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April 14, 2004
PHILIPPINE RABBIT BUS LINES, INC., petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent. DECISION PANGANIBAN, J.: When the accused-employee absconds or jumps bail, the judgment meted out becomes final and executory. The employer cannot defeat the finality of the judgment by filing a notice of appeal on its own behalf in the guise of asking for a review of its subsidiary civil liability. Both the primary civil liability of the accused-employee and the subsidiary civil liability of the employer are carried in one single decision that has become final and executory. The Case Before this Court is a Petition for Review1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing the March 29, 20002 and the March 27, 20013 Resolutions of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-GR CV No. 59390. Petitioner’s appeal from the judgment of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Fernando, La Union in Criminal Case No. 2535 was dismissed in the first Resolution as follows: "WHEREFORE, for all the foregoing, the motion to dismiss is GRANTED and the appeal is orderedDISMISSED."4 The second Resolution denied petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration.5 The Facts The facts of the case are summarized by the CA in this wise:
"On July 27, 1994, accused [Napoleon Roman y Macadangdang] was found guilty and convicted of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting to triple homicide, multiple physical injuries and damage to property and was sentenced to suffer the penalty of four (4) years, nine (9) months and eleven (11) days to six (6) years, and to pay damages as follows: ‘a. to pay the heirs of JUSTINO TORRES the sum of P50,000.00 as indemnity for his death, plus the sum of P25,383.00, for funeral expenses, his unearned income for one year at P2,500.00 a month,P50,000.00 as indemnity for the support of Renato Torres, and the further sum of P300,000.00 as moral damages; ‘b. to the heirs of ESTRELLA VELERO, the sum of P50,000.00 as indemnity for her death, the sum ofP237,323.75 for funeral expenses, her unearned income for three years at P45,000.00 per annum, and the further sum of P1,000,000.00 as moral damages and P200,000.00 as attorney’s fees[;] ‘c. to the heirs of LORNA ANCHETA, the sum of P50,000.00 as indemnity for her death, the sum ofP22,838.00 as funeral expenses, the sum of P20,544.94 as medical expenses and her loss of income for 30 years at P1,000.00 per month, and the further sum of P100,000.00 for moral damages; ‘d. to MAUREEN BRENNAN, the sum of P229,654.00 as hospital expenses, doctor’s fees ofP170,000.00 for the orthopedic surgeon, P22,500.00 for the [n]eurologist, an additional indemnity [of] at least P150,000.00 to cover future correction of deformity of her limbs, and moral damages in the amount of P1,000,000.00;
‘e. to ROSIE BALAJO, the sum of P3,561.46 as medical expenses, P2,000.00 as loss of income, andP25,000.00 as moral damages; ‘f. to TERESITA TAMONDONG, the sum of P19,800.47 as medical expenses, P800.00 for loss of income, and P25,000.00 as moral damages; ‘g. to JULIANA TABTAB, the amount of P580.81 as medical expenses, P4,600.00 as actual damages and her loss earnings of P1,400.00 as well as moral damages in the amount of P10,000.00; ‘h. to MIGUEL ARQUITOLA, the sum of P12,473.82 as hospital expenses, P14,530.00 as doctor’s fees, P1,000.00 for medicines and P50,000.00 as moral damages; ‘i. to CLARITA CABANBAN, the sum of P155.00 for medical expenses, P87.00 for medicines,P1,710.00 as actual damages and P5,000.00 as moral damages; ‘j. to MARIANO CABANBAN, the sum of P1,395.00 for hospital bills, P500.00 for medicine, P2,100.00 as actual damages, P1,200.00 for loss of income and P5,000.00 as moral damages; ‘k. to La Union Electric Company as the registered owner of the Toyota Hi-Ace Van, the amount ofP250,000.00 as actual damages for the cost of the totally wrecked vehicle; to the owner of the jeepney, the amount of P22,698.38 as actual damages;’ "The court further ruled that [petitioner], in the event of the insolvency of accused, shall be liable for the civil liabilities
of the accused. Evidently, the judgment against accused had become final and executory. "Admittedly, accused had jumped bail and remained atlarge. It is worth mention[ing] that Section 8, Rule 124 of the Rules of Court authorizes the dismissal of appeal when appellant jumps bail. Counsel for accused, also admittedly hired and provided by [petitioner], filed a notice of appeal which was denied by the trial court. We affirmed the denial of the notice of appeal filed in behalf of accused. "Simultaneously, on August 6, 1994, [petitioner] filed its notice of appeal from the judgment of the trial court. On April 29, 1997, the trial court gave due course to [petitioner’s] notice of appeal. On December 8, 1998, [petitioner] filed its brief. On December 9, 1998, the Office of the Solicitor General received [a] copy of [petitioner’s] brief. On January 8, 1999, the OSG moved to be excused from filing [respondents’] brief on the ground that the OSG’s authority to represent People is confined to criminal cases on appeal. The motion was however denied per Our resolution of May 31, 1999. On March 2, 1999, [respondent]/private prosecutor filed the instant motion to dismiss."6 (Citations omitted) Ruling of the Court of Appeals The CA ruled that the institution of a criminal case implied the institution also of the civil action arising from the offense. Thus, once determined in the criminal case against the accusedemployee, the employer’s subsidiary civil liability as set forth in Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code becomes conclusive and enforceable. The appellate court further held that to allow an employer to dispute independently the civil liability fixed in the criminal case against the accused-employee would be to amend, nullify or
defeat a final judgment. Since the notice of appeal filed by the accused had already been dismissed by the CA, then the judgment of conviction and the award of civil liability became final and executory. Included in the civil liability of the accused was the employer’s subsidiary liability. Hence, this Petition.7 The Issues Petitioner states the issues of this case as follows: "A. Whether or not an employer, who dutifully participated in the defense of its accused-employee, may appeal the judgment of conviction independently of the accused. "B. Whether or not the doctrines of Alvarez v. Court of Appeals (158 SCRA 57) and Yusay v. Adil (164 SCRA 494) apply to the instant case."8 There is really only one issue. Item B above is merely an adjunct to Item A. The Court's Ruling The Petition has no merit. Main Issue: Propriety of Appeal by the Employer Pointing out that it had seasonably filed a notice of appeal from the RTC Decision, petitioner contends that the judgment of conviction against the accused-employee has not attained finality. The former insists that its appeal stayed the finality, notwithstanding the fact that the latter had jumped bail. In effect, petitioner argues that its appeal takes the place of that of the accused-employee.
We are not persuaded. Appeals in Criminal Cases Section 1 of Rule 122 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure states thus: "Any party may appeal from a judgment or final order, unless the accused will be placed in double jeopardy." Clearly, both the accused and the prosecution may appeal a criminal case, but the government may do so only if the accused would not thereby be placed in double jeopardy.9 Furthermore, the prosecution cannot appeal on the ground that the accused should have been given a more severe penalty.10 On the other hand, the offended parties may also appeal the judgment with respect to their right to civil liability. If the accused has the right to appeal the judgment of conviction, the offended parties should have the same right to appeal as much of the judgment as is prejudicial to them.11 Appeal by the Accused Who Jumps Bail Well-established in our jurisdiction is the principle that the appellate court may, upon motion or motu proprio, dismiss an appeal during its pendency if the accused jumps bail. The second paragraph of Section 8 of Rule 124 of the 2000 Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure provides: "The Court of Appeals may also, upon motion of the appellee or motu proprio, dismiss the appeal if the appellant escapes from prison or confinement, jumps bail or flees to a foreign country during the pendency of the appeal."12 This rule is based on the rationale that appellants lose their standing in court when they abscond. Unless they surrender or
as in this case. according to Article 103 which reads: "The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers. but also to one who does so during the trial. Justice Florenz D. or when the accused has waived in writing his right to appeal. since he nonetheless remained at large his appeal must be dismissed by analogy with the aforesaid provision of this Rule [Rule 124. this doctrine applies not only to the accused who jumps bail during the appeal. tavernkeepers. §8 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure]. provided that such guests shall have notified in advance the innkeeper himself.15 While at large. a judgment becomes final after the lapse of the period for perfecting an appeal. Regalado succinctly explains the principle in this wise: "x x x. Consequently. or when the sentence has been partially or totally satisfied or served. "Innkeepers are also subsidiary liable for restitution of goods taken by robbery or theft within their houses from guests lodging therein.17 Liability of an Employer in a Finding of Guilt Article 102 of the Revised Penal Code states the subsidiary civil liabilities of innkeepers.submit to the court’s jurisdiction. the judgment against him has become final and executory. Except where the death penalty is imposed. which we quote: "A judgment of conviction may. x x x"14 The accused cannot be accorded the right to appeal unless they voluntarily submit to the jurisdiction of the court or are otherwise arrested within 15 days from notice of the judgment against them. or for payment of the value thereof. or has applied for probation. innkeepers. of the deposit of such goods within the inn. as they are deemed to have waived the appeal. teachers." In the case before us." Moreover.13 Moreover. they cannot seek relief from the court. in all cases where a violation of municipal ordinances or some general or special police regulation shall have been committed by them or their employees. or the person representing him. upon motion of the accused. the foregoing subsidiary liability applies to employers. and any other persons or corporations shall be civilly liable for crimes committed in their establishments. workmen. but the trial in absentia proceeded resulting in the promulgation of a judgment against him and his counsel appealed. . When. thus. as follows: "In default of the persons criminally liable. he is deemed to have abandoned his appeal. the accused escaped after his arraignment and during the trial.16 Finality of a Decision in a Criminal Case As to when a judgment of conviction attains finality is explained in Section 7 of Rule 120 of the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure. the accused-employee has escaped and refused to surrender to the proper authorities. and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants. persons. pupils. and shall furthermore have followed the directions which such innkeeper or his representative may have given them with respect to the care and vigilance over such goods. they are deemed to have waived their right to seek judicial relief. No liability shall attach in case of robbery with violence against or intimidation of persons unless committed by the innkeeper’s employees. be modified or set aside before it becomes final or before appeal is perfected.
contracts or quasi-contracts. distinct and independent" of any criminal . but not those liabilities arising from quasi-delicts.25 This discussion is completely in accord with the Revised Penal Code. unless the offended party waives the civil action. petitioner must be accorded the right to pursue the case to its logical conclusion -.subject to the control of the prosecutor -. The right to bring the foregoing actions based on the Civil Code need not be reserved in the criminal prosecution. In fact. and the offended party may -. Only the civil liability of the accused arising from the crime charged is deemed impliedly instituted in a criminal action. even if a civil action is filed separately. the civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action unless the offended party waives the civil action.still intervene in the criminal action.apprentices. 2.24 What is deemed instituted in every criminal prosecution is the civil liability arising from the crime or delict per se (civil liability ex delicto). 3. Consequently.18 Hence. "x x x xxx x x x" prosecution based on the same act. the civil actions referred to in Articles 32.including the appeal. that is.21 3422 and 217623 of the Civil Code shall remain "separate. Here are some direct consequences of such revision and omission: 1. Undisputedly. the ex delicto civil liability in the criminal prosecution remains. as an employer. which states that "[e]very person criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable. In its Memorandum. petitioner cited a comprehensive list of cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers. the subsidiary civil liability of the employer under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code may be enforced by execution on the basis of the judgment of conviction meted out to the employee. Civil Liability Deemed Instituted in the Criminal Prosecution At the outset. The only limitation is that the offended party cannot recover more than once for the same act or omission. reserves the right to institute it separately. we must explain that the 2000 Rules of Criminal Procedure has clarified what civil actions are deemed instituted in a criminal prosecution. its employee. The argument has no merit. in order to protect the remaining civil interest therein. or employees in the discharge of their duties. we now address the main issue raised by petitioner. Thus. since they are not deemed included therein. Roman. or institutes it prior to the criminal action.20 33. The institution or the waiver of the right to file a separate civil action arising from the crime charged does not extinguish the right to bring such action. which was filed solely against Napoleon M." Having laid all these basic rules and principles.19 It is clear that the 2000 Rules deleted the requirement of reserving independent civil actions and allowed these to proceed separately from criminal actions. reserves the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action. it is considered a party to the criminal case and is conclusively bound by the outcome thereof."26 Petitioner argues that. Section 1 of Rule 111 of the current Rules of Criminal Procedure provides: "When a criminal action is instituted. petitioner is not a direct party to the criminal case.
He may waive it either expressly or by implication. The latter is then called upon to render judgment as law and justice dictate.34 If the present appeal is given course.33 Indeed."27 Indeed. the whole case against the accused-employee becomes open to review.35 Having been a fugitive from justice for a long period of time. We are not in a position to second-guess the reason why the accused effectively waived his right to appeal by jumping bail. but can only defend the accused. It is clear. within the meaning of the principles governing the prevailing criminal procedure. While they may assist their employees to the extent of supplying the latter’s lawyers. Thus. they have an interest therein. as he pleases. strictly speaking. Waiver of Constitutional Safeguard Against Double Jeopardy Petitioner’s appeal obviously aims to have the accusedemployee absolved of his criminal responsibility and the judgment reviewed as a whole. the herein accused exhibited contempt of the authority of the court and placed himself in a position to speculate on his chances for a reversal. The cases dealing with the subsidiary liability of employers uniformly declare that. he will be deemed to have waived his right to appeal from the judgment rendered against him.39 .28 Although in substance and in effect. affirm or modify the judgment of the lower court and to increase or reduce the penalty it imposed. This right is granted solely for the benefit of the accused. petitioner cannot cite any single case in which the employer appealed. In the process. x x x. though.Thereafter. the accused impliedly withdrew his appeal by jumping bail and thereby made the judgment of the court below final. the accused’s employer did not interpose an appeal. Effect of Absconding on the Appeal Process Moreover. It thus follows that a penalty higher than that which has already been imposed by the trial court may be meted out to him. he is deemed to have waived his right to appeal. but the right of appeal is not one of them. as in the present case. He may avail of it or not. the former cannot act independently on their own behalf. When the accused flees after the case has been submitted to the court for decision. because "in all th[o]se cases. but hoped to render the judgment nugatory at his option. Petitioner’s appeal would thus violate his right against double jeopardy."37 By fleeing.32 This is the risk involved when the accused decides to appeal a sentence of conviction. his conviction is now final and executory. appellate courts have the power to reverse. Ang Gioc36 ruled: "There are certain fundamental rights which cannot be waived even by the accused himself. since the judgment against him could become subject to modification without his consent."31 An appeal from the sentence of the trial court implies a waiver of the constitutional safeguard against double jeopardy and throws the whole case open to a review by the appellate court. this fact should be viewed in the light of their subsidiary liability. These intentions are apparent from its Appellant’s Brief29 filed with the CA and from its Petition30 before us. that petitioner may not appeal without violating his right against double jeopardy. both of which claim that the trial court’s finding of guilt "is not supported by competent evidence. precisely because an appeal in such circumstances is not possible.38 Such conduct is intolerable and does not invite leniency on the part of the appellate court. The Court in People v. he kept himself out of the reach of justice. it noted that none can be applied to it. whether favorable or unfavorable to the appellant. they are not parties to the criminal cases instituted against their employees.
Malate Garage & Taxicab.. petitioner lost track of the most basic tenet they have laid down -. Neither will its participation erase its subsidiary liability. however.50 The resolution of these issues need not be done in a separate civil action. (2) that the former are engaged in some kind of industry.40 Thus far. we have clarified that petitioner has no right to appeal the criminal case against the accused-employee. and (4) that the execution against the latter has not been satisfied due to insolvency. as part of the proceedings for the execution of the judgment. but also with regard to its amount. with due notice to the employer. the subsidiary liability of petitioner now accrues.51and in a hearing set for that precise purpose.are deemed written into the judgments in the cases to which they are applicable. By participating in the defense of its employee. employers are subsidiarily liable for the adjudicated civil liabilities of their employees in the event of the latter’s insolvency.Consequently. there must be adequate evidence establishing that (1) they are indeed the employers of the convicted employees.49 Before the employers’ subsidiary liability is exacted. Subsidiary Liability Upon Finality of Judgment As a matter of law. In the absence of any collusion between the accused-employee and the offended party. and that the judgment in the criminal case against him is now final.41 Alvarez v. the trial court need not expressly pronounce the subsidiary liability of the employer.44 The provisions of the Revised Penal Code on subsidiary liability -Articles 102 and 103 -. The fact remains that . CA42 and Yusay v.48 By the same token.46 In effect and implication. the judgment of conviction should bind the person who is subsidiarily liable. he has waived his right to appeal. nullifying or defeating the judgment. criminal and civil. Just because the present petitioner participated in the defense of its accused-employee does not mean that its liability has transformed its nature. nullify or defeat a final judgment rendered by a competent court. Adil43 do not apply to the present case. The decision convicting an employee in a criminal case is binding and conclusive upon the employer not only with regard to the former’s civil liability. Such posturing is untenable. that by jumping bail. Inc. in the dispositive portion of its decision. Such determination may be done in the same criminal action in which the employee’s liability. herein petitioner tries to shield itself from the undisputed rulings laid down in these leading cases.45 Thus. Under Article 103 of the Revised Penal Code. its liability remains subsidiary. the judgment against an appellant who escapes and who refuses to surrender to the proper authorities becomes final and executory. to allow them to appeal the final criminal conviction of their employees without the latter’s consent would also result in improperly amending. has been pronounced. the stigma of a criminal conviction surpasses mere civil liability. because it has followed the Court’s directive to the employers in these cases to take part in the criminal cases against their employees. But the determination must be based on the evidence that the offended party and the employer may fully and freely present.47 To allow employers to dispute the civil liability fixed in a criminal case would enable them to amend.that an employer’s liability in a finding of guilt against its accused-employee is subsidiary. The liability of an employer cannot be separated from that of the employee. In dissecting these cases on subsidiary liability. Petitioner argues that the rulings of this Court in Miranda v. (3) that the crime was committed by the employees in the discharge of their duties.
then the former has the correlative right to enjoy the finality of the resolution of the case. what is left to be done is to execute the RTC Decision against the accused. then the former’s subsidiary civil liability has also become immediately enforceable. No Deprivation of Due Process As to the argument that petitioner was deprived of due process. The proof is clear from the admissions of petitioner that "[o]n 26 August 1990. that the employer is engaged in some kind of industry. It has been sufficiently proven that there exists an employeremployee relationship. La Union x x . in the same way that acquittal wipes out not only his primary civil liability. then the subsidiary liability of the employer ipso facto attaches. In other words. fairness dictates that while the finality of conviction could be the proper sanction to be imposed upon the accused for jumping bail. deviations from the rules cannot be tolerated. being then operated by petitioner’s driver. the employer becomes ipso facto subsidiarily liable upon the conviction of the employee and upon proof of the latter’s insolvency. it cannot be said that the employer was deprived of due process. for its accused-employee. figured in an accident in San Juan. deprived petitioner of the right to appeal. for itself. a remedy that may be exercised only in the manner prescribed by the provisions of law authorizing such exercise. The subsidiary liability of petitioner is incidental to and dependent on the pecuniary civil liability of the accused-employee. It might have lost its right to appeal. it can be said that by jumping bail. There is only one criminal case against the accused-employee. we reiterate that what is sought to be enforced is the subsidiary civil liability incident to and dependent upon the employee’s criminal negligence.56 Indeed.52 It should be stressed that the right to appeal is neither a natural right nor a part of due process. while on its regular trip from Laoag to Manila. the legal requirements must be strictly complied with. it participated in the proceedings before the RTC.since the accused-employee’s conviction has attained finality. but it was not denied its day in court. petitioner admits that by helping the accused-employee.55 It would be incorrect to consider the requirements of the rules on appeal as merely harmless and trivial technicalities that can be discarded. If the proper losing party has the right to file an appeal within the prescribed period. Napoleon Roman. It should be clear that only after proof of his insolvency may the subsidiary liability of petitioner be enforced. Respondent is correct in arguing that the concept of subsidiary liability is highly contingent on the imposition of the primary civil liability. and second.59 In fact. such rules have to be followed by parties with greater fidelity.54 Hence. not the court. a passenger bus owned by petitioner. petitioner-employer splits this case into two: first. According to the argument of petitioner. the same sanction should not affect it. vested rights are acquired by the winning party.53 It is merely a procedural remedy of statutory origin.60 In fact. but also his employer’s subsidiary liability for his criminal negligence.57 In these times when court dockets are clogged with numerous litigations. but not as to an entity whose liability is dependent upon the conviction of the former. thus. A finding of guilt has both criminal and civil aspects. so as to facilitate the orderly disposition of those cases. The untenability of this argument is clearly evident. and that the employee has been adjudged guilty of the wrongful act and found to have committed the offense in the discharge of his duties.58 After a judgment has become final. the accusedemployee. Since the civil liability of the latter has become final and enforceable by reason of his flight. It is the height of absurdity for this single case to be final as to the accused who jumped bail. All told. In effect.
Costs against petitioner. SO ORDERED . the Petition is hereby DENIED."61 Neither does petitioner dispute that there was already a finding of guilt against the accused while he was in the discharge of his duties. WHEREFORE.x. and the assailed Resolutions AFFIRMED.
was never apprehended and is still at large. Rosales approached the Kombi and handed Gabat two sticks of cigarettes. accused-appellant. While waiting for the traffic light to change."3 The two men in the jeep joined the chase and at the intersection of Vito Cruz and Roxas Boulevard. the Kombi had to stop as the traffic light was red. Rogelio Ligon. however. 1986. The victim was Jose Rosales y Ortiz. Fernan Payuan. The other accused. While this transaction was occurring. The accused. Fernando Gabat beckoned a cigarette vendor. the traffic light changed to green. travelling on the same lane in a slightly oblique position ("a little bit to the right"). at a distance of about three meters. When they reached the Luneta near the Rizal monument. October 23. and immediately thereafter. a . is the subject of conflicting versions by the prosecution and the defense. telling them "nakaaksidente ng tao. Rogelio Ligon. beeping his horn to make the driver stop. The two men on board the jeep turned out to be police officers. Recto Avenue. Castillo pursued it as it sped towards Roxas Boulevard. He was behind the Kombi. Castillo saw an owner-type jeep with two persons in it. and the Kombi driven by Rogelio Ligon suddenly moved forward.R. dated October 23. Patrolmen Leonardo Pugao and Peter Ignacio. The Kombi was coming from Espana Street going towards the direction of Quiapo.: This is an appeal from the judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.00 more or less. Jose Rosales y Ortiz (Rosales for short) to buy some cigarettes from him. Fernan Payuan. accused. plaintiff-appellee. and his companion. FERNANDO GABAT y ALMERA. in the front seat by the window on the right side of the Kombi. Branch XX. He was allegedly robbed of Es cigarette box containing cigarettes worth P300. 1983 at about 6:10 p.1 Only Fernando Gabat was arrested and brought to trial and convicted. Rosales clung to the window of the Kombi but apparently lost his grip and fell down on the pavement. Fernando Gabat. ROGELIO LIGON y TRIAS and FERNANDO GABAT y ALMERA. 1983. Rosales was rushed by some bystanders to the Philippine General Hospital. At the intersection of Quezon Boulevard and Lerma Street before turning left towards the underpass at C. Fernando Gabat. Following close behind the Kombi at the time of the incident was a taxicab driven by Prudencio Castillo. 1983. They drew their guns and told the driver. Prudencio Castillo. Fernando Gabat. convicting the accused-appellant. vs. The written statements of Castillo and Rodolfo Primicias were taken by the traffic investigator. 1987 THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.M. Antonio Gabat. He immediately blocked the Kombi while the jeep pulled up right behind it. and driven by the other accused. that as the Kombi continued to speed towards Quiapo. Pfc. where he was treated for multiple physical injuries and was confined thereat until his death on October 30.m. The fatal incident happened on a Sunday. It is not controverted. No. also went along with them.2 As the Kombi did not stop after the victim fell down on the pavement near the foot of the underpass.Seventeen-year old working student who was earning his keep as a cigarette vendor.G. It was found out that there was a third person inside the Kombi. He sought their assistance in chasing the Kombi. Castillo was able to overtake the Kombi when the traffic light turned red. The taxicab driver. 74041 July 29. a certain Rodolfo Primicias who was sleeping at the rear seat. to alight from the Kombi. rendered on February 17. Rogelio Ligon. Fernando Gabat was seated beside the driver. was riding in a 1978 Volkswagen Kombi owned by his father.5 Payuan also prepared a Traffic Accident Report.6 Fernando Gabat and Rodolfo Primicias were . As to what precisely happened between Gabat and Rosales at the crucial moment. J. of the crime of Robbery with Homicide and sentencing him to reclusion perpetua. YAP.4 The three were all brought by the police officers to the Western Police District and turned over to Pfc.
7 Six months later. that Gabat grabbed the box of cigarettes from Rosales and pried loose the latter's hand from the window of the Kombi. While Rosales was handing the cigarettes to Gabat.00 big. As the vehicle sped onward. However. who was closely following the Kombi. Fernando Gabat. Salvador. the traffic light changed from green to red. an autopsy was conducted by the medicolegal officer of the National Bureau of Investigation. heedless of the transaction between Gabat and the cigarette vendor. Castillo. Jose Rosales ran beside the Kombi and was able to hold on to the windowsill of the right front door with his right hand. Castillo was then driving his taxicab along Lerma Street near Far Eastern University. bilateral. 1983.12 The version of the defense. Investigating Fiscal Alfredo Cantos. 31 years old.00 bill."11 The prosecution tried to establish. Then. Orlando V. While Rosales was clinging to the windowsill. with both feet off the ground. the trial court summarized the testimony of Castillo as follows: At about 6:00 o'clock in the evening of October 23. . Rosales placed his cigarette box containing assorted cigarettes on the windowsill of the front door of the Kombi between the arm of Gabat and the window frame. signal to a cigarette vendor. In its decision. called a cigarette vendor who approached the right side of the Kombi. cigarette vendors. through the sole testimony of the taxicab driver. Dr. Fernando Gabat. who wanted to buy cigarettes.released early morning the following day. Rosales lost his grip on the window frame and fell to the pavement of Quezon Boulevard. Gabat testified that when he saw the cigarette vendor clinging on the side of the front door.10 These affidavits were already prepared and merely sworn to before Fiscal Cantos on January 17. an underwriter. In order to change the P5. Taken aback.8 He filed the latter information on the basis of a Supplemental Affidavit of Prudencio Castillo9 and a joint affidavit of Armando Espino and Romeo Castil. 1983. Gabat declared. Gabat bought two sticks of cigarettes and handed to the cigarette vendor. Recto underpass. the traffic light suddenly changed to green. that Ligon said that it could not be done because of the moving vehicular traffic. the passenger sitting beside the driver. 1984. then saw Gabat forcibly remove the hand of Rosales from the windowsill and the latter fell face down on Quezon Boulevard near the Recto underpass. but Rogelio Ligon was detained and turned over to the City Fiscal's Office for further investigation. who stated in his autopsy report that the cause of death of Rosales was "pneumonia hypostatic. Prudencio Castillo. who allegedly witnessed the incident on October 23. was on board the Volkswagen Kombi driven by Rogelio Ligon. Gabat suddenly grabbed the cigarette box held by Rosales. 1983 charging him with Homicide thru Reckless Imprudence. Suddenly. was summarized by the court as follows: On the date and time in question. The Kombi had to stop at the intersection of Lerma Street and Quezon Boulevard when the traffic light turned red. Rosales then ran beside the vehicle and clung to the windowsill of the moving vehicle. or on June 28. Rosales. Rosales. while the vehicle slowed down and Ligon was maneuvering to the right in an attempt to go toward the sidewalk. the cigarette box which was squeezed between the right arm of Gabat and the window frame fell inside the Kombi. Castillo Idly watched the Volkswagen Kombi and saw Gabat. While waiting for the traffic light to change to green. the traffic light changed from red to green and Rogelio Ligon moved the vehicle forward. approached the right side of the Kombi. and at the intersection of Lerma and Quezon Boulevard. secondary to traumatic injuries of the head. on the other hand. however. he told Ligon to veer to the right in order that Rosales could get off at the sidewalk. 1984. resulting in the latter falling down and hitting the pavement. filed an information in court against Rogelio Ligon dated December 6. 1983. a P5. Assistant Fiscal Cantos filed another information against Rogelio Ligon and Fernando Gabat for Robbery with Homicide. The cigarette vendor. the Kombi continued to speed towards the C. When the Kombi moved forward. On October 31.M. The vehicular traffic stopped and Prudencio Castillo's taxi was right behind a Volkswagen Kombi.
The court also believed Castillo's testimony that Gabat forcibly removed or pried off the right hand of Rosales from the windowsill of the Kombi. unless it is shows that the findings are not supported by the evidence.15 Castillo did not mention that he saw Gabat forcibly prying off the hand of Rosales from the windowsill of the Kombi. Castillo. the cigarette box of the cigarette vendor (Rosales) was grabbed by the passenger Gabat and "instantly the former clung to the door and was dragged at a distance while at the same time the latter punched the vendor's arm until the same (sic) fell to the pavement. the trial court dismissed as incredible the testimony of Gabat that the cigarette vendor placed the cigarette box on the windowsill of the Kombi. there could be no reason for the latter to run after the Kombi and hang on to its window. if taken into account. a careful review of the record shows that certain material facts and circumstances had been overlooked by the trial court which. the latter could not have fallen down. but neither of them executed any written statement.13 The trial court gave full credence to the prosecution's version. Castillo's line of vision was partially obstructed by the back part of the Kombi. even if not tainted with bias. may be a disinterested witness with no motive. Gabat and Ligon were brought to police headquarters. according to the court a quo." his testimony. holding it with his left hand. while he was trying to get from his pocket the change for the 5peso bill of Gabat. These are circumstances which must be taken into consideration in evaluating Castillo's testimony as to what exactly happened between Gabat and the cigarette vendor during that crucial moment before the latter fell down. on the same date. While the prosecution witness.14 Judicial notice may also be taken of the fact that the rear windshield of the 1978 Volkswagen Kombi is on the upper portion. In the case at bar. stating that there can be no doubt that Gabat forcibly took or grabbed the cigarette box from Rosales because. As the taxicab was right behind the Kombi. On the other hand. specially considering that this occurrence happened in just a matter of seconds. having already been able to balance himself on the stepboard. is not entirely free from doubt because his observation of the event could have been faulty or mistaken. stated that when the traffic signal changed to green and the driver stepped on the gas. Payuan. The taxicab which Castillo was driving was lower in height compared to the Kombi in which Gabat was riding-a fact admitted by Castillo at the trial. or the court failed to consider certain material facts and circumstances in its evaluation of the evidence. otherwise. following it at a distance of about three meters. and later they would come back to the scene of the incident. occupying approximately one-third (1/3) of the rear end of the vehicle. Pfc. As a rule. The court said that it is of common knowledge that cigarette vendors plying their trade in the streets do not let go of their cigarette box." thus showing that during the police investigation Castillo must have given a statement to the police which indicated that Gabat did something to cause Rosales to . it was blocked by the taxi of Prudencio Castillo and a jeep driven by policemen. We find it significant that in his statement given to the police that very evening. the findings of fact of the trial court are accorded great respect and are not disturbed on appeal. His testimony that he saw Gabat grab the cigarette box from Rosales and forcibly pry loose the latter's hand from the windowsill of the Kombi is thus subject to a reasonable doubt. while the Kombi was speeding along Dewey Boulevard. "other than to see that justice be done. although the police report prepared by the investigating officer. and both vehicles during that time were moving fast in the traffic. otherwise. However. thus making it visually difficult for Castillo to observe clearly what transpired inside the Kombi at the front end where Gabat was seated. would alter the result of the case in that they would introduce an element of reasonable doubt which would entitle the accused to acquittal. Fermin M.Gabat allegedly shouted at Ligon to stop but Ligon replied that they should go on to Las Pinas and report the incident to the parents of Gabat. no vendor lets go of his precious box of cigarettes in order to change a peso bin given by a customer.
But for the purpose of indemnifying the complaining party. The two liabilities are separate and distinct from each other. However. for the purposes of the imprisonment of or fine upon the accused.16 It was by way of a supplementary affidavit prepared by the lawyer of the complainant and sworn to by Castillo before the Assistant City Fiscal on January 17. only a preponderance of evidence is required in a civil action for damages. civil liability cannot be demanded. has been explained by the Code Commission as follows: The old rule that the acquittal of the accused in a criminal case also releases him from civil liability is one of the most serious flaws in the Philippine legal system. the Commission recommends the adoption of the reform under discussion. and to determine the logical result of the distinction.1avvphi1 While the guilt of the accused in a criminal prosecution must be established beyond reasonable doubt. It will correct a serious defect in our law. but the public action for the imposition of the legal penalty shall not thereby be extinguished. Considering the above circumstances. we . He is therefore entitled to acquittal on reasonable doubt. where the acquittal was due to a reasonable doubt in the mind of the court as to the guilt of the accused. It has given rise to numberless instances of miscarriage of justice. why should the offense also be proved beyond reasonable doubt? Is not the invasion or violation of every private right to be proved only by a preponderance of evidence? Is the right of the aggrieved person any less private because the wrongful act is also punishable by the criminal law? For these reasons. The two responsibilities are so different from each other that article 1813 of the present (Spanish) Civil Code reads thus: "There may be a compromise upon the civil action arising from a crime. the Court is not convinced with moral certainty that the guilt of the accused Fernando Gabat has been established beyond reasonable doubt.17 The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the civil liability of the accused only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil liability might arise did not exist. This supplementary affidavit was made the basis for filing another information charging both Gabat and the driver with the crime of Robbery with Homicide." It is just and proper that. the offense should be proved beyond reasonable doubt. we find that a preponderance of evidence exists sufficient to establish the facts from which the civil liability of Gabat arises. The reasoning followed is that inasmuch as the civil responsibility is derived from the criminal offense. 1984 that this vital detail was added. the quantum of proof necessary to sustain Gabat's conviction of so serious a crime as robbery with homicide has not been met in this case. private rights. One is for the punishment or correction of the offender while the other is for reparation of damages suffered by the aggrieved party. when the latter is not proved.fall from the Kombi. it does not follow that a person who is not criminally liable is also free from civil liability. which provides that the acquittal of the accused on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt does not necessarily exempt him from civil liability for the same act or omission. 19 In the instant case. Such reasoning fails to draw a clear line of demarcation between criminal liability and civil responsibility. In our view. On the basis of the trial court's evaluation of the testimonies of both prosecution and defense witnesses at the trial and applying the quantum of proof required in civil cases. It will close up an inexhaustible source of injustice a cause for disillusionment on the part of the innumerable persons injured or wronged. This is one of those cases where confused thinking leads to unfortunate and deplorable consequences. One affects the social order and the other.18 The reason for the provisions of Article 29 of the Civil Code.
WHEREFORE. instead of stopping and picking up the injured victim.find that a preponderance of evidence establishes that Gabat by his act and omission with fault and negligence caused damage to Rosales and should answer civilly for the damage done. Finally. there being fault or negligence. is DENIED. Gabat (1) failed to prevent the driver from moving forward while the purchase was completed. to the middle of a busy street to buy two sticks of cigarettes set the chain of events which led to the death of Rosales. the cigarette vendor. SO ORDERED. Through fault and negligence.35 for hospital and medical expenses. These proven facts taken together are firm bases for finding Gabat civilly liable under the Civil Code20 for the damage done to Rosales.100. Costs de officio.000. judgment is rendered acquitting the appellant Gabat for the crime of Robbery with Homicide.733. Gabat acquiesced in the driver's act of speeding away. However. and sentenced to indemnify the heirs of Jose Rosales y Ortiz in the amount of P15. (2) failed to help Rosales while the latter clung precariously to the moving vehicle.00 for the latter's death. P1. not being supported by sufficient evidence.00 for funeral expenses. The alleged loss of income amounting to P20. and P4.000. . and (3) did not enforce his order to the driver to stop. he is hereby held civilly liable for his acts and omissions.00. Gabat's wilfull act of calling Rosales.
Roy Padilla. David Bermundo.00 in concept of actual or compensatory and moral damages. DAVID BERMUNDO. Realingo alias Kamlon. vs. 1984 ROY PADILLA. ISMAEL GONZALGO and JOSE FARLEY BEDENIA.: This is a petition for review on certiorari of a Court of Appeals' decision which reversed the trial court's judgment of conviction and acquitted the petitioners of the crime of grave coercion on the ground of reasonable doubt but inspite of the acquittal ordered them to pay jointly and severally the amount of P9. Ismael Gonzalgo and Jose Parley Bedenia guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of . REALINGO alias "KAMLON". ROMEO GARRIDO. committed as follows: That on or about February 8. for petitioners. That in committing the offense. RICARDO CELESTINO.G. force and violence prevent Antonio Vergara and his family to close their stall located at the Public Market. JR. Romeo Garrido. JR. L-39999 May 31. Roberto Rosales. and feloniously. Camarines Norte. Building No. The Solicitor General for respondent. Pepito Bedenia. and further the sum of P20. ROBERTO ROSALES. and FOURTEEN (14) RICARDO DOES of the crime of GRAVE COERCION. the Court finds the accused Roy Padilla. Villania. and carrying away the goods. and the rest of the accused being policemen. VILLANOAC. FILOMENO GALDONES. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. petitioners. Ricardo Celestino. FILOMENO GALDONES.. the accused took advantage of their public positions: Roy Padilla. COURT OF APPEALS. Yolly Rico. Camarines Norte. Filomeno Galdonez. GUTIERREZ. Jose Ortega.named accused.. Philippines. The Court of First Instance of Camarines Norte.R. Filomeno Galdones. Jr. except Ricardo Celestino who is a civilian. in the municipality of Jose Panganiban. and that it was committed with evident premeditation. the above. and acting without any authority of law. Tenth Judicial District rendered a decision.000. to the damage and prejudice of the said Antonio Vergara and his family in the amount of P30. JOHN DOE alias TATO.000. Sr. and Fourteen Richard Does.00 as exemplary damages. JOSE ORTEGA.. YOLLY RICO. 1964 at around 9:00 o'clock in the morning. respondent. province of Camarines Norte. VILLANIA. Jose Panganiban. PEPITO BEDENIA. and by subsequently forcibly opening the door of said stall and thereafter brutally demolishing and destroying said stall and the furnitures therein by axes and other massive instruments. wares and merchandise. Sisenando Villaluz. being the incumbent municipal mayor. Villanoac. the dispositive portion of which states that: IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. all of Jose Panganiban. by confederating and mutually helping one another. unlawfully. did then and there wilfully.00 to the complainants as actual damages. The petitioners were charged under the following information: The undersigned Fiscal accused ROY PADILLA. by means of threats.000. No. John Doe alias Tato. 3. J.
and all the accessory penalties provided for by law. The petitioners stated that the lower court erred in finding that the demolition of the complainants' stall was a violation of the very directive of the petitioner Mayor which gave the stall owners seventy two (72) hours to vacate the market premises.000. we hereby modify the judgment appealed from in the sense that the appellants are acquitted on ground of reasonable doubt. and. but they are ordered to pay jointly and severally to complainants the amount of P9. jointly and severally. P10.. as actual damages.00. and another P10. the imposition of actual damages is correct. Roberto Rosales.00 exemplary damages. destructing (sic) complainants' properties is unlawful. Christopher Villanoac. Godofredo Villania. They also challenged the order to pay fines of P500. Consequently. The dispositive portion of the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals states: WHEREFORE. and the costs of the suit. II THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING IN ITS RESOLUTION DATED DECEMBER 26. Ricardo Celestino and Jose Ortega. According to the petitioners. the town mayor had the power to order the clearance of market premises and the removal of the complainants' stall because the municipality had enacted municipal ordinances pursuant to which the market stall was a nuisance per se. not on facts that no unlawful act was committed. P10. The petitioners appealed the judgment of conviction to the Court of Appeals. and hereby imposes upon them to suffer an imprisonment of FIVE (5) months and One (1) day. moral damages in the amount of P30. to pay actual and compensatory damages in the amount of P10.00 for exemplary damages.00 each.000.00. P30.00.00 moral damages.. as their taking the law into their hands. They contended that the trial court's finding of grave coercion was not supported by the evidence. are hereby ordered acquitted on grounds of reasonable doubt for their criminal participation in the crime charged. appellants' acquittal was based on reasonable doubt whether the crime of coercion was committed. David Bermundo. The Court of Appeals denied the motion holding that: xxx xxx xxx . to pay a fine of P500. The petitioners questioned the imposition of prison terms of five months and one day and of accessory penalties provided by law. The accused Federico Realingo alias 'Kamlon'.00 each.00 actual and compensatory damages. Romeo Garrido. the petitioners filed this special civil action.000.600. .grave coercion. contending that: I THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ERROR OF LAW OR GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN IMPOSING UPON PETITIONERS PAYMENT OF DAMAGES TO COMPLAINANTS AFTER ACQUITTING PETITIONERS OF THE CRIME CHARGED FROM WHICH SAID LIABILITY AROSE.000. The petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration contending that the acquittal of the defendants-appellants as to criminal liability results in the extinction of their civil liability. and to pay the proportionate costs of this proceedings. as evidence on record established that complainants suffered actual damages.000.000.
49 O.R. these offenses. not against property as what happened in the case at bar. THE IMPOSITION OF ACTUAL DAMAGES IS CORRECT. The issue posed in the instant proceeding is whether or not the respondent court committed a reversible error in requiring the petitioners to pay civil indemnity to the complainants after acquitting them from the criminal charge. no civil liability arising from the criminal charge could be imposed upon him. Miranda. xxx xxx xxx The next problem is: May the accused be convicted of an offense other than coercion? From all appearances. 457). 3874. 97 Phil. In the case before us. IF NOT PLAIN JUDICIAL ERROR. Aldaba v. v. AFTER HOLDING IN ITS MAIN DECISION OF NOVEMBER 6. There is no dispute over the forcible opening of the market stall. 623. The information under which they were . TO PAY COMPLAINANTS P9. Pueblo contra Abellera. THAT IS TAKING THE LAW INTO THEIR HANDS. the petitioners were acquitted not because they did not commit the acts stated in the charge against them.600. III THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A LEGAL INCONSISTENCY. People v.1974 THAT SINCE APPELLANTS' ACQUITTAL WAS BASED ON REASONABLE DOUBT. NOT ON FACTS THAT NO UNLAWFUL ACT WAS COMMITTED.1974 THAT THE ACTS FOR WHICH THEY WERE CHARGED DID NOT CONSTITUTE GRAVE COERCION AND THEY WERE NOT CHARGED OF ANY OTHER CRIME. People v. Petitioners maintain the view that where the civil liability which is included in the criminal action is that arising from and as a consequence of the criminal act. They cite precedents to the effect that the liability of the defendant for the return of the amount received by him may not be enforced in the criminal case but must be raised in a separate civil action for the recovery of the said amount (People v. Elepafio 116 Phil. The petitioners were acquitted because these acts were denominated coercion when they properly constituted some other offense such as threat or malicious mischief. and the carting away of the merchandize. But the law does not allow us to render judgment of conviction for either of these offenses for the reason that they were not indicted for. Honorable Rodolfo Baltazar. 13456CR. 748. following the doctrine laid down in Manila Railroad Co. Maniago 69 Phil. its demolition with axes and other instruments. JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY. NO. they should have been prosecuted either for threats or malicious mischief. 496. the violence must be employed against the person. (no civil liability arising from the criminal case). Pantig. APPELLANTS IN CA-G.G. The respondent Court of Appeals stated in its decision: For a complaint to prosper under the foregoing provision. 69 Phil. . and the defendant was acquitted in the criminal case. DESTRUCTING (sic) 'COMPLAINANTS' PROPERTIES'.00 IN SUPPOSED ACTUAL DAMAGES.. 5 SCRA 1067. IV THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN ORDERING THE PETITIONERS HEREIN.. IN HOLDING IN ITS APPEALED RESOLUTION THAT PETITIONERS COMMITTED AN UNLAWFUL ACT.
The extinction of the penal action does not carry with it that of the civil. Jr. Ochoa. where provided by law. the offended party cannot recover damages under both types of liability. Article 2177 of the Civil Code provides: Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under the Penal Code. 77 SCRA 98. the Supreme Court speaking through Justice Jorge Bocobo in Barredo v. 44 OG. 1311. We rule that the crime of grave coercion has not been proved in accordance with law. Rules of Court). Sec. For instance. In the instant case. the civil aspect therein is deemed instituted with the criminal action. namely. Section 3 (c) of Rule 111 specifically provides that: Sec. the civil liability which is also extinguished upon acquittal of the accused is the civil liability arising from the act as a crime. the civil action for recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged is impliedly instituted with it. Either one of these two types of civil liability may be enforced against the accused. his employer. People v. v. As easily as 1942. Virata v. it does not allege the particular threat made. the fact from which the civil might arise. The extinction of the civil action by reason of acquittal in the criminal case refers exclusively to civil liability ex delicto founded on Article 100 of the Revised Penal Code. (Morte Sr. 51 OG. (Rule 111. However. 3. Although the information mentions that the act was by means of threats'.R. exists. Other civil actions arising from offenses. Rules of Court. Velez. Aliza. Laperal v. 607 laid down the rule that the same punishable act or omission can create two kinds of civil liabilities against the accused and.. While appellants are entitled to acquittal they nevertheless are liable for the actual damages suffered by the complainants by reason of the demolition of the stall and loss of some of their properties. the demolition of the stall and loss of the properties contained therein. et at.prosecuted does not allege the elements of either threats or malicious mischief. 81 SCRA 472). unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. 101 SCRA 221). Rev. And since there is no showing that the complainants have reserved or waived their right to institute a separate civil action. Rev. and this is not denied by the accused. 3 (c). 1. (Elcano v. Alvizo. (Rule 111. in cases of criminal negligence or crimes due to reckless imprudence. Garcia. 'There is the civil liability arising from the act as a crime and the liability arising from the same act as a quasi-delict. Hill. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act or omission of the defendant. In other words. There is no implied institution when the offended party expressly waives the civil action or reserves his right to institute it separately. An accused person is entitled to be informed of the nature of the acts imputed to him before he can be made to enter into trial upon a valid information. Sec. xxx xxx xxx Section 1 of Rule 111 of the Rules of Court states the fundamental proposition that when a criminal action is instituted. 73 Phil. 1811). — In all cases not included in the preceding section the following rules shall be observed: xxx xxx xxx .
the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious. People v. where the civil liability does not arise from or is not based upon the criminal act of which the accused was acquitted (Castro v. the civil liability is not extinguished by acquittal where the acquittal is based on reasonable doubt (PNB v. 4 SCRA 1093. 96 Phil. V-3339 is based does not exist. which is the one impliedly instituted with the criminal action. Remedial Law Compendium.) Such a declaration would not bar a civil action filed against an accused who had been acquitted in the criminal case if the criminal action is predicated on factual or legal considerations other than the commission of the offense charged. 332. 98 Phil. Pantig. the person entitled to the civil action may institute it in the Jurisdiction and in the manner provided by law against the person who may be liable for restitution of the thing and reparation or indemnity for the damage suffered. where the court expressly declares that the liability of the accused is not criminal but only civil in nature (De Guzman v. the court shall so declare. 558. The civil action barred by such a declaration is the civil liability arising from the offense charged. In the absence of any declaration to that effect. Rules of Court. If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt. for instance. Article 29 of the Civil Code also provides that: When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. but he could be rendered liable to restore said funds or at least to make a proper accounting thereof if he shall spend the same for purposes which are not authorized nor intended. 286) as only preponderance of evidence is required in civil cases. in the felonies of estafa.xxx xxx xxx (c) Extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil. Upon motion of the defendant. a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. 1983 ed. he could show that he did not misappropriate the public funds in his possession. supra) as. 120 SCRA 203) . A person may be acquitted of malversation where. Alvia. and in a manner not permitted by applicable rules and regulations. The finding by the respondent court that he spent said sum for and in the interest of the Capiz Agricultural and Fishery School and for his personal benefit is not a declaration that the fact upon which Civil Case No. we held that the acquittal of the defendant in the criminal case would not constitute an obstacle to the filing of a civil case based on the same acts which led to the criminal prosecution: . See Regalado. 623). theft.. (Section 1. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. Rule III. unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a final judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. and malicious mischief committed by certain relatives who thereby incur only civil liability (See Art. In other cases. Catipon. p. Bello. it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground. and. Revised Penal Code). Collector of Internal Revenue.. (Republic v. as in the case at bar.. More recently. Thus. The judgment of acquittal extinguishes the liability of the accused for damages only when it includes a declaration that the facts from which the civil might arise did not exist.
The trial court found the following facts clearly established by the evidence adduced by both the prosecution and the defense: xxx xxx xxx (9) In the morning of February 8. To require a separate civil action simply because the accused was acquitted would mean needless clogging of court dockets and unnecessary duplication of litigation with all its attendant loss of time. crowbars and hammers. complying with the instructions contained in said Memorandum No. forced upon the store or stall and ordered the removal of the goods inside the store of Vergara. then Chief Galdones. went to the market and. using ax. at the same time taking inventory of the goods taken out. Since then up to the trial of this case.There appear to be no sound reasons to require a separate civil action to still be filed considering that the facts to be proved in the civil case have already been established in the criminal proceedings where the accused was acquitted. exonerated of the criminal charged. and after having first inventoried the goods and merchandise found therein.00 It is not disputed that the accused demolished the grocery stall of the complainants Vergaras and carted away its contents. and money on the part of all concerned. This finds no support in law and in fact. in fact. and upon seeing that Antonio Vergara had not vacated the premises in question. because the said Vergaras had not up to that time complied with the order to vacate. the latter refused to do so. The loss and damage to the Vergaras as they evaluated them were: Cost of stall construction P1. and a more studied consideration by the judge of the entire records and of applicable statutes and precedents.300. the whereabouts of the goods taken out from the store nor the materials of the demolished stall have not been made known. they had them brought to the municipal building for safekeeping. 1964. demolished the stall of the Vergaras who were not present or around. The couple has been paying rentals for the premises to the government which . Due process has been accorded the accused. Inspite of notice served upon the Vergaras to take possession of the goods and merchandise thus taken away.000.00 Value of goods and equipment taken 8. effort.600. The respondent Court of Appeals made a similar finding that: On the morning of February 8th. piled them outside in front of the store and had it cordoned with a rope. the co-accused Chief of Police Galdones and some members of his police force. ordered the demolition of said stall of Antonio Vergara.00 Value of furniture and equipment judgment destroyed 300. The constitutional presumption of innocence called for more vigilant efforts on the part of prosecuting attorneys and defense counsel.00 P9. 32 of the Mayor. a keener awareness by all witnesses of the serious implications of perjury. and after all the goods were taken out from the store. with the aid of his policemen. The defense that they did so in order to abate what they considered a nuisance per se is untenable. He was.
. this provision of substantive law calls for a separate civil action and cannot be modified by a rule of remedial law even in the interests of economy and simplicity and following the dictates of logic and common sense. but hold him civilly liable nonetheless? An affirmative answer to this question would be consistent with the doctrine that the two are distinct and separate actions. They state: On February 8. do not deny the fact that they caused the destruction of the complainant's market stall and had its contents carted away. the vexatious and oppressive effects of a reservation or institution of a separate civil action. Art. themselves.. But for the court to be able to adjudicate in the manner here suggested.. 1964. may not inferentially be resolved in the same criminal action. unjustifiably. demolished the store of the Vergaras. or one based on quasi-delict or other independent civil action. Such doctrine must recognize the distinct and separate character of the two actions. would likewise render. made an inventory of the goods found in said store. and therefore.. The only supposed obstacle is the provision of Article 29 of the Civil Code. may it render judgment acquitting the accused on reasonable doubt. if the Court finds the evidence sufficient to sustain the civil action but inadequate to justify a conviction in the criminal action. and win (a) dispense with the reinstituting of the same civil action.allowed them to lease the stall. or quasi-delict. In the light of the foregoing exposition. the nature of an acquittal on reasonable doubt. despite personal pleas on Vergaras by the Mayor to vacate the passageways of Market Building No. The petitioners. or other independent civil actions. so the petitioners Chief of Police and members of the Police Force of Jose Panganiban. the acquittal on reasonable doubt without any significance. and (c) otherwise resolve the unsettling implications of permitting the reinstitution of a separate civil action whether based on delict. 3. 29 of the Civil Code should be amended because it clearly and expressly provides that the civil action based on the same act or omission may only be instituted in a separate action. Cezar Sangco: ." According to some scholars. it seems evident that there is much sophistry and no pragmatism in the doctrine that it is inconsistent to award in the same proceedings damages against the accused after acquitting him on reasonable doubt. It is. and brought these goods to the municipal building under the custody of the Municipal Treasurer.. the Vergaras were still in the premises. therefore. a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. and that the injured party is entitled to damages not because the act or omission is punishable but because he . farfetched to say that the stall was a nuisance per se which could be summarily abated.. As stated by retired Judge J. and would violate the doctrine that the two actions are distinct and separate.. that "when the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. . and of presenting the same evidence: (b) save the injured party unnecessary expenses in the prosecution of the civil action or enable him to take advantage of the free services of the fiscal. pursuant to the Mayor' 6 directives. earlier cited. To dismiss the civil action upon acquittal of the accused and disallow the reinstitution of any other civil action.
288289). One affects the social order and the other. act may be accorded the justice which he seeks. A judgment of acquittal operates to extinguish the criminal liability. What Article 29 clearly and expressly provides is a remedy for the plaintiff in case the defendant has been acquitted in a criminal prosecution on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.. pp. But for the purpose of indemnifying the complaining party. The two liabilities are separate and distinct from each other. 45-46). There is nothing contrary to the Civil Code provision in the rendition of a judgment of acquittal and a judgment awarding damages in the same criminal action. We further note the rationale behind Art. The Civil Code provision does not state that the remedy can be availed of only in a separate civil action.. civil liability cannot be demanded. A separate civil case may be filed but there is no statement that such separate filing is the only and exclusive permissible mode of recovering damages.was damaged or injured thereby (Sangco. private rights. and to determine the logical result of the distinction. We see no need to amend Article 29 of the Civil Code in order to allow a court to grant damages despite a judgment of acquittal based on reasonable doubt. It has given rise to numberless instances of miscarriage of justice. extinguish the civil liability unless there is clear showing that the act from which civil liability might arise did not exist. however. the offense should be proved beyond reasonable doubt. it is just and proper that. a provision which imposes an uncalled for burden before one who has already been the victim of a condemnable. It does not. why should the offense also be proved beyond reasonable doubt? Is not the invasion or violation of every private right to be proved only by preponderance of evidence? Is the right of the aggrieved person any less private because the wrongful act is also punishable by the criminal law? (Code Commission. The reasoning followed is that inasmuch as the civil responsibility is derived from the the criminal offense. pp. This is one of those cases where confused thinking leads to unfortunate and deplorable consequences. where the acquittal was due to a reasonable doubt in the mind of the court as to the guilt of the accused. when the latter is not proved. A different conclusion would be attributing to the Civil Code a trivial requirement. for the purposes of the imprisonment of or fine upon the accused. One is for the punishment or correction of the offender while the other is for reparation of damages suffered by the aggrieved party. 29 of the Civil Code in arriving at the intent of the legislator that they could not possibly have intended to make it more difficult for the aggrieved party to recover just compensation by making a separate civil action mandatory and exclusive: The old rule that the acquittal of the accused in a criminal case also releases him from civil liability is one of the most serious flaws in the Philippine legal system. Philippine Law on Torts and Damages. A separate civil action may be warranted where additional facts have to be established or more evidence must be adduced or where the criminal case has been fully terminated and a separate complaint would be just as efficacious or even more . Such reasoning fails to draw a clear line of demarcation between criminal liability and civil responsibility. yet non-criminal. The two can stand side by side. It merely emphasizes that a civil action for damages is not precluded by an acquittal for the same criminal act or omission.
SO ORDERED.expedient than a timely remand to the trial court where the criminal action was decided for further hearings on the civil aspects of the case. WHEREFORE. These do not exist in this case. With this in mind. The offended party may. appellate. it would be unjust to the complainants in this case to require at this time a separate civil action to be filed. . we therefore hold that the respondent Court of Appeals did not err in awarding damages despite a judgment of acquittal. we hereby AFFIRM the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals and dismiss the petition for lack of merit. and review stages. choose to file a separate action. Considering moreover the delays suffered by the case in the trial. of course.
1 The present case against petitioner is in the nature of a medical malpractice suit. 1995 affirming petitioner's conviction with modification that she is further directed to pay the heirs of Lydia Umali P50. such claims are most often brought as a civil action for damages under Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Hence this petition for review on certiorari assailing the decision promulgated by the Court of Appeals on October 24. They are not insurers against mishaps or unusual consequences. 8 . The petitioner and one Dr. and failing to supply or store sufficient provisions and facilities necessary to meet any and all exigencies apt to arise before. carelessness. and she is hereby sentenced to suffer the penalty of 2 months and 1 day imprisonment of arresto mayor with costs. respondents. and causing by such failure. They do not even warrant a good result. Lina Ercillo not guilty of the offense charged for insufficiency of evidence while her co-accused Dra. 1994. No.R. Furthermore they are not liable for honest mistakes of judgment . 6 The petitioner appealed her conviction to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) which affirmed in toto the decision of the MTCC 7 prompting the petitioner to file a petition for review with the Court of Appeals but to no avail. Republic of the Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. imprudence. COURT OF APPEALS and LYDIA UMALI. . which in simplest terms is the type of claim which a victim has available to him or her to redress a wrong committed by a medical professional which has caused bodily harm. careless. 1991. and incompetence. petitioner.00 as indemnity for her death. 122445 November 18. however. They are not guarantors of care. 3 and in some instances. 2 In this jurisdiction. the untimely death of said Lydia Umali on the day following said surgical operation. and incompetent manner.G.000. during and/or after a surgical operation causing by such negligence. the accused above named. 1991. imprudent. Ninevetch Cruz is hereby held responsible for the death of Lydia Umali on March 24. the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of San Pablo City rendered a decision. J.: Doctors are protected by a special rule of law. Lina Ercillo pleaded not guilty to the above-mentioned charge. 365 of the Revised Penal Code. did then and there. and therefore guilty under Art. in a negligence (sic).. On March 4. including the lack of preparation and foresight needed to avert a tragedy. the dispositive portion of which is hereunder quoted as follows: WHEREFORE. in the City of San Pablo. Lina Ercillo who was the attending anaesthesiologist during the operation of the deceased were charged with "reckless imprudence and negligence resulting to (sic) homicide" in an information which reads: That on or about March 23. FRANCISCO. as a criminal case under Article 365 of the Revised Penal Code 4 with which the civil action for damages is impliedly instituted. 1997 DR. respectively. being then the attending anaesthesiologist and surgeon. vs.5 Trial ensued after both the petitioner and Dr. It is via the latter type of action that the heirs of the deceased sought redress for the petitioner's alleged imprudence and negligence in treating the deceased thereby causing her death. the court finds the accused Dra. NINEVETCH CRUZ.
They arrived at the said hospital at around 4:30 in the afternoon of the same day. Apparently the oxygen supply had run out and Rowena's husband together with the driver of the accused had to go to the San Pablo District Hospital to get oxygen. Lydia then informed Rowena that the petitioner told her that she must be operated on as scheduled. 1991. 15 Rowena and her other relatives. 21Thus. when Dr.M. 20 While the petitioner was closing the abdominal wall. Lydia Umali was pronounced dead. Some thirty minutes after. 11 Rowena and her mother slept in the clinic on the evening of March 22. 1991. 12 According to Rowena. Rowena asked the petitioner if the operation could be postponed.In substance. While they were waiting. Her death certificate states "shock" as the . 9 Prior to March 22. 14 The following day. Rowena then noticed her mother. 1991. Lydia was brought out of the operating room in a stretcher and the petitioner asked Rowena and the other relatives to buy additional blood for Lydia. Angeles arrived. 19 The attending physicians summoned Dr. About one hour had passed when Dr. they were not able to comply with petitioner's order as there was no more type "A" blood available in the blood bank. Angeles then informed petitioner and Dr. her sister and two aunts waited outside the operating room while Lydia underwent operation. 16 But at around 10:00 o'clock P. Ercillo came out again this time to ask them to buy blood for Lydia. accompanied her mother to the Perpetual Help Clinic and General Hospital situated in Balagtas Street. she noticed that the clinic was untidy and the window and the floor were very dusty prompting her to ask the attendant for a rag to wipe the window and the floor with. Bartolome Angeles. head of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department of the San Pablo District Hospital. Dr. First the antecedent facts. The petitioner called Lydia into her office and the two had a conversation. Laguna. Thereafter. is supported by the evidence on record. she was wheeled into the operating room and the petitioner and Dr. gasping for breath. 17 The transfer to the San Pablo District Hospital was without the prior consent of Rowena nor of the other relatives present who found out about the intended transfer only when an ambulance arrived to take Lydia to the San Pablo District Hospital. They bought type "A" blood from the St. prosecution witness. who was attached to an oxygen tank. 1991 as the latter was to be operated on the next day at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon. before her mother was wheeled into the operating room. 18 Upon Lydia's arrival at the San Pablo District Hospital. 13 Because of the untidy state of the clinic. a person arrived to donate blood which was later transfused to Lydia. San Pablo City. on March 24. Lydia was already in shock and possibly dead as her blood pressure was already 0/0. On March 22. at 3:00 o'clock in the morning. namely her husband. Dr. and scheduled her for a hysterectomy operation on March 23. However. Ercillo went out of the operating room and instructed them to buy tagamet ampules which Rowena's sister immediately bought. After the lapse of a few hours. she went into shock and her blood pressure dropped to 60/50. Ercillo re-operated on her because there was blood oozing from the abdominal incision. Ercillo that there was nothing he could do to help save the patient. 1991. Unfortunately. the patient died. The operating staff then went inside the petitioner's clinic to take their snacks. Gerald Blood Bank and the same was brought by the attendant into the operating room. Rowena tried to persuade her mother not to proceed with the operation. Rowena and her other relatives then boarded a tricycle and followed the ambulance. the petitioner informed them that the operation was finished. Lydia was given the fresh supply of oxygen as soon as it arrived. Lydia's unstable condition necessitated her transfer to the San Pablo District Hospital so she could be connected to a respirator and further examined. Lydia was examined by the petitioner who found a "myoma" 10 in her uterus. arising from an alleged medical malpractice. the petition brought before this Court raises the issue of whether or not petitioner's conviction of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. Rowena Umali De Ocampo.
but she opted not to testify. It was (sic) said in medical parlance that the "the abdomen of the person is a temple of surprises" because you do not know the whole thing the moment it was open (sic) and surgeon must be prepared for any eventuality thereof. The patient (sic) chart which is a public document was not presented because it is only there that we could determine the condition of the patient before the surgery. had to rush to the San Pablo City District Hospital to get . the reason why the patient was brought for operation at the San Pablo City District Hospital. This could only give rise to the presumption that she has nothing good to testify on her defense. Cruz to proceed with the surgery. There was no showing that before the operation. Lina Ercillo. that the oxygen given to the patient was empty. Did this unsanitary condition permeate the operating room? Were the surgical instruments properly sterilized? Could the conditions in the OR have contributed to the infection of the patient? Only the petitioner could answer these. it nevertheless shows the absence of due care and supervision over her subordinate employees. While we may grant that the untidiness and filthiness of the clinic may not by itself indicate negligence. Cruz had conducted a cardio pulmonary clearance or any typing of the blood of the patient. the clinic was untidy. The court finds that Lydia Umali died because of the negligence and carelessness of the surgeon Dra. accused Dra. that after an hour. Cruz conducted the operation. the Court of Appeals echoed similar observations. . they were also asked to buy type "A" blood for the patient." 24 And likewise affirming the petitioner's conviction. . Likewise undisputed is the prosecution's version indicating the following facts: that the accused asked the patient's relatives to buy Tagamet capsules while the operation was already in progress. negligence and lack of foresight and skill of appellant (herein petitioner) in handling the subject patient before and after the operation. Ninevetch Cruz because of loss of blood during the operation of the deceased for evident unpreparedness and for lack of skill. the anaesthesiologist. but such was not anymore available from the source. . there is no evidence to indicate that she should be held jointly liable with Dra. together with a driver of the petitioner. the alleged "unverified statement of the prosecution witness" remains unchallenged and unrebutted. they were again asked to procure more type "A" blood. thus: . the surgeon should answer for such negligence. As such. Cruz who actually did the operation. . . The manner and the fact that the patient was brought to the San Pablo District Hospital for reoperation indicates that there was something wrong in the manner in which Dra. Anyway. the MTCC found the following circumstances as sufficient basis to conclude that she was indeed negligent in the performance of the operation: . there was lack of provision like blood and oxygen to prepare for any contingency that might happen during the operation. that after the surgery. 23 The RTC reiterated the abovementioned findings of the MTCC and upheld the latter's declaration of "incompetency. The court also noticed in Exh. "F-1" that the sister of the deceased wished to postpone the operation but the patient was prevailed upon by Dra. 22 In convicting the petitioner. With respect to Dra.immediate cause of death and "Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC)" as the antecedent cause. and that the son-in-law of the patient.
The petitioner just appears to have been in a hurry to perform the operation. The elements of reckless imprudence are: (1) that the offender does or fails to do an act. care and skill in the treatment of his patients. Did the petitioner determine as part of the pre-operative evaluation. He therefore has a duty to use at least the same level of care that any other reasonably competent doctor would use to treat a condition under the same circumstances. Was the patient given any cardiopulmonary clearance. however. of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) only testified as to the possible cause of death but did not venture to illuminate the court on the matter of the standard of care that petitioner should have exercised. It is in this aspect of medical malpractice that expert testimony is essential to establish not only the standard of care of the profession but also that the physician's conduct in the treatment and care falls below such standard. it has been recognized that expert testimony is usually necessary to support the conclusion as to causation. she did not prepare a medical chart with instructions for the patient's care. no prepared blood. 27this Court stated that in accepting a case. Floresto Arizala and Dr. But there is none. having the needed training and skill possessed by physicians and surgeons practicing in the same field. a doctor in effect represents that. he will employ such training. Jr. All these conclusively show that the petitioner had not prepared for any unforeseen circumstances before going into the first surgery. Pascasio. these are overwhelming evidence of recklessness and imprudence. (2) that the doing or the failure to do that act is voluntary. 29 Immediately apparent from a review of the records of this case is the absence of any expert testimony on the matter of the standard of care employed by other physicians of good standing in the conduct of similar operations. she did not prepare the patient. Nieto Salvador. but was elective or pre-scheduled. . 1991. time and place. which are standard requirements before a patient is subjected to surgery. (4) that material damage results from the reckless imprudence. taking into consideration his employment or occupation. or at least a clearance by an internist. properly typed and cross-matched. Moreover. Indeed. such as bleeding time and clotting time? There is no showing that these were done. inasmuch as the causes of the injuries involved in malpractice actions are determinable only in the light of scientific knowledge. Wilfred L. and no sufficient oxygen supply. which was not emergency in nature. If she did all these. there are a lot of questions that keep nagging Us. 25 This Court. Whether or not a physician has committed an "inexcusable lack of precaution" in the treatment of his patient is to be determined according to the standard of care observed by other members of the profession in good standing under similar circumstances bearing in mind the advanced state of the profession at the time of treatment or the present state of medical science. Obviously. neither did she get the family's consent to the operation.. 26 In the recent case of Leonila Garcia-Rueda v. degree of intelligence. the bleeding parameters of the patient. 28 Further. and (5) that there is inexcusable lack of precaution on the part of the offender. she had no ready antibiotics. proof thereof should have been offered. (3) that it be without malice. Moreover. The prosecution's expert witnesses in the persons of Dr.the much-needed oxygen. and other circumstances regarding persons. even as the family wanted a postponement to April 6. physical condition. et al. holds differently and finds the foregoing circumstances insufficient to sustain a judgment of conviction against the petitioner for the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
In litigations involving medical negligence. and the subsequent transfer of Lydia to the San Pablo Hospital and the reoperation performed on her by the petitioner do indicate. this conclusion is still best arrived at not through the educated surmises nor conjectures of laymen. no cogent proof exists that any of these circumstances caused petitioner's death. 30 The deference of courts to the expert opinion of qualified physicians stems from its realization that the latter possess unusual technical skills which laymen in most instances are incapable of intelligently evaluating.) Dr. For whether a physician or surgeon has exercised the requisite degree of skill and care in the treatment of his patient is. You mentioned about your Autopsy Report which has been marked as Exh. Arizala who conducted an autopsy on the body of the deceased summarized his findings as follows: Atty." In other words. a matter of expert opinion. but by the unquestionable knowledge of expert witnesses. this Court held that: In order that there may be a recovery for an injury."35 (Emphasis supplied. "A-1-b". produces the injury." And "the proximate cause of an injury is that cause. there must be proof of breach of duty on the part of the surgeon as well as a causal connection of such breach and the resulting death of his patient. there is an inevitable presumption that in proper cases he takes the necessary precaution and employs the best of his knowledge and skill in attending to his clients. unbroken by intervening efficient causes. St. Thus. cannot create a right of action unless it is the proximate cause of the injury complained of. the absence of the fourth element of reckless imprudence: that the injury to the person or property was a consequence of the reckless imprudence. in natural and continuous sequence. But while it may be true that the circumstances pointed out by the courts below seemed beyond cavil to constitute reckless imprudence on the part of the surgeon. in the generality of cases. no matter in what it consists. Even granting arguendo that the inadequacy of the facilities and untidiness of the clinic. There . the lack of provisions. For. the omission of any form of blood typing before transfusion. as in the instant case. and even the subsequent transfer of Lydia to the San Pablo Hospital and the reoperation performed on her by the petitioner. unless the contrary is sufficiently established. and without which the result would not have occurred. the plaintiff has the burden of establishing appellant's negligence and for a reasonable conclusion of negligence.. even without expert testimony. "negligence. it must be shown that the "injury for which recovery is sought must be the legitimate consequence of the wrong done. Inc. 33 In Chan Lugay v. Cachero: Q. It must be remembered that when the qualifications of a physician are admitted. including judges. Luke's Hospital. the failure to conduct pre-operation tests on the patient. oxygen. which. the failure to subject the patient to a cardio-pulmonary test prior to the operation. 31 Expert testimony should have been offered to prove that the circumstances cited by the courts below are constitutive of conduct falling below the standard of care employed by other physicians in good standing when performing the same operation.All three courts below bewail the inadequacy of the facilities of the clinic and its untidiness. the lack of provisions such as blood. and certain medicines. 34 where the attending physician was absolved of liability for the death of the complainant's wife and newborn baby. however. unbroken by any efficient intervening cause. the connection between the negligence and the injury must be a direct and natural sequence of events. 32 This presumption is rebuttable by expert opinion which is so sadly lacking in the case at bench. the negligence must be the proximate cause of the injury. that petitioner was recklessly imprudent in the exercise of her duties as a surgeon.
. . Jr.. sir. Q. "A-1-b"? A. Q. . There was incision wound (sic) the area just below the navel. Q. Cut-section shows diffusely pale myometrium with areas of streak induration. 100 c.0 cm. And the last paragraph of the postmortem findings which I read: Uterus. . Intestines and mesenteries are pale with blood clots noted between the mesentric folds. During that time there are no ovaries.. sir. sir.c.5 x 5. .5 x 5.c.appears here a signature above the typewritten name Floresto Arizala. sir. 50 c. Surgical sutures were noted on the operative site. . You mean to say there are no ovaries? A. pear-shaped and pale measuring 7. How about the ovaries and adnexal structures? A.. They are missing. Other visceral organs. . . The ovaries and adnexal structures are missing with the raw surfaces patched with clotted blood. will you please explain that on (sic) your own language or in ordinary.c. Do you affirm the truth of all the contents of Exh. That is my signature. right pelvic gutter stomach empty. There was a uterus which was not attached to the adnexal structures namely ovaries which were not present and also sign of previous surgical operation and there were (sic) clotted blood. anterior abdominal area. left paracolic gutter 200 c.. Hemoperitoneum: 300 s. will you please explain that in your own language? A. 14:0 cm. Q... pale. . Only as to the autopsy report no. sir. . whose signature is that? A. the time and place and everything after the post mortem findings. A.s. with some surface nodulation of the fundic area posteriorly. mesentric area.. You mentioned on your "Post Mortem Findings" about surgical incision. 91-09. right paracolic gutter. . Q. sir. . midline. infraumbilical area.
Q.Q. Q. ordinarily blood is found inside the blood vessel. Yes. Unattended hemorrhage. sir. Meaning a person died of non-replacement of blood and so the victim before she died there was . Yes. Blood were (sic) outside as a result of the injuries which destroyed the integrity of the vessel allowing blood to sip (sic) out. It means that a person died of blood loss. . Well hemorrhagic shock is the result of blood loss. and by virtue of the autopsy report in connection with your pathology report. sir. Nieto Salvador: Q. . Can you tell the us what could have caused this hemorrhagic shock? A. . Yes. Arizala? A. will you please explain on (sic) this? A. Q. What could have the effect of that loss of blood? A. A-1-B. This pathologic examination are (sic) compatible with the person who died. Will you explain to us the meaning of hemorrhagic compatible? A. Q. sir. And were you able to determine the cause of death by virtue of the examination of the specimen submitted by Dr. 36 (Emphasis supplied. they are mostly perritonial blood . . sir. Without knowledge of the autopsy findings it would be difficult for me to determine the cause of death. sir. Q. can you tell the court the cause of death? A. How about the intestines and mesenteries are place (sic) with blood clots noted between the mesenteric folds. Well. Arizala? A. And what could have caused this blood? A. Q. And there were likewise sign of surgical sutures? A. Q. In the peritoneal cavity. . By the nature of the postmortem findings indicated in Exh. The cause of death is: Gross findings are compatible with hemorrhagic shock. What could have caused the death of the victim? A. sir. sir.) The foregoing was corroborated by Dr. Have you also examined the post mortem of Dr. . . Q.
Yes. She died most probably before the actual complete blood loss. Q. or may be set in the course of operation. is that correct? During the operation there is lost (sic) of control of the cut vessel? A. 37 (Emphasis supplied. sir. Dr. Based on my pathologist finding. Or even if the vessel were ligated the knot may have slipped later on? A. sir. Doctor. as likewise testified to by the expert witnesses in open court. Salvador's elaboration on the matter: Atty. Another may be a blood vessel may be cut while on operation and this cause (sic) bleeding. sir.shock of diminish of blood of the circulation. 38 (Emphasis supplied). among the causes of hemorrhage that you mentioned you said that it could be at the moment of operation when one losses (sic) control of the presence. is that correct? A. sir. Bu C. Yes. Especially so doctor when there was no blood replacement? A. hemorrhage or hemorrhagic shock during surgery may be caused by several different factors. Yes.) The testimonies of both doctors establish hemorrhage or hemorrhagic shock as the cause of death. Or there is a failure to ligate a vessel of considerable size? A. sir. Many. sir. Yes. Among those would be what we call Intravascular Coagulation and . And you also mentioned that it may be possible also to some clotting defect. Pascual: Q. A patient who have undergone surgery. Q. Defense witness. Atty. Of course there are other cause (sic). Court: Is it possible doctor that the loss of the blood was due on (sic) operation? A. sir. Cachero: Q. Q. Doctor even a patient after an operations (sic) would suffer hemorrage what would be the possible causes of such hemorrage (sic)? A. May be (sic). Thus. Dr. Castro also gave the following expert opinion: Q. What could have caused this loss of blood? A. However. Q. or may be (sic) he died after the operation.
the cutting or the operations done in the body? A. I bothered enough to know that they were sutured. and (4) and a clotting defect known as DIC. Q: As a matter of fact. is that correct? A: Well. 40 Hence the following pertinent portion of Dr. therefore. Arizala's testimony: Q: Doctor. Definitely. you would not know whether any of the cut structures were not sutured or tied . anytime and to any persons (sic). you cannot recall because you did not even bothered (sic) to examine.. Doctor. Q: We will explain that later on. sir. sir. Aside from the DIC what could another causes (sic) that could be the cause for the hemorrhage or bleeding in a patient by an operations (sic)? A. sir. If the person who performed an autopsy does not find any untight (sic) clot (sic) blood vessel or any suture that become (sic) loose the cause of the bleeding could not be attributed to the fault of the subject? A. Q: So. COURT: What do you think of the cause of the bleeding. Arizala on the body of Lydia did not reveal any untied or unsutured cut blood vessel nor was there any indication that the tie or suture of a cut blood vessel had become loose thereby causing the hemorrhage. sir. the possible causes of hemorrhage during an operation are: (1) the failure of the surgeon to tie or suture a cut blood vessel. sir. in examining these structures did you know whether these were sutured ligature or plain ligature A: Ligature. Q. it is (sic) becomes loose if proven. Did you recall if the cut structures were tied by first suturing it and then tying a knot or the tie was merely placed around the cut structure and tied? A: I cannot recall. it will happen to anyone. if there was an operations (sic) and it is possible that the ligature in the suture was (sic) become (sic) loose. It is significant to state at this juncture that the autopsy conducted by Dr. 39 (Emphasis supplied. which cannot be prevented by anyone. sir. xxx xxx xxx Q. Not related to this one. In general sir.) According to both doctors. (3) the subsequent loosening of the tie or suture applied to a cut blood vessel.this is the reason for the bleeding. (2) allowing a cut blood vessel to get out of control. the bleeding here is not related to any cutting or operation that I (sic) have done.
sir. PASCUAL: Precisely based on this examination. Q. the post mortem findings on the histophanic (sic) examination based on your examination of record. Now. And you mentioned that this cannot be prevented? A. doctor. sir. ATTY. under that circumstance one of the possibility as you mentioned in (sic) DIC? A. Dr. Q. Are there any specific findings of autopsy that will tell you whether this patient suffered among such things as DIC? We will moved (sic) to strike out the (sic) based on finding they just read the chart as well as the other record. the operated (sic) records. Possible. Doctor you said that you went through the record of the deceased Lydia Umali looking for the chart." 43 He testified further: Q. can you more or less says (sic) what part are (sic) concerned could have been the caused (sic) of death of this Lydia Umali? A. ATTY. Can you even predict if it really happen (sic)? A. hemorrhage due to DIC "cannot be prevented. Well. sir. MALVEDA: . Bu C. MALVEDA: Q. 41 On the other hand. major hemorrhage occurs. the findings of all three doctors do not preclude the probability that DIC caused the hemorrhage and consequently. Doctor based on your findings then there is knowing (sic) the doctor would say whether the doctor her (sic) has been (sic) fault? ATTY.neither were you able to determine whether any loose suture was found in the peritoneal cavity? A: I could not recall any loose sutured (sic). Yes. DIC which is a clotting defect creates a serious bleeding tendency and when massive DIC occurs as a complication of surgery leaving raw surface. it will happen to anyone. I did reserve because of the condition of the patient. Q. As far as the medical record is concern (sic) the caused (sic) of death is dessimulated (sic) Intra Vascular Coagulation or the DIC which resulted to hemorrhage or bleedings. A. 42And as testified to by defense witness. anytime. Now. Lydia's death. Castro. Yes. Q. sir. sir.
the award of moral and exemplary damages in favor of the heirs of Lydia Umali are proper in the instant case. While we condole with the family of Lydia Umali. No. there was no finding made. this Court finds the petitioner civilly liable for the death of Lydia Umali. SO ORDERED. sir. Let a copy of this decision be furnished to the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) for appropriate action. PASCUAL: Yes. our hands are bound by the dictates of justice and fair dealing which hold inviolable the right of an accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.00) as exemplary damages. cannot be attributed to the petitioner's fault or negligence. premises considered. her acquittal of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide. NINEVETCH CRUZ is hereby ACQUITTED of the crime of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide but is ordered to pay the heirs of the deceased Lydia Umali the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50. 45 The petitioner is a doctor in whose hands a patient puts his life and limb. as attested to by an expert witness. ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100. 44 This Court has no recourse but to rely on the expert testimonies rendered by both prosecution and defense witnesses that substantiate rather than contradict petitioner's allegation that the cause of Lydia's death was DIC which.000. The probability that Lydia's death was caused by DIC was unrebutted during trial and has engendered in the mind of this Court a reasonable doubt as to the petitioner's guilt. A precious life has been lost and the circumstances leading thereto exacerbated the grief of those left behind.000. . The heirs of the deceased continue to feel the loss of their mother up to the present time 46 and this Court is aware that no amount of compassion and commiseration nor words of bereavement can suffice to assuage the sorrow felt for the loss of a loved one.Not finding. there is no fault on the part of the surgeon. WHEREFORE. Certainly.00) as civil liability. COURT: He is only reading the record. For insufficiency of evidence this Court was not able to render a sentence of conviction but it is not blind to the reckless and imprudent manner in which the petitioner carried out her duties.000. Thus. A. sir. petitioner DR. ATTY. only a preponderance of evidence is required to establish civil liability. and FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS (P50. sir. for while a conviction of a crime requires proof beyond reasonable doubt.00) as moral damages. Nevertheless.