as follows: On 22 July 1996, the trial court rendered its decision in favor of
respondent Calaunan and against petitioners Manliclic and PRBLI. The
The parties differed only on the manner the collision between the two dispositive portion of its decision reads:
(2) vehicles took place. According to the plaintiff and his driver, the jeep
was cruising at the speed of 60 to 70 kilometers per hour on the slow WHEREFORE, judgment is rendered in favor of the plaintiff and
lane of the expressway when the Philippine Rabbit Bus overtook the against the defendants ordering the said defendants to pay plaintiff
jeep and in the process of overtaking the jeep, the Philippine Rabbit Bus jointly and solidarily the amount of P40,838.00 as actual damages for
hit the rear of the jeep on the left side. At the time the Philippine Rabbit the towing as well as the repair and the materials used for the repair of
Bus hit the jeep, it was about to overtake the jeep. In other words, the the jeep in question; P100,000.00 as moral damages and
Philippine Rabbit Bus was still at the back of the jeep when the jeep was another P100,000.00 as exemplary damages and P15,000.00 as
hit. Fernando Ramos corroborated the testimony of the plaintiff and attorney’s fees, including appearance fees of the lawyer. In addition, the
Marcelo Mendoza. He said that he was on another jeep following the defendants are also to pay costs.12
Philippine Rabbit Bus and the jeep of plaintiff when the incident took
place. He said, the jeep of the plaintiff overtook them and the said jeep Petitioners appealed the decision via Notice of Appeal to the Court of
of the plaintiff was followed by the Philippine Rabbit Bus which was Appeals.13
running very fast. The bus also overtook the jeep in which he was riding.
After that, he heard a loud sound. He saw the jeep of the plaintiff In a decision dated 28 September 2001, the Court of Appeals, finding
swerved to the right on a grassy portion of the road. The Philippine no reversible error in the decision of the trial court, affirmed it in all
Rabbit Bus stopped and they overtook the Philippine Rabbit Bus so that respects.14
it could not moved (sic), meaning they stopped in front of the Philippine
Rabbit Bus. He testified that the jeep of plaintiff swerved to the right Petitioners are now before us by way of petition for review assailing the
because it was bumped by the Philippine Rabbit bus from behind. decision of the Court of Appeals. They assign as errors the following:

Both Mauricio Manliclic and his driver, Oscar Buan admitted that the I
Philippine Rabbit Bus bumped the jeep in question. However, they
explained that when the Philippine Rabbit bus was about to go to the left THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN
lane to overtake the jeep, the latter jeep swerved to the left because it AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S QUESTIONABLE
was to overtake another jeep in front of it. Such was their testimony ADMISSION IN EVIDENCE OF THE TSN’s AND OTHER
before the RTC in Malolos in the criminal case and before this Court in DOCUMENTS PRESENTED IN THE CRIMINAL CASE.
the instant case. [Thus, which of the two versions of the manner how the
collision took place was correct, would be determinative of who II
between the two drivers was negligent in the operation of their
respective vehicles.]11
76 | P a g e
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN For Section 47, Rule 13021 to apply, the following requisites must be
AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S RELIANCE ON THE satisfied: (a) the witness is dead or unable to testify; (b) his testimony
VERSION OF THE RESPONDENT ON HOW THE ACCIDENT or deposition was given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or
SUPPOSEDLY OCCURRED. administrative, between the same parties or those representing the same
interests; (c) the former case involved the same subject as that in the
III present case, although on different causes of action; (d) the issue
testified to by the witness in the former trial is the same issue involved
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN in the present case; and (e) the adverse party had an opportunity to cross-
AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S UNFAIR DISREGARD OF examine the witness in the former case.22
HEREIN PETITIONER PRBL’s DEFENSE OF EXERCISE OF DUE
DILIGENCE IN THE SELECTION AND SUPERVISION OF ITS Admittedly, respondent failed to show the concurrence of all the
EMPLOYEES. requisites set forth by the Rules for a testimony given in a former case
or proceeding to be admissible as an exception to the hearsay rule.
IV Petitioner PRBLI, not being a party in Criminal Case No. 684-M-89,
had no opportunity to cross-examine the three witnesses in said case.
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED ON A QUESTION OF LAW IN The criminal case was filed exclusively against petitioner Manliclic,
AFFIRMING THE TRIAL COURT’S QUESTIONABLE AWARD OF petitioner PRBLI’s employee. The cases dealing with the subsidiary
DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY’S FEE. liability of employers uniformly declare that, strictly speaking, they are
not parties to the criminal cases instituted against their employees.23
With the passing away of respondent Calaunan during the pendency of
this appeal with this Court, we granted the Motion for the Substitution Notwithstanding the fact that petitioner PRBLI was not a party in said
of Respondent filed by his wife, Mrs. Precila Zarate Vda. De Calaunan, criminal case, the testimonies of the three witnesses are still admissible
and children, Virgilio Calaunan, Carmelita Honeycomb, Evelyn on the ground that petitioner PRBLI failed to object on their
Calaunan, Marko Calaunan and Liwayway Calaunan.15 admissibility.

In their Reply to respondent’s Comment, petitioners informed this Court It is elementary that an objection shall be made at the time when an
of a Decision16 of the Court of Appeals acquitting petitioner Manliclic alleged inadmissible document is offered in evidence; otherwise, the
of the charge17 of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to objection shall be treated as waived, since the right to object is merely a
Property with Physical Injuries attaching thereto a photocopy thereof. privilege which the party may waive. Thus, a failure to except to the
evidence because it does not conform to the statute is a waiver of the
On the first assigned error, petitioners argue that the TSNs containing provisions of the law. Even assuming ex gratia argumenti that these
the testimonies of respondent Calaunan,18Marcelo Mendoza19 and documents are inadmissible for being hearsay, but on account of failure
Fernando Ramos20 should not be admitted in evidence for failure of to object thereto, the same may be admitted and considered as sufficient
respondent to comply with the requisites of Section 47, Rule 130 of the to prove the facts therein asserted.24 Hearsay evidence alone may be
Rules of Court. insufficient to establish a fact in a suit but, when no objection is made
thereto, it is, like any other evidence, to be considered and given the
importance it deserves.25
77 | P a g e
In the case at bar, petitioner PRBLI did not object to the TSNs Petitioners contend that the documents in the criminal case should not
containing the testimonies of respondent Calaunan, Marcelo Mendoza have been admitted in the instant civil case because Section 47 of Rule
and Fernando Ramos in the criminal case when the same were offered 130 refers only to "testimony or deposition." We find such contention
in evidence in the trial court. In fact, the TSNs of the testimonies of to be untenable. Though said section speaks only of testimony and
Calaunan and Mendoza were admitted by both petitioners.26 Moreover, deposition, it does not mean that documents from a former case or
petitioner PRBLI even offered in evidence the TSN containing the proceeding cannot be admitted. Said documents can be admitted they
testimony of Donato Ganiban in the criminal case. If petitioner PRBLI being part of the testimonies of witnesses that have been admitted.
argues that the TSNs of the testimonies of plaintiff’s witnesses in the Accordingly, they shall be given the same weight as that to which the
criminal case should not be admitted in the instant case, why then did it testimony may be entitled.29
offer the TSN of the testimony of Ganiban which was given in the
criminal case? It appears that petitioner PRBLI wants to have its cake On the second assigned error, petitioners contend that the version of
and eat it too. It cannot argue that the TSNs of the testimonies of the petitioner Manliclic as to how the accident occurred is more credible
witnesses of the adverse party in the criminal case should not be than respondent’s version. They anchor their contention on the fact that
admitted and at the same time insist that the TSN of the testimony of the petitioner Manliclic was acquitted by the Court of Appeals of the charge
witness for the accused be admitted in its favor. To disallow admission of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property with Physical
in evidence of the TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan, Marcelo Injuries.
Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the criminal case and to admit the
TSN of the testimony of Ganiban would be unfair. To be resolved by the Court is the effect of petitioner Manliclic’s
acquittal in the civil case.
We do not subscribe to petitioner PRBLI’s argument that it will be
denied due process when the TSNs of the testimonies of Calaunan, From the complaint, it can be gathered that the civil case for damages
Marcelo Mendoza and Fernando Ramos in the criminal case are to be was one arising from, or based on, quasi-delict.30 Petitioner Manliclic
admitted in the civil case. It is too late for petitioner PRBLI to raise was sued for his negligence or reckless imprudence in causing the
denial of due process in relation to Section 47, Rule 130 of the Rules of collision, while petitioner PRBLI was sued for its failure to exercise the
Court, as a ground for objecting to the admissibility of the TSNs. For diligence of a good father in the selection and supervision of its
failure to object at the proper time, it waived its right to object that the employees, particularly petitioner Manliclic. The allegations read:
TSNs did not comply with Section 47.
"4. That sometime on July 12, 1988 at around 6:20 A.M. plaintiff
In Mangio v. Court of Appeals,27 this Court, through Associate Justice was on board the above-described motor vehicle travelling at a
Reynato S. Puno,28 admitted in evidence a TSN of the testimony of a moderate speed along the North Luzon Expressway heading
witness in another case despite therein petitioner’s assertion that he South towards Manila together with MARCELO MENDOZA,
would be denied due process. In admitting the TSN, the Court ruled that who was then driving the same;
the raising of denial of due process in relation to Section 47, Rule 130
of the Rules of Court, as a ground for objecting to the admissibility of "5. That approximately at kilometer 40 of the North Luzon
the TSN was belatedly done. In so doing, therein petitioner waived his Express Way, the above-described motor vehicle was suddenly
right to object based on said ground. bumped from behind by a Philippine Rabbit Bus with Body No.
353 and with plate No. CVD 478 then being driven by one
78 | P a g e
Mauricio Manliclic of San Jose, Concepcion, Tarlac, who was To the following findings of the court a quo, to wit: that accused-
then travelling recklessly at a very fast speed and had apparently appellant was negligent "when the bus he was driving bumped the jeep
lost control of his vehicle; from behind"; that "the proximate cause of the accident was his having
driven the bus at a great speed while closely following the jeep"; x x x
"6. That as a result of the impact of the collision the above-
described motor vehicle was forced off the North Luzon Express We do not agree.
Way towards the rightside where it fell on its driver’s side on a
ditch, and that as a consequence, the above-described motor The swerving of Calaunan’s jeep when it tried to overtake the vehicle in
vehicle which maybe valued at EIGHTY THOUSAND PESOS front of it was beyond the control of accused-appellant.
(P80,000) was rendered a total wreck as shown by pictures to be
presented during the pre-trial and trial of this case; xxxx

"7. That also as a result of said incident, plaintiff sustained Absent evidence of negligence, therefore, accused-appellant cannot be
bodily injuries which compounded plaintiff’s frail physical held liable for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage to Property
condition and required his hospitalization from July 12, 1988 up with Physical Injuries as defined in Article 365 of the Revised Penal
to and until July 22, 1988, copy of the medical certificate is Code.32
hereto attached as Annex "A" and made an integral part hereof;
From the foregoing declaration of the Court of Appeals, it appears that
"8. That the vehicular collision resulting in the total wreckage of petitioner Manliclic was acquitted not on reasonable doubt, but on the
the above-described motor vehicle as well as bodily (sic) ground that he is not the author of the act complained of which is based
sustained by plaintiff, was solely due to the reckless imprudence on Section 2(b) of Rule 111 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure which
of the defendant driver Mauricio Manliclic who drove his reads:
Philippine Rabbit Bus No. 353 at a fast speed without due regard
or observance of existing traffic rules and regulations; (b) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the
civil, unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final
"9. That defendant Philippine Rabbit Bus Line Corporation judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist.
failed to exercise the diligence of a good father of (sic) family in
the selection and supervision of its drivers; x x x"31 In spite of said ruling, petitioner Manliclic can still be held liable for the
mishap. The afore-quoted section applies only to a civil action arising
Can Manliclic still be held liable for the collision and be found negligent from crime or ex delicto and not to a civil action arising from quasi-
notwithstanding the declaration of the Court of Appeals that there was delict or culpa aquiliana. The extinction of civil liability referred to in
an absence of negligence on his part? Par. (e) of Section 3, Rule 111 [now Section 2 (b) of Rule 111], refers
exclusively to civil liability founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal
In exonerating petitioner Manliclic in the criminal case, the Court of Code, whereas the civil liability for the same act considered as a quasi-
Appeals said: delict only and not as a crime is not extinguished even by a declaration
in the criminal case that the criminal act charged has not happened or
has not been committed by the accused.33
79 | P a g e
A quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana is a separate legal institution under the the latter, without warning, suddenly swerved to the left (fast) lane in
Civil Code with a substantivity all its own, and individuality that is order to overtake another jeep ahead of it, thus causing the collision.
entirely apart and independent from a delict or crime – a distinction
exists between the civil liability arising from a crime and the As a general rule, questions of fact may not be raised in a petition for
responsibility for quasi-delicts or culpa extra-contractual. The same review. The factual findings of the trial court, especially when affirmed
negligence causing damages may produce civil liability arising from a by the appellate court, are binding and conclusive on the Supreme
crime under the Penal Code, or create an action for quasi-delicts or culpa Court.38 Not being a trier of facts, this Court will not allow a review
extra-contractual under the Civil Code.34 It is now settled that acquittal thereof unless:
of the accused, even if based on a finding that he is not guilty, does not
carry with it the extinction of the civil liability based on quasi delict.35 (1) the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation, surmise
and conjecture; (2) the inference made is manifestly mistaken; (3) there
In other words, if an accused is acquitted based on reasonable doubt on is grave abuse of discretion; (4) the judgment is based on a
his guilt, his civil liability arising from the crime may be proved by misapprehension of facts; (5) the findings of fact are conflicting; (6) the
preponderance of evidence only. However, if an accused is acquitted on Court of Appeals went beyond the issues of the case and its findings are
the basis that he was not the author of the act or omission complained contrary to the admissions of both appellant and appellees; (7) the
of (or that there is declaration in a final judgment that the fact from findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial
which the civil might arise did not exist), said acquittal closes the door court; (8) said findings of fact are conclusions without citation of
to civil liability based on the crime or ex delicto. In this second instance, specific evidence on which they are based; (9) the facts set forth in the
there being no crime or delict to speak of, civil liability based thereon petition as well as in the petitioner's main and reply briefs are not
or ex delicto is not possible. In this case, a civil action, if any, may be disputed by the respondents; and (10) the findings of fact of the Court
instituted on grounds other than the delict complained of. of Appeals are premised on the supposed absence of evidence and
contradicted by the evidence on record.39
As regards civil liability arising from quasi-delict or culpa aquiliana,
same will not be extinguished by an acquittal, whether it be on ground After going over the evidence on record, we do not find any of the
of reasonable doubt or that accused was not the author of the act or exceptions that would warrant our departure from the general rule. We
omission complained of (or that there is declaration in a final judgment fully agree in the finding of the trial court, as affirmed by the Court of
that the fact from which the civil liability might arise did not exist). The Appeals, that it was petitioner Manliclic who was negligent in driving
responsibility arising from fault or negligence in a quasi-delict is the PRBLI bus which was the cause of the collision. In giving credence
entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from to the version of the respondent, the trial court has this say:
negligence under the Penal Code.36 An acquittal or conviction in the
criminal case is entirely irrelevant in the civil case37 based on quasi- x x x Thus, which of the two versions of the manner how the collision
delict or culpa aquiliana. took place was correct, would be determinative of who between the two
drivers was negligent in the operation of their respective vehicle.
Petitioners ask us to give credence to their version of how the collision
occurred and to disregard that of respondent’s. Petitioners insist that In this regard, it should be noted that in the statement of Mauricio
while the PRBLI bus was in the process of overtaking respondent’s jeep, Manliclic (Exh. 15) given to the Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV
Cabading no mention was made by him about the fact that the driver of
80 | P a g e
the jeep was overtaking another jeep when the collision took place. The If one would believe the testimony of the defendant, Mauricio
allegation that another jeep was being overtaken by the jeep of Calaunan Manliclic, and his conductor, Oscar Buan, that the Philippine Rabbit
was testified to by him only in Crim. Case No. 684-M-89 before the Bus was already somewhat parallel to the jeep when the collision took
Regional Trial Court in Malolos, Bulacan and before this Court. place, the point of collision on the jeep should have been somewhat on
Evidently, it was a product of an afterthought on the part of Mauricio the left side thereof rather than on its rear. Furthermore, the jeep should
Manliclic so that he could explain why he should not be held responsible have fallen on the road itself rather than having been forced off the road.
for the incident. His attempt to veer away from the truth was also Useless, likewise to emphasize that the Philippine Rabbit was running
apparent when it would be considered that in his statement given to the very fast as testified to by Ramos which was not controverted by the
Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV Cabading (Exh. 15), he alleged that defendants.40
the Philippine Rabbit Bus bumped the jeep of Calaunan while the
Philippine Rabbit Bus was behind the said jeep. In his testimony before Having ruled that it was petitioner Manliclic’s negligence that caused
the Regional Trial Court in Malolos, Bulacan as well as in this Court, the smash up, there arises the juris tantum presumption that the
he alleged that the Philippine Rabbit Bus was already on the left side of employer is negligent, rebuttable only by proof of observance of the
the jeep when the collision took place. For this inconsistency between diligence of a good father of a family.41 Under Article 218042 of the New
his statement and testimony, his explanation regarding the manner of Civil Code, when an injury is caused by the negligence of the employee,
how the collision between the jeep and the bus took place should be there instantly arises a presumption of law that there was negligence on
taken with caution. It might be true that in the statement of Oscar Buan the part of the master or employer either in the selection of the servant
given to the Philippine Rabbit Investigator CV Cabading, it was or employee, or in supervision over him after selection or both. The
mentioned by the former that the jeep of plaintiff was in the act of liability of the employer under Article 2180 is direct and immediate; it
overtaking another jeep when the collision between the latter jeep and is not conditioned upon prior recourse against the negligent employee
the Philippine Rabbit Bus took place. But the fact, however, that his and a prior showing of the insolvency of such employee. Therefore, it is
statement was given on July 15, 1988, one day after Mauricio Manliclic incumbent upon the private respondents to prove that they exercised the
gave his statement should not escape attention. The one-day difference diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of
between the giving of the two statements would be significant enough their employee.43
to entertain the possibility of Oscar Buan having received legal advise
before giving his statement. Apart from that, as between his statement In the case at bar, petitioner PRBLI maintains that it had shown that it
and the statement of Manliclic himself, the statement of the latter should exercised the required diligence in the selection and supervision of its
prevail. Besides, in his Affidavit of March 10, 1989, (Exh. 14), the employees, particularly petitioner Manliclic. In the matter of selection,
unreliability of the statement of Oscar Buan (Exh. 13) given to CV it showed the screening process that petitioner Manliclic underwent
Cabading rear its "ugly head" when he did not mention in said affidavit before he became a regular driver. As to the exercise of due diligence in
that the jeep of Calaunan was trying to overtake another jeep when the the supervision of its employees, it argues that presence of ready
collision between the jeep in question and the Philippine Rabbit bus took investigators (Ganiban and Cabading) is sufficient proof that it
place. exercised the required due diligence in the supervision of its employees.

xxxx In the selection of prospective employees, employers are required to


examine them as to their qualifications, experience and service records.
In the supervision of employees, the employer must formulate standard
81 | P a g e
operating procedures, monitor their implementation and impose incumbent upon petitioner to show that in recruiting and employing the
disciplinary measures for the breach thereof. To fend off vicarious erring driver the recruitment procedures and company policies on
liability, employers must submit concrete proof, including documentary efficiency and safety were followed." x x x.
evidence, that they complied with everything that was incumbent on
them.44 The trial court found that petitioner PRBLI exercised the diligence of a
good father of a family in the selection but not in the supervision of its
In Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals,45 it was employees. It expounded as follows:
explained that:
From the evidence of the defendants, it seems that the Philippine Rabbit
Due diligence in the supervision of employees on the other hand, Bus Lines has a very good procedure of recruiting its driver as well as
includes the formulation of suitable rules and regulations for the in the maintenance of its vehicles. There is no evidence though that it is
guidance of employees and the issuance of proper instructions intended as good in the supervision of its personnel. There has been no iota of
for the protection of the public and persons with whom the employer evidence introduced by it that there are rules promulgated by the bus
has relations through his or its employees and the imposition of company regarding the safe operation of its vehicle and in the way its
necessary disciplinary measures upon employees in case of breach or as driver should manage and operate the vehicles assigned to them. There
may be warranted to ensure the performance of acts indispensable to the is no showing that somebody in the bus company has been employed to
business of and beneficial to their employer. To this, we add that actual oversee how its driver should behave while operating their vehicles
implementation and monitoring of consistent compliance with said rules without courting incidents similar to the herein case. In regard to
should be the constant concern of the employer, acting through supervision, it is not difficult to observe that the Philippine Rabbit Bus
dependable supervisors who should regularly report on their supervisory Lines, Inc. has been negligent as an employer and it should be made
functions. responsible for the acts of its employees, particularly the driver involved
in this case.
In order that the defense of due diligence in the selection and supervision
of employees may be deemed sufficient and plausible, it is not enough We agree. The presence of ready investigators after the occurrence of
to emptily invoke the existence of said company guidelines and policies the accident is not enough to exempt petitioner PRBLI from liability
on hiring and supervision. As the negligence of the employee gives rise arising from the negligence of petitioner Manliclic. Same does not
to the presumption of negligence on the part of the employer, the latter comply with the guidelines set forth in the cases above-mentioned. The
has the burden of proving that it has been diligent not only in the presence of the investigators after the accident is not enough
selection of employees but also in the actual supervision of their work. supervision. Regular supervision of employees, that is, prior to any
The mere allegation of the existence of hiring procedures and accident, should have been shown and established. This, petitioner
supervisory policies, without anything more, is decidedly not sufficient failed to do. The lack of supervision can further be seen by the fact that
to overcome such presumption. there is only one set of manual containing the rules and regulations for
all the drivers of PRBLI. 46 How then can all the drivers of petitioner
We emphatically reiterate our holding, as a warning to all employers, PRBLI know and be continually informed of the rules and regulations
that "the formulation of various company policies on safety without when only one manual is being lent to all the drivers?
showing that they were being complied with is not sufficient to exempt
petitioner from liability arising from negligence of its employees. It is
82 | P a g e
For failure to adduce proof that it exercised the diligence of a good MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA- ROMEO J. CALLEJO,
father of a family in the selection and supervision of its employees, MARTINEZ SR.
petitioner PRBLI is held solidarily responsible for the damages caused Associate Justice Asscociate Justice
by petitioner Manliclic’s negligence.
ATTESTATION
We now go to the award of damages. The trial court correctly awarded
the amount of P40,838.00 as actual damages representing the amount I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision were reached in
paid by respondent for the towing and repair of his jeep.47 As regards consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of
the awards for moral and exemplary damages, same, under the the Court’s Division.
circumstances, must be modified. The P100,000.00 awarded by the trial
court as moral damages must be reduced to P50,000.00.48 Exemplary CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
damages are imposed by way of example or correction for the public Associate Justice
good.49 The amount awarded by the trial court must, likewise, be Chairperson, Third Division
lowered to P50,000.00.50 The award of P15,000.00 for attorney’s fees
and expenses of litigation is in order and authorized by law.51 CERTIFICATION
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition for review is Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution, and the Division
DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. Chairperson’s Attestation, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in
55909 is AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that (1) the award of the above Decision were reached in consultation before the case was
moral damages shall be reduced to P50,000.00; and (2) the award of assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
exemplary damages shall be lowered to P50,000.00. Costs against
petitioners. REYNATO S. PUNO
Chief Justice
SO ORDERED.

MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
Associate Justice
Footnotes
WE CONCUR:
1
CA rollo, pp. 191-193.
CONSUELO YNARES-SANTIAGO
Associate Justice 2
Records, pp. 437-456.
Chairperson
3
Pre-Trial Order; Records, p. 143.

83 | P a g e
4 21
TSNs were admitted per Order dated 13 September 1994; Sec. 47. Testimony or deposition at a former proceeding. - The
Records, p. 341. testimony or deposition of a witness deceased or unable to
testify, given in a former case or proceeding, judicial or
5
Exhs. G-3 to G-10 (19 April 1991) and G-11 to G-36 (1 July administrative, involving the same parties and subject matter,
1991). may be given in evidence against the adverse party who had the
opportunity to cross-examine him.
6
Exh. D-4 (5 February 1993).
22
Samalio v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 140079, 31 March
7
Exh. E-4. 2005, 454 SCRA 462, 470.
8 23
Exhs. A to H, with submarkings. Philippine Rabbit Bus Lines, Inc. v. People, G.R. No. 147703,
14 April 2004, 427 SCRA 456, 471.
9
Exh. 19.
24
Tison v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 121027, 31 July 1997,
10 276 SCRA 582.
Exhs. M to P.
11 25
Rollo, pp. 45-47. Top-Weld Manufacturing, Inc. v. ECED, S.A., G.R. No.
44944, 9 August 1985, 138 SCRA 118.
12
Records, p. 456.
26
Records, pp. 336-337.
13
Id. at 459.
27
G.R. No. 139849, 5 December 2001, 371 SCRA 466, 474-476.
14
CA rollo, p. 193.
28
Now Chief Justice.
15
Rollo, pp. 59-62, 88.
29
People v. Martinez, G.R. No. 116918, 19 June 1997, 274
16 SCRA 259, 272.
CA-G.R. CR No. 19749.
17 30
Crim. Case No. 684-M-89. Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to
another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
18 damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing
Exhs. G-3 to G-10 (19 April 1991) and G-11 to G-36 (1 July
1991). contractual relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict
and is governed by the provision of this Chapter.
19
Exh. D-4 (5 February 1993).
31
Records, pp. 1-3.
20
Exh. E-4.

84 | P a g e
32
Rollo, pp. 112-114. Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
employees and household helpers acting within the
33
Elcano v. Hill, G.R. No. L-24803, 26 May 1977, 77 SCRA 98, scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are
106. not engaged in any business or industry.
34
Andamo v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 74761, 6 xxxx
November 1990, 191 SCRA 195, 203-204.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease
35
Heirs of the Late Guaring, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 336 Phil. when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
274, 279 (1997). observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
prevent damage.
36
McKee v. Intermediate Appellate Court, G.R. No. 68102 and
43
No. 68103, 16 July 1992, 211 SCRA 517, 536. Dulay v. Court of Appeals, 313 Phil. 8, 23 (1995).
37 44
Castillo v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 48541, 21 August Perla Compania de Seguros, Inc. v. Sarangaya III, G.R. No.
1989, 176 SCRA 591, 598. 147746, 25 October 2005, 474 SCRA 191, 202.
38 45
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation v. John Bordman Ltd. Supra note 41 at 540-541.
Of Iloilo, Inc., G.R. No. 159831, 14 October 2005, 473 SCRA
46
151, 162. TSN, 16 February 1995, pp. 23-24.
39 47
Sigaya v. Mayuga, G.R. No. 143254, 18 August 2005, 467 Exhs. C to C-4 and F. Records, pp. 232-236, 288. Article 2219
SCRA 341, 352-353. (2), Civil Code.
40 48
Rollo, pp. 47-50. Kapalaran Bus Line v. Coronado, G.R. No. 85331, 25 August
1989, 176 SCRA 792, 803.
41
Metro Manila Transit Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R.
49
No. 104408, 21 June 1993, 223 SCRA 521, 539. Article 2229, Civil Code.
42 50
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by article 2176 is Tiu v. Arriesgado, G.R. No. 138060, 1 September 2004, 437
demandable not only for one’s own acts or omissions, but also SCRA 426, 451; Philtranco Service Enterprises, Inc. v. Court of
for those of persons for whom one is responsible. Appeals, G.R. No. 120553, 17 June 1997, 273 SCRA 562, 574-
575.
xxxx
51
Article 2208 (1), (2) and (5), Civil Code.

85 | P a g e
Republic of the Philippines Consequently, Antonio Reyes, the registered owner of the Isuzu Mini
SUPREME COURT Bus, Mrs. Susan Chuay, the wife of victim Fernando Chuay, and Mrs.
Manila Lolita Lugue, the wife of driver-victim Magdaleno Lugue, filed an
action for damages through reckless imprudence before the Court of
THIRD DIVISION First Instance of Pampanga in Angeles City, Branch IV, docketed as
Civil Case No. 2154 against Mr. & Mrs. Federico Franco, the owners
G.R. No. 71137 October 5, 1989 and operators of the Franco Transportation Company. The complaint
alleged that: (a) the recklessness and imprudence of the Franco Bus
SPOUSES FEDERICO FRANCO and FELICISIMA R. driver caused the collision which resulted in his own death and that of
FRANCO, petitioners, the mini bus driver and two (2) other passengers thereof; (b) that as a
vs. consequence of the vehicular mishap, the Isuzu Mini Bus became a total
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ANTONIO REYES, wreck resulting in actual damages amounting to P50,000.00 and the loss
MRS. SUSAN CHUAY and LOLITA LUGUE respondents. of an average net income of P120.00 daily or P3,600.00 monthly
multiplied by a minimum of one more year of serviceability of said mini
bus or P40,200.00; and, (c) that in view of the death of the three (3)
passengers aforementioned, the heirs of each should be awarded a
FERNAN, C.J.: minimum of P12,000.00 and the expected average income of P6,000.00
each of the driver and one of the passengers and P12,000.00 of the
The instant petition for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals Chinese businessman passenger.
deals mainly with the nature of an employer's liability for his employee's
negligent act. In answer to the complaint, defendants set up, among others, the
affirmative defense that as owners and operators of the Franco
At about 7:30 in the evening of October 18, 1974, Macario Yuro Transportation Company, they exercised due diligence in the selection
swerved the northbound Franco Bus with Plate No. XY320-PUB he was and supervision of all their employees, including the deceased driver
driving to the left to avoid hitting a truck with a trailer parked facing Macario Yuro.
north along the cemented pavement of the MacArthur Highway at
Barrio Talaga, Capas Tarlac, thereby taking the lane of an incoming Said defense was, however, rejected by the trial court in its
Isuzu Mini Bus bearing Plate No. YL-735 being driven by one decision 1 dated May 17, 1978, for the reason that the act of the Franco
Magdaleno Lugue and making a collision between the two (2) vehicles Bus driver was a negligent act punishable by law resulting in a civil
an unavoidable and disastrous eventuality. obligation arising from Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code and not
from Article 2180 of the Civil Code. It said: "This is a case of criminal
Dragged fifteen (15) meters from the point of impact (midway the length negligence out of which civil liability arises, and not a case of civil
of the parked truck with trailer), the mini bus landed right side down negligence and the defense of having acted like a good father of a family
facing south in the canal of the highway, a total wreck. The Franco Bus or having trained or selected the drivers of his truck is no defense to
was also damaged but not as severely. The collision resulted in the avoid civil liability." 2 On this premise, the trial court ruled as follows:
deaths of the two (2) drivers, Macario Yuro and Magdaleno Lugue, and
two (2) passengers of the mini bus, Romeo Bue and Fernando Chuay.
86 | P a g e
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is applied. 6 Respondent appellate court increased the award of damages
hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs, Antonio Reyes, granted by the lower court as follows:
Lolita Lugue, and Susan Chuay, and against the
defendants Mr. and Mrs. Federico Franco, ordering the WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is hereby
latter: modified as follows:

(1) To pay Antonio Reyes, actual and compensatory 1. To pay Susan Chuay, widow of Fernando Chuay, the
damages in the amount of P90,000.00 for the Isuzu Mini sum of P30,000.00 for the latter's death and P112,000.00
Bus; for loss of earning capacity;

(2) To pay Lolita Lugue, the widow of Magdaleno 2. To pay Lolita Lugue, widow of Magdaleno Lugue, the
Lugue, actual and compensatory damages in the total sum of P30,000.00 for the latter's death and P62,000.00
sum of P18,000.00; for loss of earning capacity. The rest of the judgment
appealed from is affirmed. Costs against defendants-
(3) To pay Susan Chuay, the widow of Fernando Chuay, appellants.
actual and compensatory damages in the total sum of
P24,000.00; and SO ORDERED. 7

(4) To pay attorney's fee in the amount of P5.000.00; On April 1, 1985, petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the
aforesaid respondent appellate court's decision dated January 2, 1985
All with legal interests from the filing of this suit on but the same was denied on May 13, 1985.
November 11, 1974 until paid; and the costs of this suit.
Hence, the instant petition raising two (2) legal questions: first, whether
3
SO ORDERED. the action for recovery of damages instituted by herein private
respondents was predicated upon crime or quasi-delict; and second,
On appeal by herein petitioners as defendants-appellants, respondent whether respondent appellate court in an appeal filed by the defeated
appellate court, agreeing with the lower court, held that defendants- parties, herein petitioners, may properly increase the award of damages
appellants' driver who died instantly in the vehicular collision, was in favor of the private respondents Chuay and Lugue, prevailing parties
guilty of reckless or criminal imprudence punishable by law in driving in the lower court, who did not appeal said court's decision.
appellants' bus; that the civil obligation of the appellants arises from
Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code resulting in the subsidiary Petitioners contend that the allegations in paragraph 9 of the Amended
liability of the appellants under the said provisions, 4 that the case Complaint 8 of herein private respondents as plaintiffs in Civil Case No.
subject of appeal is one involving culpable negligence out of which civil 2154 unequivocally claim that the former as the employers of Macario
liability arises and is not one of civil negligence; 5 and that there is Yuro, the driver of the Franco Bus who caused the vehicular mishap,
nothing in Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code which are jointly and severally liable to the latter for the damages suffered by
requires a prior judgment of conviction of the erring vehicle driver and them which thus makes Civil Case No. 2154 an action predicated upon
his obligation to pay his civil liability before the said provisions can be a quasi-delict under the Civil Code subject to the defense that the
87 | P a g e
employer exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the felonies committed by the servants, pupils, workmen,
selection and supervision of their employees. apprentices, or employees in the discharge of their
duties;
We find merit in this contention. Distinction should be made between
the subsidiary liability of the employer under the Revised Penal Code while the second kind is governed by the following provisions of the
and the employer's primary liability under the Civil Code which is quasi- Civil Code:
delictual or tortious in character. The first type of liability is governed
by Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code which provide as Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to
follows: another, there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay
for the damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is
Art. 102. Subsidiary civil liability of innkeepers, tavern- no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties
keepers and proprietors of establishments. — In default is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions
of the persons criminally liable, innkeepers, tavern- of this Chapter.
keepers, and any other persons or corporations shall be
civilly liable for crimes committed in their Art. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under
establishments, in all cases where a violation of the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from
municipal ordinances or some general or special police the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal
regulations shall have been committed by them or their Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for
employees. the same act or omission of the defendant.

Innkeepers are also subsidiarily liable for the restitution Art. 2180. The obligations imposed by article 2176 is
of goods taken by robbery or theft within their houses demandable not only for one's own acts or omissions, but
from guests lodging therein, or for the payment of the also for those of persons for whom one is responsible.
value thereof, provided that such guests shall have
notified in advance the innkeeper himself, or the person xxx xxx xxx
representing him, of the deposits of such goods within
the inn; and shall furthermore have followed the Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their
directions which such innkeeper or his representative employees and household helpers acting within the
may have given them with respect to the care and scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are
vigilance over such goods. No liability shall attach in not engaged in any business or industry,
case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of
persons unless committed by the innkeeper's employees. xxx xxx xxx

Art. 103. Subsidiary civil liability of other persons. — The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease
The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding when the persons herein mentioned prove that they
article shall also apply to employers, teachers, persons, observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to
and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for prevent damage.
88 | P a g e
Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, liability originates from the employer's subsidiary liability would partake of a solidary obligation
a delict committed by the employee who is primarily liable therefor and resulting in the law's amendment without legislative sanction.
upon whose primary liability his employer's subsidiary liability is to be
based. Before the employer's subsidiary liability may be proceeded The Court in the aforecited M.D. Transit case went further to say that
against, it is imperative that there should be a criminal action whereby there can be no automatic subsidiary liability of defendant employer
the employee's criminal negligence or delict and corresponding liability under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code where his employee has
therefor are proved. If no criminal action was instituted, the employer's not been previously criminally convicted.
liability would not be predicated under Article 103. 9
Having thus established that Civil Case No. 2154 is a civil action to
In the case at bar, no criminal action was instituted because the person impose the primary liability of the employer as a result of the tortious
who should stand as the accused and the party supposed to be primarily act of its alleged reckless driver, we confront ourselves with the
liable for the damages suffered by private respondents as a consequence plausibility of defendants-petitioners' defense that they observed due
of the vehicular mishap died. Thus, petitioners' subsidiary liability has diligence of a good father of a family in the selection and supervision of
no leg to stand on considering that their liability is merely secondary to their employees.
their employee's primary liability. Logically therefore, recourse under
this remedy is not possible. On this point, the appellate court has unequivocally spoken in
affirmation of the lower court's findings, to wit:
On the other hand, under Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code,
liability is based on culpa aquiliana which holds the employer primarily Anyway, a perusal of the record shows that the
liable for tortious acts of its employees subject, however, to the defense appellants were not able to establish the defense of a
that the former exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in good father of a family in the supervision of their bus
the selection and supervision of his employees. driver. The evidence presented by the appellants in this
regard is purely self-serving. No independent evidence
Respondent appellate court relies on the case of Arambulo, supra, where was presented as to the alleged supervision of appellants'
it was held that the defense of observance of due diligence of a good bus drivers, especially with regard to driving habits and
father of a family in the selection and supervision of employees is not reaction to actual traffic conditions. The appellants in
applicable to the subsidiary liability provided in Article 20 of the Penal fact admitted that the only kind of supervision given the
Code (now Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code). By such reliance, it drivers referred to the running time between the terminal
would seem that respondent appellate court seeks to enforce the points of the line (t.s.n., September 16, 1976, p. 21).
subsidiary civil liability of the employer without a criminal conviction Moreover, the appellants who ran a fleet of 12 buses
of the party primarily liable therefor. This is not only erroneous and plying the Manila-Laoag line, have only two inspectors
absurd but is also fraught with dangerous consequences. It is erroneous whose duties were only ticket inspection. There is no
because the conviction of the employee primarily liable is a evidence that they are really safety inspectors. 11
condition sine qua non for the employer's subsidiary liability 10 and, at
the same time, absurd because we will be faced with a situation where Basically, the Court finds that these determinations are factual in nature.
the employer is held subsidiarily liable even without a primary liability As a painstaking review of the evidence presented in the case at bar fails
being previously established. It is likewise dangerous because, in effect, to disclose any evidence or circumstance of note sufficient to overrule
89 | P a g e
said factual findings and conclusions, the Court is inclined to likewise damages for loss of average income for the period of one year to
reject petitioners' affirmative defense of due diligence. The wisdom of P6,000.00 for the deceased Magdaleno Lugue and P12,000.00 for the
this stance is made more apparent by the fact that the appellate court's deceased Fernando Chuay. The rest of the judgment appealed from is
conclusions are based on the findings of the lower court which is in a hereby affirmed. Costs against the private respondents. This decision is
better position to evaluate the testimonies of the witnesses during trial. immediately executory.
As a rule, this Court respects the factual findings of the appellate and
trial courts and accord them a certain measure of SO ORDERED.
finality. 12 Consequently, therefore, we find petitioners liable for the
damages claimed pursuant to their primary liability under the Civil Feliciano, Bidin and Cortes, JJ., concur.
Code.
Gutierrez, Jr., J., is on leave
On the second legal issue raised in the instant petition, we agree with
petitioners' contention that the Intermediate Appellate Court (later Court
of Appeals) is without jurisdiction to increase the amount of damages
awarded to private respondents Chuay and Lugue, neither of whom Footnotes
appealed the decision of the lower court. While an appellee who is not
also an appellant may assign error in his brief if his purpose is to 1 Record on Appeal, p. 35, Rollo, p. 23.
maintain the judgment on other grounds, he cannot ask for modification
or reversal of the judgment or affirmative relief unless he has also 2 Record on Appeal, p. 60, Rollo, p. 23.
appealed. 13 For failure of plaintiffs-appellees, herein private
respondents, to appeal the lower court's judgment, the amount of actual 3 Ibid., at pp. 61-62.
damages cannot exceed that awarded by it. 14
4 Arambulo vs. Manila Electric Company, 55 Phil. 75,
Furthermore, the records 15 show that plaintiffs-private respondents 77.
limited their claim for actual and compensatory damages to the
supposed average income for a period of one (1) year of P6,000.00 for 5 City of Manila vs. Manila Electric Company, 52 Phil.
the driver Magdaleno Lugue and P12,000.00 for the Chinese 586, 594595.
businessman Fernando Chuay. We feel that our award should not exceed
the said amounts .16 6 Court of Appeals Decision, Rollo, pp. 26-27.

However, the increase in awards for indemnity arising from death to 7 Ibid., at p. 29.
P30,000.00 each remains, the same having been made in accordance
with prevailing jurisprudence decreeing such increase in view of the 8 Record on Appeal, p. 6, Rollo, p. 23.
depreciated Philippine currency. 17
9 Rakes v. Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Co., 7 Phil. 359, 364.
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby modified
decreasing the award to private respondents of actual and compensatory
90 | P a g e
10 M.D. Transit and Taxi Co., Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, This is a petition for review on certiorari[1] to annul the
22 SCRA 559. Resolution[2] dated 21 October 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20 January
11 CA decision, Rollo, pp. 27-28. 2000 denying the motion for reconsideration. The Court of Appeals
denied the petition for annulment of the Decision[3] dated 30 May
12 Agalo-os vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 149 1995 rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, Branch 56
SCRA 546. (trial court), in Civil Case No. 7415. The trial court ordered petitioner
Hermana R. Cerezo (Mrs. Cerezo) to pay respondent David Tuazon
13 La Campana Food Products, Inc. vs. PCI Bank, 142 (Tuazon) actual damages, loss of earnings, moral damages, and costs of
SCRA 394. suit.

14 Aguilar vs. Chan, 144 SCRA 673.


Antecedent Facts
15 Complaint, pp. 5-6, Record on Appeal, Rollo, p. 23.
Around noontime of 26 June 1993, a Country Bus Lines passenger
16 Makabali vs. CA, et al., G.R. No. L-46877, January
bus with plate number NYA 241 collided with a tricycle bearing plate
22,1988.
number TC RV 126 along Captain M. Palo Street, Sta. Ines, Mabalacat,
Pampanga. On 1 October 1993, tricycle driver Tuazon filed a complaint
17 People vs. Cruz, 142 SCRA 576.
for damages against Mrs. Cerezo, as owner of the bus line, her husband
Attorney Juan Cerezo (Atty. Cerezo), and bus driver Danilo A. Foronda
FIRST DIVISION
(Foronda). The complaint alleged that:

7. At the time of the incident, plaintiff [Tuazon] was in his proper lane
[G.R. No. 141538. March 23, 2004] when the second-named defendant [Foronda], being then the driver and
person in charge of the Country Bus with plate number NYA 241, did
then and there willfully, unlawfully, and feloniously operate the said
motor vehicle in a negligent, careless, and imprudent manner without
Hermana R. Cerezo, petitioner, vs. David Tuazon, respondent. due regard to traffic rules and regulations, there being a Slow Down sign
near the scene of the incident, and without taking the necessary
DECISION precaution to prevent loss of lives or injuries, his negligence,
CARPIO, J.: carelessness and imprudence resulted to severe damage to the tricycle
and serious physical injuries to plaintiff thus making him unable to walk
and becoming disabled, with his thumb and middle finger on the left
The Case hand being cut[.][4]

91 | P a g e
On 1 October 1993, Tuazon filed a motion to litigate as a poblacion that his income is not enough for his familys subsistence; and
pauper. Subsequently, the trial court issued summons against Atty. a Certification by the Office of the Municipal Assessor that he has no
Cerezo and Mrs. Cerezo (the Cerezo spouses) at the Makati address landholding in the Municipality of Mabalacat, Province of Pampanga.
stated in the complaint. However, the summons was returned unserved
on 10 November 1993 as the Cerezo spouses no longer held office nor The Court is satisfied from the unrebutted testimony of the plaintiff that
resided in Makati. On 18 April 1994, the trial court issued alias he is entitled to prosecute his complaint in this case as a pauper under
summons against the Cerezo spouses at their address in Barangay Sta. existing rules.
Maria, Camiling, Tarlac. The alias summons and a copy of the
complaint were finally served on 20 April 1994 at the office of Atty. On the other hand, the Court denies the prayer in the Appearance and
Cerezo, who was then working as Tarlac Provincial Prosecutor. Atty. Urgent Ex-Parte Motion requiring new summons to be served to the
Cerezo reacted angrily on learning of the service of summons upon his defendants. The Court is of the opinion that any infirmity in the service
person. Atty. Cerezo allegedly told Sheriff William Canlas: Punyeta, of the summons to the defendant before plaintiff was allowed to
ano ang gusto mong mangyari? Gusto mong hindi ka makalabas ng prosecute his complaint in this case as a pauper has been cured by this
buhay dito? Teritoryo ko ito. Wala ka sa teritoryo mo.[5] Order.
The records show that the Cerezo spouses participated in the
If within 15 days from receipt of this Order, the defendants do not
proceedings before the trial court. The Cerezo spouses filed a comment
question on appeal this Order of this Court, the Court shall proceed to
with motion for bill of particulars dated 29 April 1994 and a reply to
resolve the Motion for Bill of Particulars.[8]
opposition to comment with motion dated 13 June 1994.[6] On 1 August
1994, the trial court issued an order directing the Cerezo spouses to file
On 27 September 1994, the Cerezo spouses filed an urgent ex-parte
a comment to the opposition to the bill of particulars. Atty. Elpidio B.
motion for reconsideration. The trial court denied the motion for
Valera (Atty. Valera) of Valera and Valera Law Offices appeared on
reconsideration.
behalf of the Cerezo spouses. On 29 August 1994, Atty. Valera filed an
urgent ex-parte motion praying for the resolution of Tuazons motion to On 14 November 1994, the trial court issued an order directing the
litigate as a pauper and for the issuance of new summons on the Cerezo Cerezo spouses to file their answer within fifteen days from receipt of
spouses to satisfy proper service in accordance with the Rules of the order. The Cerezo spouses did not file an answer. On 27 January
Court.[7] 1995, Tuazon filed a motion to declare the Cerezo spouses in
default. On 6 February 1995, the trial court issued an order declaring the
On 30 August 1994, the trial court issued an order resolving
Cerezo spouses in default and authorizing Tuazon to present his
Tuazons motion to litigate as a pauper and the Cerezo spouses urgent
evidence. [9]
ex-parte motion. The order reads:
On 30 May 1995, after considering Tuazons testimonial and
At the hearing on August 30, 1994, the plaintiff [Tuazon] testified that documentary evidence, the trial court ruled in Tuazons favor. The trial
he is presently jobless; that at the time of the filing of this case, his son court made no pronouncement on Forondas liability because there was
who is working in Malaysia helps him and sends him once in a no service of summons on him. The trial court did not hold Atty. Cerezo
while P300.00 a month, and that he does not have any real liable as Tuazon failed to show that Mrs. Cerezos business benefited the
property. Attached to the Motion to Litigate as Pauper are his Affidavit family, pursuant to Article 121(3) of the Family Code. The trial court
that he is unemployed; a Certification by the Barangay Captain of his held Mrs. Cerezo solely liable for the damages sustained by Tuazon
92 | P a g e
arising from the negligence of Mrs. Cerezos employee, pursuant to Exhibit 3 - Minutes of the hearing held on August 1, 1994;
Article 2180 of the Civil Code. The dispositive portion of the trial courts Exhibit 3-A - Signature of defendants counsel;
decision reads: Exhibit 4 - Minutes of the hearing held on August 30, 1994;
Exhibit 4-A - Signature of the defendants counsel;
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendant Exhibit 5 - Appearance and Urgent Ex-Parte Motion;
Hermana Cerezo to pay the plaintiff: Exhibit 6 - Order dated November 14, 1994;
Exhibit 6-A - Postal certification dated January 13, 1995;
a) For Actual Damages Exhibit 7 - Order dated February [illegible];
1) Expenses for operation and medical Exhibit 7-A - Courts return slip addressed to Atty. Elpidio
Treatment - P69,485.35 Valera;
2) Cost of repair of the tricycle - 39,921.00 Exhibit 7-B - Courts return slip addressed to Spouses Juan
b) For loss of earnings - 43,300.00 and Hermana Cerezo;
c) For moral damages - 20,000.00 Exhibit 8 - Decision dated May [30], 1995
d) And to pay the cost of the suit. Exhibit 8-A - Courts return slip addressed to defendant
Hermana
The docket fees and other expenses in the filing of this suit shall be lien Cerezo;
on whatever judgment may be rendered in favor of the plaintiff. Exhibit 8-B - Courts return slip addressed to defendants
counsel,
SO ORDERED.[10] Atty. Elpidio Valera;
Exhibit 9 - Order dated September 21, 1995;
Mrs. Cerezo received a copy of the decision on 25 June Exhibit 9-A - Second Page of Exhibit 9;
1995. On 10 July 1995, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the trial court a petition Exhibit 9-B - Third page of Exhibit 9;
for relief from judgment on the grounds of fraud, mistake or excusable Exhibit 9-C - Fourth page of Exhibit 9;
negligence. Testifying before the trial court, both Mrs. Cerezo and Atty. Exhibit 9-D - Courts return slip addressed to Atty. Elpidio
Valera denied receipt of notices of hearings and of orders of the Valera;
court. Atty. Valera added that he received no notice before or during and
the 8 May 1995 elections, when he was a senatorial candidate for the Exhibit 9-E - Courts return slip addressed to plaintiffs counsel,
KBL Party, and very busy, using his office and residence as Party Atty. Norman Dick de Guzman.[12]
National Headquarters. Atty. Valera claimed that he was able to read the
decision of the trial court only after Mrs. Cerezo sent him a copy.[11] On 4 March 1998, the trial court issued an order[13] denying the
petition for relief from judgment. The trial court stated that having
Tuazon did not testify but presented documentary evidence to prove received the decision on 25 June 1995, the Cerezo spouses should have
the participation of the Cerezo spouses in the case. Tuazon presented the filed a notice of appeal instead of resorting to a petition for relief from
following exhibits: judgment. The trial court refused to grant relief from judgment because
Exhibit 1 - Sheriffs return and summons; the Cerezo spouses could have availed of the remedy of appeal.
Exhibit 1-A - Alias summons dated April 20, 1994; Moreover, the Cerezo spouses not only failed to prove fraud, accident,
Exhibit 2 - Comment with Motion; mistake or excusable negligence by conclusive evidence, they also
93 | P a g e
failed to prove that they had a good and substantial defense. The trial preliminary injunction enjoining execution of the trial courts decision
court noted that the Cerezo spouses failed to appeal because they relied pending resolution of the petition.
on an expected settlement of the case.
The Court of Appeals denied the petition for annulment of
The Cerezo spouses subsequently filed before the Court of Appeals judgment in a resolution dated 21 October 1999. The resolution reads in
a petition for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65. The petition was part:
docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 48132.[14] The petition questioned whether
the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the case considering there was In this case, records show that the petitioner previously filed with the
no service of summons on Foronda, whom the Cerezo spouses claimed lower court a Petition for Relief from Judgment on the ground that they
was an indispensable party. In a resolution[15] dated 21 January 1999, were wrongfully declared in default while waiting for an amicable
the Court of Appeals denied the petition for certiorari and affirmed the settlement of the complaint for damages. The court a quo correctly
trial courts order denying the petition for relief from judgment. The ruled that such petition is without merit. The defendant spouses admit
Court of Appeals declared that the Cerezo spouses failure to file an that during the initial hearing they appeared before the court and even
answer was due to their own negligence, considering that they continued mentioned the need for an amicable settlement. Thus, the lower court
to participate in the proceedings without filing an answer. There was acquired jurisdiction over the defendant spouses.
also nothing in the records to show that the Cerezo spouses actually
offered a reasonable settlement to Tuazon. The Court of Appeals also Therefore, petitioner having availed of a petition for relief, the remedy
denied Cerezo spouses motion for reconsideration for lack of merit. of an annulment of judgment is no longer available. The proper action
for the petitioner is to appeal the order of the lower court denying the
The Cerezo spouses filed before this Court a petition for review
petition for relief.
on certiorari under Rule 45. Atty. Cerezo himself signed the petition,
docketed as G.R. No. 137593. On 13 April 1999, this Court rendered a
Wherefore, the instant petition could not be given due course and should
resolution denying the petition for review on certiorari for failure to
accordingly be dismissed.
attach an affidavit of service of copies of the petition to the Court of
Appeals and to the adverse parties. Even if the petition complied with
SO ORDERED.[18]
this requirement, the Court would still have denied the petition as the
Cerezo spouses failed to show that the Court of Appeals committed a
On 20 January 2000, the Court of Appeals denied the Cerezo
reversible error. The Courts resolution was entered in the Book of
spouses motion for reconsideration.[19] The Court of Appeals stated:
Entries and Judgments when it became final and executory on 28 June
1999.[16]
A distinction should be made between a courts jurisdiction over a person
Undaunted, the Cerezo spouses filed before the Court of Appeals and its jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case. The former is
on 6 July 1999 a petition for annulment of judgment under Rule 47 with acquired by the proper service of summons or by the parties voluntary
prayer for restraining order. Atty. Valera and Atty. Dionisio S. Daga appearance; while the latter is conferred by law.
(Atty. Daga) represented Mrs. Cerezo in the petition, docketed as CA-
G.R. SP No. 53572.[17] The petition prayed for the annulment of the 30 Resolving the matter of jurisdiction over the subject matter, Section
May 1995 decision of the trial court and for the issuance of a writ of 19(1) of B[atas] P[ambansa] 129 provides that Regional Trial Courts
shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions in which
94 | P a g e
the subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary estimation. Thus it Once again, it bears stressing that having availed of a petition for relief,
was proper for the lower court to decide the instant case for damages. the remedy of annulment of judgment is no longer available.

Unlike jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case which is absolute Based on the foregoing, the motion for reconsideration could not be
and conferred by law; any defects [sic] in the acquisition of jurisdiction given due course and is hereby DENIED.
over a person (i.e., improper filing of civil complaint or improper
service of summons) may be waived by the voluntary appearance of SO ORDERED.[20]
parties.

The lower court admits the fact that no summons was served on The Issues
defendant Foronda. Thus, jurisdiction over the person of defendant
Foronda was not acquired, for which reason he was not held liable in
this case. However, it has been proven that jurisdiction over the other On 7 February 2000, Mrs. Cerezo, this time with Atty. Daga alone
defendants was validly acquired by the court a quo. representing her, filed the present petition for review
on certiorari before this Court. Mrs. Cerezo claims that:
The defendant spouses admit to having appeared in the initial hearings 1. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment of Judgment, the
and in the hearing for plaintiffs motion to litigate as a pauper. They even Court of Appeals assumes that the issues raised in the
mentioned conferences where attempts were made to reach an amicable petition for annulment is based on extrinsic fraud related to
settlement with plaintiff. However, the possibility of amicable the denied petition for relief notwithstanding that the
settlement is not a good and substantial defense which will warrant the grounds relied upon involves questions of lack of
granting of said petition. jurisdiction.

xxx 2. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of


Appeals disregarded the allegation that the lower court[s]
Assuming arguendo that private respondent failed to reserve his right to findings of negligence against defendant-driver Danilo
institute a separate action for damages in the criminal action, the Foronda [whom] the lower court did not summon is null and
petitioner cannot now raise such issue and question the lower courts void for want of due process and consequently, such
jurisdiction because petitioner and her husband have waived such right findings of negligence which is [sic] null and void cannot
by voluntarily appearing in the civil case for damages. Therefore, the become the basis of the lower court to adjudge petitioner-
findings and the decision of the lower court may bind them. employer liable for civil damages.
3. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of
Records show that the petitioner previously filed with the lower court a Appeals ignored the allegation that defendant-driver Danilo
Petition for Relief from Judgment on the ground that they were A. Foronda whose negligence is the main issue is an
wrongfully declared in default while waiting for an amicable settlement indispensable party whose presence is compulsory but
of the complaint for damages. The court a quo correctly ruled that such [whom] the lower court did not summon.
petition is without merit, jurisdiction having been acquired by the
voluntary appearance of defendant spouses.
95 | P a g e
4. In dismissing the Petition for Annulment, the Court of Cerezo then filed before the Court of Appeals a petition
Appeals ruled that assuming arguendo that private for certiorari under Section 1 of Rule 65 assailing the denial of the
respondent failed to reserve his right to institute a separate petition for relief from judgment.On 21 January 1999, the Court of
action for damages in the criminal action, the petitioner Appeals dismissed Mrs. Cerezos petition. On 24 February 1999, the
cannot now raise such issue and question the lower courts appellate court denied Mrs. Cerezos motion for reconsideration. On 11
jurisdiction because petitioner [has] waived such right by March 1999, Mrs. Cerezo filed before this Court a petition for review
voluntarily appearing in the civil case for damages on certiorari under Rule 45, questioning the denial of the petition for
notwithstanding that lack of jurisdiction cannot be relief from judgment. We denied the petition and our resolution became
waived.[21] final and executory on 28 June 1999.
On 6 July 1999, a mere eight days after our resolution became final
and executory, Mrs. Cerezo filed before the Court of Appeals a petition
The Courts Ruling for annulment of the judgment of the trial court under Rule
47.Meanwhile, on 25 August 1999, the trial court issued over the
The petition has no merit. As the issues are interrelated, we shall objection of Mrs. Cerezo an order of execution of the judgment in Civil
discuss them jointly. Case No. 7415. On 21 October 1999, the Court of Appeals dismissed
the petition for annulment of judgment. On 20 January 2000, the Court
Remedies Available of Appeals denied Mrs. Cerezos motion for reconsideration. On 7
to a Party Declared in Default February 2000, Mrs. Cerezo filed the present petition for review
An examination of the records of the entire proceedings shows that on certiorariunder Rule 45 challenging the dismissal of her petition for
three lawyers filed and signed pleadings on behalf of Mrs. Cerezo, annulment of judgment.
namely, Atty. Daga, Atty. Valera, and Atty. Cerezo. Despite their Lina v. Court of Appeals[22] enumerates the remedies available to a
number, Mrs. Cerezos counsels failed to avail of the proper remedies. It party declared in default:
is either by sheer ignorance or by malicious manipulation of legal
technicalities that they have managed to delay the disposition of the a) The defendant in default may, at any time after discovery
present case, to the detriment of pauper litigant Tuazon. thereof and before judgment, file a motion under oath to
set aside the order of default on the ground that his failure
Mrs. Cerezo claims she did not receive any copy of the order to answer was due to fraud, accident, mistake or excusable
declaring the Cerezo spouses in default. Mrs. Cerezo asserts that she negligence, and that he has a meritorious defense (Sec. 3,
only came to know of the default order on 25 June 1995, when she Rule 18 [now Sec. 3(b), Rule 9]);
received a copy of the decision. On 10 July 1995, Mrs. Cerezo filed
before the trial court a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38, b) If the judgment has already been rendered when the
alleging fraud, mistake, or excusable negligence as grounds. On 4 defendant discovered the default, but before the same has
March 1998, the trial court denied Mrs. Cerezos petition for relief from become final and executory, he may file a motion for new
judgment. The trial court stated that Mrs. Cerezo could have availed of trial under Section 1 (a) of Rule 37;
appeal as a remedy and that she failed to prove that the judgment was
entered through fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence. Mrs.

96 | P a g e
c) If the defendant discovered the default after the judgment Clearly, Mrs. Cerezo had every opportunity to avail of these
has become final and executory, he may file a petition for remedies within the reglementary periods provided under the Rules of
relief under Section 2 [now Section 1] of Rule 38; and Court. However, Mrs. Cerezo opted to file a petition for relief from
judgment, which is available only in exceptional cases. A petition for
d) He may also appeal from the judgment rendered against
relief from judgment should be filed within the reglementary period of
him as contrary to the evidence or to the law, even if no
60 days from knowledge of judgment and six months from entry of
petition to set aside the order of default has been presented
judgment, pursuant to
by him (Sec. 2, Rule 41). (Emphasis added)
Rule 38 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.[30] Tuason v. Court of
Moreover, a petition for certiorari to declare the nullity of a
Appeals[31] explained the nature of a petition for relief from judgment:
judgment by default is also available if the trial court improperly
declared a party in default, or even if the trial court properly declared a
When a party has another remedy available to him, which may either be
party in default, if grave abuse of discretion attended such
a motion for new trial or appeal from an adverse decision of the trial
declaration.[23]
court, and he was not prevented by fraud, accident, mistake or excusable
Mrs. Cerezo admitted that she received a copy of the trial courts negligence from filing such motion or taking such appeal, he cannot
decision on 25 June 1995. Based on this admission, Mrs. Cerezo had at avail himself of this petition. Indeed, relief will not be granted to a party
least three remedies at her disposal: an appeal, a motion for new trial, or who seeks avoidance from the effects of the judgment when the loss of
a petition for certiorari. the remedy at law was due to his own negligence; otherwise the petition
for relief can be used to revive the right to appeal which has been lost
Mrs. Cerezo could have appealed under Rule 41[24] from the default
thru inexcusable negligence.
judgment within 15 days from notice of the judgment. She could have
availed of the power of the Court of Appeals to try cases and conduct
Evidently, there was no fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable
hearings, receive evidence, and perform all acts necessary to resolve
negligence that prevented Mrs. Cerezo from filing an appeal, a motion
factual issues raised in cases falling within its appellate jurisdiction.[25]
for new trial or a petition for certiorari. It was error for her to avail of a
Mrs. Cerezo also had the option to file under Rule 37[26] a motion petition for relief from judgment.
for new trial within the period for taking an appeal. If the trial court
After our resolution denying Mrs. Cerezos petition for relief
grants a new trial, the original judgment is vacated, and the action will
became final and executory, Mrs. Cerezo, in her last ditch attempt to
stand for trial de novo. The recorded evidence taken in the former trial,
evade liability, filed before the Court of Appeals a petition for
as far as the same is material and competent to establish the issues, shall
annulment of the judgment of the trial court. Annulment is available
be used at the new trial without retaking the same.[27]
only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction. If based
Mrs. Cerezo also had the alternative of filing under Rule 65[28] a on extrinsic fraud, a party must file the petition within four years from
petition for certiorari assailing the order of default within 60 days from its discovery, and if based on lack of jurisdiction, before laches or
notice of the judgment. An order of default is interlocutory, and an estoppel bars the petition. Extrinsic fraud is not a valid ground if such
aggrieved party may file an appropriate special civil action under Rule fraud was used as a ground, or could have been used as a ground, in a
65.[29] In a petition for certiorari, the appellate court may declare void motion for new trial or petition for relief from judgment.[32]
both the order of default and the judgment of default.

97 | P a g e
Mrs. Cerezo insists that lack of jurisdiction, not extrinsic fraud, was summons on Foronda. Moreover, Tuazon failed to reserve his right to
her ground for filing the petition for annulment of judgment. However, institute a separate civil action for damages in the criminal action. Such
a party may avail of the remedy of annulment of judgment under Rule contention betrays a faulty foundation. Mrs. Cerezos contention
47 only if the ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief proceeds from the point of view of criminal law and not of civil law,
from judgment, or other appropriate remedies are no longer available while the basis of the present action of Tuazon is quasi-delict under the
through no fault of the party.[33] Mrs. Cerezo could have availed of a Civil Code, not delict under the Revised Penal Code.
new trial or appeal but through her own fault she erroneously availed of
The same negligent act may produce civil liability arising from a
the remedy of a petition for relief, which was denied with finality. Thus,
delict under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code, or may give rise to
Mrs. Cerezo may no longer avail of the remedy of annulment.
an action for a quasi-delict under Article 2180 of the Civil Code. An
In any event, the trial court clearly acquired jurisdiction over Mrs. aggrieved party may choose between the two remedies. An action based
Cerezos person. Mrs. Cerezo actively participated in the proceedings on a quasi-delict may proceed independently from the criminal
before the trial court, submitting herself to the jurisdiction of the trial action.[36] There is, however, a distinction between civil liability arising
court. The defense of lack of jurisdiction fails in light of her active from a delict and civil liability arising from a quasi-delict. The choice
participation in the trial court proceedings. Estoppel or laches may also of remedy, whether to sue for a delict or a quasi-delict, affects the
bar lack of jurisdiction as a ground for nullity especially if raised for the procedural and jurisdictional issues of the action.[37]
first time on appeal by a party who participated in the proceedings
Tuazon chose to file an action for damages based on a quasi-
before the trial court, as what happened in this case.[34]
delict. In his complaint, Tuazon alleged that Mrs. Cerezo, without
For these reasons, the present petition should be dismissed for utter exercising due care and diligence in the supervision and management of
lack of merit. The extraordinary action to annul a final judgment is her employees and buses, hired Foronda as her driver. Tuazon became
restricted to the grounds specified in the rules. The reason for the disabled because of Forondas recklessness, gross negligence and
restriction is to prevent this extraordinary action from being used by a imprudence, aggravated by Mrs. Cerezos lack of due care and diligence
losing party to make a complete farce of a duly promulgated decision in the selection and supervision of her employees, particularly
that has long become final and executory. There would be no end to Foronda.[38]
litigation if parties who have unsuccessfully availed of any of the
The trial court thus found Mrs. Cerezo liable under Article 2180 of
appropriate remedies or lost them through their fault could still bring an
the Civil Code. Article 2180 states in part:
action for annulment of judgment.[35] Nevertheless, we shall discuss the
issues raised in the present petition to clear any doubt about the
Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees
correctness of the decision of the trial court.
and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks,
Mrs. Cerezos Liability and the even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.
Trial Courts Acquisition of Jurisdiction
Contrary to Mrs. Cerezos assertion, Foronda is not an indispensable
Mrs. Cerezo contends that the basis of the present petition for party to the case. An indispensable party is one whose interest is
annulment is lack of jurisdiction. Mrs. Cerezo asserts that the trial court affected by the courts action in the litigation, and without whom no final
could not validly render judgment since it failed to acquire jurisdiction resolution of the case is possible.[39] However, Mrs. Cerezos liability as
over Foronda. Mrs. Cerezo points out that there was no service of an employer in an action for a quasi-delict is not only solidary, it is also
98 | P a g e
primary and direct. Foronda is not an indispensable party to the final Thus, there is no need in this case for the trial court to acquire
resolution of Tuazons action for damages against Mrs. Cerezo. jurisdiction over Foronda. The trial courts acquisition of jurisdiction
over Mrs. Cerezo is sufficient to dispose of the present case on the
The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable for a
merits.
quasi-delict is solidary.[40] Where there is a solidary obligation on the
part of debtors, as in this case, each debtor is liable for the entire In contrast, an action based on a delict seeks to enforce the
obligation.Hence, each debtor is liable to pay for the entire obligation in subsidiary liability of the employer for the criminal negligence of the
full. There is no merger or renunciation of rights, but only mutual employee as provided in Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. To hold
representation.[41] Where the obligation of the parties is solidary, either the employer liable in a subsidiary capacity under a delict, the aggrieved
of the parties is indispensable, and the other is not even a necessary party party must initiate a criminal action where the employees delict and
because complete relief is available from either.[42] Therefore, corresponding primary liability are established.[47] If the present action
jurisdiction over Foronda is not even necessary as Tuazon may collect proceeds from a delict, then the trial courts jurisdiction over Foronda is
damages from Mrs. Cerezo alone. necessary. However, the present action is clearly for the quasi-delict of
Mrs. Cerezo and not for the delict of Foronda.
Moreover, an employers liability based on a quasi-delict is primary
and direct, while the employers liability based on a delict is merely The Cerezo spouses contention that summons be served anew on
subsidiary.[43] The words primary and direct, as contrasted with them is untenable in light of their participation in the trial court
subsidiary, refer to the remedy provided by law for enforcing the proceedings. To uphold the Cerezo spouses contention would make a
obligation rather than to the character and limits of the fetish of a technicality.[48] Moreover, any irregularity in the service of
obligation.[44] Although liability under Article 2180 originates from the summons that might have vitiated the trial courts jurisdiction over the
negligent act of the employee, the aggrieved party may sue the employer persons of the Cerezo spouses was deemed waived when the Cerezo
directly. When an employee causes damage, the law presumes that the spouses filed a petition for relief from judgment.[49]
employer has himself committed an act of negligence in not preventing
We hold that the trial court had jurisdiction and was competent to
or avoiding the damage. This is the fault that the law condemns. While
decide the case in favor of Tuazon and against Mrs. Cerezo even in the
the employer is civilly liable in a subsidiary capacity for the employees
absence of Foronda. Contrary to Mrs. Cerezos contention, Foronda is
criminal negligence, the employer is also civilly liable directly and
not an indispensable party to the present case. It is not even necessary
separately for his own civil negligence in failing to exercise due
for Tuazon to reserve the filing of a separate civil action because he
diligence in selecting and supervising his employee. The idea that the
opted to file a civil action for damages against Mrs. Cerezo who is
employers liability is solely subsidiary is wrong.[45]
primarily and directly liable for her own civil negligence. The words of
Justice Jorge Bocobo in Barredo v. Garcia still hold true today as much
The action can be brought directly against the person responsible (for
as it did in 1942:
another), without including the author of the act. The action against the
principal is accessory in the sense that it implies the existence of a
x x x [T]o hold that there is only one way to make defendants liability
prejudicial act committed by the employee, but it is not subsidiary in the
effective, and that is, to sue the driver and exhaust his (the latters)
sense that it can not be instituted till after the judgment against the
property first, would be tantamount to compelling the plaintiff to follow
author of the act or at least, that it is subsidiary to the principal action;
a devious and cumbersome method of obtaining relief. True, there is
the action for responsibility (of the employer) is in itself a principal
such a remedy under our laws, but there is also a more expeditious way,
action.[46]
99 | P a g e
[2]
which is based on the primary and direct responsibility of the defendant Penned by Associate Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion, with Associate
under article [2180] of the Civil Code. Our view of the law is more Justices Eubulo G. Verzola and Artemio G. Tuquero,
likely to facilitate remedy for civil wrongs, because the procedure concurring.
indicated by the defendant is wasteful and productive of delay, it being [3]
Penned by Judge Carlos D. Rustia.
a matter of common knowledge that professional drivers of taxis and
other similar public conveyances do not have sufficient means with [4]
CA Rollo, p. 8.
which to pay damages. Why, then, should the plaintiff be required in all [5]
Ibid., pp. 13-17.
cases to go through this roundabout, unnecessary, and probably useless
procedure?In construing the laws, courts have endeavored to shorten [6]
Rollo, p. 66.
and facilitate the pathways of right and justice.[50] [7]
CA Rollo, pp. 18-20.
Interest at the rate of 6% per annum is due on the amount of [8]
Ibid., p. 21.
damages adjudged by the trial court.[51] The 6% per annum interest shall [9]
commence from 30 May 1995, the date of the decision of the trial Rollo, p. 4.
court.Upon finality of this decision, interest at 12% per annum, in lieu [10]
CA Rollo, p. 23.
of 6% per annum, is due on the amount of damages adjudged by the trial [11]
court until full payment. Ibid., pp. 24-33.
[12]
WHEREFORE, we DENY the instant petition for review. The Ibid., pp. 35-36.
Resolution dated 21 October 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. [13]
Penned by Judge Lourdes F. Gatbalite.
SP No. 53572, as well as its Resolution dated 20 January 2000 denying [14]
the motion for reconsideration, is AFFIRMED with Captioned Hermana R. Cerezo and Juan D. Cerezo, as husband,
the MODIFICATION that the amount due shall earn legal interest at petitioners, v. Hon. Lourdes Gatbalite and David Tuazon,
6% per annum computed from 30 May 1995, the date of the trial courts respondents.
decision. Upon finality of this decision, the amount due shall earn [15]
Penned by Associate Justice Romeo A. Brawner, with Associate
interest at 12% per annum, in lieu of 6% per annum, until full payment. Justices Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez and Martin S. Villarama,
SO ORDERED. Jr., concurring.
[16]
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Ynares-Santiago, and Azcuna, Rollo, pp. 60-61.
JJ., concur. [17]
Captioned Hermana R. Cerezo and Juan D. Cerezo, as husband,
Panganiban, J., on official leave. petitioners, v. Lourdes Gatbalite, Presiding Judge (incumbent),
RTC Branch 56, Angeles City, and David Tuazon, respondents.
[18]
Rollo, pp. 36-37.
[19]
[1]
Under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Ibid., pp. 33-34.
[20]
Ibid., pp. 18-19.

100 | P a g e
[21]
Ibid., pp. 6-7. certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or
[22] modifying the proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and
No. L-63397, 9 April 1985, 135 SCRA 637.
granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require.
[23]
Pacete v. Cariaga, Jr., G.R. No. 53880, 17 March 1994, 231 SCRA
xxx
321. See also Matute v. Court of Appeals, 136 Phil. 162 (1969);
Omico Mining and Industrial Corporation v. Vallejos, No. L- Section 4. Where petition filed. The petition may be filed not later than
38974, 25 March 1975, 63 SCRA 285. sixty (60) days from notice of judgment, order or resolution
[24] sought to be assailed in the Supreme Court; or, if it relates to the
Section 3, Rule 41.
acts or omissions of a lower court or of a corporation, board,
[25] officer or person, in the Regional Trial Court exercising
Section 9(3), Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended.
[26] jurisdiction over the territorial area as defined by the Supreme
Section 1. Grounds of and period for filing motion for new trial or Court. It may also be filed in the Court of Appeals whether or
reconsideration. Within the period for taking an appeal, the not the same is in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, or in the
aggrieved party may move the trial court to set aside the Sandiganbayan if it is in aid of its jurisdiction. If it involves acts
judgment or final order and grant a new trial for one or more of or omissions of a quasi-judicial agency, and unless otherwise
the following causes materially affecting the substantial rights provided by law or these Rules, the petition shall be filed in and
of said party: cognizable only by the Court of Appeals.
(a) Fraud, accident, mistake or excusable negligence which [29]
Section 1, Rule 41.
ordinary prudence could not have guarded against and by
[30]
reason of which such aggrieved party has probably been Section 1. Petition for relief from judgment, order, or other
impaired in his rights; or proceedings. When a judgment or final order is entered, or any
other proceeding is thereafter taken against a party in any court
(b) Newly discovered evidence, which he could not, with through fraud, accident, mistake, or excusable negligence, he
reasonable diligence, have discovered and produced at may file a petition in such court and in the same case praying
the trial, and which if presented would probably alter the that the judgment, order or proceeding be set aside.
result.
Section 3. Time for filing petition; contents and verification. A petition
xxx provided for in either of the preceding sections of this Rule must
[27] be verified, filed within sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns
Sections 1 and 6, Rule 37.
[28] of the judgment, final order, or other proceeding to be set aside,
Section 1. Petition for certiorari. When any tribunal, board, or and not more than six (6) months after such judgment or final
officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted order was entered, or such proceeding was taken; x x x.
without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction, or with grave abuse
of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and See Turqueza v. Hernando, No. L-51626, 30 April 1980, 97 SCRA 483.
there is no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in [31]
326 Phil. 169 (1996).
the ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may file
[32]
a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with Sections 2 and 3, Rule 47.

101 | P a g e
[33] [48]
Cipriano M. Lazaro v. Rural Bank of Francisco Balagtas (Bulacan), Gumabay v. Baralin, No. L-30683, 77 SCRA 258, 31 May 1977;
Inc. and The Register of Deeds of Valenzuela City, G.R. No. Rule 14, Section 20.
139895, 15 August 2003; Teresita Villasor Manipol, et al., v. [49]
See J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc., v. Estabillo, No. L-20610, 9 January
Spouses Pablo and Antonia Ricafort, G.R. No. 150159, 25 July
1975, 62 SCRA 1.
2003.
[50]
[34] Barredo v. Garcia, supra note 36, pp. 620-621.
Tijam, et al. v. Sibonghanoy, et al., 181 Phil. 556 (1968).
[51]
[35] Eastern Shipping Lines, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 97412,
See Ibabao v. Intermediate Appellate Court, No. L-74848, 20 May
12 July 1994, 234 SCRA 78; Reformina v. Tomol, Jr., No. L-
1987, 150 SCRA 76.
59096, 11 October 1985, 139 SCRA 260.
[36]
See Article 2177, Civil Code of the Philippines. Compare Sections 1
and 3, Rule 111, 1988 Rules of Criminal Republic of the Philippines
Procedure with Sections 1 and 3, Rule 111, 2000 Rules of SUPREME COURT
Criminal Procedure. Manila
[37]
See Barredo v. Garcia, 73 Phil. 607 (1942).
SECOND DIVISION
[38]
CA Rollo, pp. 8-9.
[39]
Imson v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 106436, 8 December 1994, 239
SCRA 59.
G.R. No. 84698 February 4, 1992
[40]
Article 2194, Civil Code of the Philippines.
[41] PHILIPPINE SCHOOL OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION,
Quiombing v. CA, G.R. No. 93219, 30 August 1990, 189 SCRA 331
JUAN D. LIM, BENJAMIN P. PAULINO, ANTONIO M.
(citing Tolentino, IV Civil Code of the Philippines 218 (1985
MAGTALAS, COL. PEDRO SACRO and LT. M.
ed.)).
SORIANO, petitioners,
[42] vs.
Ibid., (citing Feria, Civil Procedure 153 (1969 ed.).
[43] COURT OF APPEALS, HON. REGINA ORDOÑEZ-BENITEZ, in
Poblete v. Fabros, No. L-29803, 14 September 1979, 93 SCRA 200. her capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 47, Regional Trial Court,
[44] Manila, SEGUNDA R. BAUTISTA and ARSENIA D.
33A Words and Phrases 215 (1971 ed.)
[45]
BAUTISTA, respondents.
See Barredo v. Garcia, supra note 37 (1942) (citing Amandi, 4
Cuestionario del Cdigo Civil Reformado 429, 430). Balgos and Perez for petitioners.
[46]
Ibid., (citing Laurent, 20 Principles of French Civil Law 734-735
(Spanish translation)). Collantes, Ramirez & Associates for private respondents.
[47]
Poblete v. Fabros, supra note 43; Franco v. Intermediate Appellate
Court, G.R. No. 71137, 5 October 1989, 178 SCRA 331.

102 | P a g e
PADILLA, J.: orders. On 22 August 1988, the respondent appellate court resolved to
deny the petitioners' motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition.
A stabbing incident on 30 August 1985 which caused the death of
Carlitos Bautista while on the second-floor premises of the Philippine At the outset, it is to be observed that the respondent appellate court
School of Business Administration (PSBA) prompted the parents of the primarily anchored its decision on the law of quasi-delicts, as
deceased to file suit in the Regional Trial Court of Manila (Branch 47) enunciated in Articles 2176 and 2180 of the Civil Code. 1 Pertinent
presided over by Judge (now Court of Appeals justice) Regina Ordoñez- portions of the appellate court's now assailed ruling state:
Benitez, for damages against the said PSBA and its corporate officers.
At the time of his death, Carlitos was enrolled in the third year Article 2180 (formerly Article 1903) of the Civil Code is
commerce course at the PSBA. It was established that his assailants an adoption from the old Spanish Civil Code. The
were not members of the school's academic community but were comments of Manresa and learned authorities on its
elements from outside the school. meaning should give way to present day changes. The
law is not fixed and flexible (sic); it must be dynamic. In
Specifically, the suit impleaded the PSBA and the following school fact, the greatest value and significance of law as a rule
authorities: Juan D. Lim (President), Benjamin P. Paulino (Vice- of conduct in (sic) its flexibility to adopt to changing
President), Antonio M. Magtalas (Treasurer/Cashier), Col. Pedro Sacro social conditions and its capacity to meet the new
(Chief of Security) and a Lt. M. Soriano (Assistant Chief of Security). challenges of progress.
Substantially, the plaintiffs (now private respondents) sought to adjudge
them liable for the victim's untimely demise due to their alleged Construed in the light of modern day educational system,
negligence, recklessness and lack of security precautions, means and Article 2180 cannot be construed in its narrow concept
methods before, during and after the attack on the victim. During the as held in the old case of Exconde
proceedings a quo, Lt. M. Soriano terminated his relationship with the vs. Capuno and Mercado vs. Court of Appeals; 3hence,
2

other petitioners by resigning from his position in the school. the ruling in the Palisoc 4 case that it should apply to all
kinds of educational institutions, academic or vocational.
Defendants a quo (now petitioners) sought to have the suit dismissed,
alleging that since they are presumably sued under Article 2180 of the At any rate, the law holds the teachers and heads of the
Civil Code, the complaint states no cause of action against them, as school staff liable unless they relieve themselves of such
jurisprudence on the subject is to the effect that academic institutions, liability pursuant to the last paragraph of Article 2180 by
such as the PSBA, are beyond the ambit of the rule in the afore-stated "proving that they observed all the diligence to prevent
article. damage." This can only be done at a trial on the merits
of the case. 5
The respondent trial court, however, overruled petitioners' contention
and thru an order dated 8 December 1987, denied their motion to While we agree with the respondent appellate court that the motion to
dismiss. A subsequent motion for reconsideration was similarly dealt dismiss the complaint was correctly denied and the complaint should be
with by an order dated 25 January 1988. Petitioners then assailed the tried on the merits, we do not however agree with the premises of the
trial court's disposition before the respondent appellate court which, in appellate court's ruling.
a decision * promulgated on 10 June 1988, affirmed the trial court's
103 | P a g e
Article 2180, in conjunction with Article 2176 of the Civil Code, Because the circumstances of the present case evince a contractual
establishes the rule of in loco parentis. This Court discussed this relation between the PSBA and Carlitos Bautista, the rules on quasi-
doctrine in the afore-cited cases of Exconde, Mendoza, Palisoc and, delict do not really govern. 8 A perusal of Article 2176 shows that
more recently, in Amadora vs.Court of Appeals. 6 In all such cases, it obligations arising from quasi-delicts or tort, also known as extra-
had been stressed that the law (Article 2180) plainly provides that the contractual obligations, arise only between parties not otherwise bound
damage should have been caused or inflicted by pupils or students of he by contract, whether express or implied. However, this impression has
educational institution sought to be held liable for the acts of its pupils not prevented this Court from determining the existence of a tort even
or students while in its custody. However, this material situation does when there obtains a contract. In Air France vs. Carrascoso (124 Phil.
not exist in the present case for, as earlier indicated, the assailants of 722), the private respondent was awarded damages for his unwarranted
Carlitos were not students of the PSBA, for whose acts the school could expulsion from a first-class seat aboard the petitioner airline. It is noted,
be made liable. however, that the Court referred to the petitioner-airline's liability as one
arising from tort, not one arising from a contract of carriage. In
However, does the appellate court's failure to consider such material effect, Air France is authority for the view that liability from tort may
facts mean the exculpation of the petitioners from liability? It does not exist even if there is a contract, for the act that breaks the contract may
necessarily follow. be also a tort. (Austro-America S.S. Co. vs. Thomas, 248 Fed. 231).

When an academic institution accepts students for enrollment, there is This view was not all that revolutionary, for even as early as 1918, this
established a contract between them, resulting in bilateral obligations Court was already of a similar mind. In Cangco vs. Manila Railroad (38
which both parties are bound to comply with. 7 For its part, the school Phil. 780), Mr. Justice Fisher elucidated thus:
undertakes to provide the student with an education that would
presumably suffice to equip him with the necessary tools and skills to The field of non-contractual obligation is much broader
pursue higher education or a profession. On the other hand, the student than that of contractual obligation, comprising, as it does,
covenants to abide by the school's academic requirements and observe the whole extent of juridical human relations. These two
its rules and regulations. fields, figuratively speaking, concentric; that is to say,
the mere fact that a person is bound to another by
Institutions of learning must also meet the implicit or "built-in" contract does not relieve him from extra-contractual
obligation of providing their students with an atmosphere that promotes liability to such person. When such a contractual relation
or assists in attaining its primary undertaking of imparting knowledge. exists the obligor may break the contract under such
Certainly, no student can absorb the intricacies of physics or higher conditions that the same act which constitutes a breach
mathematics or explore the realm of the arts and other sciences when of the contract would have constituted the source of an
bullets are flying or grenades exploding in the air or where there looms extra-contractual obligation had no contract existed
around the school premises a constant threat to life and limb. between the parties.
Necessarily, the school must ensure that adequate steps are taken to
maintain peace and order within the campus premises and to prevent the Immediately what comes to mind is the chapter of the Civil Code on
breakdown thereof. Human Relations, particularly Article 21, which provides:

104 | P a g e
Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another measures installed, the same may still fail against an individual or group
in a manner that is contrary to morals, good custom or determined to carry out a nefarious deed inside school premises and
public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. environs. Should this be the case, the school may still avoid liability by
(emphasis supplied). proving that the breach of its contractual obligation to the students was
not due to its negligence, here statutorily defined to be the omission of
Air France penalized the racist policy of the airline which emboldened that degree of diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation
the petitioner's employee to forcibly oust the private respondent to cater and corresponding to the circumstances of persons, time and place. 9
to the comfort of a white man who allegedly "had a better right to the
seat." In Austro-American, supra, the public embarrassment caused to As the proceedings a quo have yet to commence on the substance of the
the passenger was the justification for the Circuit Court of Appeals, private respondents' complaint, the record is bereft of all the material
(Second Circuit), to award damages to the latter. From the foregoing, it facts. Obviously, at this stage, only the trial court can make such a
can be concluded that should the act which breaches a contract be done determination from the evidence still to unfold.
in bad faith and be violative of Article 21, then there is a cause to view
the act as constituting a quasi-delict. WHEREFORE, the foregoing premises considered, the petition is
DENIED. The court of origin (RTC, Manila, Br. 47) is hereby ordered
In the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, however, there is, as to continue proceedings consistent with this ruling of the Court. Costs
yet, no finding that the contract between the school and Bautista had against the petitioners.
been breached thru the former's negligence in providing proper security
measures. This would be for the trial court to determine. And, even if SO ORDERED.
there be a finding of negligence, the same could give rise generally to a
breach of contractual obligation only. Using the test of Cangco, supra, Melencio-Herrera, Paras, Regalado and Nocon, JJ., concur.
the negligence of the school would not be relevant absent a contract. In
fact, that negligence becomes material only because of the contractual
relation between PSBA and Bautista. In other words, a contractual
relation is a condition sine qua non to the school's liability. The Footnotes
negligence of the school cannot exist independently of the contract,
unless the negligence occurs under the circumstances set out in Article * Penned by Justice Jose C. Campos, Jr. and concurred
21 of the Civil Code. in by Justices Ricardo J. Francisco and Alfredo L.
Benipayo.
This Court is not unmindful of the attendant difficulties posed by the
obligation of schools, above-mentioned, for conceptually a school, like 1 Article 2176 provides:
a common carrier, cannot be an insurer of its students against all risks.
This is specially true in the populous student communities of the so- Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
called "university belt" in Manila where there have been reported there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
several incidents ranging from gang wars to other forms of hooliganism. damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-
It would not be equitable to expect of schools to anticipate all types of existing contractual relation between the parties, is called
violent trespass upon their premises, for notwithstanding the security
105 | P a g e
a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this 8 Article 2176, Civil Code is re-quoted for stress:
Chapter.
Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
Article 2180 provides: there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the
damage done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-
The obligation imposed by article 2176 is demandable existing contractual relation between the parties, is
not only for one's own acts or omissions, but also for called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of
those of persons for whom one is responsible. this Chapter. (emphasis supplied)

xxx xxx xxx 9 Article 1173, Civil Code provides:

Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the
trades shall be liable for damages caused by their pupils omission of that diligence which is required by the nature
and students or apprentices, so long as they remain in of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances
their custody. of the persons, of the time and of the place. When
negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of articles
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.
when the person herein mentioned prove that they
observed all the diligence of a good father of a family to Republic of the Philippines
prevent damage." SUPREME COURT
Manila
2 101 Phil. 843
EN BANC
3 108 Phil. 414
G.R. No. L-21438 September 28, 1966
4 G.R. No. L-29025, 4 October 1971, 41 SCRA 548.
AIR FRANCE, petitioner,
5 Rollo, p. 75. vs.
RAFAEL CARRASCOSO and the HONORABLE COURT OF
6 G.R. No. L-47745, 15 April 1988, 160 SCRA 315. APPEALS, respondents.

7 In Non vs. Dames II, G.R. No. 89317, 20 May 1990, Lichauco, Picazo and Agcaoili for petitioner.
185 SCRA 535, it was held that the contract between Bengzon Villegas and Zarraga for respondent R. Carrascoso.
school and student is one "imbued with public interest"
but a contract nonetheless.

106 | P a g e
SANCHEZ, J.: that Mr. Carrascoso was having a hot discussion with the white
man [manager], they came all across to Mr. Carrascoso and
The Court of First Instance of Manila 1 sentenced petitioner to pay pacified Mr. Carrascoso to give his seat to the white man"
respondent Rafael Carrascoso P25,000.00 by way of moral damages; (Transcript, p. 12, Hearing of May 26, 1959); and plaintiff
P10,000.00 as exemplary damages; P393.20 representing the difference reluctantly gave his "first class" seat in the plane.3
in fare between first class and tourist class for the portion of the trip
Bangkok-Rome, these various amounts with interest at the legal rate, 1. The trust of the relief petitioner now seeks is that we review "all the
from the date of the filing of the complaint until paid; plus P3,000.00 findings" 4 of respondent Court of Appeals. Petitioner charges that
for attorneys' fees; and the costs of suit. respondent court failed to make complete findings of fact on all the
issues properly laid before it. We are asked to consider facts favorable
On appeal,2 the Court of Appeals slightly reduced the amount of refund to petitioner, and then, to overturn the appellate court's decision.
on Carrascoso's plane ticket from P393.20 to P383.10, and voted to
affirm the appealed decision "in all other respects", with costs against Coming into focus is the constitutional mandate that "No decision shall
petitioner. be rendered by any court of record without expressing therein clearly
and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based". 5 This is echoed
The case is now before us for review on certiorari. in the statutory demand that a judgment determining the merits of the
case shall state "clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it
The facts declared by the Court of Appeals as " fully supported by the is based"; 6 and that "Every decision of the Court of Appeals shall
evidence of record", are: contain complete findings of fact on all issues properly raised before
it". 7
Plaintiff, a civil engineer, was a member of a group of 48
Filipino pilgrims that left Manila for Lourdes on March 30, A decision with absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity. It is open to
1958. direct attack. 8 The law, however, solely insists that a decision state the
"essential ultimate facts" upon which the court's conclusion is
On March 28, 1958, the defendant, Air France, through its drawn. 9 A court of justice is not hidebound to write in its decision every
authorized agent, Philippine Air Lines, Inc., issued to plaintiff a bit and piece of evidence 10 presented by one party and the other upon
"first class" round trip airplane ticket from Manila to Rome. the issues raised. Neither is it to be burdened with the obligation "to
From Manila to Bangkok, plaintiff travelled in "first class", but specify in the sentence the facts" which a party "considered as
at Bangkok, the Manager of the defendant airline forced plaintiff proved". 11 This is but a part of the mental process from which the Court
to vacate the "first class" seat that he was occupying because, in draws the essential ultimate facts. A decision is not to be so clogged
the words of the witness Ernesto G. Cuento, there was a "white with details such that prolixity, if not confusion, may result. So long as
man", who, the Manager alleged, had a "better right" to the seat. the decision of the Court of Appeals contains the necessary facts to
When asked to vacate his "first class" seat, the plaintiff, as was warrant its conclusions, it is no error for said court to withhold therefrom
to be expected, refused, and told defendant's Manager that his "any specific finding of facts with respect to the evidence for the
seat would be taken over his dead body; a commotion ensued, defense". Because as this Court well observed, "There is no law that so
and, according to said Ernesto G. Cuento, "many of the Filipino requires". 12 Indeed, "the mere failure to specify (in the decision) the
passengers got nervous in the tourist class; when they found out contentions of the appellant and the reasons for refusing to believe them
107 | P a g e
is not sufficient to hold the same contrary to the requirements of the no guarantee that he would have a first class ride, but that such would
provisions of law and the Constitution". It is in this setting that depend upon the availability of first class seats.
in Manigque, it was held that the mere fact that the findings "were based
entirely on the evidence for the prosecution without taking into These are matters which petitioner has thoroughly presented and
consideration or even mentioning the appellant's side in the controversy discussed in its brief before the Court of Appeals under its third
as shown by his own testimony", would not vitiate the judgment. 13 If assignment of error, which reads: "The trial court erred in finding that
the court did not recite in the decision the testimony of each witness for, plaintiff had confirmed reservations for, and a right to, first class seats
or each item of evidence presented by, the defeated party, it does not on the "definite" segments of his journey, particularly that from Saigon
mean that the court has overlooked such testimony or such item of to Beirut". 21
evidence. 14 At any rate, the legal presumptions are that official duty has
been regularly performed, and that all the matters within an issue in a And, the Court of Appeals disposed of this contention thus:
case were laid before the court and passed upon by it. 15
Defendant seems to capitalize on the argument that the issuance
Findings of fact, which the Court of Appeals is required to make, maybe of a first-class ticket was no guarantee that the passenger to
defined as "the written statement of the ultimate facts as found by the whom the same had been issued, would be accommodated in the
court ... and essential to support the decision and judgment rendered first-class compartment, for as in the case of plaintiff he had yet
thereon". 16They consist of the court's "conclusions" with respect to the to make arrangements upon arrival at every station for the
determinative facts in issue". 17 A question of law, upon the other hand, necessary first-class reservation. We are not impressed by such
has been declared as "one which does not call for an examination of the a reasoning. We cannot understand how a reputable firm like
probative value of the evidence presented by the parties." 18 defendant airplane company could have the indiscretion to give
out tickets it never meant to honor at all. It received the
2. By statute, "only questions of law may be raised" in an appeal by corresponding amount in payment of first-class tickets and yet it
certiorari from a judgment of the Court of Appeals. 19 That judgment is allowed the passenger to be at the mercy of its employees. It is
conclusive as to the facts. It is not appropriately the business of this more in keeping with the ordinary course of business that the
Court to alter the facts or to review the questions of fact. 20 company should know whether or riot the tickets it issues are to
be honored or not.22
With these guideposts, we now face the problem of whether the findings
of fact of the Court of Appeals support its judgment. Not that the Court of Appeals is alone. The trial court similarly disposed
of petitioner's contention, thus:
3. Was Carrascoso entitled to the first class seat he claims?
On the fact that plaintiff paid for, and was issued a "First class" ticket,
It is conceded in all quarters that on March 28, 1958 he paid to and there can be no question. Apart from his testimony, see plaintiff's
received from petitioner a first class ticket. But petitioner asserts that Exhibits "A", "A-1", "B", "B-1," "B-2", "C" and "C-1", and defendant's
said ticket did not represent the true and complete intent and agreement own witness, Rafael Altonaga, confirmed plaintiff's testimony and
of the parties; that said respondent knew that he did not have confirmed testified as follows:
reservations for first class on any specific flight, although he had tourist
class protection; that, accordingly, the issuance of a first class ticket was
108 | P a g e
Q. In these tickets there are marks "O.K." From what you know, as free from all error". 25 We reached this policy construction because
what does this OK mean? nothing in the decision of the Court of Appeals on this point would
suggest that its findings of fact are in any way at war with those of the
A. That the space is confirmed. trial court. Nor was said affirmance by the Court of Appeals upon a
ground or grounds different from those which were made the basis of
Q. Confirmed for first class? the conclusions of the trial court. 26

A. Yes, "first class". (Transcript, p. 169) If, as petitioner underscores, a first-class-ticket holder is not entitled to
a first class seat, notwithstanding the fact that seat availability in specific
xxx xxx xxx flights is therein confirmed, then an air passenger is placed in the hollow
of the hands of an airline. What security then can a passenger have? It
Defendant tried to prove by the testimony of its witnesses Luis will always be an easy matter for an airline aided by its employees, to
Zaldariaga and Rafael Altonaga that although plaintiff paid for, and was strike out the very stipulations in the ticket, and say that there was a
issued a "first class" airplane ticket, the ticket was subject to verbal agreement to the contrary. What if the passenger had a schedule
confirmation in Hongkong. The court cannot give credit to the testimony to fulfill? We have long learned that, as a rule, a written document
of said witnesses. Oral evidence cannot prevail over written evidence, speaks a uniform language; that spoken word could be notoriously
and plaintiff's Exhibits "A", "A-l", "B", "B-l", "C" and "C-1" belie the unreliable. If only to achieve stability in the relations between passenger
testimony of said witnesses, and clearly show that the plaintiff was and air carrier, adherence to the ticket so issued is desirable. Such is the
issued, and paid for, a first class ticket without any reservation whatever. case here. The lower courts refused to believe the oral evidence intended
to defeat the covenants in the ticket.
Furthermore, as hereinabove shown, defendant's own witness Rafael
Altonaga testified that the reservation for a "first class" accommodation The foregoing are the considerations which point to the conclusion that
for the plaintiff was confirmed. The court cannot believe that after such there are facts upon which the Court of Appeals predicated the finding
confirmation defendant had a verbal understanding with plaintiff that that respondent Carrascoso had a first class ticket and was entitled to a
the "first class" ticket issued to him by defendant would be subject to first class seat at Bangkok, which is a stopover in the Saigon to Beirut
confirmation in Hongkong. 23 leg of the flight. 27 We perceive no "welter of distortions by the Court
of Appeals of petitioner's statement of its position", as charged by
We have heretofore adverted to the fact that except for a slight petitioner. 28 Nor do we subscribe to petitioner's accusation that
difference of a few pesos in the amount refunded on Carrascoso's ticket, respondent Carrascoso "surreptitiously took a first class seat to provoke
the decision of the Court of First Instance was affirmed by the Court of an issue". 29And this because, as petitioner states, Carrascoso went to
Appeals in all other respects. We hold the view that such a judgment of see the Manager at his office in Bangkok "to confirm my seat and
affirmance has merged the judgment of the lower court. 24Implicit in because from Saigon I was told again to see the Manager". 30 Why, then,
that affirmance is a determination by the Court of Appeals that the was he allowed to take a first class seat in the plane at Bangkok, if he
proceeding in the Court of First Instance was free from prejudicial error had no seat? Or, if another had a better right to the seat?
and "all questions raised by the assignments of error and all questions
that might have been raised are to be regarded as finally adjudicated 4. Petitioner assails respondent court's award of moral damages.
against the appellant". So also, the judgment affirmed "must be regarded Petitioner's trenchant claim is that Carrascoso's action is planted upon
109 | P a g e
breach of contract; that to authorize an award for moral damages there anguish, serious anxiety, wounded feelings, social humiliation, and the
must be an averment of fraud or bad faith;31 and that the decision of the like injury, resulting in moral damages in the amount of P30,000.00. 33
Court of Appeals fails to make a finding of bad faith. The pivotal
allegations in the complaint bearing on this issue are: xxx xxx xxx

3. That ... plaintiff entered into a contract of air carriage with the The foregoing, in our opinion, substantially aver: First, That there was
Philippine Air Lines for a valuable consideration, the latter a contract to furnish plaintiff a first class passage covering, amongst
acting as general agents for and in behalf of the defendant, under others, the Bangkok-Teheran leg; Second, That said contract was
which said contract, plaintiff was entitled to, as defendant agreed breached when petitioner failed to furnish first class transportation at
to furnish plaintiff, First Class passage on defendant's plane Bangkok; and Third, that there was bad faith when petitioner's
during the entire duration of plaintiff's tour of Europe with employee compelled Carrascoso to leave his first class accommodation
Hongkong as starting point up to and until plaintiff's return trip berth "after he was already, seated" and to take a seat in the tourist
to Manila, ... . class, by reason of which he suffered inconvenience, embarrassments
and humiliations, thereby causing him mental anguish, serious anxiety,
4. That, during the first two legs of the trip from Hongkong to wounded feelings and social humiliation, resulting in moral damages. It
Saigon and from Saigon to Bangkok, defendant furnished to the is true that there is no specific mention of the term bad faith in the
plaintiff First Class accommodation but only after protestations, complaint. But, the inference of bad faith is there, it may be drawn from
arguments and/or insistence were made by the plaintiff with the facts and circumstances set forth therein. 34 The contract was averred
defendant's employees. to establish the relation between the parties. But the stress of the action
is put on wrongful expulsion.
5. That finally, defendant failed to provide First Class passage,
but instead furnished plaintiff only Tourist Class Quite apart from the foregoing is that (a) right the start of the trial,
accommodations from Bangkok to Teheran and/or Casablanca, respondent's counsel placed petitioner on guard on what Carrascoso
... the plaintiff has been compelled by defendant's employees to intended to prove: That while sitting in the plane in Bangkok,
leave the First Class accommodation berths at Bangkok after he Carrascoso was ousted by petitioner's manager who gave his seat to a
was already seated. white man; 35 and (b) evidence of bad faith in the fulfillment of the
contract was presented without objection on the part of the petitioner. It
6. That consequently, the plaintiff, desiring no repetition of the is, therefore, unnecessary to inquire as to whether or not there is
inconvenience and embarrassments brought by defendant's sufficient averment in the complaint to justify an award for moral
breach of contract was forced to take a Pan American World damages. Deficiency in the complaint, if any, was cured by the
Airways plane on his return trip from Madrid to Manila.32 evidence. An amendment thereof to conform to the evidence is not even
required. 36 On the question of bad faith, the Court of Appeals declared:
xxx xxx xxx
That the plaintiff was forced out of his seat in the first class
2. That likewise, as a result of defendant's failure to furnish First Class compartment of the plane belonging to the defendant Air France
accommodations aforesaid, plaintiff suffered inconveniences, while at Bangkok, and was transferred to the tourist class not
embarrassments, and humiliations, thereby causing plaintiff mental only without his consent but against his will, has been
110 | P a g e
sufficiently established by plaintiff in his testimony before the "Q How does the person in the ticket-issuing office know
court, corroborated by the corresponding entry made by the what reservation the passenger has arranged with you?
purser of the plane in his notebook which notation reads as
follows: A They call us up by phone and ask for the
confirmation." (t.s.n., p. 247, June 19, 1959)
"First-class passenger was forced to go to the tourist
class against his will, and that the captain refused to In this connection, we quote with approval what the trial Judge
intervene", has said on this point:

and by the testimony of an eye-witness, Ernesto G. Cuento, who Why did the, using the words of witness Ernesto G.
was a co-passenger. The captain of the plane who was asked by Cuento, "white man" have a "better right" to the seat
the manager of defendant company at Bangkok to intervene even occupied by Mr. Carrascoso? The record is silent. The
refused to do so. It is noteworthy that no one on behalf of defendant airline did not prove "any better", nay, any
defendant ever contradicted or denied this evidence for the right on the part of the "white man" to the "First class"
plaintiff. It could have been easy for defendant to present its seat that the plaintiff was occupying and for which he
manager at Bangkok to testify at the trial of the case, or yet to paid and was issued a corresponding "first class" ticket.
secure his disposition; but defendant did neither. 37
If there was a justified reason for the action of the
The Court of appeals further stated — defendant's Manager in Bangkok, the defendant could
have easily proven it by having taken the testimony of
Neither is there evidence as to whether or not a prior reservation the said Manager by deposition, but defendant did not do
was made by the white man. Hence, if the employees of the so; the presumption is that evidence willfully suppressed
defendant at Bangkok sold a first-class ticket to him when all the would be adverse if produced [Sec. 69, par (e), Rules of
seats had already been taken, surely the plaintiff should not have Court]; and, under the circumstances, the Court is
been picked out as the one to suffer the consequences and to be constrained to find, as it does find, that the Manager of
subjected to the humiliation and indignity of being ejected from the defendant airline in Bangkok not merely asked but
his seat in the presence of others. Instead of explaining to the threatened the plaintiff to throw him out of the plane if
white man the improvidence committed by defendant's he did not give up his "first class" seat because the said
employees, the manager adopted the more drastic step of ousting Manager wanted to accommodate, using the words of the
the plaintiff who was then safely ensconsced in his rightful seat. witness Ernesto G. Cuento, the "white man".38
We are strengthened in our belief that this probably was what
happened there, by the testimony of defendant's witness Rafael It is really correct to say that the Court of Appeals in the quoted
Altonaga who, when asked to explain the meaning of the letters portion first transcribed did not use the term "bad faith". But can
"O.K." appearing on the tickets of plaintiff, said "that the space it be doubted that the recital of facts therein points to bad faith?
is confirmed for first class. Likewise, Zenaida Faustino, another The manager not only prevented Carrascoso from enjoying his
witness for defendant, who was the chief of the Reservation right to a first class seat; worse, he imposed his arbitrary will; he
Office of defendant, testified as follows: forcibly ejected him from his seat, made him suffer the
111 | P a g e
humiliation of having to go to the tourist class compartment - In parallel circumstances, we applied the foregoing legal precept; and,
just to give way to another passenger whose right thereto has not we held that upon the provisions of Article 2219 (10), Civil Code, moral
been established. Certainly, this is bad faith. Unless, of course, damages are recoverable. 42
bad faith has assumed a meaning different from what is
understood in law. For, "bad faith" contemplates a "state of mind 6. A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree
affirmatively operating with furtive design or with some motive from any other contractual relation. 43 And this, because of the relation
of self-interest or will or for ulterior purpose." 39 which an air-carrier sustains with the public. Its business is mainly with
the travelling public. It invites people to avail of the comforts and
And if the foregoing were not yet sufficient, there is the express advantages it offers. The contract of air carriage, therefore, generates a
finding of bad faith in the judgment of the Court of First relation attended with a public duty. Neglect or malfeasance of the
Instance, thus: carrier's employees, naturally, could give ground for an action for
damages.
The evidence shows that the defendant violated its
contract of transportation with plaintiff in bad faith, with Passengers do not contract merely for transportation. They have a right
the aggravating circumstances that defendant's Manager to be treated by the carrier's employees with kindness, respect, courtesy
in Bangkok went to the extent of threatening the plaintiff and due consideration. They are entitled to be protected against personal
in the presence of many passengers to have him thrown misconduct, injurious language, indignities and abuses from such
out of the airplane to give the "first class" seat that he employees. So it is, that any rule or discourteous conduct on the part of
was occupying to, again using the words of the witness employees towards a passenger gives the latter an action for damages
Ernesto G. Cuento, a "white man" whom he (defendant's against the carrier. 44
Manager) wished to accommodate, and the defendant
has not proven that this "white man" had any "better Thus, "Where a steamship company 45 had accepted a passenger's
right" to occupy the "first class" seat that the plaintiff was check, it was a breach of contract and a tort, giving a right of action for
occupying, duly paid for, and for which the its agent in the presence of third persons to falsely notify her that the
corresponding "first class" ticket was issued by the check was worthless and demand payment under threat of ejection,
defendant to him.40 though the language used was not insulting and she was not
ejected." 46 And this, because, although the relation of passenger and
5. The responsibility of an employer for the tortious act of its employees carrier is "contractual both in origin and nature" nevertheless "the act
need not be essayed. It is well settled in law. 41 For the willful that breaks the contract may be also a tort". 47 And in another case,
malevolent act of petitioner's manager, petitioner, his employer, must "Where a passenger on a railroad train, when the conductor came to
answer. Article 21 of the Civil Code says: collect his fare tendered him the cash fare to a point where the train was
scheduled not to stop, and told him that as soon as the train reached such
ART. 21. Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to point he would pay the cash fare from that point to destination, there
another in a manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or was nothing in the conduct of the passenger which justified the
public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. conductor in using insulting language to him, as by calling him a
lunatic," 48 and the Supreme Court of South Carolina there held the
carrier liable for the mental suffering of said passenger.1awphîl.nèt
112 | P a g e
Petitioner's contract with Carrascoso is one attended with public duty. I move to strike out the last part of the testimony of the witness
The stress of Carrascoso's action as we have said, is placed upon his because the best evidence would be the notes. Your Honor.
wrongful expulsion. This is a violation of public duty by the petitioner
air carrier — a case of quasi-delict. Damages are proper. COURT —

7. Petitioner draws our attention to respondent Carrascoso's testimony, I will allow that as part of his testimony. 49
thus —
Petitioner charges that the finding of the Court of Appeals that the purser
Q You mentioned about an attendant. Who is that attendant and made an entry in his notebook reading "First class passenger was forced
purser? to go to the tourist class against his will, and that the captain refused to
intervene" is predicated upon evidence [Carrascoso's testimony above]
A When we left already — that was already in the trip — I could which is incompetent. We do not think so. The subject of inquiry is not
not help it. So one of the flight attendants approached me and the entry, but the ouster incident. Testimony on the entry does not come
requested from me my ticket and I said, What for? and she said, within the proscription of the best evidence rule. Such testimony is
"We will note that you transferred to the tourist class". I said, admissible. 49a
"Nothing of that kind. That is tantamount to accepting my
transfer." And I also said, "You are not going to note anything Besides, from a reading of the transcript just quoted, when the dialogue
there because I am protesting to this transfer". happened, the impact of the startling occurrence was still fresh and
continued to be felt. The excitement had not as yet died down.
Q Was she able to note it? Statements then, in this environment, are admissible as part of the res
gestae. 50 For, they grow "out of the nervous excitement and mental and
A No, because I did not give my ticket. physical condition of the declarant". 51 The utterance of the purser
regarding his entry in the notebook was spontaneous, and related to the
Q About that purser? circumstances of the ouster incident. Its trustworthiness has been
guaranteed. 52 It thus escapes the operation of the hearsay rule. It forms
A Well, the seats there are so close that you feel uncomfortable part of the res gestae.
and you don't have enough leg room, I stood up and I went to the
pantry that was next to me and the purser was there. He told me, At all events, the entry was made outside the Philippines. And, by an
"I have recorded the incident in my notebook." He read it and employee of petitioner. It would have been an easy matter for petitioner
translated it to me — because it was recorded in French — "First to have contradicted Carrascoso's testimony. If it were really true that
class passenger was forced to go to the tourist class against his no such entry was made, the deposition of the purser could have cleared
will, and that the captain refused to intervene." up the matter.

Mr. VALTE — We, therefore, hold that the transcribed testimony of Carrascoso is
admissible in evidence.

113 | P a g e
2
8. Exemplary damages are well awarded. The Civil Code gives the court C.A.-G.R. No. 26522-R, "Rafael Carrascoso, plaintiff-appellee,
ample power to grant exemplary damages — in contracts and quasi- vs. Air France, defendant-appellant."
contracts. The only condition is that defendant should have "acted in a
wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent manner." 53 The 3
Appendix A, petitioner's brief, pp 146-147. See also R.A., pp.
manner of ejectment of respondent Carrascoso from his first class seat 66-67.
fits into this legal precept. And this, in addition to moral damages.54
4
Petitioner's brief, p. 142.
9. The right to attorney's fees is fully established. The grant of
5
exemplary damages justifies a similar judgment for attorneys' fees. The Section 12, Article VIII, Constitution.
least that can be said is that the courts below felt that it is but just and
equitable that attorneys' fees be given. 55 We do not intend to break faith 6
Section 1, Rule 36, Rules of Court. See also Section 2, Rule
with the tradition that discretion well exercised — as it was here — 120, in reference to judgments in criminal cases.
should not be disturbed.
7
Sec. 4. Rule 51; Sec. 33(2), Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended.
10. Questioned as excessive are the amounts decreed by both the trial
court and the Court of Appeals, thus: P25,000.00 as moral damages; 8
Edwards vs. McCoy, 22 Phil. 598, 601; Yangco vs. Court of
P10,000.00, by way of exemplary damages, and P3,000.00 as attorneys' First Instance of Manila, et al., 29 Phil. 183, 191.
fees. The task of fixing these amounts is primarily with the trial
court. 56 The Court of Appeals did not interfere with the same. The 9
Braga vs. Millora, 3 Phil. 458, 465.
dictates of good sense suggest that we give our imprimatur thereto.
Because, the facts and circumstances point to the reasonableness 10
Id.
thereof.57
11
Aringo vs. Arena 14 Phil. 263, 266; emphasis supplied.
On balance, we say that the judgment of the Court of Appeals does not
suffer from reversible error. We accordingly vote to affirm the same. 12
Reyes vs. People. 71 Phil. 598, 600.
Costs against petitioner. So ordered.
13
People vs. Manigque 35 O.G., No. 94, pp. 1682, 1683, citing
Concepcion, C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Makalintal, Section 133 of the Code of Civil Procedure and Section 12, Art.
Zaldivar and Castro, JJ., concur. VIII, Constitution, supra.
Bengzon, J.P., J., took no part.
14
Badger et al. vs. Boyd, 65 S.W. (2d), pp. 601, 610.
Footnotes
15
Section 5, (m) and (o), Rule 131, Rules of Court.
1
Civil Case No. 38810, "Rafael Carrascoso, plaintiff, vs. Air
France, defendant," R.A., pp. 79-80. 16
In re Good's Estate, 266 P. (2d), pp. 719, 729.

114 | P a g e
17 28
Badger et al. vs. Boyd, supra. Petitioner's brief, p. 50; see also id., pp. 37 and 46.
18 29
Goduco vs. Court of Appeals, et al., L-17647, February 28, Id., p. 103.
1964.
30
Ibid., p. 102.
19
Section 2, Rule 45, Rules of Court, formerly Section 2, Rule
31
46 of the Rules of Court. Article 2220, Civil Code reads: "Willful injury to property may
be a legal ground for awarding moral damages if the court should
20
Medel, et al. vs. Calasanz, et al. L-14835, August 31, 1960; find that, under the circumstances, such damages are justly due.
Astraquillo, et al. vs. Javier, et al., L-20034, January 30, 1965. The same rule applies to breaches of contract where the
defendant acted fraudulently or in bad faith."
21
Petitioner's brief in the Court of Appeals, pp. 82-98.
32
R.A., p. 2-4; emphasis supplied.
22
Decision of the Court of Appeals, Appendix A, petitioner's
33
brief, pp. 148-149. R.A., P. 5; second cause of action.
23 34
R.A., pp. 67, 73. Copeland vs. Dunehoo et al., 138 S.E., 267, 270. See also 25
C.J.S., pp. 758-759; 15 Am. Jur., pp. 766-767.
24
5 B C.J.S., p. 295; 3 Am. Jur. p. 678.
35
Statement of Attorney Villegas for respondent Carrascoso in
25
3 Am. Jur., pp. 677-678. open court. Respondent's brief, p. 33.
26 36
See Garcia Valdez vs. Seterana Tuason, 40 Phil, 943, 951. Section 5, Rule 10, Rules of Court, in part reads: "SEC.
5. Amendment to conform to or authorize presentation of
27
Carrascoso's ticket, according to petitioner (brief, pp. 7-8), evidence.—When issues not raised by the pleadings are tried by
shows: express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in
all respects, as if they had been raised in the pleadings. Such
Flight Date of amendment of the pleadings as may be necessary to cause them
Segment or leg Carrier to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues may be made
No. Departure
1. Manila to upon motion of any party at any time, even after judgment; but
PAL 300A March 30 failure so to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these
Hongkong
issues ..."; Co Tiamco vs. Diaz, etc., et al., 75 Phil. 672, 679;
2. Hongkong VN(Air J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc., etc. vs. Bolanos, 95 Phil. 106, 110.
693 March 31
to Saigon Vietnam)
3. Saigon to AF(Air 37
Decision, Court of Appeals, Appendix A of petitioner's brief,
245 March 31
Beirut France) pp. 147-148.

115 | P a g e
38 53
Decision of the Court of Appeals, Appendix A of petitioner's Article 2232, Civil Code.
brief, pp. 147-151.
54
Article 2229, Civil Code.
39
Words & Phrases, Perm. Ed., Vol. 5, p. 13, citing Warfield
55
Natural Gas Co. vs. Allen, 59 S.W. (2d) 534, 538. Article 2208, (1) and (11), Civil Code.
40 56
R.A., p.74; emphasis supplied. Coleongco vs. Claparols, L-18616, March 31, 1964; Corpus
vs. Cuaderno, et al., L-23721, March 31, 1965.
41
Article 2180, Civil Code.
57
Cf. Yutuk vs. Manila Electric Company, L-13016, May 31,
42
Philippine Refining Co. vs. Garcia, et al., L-21871 and L- 1961; Lopez et al. vs. Pan American World Airways, L-22415,
21962, September 27, 1966. March 30, 1966.
43
See Section 4, Chapter 3, Title VIII, Civil Code. FIRST DIVISION
44
4 R.C.L., pp. 1174-1175.
45
An air carrier is a common carrier; and air transportation is [G.R. No. 145804. February 6, 2003]
similar or analogous to land and water transportation. Mendoza
vs. Philippine Air Lines, Inc., 90 Phil. 836, 841-842.
LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT AUTHORITY & RODOLFO
46
Austro-American S.S. Co. vs. Thomas, 248 F. 231. ROMAN, petitioners, vs. MARJORIE NAVIDAD, Heirs of
the Late NICANOR NAVIDAD & PRUDENT SECURITY
47
Id., p. 233. AGENCY, respondents.
48
Lipman vs. Atlantic Coast Line R. Co., 93 S.E. 714, 716. DECISION
49
Petitioner's brief, pp, 104-105. VITUG, J.:

49a
V Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, 1963 ed., p. 76. The case before the Court is an appeal from the decision and
resolution of the Court of Appeals, promulgated on 27 April 2000 and
50
Section 36, Rule 130, Rules of Court. 10 October 2000, respectively, in CA-G.R. CV No. 60720, entitled
Marjorie Navidad and Heirs of the Late Nicanor Navidad vs. Rodolfo
51
IV Martin, Rules of Court in the Philippines, 1963 ed., p. 324. Roman, et. al., which has modified the decision of 11 August 1998 of
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 266, Pasig City, exonerating Prudent
52
Ibid. Security Agency (Prudent) from liability and finding Light Rail Transit

116 | P a g e
Authority (LRTA) and Rodolfo Roman liable for damages on account 2) Compensatory damages of P443,520.00;
of the death of Nicanor Navidad.
3) Indemnity for the death of Nicanor Navidad in the
On 14 October 1993, about half an hour past seven oclock in the
sum of P50,000.00;
evening, Nicanor Navidad, then drunk, entered the EDSA LRT station
after purchasing a token (representing payment of the fare). While
b) Moral damages of P50,000.00;
Navidad was standing on the platform near the LRT tracks, Junelito
Escartin, the security guard assigned to the area approached Navidad. A
c) Attorneys fees of P20,000;
misunderstanding or an altercation between the two apparently ensued
that led to a fist fight. No evidence, however, was adduced to indicate
d) Costs of suit.
how the fight started or who, between the two, delivered the first blow
or how Navidad later fell on the LRT tracks. At the exact moment that
The complaint against defendants LRTA and Rodolfo Roman are
Navidad fell, an LRT train, operated by petitioner Rodolfo Roman, was
dismissed for lack of merit.
coming in. Navidad was struck by the moving train, and he was killed
instantaneously.
The compulsory counterclaim of LRTA and Roman are likewise
On 08 December 1994, the widow of Nicanor, herein respondent dismissed.[1]
Marjorie Navidad, along with her children, filed a complaint for
damages against Junelito Escartin, Rodolfo Roman, the LRTA, the Prudent appealed to the Court of Appeals. On 27 August 2000, the
Metro Transit Organization, Inc. (Metro Transit), and Prudent for the appellate court promulgated its now assailed decision exonerating
death of her husband. LRTA and Roman filed a counterclaim against Prudent from any liability for the death of Nicanor Navidad and, instead,
Navidad and a cross-claim against Escartin and Prudent. Prudent, in its holding the LRTA and Roman jointly and severally liable thusly:
answer, denied liability and averred that it had exercised due diligence
in the selection and supervision of its security guards. WHEREFORE, the assailed judgment is hereby MODIFIED, by
exonerating the appellants from any liability for the death of Nicanor
The LRTA and Roman presented their evidence while Prudent and
Navidad, Jr. Instead, appellees Rodolfo Roman and the Light Rail
Escartin, instead of presenting evidence, filed a demurrer contending
Transit Authority (LRTA) are held liable for his death and are hereby
that Navidad had failed to prove that Escartin was negligent in his
directed to pay jointly and severally to the plaintiffs-appellees, the
assigned task. On 11 August 1998, the trial court rendered its decision;
following amounts:
it adjudged:
a) P44,830.00 as actual damages;
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs
and against the defendants Prudent Security and Junelito Escartin
b) P50,000.00 as nominal damages;
ordering the latter to pay jointly and severally the plaintiffs the
following:
c) P50,000.00 as moral damages;
a) 1) Actual damages of P44,830.00;
d) P50,000.00 as indemnity for the death of the deceased; and

117 | P a g e
e) P20,000.00 as and for attorneys fees.[2] THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN
FINDING THAT RODOLFO ROMAN IS AN EMPLOYEE OF
The appellate court ratiocinated that while the deceased might not LRTA.[3]
have then as yet boarded the train, a contract of carriage theretofore had
already existed when the victim entered the place where passengers Petitioners would contend that the appellate court ignored the
were supposed to be after paying the fare and getting the corresponding evidence and the factual findings of the trial court by holding them liable
token therefor. In exempting Prudent from liability, the court stressed on the basis of a sweeping conclusion that the presumption of
that there was nothing to link the security agency to the death of negligence on the part of a common carrier was not
Navidad. It said that Navidad failed to show that Escartin inflicted fist overcome. Petitioners would insist that Escartins assault upon Navidad,
blows upon the victim and the evidence merely established the fact of which caused the latter to fall on the tracks, was an act of a stranger that
death of Navidad by reason of his having been hit by the train owned could not have been foreseen or prevented. The LRTA would add that
and managed by the LRTA and operated at the time by Roman. The the appellate courts conclusion on the existence of an employer-
appellate court faulted petitioners for their failure to present expert employee relationship between Roman and LRTA lacked basis because
evidence to establish the fact that the application of emergency brakes Roman himself had testified being an employee of Metro Transit and
could not have stopped the train. not of the LRTA.
The appellate court denied petitioners motion for reconsideration in Respondents, supporting the decision of the appellate court,
its resolution of 10 October 2000. contended that a contract of carriage was deemed created from the
moment Navidad paid the fare at the LRT station and entered the
In their present recourse, petitioners recite alleged errors on the part
premises of the latter, entitling Navidad to all the rights and protection
of the appellate court; viz:
under a contractual relation, and that the appellate court had correctly
I. held LRTA and Roman liable for the death of Navidad in failing to
exercise extraordinary diligence imposed upon a common carrier.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED BY
Law and jurisprudence dictate that a common carrier, both from the
DISREGARDING THE FINDINGS OF FACTS BY THE TRIAL
nature of its business and for reasons of public policy, is burdened with
COURT
the duty of exercising utmost diligence in ensuring the safety of
passengers.[4] The Civil Code, governing the liability of a common
II. carrier for death of or injury to its passengers, provides:
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN
Article 1755. A common carrier is bound to carry the passengers safely
FINDING THAT PETITIONERS ARE LIABLE FOR THE DEATH
as far as human care and foresight can provide, using the utmost
OF NICANOR NAVIDAD, JR.
diligence of very cautious persons, with a due regard for all the
circumstances.
III.
Article 1756. In case of death of or injuries to passengers, common
carriers are presumed to have been at fault or to have acted negligently,

118 | P a g e
unless they prove that they observed extraordinary diligence as fault,[10] an exception from the general rule that negligence must be
prescribed in articles 1733 and 1755. proved.[11]
The foundation of LRTAs liability is the contract of carriage and its
Article 1759. Common carriers are liable for the death of or injuries to
obligation to indemnify the victim arises from the breach of that contract
passengers through the negligence or willful acts of the formers
by reason of its failure to exercise the high diligence required of the
employees, although such employees may have acted beyond the scope
common carrier. In the discharge of its commitment to ensure the safety
of their authority or in violation of the orders of the common carriers.
of passengers, a carrier may choose to hire its own employees or avail
itself of the services of an outsider or an independent firm to undertake
This liability of the common carriers does not cease upon proof that they
the task. In either case, the common carrier is not relieved of its
exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family in the selection
responsibilities under the contract of carriage.
and supervision of their employees.
Should Prudent be made likewise liable? If at all, that liability could
Article 1763. A common carrier is responsible for injuries suffered by a only be for tort under the provisions of Article 2176[12] and related
passenger on account of the willful acts or negligence of other provisions, in conjunction with Article 2180,[13] of the Civil Code. The
passengers or of strangers, if the common carriers employees through premise, however, for the employers liability is negligence or fault on
the exercise of the diligence of a good father of a family could have the part of the employee. Once such fault is established, the employer
prevented or stopped the act or omission. can then be made liable on the basis of the presumption juris tantum that
the employer failed to exercise diligentissimi patris families in the
The law requires common carriers to carry passengers safely using selection and supervision of its employees. The liability is primary and
the utmost diligence of very cautious persons with due regard for all can only be negated by showing due diligence in the selection and
circumstances.[5] Such duty of a common carrier to provide safety to its supervision of the employee, a factual matter that has not been
passengers so obligates it not only during the course of the trip but for shown. Absent such a showing, one might ask further, how then must
so long as the passengers are within its premises and where they ought the liability of the common carrier, on the one hand, and an independent
to be in pursuance to the contract of carriage.[6] The statutory provisions contractor, on the other hand, be described? It would be solidary. A
render a common carrier liable for death of or injury to passengers contractual obligation can be breached by tort and when the same act or
(a) through the negligence or wilful acts of its employees or b) on omission causes the injury, one resulting in culpa contractual and the
account of wilful acts or negligence of other passengers or of other in culpa aquiliana, Article 2194[14] of the Civil Code can well
strangers if the common carriers employees through the exercise of apply.[15] In fine, a liability for tort may arise even under a contract,
due diligence could have prevented or stopped the act or where tort is that which breaches the contract.[16] Stated differently,
omission.[7] In case of such death or injury, a carrier is presumed to have when an act which constitutes a breach of contract would have itself
been at fault or been negligent, and[8] by simple proof of injury, the constituted the source of a quasi-delictual liability had no contract
passenger is relieved of the duty to still establish the fault or negligence existed between the parties, the contract can be said to have been
of the carrier or of its employees and the burden shifts upon the carrier breached by tort, thereby allowing the rules on tort to apply.[17]
to prove that the injury is due to an unforeseen event or to force
Regrettably for LRT, as well as perhaps the surviving spouse and
majeure.[9] In the absence of satisfactory explanation by the carrier on
heirs of the late Nicanor Navidad, this Court is concluded by the factual
how the accident occurred, which petitioners, according to the appellate
finding of the Court of Appeals that there is nothing to link (Prudent) to
court, have failed to show, the presumption would be that it has been at
119 | P a g e
[6]
the death of Nicanor (Navidad), for the reason that the negligence of its Dangwa Transportation Co., Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 202 SCRA
employee, Escartin, has not been duly proven x x x. This finding of the 575.
appellate court is not without substantial justification in our own review [7]
Article 1763, Civil Code.
of the records of the case.
[8]
Gatchalian vs. Delim, 203 SCRA 126; Yobido vs. Court of Appeals,
There being, similarly, no showing that petitioner Rodolfo Roman
281 SCRA 1; Landingin vs. Pangasinan Transportation Co., 33 SCRA
himself is guilty of any culpable act or omission, he must also be
284.
absolved from liability. Needless to say, the contractual tie between the
LRT and Navidad is not itself a juridical relation between the latter and [9]
Mercado vs. Lira, 3 SCRA 124.
Roman; thus, Roman can be made liable only for his own fault or [10]
Article 1756, Civil Code.
negligence.
[11]
Vda. De Abeto vs. Phil. Air Lines, Inc., 30 July 1982.
The award of nominal damages in addition to actual damages is
untenable. Nominal damages are adjudicated in order that a right of the [12]
Art. 2176. Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another,
plaintiff, which has been violated or invaded by the defendant, may be there being fault or negligence, is obliged to pay for the damage
vindicated or recognized, and not for the purpose of indemnifying the done. Such fault or negligence, if there is no pre-existing contractual
plaintiff for any loss suffered by him.[18] It is an established rule that relation between the parties, is called a quasi-delict and is governed by
nominal damages cannot co-exist with compensatory damages.[19] the provisions of this Chapter.
WHEREFORE, the assailed decision of the appellate court is [13]
Art. 2180. The obligation imposed by Article 2176 is demandable
AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION but only in that (a) the award of not only for ones own acts or omissions, but also for those of persons
nominal damages is DELETED and (b) petitioner Rodolfo Roman is for whom one is responsible.
absolved from liability. No costs.
The father and, in case of his death or incapacity, the mother, are
SO ORDERED. responsible for the damages caused by the minor children who live in
their company.
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Ynares-Santiago,
Carpio and Azcuna, JJ., concur. Guardians are liable for damages caused by the minors or incapacitated
persons who are under their authority and live in their company.
The owners and managers of an establishment or enterprise are likewise
responsible for damages caused by their employees in the service of the
[1]
Rollo, p. 16. branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their
[2] functions.
Rollo, pp. 46-47.
[3] Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees
Rollo, pp. 18-19.
and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks,
[4]
Arada vs. Court of Appeals, 210 SCRA 624. even though the former are not engaged in any business or industry.
[5]
Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 226 SCRA 423.

120 | P a g e
The State is responsible in like manner when it acts through a special
agent, but not when the damage has been caused by the official to whom
the task done properly pertains, in which case what is provided in article
2176 shall be applicable.
Lastly, teachers or heads of establishments of arts and trades shall be
liable for damages caused by their pupils and students or apprentices, so
long as they remain in their custody.
The responsibility treated of in this article shall cease when the persons
herein mentioned prove that they observed all the diligence of a good
father of a family to prevent damage.
[14]
Art. 2194. The responsibility of two or more persons who are liable
for a quasi-delict is solidary.
[15]
Air France vs. Carrascoso, 124 Phil. 722.
[16]
PSBA vs. CA, 205 SCRA 729.
[17]
Cangco vs. Manila Railroad, 38 Phil. 768; Manila Railroad vs.
Compania Transatlantica, 38 Phil. 875.
[18]
Article 2221, Civil Code.
[19]
Medina, et al. vs. Cresencia, 99 Phil. 506.

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