Case no. 01-02Llorente vs. SandiganbayanFacts:
The Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) was reorganized in 1981, causing resignation of hundredsof its employees, including Mr. Curio, Mrs. Perez, Mr. Azucena and Mrs. Javier. To acquire their gratituitybenefits, they should apply and secure a clearance from PCA. Their clearance would be approved only if they have no pending accountability. The officer from who they should get the first approval from isAtty. Llorente or by Col. Duefias, and then by Atty. Rodriguez, the corporate auditor. Despite unsettledobligations from different sources (which were deducted from their gratituity benefits), the clearances
of Mr. Perez, Mrs. Javier and Mr. Azucena were approved. Under Mrs. Javier’s pending accountabilities
was the amount of P92,000, which was handwritten. This was the disallowered portion of the cash
advances of Mr. Curio in connection with his duties as “super cargo” in the distribution of seed nuts
throughout the country. He received them through and in the name of Mrs. Javier, the latter beingprimarily liable for the disallowances. Other documents were submitted during the deductions, with an
affidavit by Mr. Curio. However, Mr. Curio’s application for a clearance was not approved by Atty.
Llorente in his capacity as Deputy Administrator, due to the grounds of the affidavit that Mr. Curioexecuted. He further justified his action as following the condition of the clearance (pendingaccountabilities). This made Mr. Curio bring the matter to the legal affairs department, which was alsounder Atty. Llorente as Deputy Administrator. But the same was not approved. In 1986 or 5 years later,his pending request for clearance was approved. However, in the course of 5 years he was not ableacquire gainful employment because of his failure to present his clearance from PCA. Thus, he filed acase against the petitioner for failure to act in his duty.
whether or not petitioner exercised an abuse of right and he is liable for damages against Mr.Curio in accordance with Article 19 of the Civil Code
Yes. Although petitioner Llorente he did not act with evident bad faith as he was following theprocedures in securing a clearance as one of the public officer tasked for it, the fact that he was able toapprove clearances to other 3 employees despite their pending accountabilities somehow show that heunjustly discriminated Mr. Curio. Thus, he is liable for damages under Article 19 of the Civil Code.