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G.R. No.

L-22533

February 9, 1967

PLACIDO C. RAMOS and AUGUSTO L. RAMOS, petitioners, vs. PEPSI-COLA BOTTLING CO. OF THE P.I. and ANDRES BONIFACIO, respondents. BENGZON, J.P., J.:

FACTS: The car driven by Augusto Ramos (son of co-plaintiff Placido Ramos) collided with the truck of PEPSI, driven by the driver and co-defendant Andres Bonifacio. As a result, the Ramoses sued Bonifacio and Pepsi. The trial court found Bonifacio negligent and declared that PEPSI-COLA had not sufficiently proved that it exercised the due diligence of a good father of a family to prevent the damage. PEPSI-COLA and Bonifacio, solidarily, were ordered to pay the plaintiffs damages. The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals. CA affirmed the decision of the trial court, but absolved PEPSI-COLA from liability, finding that it sufficiently proved due diligence in the selection of its driver Bonifacio. In its decision, CA stated the basis for its decision: The uncontradicted testimony of Juan T. Anasco, personnel manager of defendant company, was to the effect that defendant driver was first hired as a member of the bottle crop in the production department; that when he was hired as a driver, 'we had size [sic] him by looking into his background, asking him to submit clearances, previous experience, physical examination and later on, he was sent to the pool house to take the usual driver's examination, consisting of: first, theoretical examination and second, the practical driving examination, all of which he had undergone, and that the defendant company was a member of the Safety Council. Our Supreme Court had put it down as a rule that In order that the defendant may be considered as having exercised all the diligence of a good father of a family, he should not have been satisfied with the mere possession of a professional driver's license; he should have carefully examined the applicant for employment as to his qualifications, his experiences and record of service. Defendant Company has taken all these steps. ISSUE: Whether PEPSI-COLA exercised due diligence in the selection of its employee. HELD: The appellants contended that Aasco, being PEPSI-COLA's employee, is a biased and an interested witness. This is a question of fact, and the SC would not disturb the findings of CA. It should perhaps be stated that in the instant case no question is raised as to due diligence in the supervision by PEPSI-COLA of its driver. Article 2180 points out that the owners and managers

of an establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible for damages caused by their employees in the service of the branches in which the latter are employed or on the occasion of their functions. This responsibility shall cease when the employers prove that they observed the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage; hence, PEPSI-COLA shall be relieved from liability (rebuttable presumption of negligence). The decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby affirmed.

RESOLUTION ON MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION BENGZON, J.P., J.:


Petitioners impute to PEPSI-COLA the violation of subpars M.V.O. Administrative Order No. 1 in that at the time of the collision, the trailer-truck, which had a total weight of 30,000 kgms., was (a) being driven at a speed of about 30 k.p.h. or beyond the 15 k.p.h. limit set and (b) was not equipped with a rear-vision mirror nor provided with a helper for the driver. There is no finding that the tractor-truck did not have a rear-vision mirror. Petitioners also charge PEPSI-COLA with having violated par. (b) of Sec. 8-A of the Rev. Motor Vehicle Law, alleging that the truck exceeded the dimensions allowed. It is not enough that the width of the tractor-truck exceed the limit in Sec. 8-A; in addition, it must also appear that there was no special permit granted under Sec. 9. Unfortunately for petitioners, that vital factual link is missing. There was no proof much less any finding to that effect. We are urged to apply the Anglo-American doctrine of respondent superior. We cannot however, abandon the Bahia ruling without going against the explicit mandate of the law. A motor vehicle owner is not an absolute insurer against all damages caused by its driver. Article 2180 of our Civil Code is very explicit that the owner's responsibility shall cease once it proves that it has observed the diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage. The Bahia case merely clarified what that diligence consists of, namely, diligence in the selection and supervision of the driver-employee. Under Article 2180 of the Civil Code, the basis of an employer's liability is his own negligence, not that of his employees. The former is made responsible for failing to properly and diligently select and supervise his erring employees. We do not and have never followed the respondent superior rule.8 So, the American rulings cited by petitioners, based as they are on said doctrine, are not authoritative here. In view of the foregoing, the motion for reconsideration is hereby denied.

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