[Denise P] Case for Article 21 of the Civil Code Article 21.

Any person who willfully causes loss or injury to another in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. July 10, 1992 CONRADO BUNAG, JR. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, First Division, and ZENAIDA CIRILO REGALADO, J: PETITION: reversal of CA decision on May 17, 1991 which affirmed the decision of RTC Branch 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 way to San Juan de Dios canteen for merienda when Bunag (Jr.) came in a car with an unidentified male companion. o It was established that Cirilo and Bunag were “sweethearts” but had a quarrel two weeks 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 not make any noise as they would bump the car against the post in the street if she did. o They went through F.B. Harrison Blvd. and reached a motel. Cirilo was dragged from 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 the two men being a woman with small stature. Bunag forced her to lie down while his companion removed her panty and then left. Bunag said his companion would come 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 parts after 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 go after they married. o They went to Bunag’s grandmother Juana de Leon’s house in Pamplona, Las Piñas, arriving at 9:30 p.m. About 10 p.m., Conrado Bunag, Sr. arrived and said that Cirilo and Bunag would apply for a marriage license tomorrow (Monday) at Bacoor. 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. On Oct. 3, 1973, Cirilo went back to her parents. o “Plaintiff was ashamed when she went home and could not sleep and eat because of the deception done against her by the defendant-appellants.” o Cirilo’s Uncle Vivencio Bansagan affirmed in testimony that on Sept. 8 she arrived at home at 9 p.m. His efforts to search for her were unsuccessful. He told Cirilo’s mother that she might have married. In the afternoon of the next day (Sunday), Ligas, Bacoor, Cavite barrio captain Jacinto Manalili and Francisco Cabrera 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 De Leon’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 that they 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 and her 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 and Flamingo Hotels but it was full. They proceeded to Holiday Hotel. After three hours, they went to Juana de Leon’s house and stayed until Sept. 19. o “Defendant-appellant claims that bitter disagreements with the plaintiff-appellant over money and the threats made to his life prompted him to break off their plan to get married.” o Bunag Sr. denied having gone to De Leon’s house and promising that the couple would be married. He said he called Atty. Conrado Adreneda, Bunag Jr.’s employer (Mandala Corp.), thrice between Sept. 8 to 9, asking for his son’s whereabouts. He was told of the elopement on the afternoon of Sept. 9 by his mother Candida Gawaran. He also denied having met with Cirilo’s relatives and agreeing 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 she would be wed to defendant-appellant Conrado Bunag, Jr. o 3) in awarding plaintiff-appellant damages for the breach of defendantsappellants' 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's defense, resulting in the misapprehensions of facts and violative of the law on preparation of judgment 2) it erred in the application of the proper law and jurisprudence by holding that there was forcible abduction with rape, not just a simple elopement and an agreement to marry, and in the award of excessive damages RULINGS o Petitioner argues that both courts did not consider the alleged facts that Cirilo agreed to marry 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 the evidence, 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 to marry 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 that civil action is valid. o However, award of moral damages is allowed in cases specified in Article 2219 of Civil Code. 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 is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for moral damages.” o “Article 21 was adopted to remedy the countless gaps in the statutes which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless even though they have actually suffered material and moral injury, and is intended to vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human

foresight to specifically provide for in the statutes. o Under the circumstances obtaining in the case at bar, the acts of petitioner in forcibly abducting private respondent and having carnal knowledge with her against her will, and thereafter promising to marry her in order to escape criminal liability, only to thereafter renege on such promise after cohabiting with her for twenty-one days, irremissibly constitute acts contrary to morals and good customs.” o Generally, every person criminally liable for felony is also civilly liable. Criminal liability will five rise to civil liability only if the criminal act results in damage or injury to another and is the direct and proximate cause thereof.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful