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G.R. No.

171092 March 15, 2010


EDNA DIAGO LHUILLIER, Petitioner,
vs.
BRITISH AIRWAYS, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
DEL ASTILLO, J.:
Jurisdictio est potestas de publico introducta cum
necessitate juris dicendi. Jurisdiction is a power
introduced or t!e public "ood, on account o t!e
necessit# o dispensin" justice.
$
Factual Antecedents
On %pril &', &((), petitioner Edna Dia"o *!uillier
+led a Complaint
&
or dama"es a"ainst respondent
,ritis! %irwa#s beore t!e Re"ional -rial Court
.R-C/ o 0a1ati Cit#. S!e alle"ed t!at on 2ebruar#
&', &((), s!e too1 respondent3s 4i"!t )5' rom
*ondon, 6nited 7in"dom to Rome, Ital#. Once on
board, s!e alle"edl# re8uested Julian 9allida#
.9allida#/, one o t!e respondent3s 4i"!t
attendants, to assist !er in placin" !er !and:
carried lu""a"e in t!e over!ead bin. 9owever,
9allida# alle"edl# reused to !elp and assist !er,
and even sarcasticall# remar1ed t!at ;I I were to
!elp all <(( passen"ers in t!is 4i"!t, I would !ave
a bro1en bac1=;
Petitioner urt!er alle"ed t!at w!en t!e plane was
about to land in Rome, Ital#, anot!er 4i"!t
attendant, Nic1olas 7erri"an .7erri"an/, sin"led
!er out rom amon" all t!e passen"ers in t!e
business class section to lecture on plane saet#.
%lle"edl#, 7erri"an made !er appear to t!e ot!er
passen"ers to be i"norant, uneducated, stupid,
and in need o lecturin" on t!e saet# rules and
re"ulations o t!e plane. %>ronted, petitioner
assured 7erri"an t!at s!e 1new t!e plane3s saet#
re"ulations bein" a re8uent traveler. -!ereupon,
7erri"an alle"edl# t!rust !is ace a mere ew
centimeters awa# rom t!at o t!e petitioner and
menacin"l# told !er t!at ;?e don3t li1e #our
attitude.;
6pon arrival in Rome, petitioner complained to
respondent3s "round mana"er and demanded an
apolo"#. 9owever, t!e latter declared t!at t!e
4i"!t stewards were ;onl# doin" t!eir job.;
-!us, petitioner +led t!e complaint or dama"es,
pra#in" t!at respondent be ordered to pa# P)
million as moral dama"es, P& million as nominal
dama"es, P$ million as e@emplar#
dama"es, P<((,(((.(( as attorne#3s
ees,P&((,(((.(( as liti"ation e@penses, and cost
o t!e suit.
On 0a# $A, &((), summons, to"et!er wit! a cop#
o t!e complaint, was served on t!e respondent
t!rou"! Bioleta Ec!evarria, Ceneral 0ana"er o
Euro:P!ilippine %irline Services, Inc.
<
On 0a# <(, &((), respondent, b# wa# o special
appearance t!rou"! counsel, +led a 0otion to
Dismiss
5
on "rounds o lac1 o jurisdiction over t!e
case and over t!e person o t!e respondent.
Respondent alle"ed t!at onl# t!e courts o
*ondon, 6nited 7in"dom or Rome, Ital#, !ave
jurisdiction over t!e complaint or dama"es
pursuant to t!e ?arsaw Convention,
)
%rticle &'.$/
o w!ic! providesD
%n action or dama"es must be brou"!t at t!e
option o t!e plainti>, eit!er beore t!e court o
domicile o t!e carrier or !is principal place o
business, or w!ere !e !as a place o business
t!rou"! w!ic! t!e contract !as been made, or
beore t!e court o t!e place o destination.
-!us, since a/ respondent is domiciled in *ondonE
b/ respondent3s principal place o business is in
*ondonE c/ petitioner bou"!t !er tic1et in Ital#
.t!rou"! Jeepne# -ravel S.%.S, in Rome/E
A
and d/
Rome, Ital# is petitioner3s place o destination,
t!en it ollows t!at t!e complaint s!ould onl# be
+led in t!e proper courts o *ondon, 6nited
7in"dom or Rome, Ital#.
*i1ewise, it was alle"ed t!at t!e case must be
dismissed or lac1 o jurisdiction over t!e person
o t!e respondent because t!e summons was
erroneousl# served on Euro:P!ilippine %irline
Services, Inc. w!ic! is not its resident a"ent in t!e
P!ilippines.
On June <, &((), t!e trial court issued an Order
re8uirin" !erein petitioner to +le !er
CommentFOpposition on t!e 0otion to Dismiss
wit!in $( da#s rom notice t!ereo, and or
respondent to +le a Repl# t!ereon.
G
Instead o
+lin" a CommentFOpposition, petitioner +led on
June &G, &((), an 6r"ent E@:Parte 0otion to %dmit
2ormal %mendment to t!e Complaint and Issuance
o %lias Summons.
'
Petitioner alle"ed t!at upon
veri+cation wit! t!e Securities and E@c!an"e
Commission, s!e ound out t!at t!e resident
a"ent o respondent in t!e P!ilippines is %lonHo I.
%nc!eta. Subse8uentl#, on September J, &((),
petitioner +led a 0otion to Resolve Pendin"
Incident and Opposition to 0otion to Dismiss.
J
Rulin" o t!e Re"ional -rial Court
On October $5, &((), t!e R-C o 0a1ati Cit#,
,ranc! $<&, issued an Order
$(
"rantin"
respondent3s 0otion to Dismiss. It ruled t!atD
-!e Court s#mpat!iHes wit! t!e alle"ed ill:
treatment su>ered b# t!e plainti>. 9owever, our
Courts !ave to appl# t!e principles o international
law, and are bound b# treat# stipulations entered
into b# t!e P!ilippines w!ic! orm part o t!e law
o t!e land. One o t!is is t!e ?arsaw Convention.
,ein" a si"nator# t!ereto, t!e P!ilippines ad!eres
to its stipulations and is bound b# its provisions
includin" t!e place w!ere actions involvin"
dama"es to plainti> is to be instituted, as
provided or under %rticle &'.$/ t!ereo. -!e Court
+nds no justi+able reason to deviate rom t!e
indicated limitations as it will onl# run counter to
t!e provisions o t!e ?arsaw Convention. Said
ad!erence is in consonance wit! t!e comit# o
nations and deviation rom it can onl# be e>ected
t!rou"! proper denunciation as enunciated in t!e
Santos case .ibid/. Since t!e P!ilippines is not t!e
place o domicile o t!e deendant nor is it t!e
principal place o business, our courts are t!us
divested o jurisdiction over cases or dama"es.
Neit!er was plainti>3s tic1et issued in t!is countr#
nor was !er destination 0anila but Rome in Ital#. It
bears stressin" !owever, t!at reerral to t!e court
o proper jurisdiction does not constitute
constructive denial o plainti>3s ri"!t to !ave
access to our courts since t!e ?arsaw Convention
itsel provided or jurisdiction over cases arisin"
rom international transportation. Said treat#
stipulations must be complied wit! in "ood ait!
ollowin" t!e time !onored principle o pacta sunt
servanda.
-!e resolution o t!e propriet# o service o
summons is rendered moot b# t!e Court3s want o
jurisdiction over t!e instant case.
?9ERE2ORE, premises considered, t!e present
0otion to Dismiss is !ereb# CR%N-ED and t!is
case is !ereb# ordered DIS0ISSED.
Petitioner +led a 0otion or Reconsideration but
t!e motion was denied in an Order
$$
dated Januar#
5, &((A.
Petitioner now comes directl# beore us on a
Petition or Review on Certiorari on pure 8uestions
o law, raisin" t!e ollowin" issuesD
Issues
I. ?9E-9ER K K K P9I*IPPINE CO6R-s 9%BE
J6RISDIC-ION OBER % -OR-IO6S COND6C-
CO00I--ED %C%INS- % 2I*IPINO CI-ILEN %ND
RESIDEN- ,M %IR*INE PERSONNE* O2 % 2OREICN
C%RRIER -R%BE**INC ,EMOND -9E -ERRI-ORI%*
*I0I- O2 %NM 2OREICN CO6N-RME %ND -96S IS
O6-SIDE -9E %0,I- O2 -9E ?%RS%?
CONBEN-ION.
II. ?9E-9ER @ @ @ RESPONDEN- %IR C%RRIER O2
P%SSENCERS, IN 2I*INC I-S 0O-ION -O DIS0ISS
,%SED ON *%C7 O2 J6RISDIC-ION OBER -9E
S6,JEC- 0%--ER O2 -9E C%SE %ND OBER I-S
PERSON 0%M ,E DEE0ED %S 9%BINC IN 2%C- %ND
IN *%? S6,0I--ED I-SE*2 -O -9E J6RISDIC-ION
O2 -9E *O?ER CO6R-, ESPECI%**M SO, ?9EN
-9E BERM *%?MER %RC6INC 2OR I- IS 9I0SE*2
-9E RESIDEN- %CEN- O2 -9E C%RRIER.
Petitioner3s %r"uments
Petitioner ar"ues t!at !er cause o action arose
not rom t!e contract o carria"e, but rom t!e
tortious conduct committed b# airline personnel o
respondent in violation o t!e provisions o t!e
Civil Code on 9uman Relations. Since !er cause o
action was not predicated on t!e contract o
carria"e, petitioner asserts t!at s!e !as t!e option
to pursue t!is case in t!is jurisdiction pursuant to
P!ilippine laws.
Respondent3s %r"uments
In contrast, respondent maintains t!at petitioner3s
claim or dama"es ell wit!in t!e ambit o %rticle
&'.$/ o t!e ?arsaw Convention. %s suc!, t!e
same can onl# be +led beore t!e courts o
*ondon, 6nited 7in"dom or Rome, Ital#.
O!r R!"#$%
-!e petition is wit!out merit.
-!e ?arsaw Convention !as t!e orce and e>ect
o law in t!is countr#.
It is settled t!at t!e ?arsaw Convention !as t!e
orce and e>ect o law in t!is countr#. In Santos III
v. Northwest Orient Airlines,
$&
we !eld t!atD
-!e Republic o t!e P!ilippines is a part# to t!e
Convention or t!e 6ni+cation o Certain Rules
Relatin" to International -ransportation b# %ir,
ot!erwise 1nown as t!e ?arsaw Convention. It
too1 e>ect on 2ebruar# $<, $J<<. -!e Convention
was concurred in b# t!e Senate, t!rou"! its
Resolution No. $J, on 0a# $A, $J)(. -!e P!ilippine
instrument o accession was si"ned b# President
Elpidio Iuirino on October $<, $J)(, and was
deposited wit! t!e Polis! "overnment on
November J, $J)(. -!e Convention became
applicable to t!e P!ilippines on 2ebruar# J, $J)$.
On September &<, $J)), President Ramon
0a"sa#sa# issued Proclamation No. &($, declarin"
our ormal ad!erence t!ereto, ;to t!e end t!at t!e
same and ever# article and clause t!ereo ma# be
observed and ul+lled in "ood ait! b# t!e
Republic o t!e P!ilippines and t!e citiHens
t!ereo.;
-!e Convention is t!us a treat# commitment
voluntaril# assumed b# t!e P!ilippine "overnment
and, as suc!, !as t!e orce and e>ect o law in
t!is countr#.
$<
-!e ?arsaw Convention applies because t!e air
travel, w!ere t!e alle"ed tortious conduct
occurred, was between t!e 6nited 7in"dom and
Ital#, w!ic! are bot! si"natories to t!e ?arsaw
Convention.
%rticle $ o t!e ?arsaw Convention providesD
$. -!is Convention applies to
all international carria"e o persons,
lu""a"e or "oods perormed b# aircrat or
reward. It applies e8uall# to "ratuitous
carria"e b# aircrat perormed b# an air
transport underta1in".
&. 2or t!e purposes o t!is Convention t!e
e@pression ;international carria"e; means
an# carria"e in w!ic!, accordin" to t!e
contract made b# t!e parties, t!e place o
departure and t!e place o destination,
w!et!er or not t!ere be a brea1 in t!e
carria"e or a trans!ipment, are situated
eit!er wit!in t!e territories o two 9i"!
Contractin" Parties, or wit!in t!e territor# o
a sin"le 9i"! Contractin" Part#, i t!ere is
an a"reed stoppin" place wit!in a territor#
subject to t!e soverei"nt#, suHeraint#,
mandate or aut!orit# o anot!er Power,
even t!ou"! t!at Power is not a part# to
t!is Convention. % carria"e wit!out suc! an
a"reed stoppin" place between territories
subject to t!e soverei"nt#, suHeraint#,
mandate or aut!orit# o t!e same 9i"!
Contractin" Part# is not deemed to be
international or t!e purposes o t!is
Convention. .Emp!asis supplied/
-!us, w!en t!e place o departure and t!e place
o destination in a contract o carria"e are
situated wit!in t!e territories o two 9i"!
Contractin" Parties, said carria"e is deemed an
;international carria"e;. -!e 9i"! Contractin"
Parties reerred to !erein were t!e si"natories to
t!e ?arsaw Convention and t!ose w!ic!
subse8uentl# ad!ered to it.
$5
In t!e case at benc!, petitioner3s place o
departure was *ondon, 6nited 7in"dom w!ile !er
place o destination was Rome, Ital#.
$)
,ot! t!e
6nited 7in"dom
$A
and Ital#
$G
si"ned and rati+ed
t!e ?arsaw Convention. %s suc!, t!e transport o
t!e petitioner is deemed to be an ;international
carria"e; wit!in t!e contemplation o t!e ?arsaw
Convention.
Since t!e ?arsaw Convention applies in t!e
instant case, t!en t!e jurisdiction over t!e subject
matter o t!e action is "overned b# t!e provisions
o t!e ?arsaw Convention.
6nder %rticle &'.$/ o t!e ?arsaw Convention, t!e
plainti> ma# brin" t!e action or dama"es beore
N
$. t!e court w!ere t!e carrier is domiciledE
&. t!e court w!ere t!e carrier !as its
principal place o businessE
<. t!e court w!ere t!e carrier !as an
establis!ment b# w!ic! t!e contract !as
been madeE or
5. t!e court o t!e place o destination.
In t!is case, it is not disputed t!at respondent is a
,ritis! corporation domiciled in *ondon, 6nited
7in"dom wit! *ondon as its principal place o
business. 9ence, under t!e +rst and second
jurisdictional rules, t!e petitioner ma# brin" !er
case beore t!e courts o *ondon in t!e 6nited
7in"dom. In t!e passen"er tic1et and ba""a"e
c!ec1 presented b# bot! t!e petitioner and
respondent, it appears t!at t!e tic1et was issued
in Rome, Ital#. Conse8uentl#, under t!e t!ird
jurisdictional rule, t!e petitioner !as t!e option to
brin" !er case beore t!e courts o Rome in Ital#.
2inall#, bot! t!e petitioner and respondent aver
t!at t!e place o destination is Rome, Ital#, w!ic!
is properl# desi"nated "iven t!e routin" presented
in t!e said passen"er tic1et and ba""a"e c!ec1.
%ccordin"l#, petitioner ma# brin" !er action
beore t!e courts o Rome, Ital#. ?e t!us +nd t!at
t!e R-C o 0a1ati correctl# ruled t!at it does not
!ave jurisdiction over t!e case +led b# t!e
petitioner.
Santos III v. Nort!west Orient %irlines
$'
applies in
t!is case.
Petitioner contends t!at Santos III v. Nort!west
Orient %irlines
$J
cited b# t!e trial court is
inapplicable to t!e present controvers# since t!e
acts t!ereo are not similar wit! t!e instant case.
?e are not persuaded.
In Santos III v. Nort!west Orient %irlines,
&(
%u"usto
Santos III, a resident o t!e P!ilippines, purc!ased
a tic1et rom Nort!west Orient %irlines in San
2rancisco, or transport between San 2rancisco
and 0anila via -o1#o and bac1 to San 2rancisco.
9e was wait:listed in t!e -o1#o to 0anila se"ment
o !is tic1et, despite !is prior reservation.
Contendin" t!at Nort!west Orient %irlines acted in
bad ait! and discriminated a"ainst !im w!en it
canceled !is con+rmed reservation and "ave !is
seat to someone w!o !ad no better ri"!t to it,
%u"usto Santos III sued t!e carrier or dama"es
beore t!e R-C. Nort!west Orient %irlines moved
to dismiss t!e complaint on "round o lac1 o
jurisdiction citin" %rticle &'.$/ o t!e ?arsaw
Convention. -!e trial court "ranted t!e motion
w!ic! rulin" was aOrmed b# t!e Court o %ppeals.
?!en t!e case was brou"!t beore us, we denied
t!e petition !oldin" t!at under %rticle &'.$/ o t!e
?arsaw Convention, %u"usto Santos III must
prosecute !is claim in t!e 6nited States, t!at
place bein" t!e .$/ domicile o t!e Nort!west
Orient %irlinesE .&/ principal oOce o t!e carrierE
.</ place w!ere contract !ad been made .San
2rancisco/E and .5/ place o destination .San
2rancisco/.
&$
?e urt!er !eld t!at %rticle &'.$/ o t!e ?arsaw
Convention is jurisdictional in c!aracter. -!usD
% number o reasons tends to support t!e
c!aracteriHation o %rticle &'.$/ as a jurisdiction
and not a venue provision. 2irst, t!e wordin" o
%rticle <&, w!ic! indicates t!e places w!ere t!e
action or dama"es ;must; be brou"!t,
underscores t!e mandator# nature o %rticle
&'.$/. Second, t!is c!aracteriHation is consistent
wit! one o t!e objectives o t!e Convention,
w!ic! is to ;re"ulate in a uniorm manner t!e
conditions o international transportation b# air.;
-!ird, t!e Convention does not contain an#
provision prescribin" rules o jurisdiction ot!er
t!an %rticle &'.$/, w!ic! means t!at t!e p!rase
;rules as to jurisdiction; used in %rticle <& must
reer onl# to %rticle &'.$/. In act, t!e last
sentence o %rticle <& speci+call# deals wit! t!e
e@clusive enumeration in %rticle &'.$/ as
;jurisdictions,; w!ic!, as suc!, cannot be let to
t!e will o t!e parties re"ardless o t!e time w!en
t!e dama"e occurred.
@ @ @ @
In ot!er words, w!ere t!e matter is "overned b#
t!e ?arsaw Convention, jurisdiction ta1es on a
dual concept. Jurisdiction in t!e international
sense must be establis!ed in accordance wit!
%rticle &'.$/ o t!e ?arsaw Convention, ollowin"
w!ic! t!e jurisdiction o a particular court must be
establis!ed pursuant to t!e applicable domestic
law. Onl# ater t!e 8uestion o w!ic! court !as
jurisdiction is determined will t!e issue o venue
be ta1en up. -!is second 8uestion s!all be
"overned b# t!e law o t!e court to w!ic! t!e
case is submitted.
&&
Contrar# to t!e contention o petitioner, Santos III
v. Nort!west Orient %irlines
&<
is analo"ous to t!e
instant case because .$/ t!e domicile o
respondent is *ondon, 6nited 7in"domE
&5
.&/ t!e
principal oOce o respondent airline is li1ewise in
*ondon, 6nited 7in"domE
&)
.</ t!e tic1et was
purc!ased in Rome, Ital#E
&A
and .5/ t!e place o
destination is Rome, Ital#.
&G
In addition, petitioner
based !er complaint on %rticle &$GA
&'
o t!e Civil
Code on quasi-delict and %rticles $J
&J
and &$
<(
o
t!e Civil Code on 9uman Relations. In Santos III v.
Nort!west Orient %irlines,
<$
%u"usto Santos III
similarl# posited t!at %rticle &' .$/ o t!e ?arsaw
Convention did not appl# i t!e action is based on
tort. 9ence, contrar# to t!e contention o t!e
petitioner, t!e actual settin" o Santos III v.
Nort!west Orient %irlines
<&
and t!e instant case
are parallel on t!e material points.
-ortious conduct as "round or t!e petitioner3s
complaint is wit!in t!e purview o t!e ?arsaw
Convention.
Petitioner contends t!at in Santos III v. Nort!west
Orient %irlines,
<<
t!e cause o action was based on
a breac! o contract w!ile !er cause o action
arose rom t!e tortious conduct o t!e airline
personnel and violation o t!e Civil Code
provisions on 9uman Relations.
<5
In addition, s!e
claims t!at our pronouncement in Santos III v.
Nort!west Orient %irlines
<)
t!at ;t!e alle"ation o
willul misconduct resultin" in a tort is insuOcient
to e@clude t!e case rom t!e compre!ension o
t!e ?arsaw Convention,; is more o an obiter
dictum rat!er t!an t!e ratio decidendi.
<A
S!e
maintains t!at t!e act t!at said acts occurred
aboard a plane is merel# incidental, i not
irrelevant.
<G
?e disa"ree wit! t!e position ta1en b# t!e
petitioner. ,lac1 de+nes obiter dictum as ;an
opinion entirel# unnecessar# or t!e decision o
t!e case; and t!us ;are not bindin" as
precedent.;
<'
In Santos III v. Nort!west Orient
%irlines,
<J
%u"usto Santos III cate"oricall# put in
issue t!e applicabilit# o %rticle &'.$/ o t!e
?arsaw Convention i t!e action is based on tort.
In t!e said case, we !eld t!at t!e alle"ation o
willul misconduct resultin" in a tort is insuOcient
to e@clude t!e case rom t!e realm o t!e ?arsaw
Convention. In act, our rulin" t!at a cause o
action based on tort did not brin" t!e case outside
t!e sp!ere o t!e ?arsaw Convention was our
ratio decidendi in disposin" o t!e speci+c issue
presented b# %u"usto Santos III. Clearl#, t!e
contention o t!e !erein petitioner t!at t!e said
rulin" is an obiter dictum is wit!out basis.
Relevant to t!is particular issue is t!e case o
Care# v. 6nited %irlines,
5(
w!ere t!e passen"er
+led an action a"ainst t!e airline arisin" rom an
incident involvin" t!e ormer and t!e airline3s
4i"!t attendant durin" an international 4i"!t
resultin" to a !eated e@c!an"e w!ic! included
insults and proanit#. -!e 6nited States Court o
%ppeals .Jt! Circuit/ !eld t!at t!e ;passen"erPs
action a"ainst t!e airline carrier arisin" rom
alle"ed conrontational incident between
passen"er and 4i"!t attendant on international
4i"!t was "overned e@clusivel# b# t!e ?arsaw
Convention, even t!ou"! t!e incident alle"edl#
involved intentional misconduct b# t!e 4i"!t
attendant.;
5$
In ,loom v. %las1a %irlines,
5&
t!e passen"er
brou"!t nine causes o action a"ainst t!e airline in
t!e state court, arisin" rom a conrontation wit!
t!e 4i"!t attendant durin" an international 4i"!t
to 0e@ico. -!e 6nited States Court o %ppeals .Jt!
Circuit/ !eld t!at t!e ;?arsaw Convention "overns
actions arisin" rom international air travel and
provides t!e e@clusive remed# or conduct w!ic!
alls wit!in its provisions.; It urt!er !eld t!at t!e
said Convention ;created no e@ception or an
injur# su>ered as a result o intentional
conduct;
5<
w!ic! in t!at case involved a claim or
intentional in4iction o emotional distress.
It is t!us settled t!at alle"ations o tortious
conduct committed a"ainst an airline passen"er
durin" t!e course o t!e international carria"e do
not brin" t!e case outside t!e ambit o t!e
?arsaw Convention.
Respondent, in see1in" remedies rom t!e trial
court t!rou"! special appearance o counsel, is
not deemed to !ave voluntaril# submitted itsel to
t!e jurisdiction o t!e trial court.
Petitioner ar"ues t!at respondent !as e>ectivel#
submitted itsel to t!e jurisdiction o t!e trial court
w!en t!e latter stated in its CommentFOpposition
to t!e 0otion or Reconsideration t!at ;Deendant
Qis at a lossR @ @ @ !ow t!e plainti> arrived at !er
erroneous impression t!at it isFwas Euro:
P!ilippines %irlines Services, Inc. t!at !as been
ma1in" a special appearance since @ @ @ ,ritis!
%irwa#s @ @ @ !as been clearl# speci#in" in all t!e
pleadin"s t!at it !as +led wit! t!is 9onorable
Court t!at it is t!e one ma1in" a special
appearance.;
55
In reutin" t!e contention o petitioner,
respondent cited *a Naval Dru" Corporation v.
Court o %ppeals
5)
w!ere we !eld t!at even i a
part# ;c!allen"es t!e jurisdiction o t!e court over
!is person, as b# reason o absence or deective
service o summons, and !e also invo1es ot!er
"rounds or t!e dismissal o t!e action under Rule
$A, !e is not deemed to be in estoppel or to !ave
waived !is objection to t!e jurisdiction over !is
person.;
5A
-!is issue !as been s8uarel# passed upon in t!e
recent case o Carcia v. Sandi"anba#an,
5G
w!ere
we reiterated our rulin" in *a Naval Dru"
Corporation v. Court o %ppeals
5'
and elucidated
t!usD
Special %ppearance to Iuestion a Court3s
Jurisdiction Is Not
Boluntar# %ppearance
-!e second sentence o Sec. &(, Rule $5 o t!e
Revised Rules o Civil Procedure clearl# providesD
Sec. &(. Boluntar# appearance. N -!e deendant3s
voluntar# appearance in t!e action s!all be
e8uivalent to service o summons. -!e inclusion in
a motion to dismiss o ot!er "rounds aside rom
lac1 o jurisdiction over t!e person o t!e
deendant s!all not be deemed a voluntar#
appearance.
-!us, a deendant w!o +les a motion to dismiss,
assailin" t!e jurisdiction o t!e court over !is
person, to"et!er wit! ot!er "rounds raised
t!erein, is not deemed to !ave appeared
voluntaril# beore t!e court. ?!at t!e rule on
voluntar# appearance N t!e +rst sentence o t!e
above:8uoted rule N means is t!at t!e voluntar#
appearance o t!e deendant in court is wit!out
8uali+cation, in w!ic! case !e is deemed to !ave
waived !is deense o lac1 o jurisdiction over !is
person due to improper service o summons.
-!e pleadin"s +led b# petitioner in t!e subject
oreiture cases, !owever, do not s!ow t!at s!e
voluntaril# appeared wit!out 8uali+cation.
Petitioner +led t!e ollowin" pleadin"s in
2oreiture ID .a/ motion to dismissE .b/ motion or
reconsideration andFor to admit answerE .c/
second motion or reconsiderationE .d/ motion to
consolidate oreiture case wit! plunder caseE and
.e/ motion to dismiss andFor to 8uas! 2oreiture I.
%nd in 2oreiture IID .a/ motion to dismiss andFor to
8uas! 2oreiture IIE and .b/ motion or partial
reconsideration.
-!e ore"oin" pleadin"s, particularl# t!e motions
to dismiss, were +led b# petitioner solel# or
special appearance wit! t!e purpose o
c!allen"in" t!e jurisdiction o t!e S, over !er
person and t!at o !er t!ree c!ildren. Petitioner
asserts t!erein t!at S, did not ac8uire jurisdiction
over !er person and o !er t!ree c!ildren or lac1
o valid service o summons t!rou"! improvident
substituted service o summons in bot! 2oreiture
I and 2oreiture II. -!is stance t!e petitioner never
abandoned w!en s!e +led !er motions or
reconsideration, even wit! a pra#er to admit t!eir
attac!ed %nswer E@ %bundante %d Cautelam
dated Januar# &&, &(() settin" ort! aOrmative
deenses wit! a claim or dama"es. %nd t!e ot!er
subse8uent pleadin"s, li1ewise, did not abandon
!er stance and deense o lac1 o jurisdiction due
to improper substituted services o summons in
t!e oreiture cases. Evidentl#, rom t!e ore"oin"
Sec. &(, Rule $5 o t!e $JJG Revised Rules on Civil
Procedure, petitioner and !er sons did not
voluntaril# appear beore t!e S, constitutive o or
e8uivalent to service o summons.
0oreover, t!e leadin" *a Naval Dru" Corp. v.
Court o %ppeals applies to t!e instant case. Said
case elucidates t!e current view in our jurisdiction
t!at a special appearance beore t!e courtNN
c!allen"in" its jurisdiction over t!e person
t!rou"! a motion to dismiss even i t!e movant
invo1es ot!er "roundsNNis not tantamount to
estoppel or a waiver b# t!e movant o !is
objection to jurisdiction over !is personE and suc!
is not constitutive o a voluntar# submission to t!e
jurisdiction o t!e court.1avvphi1
-!us, it cannot be said t!at petitioner and !er
t!ree c!ildren voluntaril# appeared beore t!e S,
to cure t!e deective substituted services o
summons. -!e# are, t!ereore, not estopped rom
8uestionin" t!e jurisdiction o t!e S, over t!eir
persons nor are t!e# deemed to !ave waived suc!
deense o lac1 o jurisdiction. Conse8uentl#, t!ere
bein" no valid substituted services o summons
made, t!e S, did not ac8uire jurisdiction over t!e
persons o petitioner and !er c!ildren. %nd
perorce, t!e proceedin"s in t!e subject oreiture
cases, insoar as petitioner and !er t!ree c!ildren
are concerned, are null and void or lac1 o
jurisdiction. .Emp!asis supplied/
In t!is case, t!e special appearance o t!e counsel
o respondent in +lin" t!e 0otion to Dismiss and
ot!er pleadin"s beore t!e trial court cannot be
deemed to be voluntar# submission to t!e
jurisdiction o t!e said trial court. ?e !ence
disa"ree wit! t!e contention o t!e petitioner and
rule t!at t!ere was no voluntar# appearance
beore t!e trial court t!at could constitute
estoppel or a waiver o respondent3s objection to
jurisdiction over its person.
?9ERE2ORE, t!e petition is DENIED. -!e October
$5, &(() Order o t!e Re"ional -rial Court o
0a1ati Cit#, ,ranc! $<&, dismissin" t!e complaint
or lac1 o jurisdiction, is %22IR0ED.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. 1&95&7 '!"( &, 200)
*HILI**INE AIRLINES, IN., petitioner,
vs.
HON. ADRIANO SA+ILLO, *r,-#.#$% '!.%, o/
RT Bra$ch 00 , I"o#"o #1(, a$. SIM*LIIO
GRI2O,respondents.
D E C I S I O N
HIO3NA4ARIO, J.5
-!is is a Petition or Review on Certiorari under
Rule 5) o t!e Rules o Court, assailin" t!e
Decision
$
dated $G %u"ust &(($, rendered b# t!e
Court o %ppeals in C%:C.R. SP No. 5'AA5,
aOrmin" in toto t!e Order
&
dated J June $JJ', o
,ranc! <( o t!e Re"ional -rial Court .R-C/ o Iloilo
Cit#, dismissin" t!e 0otion to Dismiss +led b#
petitioner P!ilippine %irlines Inc. .P%*/ in t!e case
entitled, Simplicio Grio v. hilippine Airlines! Inc.
and Sin"apore Airlines, doc1eted as Civil Case No.
&<GG<.
P%* is a corporation dul# or"aniHed under
P!ilippine law, en"a"ed in t!e business o
providin" air carria"e or passen"ers, ba""a"e
and car"o.
<
Public respondent 9on. %driano Savillo is t!e
presidin" jud"e o ,ranc! <( o t!e Iloilo R-C,
w!ere Civil Case No. &<GG< was +ledE w!ile
private respondent Simplicio CriSo is t!e plainti>
in t!e aorementioned case.
-!e acts are undisputed.
Private respondent was invited to participate in
t!e $JJ< %SE%N Seniors %nnual Col -ournament
!eld in Ja1arta, Indonesia. 9e and several
companions decided to purc!ase t!eir respective
passen"er tic1ets rom P%* wit! t!e ollowin"
points o passa"eD 0%NI*%:SINC%PORE:J%7%R-%:
SINC%PORE:0%NI*%. Private respondent and !is
companions were made to understand b# P%* t!at
its plane would ta1e t!em rom 0anila to
Sin"apore, w!ile Sin"apore %irlines would ta1e
t!em rom Sin"apore to Ja1arta.
5
On < October $JJ<, private respondent and !is
companions too1 t!e P%* 4i"!t to Sin"apore and
arrived at about AD(( o3cloc1 in t!e evenin". 6pon
t!eir arrival, t!e# proceeded to t!e Sin"apore
%irlines oOce to c!ec1:in or t!eir 4i"!t to Ja1arta
sc!eduled at 'D(( o3cloc1 in t!e same evenin".
Sin"apore %irlines rejected t!e tic1ets o private
respondent and !is "roup because t!e# were not
endorsed b# P%*. It was e@plained to private
respondent and !is "roup t!at i Sin"apore
%irlines !onored t!e tic1ets wit!out P%*3s
endorsement, P%* would not pa# Sin"apore
%irlines or t!eir passa"e. Private respondent tried
to contact P%*3s oOce at t!e airport, onl# to +nd
out t!at it was closed.
)
Stranded at t!e airport in Sin"apore and let wit!
no recourse, private respondent was in panic and
at a loss w!ere to "oE and was subjected to
!umiliation, embarrassment, mental an"uis!,
serious an@iet#, ear and distress. Eventuall#,
private respondent and !is companions were
orced to purc!ase tic1ets rom Caruda %irlines
and board its last 4i"!t bound or Ja1arta. ?!en
t!e# arrived in Ja1arta at about $&D(( o3cloc1
midni"!t, t!e part# w!o was supposed to etc!
t!em rom t!e airport !ad alread# let and t!e#
!ad to arran"e or t!eir transportation to t!e !otel
at a ver# late !our. %ter t!e series o nerve:
wrac1in" e@periences, private respondent became
ill and was unable to participate in t!e
tournament.
A
6pon !is return to t!e P!ilippines, private
respondent brou"!t t!e matter to t!e attention o
P%*. 9e sent a demand letter to P%* on &(
December $JJ< and anot!er to Sin"apore %irlines
on &$ 0arc! $JJ5. 9owever, bot! airlines
disowned liabilit# and blamed eac! ot!er or t!e
+asco. On $) %u"ust $JJG, private respondent
+led a Complaint or Dama"es beore t!e R-C
doc1eted as Civil Case No. &<GG<, see1in"
compensation or moral dama"es in t!e amount
o P$,(((,(((.(( and attorne#3s ees.
G
Instead o +lin" an answer to private respondent3s
Complaint, P%* +led a 0otion to Dismiss
'
dated $'
September $JJ' on t!e "round t!at t!e said
complaint was barred on t!e "round o
prescription under Section $./ o Rule $A o t!e
Rules o Court.
J
P%* ar"ued t!at t!e ?arsaw
Convention,
$(
particularl# %rticle &J
t!ereo,
$$
"overned t!is case, as it provides t!at
an# claim or dama"es in connection wit! t!e
international transportation o persons is subject
to t!e prescription period o two #ears. Since t!e
Complaint was +led on $) %u"ust $JJG, more t!an
t!ree #ears ater P%* received t!e demand letter
on &) Januar# $JJ5, it was alread# barred b#
prescription.
On J June $JJ', t!e R-C issued an Order
$&
den#in"
t!e 0otion to Dismiss. It maintained t!at t!e
provisions o t!e Civil Code and ot!er pertinent
laws o t!e P!ilippines, not t!e ?arsaw
Convention, were applicable to t!e present case.
-!e Court o %ppeals, in its assailed Decision
dated $G %u"ust &(($, li1ewise dismissed t!e
Petition or Certiorari +led b# P%* and aOrmed t!e
J June $JJ' Order o t!e R-C. It pronounced t!at
t!e application o t!e ?arsaw Convention must
not be construed to preclude t!e application o
t!e Civil Code and ot!er pertinent laws. ,#
appl#in" %rticle $$55 o t!e Civil Code,
$<
w!ic!
allowed or a ten:#ear prescription period, t!e
appellate court declared t!at t!e Complaint +led
b# private respondent s!ould not be dismissed.
$5
9ence, t!e present Petition, in w!ic! petitioner
raises t!e ollowin" issuesD
I
-9E CO6R- O2 %PPE%*S ERRED IN NO-
CIBINC D6E CO6RSE -O -9E PE-I-ION %S
RESPONDEN- J6DCE CO00I-ED CR%BE
%,6SE O2 DISCRE-ION %0O6N-INC -O
*%C7 O2 J6RSIDIC-ION IN DENMINC P%*3S
0O-ION -O DIS0ISS.
II
-9E CO6R- O2 %PPE%*S ERRED IN NO-
%PP*MINC -9E PROBISIONS O2 -9E
?%RS%? CONBEN-ION DESPI-E -9E 2%C-
-9%- CRITO3S C%6SE O2 %C-ION %ROSE
2RO0 % ,RE%C9 O2 CON-R%C- 2OR
IN-ERN%-ION%* %IR -R%NSPOR-.
III
-9E CO6R- O2 %PPE%*S ERRED IN NO-
9O*DINC -9%- -9E CO0P*%IN- 2I*ED ,M
CRITO ,EMOND -9E -?O .&/:ME%R PERIOD
PROBIDED 6NDER -9E ?%RS%?
CONBEN-ION IS %*RE%DM ,%RRED ,M
PRESCRIP-ION.
$)
-!e petition is wit!out merit.
In determinin" w!et!er P%*3s 0otion to Dismiss
s!ould !ave been "ranted b# t!e trial court, it
must be ascertained i all t!e claims made b# t!e
private respondent in !is Complaint are covered
b# t!e ?arsaw Convention, w!ic! e>ectivel# bars
all claims made outside t!e two:#ear prescription
period provided under %rticle &J t!ereo. I t!e
?arsaw Convention covers all o private
respondent3s claims, t!en Civil Case No. &<GG<
!as alread# prescribed and s!ould t!ereore be
dismissed. On t!e ot!er !and, i some, i not all, o
respondent3s claims are outside t!e covera"e o
t!e ?arsaw Convention, t!e R-C ma# still proceed
to !ear t!e case.
-!e ?arsaw Convention applies to ;all
international transportation o persons, ba""a"e
or "oods perormed b# an# aircrat or !ire.; It
see1s to accommodate or balance t!e interests o
passen"ers see1in" recover# or personal injuries
and t!e interests o air carriers see1in" to limit
potential liabilit#. It emplo#s a sc!eme o strict
liabilit# avorin" passen"ers and imposin"
dama"e caps to bene+t air carriers.
$A
-!e cardinal
purpose o t!e ?arsaw Convention is to provide
uniormit# o rules "overnin" claims arisin" rom
international air travelE t!us, it precludes a
passen"er rom maintainin" an action or personal
injur# dama"es under local law w!en !is or !er
claim does not satis# t!e conditions o liabilit#
under t!e Convention.
$G
%rticle $J o t!e ?arsaw Convention provides or
liabilit# on t!e part o a carrier or ;dama"es
occasioned b# dela# in t!e transportation b# air o
passen"ers, ba""a"e or "oods.; %rticle &5
e@cludes ot!er remedies b# urt!er providin" t!at
;.$/ in t!e cases covered b# articles $' and $J,
an# action or dama"es, !owever ounded, can
onl# be brou"!t subject to t!e conditions and
limits set out in t!is convention.; -!ereore, a
claim covered b# t!e ?arsaw Convention can no
lon"er be recovered under local law, i t!e statute
o limitations o two #ears !as alread# lapsed.
Nevert!eless, t!is Court notes t!at jurisprudence
in t!e P!ilippines and t!e 6nited States also
reco"niHes t!at t!e ?arsaw Convention does not
;e@clusivel# re"ulate; t!e relations!ip between
passen"er and carrier on an international 4i"!t.
-!is Court +nds t!at t!e present case is
substantiall# similar to cases in w!ic! t!e
dama"es sou"!t were considered to be outside
t!e covera"e o t!e ?arsaw Convention.
In #nited Airlines v. #$,
$'
t!is Court distin"uis!ed
between t!e .$/ dama"e to t!e passen"er3s
ba""a"e and .&/ !umiliation !e su>ered at t!e
!ands o t!e airline3s emplo#ees. -!e +rst cause
o action was covered b# t!e ?arsaw Convention
w!ic! prescribes in two #ears, w!ile t!e second
was covered b# t!e provisions o t!e Civil Code on
torts, w!ic! prescribes in our #ears.
Similar distinctions were made in %merican
jurisprudence. In %ahane$ v. Air &rance,
$J
a
passen"er was denied access to an airline 4i"!t
between New Mor1 and 0e@ico, despite t!e act
t!at s!e !eld a con+rmed reservation. -!e court
t!erein ruled t!at i t!e plainti> were to claim
dama"es based solel# on t!e dela# s!e
e@perienced N or instance, t!e costs o rentin" a
van, w!ic! s!e !ad to arran"e on !er own as a
conse8uence o t!e dela# N t!e complaint would
be barred b# t!e two:#ear statute o limitations.
9owever, w!ere t!e plainti> alle"ed t!at t!e
airlines subjected !er to unjust discrimination or
undue or unreasonable preerence or
disadvanta"e, an act punis!able under t!e 6nited
States laws, t!en t!e plainti> ma# claim purel#
nominal compensator# dama"es or !umiliation
and !urt eelin"s, w!ic! are not provided or b#
t!e ?arsaw Convention. In anot!er case, 'ol"el
v. %e(icana Airlines,
&(
t!e court pronounced t!at
actions or dama"es or t!e ;bumpin" o>; itsel,
rat!er t!an t!e incidental dama"es due to t!e
dela#, all outside t!e ?arsaw Convention and do
not prescribe in two #ears.
In t!e Petition at bar, private respondent3s
Complaint alle"ed t!at bot! P%* and Sin"apore
%irlines were "uilt# o "ross ne"li"ence, w!ic!
resulted in !is bein" subjected to ;!umiliation,
embarrassment, mental an"uis!, serious an@iet#,
ear and distress.;
&$
-!e emotional !arm su>ered
b# t!e private respondent as a result o !avin"
been unreasonabl# and unjustl# prevented rom
boardin" t!e plane s!ould be distin"uis!ed rom
t!e actual dama"es w!ic! resulted rom t!e same
incident. 6nder t!e Civil Code provisions on
tort,
&&
suc! emotional !arm "ives rise to
compensation w!ere "ross ne"li"ence or malice is
proven.
-!e instant case is comparable to t!e case
o )athi"ra v. *ritish Airwa$s.
&<
In )athi"ra, it was !eld t!at t!e airlines3 ne"li"ent
act o recon+rmin" t!e passen"er3s reservation
da#s beore departure and ailin" to inorm t!e
latter t!at t!e 4i"!t !ad alread# been
discontinued is not amon" t!e acts covered b# t!e
?arsaw Convention, since t!e alle"ed ne"li"ence
did not occur durin" t!e perormance o t!e
contract o carria"e but, rat!er, da#s beore t!e
sc!eduled 4i"!t.
In t!e case at !and, Sin"apore %irlines barred
private respondent rom boardin" t!e Sin"apore
%irlines 4i"!t because P%* alle"edl# ailed to
endorse t!e tic1ets o private respondent and !is
companions, despite P%*3s assurances to
respondent t!at Sin"apore %irlines !ad alread#
con+rmed t!eir passa"e. ?!ile t!is act still needs
to be !eard and establis!ed b# ade8uate proo
beore t!e R-C, an action based on t!ese
alle"ations will not all under t!e ?arsaw
Convention, since t!e purported ne"li"ence on
t!e part o P%* did not occur durin" t!e
perormance o t!e contract o carria"e but da#s
beore t!e sc!eduled 4i"!t. -!us, t!e present
action cannot be dismissed based on t!e statute
o limitations provided under %rticle &J o t!e
?arsaw Convention.
9ad t!e present case merel# consisted o claims
incidental to t!e airlines3 dela# in transportin"
t!eir passen"ers, t!e private respondent3s
Complaint would !ave been time:barred under
%rticle &J o t!e ?arsaw Convention. 9owever,
t!e present case involves a special species o
injur# resultin" rom t!e ailure o P%* andFor
Sin"apore %irlines to transport private respondent
rom Sin"apore to Ja1arta N t!e proound distress,
ear, an@iet# and !umiliation t!at private
respondent e@perienced w!en, despite P%*3s
earlier assurance t!at Sin"apore %irlines
con+rmed !is passa"e, !e was prevented rom
boardin" t!e plane and !e aced t!e dauntin"
possibilit# t!at !e would be stranded in Sin"apore
%irport because t!e P%* oOce was alread# closed.
-!ese claims are covered b# t!e Civil Code
provisions on tort, and not wit!in t!e purview o
t!e ?arsaw Convention. 9ence, t!e applicable
prescription period is t!at provided under %rticle
$$5A o t!e Civil CodeD
%rt. $$5A. -!e ollowin" actions must be
instituted wit!in our #earsD
.$/ 6pon an injur# to t!e ri"!ts o t!e
plainti>E
.&/ 6pon a 8uasi:delict.
Private respondent3s Complaint was +led wit! t!e
R-C on $) %u"ust $JJG, w!ic! was less t!an our
#ears since P%* received !is e@trajudicial demand
on &) Januar# $JJ5. -!us, private respondent3s
claims !ave not #et prescribed and P%*3s 0otion
to Dismiss must be denied.
0oreover, s!ould t!ere be an# doubt as to t!e
prescription o private respondent3s Complaint,
t!e more prudent action is or t!e R-C to continue
!earin" t!e same and den# t!e 0otion to Dismiss.
?!ere it cannot be determined wit! certaint#
w!et!er t!e action !as alread# prescribed or not,
t!e deense o prescription cannot be sustained
on a mere motion to dismiss based on w!at
appears to be on t!e ace o t!e complaint.
&5
%nd
w!ere t!e "round on w!ic! prescription is based
does not appear to be indubitable, t!e court ma#
do well to deer action on t!e motion to dismiss
until ater trial on t!e merits.
&)
IN +IEW O6 THE 6OREGOING, t!e instant
Petition is DENIED. -!e assailed Decision o t!e
Court o %ppeals in C%:C.R. SP No. 5'AA5,
promul"ated on $G %u"ust &(($ is A66IRMED.
Costs a"ainst t!e petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
7G.R. No. 15009&. A!%!-1 1), 200&8
6EDERAL E9*RESS OR*ORATION, petitioner,
vs. AMERIAN HOME ASSURANE
OM*ANY a$. *HILAM INSURANE
OM*ANY, IN.,respondents.
D E I S I O N
*ANGANIBAN, J.:
,asic is t!e re8uirement t!at beore suin" to
recover loss o or dama"e to transported "oods,
t!e plainti> must "ive t!e carrier notice o t!e loss
or dama"e, wit!in t!e period prescribed b# t!e
?arsaw Convention andFor t!e airwa# bill.
Th, a-,
,eore us is a Petition or Review
Q$R
under Rule
5) o t!e Rules o Court, c!allen"in" t!e June 5,
&(($ Decision
Q&R
and t!e September &$, &(($
Resolution
Q<R
o t!e Court o %ppeals .C%/ in C%:CR
CB No. )'&('. -!e assailed Decision disposed as
ollowsD
U?9ERE2ORE, premises considered, t!e present
appeal is !ereb# DIS0ISSED or lac1 o merit. -!e
appealed Decision o ,ranc! $5J o t!e Re"ional
-rial Court o 0a1ati Cit# in Civil Case No. +,-
1-1+!entitled .American /ome Assurance Co. and
/I)A% Insurance Co.! Inc. v. &0102A) 0320SS
CO2O2A4ION and5or CA2GO/A#S! INC. 67ormerl$
#-'A20/O#S0! INC.8!9 is
!ereb# A66IRMEDand REITERATED.
UCosts a"ainst t!e Qpetitioner and Car"o!aus,
Inc.R.V
Q5R
-!e assailed Resolution denied petitioner3s
0otion or Reconsideration.
Th, 6ac1-
-!e antecedent acts are summariHed b# t!e
appellate court as ollowsD
UOn Januar# &A, $JJ5, S0I-97*INE ,eec!am
.S0I-97*INE or brevit#/ o Nebras1a, 6S%
delivered to ,urlin"ton %ir E@press .,6R*INC-ON/,
an a"ent o QPetitionerR 2ederal E@press
Corporation, a s!ipment o $(J cartons o
veterinar# biolo"icals or deliver# to consi"nee
S0I-97*INE and 2renc! Overseas Compan# in
0a1ati Cit#, 0etro 0anila. -!e s!ipment was
covered b# ,urlin"ton %irwa# ,ill No. $$&A<'&)
wit! t!e words, WRE2RICER%-E ?9EN NO- IN
-R%NSI-3 and WPERIS9%,*E3 stamp mar1ed on its
ace. -!at same da#, ,urlin"ton insured t!e
car"oes in t!e amount o X<J,<<J.(( wit!
%merican 9ome %ssurance Compan# .%9%C/. -!e
ollowin" da#, ,urlin"ton turned over t!e custod#
o said car"oes to 2ederal E@press w!ic!
transported t!e same to 0anila. -!e +rst
s!ipment, consistin" o J& cartons arrived in
0anila on Januar# &J, $JJ5 in 2li"!t No. ((G$:
&'NR- and was immediatel# stored at QCar"o!aus
Inc.3sR ware!ouse. ?!ile t!e second, consistin" o
$G cartons, came in two .&/ da#s later, or on
Januar# <$, $JJ5, in 2li"!t No. ((G$:<(NR- w!ic!
was li1ewise immediatel# stored at Car"o!aus3
ware!ouse. Prior to t!e arrival o t!e car"oes,
2ederal E@press inormed CE-C Car"o
International Corporation, t!e customs bro1er
!ired b# t!e consi"nee to acilitate t!e release o
its car"oes rom t!e ,ureau o Customs, o t!e
impendin" arrival o its client3s car"oes.
UOn 2ebruar# $(, $JJ5, D%RIO C. DIONED%
.WDIONED%3/, twelve .$&/ da#s ater t!e car"oes
arrived in 0anila, a non:licensed custom3s bro1er
w!o was assi"ned b# CE-C to acilitate t!e
release o t!e subject car"oes, ound out, w!ile !e
was about to cause t!e release o t!e said
car"oes, t!at t!e same QwereR stored onl# in a
room wit! two .&/ air conditioners runnin", to cool
t!e place instead o a reri"erator. ?!en !e as1ed
an emplo#ee o Car"o!aus w!# t!e car"oes were
stored in t!e Wcool room3 onl#, t!e latter told !im
t!at t!e cartons w!ere t!e vaccines were
contained speci+call# indicated t!erein t!at it
s!ould not be subjected to !ot or cold
temperature. -!ereater, DIONED%, upon
instructions rom CE-C, did not proceed wit! t!e
wit!drawal o t!e vaccines and instead, samples
o t!e same were ta1en and brou"!t to t!e ,ureau
o %nimal Industr# o t!e Department o
%"riculture in t!e P!ilippines b# S0I-97*INE or
e@amination w!erein it was discovered t!at t!e
WE*IS% readin" o vaccinates sera are below t!e
positive reerence serum.3
U%s a conse8uence o t!e ore"oin" result o t!e
veterinar# biolo"ics test, S0I-97*INE abandoned
t!e s!ipment and, declarin" Wtotal loss3 or t!e
unusable s!ipment, +led a claim wit! %9%C
t!rou"! its representative in t!e P!ilippines, t!e
P!ilam Insurance Co., Inc. .WP9I*%03/ w!ic!
recompensed S0I-97*INE or t!e w!ole insured
amount o -9IR-M NINE -9O6S%ND -9REE
96NDRED -9IR-M NINE DO**%RS .X<J,<<J.((/.
-!ereater, QrespondentsR +led an action or
dama"es a"ainst t!e QpetitionerR imputin"
ne"li"ence on eit!er or bot! o t!em in t!e
!andlin" o t!e car"o.
U-rial ensued and ultimatel# concluded on 0arc!
$', $JJG wit! t!e QpetitionerR bein" !eld solidaril#
liable or t!e loss as ollowsD
W?9ERE2ORE, jud"ment is !ereb# rendered in
avor o QrespondentsR and Qpetitioner and its Co:
Deendant Car"o!ausR are directed to pa#
QrespondentsR, jointl# and severall#, t!e ollowin"D
$. %ctual dama"es in t!e amount o t!e peso
e8uivalent o 6SX<J,<<J.(( wit! interest rom t!e
time o t!e +lin" o t!e complaint to t!e time t!e
same is ull# paid.
&. %ttorne#3s ees in t!e amount o P)(,(((.((
and
<. Costs o suit.
WSO ORDERED.3
U%""rieved, QpetitionerR appealed to Qt!e C%R.V
Q)R
R!"#$% o/ 1h, o!r1 o/ A::,a"-
-!e -est Report issued b# t!e 6nited States
Department o %"riculture .%nimal and Plant
9ealt! Inspection Service/ was ound b# t!e C% to
be inadmissible in evidence. Despite t!is rulin",
t!e appellate court !eld t!at t!e s!ippin" Receipts
were a prima acie proo t!at t!e "oods !ad
indeed been delivered to t!e carrier in "ood
condition. ?e 8uote rom t!e rulin" as ollowsD
U?!ere t!e plainti> introduces evidence w!ic!
s!ows prima 7acie t!at t!e "oods were delivered
to t!e carrier in "ood condition Qi.e., t!e s!ippin"
receiptsR, and t!at t!e carrier delivered t!e "oods
in a dama"ed condition, a presumption is raised
t!at t!e dama"e occurred t!rou"! t!e ault or
ne"li"ence o t!e carrier! and t!is casts upon t!e
carrier t!e burden o s!owin" t!at t!e "oods were
not in "ood condition w!en delivered to t!e
carrier, or t!at t!e dama"e was occasioned b#
some cause e@ceptin" t!e carrier rom absolute
liabilit#. -!is t!e QpetitionerR ailed to disc!ar"e. @
@ @.V
QAR
2ound devoid o merit was petitioner3s claim
t!at respondents !ad no personalit# to sue. -!is
ar"ument was supposedl# not raised in t!e
%nswer or durin" trial.
9ence, t!is Petition.
QGR
Th, I--!,-
In its 0emorandum, petitioner raises t!e
ollowin" issues or our considerationD
UI.
%re t!e decision and resolution o t!e 9onorable
Court o %ppeals proper subject or review b# t!e
9onorable Court under Rule 5) o t!e $JJG Rules
o Civil ProcedureY
UII.
Is t!e conclusion o t!e 9onorable Court o
%ppeals N petitioner3s claim t!at respondents !ave
no personalit# to sue because t!e pa#ment was
made b# t!e respondents to Smit!1line w!en t!e
insured under t!e polic# is ,urlin"ton %ir E@press
is devoid o merit N correct or notY
UIII.
Is t!e conclusion o t!e 9onorable Court o
%ppeals t!at t!e "oods were received in "ood
condition, correct or notY
UIB.
%re E@!ibits W23 and WC3 !earsa# evidence, and
t!ereore, not admissibleY
UB.
Is t!e 9onorable Court o %ppeals correct in
i"norin" and disre"ardin" respondents3 own
admission t!at petitioner is not liableY and
UBI.
Is t!e 9onorable Court o %ppeals correct in
i"norin" t!e ?arsaw ConventionYV
Q'R
Simpl# stated, t!e issues are as ollowsD .$/ Is
t!e Petition proper or review b# t!e Supreme
CourtY .&/ Is 2ederal E@press liable or dama"e to
or loss o t!e insured "oodsY
Th#- o!r1;- R!"#$%
-!e Petition !as merit.
*r,"#<#$ar( I--!,5
Propriety of Review
-!e correctness o le"al conclusions drawn b#
t!e Court o %ppeals rom undisputed acts is a
8uestion o law co"niHable b# t!e Supreme Court.
QJR
In t!e present case, t!e acts are undisputed.
%s will be s!own s!ortl#, petitioner is 8uestionin"
t!e conclusions drawn rom suc! acts. 9ence,
t!is case is a proper subject or review b# t!is
Court.
Ma#$ I--!,5
Liability for Damages
Petitioner contends t!at respondents !ave no
personalit# to sue :: t!us, no cause o action
a"ainst it :: because t!e pa#ment made to
Smit!1line was erroneous.
Pertinent to t!is issue is t!e Certi+cate o
Insurance
Q$(R
.UCerti+cateV/ t!at bot! opposin"
parties cite in support o t!eir respective
positions. -!e# di>er onl# in t!eir interpretation
o w!at t!eir ri"!ts are under its terms. -!e
determination o t!ose ri"!ts involves a 8uestion
o law, not a 8uestion o act. U%s distin"uis!ed
rom a 8uestion o law w!ic! e@ists Ww!en t!e
doubt or di>erence arises as to w!at t!e law is on
a certain state o acts3 :: Wt!ere is a 8uestion o
act w!en t!e doubt or di>erence arises as to t!e
trut! or t!e alse!ood o alle"ed acts3E or w!en
t!e W8uer# necessaril# invites calibration o t!e
w!ole evidence considerin" mainl# t!e credibilit#
o witnesses, e@istence and relevanc# o speci+c
surroundin" circumstance, t!eir relation to eac!
ot!er and to t!e w!ole and t!e probabilities o t!e
situation.3V
Q$$R
Proper Payee
-!e Certi+cate speci+es t!at loss o or
dama"e to t!e insured car"o is Upa#able to order
@ @ @ upon surrender o t!is Certi+cate.V Suc!
wordin" conve#s t!e ri"!t o collectin" on an#
suc! dama"e or loss, as ull# as i t!e propert#
were covered b# a special polic# in t!e name o
t!e !older itsel. %t t!e bac1 o t!e Certi+cate
appears t!e si"nature o t!e representative o
,urlin"ton. -!is document !as t!us been dul#
indorsed in blan1 and is deemed a bearer
instrument.
Since t!e Certi+cate was in t!e possession o
Smit!1line, t!e latter !ad t!e ri"!t o collectin" or
o bein" indemni+ed or loss o or dama"e to t!e
insured s!ipment, as ull# as i t!e propert# were
covered b# a special polic# in t!e name o t!e
!older. 9ence, bein" t!e !older o t!e Certi+cate
and !avin" an insurable interest in t!e "oods,
Smit!1line was t!e proper pa#ee o t!e insurance
proceeds.
ubrogation
6pon receipt o t!e insurance proceeds, t!e
consi"nee .Smit!1line/ e@ecuted a subro"ation
Receipt
Q$&R
in avor o respondents. -!e latter were
t!us aut!oriHed Uto +le claims and be"in suit
a"ainst an# suc! carrier, vessel, person,
corporation or "overnment.V 6ndeniabl#, t!e
consi"nee !ad a le"al ri"!t to receive t!e "oods in
t!e same condition it was delivered or transport
to petitioner. I t!at ri"!t was violated, t!e
consi"nee would !ave a cause o action a"ainst
t!e person responsible t!ereor.
6pon pa#ment to t!e consi"nee o an
indemnit# or t!e loss o or dama"e to t!e insured
"oods, t!e insurer3s entitlement to
subro"ation pro tanto :: bein" o t!e !i"!est
e8uit# :: e8uips it wit! a cause o action in case o
a contractual breac! or ne"li"ence.
Q$<R
U2urt!er,
t!e insurer3s subro"ator# ri"!t to sue or recover#
under t!e bill o ladin" in case o loss o or
dama"e to t!e car"o is jurisprudentiall#
up!eld.V
Q$5R
In t!e e@ercise o its subro"ator# ri"!t, an
insurer ma# proceed a"ainst an errin" carrier. -o
all intents and purposes, it stands in t!e place and
in substitution o t!e consi"nee. A 7ortiori! bot!
t!e insurer and t!e consi"nee are bound b# t!e
contractual stipulations under t!e bill o ladin".
Q$)R
Prescription of !laim
2rom t!e initial proceedin"s in t!e trial court
up to t!e present, petitioner !as tirelessl# pointed
out t!at respondents3 claim and ri"!t o action are
alread# barred. -!e latter, and even t!e
consi"nee, never +led wit! t!e carrier an# written
notice or complaint re"ardin" its claim or dama"e
o or loss to t!e subject car"o wit!in t!e period
re8uired b# t!e ?arsaw Convention andFor in t!e
airwa# bill. Indeed, t!is act !as never been
denied b# respondents and is plainl# evident rom
t!e records.
%irwa# ,ill No. $$&A<'&), issued b# ,urlin"ton
as a"ent o petitioner, statesD
UA. No action s!all be maintained in t!e case o
dama"e to or partial loss o t!e s!ipment unless a
written notice, suOcientl# describin" t!e "oods
concerned, t!e appro@imate date o t!e dama"e
or loss, and t!e details o t!e claim, is presented
b# s!ipper or consi"nee to an oOce o ,urlin"ton
wit!in .$5/ da#s rom t!e date t!e "oods are
placed at t!e disposal o t!e person entitled to
deliver#, or in t!e case o total loss .includin"
non:deliver#/ unless presented wit!in .$&(/ da#s
rom t!e date o issue o t!e Q%irwa# ,illR.V
Q$AR
Relevantl#, petitioner3s airwa# bill statesD
U$&.F$&.$ -!e person entitled to deliver# must
ma1e a complaint to t!e carrier in writin" in t!e
caseD
$&.$.$ o visible dama"e to t!e "oods,
immediatel# ater discover# o t!e
dama"e and at t!e latest wit!in ourteen
.$5/ da#s rom receipt o t!e "oodsE
$&.$.& o ot!er dama"e to t!e "oods,
wit!in ourteen .$5/ da#s rom t!e date o
receipt o t!e "oodsE
$&.$.< dela#, wit!in twent#:one .&$/ da#s
o t!e date t!e "oods are placed at !is
disposalE and
$&.$.5 o non:deliver# o t!e "oods, wit!in
one !undred and twent# .$&(/ da#s rom
t!e date o t!e issue o t!e air wa#bill.
$&.& 2or t!e purpose o $&.$ complaint in writin"
ma# be made to t!e carrier w!ose air wa#bill was
used, or to t!e +rst carrier or to t!e last carrier or
to t!e carrier w!o perormed t!e transportation
durin" w!ic! t!e loss, dama"e or dela# too1
place.V
Q$GR
%rticle &A o t!e ?arsaw Convention, on t!e
ot!er !and, providesD
U%R-. &A. .$/ Receipt b# t!e person entitled to t!e
deliver# o ba""a"e or "oods wit!out complaint
s!all be prima acie evidence t!at t!e same !ave
been delivered in "ood condition and in
accordance wit! t!e document o transportation.
.&/ In case o dama"e, t!e person entitled to
deliver# must complain to t!e carrier ort!wit!
ater t!e discover# o t!e dama"e, and, at t!e
latest, wit!in < da#s rom t!e date o receipt in
t!e case o ba""a"e and G da#s rom t!e date o
receipt in t!e case o "oods. In case o dela# t!e
complaint must be made at t!e latest wit!in $5
da#s rom t!e date on w!ic! t!e ba""a"e or
"oods !ave been placed at !is disposal.
.</ Ever# complaint must be made in writin"
upon t!e document o transportation or b#
separate notice in writin" dispatc!ed wit!in t!e
times aoresaid.
.5/ 2ailin" complaint wit!in t!e times aoresaid,
no action s!all lie a"ainst t!e carrier, save in t!e
case o raud on !is part.V
Q$'R
!ondition Precedent
In t!is jurisdiction, t!e +lin" o a claim wit!
t!e carrier wit!in t!e time limitation t!ereor
actuall# constitutes a condition precedent to t!e
accrual o a ri"!t o action a"ainst a carrier or
loss o or dama"e to t!e "oods.
Q$JR
-!e s!ipper or
consi"nee must alle"e and prove t!e ul+llment o
t!e condition. I it ails to do so, no ri"!t o action
a"ainst t!e carrier can accrue in avor o t!e
ormer. -!e aorementioned re8uirement is a
reasonable condition precedentE it does not
constitute a limitation o action.
Q&(R
-!e re8uirement o "ivin" notice o loss o or
injur# to t!e "oods is not an empt# ormalism.
-!e undamental reasons or suc! a stipulation
are .$/ to inorm t!e carrier t!at t!e car"o !as
been dama"ed, and t!at it is bein" c!ar"ed wit!
liabilit# t!ereorE and .&/ to "ive it an opportunit#
to e@amine t!e nature and e@tent o t!e injur#.
U-!is protects t!e carrier b# a>ordin" it an
opportunit# to ma1e an investi"ation o a claim
w!ile t!e matter is res! and easil# investi"ated
so as to sae"uard itsel rom alse and raudulent
claims.V
Q&$R
?!en an airwa# bill :: or an# contract o
carria"e or t!at matter :: !as a stipulation t!at
re8uires a notice o claim or loss o or dama"e to
"oods s!ipped and t!e stipulation is not complied
wit!, its enorcement can be prevented and t!e
liabilit# cannot be imposed on t!e carrier. -o
stress, notice is a condition precedent, and t!e
carrier is not liable i notice is not "iven in
accordance wit! t!e stipulation.
Q&&R
2ailure to compl#
wit! suc! a stipulation bars recover# or t!e loss or
dama"e su>ered.
Q&<R
,ein" a condition precedent, t!e notice must
precede a suit or enorcement.
Q&5R
In t!e present
case, t!ere is neit!er an alle"ation nor a s!owin"
o respondents3 compliance wit! t!is re8uirement
wit!in t!e prescribed period. ?!ile respondents
ma# !ave !ad a cause o action t!en, t!e# cannot
now enorce it or t!eir ailure to compl# wit! t!e
aoresaid condition precedent.
In view o t!e ore"oin", we +nd no more
necessit# to pass upon t!e ot!er issues raised b#
petitioner.
?e note t!at respondents are not wit!out
recourse. Car"o!aus, Inc. :: petitioner3s co:
deendant in respondents3 Complaint below :: !as
been adjud"ed b# t!e trial court as liable or,inter
alia, Uactual dama"es in t!e amount o t!e peso
e8uivalent o 6S X<J,<<J.V
Q&)R
-!is jud"ment was
aOrmed b# t!e Court o %ppeals and is alread#
+nal and e@ecutor#.
Q&AR
WHERE6ORE, t!e Petition is G2AN401! and
t!e assailed Decision 20:02S01 insoar as it
pertains to Petitioner 2ederal E@press
Corporation. No pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.
7G.R. No. 1277=). No>,<?,r 19, 19998
UNITED AIRLINES, petitioner, vs. WILLIE '.
UY, respondent.
D E I S I O N
BELLOSILLO, J.5
6NI-ED %IR*INES assails in t!is petition or
review on certiorari under Rule 5) t!e &J %u"ust
$JJ) Decision o t!e Court o %ppeals in C%:C.R.
CB No. <JGA$ w!ic! reversed t!e G %u"ust $JJ&
order issued b# t!e trial court in Civil Case No. I:
J&:$&5$(
Q$R
"rantin" petitionerPs motion to dismiss
based on prescription o cause o action. -!e
issues sou"!t to be resolved are w!et!er t!e
notice o appeal to t!e appellate court was timel#
+led, and w!et!er %rt. &J o t!e ?arsaw
Convention
Q&R
s!ould appl# to t!e case at bar.
On $< October $J'J respondent ?illie J. 6#, a
revenue passen"er on 6nited %irlines 2li"!t No.
'$J or t!e San 2rancisco : 0anila route, c!ec1ed
in to"et!er wit! !is lu""a"e one piece o w!ic!
was ound to be overwei"!t at t!e airline
counter. -o !is utter !umiliation, an emplo#ee o
petitioner rebu1ed !im sa#in" t!at !e s!ould !ave
1nown t!e ma@imum wei"!t allowance to be G(
1"s. per ba" and t!at !e s!ould !ave pac1ed !is
t!in"s accordin"l#. -!en, in a loud voice in ront
o t!e millin" crowd, s!e told respondent to
repac1 !is t!in"s and transer some o t!em rom
t!e overwei"!t lu""a"e to t!e li"!ter ones. Not
wis!in" to create urt!er scene, respondent
acceded onl# to +nd !is lu""a"e still
overwei"!t. -!e airline t!en billed !im
overwei"!t c!ar"es w!ic! !e o>ered to pa# wit! a
miscellaneous c!ar"e order .0CO/ or an airline
pre:paid credit. 9owever, t!e airline3s emplo#ee,
and later its airport supervisor, adamantl# reused
to !onor t!e 0CO pointin" out t!at t!ere were
con4ictin" +"ures listed on it. Despite t!e
e@planation rom respondent t!at t!e last +"ure
written on t!e 0CO represented !is balance,
petitioner3s emplo#ees did not accommodate
!im. 2aced wit! t!e prospect o leavin" wit!out
!is lu""a"e, respondent paid t!e overwei"!t
c!ar"es wit! !is %merican E@press credit card.
Respondent3s troubles did not end
t!ere. 6pon arrival in 0anila, !e discovered t!at
one o !is ba"s !ad been slas!ed and its contents
stolen. 9e particulariHed !is losses to be around
6S X),<$(.((. In a letter dated $A October $J'J
respondent bewailed t!e insult, embarrassment
and !umiliatin" treatment !e su>ered in t!e
!ands o 6nited %irlines emplo#ees, noti+ed
petitioner o !is loss and re8uested
reimbursement t!ereo. Petitioner 6nited %irlines,
t!rou"! Central ,a""a"e Specialist Joan 7roll, did
not reute an# o respondent3s alle"ations and
mailed a c!ec1 representin" t!e pa#ment o !is
loss based on t!e ma@imum liabilit# o 6S XJ.G(
per pound. Respondent, t!in1in" t!e amount to
be "rossl# inade8uate to compensate !im or !is
losses, as well as or t!e indi"nities !e was
subjected to, sent two .&/ more letters to
petitioner airline, one dated 5 Januar# $JJ(
t!rou"! a certain %tt#. Pesi"an, and anot!er dated
&' October $JJ$ t!rou"! %tt#. Ramon 6. %mpil
demandin" an out:o:court settlement
oP$,(((,(((.((. Petitioner 6nited %irlines did not
accede to !is demands.
Conse8uentl#, on J June $JJ& respondent +led
a complaint or dama"es a"ainst 6nited %irlines
alle"in" t!at !e was a person o "ood station,
sittin" in t!e board o directors o several top )((
corporations and !oldin" senior e@ecutive
positions or suc! similar +rmsE
Q<R
t!at petitioner
airline accorded !im ill and s!abb# treatment to
!is e@treme embarrassment and !umiliationE and,
as suc! !e s!ould be paid moral dama"es o at
least P$,(((,(((.((, e@emplar# dama"es o at
least P)((,(((.((, plus attorne#Ps ees o at
least P)(,(((.((. Similarl#, !e alle"ed t!at t!e
dama"e to !is lu""a"e and its stolen contents
amounted to around X),<$(.((, and re8uested
reimbursement t!ereor.
6nited %irlines moved to dismiss t!e
complaint on t!e "round t!at respondent3s cause
o action !ad prescribed, invo1in" %rt. &J o t!e
?arsaw Convention w!ic! provides :
%rt. &J .$/ -!e ri"!t to dama"es s!all be
e@tin"uis!ed i an action is not brou"!t wit!in two
.&/ #ears, rec1oned rom t!e date o arrival at t!e
destination, or rom t!e date on w!ic! t!e aircrat
ou"!t to !ave arrived, or rom t!e date on w!ic!
t!e transportation stopped.
.&/ -!e met!od o calculatin" t!e period o
limitation s!all be determined b# t!e law o t!e
court to w!ic! t!e case is submitted.
Respondent countered t!at par. .$/ o %rt. &J
o t!e ?arsaw Convention must be reconciled wit!
par. .&/ t!ereo w!ic! states t!at ;t!e met!od o
calculatin" t!e period o limitation s!all be
determined b# t!e law o t!e court to w!ic! t!e
case is submitted.; Interpretin" t!us, respondent
noted t!at accordin" to P!ilippine laws t!e
prescription o actions is interrupted ;w!en t!e#
are +led beore t!e court, w!en t!ere is a written
e@trajudicial demand b# t!e creditors, and w!en
t!ere is an# written ac1nowled"ment o t!e debt
b# t!e debtor.;
Q5R
Since !e made several demands
upon 6nited %irlinesD ;rst, t!rou"! !is personal
letter dated $A October $J'JE second, t!rou"! a
letter dated 5 Januar# $JJ( rom %tt#. Pesi"anE
and, ;nall$, t!rou"! a letter dated &' October
$JJ$ written or !im b# %tt#. %mpil, t!e two .&/:
#ear period o limitation !ad not #et been
e@!austed.
On & %u"ust $JJ& t!e trial court ordered t!e
dismissal o t!e action !oldin" t!at t!e lan"ua"e
o %rt. &J is clear t!at t!e action must be brou"!t
wit!in two .&/ #ears rom t!e date o arrival at t!e
destination. It !eld t!at alt!ou"! t!e second
para"rap! o %rt. &J spea1s o deerence to t!e
law o t!e local court in ;calculatin" t!e period o
limitation,; t!e same does not reer to t!e local
orum3s rules in interruptin" t!e prescriptive
period but onl# to t!e rules o determinin" t!e
time in w!ic! t!e action ma# be deemed
commenced, and wit!in our jurisdiction t!e action
s!all be deemed ;brou"!t; or commenced b# t!e
+lin" o a complaint. 9ence, t!e trial court
concluded t!at %rt. &J e@cludes t!e application o
our interruption rules.
Respondent received a cop# o t!e dismissal
order on $G %u"ust $JJ&. On <$ %u"ust $JJ&, or
ourteen .$5/ da#s later, !e moved or t!e
reconsideration o t!e trial court3s order. -!e trial
court denied t!e motion and respondent received
cop# o t!e denial order on &' September
$JJ&. -wo .&/ da#s later, on $ October $JJ&
respondent +led !is notice o appeal.
6nited %irlines once a"ain moved or t!e
dismissal o t!e case t!is time pointin" out t!at
respondent3s +teen .$)/:da# period to appeal !ad
alread# elapsed. Petitioner ar"ued t!at !avin"
used ourteen .$5/ da#s o t!e re"lementar#
period or appeal, respondent 6# !ad onl# one .$/
da# remainin" to perect !is appeal, and since !e
+led !is notice o appeal two .&/ da#s later, !e
ailed to meet t!e deadline.
In its 8uestioned Decision dated &J %u"ust
$JJ)
Q)R
t!e appellate court "ave due course to t!e
appeal !oldin" t!at respondent3s dela# o two .&/
da#s in +lin" !is notice o appeal did not !inder it
rom reviewin" t!e appealed order o dismissal
since jurisprudence dictates t!at an appeal ma#
be entertained despite procedural lapses
anc!ored on e8uit# and justice.
On t!e applicabilit# o t!e ?arsaw Convention,
t!e appellate court ruled t!at t!e ?arsaw
Convention did not preclude t!e operation o t!e
Civil Code and ot!er pertinent laws. Respondent3s
ailure to +le !is complaint wit!in t!e two .&/:#ear
limitation provided in t!e ?arsaw Convention did
not bar !is action since !e could still !old
petitioner liable or breac! o ot!er provisions o
t!e Civil Code w!ic! prescribe a di>erent period or
procedure or institutin" an action. 2urt!er, under
P!ilippine laws, prescription o actions is
interrupted w!ere, amon" ot!ers, t!ere is a
written e@trajudicial demand b# t!e creditors, and
since respondent 6# sent several demand letters
to petitioner 6nited %irlines, t!e runnin" o t!e
two .&/:#ear prescriptive period was in e>ect
suspended. 9ence, t!e appellate court ruled t!at
respondent3s cause o action !ad not #et
prescribed and ordered t!e records remanded to
t!e IueHon Cit# trial court or urt!er proceedin"s.
Petitioner now contends t!at t!e appellate
court erred in assumin" jurisdiction over
respondentPs appeal since it is clear t!at t!e
notice o appeal was +led out o time. It ar"ues
t!at t!e courts rela@ t!e strin"ent rule on
perection o appeals onl# w!en t!ere are
e@traordinar# circumstances, e."., w!en t!e
Republic stands to lose !undreds o !ectares o
land alread# titled and used or educational
purposesE w!en t!e counsel o record was alread#
deadE and w!erein appellant was t!e owner o t!e
trademar1 or more t!an t!irt# .<(/ #ears, and t!e
circumstances o t!e present case do not compare
to t!e above e@ceptional cases.
QAR
Section $ o Rule 5) o t!e 1++< 2ules o7 Civil
rocedure provides t!at ;a part# ma# appeal b#
certiorari, rom a jud"ment o t!e Court o
%ppeals, b# +lin" wit! t!e Supreme Court a
petition or certiorari, wit!in +teen .$)/ da#s rom
notice o jud"ment or o t!e denial o !is motion
or reconsideration +led in due time @ @ @ @; -!is
Rule !owever s!ould not be interpreted as ;to
sacri+ce t!e substantial ri"!t o t!e appellant in
t!e sop!isticated altar o tec!nicalities wit!
impairment o t!e sacred principles o justice.;
QGR
It
s!ould be borne in mind t!at t!e real purpose
be!ind t!e limitation o t!e period o appeal is to
orestall or avoid an unreasonable dela# in t!e
administration o justice. -!us, we !ave ruled
t!at dela# in t!e +lin" o a notice o appeal does
not justi# t!e dismissal o t!e appeal w!ere t!e
circumstances o t!e case s!ow t!at t!ere is no
intent to dela# t!e administration o justice on t!e
part o appellantPs counsel,
Q'R
or w!en t!ere are no
substantial ri"!ts a>ected,
QJR
or w!en appellantPs
counsel committed a mista1e in t!e computation
o t!e period o appeal, an error not attributable
to ne"li"ence or bad ait!.
Q$(R
In t!e instant case, respondent +led !is notice
o appeal two .&/ da#s later t!an t!e prescribed
period. %lt!ou"! !is counsel ailed to "ive t!e
reason or t!e dela#, we are inclined to "ive due
course to !is appeal due to t!e uni8ue and
peculiar acts o t!e case and t!e serious 8uestion
o law it poses. In t!e now almost trite but still
"ood principle, tec!nicalit#, w!en it deserts its
proper oOce as an aid to justice and becomes its
"reat !indrance and c!ie enem#, deserves scant
consideration.
Q$$R
Petitioner li1ewise contends t!at t!e appellate
court erred in rulin" t!at respondentPs cause o
action !as not prescribed since dele"ates to t!e
?arsaw Convention clearl# intended t!e two .&/:
#ear limitation incorporated in %rt. &J as an
absolute bar to suit and not to be made subject to
t!e various tollin" provisions o t!e laws o t!e
orum. Petitioner ar"ues t!at in construin" t!e
second para"rap! o %rt. &J private respondent
cannot read into it P!ilippine rules on interruption
o prescriptive periods and state t!at !is
e@trajudicial demand !as interrupted t!e period o
prescription.
Q$&R
%merican jurisprudence !as
declared t!at ;%rt. &J .&/ was not intended to
permit orums to consider local limitation tollin"
provisions but onl# to let local law determine
w!et!er an action !ad been commenced wit!in
t!e two:#ear period, since t!e met!od o
commencin" a suit varies rom countr# to
countr#.;
Q$<R
?it!in our jurisdiction we !ave !eld t!at t!e
?arsaw Convention can be applied, or i"nored,
dependin" on t!e peculiar acts presented b#
eac! case.
Q$5R
-!us, we !ave ruled t!at t!e
ConventionPs provisions do not re"ulate or e@clude
liabilit# or ot!er breac!es o contract b# t!e
carrier or misconduct o its oOcers and
emplo#ees, or or some particular or e@ceptional
t#pe o dama"e.
Q$)R
Neit!er ma# t!e Convention be
invo1ed to justi# t!e disre"ard o some
e@traordinar# sort o dama"e resultin" to a
passen"er and preclude recover# t!ereor be#ond
t!e limits set b# said Convention.
Q$AR
*i1ewise, we
!ave !eld t!at t!e Convention does not preclude
t!e operation o t!e Civil Code and ot!er pertinent
laws.
Q$GR
It does not re"ulate, muc! less e@empt,
t!e carrier rom liabilit# or dama"es or violatin"
t!e ri"!ts o its passen"ers under t!e contract o
carria"e, especiall# i willul misconduct on t!e
part o t!e carrierPs emplo#ees is ound or
establis!ed.
Q$'R
RespondentPs complaint reveals t!at !e is
suin" on two .&/ causes o actionD .a/ t!e s!abb#
and !umiliatin" treatment !e received rom
petitionerPs emplo#ees at t!e San 2rancisco
%irport w!ic! caused !im e@treme embarrassment
and social !umiliationE and, .b/ t!e slas!in" o !is
lu""a"e and t!e loss o !is personal e>ects
amountin" to 6S X),<$(.((.
?!ile !is second cause o action : an action
or dama"es arisin" rom t!et or dama"e to
propert# or "oods : is well wit!in t!e bounds o
t!e ?arsaw Convention, !is +rst cause o action
:an action or dama"es arisin" rom t!e
misconduct o t!e airline emplo#ees and t!e
violation o respondentPs ri"!ts as passen"er :
clearl# is not.
Conse8uentl#, insoar as t!e +rst cause o
action is concerned, respondentPs ailure to +le !is
complaint wit!in t!e two .&/:#ear limitation o t!e
?arsaw Convention does not bar !is action since
petitioner airline ma# still be !eld liable or breac!
o ot!er provisions o t!e Civil Code w!ic!
prescribe a di>erent period or procedure or
institutin" t!e action, speci+call#, %rt. $$5A
t!ereo w!ic! prescribes our .5/ #ears or +lin" an
action based on torts.
%s or respondentPs second cause o action,
indeed t!e travau( preparatories o t!e ?arsaw
Convention reveal t!at t!e dele"ates t!ereto
intended t!e two .&/:#ear limitation incorporated
in %rt. &J as an absolute bar to suit and not to be
made subject to t!e various tollin" provisions o
t!e laws o t!e orum. -!is t!ereore orecloses
t!e application o our own rules on interruption o
prescriptive periods. %rticle &J, par. .&/, was
intended onl# to let local laws determine w!et!er
an action !ad been commenced wit!in t!e two
.&/:#ear period, and wit!in our jurisdiction an
action s!all be deemed commenced upon t!e
+lin" o a complaint. Since it is indisputable t!at
respondent +led t!e present action be#ond t!e
two .&/:#ear time rame !is second cause o
action must be barred. Nonet!eless, it cannot be
doubted t!at respondent e@erted e>orts to
immediatel# conve# !is loss to petitioner, even
emplo#ed t!e services o two .&/ law#ers to ollow
up !is claims, and t!at t!e +lin" o t!e action
itsel was dela#ed because o petitionerPs evasion.
In t!is re"ard, hilippine Airlines! Inc. v. Court
o7 Appeals
Q$JR
is instructive. In t!is case o A),
private respondent +led an action or dama"es
a"ainst petitioner airline or t!e brea1a"e o t!e
ront "lass o t!e microwave oven w!ic! s!e
s!ipped under P%* %ir ?a#bill No. (:GJ:$($<((':
<. Petitioner averred t!at, t!e action !avin" been
+led seven .G/ mont!s ater !er arrival at !er port
o destination, s!e ailed to compl# wit! par. $&,
subpar. .a/ .$/, o t!e %ir ?a#bill w!ic! e@pressl#
provided t!at t!e person entitled to deliver# must
ma1e a complaint to t!e carrier in writin" in case
o visible dama"e to t!e "oods, immediatel# ater
discover# o t!e dama"e and at t!e latest wit!in
$5 da#s rom receipt o t!e "oods. Despite non:
compliance t!erewit! t!e Court !eld t!at b#
private respondentPs immediate submission o a
ormal claim to petitioner, w!ic! !owever was not
immediatel# entertained as it was reerred rom
one emplo#ee to anot!er, s!e was deemed to
!ave substantiall# complied wit! t!e
re8uirement. -!e Court noted t!at wit! private
respondentPs own Healous e>orts in pursuin" !er
claim it was clearl# not !er ault t!at t!e letter o
demand or dama"es could onl# be +led, ater
mont!s o e@asperatin" ollow:up o t!e claim, on
$< %u"ust $JJ(, and t!at i t!ere was an# ailure
at all to +le t!e ormal claim wit!in t!e
prescriptive period contemplated in t!e %ir
?a#bill, t!is was lar"el# because o t!e carrierPs
own doin", t!e conse8uences o w!ic! could not
in all airness be attributed to private respondent.
In t!e same vein must we rule upon t!e
circumstances brou"!t beore us. Beril#,
respondent +led !is complaint more t!an two .&/
#ears later, be#ond t!e period o limitation
prescribed b# t!e ?arsaw Convention or +lin" a
claim or dama"es. 9owever, it is obvious t!at
respondent was orestalled rom immediatel#
+lin" an action because petitioner airline "ave !im
t!e runaround, answerin" !is letters but not
"ivin" in to !is demands. -rue, respondent s!ould
!ave alread# +led an action at t!e +rst instance
w!en !is claims were denied b# petitioner but t!e
same could onl# be due to !is desire to ma1e an
out:o:court settlement or w!ic! !e cannot be
aulted. 9ence, despite t!e e@press mandate o
%rt. &J o t!e ?arsaw Convention t!at an action
or dama"es s!ould be +led wit!in two .&/ #ears
rom t!e arrival at t!e place o destination, suc!
rule s!all not be applied in t!e instant case
because o t!e dela#in" tactics emplo#ed b#
petitioner airline itsel. -!us, private respondentPs
second cause o action cannot be considered as
time:barred under %rt. &J o t!e ?arsaw
Convention.
WHERE6ORE, t!e assailed Decision o t!e
Court o %ppeals reversin" and settin" aside t!e
appealed order o t!e trial court "rantin" t!e
motion to dismiss t!e complaint, as well as its
Resolution den#in" reconsideration, is
%22IR0ED. *et t!e records o t!e case be
remanded to t!e court o ori"in or urt!er
proceedin"s ta1in" its bearin"s rom t!is
dis8uisition.
SO ORDERED.
7G.R. No. L3&&90=. S,:1,<?,r 25, 1992.8
*HILI**INE AIRLINES, IN., Petitioner, >. THE
OURT O6 A**EALS a$. HUA
MIN,Respondents.
S#%!#o$ R,($a, Mo$1,c#""o a$. O$%-#a@o
/or Petitioner.
*"ar#.," . 'o-, /or Private Respondent.
D E I S I O N
MELO, J.5
On December $(, $JG5, t!e 9onorable 2rancisco
de la Rosa, at t!at time Presidin" Jud"e o ,ranc!
G o t!e t!en Court o 2irst Instance o RiHal o t!e
Sevent! Judicial District stationed in Pasa# Cit#,
adjud"ed t!e accountabilit# o !erein petitioner as
deendant in a suit or a sum o mone# in t!is
mannerDj"cDc!anrobles.com.p!
;?9ERE2ORE, jud"ment is !ereb# rendered in
avor o Plainti>Dc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
.a/ Orderin" Deendant to pa# Plainti> t!e amount
in P!ilippine Pesos e8uivalent to 6.S.X5,(((.(( at
t!e rate o e@c!an"e obtainin" in 0arc!, $JG&,
wit! le"al interest rom t!e +lin" o t!is suit until
ull# paidE
.b/ Orderin" Deendant to pa# t!e costsE and
.c/ Dismissin" Deendants3 Compulsor#
Counterclaim.; .p. G(, Record on %ppeal/.
-!e ore"oin" conclusion was ormulated b# t!e
court o ori"in on t!e basis o t!e ollowin"
actsDc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
On %pril 5, $JG&, private respondent boarded
!erein petitioner3s 2li"!t PR <($ rom 9on"1on" to
0anila and c!ec1ed in our .5/ pieces o ba""a"e.
?!en t!e plane landed in 0anila, private
respondent was not able to locate t!e two pieces
o ba""a"e containin" cinemato"rap!ic +lms
despite dili"ent searc! t!ereor. Private
respondent made t!e claim or suc! loss to
petitioner w!ic! admitted t!e loss and o>ered to
compensate private respondent .%nne@ ;<;,
%nswerE pa"e $G, Record on %ppealE pa"e A5,
Rollo/.
Instead o acceptin" t!e o>er, private respondent
opted to +le t!e case below to principall# recover
t!e value o t!e lost items w!ic! !e estimated to
be wort! P&(,(((.(( .para"rap! G, ComplaintE
pa"e <, Record on %ppeal/. 9erein petitioner
responded b# assertin" t!atDc!anrobles
virtualawlibrar#
c!anrobles.comDc!anrobles.com.p!
;.5/ Plainti> !as no cause o action a"ainst
deendant.
.)/ On 5 %pril $JG&, plainti> was a passen"er,
econom# class on deendant3s 2li"!t No. PR <($F5
%pril $JG&, rom 9on"1on" to 0anila, under
Passen"er -ic1et No. &JG5:&<$5$'. %s suc!
passen"er, plainti> c!ec1ed:in our .5/ pieces o
ba""a"e, wit! a total wei"!t o onl# twent# .&(/
1ilos, inclusive o t!eir contents suc! t!at it would
be p!#sicall# impossible or t!e two alle"ed lost
pieces, to !ave in t!emselves an a""re"ate
wei"!t o twent#:+ve .&)/ 1ilos.
.A/ %s suc! passen"er t!e contractual relations!ip
between plainti> and deendant is w!oll#
"overned b# t!e terms, conditions and
stipulations w!ic! are clearl# printed on plainti>3s
Passen"er -ic1et No. &JG5:&<$5$'. %mon" t!e
stipulations embodied in said tic1et is a provision
"rantin" plainti> a ree ba""a"e allowance o
twent# .&(/ 1ilos. % cop# o t!is provision, as
embodied in plainti>3s tic1et is attac!ed !ereto as
%nne@ ;$; and made part !ereo.
.G/ In accordance wit! and in pursuant o t!is ree
ba""a"e allowance %nne@ ;$;/ plainti> c!ec1ed:in
!is our .5/ pieces o ba""a"e on 2li"!t No.
PR<($F5 %pril $JG&, or w!ic! !e was issued
correspondin" ba""a"e c!ec1s amon" t!em
ba""a"e c!ec1s Nos. PR &5:'J:A$ and PR &5:'J:
GA, coverin" plainti>3s two alle"ed lost pieces o
ba""a"e.
.'/ 6nder Passen"er -ic1et No. &JG5:&<$:5$',
w!ic! is t!e contract o carria"e between plainti>
and deendant, it is an e@press condition o t!e
contract t!at t!e same s!all be Wsubject to t!e
rules and limitations relatin" to liabilit#
establis!ed b# t!e ?arsaw Convention.3 % @ero@
cop# o pa"e & o plainti>3s Passen"er -ic1et No.
&JG5:&<$5$' w!ic! contains t!e aoresaid
condition is !ereto attac!ed as %nne@ ;&; and
made part !ereo.
.J/ 6nder applicable rules and re"ulations o t!e
?arsaw Convention on International Carria"e b#
%ir .as amended b# t!e 9a"ue Protocol o $J))/,
w!ic! is t!e convention reerred to in %nne@ ;&;
!ereo, deendant3s liabilit# or plainti>3s two .&/
alle"ed lost pieces o ba""a"e is limited to a
ma@imum o 6SXA.)( per 1ilo"ram.
.$(/ -!e total wei"!t o plainti>3s our .5/ pieces
o c!ec1ed:in ba""a"e, inclusive o t!eir contents,
was onl# twent# .&(/ 1ilo"rams, suc! t!at eac!
ba""a"e would !ave an avera"e wei"!t o +ve .)/
1ilo"rams, and t!e two alle"ed lost pieces, an
avera"e total wei"!t o onl# ten .$(/ 1ilo"rams.
%ccordin"l#, deendant3s ma@imum liabilit# to
plainti> is 6SX$A).((, or its e8uivalent in
P!ilippine currenc#.; .pp. A:', Record on %ppeal/
%ter issues were joined, t!en plainti>, now private
respondent C!ua 0in testi+ed and presented our
documents .p. )G, Record on %ppeal/ w!ile
petitioner did not call an# witness and merel#
adopted t!ree e@!ibits o !erein private
respondent .p. )', Record on
%ppeal/.c!anrobles.com D virtual law librar#
Petitioner attempted to c!allen"e private
respondent3s personalit# to +le t!e suit on t!e
"round t!at t!e +lm rolls belon"ed to t!e
9on"1on" +rm o ;*oon" 7ee Pen Co., 2ilm
E@c!an"e Dept.;, apart rom t!e vacillatin"
testimon# spewed b# C!ua 0in on t!e witness
stand w!ic! supposedl# su""ests t!at !e !as no
ri"!t to see1 restitution or t!e lost +lms, includin"
t!e dama"es resultin" t!ererom. On t!e merits o
private respondent3s plea or relie, petitioner tried
to call t!e attention o t!e trial jud"e to t!e !erein
below 8uoted provisions o t!e ?arsaw
Convention w!ic! limit t!e liabilit# o petitioner as
an air carrier to &)( rancs per 1ilo"ram,
t!usDj"cDc!anrobles.com.p!
;%R-IC*E < .$/. 2or t!e transportation o
passen"ers t!e carrier must deliver a passen"er
tic1et w!ic! s!all contain t!e ollowin"
particularsDc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
.a/ . . .
.b/ . . .
.c/ . . .
.d/ . . .
.e/ % statement t!at t!e transportation is subject
to t!e rules relatin" to liabilit# establis!ed b# t!is
convention.;cralaw virtua$aw librar#
;%R-IC*E && .&/. In t!e transportation o c!ec1ed
ba""a"e and o "oods, t!e liabilit# o t!e carrier
s!all be limited to a sum o &)( rancs per
1ilo"ram, unless t!e consi"nor !as made, at t!e
time w!en t!e pac1a"e was !anded over to t!e
carrier, a special declaration o t!e value at
deliver# and !as paid a supplementar# sum i t!e
case so re8uires. In t!at case t!e carrier will be
liable to pa# a sum not e@ceedin" t!e declared
sum, unless !e proves t!at t!e sum is "reater
t!an t!e actual value to t!e consi"nor at
deliver#.;cralaw virtua$aw librar#
In resolvin" t!e issue o private respondent3s le"al
standin" to sue, t!e trial court e@pressed t!e view
t!at !e can be considered as i !e were t!e owner
on account o !is responsibilit# or an# eventualit#
t!at ma# occur to t!e +lm rolls. Beril#, private
respondent was considered to be a consi"nee o
t!e lost "oods since !e accompanied t!e +lms
aboard petitioner3s plane w!o is presumed to
!ave accepted t!e contract o carria"e between
t!e consi"nor and petitioner w!en !e later
demanded t!e deliver# to !im o t!e movie +lms
.p. A<, Record on %ppeal/.
%nent t!e aspect o liabilit#, t!e trial court opined
t!at since petitioner did not introduce a sin"le
piece o document and merel# adopted private
respondent3s e@!ibits, it ma# not invo1e t!e
limitation o its liabilit# wit! respect to Wc!ec1ed
ba""a"e3 under t!e provisions o t!e ?arsaw
Convention. -!e apat!# o petitioner seems to
!ave e@tended its impact on t!e outcome o t!e
case w!en t!e trial court ruled t!at t!e +lms were
wort! X5,(((.(( based on private respondent3s
E@!ibit ;%; w!ic!, as aoresaid, was nonc!alantl#
adopted b# petitioner as its E@!ibit ;$; .p. AJ,
Record on %ppeal/.c!anroblesvirtualawlibrar#
RealiHin" t!e vacuum insoar as t!e evidence is
concerned, petitioner tried to +ll t!e !iatus b#
startin" wit! t!e proposition in its motion or
reconsideration t!at t!e tic1et under w!ic! private
respondent was a passen"er on petitioner3s plane
was a passen"er tic1et and ba""a"e c!ec1 at t!e
same time. -!is tactic was resorted to in order to
establis! t!e conclusion t!at petitioner could not
!ave produced t!e same since t!e tic1et is usuall#
retained b# t!e passen"er. Petitioner continued to
asseverate t!at %rticle 5 para"rap! 5 o t!e
?arsaw Convention w!ic!
readsDj"cDc!anrobles.com.p!
;.5/ -!e absence, irre"ularit#, or loss o t!e
ba""a"e c!ec1s s!all not a>ect t!e e@istence or
t!e validit# o t!e contract o transportation w!ic!
s!all nonet!eless be subject to t!e rules o t!is
convention. Nevert!eless, i t!e carrier accepts
ba""a"e wit!out a ba""a"e c!ec1 !avin" been
delivered, or i t!e ba""a"e c!ec1 does not
contain t!e particulars set out at .d/, ./, and .!/
above, t!e carrier s!all not be entitled to avail
!imsel o t!ose provisions o t!e convention
w!ic! e@clude or limit !is liabilit#.; .p. AA, Record
on %ppealE p. &<, 0otion or Reconsideration, p.
A), Rollo/
upon w!ic! provision t!e trial court alle"edl#
relied in rejectin" petitioner3s contention, is in act
applicable jud"in" rom w!at is e@plicitl# stated
under t!e +rst sentence o t!e proviso. -!ese
ideas, !owever, did not persuade t!e trial jud"e to
reconsider !is +ndin"s o accountabilit# on t!e
part o petitioner .p. $$$, Record on %ppeal/.
-!e appeal interposed t!ererom to t!e Court o
%ppeals was li1ewise rebu>ed on September $G,
$JGA b# t!e 2it! Division .2ernandeH .ponente/,
Serrano, ,atacan, ==.,/ w!ic! sustained t!e
observations and dispositions reac!ed b# t!e trial
court on t!e same "rounds, e@cept t!at t!e sum
o X5,(((.(( was directed to be paid b# petitioner
in P!ilippine Currenc#, at t!e e@c!an"e rate
obtainin" on t!e date t!e amount is actuall# paid
to !erein private respondent .pp. 5<:55, Rollo/.
Petitioner3s subse8uent recourse to secure re:
evaluation o t!e jud"ment did not merit t!e nod
o approval o t!e respondent Court o %ppeals .p.
)A, Rollo/.
-!ereupon, petitioner elevated to 6s t!e matter o
its liabilit# under t!e contract o carria"e via t!e
instant petition or review on certiorari, as1in" t!is
CourtDc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
;I
?9E-9ER OR NO- PE-I-IONER C%N %B%I* O2 -9E
*I0I-%-IONS ON *I%,I*I-M 6NDER -9E ?%RS%?
CONBEN-ION.
II
?9E-9ER OR NO- RESPONDEN- IS -9E RE%*
P%R-M:IN:IN-ERES- -O %SSER- -9E C*%I0 2OR
CO0PENS%-ION IN -9IS C%SE.;cralaw virtua$aw
librar#
,eore discussin" t!e intrinsic wort! o
petitioner3s discourse, ?e s!all address t!e issue
o private respondent3s personalit# to see1
redress or t!e loss o t!e +lms. ?e believe, and
so !old, t!at C!ua 0in is no stran"er to t!e cause
o action instituted at t!e court o ori"in in spite o
t!e messa"e conve#ed b# !im w!en !e sat on t!e
witness stand w!ic! seems to lead to t!e opposite
conclusion, t!usDc!anrobles lawlibrar# D rednad
;%--M. *%6RE-%Dc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
I. 0r. C!ua 0in, ma# I invite #our attention to
E@!ibit %, particularl# t!e entr# w!ic! readsD W-o
De 0il -!eatrical Corporation.3 -!is is t!e
corporation w!ic! bou"!t supposedl# t!e motion
picture +lms listed in t!is invoiceY
?I-NESSDc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
%. It was not bou"!t b# t!e compan#, sir. It was
onl# entrusted b# *oon" 1ee Pen to be distributed
!ere in t!e P!ilippines.
%--M. *%6RE-%Dc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
I. So t!at t!e +lms listed !ere .E@!ibit W%3 or
plainti>/ is owned b# *oon" 7ee Pen Compan# o
9on"1on"Y
?I-NESSDc!anrob$es virtual $aw librar#
%. Mes sir, and it was onl# entrusted to De 0il
-!eatrical Corporation.
I. -!is De 0il -!eatrical Corporation, is t!is an
e@istin" corporationY
%. Mes, sir.
I. Now, t!ese +lms listed !erein w!ic! numbers )
in all are still owned b# t!e supplier, *oon" 7ee
Pen Compan# o 9on"1on". Do I understand t!en
t!at t!ose +lms w!ic! were supposedl# lost were
not paid or b# De 0il -!eatrical CorporationY
%. It was not paid, sir. It was aut!oriHed to be t!e
distributor but we ta1e responsibilit# o all losses,
o ever#t!in".
I. Now, w!en #our made reerence to Wwe3, #ou
reer actuall# to t!e De 0il -!eatrical CorporationY
%. Mes, sir.
I. Do I understand, t!ereore, t!at #ou, De 0il
-!eatrical Corporation, !as alread# paid or t!e
+lms in cartoons No. <, 5 and ), as speci+ed in t!e
invoiceY
%. It3s not #et paid, sir. .pp. G<:G), Record on
%ppeal/
since w!at is important, per !is narration, is t!at
!e assume t!e loss w!ile t!ese +lms are in !is
custod# and t!at !e is accountable eit!er to
*oon" 7ee Pen Compan# or to t!e De 0il
-!eatrical Corporation s!ould !e ail to produce
t!e +lms upon demand. On t!e !#pot!etical
scenario, !ad t!e jud"ment o t!e trial court been
adverse in t!e sense t!at t!e complaint was
ordered dismissed, t!e pecuniar# burden or t!e
loss will certainl# all on private respondent3s
s!oulders, w!ic! obli"ation, it is needless to
stress, will constitute a material and substantial
injur# to !im. ?it!al, anot!er pivotal actor to
consider is t!e letter rom petitioner on %u"ust &',
$JG& addressed to !erein private respondent t!at
sa#sDj"cDc!anrobles.com.p!
;?e are an receipt o #our claim or loss o
ba""a"e in connection wit! #our travel to 0anila
rom 9on"1on" on our 2li"!t. ?e sincerel# re"ret
t!at t!is loss occurred and t!at despite a careul
searc! we !ave been unsuccessul in recoverin"
#our propert#. ?e eel we s!ould settle #our claim
wit!out urt!er dela#.
?e wis! we could compensate #ou or t!e total
amount o #our loss. 9owever, e@istin" rules and
re"ulations establis!ed pursuant to t!e ?arsaw
Convention on International Carria"e b# %ir .as
amended b# t!e 9a"ue Protocol/ limit our liabilit#
or losses o t!is nature to t!e sum o 6SX$A.)(
or ever# 1ilo"ram o c!ec1ed:in ba""a"e. -!e
wei"!t o #our 5 pieces o ba""a"e inclusive o its
contents as stated in t!e Propert# Irre"ularit#
Report .PIR/ and #our tic1et s!ows a total wei"!t
o &( 1ilos. ,ased t!ereon, t!e avera"e wei"!t o
& pieces o #our lost ba""a"e would come out to
$( 1ilos. -!ereore, our ma@imum liabilit# or t!e
& pieces s!ould be or a total amount o
6SX$A).(( .$( 1ilos @ 6SX$A.)(/.
6pon receipt o #our advise, we s!all !ave
pa#ment remitted in #our avor.; .pp. $G:$',
Record on %ppeal/
w!ic! seems to be at least a ailure to object to, i
not an admission o, t!e personalit# o private
respondent to initiate t!e suit below. -!e
assurance made b# petitioner t!at it will
compensate private respondent3s loss is a
suOcient admission t!at indeed, private
respondent !as t!e ri"!t to avail !imsel o t!e
suit or t!e sum o mone#.
It ollows, t!ereore, t!at w!atever testimon# ma#
!ave been e@tracted t!rou"! cross:e@amination
rom C!ua 0in, is o no le"al bearin" to w!at was
e@pressl# conceded previousl# b# petitioner.
Ot!erwise, ?e will in e>ect ta1e t!e cud"els or
petitioner and in t!e process, permit it to e@tricate
itsel rom t!e atal atermat! o an admission as a
tenet under substantive law. O course, t!e plea o
avoidance raised b# petitioner alon" t!is line is
a1in to lac1 o cause o action w!ic! ma# be
utiliHed even or t!e +rst time on appeal .Section
$ ."/, Rule $AE Section &, Rule J, Revised Rules o
Court/, but t!e adjective norm permittin" suc! a
belated deense under Section &, Rule J o t!e
Revised Rules o Court does not totall# rule out
t!e application o ot!er le"al doctrines under
substantive law, li1e estoppel, to t!e elastic
undertones o petitioner.
Now, as to w!et!er petitioner ma# utiliHe t!e
provision under %rticle &&.&/ o t!e ?arsaw
Convention w!ic! limits t!e liabilit# o a common
carrier or loss o ba""a"e, ?e !ave to consider
ot!er salient eatures t!ereo suc! as %rticle 5,
para"rap! $ t!at readsDcralawnad
;2or t!e transportation o ba""a"e, ot!er t!an
small personal objects o w!ic! t!e passen"er
ta1es c!ar"e !imsel, t!e carrier must deliver a
ba""a"e c!ec1.;cralaw virtua$aw librar#
and t!e e@plicit wordin"s o %rticle 5, para"rap! 5
o t!e same Convention
t!atDj"cDc!anrobles.com.p!
;-!e absence, irre"ularit#, or loss o t!e ba""a"e
c!ec1s s!all not a>ect t!e e@istence or t!e
validit# o t!e contract o transportation w!ic!
s!all nonet!eless be subject to t!e rules o t!is
Convention. Nevert!eless, i t!e carrier accepts
ba""a"e wit!out a ba""a"e c!ec1 !avin" been
delivered, or i t!e ba""a"e c!ec1 does not
contain t!e particulars set out at .d/, ./, and .!/
above, t!e carrier s!all not be entitled to avail
!imsel o t!ose provisions o t!e Convention
w!ic! e@clude or limit !is liabilit#.;cralaw
virtua$aw librar#
because t!ese a@ioms will spell t!e di>erence
between success and ailure o t!e petition at bar.
It ma# be recalled t!at petitioner made a
cate"orical distinction between a passen"er tic1et
and a ba""a"e c!ec1 w!en petitioner responded
to t!e complaint or a sum o mone# .para"rap!s
G and ', %nswersE pp. A:', Record on %ppealE p. &,
supra/. In its motion or reconsideration beore t!e
court a 8uo, petitioner !ad a sudden c!an"e o
!eart b# assertin" t!at t!e passen"er tic1et and
t!e ba""a"e c!ec1 are one and t!e same t!in" .p.
'$, Record on appeal/. On a later occasion, it
stressed t!at t!e Wba""a"e ta"s3 were erroneousl#
labeled as Wba""a"e c!ec1s3 under para"rap! G o
its %nswer to t!e Complaint .p. <, Repl# ,rie or
t!e PetitionerE p. JG, Rollo/. ,ut t!e 8uestion o
semantics on w!et!er t!e passen"er tic1et, t!e
ba""a"e c!ec1, and t!e ta" reer to t!e same
object is undoubtedl# wit!out le"al si"ni+cance
and will not obliterate t!e act t!at t!e ba""a"e
c!ec1 was not presented b# petitioner in t!e trial
court inasmuc! as it merel# relied on, and
adopted private respondent3s e@!ibits, none o
w!ic! was o>ered or t!e purpose o provin" t!e
missin" lin1, so to spea1 .pp. )G:)', Record on
%ppeal/. -o recti# t!ese lapses, petitioner ar"ued
t!at it is not in a position to introduce t!e
ba""a"e c!ec1 in evidence since private
respondent as passen"er, is t!e one w!o retains
possession t!ereo. Met, suc! pretense does not sit
well wit! w!at is e@pected o petitioner as an air
carrier under %rticle 5 .&/, Section II o t!e ?arsaw
Convention t!atDj"cDc!anrobles.com.p!
;-!e ba""a"e c!ec1 s!all be made out in
duplicate, one part or t!e passen"er and t!e
ot!er part or t!e carrier.;cralaw virtua$aw librar#
Conse8uentl#, petitioner can not capitaliHe on t!e
limited liabilit# clause under %rticle && .&/ o t!e
?arsaw Convention because o t!e une8uivocal
condition set ort! under t!e second sentence o
%rticle 5, para"rap! 5
t!atDc!anrobles.comDcralawDred
;. . . i t!e carrier accepts ba""a"e wit!out a
ba""a"e c!ec1 !avin" been delivered, a i t!e
ba""a"e c!ec1 does not contain t!e particulars
set out at .d/, ./, and .!/ above, t!e carrier s!all
not be entitled to avail !imsel o t!ose provisions
o t!e Convention w!ic! e@clude or limit !is
liabilit#.;cralaw virtua$aw librar#
Petitioner contends t!at it is covered b# t!e +rst
and not b# t!e second sentence o %rticle 5,
para"rap! 5 .pa"e ', supra/. ,ut t!e ar"ument as
proerred, re8uires 6s to read somet!in" w!ic! is
not so stated between t!e lines or t!e +rst
sentence spea1s onl# o t!e ;e@istence; or t!e
;validit#; o t!e contract o transportation w!ile
t!e 8uer# on ;liabilit#; is particularl# and directl#
resolved b# t!e second sentence. -o be sure, and
even assumin" in "ratia ar"umenti t!at an
inconsistenc# e@ists, t!e +rst sentence must be
construed as t!e "eneral proposition "overnin"
t!e e@istence or validit# o t!e contract o
transportation w!ic! must #ield to t!e particular
rule under t!e second sentence re"ardin" liabilit#.
2urt!ermore, even i ?e consider t!e two
sentences as particular in nature, t!e rule !as
been laid down t!at t!e clause w!ic! comes later
s!all be "iven e>ect upon t!e presumption t!at it
e@presses t!e dominant purpose o t!e instrument
.Cra!am Paper Co. v. National Newspapers %sso.
.0o. %pp./ $J< S.?. $((<E ,arnett v. 0erc!ants3 *.
Ins. Co., 'G O1l. 5&/.
?9ERE2ORE, t!e petition or review is !ereb#
DIS0ISSED or lac1 o merit.
SO ORDERED.