PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. OLITA
Facts: Olita was charges with the crime of Robbery withHomicide for feloniously taking, stealing and carrying away thecash money of representing the Meralco collections of IsaganiTongco against his will
and for the killing of latter’s security
escort, Romeo Pacle.Olita entered a plea of not guilty. The trial court convicted him.
Among the trial court’s judgment was that Olita is liable to
indemnify the heirs od Pacle the amount of P30, 000 as moraldamages.Issue: W/N the heirs of victim Pacle are entitled to claim moraldamages.Ruling: No.Moral damages cannot be awarded in the absence of any factualbasis. There must be pleasing and proof of moral suffering,mental anguish, fright, wounded feelings and similar injury.In this case, the SC finds no basis from the record to justify theawards of moral damages in favor of the heirs of Romeo Pacle.Thus, the heirs are not entitled to claim moral damages.
MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY vs. T.E.A.MCELECTRIC CORPORATION
Facts:TEC entered into a Contract of Lease with Ultra for the use of
Ultra’s DCIM building for a period of 5 years
team Meralco’s inspectors conducted a surprise
inspection of the electric meters installed at the DCIM building
as witnessed by Ultra’s representative. The inspectors found
two meters were tampered with and did not register the actualpower consumption in the building.Meralco informed TEC of the results of the inspection anddemanded for the payment of amount of the unregistered
consumption as a result of the tampering of the meters. TEC’s
management referred the letter to Ultra. Eventually, Meralcodisconnected the electricity supply to the DCIM building forfailure of TEC to pay the amount demanded.TEC denied the tampering. It filed a complaint before the ERBpraying that electric power be restored to the DCIM building.ERB ordered for the reconnection.
Meanwhile, Meralco conducted another inspection in TEC’s
another building, the NS building. It alleged that the meterswere not registering the correct power consumption. Meralco,then, sent TEC another demand letter for the payment of thedifferential billing. TEC paid under protest.TEC, then, filed a complaint for damages against Meralco andUltra before the RTC of Pasig.RTC ruled that Meralco failed to prove that TEC was guilty if tampering the meter installations. That TEC was entitled toclaim moral and exemplary damages from Meralco. The CA
affirmed RTC’s ruling.
ISSUE: W/N TEC is entitled to moral and exemplary damages.RULING: NO moral damages but YES to exemplary damages.As a rule, a corporation is not entitled to moral damagesbecause, not being a natural person, it cannot experiencephysical suffering or sentiments like wounded feelings, seriousanxiety, mental anguish and moral shock.The only exception to this rules is when the corporation has areputation that is debased, resulting in its humiliation in thebusiness realm, provided, that the claimant must present proof to justidy the award. It is important to prove the existence of the
factual basis of the damage and its causal relation to Meralco’s
acts.In this case, there was no evidence that the name of TEC hasbeen
debased as a result of Meralco’s acts. Further, the trial
court stated no basis for the award of the moral damages.Hence, TEC is not entitled to moral damages.However, TEC is entitled to exemplary damages.Exemplary damages are imposed by way of example of correction for the public good in addition to moral, temperate,liquidated or compensatory damages.In this case, to serve as an example
that before adisconnection of electrical supply can be done, the requisites of the law must first be complied with.Hence again, the award of exemplary damages to TEC wereproper.