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V OL .
1 9 3 ,
F E B R UA R Y
6 ,
1 9 9 1

6 0 3

B u st aman t e
vs.
C o u rt 
o f
Appeals

G.R .
No .
8 9 8 8

0 .
F e b ru a ry 
6

,
1

9

*

9 1 .

E MMA 
 A DR I A NO
 B UST A MA NT E ,
 in 
 h e r
 o wn 
 b eh a lf
 a s Gu a rdia n ­A d­L ite m
 o f
 min o rs:
 R OSSE L ,
 GL OR I A , YOL A NDA ,
 E R I C SON
 a n d
 E DE R I C ,
 a ll
 su rn a me d B UST A MA NT E ,
 Spo u se s
 SA L V A DOR 
 J OC SON
 a n d P A T R I A 
 B ONE ­J OC SON,
 Spo u se s
 J OSE 
 R A MOS
 a n d E NR I QUE T A 
 C E B U­R A MOS,
 Spo u ses
 NA R C I SO HI MA YA 
 a n d
 A DOR A C I ON
 MA R QUE Z ­HI MA YA ,
 a n d Spo u ses
 J OSE 
 B E R SA MI NA 
 A ND
 MA . C OMME MOR A C I ON
P E R E A ­B UST A MA NT E ,
 pe titio n e rs, vs.
 T HE 
 HONOR A B L E 
 C OUR T 
 OF 
 A P P E A L S, F E DE R I C O
 DE L 
 P I L A R 
 A ND
 E DI L B E R T O MONT E SI A NO,
re spo n de n ts.

Remed i al 
 Law ; 
 Ci vi l 
 Pro ced u re; 
 A ppeal s; 
 Fi n d i n g s
 of 
 f act 
 o f 
 t h e Co u rt 
 o f 
 A ppeal s
 are
 f i n al 
 an d 
 con cl u si ve
 an d 
 can n o t 
 b e
 revi ew ed

o n 
 appeal , 
 ex cept i o n s. — As
 a 
 ru le, 
 f in din g s
 o f 
 f a ct
 o f 
 th e 
 Co u rt
 o f

Appe a ls
 a re 
 f in a l
 a n d
 co n clu siv e 
 a n d
 ca n n ot
 b e
 re v ie w e d
 o n 
 a ppe a l, prov ide d, 
 th e y 
 a re 
 b o rn e 
 ou t
 b y 
 th e 
 re co rd
 o r
 a re 
 b a se d
 on su b sta n tia l
 e v ide n ce . 
 H o w e v er, 
 th is
 ru le 
 a dmits
 o f 
 ce rta in e x ce ptio n s, 
 a s
 w h e n 
 th e 
 f in din g s
 of 
 f a cts
 a re 
 con clu sio n s
 w ith o u t cita tio n 
 o f 
 spe cif ic
 e v ide n ce 
 o n 
 w h ich 
 th ey 
 a re
 b a sed; 
 o r
 th e

a ppe lla te 
 co u rt’ s
 f in din g s
 a re 
 co n tra ry 
 to 
 th o se 
 of 
 th e 
 tria l
 cou rt.

Same; 
 Same; 
 Same; 
 Cert i o rari ; 
 O n l y 
 q u est i o n s
 o f 
 l aw 
 may 
 b e

rai sed 
 i n 
 a
 pet i t i o n 
 f o r
 revi ew 
 o n 
 cert i orari 
 u n d er
 Ru l e
 4 5 
 o f 
 t h e

e

Revi sed 
 Ru l es
 o f 
 Co u

ra ise d
 in 
 a 
 pe titio n 
 f or
 re v iew 
 on 
 ce rtio ra ri
 u n de r
 Ru le 
 4 5 
 o f 
 th e

Re v ise d
 Ru le s
 o f 
 Co u rt. 
 Th e 
 ju risdiction 
 of 
 th e 
 S u preme 
 Cou rt
 in

rt . — Fu

rth e rmore, 


o n ly 
 q u estion s
 of 
 la

w 
 ma y 
 b

ca se s
 b ro u g

h t
 to 
 it
 f rom


th e 
 Cou rt
 of 
 Appe a ls
 is
 limited
 to 
 re v iew

in

g

a n d
 re co n clu

v isin g 
 th e 
 e rro rs
 o f 
 la w 
 impu ted
 to 
 it, 
 its
 f in din g s
 of 
 f a siv e .

ct
 b e in

g

Ci vi l 
 Law ; 
 T o rt s
 an d 
 D amag es; 
 D oct ri n e
 o f 
 l ast 
 cl ear
 ch an ce; T h e
 d o ct ri n e
 b ro ad l y 
 st at es
 t h at 
 t h e
 n eg l i g en ce
 o f 
 t h e
 pl ai n t i f f 
 d o es n o t 
 precl u d e
 a
 reco very 
 f o r
 t h e
 n eg l i g en ce
 o f 
 t h e
 d ef en d an t 
 w h ere
 i t appears
 t h at 
 t h e
 d ef en d an t , 
 b y 
 exerci si n g 
 reaso n ab l e
 care
 an d pru d en ce, 
 mi g h t 
 h ave
 avoi d ed 
 i n ju ri ou s
 co n seq u en ces
 t o 
 t h e pl ai n t i f f 
 n o t w i t h st an d i n g 
 t h e
 pl ai n t i f f ’ s
 n eg l i g en ce. — Th e re spon de n t
 co u rt
 a do pte d
 th e 
 doctrin e 
 o f 
 “la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce . ”
 Th e do ctrin e , 
 sta te d
 b ro a dly , 
 is
 th a t
 th e 
 n e g lig e n ce 
 o f 
 th e 
 pla in tif f 
 doe s n o t
 pre clu de 
 a 
 re co v e ry 
 f o r
 th e
 n eg lig e n ce 
 o f 
 th e 
 de f en da n t
 w h ere
 it a ppe a rs
 th a t
 th e 
 de f e n da n t, 
 b y 
 ex e rcisin g

_

* 
FI R S T
DI V I S I ON .

6

0 4

6 0 4

S UPREME
 CO URT
 REPO RTS 
 ANNO TATED

Bu st aman t e
 vs. 
 Co u rt 
 of 
 A ppeal s

re a son a b le 
 ca re 
 a n d
 pru den ce, 
 mig h t
 h a v e 
 a v o ide d
 in ju rio u s co n se q u e n ce s
 to 
 th e 
 pla in tif f 
 n otw ith sta n din g 
 th e
 pla in tif f ’ s n e g lig e n ce . 
 I n 
 o th e r
 w o rds, 
 th e 
 do ctrin e
 o f 
 la st
 clea r
 ch a n ce
 mea n s th a t
 e v e n 
 th o u g h 
 a 
 pe rson ’ s
 o w n 
 a cts
 ma y 
 h a v e
 pla ced
 h im
 in 
 a po sitio n 
 o f 
 pe ril, 
 a n d
 a n 
 in ju ry 
 re su lts, 
 th e
 in ju re d
 pe rson 
 is
 e n title d to
 re co v e ry . 
 As
 th e 
 do ctrin e 
 is
 u su a lly 
 sta te d, 
 a 
 perso n 
 w h o 
 h a s
 th e la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce 
 o r
 o ppo rtu n ity 
 o f 
 a v oidin g 
 a n 
 a cciden t, n o tw ith sta n din g 
 th e 
 n e g lig e n t
 a cts
 o f 
 h is
 oppo n en t
 or
 th a t
 o f 
 a 
 th ird pe rson 
 impu te d
 to 
 th e 
 o ppo n en t
 is
 con side re d
 in 
 la w 
 sole ly re spon sib le 
 f o r
 th e 
 co n se q u en ce s
 of 
 th e
 a cciden t.

Same; 
 Same; 
 Same; 
 T h e
 d o ct ri n e
 d oes
 n ot 
 ari se
 w h ere
 a passen g er
 d eman d s
 respo n si b i l i t y 
 f ro m
 t h e
 carri er
 t o 
 en f o rce
 i t s co n t ract u al 
 o b l i g at i o n s. — I n 
 th e
 re ce n t
 ca se 
 of 
 Ph ilippin e 
 Ra b b it Bu s
 Lin e s, 
 I n c. 
 v . 
 I n te rme dia te
 Appella te 
 Co u rt, 
 e t
 a l. 
 ( G . R. 
 No s. 6 6 1 0 2 ­ 0 4 , 
 Au g u st
 3 0 , 
 1 9 9 0 ) , 
 th e
 Cou rt
 citin g 
 th e
 la n dma rk
 decision h e ld
 in 
 th e 
 ca se 
 o f 
 An u ra n , 
 et
 a l. 
 v . 
 Bu n o, 
 et
 a l. 
 ( 1 2 3 
 Ph il. 
 1 0 7 3 ) ru le d
 th a t
 th e 
 prin ciple 
 o f 
 “la st
 clea r
 ch a n ce”
 “in 
 a 
 su it
 b etw ee n 
 th e o w n ers
 a n d
 driv e rs
 o f 
 co llidin g 
 v e h icle s. 
 I t
 do es
 n o t
 a rise 
 w h ere
 a pa sse n g e r
 de ma n ds
 re spon sib ility 
 f rom
 th e 
 ca rrier
 to
 e n f o rce 
 its co n tra ctu a l
 o b lig a tio n s. 
 Fo r
 it
 w o u ld
 b e
 in eq u ita b le 
 to
 e x empt
 th e

n e g lig e n t
 driv e r
 o f 
 th e 
 je e pn e y 
 a n d
 its
 o w n e rs
 o n 
 th e 
 g ro u n d
 th a t th e
 o th e r
 driv e r
 w a s
 like w ise 
 g u ilty 
 o f 
 n eg lig en ce .

Same; 
 Same; 
 Same; 
 I t 
 can n o t 
 b e
 ext en d ed 
 i n t o 
 t h e
 f i el d 
 of 
 jo i n t t ort f easo rs
 as
 a
 t est 
 of 
 w h et h er
 on l y 
 on e
 o f 
 t h em
 sh ou l d 
 b e
 h el d l i ab l e
 t o 
 t h e
 i n ju red 
 perso n 
 b y 
 reaso n 
 o f 
 h i s
 d i scovery
 o f 
 t h e
 l at t er’ s peri l 
 an d 
 i t 
 can n o t 
 b e
 i n vo l ved 
 as
 b et w een 
 d ef en d an t s
 co n cu rren t l y n eg l i g en t . — Fu r­ th e rmo re , 
 “a s
 b e tw ee n 
 def en da n ts: 
 Th e
 do ctrin e ca n n o t
 b e 
 e x te n de d
 in to 
 th e 
 f ie ld
 o f 
 join t
 to rtf ea so rs
 a s
 a 
 test
 of w h e th e r
 o n ly 
 o n e 
 o f 
 th e m
 sh o u ld
 b e 
 h e ld
 lia b le
 to 
 th e 
 in ju re d
 pe rson b y 
 re a so n 
 o f 
 h is
 disco v e ry 
 of 
 th e 
 la tter’ s
 pe ril, 
 a n d
 it
 ca n n o t
 b e in v o ke d
 a s
 b e tw e e n 
 de f e n da n ts
 con cu rren tly 
 n eg lig e n t. 
 As
 a g a in st th ird
 pe rso n s, 
 a 
 n e g lig e n tly 
 a cto r
 ca n n ot
 def en d
 b y 
 plea din g 
 th a t a n o th e r
 h a d
 n e g lig e n tl
 f a ile d
 to
 ta ke 
 a ctio n 
 w h ich 
 co u ld
 h a v e a v o ide d
 th e 
 in ju ry . ”

Same; 
 Same; 
 Same; 
 Respo n d en t 
 Co u rt 
 co mmi t t ed 
 an 
 error
 of l aw 
 i n 
 appl y i n g 
 t h e
 d o ct ri n e
 of 
 l ast 
 cl ear
 ch an ce
 as
 b et w een 
 t h e d ef en d an t s, 
 case
 at 
 b ar. — All
 pre mises
 con side re d, 
 th e 
 Cou rt
 is co n v in ce d
 th a t
 th e 
 re spo n den t
 Cou rt
 committed
 a n 
 e rror
 o f 
 la w 
 in a pply in g 
 th e 
 do ctrin e 
 of 
 la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce
 a s
 b e tw e e n 
 th e de f e n da n ts, 
 sin ce 
 th e 
 ca se 
 a t
 b a r
 is
 n o t
 a 
 su it
 b e tw e e n 
 th e
 o w n e rs a n d
 driv e rs
 o f 
 th e 
 co llidin g 
 v e h icle s
 b u t
 a 
 su it
 b ro u g h t
 b y 
 th e 
 h e irs o f 
 th e 
 de ce a se d
 pa sse n g e rs
 a g a in st
 b oth 
 o w n e rs
 a n d
 driv ers
 o f 
 th e co llidin g 
 v e h icle s. 
 Th e re f o re , 
 th e 
 re spon de n t

6 0 5

VO L. 
 1 9 3 , 
 FEBRUARY 
 6 , 
 1 9 9 1

6 0 5

Bu st aman t e
 vs. 
 Co u rt 
 of 
 A ppeal s

co u rt
 e rre d
 in 
 a b so lv in g 
 th e 
 ow n e r
 a n d
 driv er
 of 
 th e 
 ca rg o 
 tru ck

f

ro m
 lia b ility .

E T I T I ON
fo r
ce rtio ra ri
to 
re v ie w
th e 
de cisio n 
o f
th e 
C ou rt

P

o

f
A ppea ls.

T h e 
fa cts
a re 
sta ted
in 
th e 
o pin

io n 
o f
th e
C o u rt.






Do lo rfin o
a n d
Do min g






J .C .
B ald o z
& 
Asso ciat es
fo r
priv a te 
re spo n den ts.

u ez
L aw
Offices
fo r
petition e rs.

ME DI A L DE A ,
J .:

T h is
 is
 a 
 pe tition 
 fo r
 re v iew
 on 
 ce rtio ra ri
 se e kin g 
 th e re v e rsa l
 o f
 th e 
 de cision 
 o f
 th e 
 re spo n de n t
 C o u rt
 o f
 A ppe a ls da te d
 F eb ru a ry 
 1 5 ,
 1 9 8 9 
 wh ich 
 re v e rse d
 a n d
 se t
 a side
 th e de cisio n 
 o f
 th e 
 R eg ion a l
 T ria l
 C o u rt
 o f
 C a v ite ,
 B ra n ch 
 XV o rde rin g 
 th e 
 de fe n da n ts
 to 
 pa y 
 j o in tly 
 a n d
 se v e ra lly 
 th e pla in tiffs
 in de mn ity 
 fo r
 de a th 
 a n d
 da ma g e s;
 a n d
 in 
 fu rth e r dismissin g 
 th e
 compla in t
 in so fa r
 a s
 de fe n da n ts­a ppe lla n ts F e de rico 
 de l
 P ila r
 a n d
 E dilb e rto 
 Mo n te sia n o 
 a re 
 co n ce rn ed; a n d
 its
 re so lu tio n 
 da te d
 A u g u st
 1 7 ,
 1 9 8 9 
 den y in g 
 th e motio n 
for
recon sidera tion 
fo r
la ck
o f
me rit. T h e 
 fa cts
 g iv in g 
 rise 
 to 
 th e 
 co n tro v e rsy 
 a t
 b a r
 a re re co u n te d
b y 
th e 
tria l
co u rt
a s
follo ws:

9 8 3 , 
 a 
 co llisio n 
 occu rre d

b e tw ee n 
 a 
 g ra v e l
 a n d
 sa n d
 tru ck, 
 w ith 
 Pla te 
 No . 
 D AP
 7 1 7 , 
 a n d
 a

Ma z da 
 pa sse n g e r
 b u s
 w ith 
 Motor
 No. 
 Y 2 2 3 1 
 a n d
 Pla te 
 No . 
 D VT
 2 5 9

a lo n g 
 th e 
 n a tio n a l
 ro a d
 a t
 Ca lib u y o , 
 Ta n z a , 
 Ca v ite . 
 Th e 
 f ro n t
 lef t

e 
 le f t

side
 w a ll
 o f 
 th e 
 pa ssen g e r
 b u s, 
 rippin g 
 o f f 
 th e 
 sa id
 w a ll
 f rom
 th e driv e r’ s
 se a t
 to 
 th e 
 la st
 re a r
 sea t. “D u e 
 to 
 th e 
 impa ct, 
 se v era l
 pa ssen g e rs
 o f 
 th e 
 b u s
 w ere
 th ro w n

su sta in ed, 
 Amo n g 
 th ose

“At
 a b o u t
 6 : 3 0 
 in 
 th e 
 mo rn in g 
 of 
 April
 2 0 , 
 1

side
 po rtio n 
 ( b a ra n dilla ) 
 o f 
 th e
 b ody 
 of 
 th e 
 tru ck
 sidesw ipe d
 th

o u t
 a n d
 die d
 a s
 a 
 re su lt
 kille d
 w e re 
 th e 
 f o llo w in g

o f 
 th e 
 in ju rie s
 th e y 
 :

“1 . Ro g e lio 
 Bu sta ma n te , 
 4 0 , 
 h u sb a n d
 of 
 pla in tif f 
 Emma Adria n o 
 Bu sta ma n te 
 a n d
 f a th e r
 o f 
 pla in tif f s
 Ro sse l, 
 G loria ,

Y o la n da , 
 Ericso n , 
 a n d
 Ede ric, 
 a ll
 su rn a

me d
 Bu sta ma n te ;

“2 . Ma ria 
 Co ra z o n 
 J o cso n , 
 1 6 , 
 da u g h te r
 of 
 pla in tif f s
 spo u ses

S

a lv a do r
 a n d
 Pa tria 
 J ocso n ;

“3 . J o le t
 C. 
 Ra mo s, 
 1 6 , 
 da u g h ter
 of 
 pla in tif f s
 spou ses
 J o se 
 a n d

En riq u e ta 
 Ra mo s;

606

6 0 6

SUP R E ME 
C OUR T 
R E P OR T S
A NNOT A T E D

B u st aman t e
vs.
C o u rt 
o f
Appeals

“4 . E n rico
 Hima y a ,
 1 8 ,
 so n 
 o f
 pla in tiffs
 spo u se s
 Na rciso

a n d
A do ra cio n 
Hima

y

a ;
a n d

“5 . Noe l
 B e rsa min a ,
 1 7 ,
 so n 
 o f
 pla in tiffs
 spo u se s
 J o se

a n d
Ma .
C o mme mo ra cion 
B e rsa min a .”
(R o llo,
p.
4 8 )

Du rin g 
 th e
 in cide n t,
 th e 
 ca rg o 
 tru ck
 wa s
 driv e n 
 b y de fe n da n t
 Mo n te sia n o 
 a n d
 o wn ed
 b y 
 de fe n da n t
 De l
 P ila r;

wh ile 
 th e 
 pa sse n g e r
 b u s
 wa s
 driv e n 
 b y 
 de fe n da n t
 Su su lin . T h e 
 v e h icle 
 wa s
 re g iste re d
 in 
 th e 
 n a me
 o f
 de fe n da n t
 No v e lo b u t
 wa s
 o wn ed
 a n d/
 or
 o pe ra te d
 a s
 a 
 pa sse n g er
 b u s
 j o in tly b y 
 de fe n da n ts
 Ma g tib a y 
 a n d
 Serra do ,
 u n de r
 a 
 fra n ch ise, with 
 a 
 lin e 
 from
 Na ic,
 C a v ite ,
 to 
 B a cla ra n ,
 P a ra ñ a q u e, Me tro 
 Ma n ila ,
 a n d
 v ice 
 v e rsa ,
 wh ich 
 No v e lo 
 so ld
 to Ma g tib a y 
 on 
 No v e mb e r
 8 ,
 1 9 8 1 ,
 a n d
 wh ich 
 th e
 la tte r tra n sferre d
to 
Se rra do 
(C e rra do )
o n 
J a n u a ry 
1 8 ,
1 9 8 3 .

I mme dia te ly 
 b e fo re 
 th e
 co llisio n ,
 th e 
 ca rg o 
 tru ck
 a n d
 th e

pa sse n g e r
 b u s
 were
 a ppro a ch in g 
 e a ch 
 o th e r,
 co min g 
 fro m th e 
 o ppo site 
 dire ction s
 o f
 th e 
 h ig h wa y .
 W h ile 
 th e 
 tru ck
 wa s still
 a b o u t
 3 0 
 me ters
 a wa y ,
 Su su lin ,
 th e 
 b u s
 driv e r,
 sa w
 th e fro n t
 wh ee ls
 o f
 th e 
 v eh icle
 wig g lin g .
 He
 a lso 
 o b se rv e d
 th a t th e 
 tru ck
 wa s
 h e a din g 
 to wa rds
 h is
 la n e .
 No t
 min din g 
 th is circu msta n ce 
 du e
 to 
 h is
 b e lie f
 th a t
 th e 
 driv e r
 o f
 th e 
 tru ck wa s
 merely 
 j okin g ,
 Su su lin 
 sh ifte d
 fro m
 fo u rth 
 to 
 th ird
 g e a r in 
o rder
to 
g iv e 
mo re 
po we r
a n d
spe e d
to 
th e 
b u s,
wh ich 
wa s a sce n din g 
 th e 
 in clin e d
 pa rt
 o f
 th e 
 ro a d,
 in 
 o rde r
 to
 o v e rta ke o r
 pa ss
 a 
 Ku b ota 
 h a n d
 tra cto r
 b e in g 
 pu sh e d
 b y 
 a 
 person a lon g 
th e 
sh ou lde r
of
th e 
h ig h wa y .
W h ile 
th e 
b u s
wa s
in 
th e pro cess
 of
 o v e rta kin g 
 or
 pa ssin g 
 th e 
 h a n d
 tra cto r
 a n d
 th e tru ck
 wa s
 a ppro a ch in g 
 th e 
 b u s,
 th e 
 two 
 v e h icles
 side swipe d e a ch 
 o th e r
 a t
 e a ch 
 o th e r’s
 le ft
 side .
 A fte r
 th e 
 impa ct,
 th e tru ck
 skidde d
 towa rds
 th e 
 o th e r
 side 
 o f
 th e 
 ro a d
 a n d
 la n de d o n 
a 
n e a rb y 
re side n tia l
lot,
h ittin g 
a 
co co n u t
tre e 
a n d
fe llin g it.”
(R o llo,
pp.
4 8 ­5 0 ) A fter
 a 
 ca re fu l
 pe ru sa l
 o f
 th e 
 circu msta n ce s
 o f
 th e 
 ca se, th e 
 tria l
 cou rt
 rea ch e d
 th e 
 co n clu sio n 
 “th a t
 th e 
 n eg lig e n t a cts
 of
 b o th 
 driv e rs
 co n trib u te d
 to 
 o r
 co mb in e d
 with 
 ea ch o th e r
in 
dire ctly 
ca u sin g 
th e
a ccide n t
wh ich 
le d
to 
th e 
de a th o f
 th e 
 a foremen tio n e d
 pe rson s.
 I t
 cou ld
 n o t
 b e
 de te rmin e d fro m
th e 
e v ide n ce 
th a t
it
wa s
o n ly 
th e 
n eg lig e n t
a ct
o f
o n e 
o f th e m
wh ich 
wa s
th e
prox ima te
ca u se 
of
th e 
collisio n .
I n 
v ie w o f
 th is,
 th e 
 lia b ility 
 of
 th e 
 two 
 driv e rs
 fo r
 th e ir
 n e g lig e n ce mu st
 b e
 so lida ry .
 (R o llo,
 pp.
 5 0 ­5 1 )
 A cco rdin g ly ,
 th e 
 tria l co u rt
ren de re d
a 
deci­

607

V OL .
1 9 3 ,
F E B R UA R Y
6 ,
1 9 9 1

6 0 7

B u st aman t e
vs.
C o u rt 
o f
Appeals

sio n 
 o n 
 Ma rch 
 7 ,
 1 9 8 6 ,
 th e 
 dispo sitiv e 
 po rtio n 
 is
 h e re u n de r q u o te d
a s
fo llows:

g tib a y , 
 S implicio 
 S erra do,

Rica rdo 
 S u su lin , 
 Ef re n 
 Nov e lo , 
 Fede rico 
 del
 Pila r
 a n d
 Edilb erto Mo n te sia n o 
 a re 
 h e re b y 
 o rdere d
 to 
 pa y 
 jo in tly 
 a n d
 se v era lly 
 to 
 th e

pla in tif f s, 
 a s
 f o llo w s:

“W H EREFO RE, 
 de f e n da n ts
 Va leria n o 
 Ma

“1 . To 
 pla in tif f s
 Emma 
 Adria n o 
 Bu sta ma n te
 a n d
 h e r
 min or ch ildre n , 
 th e 
 su m
 o f 
 P3 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 in demn ity 
 f o r
 th e
 de a th

o f 
 Ro g e lio 
 Bu sta ma n te; 
 U. S . 
 $ 1 2 7 , 6 8 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 in demn ity 
 f o r th e 
 lo ss
 o f 
 th e
 e a rn in g 
 ca pa city 
 o f 
 th e
 sa id
 de ce a se d, 
 a t
 its pre v a ilin g 
 ra te 
 in 
 pe so s
 a t
 th e
 time 
 th is
 de cisio n 
 sh a ll
 h a v e b e co me 
 f in a l
 a n d
 e x e cu to ry ; 
 P1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 mora l
 da ma g e s;

a

“2 . To 
 pla in tif f s
 S a lv a do r
 a n d
 Pa tria 
 J ocso n , 
 th e
 su m
 o f P3 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 in de mn ity 
 f o r
 th e 
 de a th 
 o f 
 th e ir
 da u g h te r, Ma ria 
 Co ra z o n 
 J o cson ; 
 P1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 mo ra l
 da ma g es; 
 a n d

n d
 P5 , 0 0 0 . 0

0 
 a s
 ex e mpla ry 
 da ma g e s;

P5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 e x e mpla ry 
 da ma g es;

“3 . To 
 pla in tif f s
 J o se 
 a n d
 En riq u e ta 
 Ra mos, 
 th e 
 su m
 o f

P3 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 in de mn ity 
 f o r
 th e 
 de a th 
 o f 
 th e ir
 da u g h te r, J o le t
 Ra mo s; 
 P1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 mo ra l
 da ma g e s; 
 a n d
 P5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0

a

s
 e x e mpla ry 
 da ma g es; 
 a n d

“4 . To 
 pla in tif f s
 Na rciso
 a n d
 Adora cion 
 H ima y a , 
 th e 
 a mo u n t
 o f P3 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 in de mn ity 
 f o r
 th e 
 dea th 
 o f 
 th eir
 son , 
 En rico H ima y a ; 
 P1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 mora l
 da ma g e s; 
 a n d
 P5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s

e x e mpla

ry 
 da ma g es; 
 a n d

“5 . To 
 pla in tif f s
 J o se 
 a n d
 Ma . 
 Comme mo ra cio n 
 Bersa min a , 
 th e

su m
 o f 
 P3 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 in de mn ity 
 f o r
 th e
 dea th 
 of 
 th e ir
 son , No e l
 Be rsa min a , 
 P1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 mora l
 da ma g e s; 
 a n d

P5 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 e x e mpla ry 
 da ma g es.

“Th e 
 de f e n da n ts
 a re 
 a lso 
 req u ired
 to
 pa y 
 th e 
 pla in tif f s
 th e
 su m
 of P1 0 , 0 0 0 . 0 0 
 a s
 a tto rn e y ’ s
 f e es
 a n d
 to
 pa y 
 th e
 costs
 o f 
 th e 
 su it. “Th e 
 cro ss­ cla im
 o f 
 de f e n da n t
 No v elo 
 is
 h e re b y 
 a llo w e d, 
 a n d de f e n da n ts
 Ma g tib a y 
 a n d
 S e rra do, 
 th e
 a ctu a l
 ow n ers
 a n d/ or

o pe ra to rs
 o f 
 th e 
 pa sse n g er
 b u s
 con cern e d, 
 a re
 h ereb y 
 orde re d
 to in de mn if y 
 No v e lo 
 in 
 su ch 
 a mou n t
 a s
 h e
 ma y 
 b e
 re q u ire d
 to 
 pa y 
 a s da ma g e s
 to 
 th e 
 pla in tif f s. “Th e 
 cro ss­ cla ims
 a n d
 co u n te r­ cla ims
 o f 
 th e 
 o th er
 def e n da n ts
 a re h e re b y 
 dismisse d
 f o r
 la ck
 of 
 me rit.

“S O 
 O RD ERED . 
 “
 ( pp. 
 5 5 ­ 5 7 , 
 Rollo )

F rom
 sa id
 decisio n ,
 o n ly 
 de fe n da n ts
 F e de rico
 de l
 P ila r
 a n d

erto 
 Mo n

te sia n o ,


o wn e r


a n d
 driv e r,
 re spe ctiv e ly ,


o f
 th

e

E dilb sa n d


a

n d
 g ra v

el
 tru ck
 h a v e 
 in te rpo se d
 a n 
 a ppe a l
 b e fo re
 th

e

re spon th e

den t
 C ou rt
 o f
 A ppea ls.
 T h e
 C o u rt
 o f
 A ppe a ls
 de cide d

608

6 0 8

SUP R E ME 
C OUR T 
R E P OR T S
A NNOT A T E D

B u st aman t e
vs.
C o u rt 
o f
Appeals

a ppea l
 o n 
 a 
 differen t
 lig h t.
 I t
 re n de re d
 j u dg me n t
 o n

F

e b ru a ry


1 5 ,
1 9 8 9 ,
to 
wit:

“W H EREFO RE, 
 th e 
 a ppe a le d
 ju dg me n t
 is
 h e re b y 
 REVERS ED 
 a n d S ET
 AS I D E
 a n d
 th e 
 co mpla in t
 dismisse d
 in sof a r
 a s
 de f e n da n ts­ a ppe lla n ts
 Fe de rico 
 de l
 Pila r
 a n d
 Edilb e rto
 Mo n te sia n o 
 a re co n ce rn e d. 
 No 
 co sts
 in 
 th is
 in sta n ce . ” “S O 
 O RD ERED . ”
 ( p. 
 9 6 , 
 Ro llo)

On 
 Ma rch 
 9 ,
 1 9 8 9 ,
 th e 
 pla in tiffs­a ppe llee s
 filed
 a 
 mo tion 
 fo r

re co n side ra tio n 
 o f
 th e 
 a fo re me n tio n ed
 C o u rt
 o f
 A ppe a ls’ de cisio n .
 Ho we v e r,
 re spo n de n t
 C o u rt
 o f
 A ppe a ls
 in 
 a re so lu tio n 
 da ted
 A u g u st
 1 7 ,
 1 9 8 9 
 de n ie d
 th e 
 mo tion 
 for
 la ck o f
merit.
He n ce ,
th is
petitio n .

P e tition

e rs
ra ised
th e 
fo llo win g 
q u e stio n s
o f
la w,
n a me ly :

“First. 
 W h e th e r
 th e 
 re spo n de n t
 Cou rt
 ca n 
 leg a lly 
 a n d
 v a lidly a b so lv e 
 de f e n da n ts­ a ppe lla n ts
 f rom
 lia b ility 
 despite
 its
 o w n 
 f in din g , a s
 w e ll
 a s
 th a t
 o f 
 th e 
 tria l
 co u rt
 th a t
 de f en da n t­ a ppe lla n t
 Edilb erto Mo n te sia n o , 
 th e 
 ca rg o 
 tru ck
 driv e r, 
 w a s
 driv in g 
 a n 
 o ld
 v e h icle 
 v e ry f a st, 
 w ith 
 its
 w h e e ls
 a lre a dy 
 w ig g lin g , 
 su ch 
 th a t
 h e
 h a d
 n o
 mo re co n tro l
 o f 
 h is
 tru ck. “S e co n d. 
 W h e th e r
 th e 
 re spo n den t
 co u rt
 ca n 
 v a lidly 
 a n d
 le g a lly disre g a rd
 th e 
 f in din g s
 o f 
 f a ct
 ma de 
 b y 
 th e 
 tria l
 co u rt
 w h ich 
 w a s
 in 
 a b e tte r
 po sitio n 
 to 
 o b se rv e
 th e
 co n du ct
 a n d
 deme a n or
 o f 
 th e w itn e sse s, 
 pa rticu la rly 
 a ppella n t
 Edilb erto
 Mon tesia n o , 
 ca rg o
 tru ck driv e r, 
 a n d
 w h ich 
 co n clu siv e ly 
 f ou n d
 a ppe lla n t
 Mo n te sia n o 
 a s jo in tly 
 a n d
 se v e ra lly 
 n e g lig e n t
 in 
 driv in g 
 h is
 tru ck
 v e ry 
 f a st
 a n d h a d
 lo st
 co n tro l
 o f 
 h is
 tru ck. “Th ird. 
 W h e th e r
 th e 
 respo n de n t
 co u rt
 h a s
 prope rly 
 a n d
 le g a lly a pplie d
 th e 
 do ctrin e 
 o f 
 ‘ la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce’ 
 in 
 th e 
 pre se n t
 ca se 
 de spite

its
 o w n 
 f in din g 
 th a t
 a ppe lla n t
 ca rg o
 tru ck
 driv e r
 Edilb erto Mo n te sia n o 
 w a s
 a dmitte dly 
 n e g lig e n t
 in 
 driv in g 
 h is
 ca rg o 
 tru ck v e ry 
 f a st
 o n 
 a 
 de sce n din g 
 ro a d
 a n d
 in 
 th e 
 pre se n ce 
 o f 
 th e
 b u s
 driv er co min g 
 f ro m
 th e 
 o ppo site 
 dire ction . “Fo u rth . 
 W h e th e r
 th e 
 re spo n den t
 co u rt
 h a s
 a pplie d
 th e 
 corre ct la w 
 a n d
 th e 
 co rre ct
 do ctrin e 
 so
 a s
 to 
 re v erse 
 a n d
 se t
 a side 
 th e ju dg me n t
 w ith 
 re spe ct
 to 
 def e n da n ts­ a ppe lla n ts. ”
 ( Ro llo , 
 pp. 
 1 3 3 ­

1 3 4 )

A s
 a 
 ru le,
 fin din g s
 o f
 fa ct
 o f
 th e 
 C o u rt
 o f
 A ppe a ls
 a re
 fin a l

a n d
 con clu siv e 
 a

n

d
 ca n n o t
 b e 
 re v iewe d
 o n 
 a

ppea

l,
 pro v

ided,

th

e y 
 a re 
 b o rn e
 o u t
 b y 
 th e 
 re co rd
 o r
 a re 
 b a sed
 o n 
 su b sta

n tia l

e v

609

V OL .
1 9 3 ,
F E B R UA R Y
6 ,
1 9 9 1

6 0 9

B u st aman t e
vs.
C o u rt 
o f
Appeals

de n ce .
 Ho wev e r,
 th is
 ru le 
 a dmits
 o f
 ce rta in 
 e x ce ptio n s,
 a s wh e n 
th e 
fin din g s
of
fa cts
a re 
co n clu sio n s
with o u t
cita tio n 
o f spe cific
 e v iden ce 
 on 
 wh ich 
 th e y 
 a re 
 b a se d;
 o r
 th e 
 a ppe lla te co u rt’s
 fin din g s
 a re 
 co n tra ry 
 to 
 th ose 
 o f
 th e
 tria l
 cou rt.
 (Se se

v .
 I n te rme dia te 
 A ppe lla te 
 C o u rt,
 G.R .
 6 6 1 6 8 ,
 3 1 
 J u ly 
 1 9 8 7 ,

1

5 2 
SC R A 
5 8 5 ).

F u rth e rmo re ,
 o n ly 
 q u e stio n s
 o f
 la w
 ma y 
 b e 
 ra ise d
 in 
 a pe titio n 
 for
 re v ie w
 on 
 certio ra ri
 u n de r
 R u le
 4 5 
 of
 th e R e v ise d
 R u le s
 of
 C o u rt.
 T h e 
 j u risdictio n 
 o f
 th e 
 Su pre me C o u rt
 in 
 ca ses
 b ro u g h t
 to 
 it
 fro m
 th e 
 C o u rt
 o f
 A ppe a ls
 is limite d
 to 
 re v ie win g 
 a n d
 rev isin g 
 th e 
 e rro rs
 o f
 la w
 impu ted to 
 it,
 its
 fin din g s
 o f
 fa ct
 b e in g 
 co n clu siv e .
 I t
 is
 n ot
 th e fu n ctio n 
 o f
 th e 
 Su preme 
 C o u rt
 to 
 a n a ly z e 
 o r
 we ig h 
 su ch e v iden ce 
 a ll
 ov e r
 a g a in ,
 its
 j u risdictio n 
 b ein g 
 limite d
 to re v ie win g 
 e rro rs
 of
 la w
 th a t
 mig h t
 h a v e 
 b e e n 
 co mmitted.

B a rrin g ,
 th e re fo re ,
 a 
 sh o win g 
 th a t
 th e 
 fin din g s
 co mpla in ed o f
 a re 
 tota lly 
 de v o id
 o f
 su ppo rt
 in 
 th e 
 re co rds,
 o r
 th a t
 th e y a re 
 so 
 g la rin g ly 
 e rro n e o u s
 a s
 to
 co n stitu te
 se rio u s
 a b u se 
 o f discre tio n ,
 su ch 
 fin din g s
 mu st
 sta n d
 fo r
 th e 
 Su pre me 
 C o u rt is
 n o t
 ex pecte d
 or
 re q u ire d
 to 
 e x a min e 
 o r
 co n tra st
 th e 
 o ra l a n d
 docu men ta ry 
 e v iden ce
 su b mitted
 b y 
 th e 
 pa rtie s. (A n dre s
 v .
 Ma n u fa ctu re rs
 Ha n o v er
 a n d
 T ru st
 C o rp.,
 G.R .

8

B e a rin g 
 in 
 min d
 th e se 
 b a sic
 prin ciple s,
 W e 
 h a v e
 o pte d
 to re e x a min e 
 th e
 fin din g s
 o f
 fa ct
 ma in ly 
 b e ca u se 
 th e 
 a ppe lla te

co u rt’s
fin din g s
a re 
con tra ry 
to
th o se 
o f
th e 
tria l
co u rt. T h e 
 tria l
 co u rt,
 in 
 de cla rin g 
 th a t
 th e
 n e g lig e n t
 a cts
 of b o th 
 driv e rs
 dire ctly 
 ca u sed
 th e 
 a ccide n t
 wh ich 
 le d
 to 
 th e de a th 
 of
 th e 
 a foreme n tio n e d
 person s,
 co n side red
 th e fo llo win g :

2 6 7 0 ,
1 5 
Se ptemb e r
1 9 8 9 ,
1 7 7 
SC R A 
6 1 8 ).

“I t
 w a s
 n e g lig e n t
 o n 
 th e 
 pa rt
 o f 
 driv e r
 Mo n te sia n o
 to
 h a v e 
 driv e n h is
 tru ck
 f a st, 
 co n side rin g 
 th a t
 it
 w a s
 a n 
 o ld
 v e h icle , 
 b ein g 
 a 
 1 9 4 7 mo del
 a s
 a dmitte d
 b y 
 its
 o w n er, 
 def e n da n t
 D e l
 Pila r; 
 th a t
 its
 f ro n t w h e els
 w e re 
 w ig g lin g ; 
 th a t
 th e 
 ro a d
 w a s
 de scen din g ; 
 a n d
 th a t
 th e re

w a s
 a 
 pa sse n g e r
 b u s
 a ppro a ch in g 
 it. 
 Like w ise , 
 driv e r
 S u su lin 
 w a s a lso
 g u ilty 
 o f 
 n e g lig e n ce 
 in 
 n ot
 ta kin g 
 th e 
 n e ce ssa ry 
 pre ca u tio n 
 to a v o id
 th e 
 co llisio n , 
 in 
 th e 
 lig h t
 o f 
 h is
 a dmissio n 
 th a t, 
 a t
 a 
 dista n ce
 of 3 0 
 me te rs, 
 h e 
 a lre a dy 
 sa w 
 th e 
 f ro n t
 w h ee ls
 o f 
 th e 
 tru ck
 w ig g lin g a n d
 th a t
 th e 
 v e h icle 
 w a s
 u su rpin g 
 h is
 la n e 
 co min g 
 to w a rds
 h is directio n . 
 H a d
 h e 
 e x e rcised
 o rdin a ry 
 pru de n ce , 
 h e 
 co u ld
 h a v e sto ppe d
 h is
 b u s
 o r
 sw e rv e d
 it
 to
 th e 
 side
 of 
 th e 
 ro a d
 ev e n 
 do w n 
 to 
 its sh o u lde r. 
 An d
 y e t, 
 S u su lin 
 sh if ted
 to 
 th ird
 g e a r
 so
 a s
 to , 
 a s
 cla ime d b y 
 h im, 
 g iv e 
 mo re 
 po w e r
 a n d

610

6 1 0

S UPREME
 CO URT
 REPO RTS 
 ANNO TATED

Bu st aman t e
 vs. 
 Co u rt 
 of 
 A ppeal s

spee d
 to 
 h is
 b u s
 in 
 o v e rta kin g 
 or
 pa ssin g 
 a 
 h a n d
 tra cto r
 w h ich 
 w a s

b

e in g 
 pu sh e d
 a lo n g 
 th e 
 sh o u lde r
 o f 
 th e 
 ro a d. ”
 ( Rollo , 
 p. 
 5 0 )

T h e 
 re spo n de n t
 C ou rt
 of
 A ppe a ls
 ru lin g 
 o n 
 th e 
 con tra ry , o pin e d
 th a t
 “th e 
 b u s
 driv e r
 h a d
 th e 
 la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce 
 to a v oid
 th e 
 co llisio n 
 a n d
 h is
 reckle ss
 n e g lig e n ce
 in 
 proce e din g to 
 o v erta ke 
 th e
 h a n d
 tra cto r
 wa s
 th e 
 pro x ima te 
 ca u se 
 of
 th e co llisio n .”
 (R o llo,
 p.
 9 5 ).
 Sa id
 co u rt
 a lso 
 n o te d
 th a t
 “th e re co rd
a lso 
disclo se s
th a t
th e 
b u s
driv e r
wa s
n ot
a 
co mpe te n t a n d
 re spon sib le 
 driv e r.
 His
 driv e r’s
 lice n se 
 wa s
 co n fisca te d

fo r
 a 
 tra ffic
 v iola tio n 
 on 
 A pril
 1 7 ,
 1 9 8 3 
 a n d
 h e 
 wa s
 u sin g 
 a ticket
 fo r
 sa id
 tra ffic
 v io la tio n 
 on 
 th e
 da y 
 o f
 th e 
 a cciden t
 in q u e stion 
 (pp.
 1 6 ­1 8 ,
 T SN,
 J u ly 
 2 3 ,
 1 9 8 4 ).
 He
 a lso 
 a dmitte d th a t
 h e 
 wa s
 n o t
 a 
 reg u la r
 driv e r
 o f
 th e 
 b u s
 th a t
 fig u re d
 in th e 
 mish a p
 a n d
 wa s
 n o t
 g iv e n 
 a n y 
 pra ctica l
 e x a min a tio n . (pp.
1 1 ,
9 6 ,
T SN,
su pra ).”
(R ollo ,
p.
9 6 )

T h e 
re spo n den t
C o u rt
q u o tin g 
P e o ple 
v .
V en de r,
 C A ­G.R .

1 1 1 1 4 ­4 1 ­C R ,
 A u g u st
 2 8 ,
 1 9 7 5 
 h e ld
 th a t
 “W e 
 a re 
 n o t pre pa red
 to 
 u ph o ld
 th e 
 tria l
 co u rt’s
 fin din g 
 th a t
 th e 
 tru ck wa s
 ru n n in g 
 fa st
 b e fo re 
 th e 
 impa ct.
 T h e 
 n a tio n a l
 ro a d,
 fro m its
dire ctio n ,
wa s
de sce n din g .
C ou rts
ca n 
ta ke 
j u dicia l
n otice o f
 th e
 fa ct
 th a t
 a 
 mo to r
 v e h icle 
 g o in g 
 do wn 
 o r
 de sce n din g 
 is more 
 lia b le 
 to 
 g e t
 ou t
 o f
 co n tro l
 th a n 
 o n e 
 th a t
 is
 g oin g 
 u p
 o r a sce n din g 
 for
 th e
 simple 
 re a so n 
 th a t
 th e 
 on e 
 wh ich 
 is
 g o in g do wn 
 g a in s
 a dde d
 momen tu m
 wh ile
 th a t
 wh ich 
 is
 g o in g 
 u p lo se s
its
in itia l
spe edin g 
in 
so 
doin g .” On 
 th e 
 o th e r
 h a n d,
 th e 
 tria l
 cou rt
 fo u n d
 a n d
 W e 
 a re co n v in ce d
 th a t
 th e 
 ca rg o 
 tru ck
 wa s
 ru n n in g 
 fa st.
 I t
 did
 n o t o v erlo ok
 th e 
 fa ct
 th a t
 th e 
 ro a d
 wa s
 de sce n din g 
 a s
 in 
 fa ct
 it men tio n e d
 th is
 circu msta n ce 
 a s
 o n e 
 of
 th e 
 fa cto rs

disre g a rde d
 b y 
 th e 
 ca rg o 
 tru ck
 driv e r
 a lo n g 
 with 
 th e
 fa ct th a t
 h e 
 wa s
 driv in g 
 a n 
 o ld
 1 9 4 7 
 ca rg o
 tru ck
 wh o se 
 fro n t wh e els
 a re
 a lre a dy 
 wig g lin g 
 a n d
 th e 
 fa ct
 th a t
 th e re 
 is
 a pa sse n g e r
 b u s
 a ppro a ch in g 
 it.
 I n 
 h o ldin g 
 th a t
 th e 
 driv e r
 of th e 
 ca rg o 
 tru ck
 wa s
 n e g lig e n t,
 th e 
 tria l
 cou rt
 ce rta in ly 
 too k in to 
 a cco u n t
 a ll
 th e se 
 fa cto rs
 so
 it
 wa s
 in co rre ct
 for
 th e re spon den t
 co u rt
 to
 distu rb 
 th e
 fa ctu a l
 fin din g s
 o f
 th e 
 tria l co u rt,
 wh ich 
 is
 in 
 a 
 b e tte r
 po sitio n 
 to 
 de cide 
 th e 
 q u e stion , h a v in g 
 h e a rd
 th e
 witn e sses
 th e mse lv e s
 a n d
 o b se rv e d
 th e ir de portme n t. T h e 
re spo n den t
cou rt
a do pte d
th e 
do ctrin e 
o f
“la st
cle a r

611

V OL .
1 9 3 ,
F E B R UA R Y
6 ,
1 9 9 1

6 1 1

B u st aman t e
vs.
C o u rt 
o f
Appeals

ch a n ce .”
 T h e
 do ctrin e,
 sta te d
 b ro a dly ,
 is
 th a t
 th e 
 n e g lig e n ce o f
 th e
 pla in tiff
 do e s
 n o t
 pre clu de 
 a 
 re co v e ry 
 for
 th e n e g lig e n ce
 o f
 th e 
 de fe n da n t
 wh e re 
 it
 a ppe a rs
 th a t
 th e de fe n da n t,
 b y 
 e x e rcisin g 
 re a so n a b le 
 ca re 
 a n d
 pru de n ce, mig h t
 h a v e 
 a v oide d
 in j u rio u s
 co n se q u en ce s
 to
 th e
 pla in tiff n o twith sta n din g 
 th e
 pla in tiff’s
 n e g lig e n ce .
 I n 
 o th er
 wo rds, th e 
 doctrin e
 of
 la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce
 me a n s
 th a t
 e v e n 
 th ou g h 
 a pe rson ’s
o wn 
a cts
ma y 
h a v e 
pla ce d
h im
in 
a 
positio n 
o f
pe ril, a n d
 a n 
 in j u ry 
 resu lts,
 th e 
 in j u re d
 pe rson 
 is
 e n title d
 to re co v e ry .
A s
th e
doctrin e
is
u su a lly 
sta ted,
a 
pe rso n 
wh o 
h a s th e 
 la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce 
 o r
 o ppo rtu n ity 
 o f
 a v oidin g 
 a n 
 a ccide n t, n o twith sta n din g 
 th e 
 n e g lig en t
 a cts
 o f
 h is
 o ppo n e n t
 o r
 th a t o f
 a 
 th ird
 pe rso n 
 impu te d
 to 
 th e 
 oppon e n t
 is
 co n side re d
 in la w
 so le ly 
 re spo n sib le 
 fo r
 th e 
 co n se q u e n ce s
 o f
 th e 
 a ccide n t.

(Sa n g co ,
T o rt s
an d 
Damag es,
4 th 
E d.,
1 9 8 6 ,
p.
1 6 5 ). T h e 
 pra ctica l
 import
 o f
 th e 
 do ctrin e 
 is
 th a t
 a 
 n e g lig e n t de fe n da n t
 is
 h e ld
 lia b le 
 to 
 a 
 n eg lig e n t
 pla in tiff,
 o r
 e v en 
 to 
 a pla in tiff
 wh o 
 h a s
 b e e n 
 g ro ssly 
 n e g lig e n t
 in 
 pla cin g 
 h imse lf in 
 pe ril,
 if
 h e,
 a wa re
 o f
 th e 
 pla in tiff’s
 peril,
 o r
 a cco rdin g 
 to so me 
 a u th oritie s,
 sh o u ld
 h a v e 
 b e e n 
 a wa re 
 o f
 it
 in 
 th e re a son a b le 
 ex ercise 
 o f
 du e 
 ca se ,
 h a d
 in 
 fa ct
 a n 
 o ppo rtu n ity la te r
 th a n 
 th a t
 o f
 th e 
 pla in tiff
 to 
 a v o id
 a n 
 a ccide n t
 (5 7 
 A m. J u r.,
2 d,
pp.
7 9 8 ­7 9 9 ).

I n 
 th e
 re ce n t
 ca se 
 o f
 P h ilippin e 
 R a b b it
 B u s
 L in e s,
 I n c.
 v .

I n te rme dia te 
 A ppe lla te 
 C o u rt,
 e t
 a l.
 (G.R .
 Nos.
 6 6 1 0 2 ­0 4 , A u g u st
 3 0 ,
 1 9 9 0 ),
 th e 
 C ou rt
 citin g 
 th e 
 la n dma rk
 de cisio n h e ld
 in 
 th e
 ca se 
 o f
 A n u ra n ,
 e t
 a l.
 v .
 B u n o ,
 e t
 a l.
 (1 2 3 
 P h il.

1 0 7 3 )
 ru le d
 th a t
 th e 
 prin ciple 
 o f
 “la st
 cle a r
 ch a n ce ”
 a pplie s “in 
 a 
 su it
 b e twe e n 
 th e 
 o wn e rs
 a n d
 driv e rs
 o f
 co llidin g v e h icles.
 I t
 do e s
 n o t
 a rise 
 wh e re 
 a 
 pa sse n g e r
 de ma n ds re spon sib ility 
 from
 th e 
 ca rrie r
 to 
 e n fo rce 
 its
 co n tra ctu a l o b lig a tio n s.
 F o r
 it
 wo u ld
 b e 
 in e q u ita b le 
 to 
 e x e mpt
 th e n e g lig e n t
driv e r
of
th e 
j e e pn e y 
a n d
its
o wn ers
on 
th e 
g ro u n d th a t
th e
o th e r
driv er
wa s
like wise 
g u ilty 
o f
n e g lig e n ce .” F u rth e rmo re ,
 “a s
 b e twe e n 
 de fe n da n ts:
 T h e 
 do ctrin e ca n n o t
b e
e x ten de d
in to 
th e 
field
o f
j o in t
to rtfe a sors
a s
a 
te st o f
 wh e th e r
 on ly 
 o n e 
 o f
 th e m
 sh o u ld
 b e 
 h e ld
 lia b le 
 to 
 th e in j u re d
pe rson 
b y 
re a so n 
o f
h is
disco v e ry 
o f
th e
la tte r’s
pe ril, a n d
 it
 ca n n o t
 b e
 in v o ke d
 a s
 b e twe e n 
 defen da n ts co n cu rre n tly 
 n e g lig en t.
 A s
 a g a in st
 th ird
 pe rso n s,
 a n e g lig e n t
 a cto r
 ca n n o t
 de fe n d
 b y 
 ple a din g 
 th a t
 a n o th e r
 h a d n e g lig e n tly 
 fa iled
 to 
 ta ke 
 a ctio n 
 wh ich 
 co u ld
 h a v e 
 a v o ide d th e 
in j u ry .”
(5 7 
A m.
J u r.
2 d,
pp.
8 0 6 ­8 0 7 ).

612

6 1 2

SUP R E ME 
C OUR T 
R E P OR T S
A NNOT A T E D

B u st aman t e
vs.
C o u rt 
o f
Appeals

A ll
 pre mise s
 co n side re d,
 th e 
 C o u rt
 is
 co n v in ce d
 th a t
 th e

re spon den t
 C ou rt
 committe d
 a n 
 e rro r
 o f
 la w
 in 
 a pply in g 
 th e do ctrin e 
 o f
 la st
 clea r
 ch a n ce 
 a s
 b e twe e n 
 th e 
 de fe n da n ts, sin ce 
 th e 
 ca se 
 a t
 b a r
 is
 n o t
 a 
 su it
 b e twe e n 
 th e 
 own e rs
 a n d driv ers
 of
 th e
 collidin g 
 v e h icle s
 b u t
 a 
 su it
 b ro u g h t
 b y 
 th e h e irs
 o f
 th e
 decea sed
 pa sse n g e rs
 a g a in st
 b o th 
 o wn e rs
 a n d driv ers
 of
 th e 
 co llidin g 
 v e h icle s.
 T h e re fo re,
 th e 
 re spo n de n t co u rt
 erre d
 in 
 a b so lv in g 
 th e
 own e r
 a n d
 driv e r
 o f
 th e 
 ca rg o tru ck
fro m
lia b ility . P u rsu a n t
 to 
 th e 
 n ew
 po licy 
 of
 th is
 C o u rt
 to 
 g ra n t
 a n in cre a se d
de a th 
in de mn ity 
to 
th e 
h e irs
o f
th e
dece a sed,
th e ir re spectiv e 
 a wa rds
 o f
 P 3 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 
 a re 
 h e re b y 
 in cre a se d
 to

P

A C C OR DI NGL Y,
 th e 
 pe titio n 
 is
 GR A NT E D;
 th e a ppea led
 j u dg me n t
 a n d
 re so lu tio n 
 o f
 th e
 C o u rt
 o f
 A ppe a ls a re 
 h ereb y 
 R E V E R SE D
 a n d
 SE T 
 A SI DE 
 a n d
 th e 
 j u dg me n t o f
th e 
lo we r
co u rt
is
R E I NST A T E D
with 
th e
mo difica tio n 
o n th e 
 in demn ity 
 fo r
 dea th 
 o f
 e a ch 
 o f
 th e 
 v ictims
 wh ich 
 is h e re b y 
 in cre a se d
 to 
 P 5 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 
 e a ch .
 No 
 pro n o u n ce me n t
 a s to 
co sts. SO
OR DE R E D.

5 0 ,0 0 0 .0 0 .


 
 
 
 
 Narvasa
 (C h airman ),
 C ru z,
 Gan cay co
 a n d
 Griñ o ­

Aq

u in

o,
J J .,
co n cu r.

P et it io n 
 g ran t ed .
 J u d g men t 
 an d 
 reso lu t io n 
 reversed 
 an d

set


asid

e.

No t e.— Do ctrin e 
 is
 n o t
 a pplica b le 
 wh e re 
 th e 
 pa rty

ch a rg e d
 is
 re q u ired
 to 
 a ct
 in sta n ta n e o u sly .
 (P an t ran co

Nort h 
E xpress
I n c.
vs.
B aesa,
1

7

9 
SC R A 
3

8 4

.)

— — o0

o — —

613

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