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Motions for reconsideration of a decision of the Supreme Court FACTS Rafael Zulueta was in Wake Island with his wife and children. They were supposed to leave via a Pan American World Airways plane. Shortly before the flight, Rafael informed the airport manager that he will look for a place to relieve himself (apparently he went to the beach which was 400 yards from the terminal). He returned only after an hour and thus caused delay for everyone. As he was reached the ramp leading to the plane, Capt. Zentner barked at him ―What do you think you are?‖ in an intemperate and arrogant tone and a ttitude, impelling Rafale to answer in the same vein. An altercation between the two ensued. Capt. Zentner then ordered that all the Zuluetas be off-loaded, including their luggage. Rafael requested that the ladies be allowed to continue the trip Thus, only Rafael was off-loaded. However, only 3 of his 4 pieces of luggage were returned to him. The fourth one remained in the plane. After he was left behind, the airport manager sent him a note stating that he will stay there for a minimum of 1 week and the charge would be $13.30/day. However, Rafael was able to secure a flight from Wake to Hawaii, where he boarded a plane to Japan and was eventually able to return to the Philippines. THE COURT, IN THIS CASE, ANSWERED THE ARGUMENTS RAISED BY PAN AM IN ITS MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION. (I’LL JUST FOLLOW THE ORDER SO WE WON’T GET LOST IN THE STORY) 1. Pan Am argues that Zulueta’s story that he went to the beach to relieve himself is incredible. Pan Am asserts that he could just have gone to the toilets in the plane or in the terminal or if he indeed went to the beach, it wouldn’t have taken him one hour. Thus Pan Am says that the reason Zulueta was off -loaded was a bomb scare which arose when Zulueta was late for the flight and refused to have his bags inspected.
Court’s answer: Pan Am was not able to adduce evidence to support its bomb-scare claim. If indeed there was a bomb scare, Pan Am’s agents would have had the passengers and their luggage frisked and searched. Also, as Mrs. Zulueta and Miss Zulueta were in the plane, Rafael couldn’t have brought a bomb. Taking into consideration the possibilities that the terminal toilets were occupied and the distance of the beach from the terminal and Zulueta’s ill condition at the time, the Court finally said that it was not prepared to hold that it could not have taken Rafael an hour to relieve himself. 2. Pan Am argues that the amount of damages awarded was excessive (P700,00), citing the damages awarded in previous cases to passengers of airlines. (Northwest Airlines, Inc. vs. Cuenca et al, Lopez et al vs. Pan American World Airways, Air France vs. Carrascoso) + no right to recover exemplary damages + no right to recover attorney’s fees Court’s Answer: None of the cases cited were in point. Said cases referred to passengers who were merely constrained to take a tourist class accommodation despite their first class tickets. In this case, Rafael was ―off loaded‖ for having dared to retort to Pan Am’s agent in a tone and manner matching, if not befitting, his intemperate language and arrogant attitude. Zentner even referred to the Zuluetas as ―monkeys‖ in the presence of the other passengers and crew – a racial insult not made openly and publicly in the cited cases. Rafael was off-loaded, not to protect the safety of the aircraft and its passengers, but to retaliate and punish him for the embarrassment and loss of face suffered by Pan Am’s agent (Zentner). Neither may criminal cases, nor the cases for libel and slander cited in the defendant's motion for reconsideration, be equated with the present case. Indeed, in ordinary criminal cases, the award for damages is, in actual practice, of purely academic value, for the convicts generally belong to the poorest class of society. There is, moreover, a fundamental difference between said cases and the one at bar. The Zuluetas had a contract of carriage with the defendant, as a common carrier, pursuant to which the latter was bound, for a substantial monetary consideration paid by the former, not merely to transport them to Manila, but,
or civil. that it "cannot be dispensed with" or even "lessened by stipulation. pursuant to Article 2231 of our Civil Code.000. but. by statements on tickets." — as they are in this case —as well as "in any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney's fees .‖ (Article 1757) In the present case. insofar as the amount of P50.‖ (Articles 1733 and 1755. (4) The share of either spouse in the hidden treasure which the law awards to the finder or owner of the property where the treasure is found.‖ Court’s Answer: The payment made to Mrs. industry. Zulueta wherein Mrs. as well as the net fruits from the exclusive property of each spouse. Zulueta to Manila. except when the defendant has acted with "gross negligence. Pan Am assails the Court’s non-enforcement of the compromise agreement between Pan Am and Mrs. If "gross negligence" warrants the award of exemplary damages. also. is of such a nature. defendant's agents had acted with malice aforethought and evident bad faith. having received P50. or for only one of the spouses.. insofar as the conjugal partnership is concerned. However. it does not favour a settlement with one of the spouses. when the effect. 3. even if indirect. to make him suffer. I don’t know why ) (5) Those acquired through occupation such as fishing or hunting. (3) The fruits. (6) Livestock existing upon the dissolution of the partnership in excess of the number of each kind brought to the marriage by either spouse. to chastise him. whether the acquisition be for the partnership. as regards the passenger's safety. acted in a manner calculated to humiliate him. Zulueta filed a motion for the dismissal of the case. the compromise agreement is ineffective. of the compromise is to jeopardize the solidarity of the family." and We so deem it just and equitable in the present case. Art. however. to cause to him the greatest possible inconvenience. by leaving him in a desolate island. that in off-loading plaintiff at Wake Island. natural. ―without prejudice to this sum being deducted from the award made in the previous decision. Zulueta is effective. due or received during the marriage from the common property. work or profession of either or both of the spouses. such as the defense of the rights of the conjugal partnership. to do so with "extraordinary diligence" or "utmost diligence. But this case is under right to hidden treasure in our syllabus. both of whom are plaintiffs or defendants in a common cause. Pan Am asserts that the damages in this case are not among those forming part of the conjugal partnership pursuant to Article 153 of the Old Civil Code (NOW ARTICLE 117. considering the "exceptional" circumstances obtaining therein. CC) The responsibility of the common carrier. The following are conjugal partnership properties: (1) Those acquired by onerous title during the marriage at the expense of the common fund. industrial. ***(This is the only reference to hidden treasure I could find. affecting as it does public interest.also. This is not even in the case because Article 153 of the Old Civil Code mentions only the first 3 numbers here. It is urged by the defendant that exemplary damages are not recoverable in quasi-delicts. 117. While it is true that the law favors and encourages the settlement of litigations by compromise agreement between the contending parties. as far as she was concerned. under the circumstances heretofore adverted to.000." and that there is no specific finding that it had so acted. It is obvious. and . (2) Those obtained from the labor. Mrs.30 a day.. Zulueta agreed to withdraw the case for P50. malicious and tainted with bad faith. which is in the syllabus). the defendant did not only fail to comply with its obligation to transport Mr. be recovered. with more reason is its imposition justified when the act performed is deliberate. charged therefor $13. by the posting of notices. Article 2208 of our Civil Code expressly authorizes the award of attorney's fees "when exemplary damages are awarded. under said contract. or otherwise. in the expectation that he would be stranded there for a "minimum of one week" and. in addition thereto.000 was deductible from the award.
(153a. and Mrs." This conclusion is bolstered up by Article 148 of Old Civil Code. losses therefrom shall be borne exclusively by the loser-spouse. the contract of carriage was concededly entered into. .. during marriage. and the damages claimed by the plaintiffs were incurred. There is no proof as to the purpose of the Zuluetas’ trip." belong exclusively to such wife or husband. Also. DISPOSITIVE: First Supreme Court decision is affirmed. the rights accruing from said contract. 154a. unless there is proof to the contrary (Manresa.(7) Those which are acquired by chance. it follows necessarily that that which is acquired with money of the conjugal partnership belongs thereto or forms part thereof. The damages involved in the case at bar do not come under any of these provisions. such as winnings from gambling or betting. the right thereto having been "acquired by onerous title during the marriage . 148 (now Article 109). Hence. the presumption is that the purpose of the trip was for the common benefit of the Zuluetas and the money had come from the conjugal funds. (2) That which each acquires. Codigo Civil Espanol). In the present case. 159) Considering that the damages in question have arisen from a breach of Zuluetas' contract of carriage with Pan Am. neither is there any ev idence that the money used to pay for the plane tickets came from the conjugal funds. according to which: ART. However." and "(t)hat which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband. if "(t)hat which is acquired by right of redemption or by exchange with other property belonging to only one of the spouses. it was held that said damages fall under paragraph (1) of said Article 153. including those resulting from breach thereof by the defendant. 155. (3) That which is acquired by right of redemption or by exchange with other property belonging to only one of the spouses. Zulueta. are presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership of Mr. during the marriage. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse: (1) That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own. . (4) That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband. 160). by lucrative title. Absence such proof. then Art. there is a presumption that all property acquired during the marriage belongs to the conjugal property of the spouses (Article 116. NCC. What is more. for which Zuluetas paid their fare with funds presumably belonging to the conjugal partnership..