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Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION

G.R. No. 108017 April 3, 1995 MARIA BENITA A. DULA , i! "#r o$! %#"&l' &!( i! %#"&l' o' )"# *i!or +"il(r#! ,RI-TEEN ELI-ABET., BE/ERL MARIE &!( NAPOLEON II, &ll 01r!&*#( DULA , petitioners, vs. T.E COURT O2 APPEALS, 2or*#r Ei3")" Di4i0io!, .ON. TEODORO P. REGINO, i! "i0 +&p&+i)5 &0 Pr#0i(i!3 61(3# o' )"# R#3io!&l Tri&l Co1r) N&)io!&l C&pi)&l R#3io!, 71#8o! Ci)5, Br. 89, SA2EGUARD IN/ESTIGATION AND SECURIT CO., INC., &!( SUPERGUARD SECURIT CORPORATION, respondents.

BIDIN, J.: his petition for certiorari pra!s for the reversal of the decision of the Court of "ppeals dated October #$, %$$% in C"&'.R. CV No. #()() *hich affir+ed the order of the Re,ional rial Court dis+issin, Civil Case No. -&.$&%/0%, and its resolution dated Nove+ber %/, %$$% den!in, herein, petitioner1s +otion for reconsideration. he antecedent facts of the case are as follo*s2 On Dece+ber /, %$.., an altercation bet*een 3eni,no or4uela and "tt!. Napoleon Dula! occurred at the 53i, 3an, Sa "laban,,5 "laban, Villa,e, Muntinlupa as a result of *hich 3eni,no or4uela, the securit! ,uard on dut! at the said carnival, shot and 6illed "tt!. Napoleon Dula!. 7erein petitioner Maria 3enita ". Dula!, *ido* of the deceased Napoleon Dula!, in her o*n behalf and in behalf of her +inor children, filed on 8ebruar! ., %$.$ an action for da+a,es a,ainst 3eni,no or4uela and herein private respondents Safe,uard Investi,ation and Securit! Co., Inc., 95S"8E':"RD5; and<or Super,uard Securit! Corp. 95S:PER':"RD5;, alle,ed e+plo!ers of defendant or4uela. he co+plaint, doc6eted as Civil Case No. -&.$&%/0% a+on, others alle,es the follo*in,2 %. . . . Defendants S"8E':"RD INVES I'" ION "ND SEC:RI = CO., INC., 9Defendant Safe,uard; and S:PER':"RD SEC:RI = CORPOR" ION 9Defendant Super,uard; are corporations dul! or,ani4ed and e>istin, in accordance *ith Philippine la*s, *ith offices at %?th 8loor, Manufacturers 3uildin,, Inc., Pla4a Santa Cru4, Manila. he! are i+pleaded as alternative defendants for, *hile the for+er appears to be the e+plo!er of defendant 3ENI'NO OR@:EA" 9defendant OR@:EA";, the latter i+pliedl! ac6no*led,ed responsibilit! for the acts of defendant OR@:EA" b! e>tendin, its s!+pathies to plaintiffs.

Defendant 3ENI'NO OR@:EA" is of le,al a,e, an e+plo!ee of defendant S"8E':"RD and<or defendant S:PER':"RD and, at the ti+e of the incident co+plained of, *as under their control and supervision. . . . B. On Dece+ber /, %$.. at around .2?? a.+., defendant OR@:EA", *hile he *as on dut! as securit! ,uard at the 53i, 3an, sa "laban,,5 "laban, Villa,e, Muntinlupa, Metro Manila shot and 6illed N"POAEON V. D:A"= *ith a .B. caliber revolver belon,in, to defendant S"8E':"RD, and<or S:PER':"RD 9per Police Report dated Canuar! /, %$.$, cop! attached as "nne> ";D (. he incident resultin, in the death of N"POAEON V. D:A"= *as due to the concurrin, ne,li,ence of the defendants. Defendant OR@:EA"1S *anton and rec6less dischar,e of the firear+ issued to hi+ b! defendant S"8E':"RD and<or S:PER':"RD *as the i++ediate and pro>i+ate cause of the inEur!, *hile the ne,li,ence of defendant S"8E':"RD and<or S:PER':"RD consists in its havin, failed to e>ercise the dili,ence of a ,ood father of a fa+il! in the supervision and control of its e+plo!ee to avoid the inEur!. >>> >>> >>> 9Rollo, pp. %%/&%%.; Petitioners pra!ed for actual, co+pensator!, +oral and e>e+plar! da+a,es, and attorne!1s fees. he said Civil Case No. -&.$&%/0% *as raffled to 3ranch .( of the Re,ional rial Court of -ue4on Cit!, presided b! respondent Cud,e eodoro Re,ino. On March #, %$.$, private respondent S:PER':"RD filed a Motion to Dis+iss on the ,round that the co+plaint does not state a valid cause of action. S:PER':"RD clai+ed that or4uela1s act of shootin, Dula! *as be!ond the scope of his duties, and that since the alle,ed act of shootin, *as co++itted *ith deliberate intent 9dolo;, the civil liabilit! therefor is ,overned b! "rticle %?? of the Revised Penal Code, *hich states2 "rt. %??. Civil liabilit! of a person ,uilt! of a felon!. F Ever! person cri+inall! liable for a felon! is also civill! liable. Respondent S:PER':"RD further alle,ed that a co+plaint for da+a,es based on ne,li,ence under "rticle #%/) of the Ne* Civil Code, such as the one filed b! petitioners, cannot lie, since the civil liabilit! under "rticle #%/) applies onl! to Guasi&offenses under "rticle B)0 of the Revised Penal Code. In addition, the private respondent ar,ued that petitioners1 filin, of the co+plaint is pre+ature considerin, that the conviction of or4uela in a cri+inal case is a condition sine qua non for the e+plo!er1s subsidiar! liabilit! 9Rollo, p. 00&0$;. Respondent S"8E':"RD also filed a +otion pra!in, that it be e>cluded as defendant on the ,round that defendant or4uela is not one of its e+plo!ees 9Rollo, p. $);. Petitioners opposed both +otions, statin, that their cause of action a,ainst the private respondents is based on their liabilit! under "rticle #%.? of the Ne* Civil Code, *hich provides2 "rt. #%.?. he obli,ation i+posed b! "rticle #%/) is de+andable not onl! for one1s o*n acts or o+issions, but also for those of persons for *ho+ one is responsible.

>>> >>> >>> Employers shall be liable for the damages caused by their employees and household helpers acting within the scope of their assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged in any business or an industry . >>> >>> >>> 9E+phasis supplied; Petitioners contended that a suit a,ainst alternative defendants is allo*ed under Rule B, Section %B of the Rules of Court. herefore, the inclusion of private respondents as alternative defendants in the co+plaint is Eustified b! the follo*in,2 the Initial Investi,ation Report prepared b! Pat. Mario ubon sho*in, that or4uela is an e+plo!ee of S"8E':"RDD and throu,h overt acts, S:PER':"RD e>tended its s!+pathies to petitioners 9Rollo, pp. )( and $.;. Mean*hile, an Infor+ation dated March #%, %$.$ char,in, 3eni,no or4uela *ith ho+icide *as filed before the Re,ional rial Court of Ma6ati and *as doc6eted as Cri+inal Case No. .$&%.$). On "pril %B, %$.$, respondent Cud,e Re,ino issued an order ,rantin, S:PER':"RD1S +otion to dis+iss and S"8E':"RD1S +otion for e>clusion as defendant. he respondent Eud,e held that the co+plaint did not state facts necessar! or sufficient to constitute a Guasi&delict since it does not +ention an! ne,li,ence on the part of or4uela in shootin, Napoleon Dula! or that the sa+e *as done in the perfor+ance of his duties. Respondent Eud,e ruled that +ere alle,ations of the concurrin, ne,li,ence of the defendants 9private respondents herein; *ithout statin, the facts sho*in, such ne,li,ence are +ere conclusions of la* 9Rollo, p. %?);. Respondent Eud,e also declared that the co+plaint *as one for da+a,es founded on cri+es punishable under "rticles %?? and %?B of the Revised Penal Code as distin,uished fro+ those arisin, fro+, Guasi&delict. he dispositive portion of the order dated "pril %B, %$.$ states2 H7ERE8ORE, this Court holds that in vie* of the +aterial and ulti+ate facts alle,ed in the verified co+plaint and in accordance *ith the applicable la* on the +atter as *ell as precedents laid do*n b! the Supre+e Court, the co+plaint a,ainst the alternative defendants Super,uard Securit! Corporation and Safe,uard Investi,ation and Securit! Co., Inc., +ust be and 9sic; it is hereb! dis+issed. 9Rollo, p. %%?; he above order *as affir+ed b! the respondent court and petitioners1 +otion for reconsideration thereof *as denied. Petitioners ta6e e>ception to the assailed decision and insist that Guasi&delicts are not li+ited to acts of ne,li,ence but also cover acts that are intentional and voluntar!, citin, "nda+o v. I"C 9%$% SCR" %$0 I%$$?J;. hus, petitioners insist that or4uela1 s act of shootin, Napoleon Dula! constitutes a Guasi&delict actionable under "rticle #%/) of the Ne* Civil Code. Petitioners further contend that under "rticle #%.? of the Ne* Civil Code, private respondents are pri+aril! liable for their ne,li,ence either in the selection or supervision of their e+plo!ees. his liabilit! is independent of the e+plo!ee1s o*n liabilit! for fault or ne,li,ence and is distinct fro+ the subsidiar! civil liabilit! under "rticle %?B of the Revised Penal Code. he civil action a,ainst the e+plo!er +a! therefore proceed independentl! of the cri+inal action pursuant to Rule %%% Section B of the Rules of Court. Petitioners sub+it that the Guestion of *hether or4uela is an e+plo!ee of respondent S:PER':"RD or S"8E':"RD *ould be better resolved after trial.

Moreover, petitioners ar,ue that or4uela1s act of shootin, Dula! is also actionable under "rticle BB of the Ne* Civil Code, to *it2 "rt. BB. In cases of defa+ation, fraud, and ph!sical inEuries, a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independentl! of the cri+inal prosecution, and shall reGuire onl! a preponderance of evidence. 9E+phasis supplied; In the sa+e vein, petitioners cite Section B, Rule %%% of the Rules of Court *hich provides2 Rule %%%. . . . . Sec. B. Hhen civil action +a! proceed independentl! F In the cases provided for in "rticles B#, BB, B( and #%/) of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the independent civil action which has been reserved may be brought by the offended party, shall proceed independently of the criminal action, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. 9E+phasis supplied; he ter+ 5ph!sical inEuries5 under "rticle BB has been held to include consu++ated, frustrated and atte+pted ho+icide. hus, petitioners +aintain that or4uela1s prior conviction is unnecessar! since the civil action can proceed independentl! of the cri+inal action. On the other hand, it is the private respondents1 ar,u+ent that since the act *as not co++itted *ith ne,li,ence, the petitioners have no cause of action under "rticles #%%) and #%// of the Ne* Civil Code. he civil action conte+plated in "rticle #%// is not applicable to acts co++itted *ith deliberate intent, but onl! applies to Guasi& offenses under "rticle B)0 of the Revised Penal Code. or4uela1s act of shootin, "tt!. Dula! to death, aside fro+ bein, purel! personal, *as done *ith deliberate intent and could not have been part of his duties as securit! ,uard. "nd since "rticle #%.? of the Ne* Civil Code covers onl!2 acts done *ithin the scope of the e+plo!ee1s assi,ned tas6s, the private respondents cannot be held liable for da+a,es. He find for petitioners. It is undisputed that 3eni,no or4uela is bein, prosecuted for ho+icide for the fatal shootin, of Napoleon Dula!. Rule %%% of the Rules on Cri+inal Procedure provides2 Sec. %. Institution of cri+inal and civil actions. Hhen a cri+inal action is instituted, the civil action for the recover! of civil liabilit! is i+pliedl! instituted *ith the cri+inal action, unless the offended party waives the civil action , reserves his right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action . Such civil action includes recover! of inde+nit! under the Revised Penal Code, and da+a,es under "rticles B#, BB, B(, and #%/) of the Civil Code of the Philippines arisin, fro+ the sa+e act or o+ission of the accused. 9E+phasis supplied; It is *ell&settled that the filin, of an independent civil action before the prosecution in the cri+inal action presents evidence is even far better than a co+pliance *ith the reGuire+ent of e>press reservation 9=a6ult Philippines v. Court of "ppeals, %$? SCR" B0/ I%$$?J;. his is precisel! *hat the petitioners opted to do in this case. 7o*ever, the private respondents opposed the civil action on the ,round that the sa+e is founded on a delict and not on a Guasi&delict as the shootin, *as not attended b! ne,li,ence. Hhat is in dispute therefore is the nature of the petitioner1s cause of action.

he nature of a cause of action is deter+ined b! the facts alle,ed in the co+plaint as constitutin, the cause of action 9Republic v. Esten4o, %0. SCR" #.# I%$..J;. he purpose of an action or suit and the la* to ,overn it is to be deter+ined not b! the clai+ of the part! filin, the action, +ade in his ar,u+ent or brief, but rather b! the co+plaint itself, its alle,ations and pra!er for relief. 9De avera v. Philippine uberculosis Societ!, %%# SCR" #(B I%$.#J;. "n e>a+ination of the co+plaint in the present case *ould sho* that the plaintiffs, petitioners herein, are invo6in, their ri,ht to recover da+a,es a,ainst the private respondents for their vicarious responsibilit! for the inEur! caused b! 3eni,no or4uela1s act of shootin, and 6illin, Napoleon Dula!, as stated in para,raphs % and # of the co+plaint. "rticle #%/) of the Ne* Civil Code provides2 "rt. #%/). Hhoever b! act or o+ission causes da+a,e to another, there bein, fault or ne,li,ence, is obli,ed to pa! for the da+a,e done. Such fault or ne,li,ence, if there is no pre&e>istin, contractual relation bet*een the parties is called a Guasi& delict and is ,overned b! the provisions of this Chapter. Contrar! to the theor! of private respondents, there is no Eustification for li+itin, the scope of "rticle #%/) of the Civil Code to acts or o+issions resultin, fro+ ne,li,ence. Hell&entrenched is the doctrine that article #%/) covers not onl! acts co++itted *ith ne,li,ence, but also acts *hich are voluntar! and intentional. "s far bac6 as the definitive case of Elcano v. 7ill 9// SCR" $. I%$//J;, this Court alread! held that2 . . . Article 21 !, where it refers to "fault or negligence," covers not only acts "not punishable by law" but also acts criminal in character# whether intentional and voluntary or negligent$ %onsequently, a separate civil action against the offender in a criminal act, whether or not he is criminally prosecuted and found guilty or acquitted, provided that the offended party is not allowed, if he is actually charged also criminally, to recover damages on both scores, and *ould be entitled in such eventualit! onl! to the bi,,er a*ard of the t*o, assu+in, the a*ards +ade in the t*o cases var!. In other *ords, the e>tinction of civil liabilit! referred to in Par. 9e; of Section B, Rule %%%, refers e>clusivel! to civil liabilit! founded on "rticle %?? of the Revised Penal Code, *hereas the civil liabilit! for the sa+e act considered as Guasi& delict onl! and not as a cri+e is not e>tin,uished even b! a declaration in the cri+inal case that the cri+inal act char,ed has not happened or has not been co++itted b! the accused. 3riefl! stated, He here hold, in reiteration of 'arcia, that culpa aquiliana includes voluntary and negligent acts which may be punishable by law. 9E+phasis supplied; he sa+e doctrine *as echoed in the case of Andamo v$ &ntermediate Appellate %ourt 9%$% SCR" %$0 I%$$?J;, *herein the Court held2 Article 21 !, whenever it refers to "fault or negligence," covers not only acts criminal in character, whether intentional and voluntary or negligent . ConseGuentl!, a civil action lies a,ainst the offender in a cri+inal act, *hether or not he is prosecuted or found ,uilt! or acGuitted, provided that the offended part! is not allo*ed, 9if the tortfeasor is actuall! also char,ed cri+inall!;, to recover da+a,es on both scores, and *ould be entitled in such eventualit! onl! to the bi,,er a*ard of the t*o, assu+in, the a*ards +ade in the t*o cases var!. Icitin, Virata v. Ochoa, .% SCR" (/#J 9E+phasis supplied;

Private respondents sub+it that the *ord 5intentional5 in the Andamo case is inaccurate obiter, and should be read as 5voluntar!5 since intent cannot be coupled *ith ne,li,ence as defined b! "rticle B)0 of the Revised Penal Code. In the absence of +ore substantial reasons, this Court *ill not disturb the above doctrine on the covera,e of "rticle #%/). Private respondents further aver that "rticle BB of the Ne* Civil Code applies onl! to inEuries intentionall! co++itted pursuant to the rulin, in Marcia v. C" 9%#? SCR" %$B I%$.BJ;, and that the actions for da+a,es allo*ed thereunder are e'(delicto. 7o*ever, the ter+ 5ph!sical inEuries5 in "rticle BB has alread! been construed to include bodil! inEuries causin, death 9Capuno v. Pepsi&Cola 3ottlin, Co. of the Philippines, %#% Phil. )B. I%$)0;D Carandan, v. Santia,o, $/ Phil. $( I%$00J;. It is not the cri+e of ph!sical inEuries defined in the Revised Penal Code. It includes not onl! ph!sical inEuries but also consu++ated, frustrated, and atte+pted ho+icide 9MadeEa v. Caro, %#) SCR" #$B I%$.BJ;. "lthou,h in the Marcia case 9supra;, it *as held that no independent civil action +a! be filed under "rticle BB *here the cri+e is the result of cri+inal ne,li,ence, it +ust be noted ho*ever, that or4uela, the accused in the case at bar, is char,ed *ith ho+icide, not *ith rec6less i+prudence, *hereas the defendant in )arcia *as char,ed *ith rec6less i+prudence. herefore, in this case, a civil action based on "rticle BB lies. Private respondents also contend that their liabilit! is subsidiar! under the Revised Penal CodeD and that the! are not liable for or4uela1s act *hich is be!ond the scope of his duties as a securit! ,uard. It havin, been established that the instant action is not e'(delicto, petitioners +a! proceed directl! a,ainst or4uela and the private respondents. :nder "rticle #%.? of the Ne* Civil Code as aforeGuoted, *hen an inEur! is caused b! the ne,li,ence of the e+plo!ee, there instantl! arises a presu+ption of la* that there *as ne,li,ence on the part of the +aster or e+plo!er either in the selection of the servant or e+plo!ee, or in supervision over hi+ after selection or both 9Aa!u,an v. Inter+ediate "ppellate Court, %)/ SCR" B)B I%$..J;. he liabilit! of the e+plo!er under "rticle #%.? is direct and i++ediateD it is not conditioned upon prior recourse a,ainst the ne,li,ent e+plo!ee and a prior sho*in, of the insolvenc! of such e+plo!ee 9Kapalaran 3us Aines v. Coronado, %/) SCR" /$# I%$.$J;. herefore, it is incu+bent upon the private respondents to prove that the! e>ercised the dili,ence of a ,ood father of a fa+il! in the selection and supervision of their e+plo!ee. Since "rticle #%/) covers not onl! acts of ne,li,ence but also acts *hich are intentional and voluntar!, it *as therefore erroneous on the part of the trial court to dis+iss petitioner1s co+plaint si+pl! because it failed to +a6e alle,ations of attendant ne,li,ence attributable to private respondents. Hith respect to the issue of *hether the co+plaint at hand states a sufficient cause of action, the ,eneral rule is that the alle,ations in a co+plaint are sufficient to constitute a cause of action a,ainst the defendants if, ad+ittin, the facts alle,ed, the court can render a valid Eud,+ent upon the sa+e in accordance *ith the pra!er therein. " cause of action e>ist if the follo*in, ele+ents are present, na+el!2 9%; a ri,ht in favor of the plaintiff b! *hatever +eans and under *hatever la* it arises or is createdD 9#; an obli,ation on the part of the na+ed defendant to respect or not to violate such ri,htD and 9B; an act or o+ission on the part of such defendant violative of the ri,ht of the plaintiff or constitutin, a breach of the obli,ation of the defendant to the plaintiff for *hich the latter +a! +aintain an action for recover! of da+a,es 9Del 3ros 7otel Corporation v. C", #%? SCR" BB I%$$#J;D Develop+ent 3an6 of the Philippines v. Pundo,ar, #%. SCR" %%. I%$$BJ; his Court finds, under the fore,oin, pre+ises, that the co+plaint sufficientl! alle,ed an actionable breach on the part of the defendant or4uela and respondents S:PER':"RD and<or S"8E':"RD. It is enou,h that the co+plaint alle,ed that 3eni,no or4uela shot Napoleon Dula! resultin, in the latter1s deathD that the shootin, occurred *hile or4uela *as on dut!D and that either S:PER':"RD and<or S"8E':"RD *as or4uela1s e+plo!er and responsible for his acts. his

does not operate ho*ever, to establish that the defendants belo* are liable. Hhether or not the shootin, *as actuall! rec6less and *anton or attended b! ne,li,ence and *hether it *as actuall! done *ithin the scope of or4uela1s dutiesD *hether the private respondents S:PER':"RD and<or S"8E':"RD failed to e>ercise the dili,ence of a ,ood father of a fa+il!D and *hether the defendants are actuall! liable, are Guestions *hich can be better resolved after trial on the +erits *here each part! can present evidence to prove their respective alle,ations and defenses. In deter+inin, *hether the alle,ations of a co+plaint are sufficient to support a cause of action, it +ust be borne in +ind that the co+plaint does not have to establish or alle,e the facts provin, the e>istence of a cause of action at the outsetD this *ill have to be done at the trial on the +erits of the case 9Del 3ros 7otel Corporation v. C", supra;. If the alle,ations in a co+plaint can furnish a sufficient basis b! *hich the co+plaint can be +aintained, the sa+e should not be dis+issed re,ardless of the defenses that +a! be assessed b! the defendants 9Rava Dev1t. Corp. v. C", #%% SCR" %0# I%$$#J citin, Consolidated 3an6 L rust Corporation v. Court of "ppeals, %$/ SCR" ))B I%$$%J;. o sustain a +otion to dis+iss for lac6 of cause of action, the co+plaint +ust sho* that the clai+ for relief does not e>ist rather than that a clai+ has been defectivel! stated, is a+bi,uous, indefinite or uncertain 9"4ur v. Provincial 3oard, #/ SCR" 0? I%$)$J;. Since the petitioners clearl! sustained an inEur! to their ri,hts under the la*, it *ould be +ore Eust to allo* the+ to present evidence of such inEur!. H7ERE8ORE, pre+ises considered, the petition for revie* is hereb! 'R"N ED. he decision of the Court of "ppeals as *ell as the Order of the Re,ional rial Court dated "pril %B, %$.$ are hereb! REVERSED and SE "SIDE. Civil Case No. -&.$&%/0% is re+anded to the Re,ional rial Court for trial on the +erits. his decision is i++ediatel! e>ecutor!. SO ORDERED. *arvasa, %$+$, Regalado, ,uno and )endo-a, ++$, concur$