SECOND DIVISION[G.R. No. 154259. February 28, 2005] NIKKO HOTEL MANILA GARDEN and RUBY LIM,
ROBERTO REYES,a.k.a. ³AMAY BISAYA,´
.D E C I S I O NCHICO-NAZARIO,
.:In this petition for review on
, petitioners Nikko Hotel Manila Garden (Hotel Nikko)
and Ruby Lim assail the Decision
of the Court of Appeals dated 26 November 2001 reversingthe Decision
of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City, Branch 104, as well as theResolution
of the Court of Appeals dated 09 July 2002 which denied petitioners¶ motion for reconsideration.The cause of action before the trial court was one for damages brought under the human relations provisions of the New Civil Code. Plaintiff thereat (respondent herein) Roberto Reyes, more popularly known by the screen name ³Amay Bisaya,´ alleged that at around 6:00 o¶clock in theevening of 13 October 1994, while he was having coffee at the lobby of Hotel Nikko,
he wasspotted by his friend of several years, Dr. Violeta Filart, who then approached him.
Mrs. Filartinvited him to join her in a party at the hotel¶s penthouse in celebration of the natal day of thehotel¶s manager, Mr. Masakazu Tsuruoka.
Mr. Reyes asked if she could vouch for him for which she replied: ³of course.´
Mr. Reyes then went up with the party of Dr. Filart carrying the basket of fruits which was the latter¶s present for the celebrant.
At the penthouse, they first hadtheir picture taken with the celebrant after which Mr. Reyes sat with the party of Dr. Filart.
After a couple of hours, when the buffet dinner was ready, Mr. Reyes lined-up at the buffet table but, to his great shock, shame and embarrassment, he was stopped by petitioner herein, RubyLim, who claimed to speak for Hotel Nikko as Executive Secretary thereof.
In a loud voiceand within the presence and hearing of the other guests who were making a queue at the buffettable, Ruby Lim told him to leave the party (³
huwag ka nang kumain, hindi ka imbitado, bumabaka na lang
Mr. Reyes tried to explain that he was invited by Dr. Filart.
Dr. Filart, whowas within hearing distance, however, completely ignored him thus adding to his shame andhumiliation.
Not long after, while he was still recovering from the traumatic experience, aMakati policeman approached and asked him to step out of the hotel.
Like a commoncriminal, he was escorted out of the party by the policeman.
Claiming damages, Mr. Reyesasked for One Million Pesos actual damages, One Million Pesos moral and/or exemplarydamages and Two Hundred Thousand Pesos attorney¶s fees.
Ruby Lim, for her part, admitted having asked Mr. Reyes to leave the party but not under theignominious circumstance painted by the latter. Ms. Lim narrated that she was the Hotel¶sExecutive Secretary for the past twenty (20) years.
One of her functions included organizingthe birthday party of the hotel¶s former General Manager, Mr. Tsuruoka.
The year 1994 wasno different. For Mr. Tsuruoka¶s party, Ms. Lim generated an exclusive guest list and extendedinvitations accordingly.
The guest list was limited to approximately sixty (60) of Mr.