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Cc0021 Bunag vs CA 1992 1b-Dp

Cc0021 Bunag vs CA 1992 1b-Dp

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Published by: Geelyn Catindig on Sep 10, 2013
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[Denise P]Case for Article 21 of the Civil CodeArticle 21.
Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in manner that is contraryto morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
July 10, 1992CONRADO BUNAG, JR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, First Division, and ZENAIDACIRILO
 REGALADO, J:
PETITION:
reversal of CA decision on May 17, 1991 which affirmed the decision of RTCBranch XI at Bacoor, Cavite
FACTS
Plaintiff-appellant: Zenaida Cirilo (26 years old, Commerce college graduate)
Defendant-appellant: Conrado Bunag, Jr. & Conrado Bunag, Sr.
The plaintiff-appellant’s story:
o
In the afternoon (4:00pm) of September 8, 1973, Cirilo was walking on her wayto San Juan de Dios canteen for merienda when Bunag (Jr.) came in a car with anunidentified male companion.
o
It was established that Cirilo and Bunag were “sweethearts” but had a quarrel twoweeks before that day. He invited her to Aristocrat Restaurant to talk things over.She obliged because “she believed in his sincerity.”
o
Upon reaching San Juan St. in Pasay City, the car abruptly turned right. Cirilo protested but was frightened by the threats of the two, saying that she should notmake any noise as they would bump the car against the post in the street if shedid.
o
They went through F.B. Harrison Blvd. and reached a motel. Cirilo was draggedfrom the car and taken inside the motel where Bunag “deflowered her against her will and consent.” Despite her struggles, she could not match the strength of thetwo men being a woman with small stature. Bunag forced her to lie down whilehis companion removed her panty and then left. Bunag said his companion wouldcome back and hold her feet if she did not surrender her virginity.
o
“Plaintiff described the pains she felt and how blood came out of her private partsafter her vagina was penetrated by the penis of defendant Bunag, Jr.”
o
Cirilo pleaded Bunag to allow her to go home but he said he would only let her goafter they married.
o
They went to Bunag’s grandmother Juana de Leon’s house in Pamplona, LasPiñas, arriving at 9:30 p.m. About 10 p.m., Conrado Bunag, Sr. arrived and saidthat Cirilo and Bunag would apply for a marriage license tomorrow (Monday) atBacoor.
o
After filing, they went to live at Juana de Leon’s house as husband and wife from
 
Sept. 8, 1973 to Sept. 29, 1973. On Sept. 29, Bunag left and never returned. OnOct. 3, 1973, Cirilo went back to her parents.
o
“Plaintiff was ashamed when she went home and could not sleep and eat becauseof the deception done against her by the defendant-appellants.”
o
Cirilo’s Uncle Vivencio Bansagan affirmed in testimony that on Sept. 8 shearrived at home at 9 p.m. His efforts to search for her were unsuccessful. He toldCirilo’s mother that she might have married. In the afternoon of the next day(Sunday), Ligas, Bacoor, Cavite barrio captain Jacinto Manalili and FranciscoCabrera informed Cirilo’s mother that Cirilo and Bunag were at Cabrera’s house.The uncle went to the house at the request of his sister and found them. At DeLeon’s house, he met Bunag Sr. who said, “Pare, the children are here already.Let us settle the matter and have them married.”
o
Cirilo talked to her uncle, saying she lost her honor and she would bear her sufferings as both Bunag and his father promised marriage.
The defendant-appellant’s story:
o
Conrado Bunag, Jr. denies the abduction and rape of Cirilo. Bunag claims thatthey eloped on Sept. 8 because his father opposed the relationship.
o
The defendants insist that the couple made prior plans to elope and get married.These were known to some friends, including Architect Chito Rodriguez.
o
Guillermo Ramos, Jr. accompanied his friend, the defendant, to meet Cirilo andher officemate, Lydia, in the vicinity of San Juan de Dios Hospital. They proceeded to have merienda at its canteen then Ramos took Lydia to Quirino Ave.for her to get a ride home. Then Cirilo and Bunag went to Golden Gate andFlamingo Hotels but it was full. They proceeded to Holiday Hotel. After threehours, they went to Juana de Leon’s house and stayed until Sept. 19.
o
“Defendant-appellant claims that bitter disagreements with the plaintiff-appellantover money and the threats made to his life prompted him to break off their planto get married.”
o
Bunag Sr. denied having gone to De Leon’s house and promising that the couplewould be married. He said he called Atty. Conrado Adreneda, Bunag Jr.’semployer (Mandala Corp.), thrice between Sept. 8 to 9, asking for his son’swhereabouts. He was told of the elopement on the afternoon of Sept. 9 by hismother Candida Gawaran. He also denied having met with Cirilo’s relatives andagreeing to their plans for marriage.
Other details:
o
Cirilo filed for damages for alleged breach of promise to marry against the petitioners.
o
August 20, 1983: trial court found that petitioner abducted and raped respondent.Bunag Sr. was absolved from any and all liability.
o
Moral damages: P80,000
o
Exemplary damages: P20,000
o
Way of Temperate damages: P20,000
o
Attorney’s fees and costs of suit: P10,000
o
Respondent appeals lower court’s decision in absolving Bunag Sr. from liability.
Bunags claimed trial court erred:
 
o
1) in finding that defendant-appellant Bunag Jr. forcibly abducted and raped plaintiff-appellant
o
2) in finding that defendants-appellants promised plaintiff-appellant that shewould be wed to defendant-appellant Conrado Bunag, Jr.
o
3) in awarding plaintiff-appellant damages for the breach of defendants-appellants' promise of marriage
May 17, 1991: CA dismissed both appeals and affirmed RTC’s decision.Bunag Jr. with petition for review contends that:1) respondent court failed to consider vital exhibits, testimonies and incidents for petitioner'sdefense, resulting in the misapprehensions of facts and violative of the law on preparation of  judgment2) it erred in the application of the proper law and jurisprudence by holding that there wasforcible abduction with rape, not just a simple elopement and an agreement to marry, and in theaward of excessive damages
RULINGS
o
Petitioner argues that both courts did not consider the alleged facts that Cirilo agreed tomarry and that it was a case of simple elopement and agreement to marry.
o
“What the petitioner would want this Court to do is to evaluate and analyze anew theevidence, both testimonial and documentary, presented before…”
o
The Supreme Court said “…statutory and jurisprudential mandate that findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are, as a rule, conclusive upon this Court. Only questions of law,distinctly set forth, may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, subject to clearly settled exceptions in case law.”
o
“It is not its function to analyze or weigh such evidence all over again, its jurisdiction being limited to reviewing errors of law that might have been committed by lower court.”
o
The Court affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals in favor of Cirilo.
o
Petitioner also claims that the trial court erred in awarding damages in the breach of  promise to marry.
o
“…we adhere to the time-honored rule that an action for breach of promise tomarry has no standing in the civil law, apart from the right to recover money or  property advanced by the plaintiff upon the faith of such promise.”
o
It is only when the plaintiff has to recover the wedding expenses he incurred thatcivil action is valid.
o
However, award of moral damages is allowed in cases specified in Article 2219 of CivilCode. Further, pursuant to Article 21 of the Civil Code, in relation to par. 10 of Art.2219, “any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that iscontrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for moraldamages.”
o
“Article 21 was adopted to remedy the countless gaps in the statutes which leaveso many victims of moral wrongs helpless even though they have actuallysuffered material and moral injury, and is intended to vouchsafe adequate legalremedy for that untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human

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