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PCIB vs.

Escolin – see previous

[No. L-12105. January 30, 1960]
TESTATE ESTATE OF C. O. BOHANAN, deceased. PHILIPPINE TRUST Co., executor and
appellee, vs. MAGDALENA C. BOHANAN, EDWARD C. BOHANAN, and MARY LYDIA
BOHANAN, oppositors and appellants.
1.WILLS; TESTAMENTARY DISPOSITIONS, WHAT LAW GOVERNS; APPROVAL OF
PROJECT OF PARTITION.—Article 10 of the old Civil Code (Article 16, new Civil Code)
provides that the validity of testamentary dispositions are to be governed by the
national law of the person whose succession is in question. In case at bar, the
testator was a citizen of the State of Nevada. Since the laws of said state allow the
testator to dispose of all his property according to his will, his testamentary
dispositions depriving his wife and children of what should be their legitimes under
the laws of the Philippines, should be respected and the project of partition made in
accordance with his testamentary dispositions should be approved.
2.ID.; ID.; JUDICIAL NOTICE OF FOREIGN LAW IF INTRODUCED IN EVIDENCE.—The
pertinent law of the state of the testator may be taken judicial notice of without
proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of partition
where it appears that said law was admitted by the court as exhibit during the
probate of the will; that the same was introduced as evidence of a motion of one of
the appellants for withdrawal of a certain sum of money; and that the other
appellants do not dispute the said law.
APPEAL from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila. San Jose, J.
The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.
Jose D. Cortes for appellants.
Ohnick, Velilla & Balonkita for appellee.
LABRADOR, J.:
Appeal against an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Ramon San
Jose, presiding, dismissing the objections filed by Magdalena C. Bohanan, Mary
Bohanan and Edward Bohanan to the project of partition submitted by the executor
and approving the said project.
On April 24, 1950, the Court of First Instance of Manila, Hon. Rafael Amparo,
presiding, admitted to probate a last will and testament of C, O. Bohanan, executed
by him on April 23, 1944 in Manila. In the said order, the court made the following
findings:

"According to the evidence of the opponents the testator was born in Nebraska and
therefore a citizen of that state, or at least a citizen of California where some of his
properties are located. This contention is untenable. Notwithstanding the long
residence of the decedent in the Philippines, his stay here was merely temporary,
and he continued and remained to be a citizen of the United States and of the state
of his particular choice, which is Nevada, as stated in his will. He had planned to
spend the rest of his days in that state. His permanent residence or domicile in the
United States depended upon his personal intent or desire, and he selected Nevada
as his domicile and therefore at the time of his death, he was a citizen of that state.
Nobody can choose his domicile or permanent residence for him. That is his
exclusive personal right.
Wherefore, the court finds that the testator C. O. Bohanan was at the time of his
death a citizen of the United States and of the State of Nevada and declares that his
will and testament, Exhibit A, is fully in accordance with the laws of the state of
Nevada and admits the same to probate. Accordingly, the Philippine Trust Company,
named as the executor of the will, is hereby appointed to such executor and upon
the filing of a bond in the sum of P10,000.00, let letters testamentary be issued and
after taking the prescribed oath, it may enter upon the execution and performance
of its trust." (pp. 26-27, R.O.A.)
It does not appear that the order granting probate was ever questioned on appeal.
The executor filed a project of partition dated January 24, 1956, making, in
accordance with the provisions of the will, the following adjudications: (1) one-half
of the residuary estate, to the Farmers and Merchants National Bank of Los Angeles,
California, U.S.A. in trust only for the benefit of testator's grandson Edward George
Bohanan, which consists of P90,819.67 in cash and one-half in shares of stock of
several mining companies; (2) the other half of the residuary estate to the testator's
brother, F. L. Bohanan, and his sister, Mrs. M. B. Galbraith, share and share alike.
This consists in the same amount of cash and of shares of mining stock similar to
those given to testator's grandson; (3) legacies of P6,000 each to his (testator) son,
Edward Gilbert Bohanan, and his daughter, Mary Lydia Bohanan, to be paid in three
yearly installments; (4) legacies to Clara Daen, in the amount of P1 0,000.00;
Katherine Woodward, P2,000; Beulah Fox, P4,000; and Elizabeth Hastings, P2,000;
It will be seen from the above e that out of the total estate (after deducting
administration expenses) of P211,639.33 in cash, the testator gave his grandson
P90,819.67 and one-half of all shares of stock of several mining companies and to
his brother and sister the same amount. To his children he gave a legacy of only
P6,000 each, or a total of P12,000.
The wife Magdalena C. Bohanan and her two children question the validity of the
testamentary provisions disposing of the estate in the manner above indicated,
claiming that they have been deprived of the legitime that the laws of the forum
concede to them.

e. i. the same being. As already adverted to. Moreover. the right of the former wife of the testator. 855 and Gorayeb vs. Court of First Instance). Cousins Hiz vs. citing the cases of Querubin vs. 42 Phil. (Sup. that sometime in 1925.. Vol. I. allow him to dispose of all of his properties without requiring him to leave any portion of his estate to his wife. 851. real and personal.chargeable with the payment of the testator's debts.The first question refers to the share that the wife of the testator. the court below had found that the testator and Magdalena C. Gaz. vs.000 each only. Magdalena C. in accordance with the laws of the forum. that there was no community property acquired by the testator and Magdalena C. The court below refused to recognize the claim of the widow on the ground that the laws of Nevada. The most important issue is the claim of the testator's children. It is argued that it was error for the trial court to have recognized the Reno divorce secured by the testator from his Filipino wife Magdalena C. 12) 315. Magdalena C.. Bohanan during their coverture. Bohanan may no longer question the fact contained therein. the decision of the court had become final and /Magdalena C. Fluemer. which had become final.. Bohanan married Carl Aaron and this marriage was subsisting at the time of the death of the testator. of which the deceased was a citizen. 294297. should be entitled to receive. 155-159." Besides. 55 Phil.. Bohanan. Bohanan. 1955. Gmur. 87 Phil. 1922. as Magdalena C. On December 16. Bohanan does not appear to have appealed therefrom to question its validity. Section 9905 of Nevada Compiled Laws of 1925 provides. 1909. and that divorce was granted to him on May 20. dispose of all his or her estate. 47 Off. the said former wife filed a motion to withdraw the sum of P20. the latter can now have no legal claim to any portion of the estate left by the testator. Is the failure of the . should be twothirds of the estate left by the testator.000 from the funds of the estate. to a share in the testator's estate had already been passed upon adversely against her in an order dated June 18. 22. by last will. Court of First Instance). 124. may. Since no right to share in the inheritance in favor of a divorced wife exists in the State of Nevada and since the court below had already found that there was no conjugal property between the testator and Magdalena C. who had received legacies in the amount of P6. Querubin. Vol. 50 Phil. and. Magdalena C. therefore. and that said divorce should be declared a nullity in this jurisdiction. II Records. The will has not given her any share in the estate left by the testator. Record. have not been given their shares in the estate which. 1953. Bohanan. Hashim. (pp. Edward and Mary Lydia. Bohanan. Ramirez. and the court in its said orrer found that there exists no community property owned by the decedent and his former wife at the time the decree of divorce was issued. chargeable against her share in the conjugal property.. of sound mind. (See pp. Bohanan were married on January 30. "Every person over the age of eighteen years.

expressly provides that successional rights to personal property are to be governed by the national law of the person whose succession is in question. 77-79. Compiled Nevada Laws. 1950. the other appellants. Under all the above circumstances. We have.) In the proceedings for the probate of the will. or by his deputy.—An official record or an entry therein. when admissible for any purpose. Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925. in respect to the order of succession as well as to the extent of the successional rights and the intrinsic validity of their provisions. was introduced in evidence by appellants' (herein) counsel as Exhibit "2" (See pp. 1950 before Judge Rafael Amparo (see Records. whatever may be the nature of the property and the country in which it is found. Says the law on this point: "Nevertheless. and accompanied. may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy 'attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. the foreign law. The law of Nevada. Vol. especially Section 9905. It does not appear that at the time of the hearing of the project of partition. Vol. which are as follows: "SEC. the above-quoted provision was introduced in evidence. especially those for the children which are short of the legitime given them by the Civil Code of the Philippines. So the question at issue is whether the testamentary dispositions. as it was the executor's duty to do. Again said law was presented by the counsel for the executor and admitted by the Court as Exhibit "B" during the hearing of the case on January 23. 41. which is applicable to this case because the testator died in 1944.n.000 as her share. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is in question." * * * (Rule 123). 1954 of the motion of Magdalena C. supra). 16. if the record is not kept in the Philippines. are valid. Court of First Instance). 9905. children of the testator. Art. In addition. we are constrained to hold that the pertinent law of Nevada. with a certificate that such officer has the custody. 2. Court of First Instance. can only be proved in our courts in the form and manner provided for by our Rules. pp.. it was found out and it was decided that the testator was a citizen of the State of Nevada because he had selected this as his domicile and his permanent residence. Bohanan for withdrawal of P20. supra). 24-44. 1). Proof of public or official record." (par. II. in accordance with the laws of the forum valid? The old Civil Code. Records. 10.testator to give his children two-thirds of the estate left by him at the time of his death. (See Decision dated April 24. old Civil -Code. It is not disputed that the laws of Nevada allow a testator to dispose of all his properties by will (Sec. new Civil Code. legal and testamentary successions. which is the same as par. being a foreign law. and t. do not dispute the abovequoted provision of the laws of the State of Nevada. however. 2 Art. . consulted the records of the case in the court below and we have found that during the hearing on October 4.s.

et al. 1993. 1986 that the Code of Federal Regulations of the Civil . Bautista Angelo.especially Section 9905 of the Compiled Nevada Laws of 1925. Order affirmed. and accompanied with a certificate that such officer has custody. No. law or regulation allegedly authorizing overbooking has never been proved. Bengzon. consul general. Padilla. without proof of such law having been offered at the hearing of the project of partition. [Testate Estate of Bohanan vs. Foreign Law. Same. with costs against appellants. Same. in her deposition dated January 27. They must be alleged and proved. the validity of testamentary dispositions are to be governed by the national law of the testator. which allows a testator to dispose of all his property according to his will. Bohanan. concurs in the result. Gwendolyn Lather its customer service agent. concur. INC. vs. as it is hereby affirmed. 106 Phil. Foreign laws do not prove themselves.. Same.. Evidence.—Respondent TWA relied solely on the statement of Ms. International Law.—That there was fraud or bad faith on the part of respondent airline when it did not allow petitioners to board their flight for Los Angeles in spite of confirmed tickets cannot be disputed. and Endencia. J. The U.. Parás.* SPOUSES CESAR & SUTHIRA ZALAMEA AND LIANA ZALAMEA. must be. November 18. C. the order of the court approving the project of partition made in accordance with the testamentary provisions. Barrera. JJ. 104235.. Written law may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. Foreign laws do not prove themselves nor can the courts take judicial notice of them. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS AND TRANSWORLD AIRLINES.S. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. and authenticated by the seal of his office. As in accordance with Article 10 of the old Civil Code. or by his deputy. already indicated above. 997(1960)] G. petitioners. consul.R. respondents. as in the case at bar. and as it has been decided and it is not disputed that the national law of the testator is that of the State of Nevada. they must be alleged and proved. Where no official publication of the foreign laws was presented as evidence. How Proved. vice-consul. can be taken judicial notice of by us.. The certificate may be made by a secretary of an embassy or legation. respondent court’s finding has no basis. J. Like any other fact.

the applicable law in this case would be Philippine law.—Even if the claimed U. Where an airline acted in bad faith in violating the passenger’s rights under their contract of carriage. Same. v. Same. entitling the passengers concerned to an award of moral damages. this Court held that petitioner airline acted in bad faith in violating private respondent’s rights under their contract of carriage and is therefore liable for the injuries she has sustained as a result. then the carrier opens itself to a suit for breach of contract of carriage.Aeronautics Board allows overbooking. in Korean Airlines Co. Award of damages is proper where a confirmed passenger included in the manifest was denied accommodation in such flight. a contract of carriage arises. v. where a would-be passenger had the necessary ticket. Same.S. Intermediate Appellate Court. and the passenger has every right to expect that he would fly on that flight and on that date. If he does not. Overbooking amounts to bad faith. Since the tickets were sold and issued in the Philippines. Ltd.—Similarly. the same is not applicable to the case at bar in accordance with the principle of lex loci contractus which requires that the law of the place where the airline ticket was issued should be applied by the court where the passengers are residents and nationals of the forum and the ticket is issued in such State by the defendant airline.—In fact. existing jurisprudence abounds with rulings where the breach of contract of carriage amounts to bad faith. Where an airline had deliberately overbooked. Code of Federal Regulations does exist. Lex Loci Contractus. Same. it took the risk of having to deprive some passengers of their seats in case all of them would show up for check in. no official publication of said code was presented as evidence. Same. Court of Appeals. respondent court’s finding that overbooking is specifically allowed by the US Code of Federal Regulations has no basis in fact. entitling the passengers to award of moral damages. Same. baggage claim and .—Existing jurisprudence explicitly states that overbooking amounts to bad faith. Inc. Thus. Contract of Carriage. The law of the place where the airline ticket was issued should be applied by the court where the passengers are residents and nationals of the forum and the ticket is issued in such state by the defendant airlines. Same. it is liable for injuries that the passenger sustained as a result. this Court held that when an airline issues a ticket to a passenger confirmed on a particular flight. In Pan American World Airways. on a certain date. said passenger is entitled to an award of moral damages. In Alitalia Airways v. Aside from said statement.. Court of Appeals. For the indignity and inconvenience of being refused a confirmed seat on the last minute. where private respondent was not allowed to board the plane because her seat had already been given to another passenger even before the allowable period for passengers to check in had lapsed despite the fact that she had a confirmed ticket and she had arrived on time. Damages. where passengers with confirmed bookings were refused carriage on the last minute.

In placing self-interest over the rights of its passengers and such conscious disregard of its passengers’ rights. Respondent TWA failed to show that there are provisions to that effect. Same.—Even on the assumption that overbooking is allowed. Same. for a contract of carriage generates a relation attended with public duty—a duty to provide public service and convenience to its passengers which must be paramount to self-interest or enrichment. respondent TWA was also guilty of not informing its passengers of its alleged policy of giving less priority to discounted tickets. this Court did not hesitate to affirm the lower court’s finding awarding her damages. it was also held that the switch of planes from Lockheed 1011 to a smaller Boeing 707 because there were only 138 confirmed economy class passengers who could very well be accommodated in the smaller planes. Neither did it present any argument of . This is so. and held confirmed tickets. Thus. Same. So ruled this Court in Zulueta v.—Moreover. Respondent TWA was also guilty of not informing its passengers of its policy of giving less priority to discounted tickets. which when implemented do not amount to bad faith. respondent airline is liable for moral damages. only one of them was allowed to board the plane ten minutes before departure time because the full-fare ticket he was holding was given priority over discounted tickets.clearance from immigration all clearly and unmistakably showing that she was indeed a confirmed passenger and that she was. Same. yet. Inattention and lack of care for the interest of its passengers who are entitled to its utmost consideration entitles the passenger to an award of moral damages. Inc. Same. But the issue raised in this case is not the reasonableness of said policies but whether or not said policies were incorporated or deemed written on petitioner’s contracts of carriage. thereby sacrificing the comfort of its first class passengers for the sake of economy. amounts to bad faith. Such inattention and lack of care for the interest of its passengers who are entitled to its utmost consideration entitles the passenger to an award of moral damages. Pan American World Airways. While the petitioners had checked in at the same time. The other two petitioners were left behind. Respondent TWA should have incorporated stipulations on overbooking on the tickets issued or to properly inform its passengers about these policies so that the latter would be prepared for such eventuality or would have the choice to ride with another airline. Respondent TWA airline is still guilty of bad faith even if overbooking is allowed if it did not properly inform passengers that it could breach the contract of carriage even if they were confirmed passengers.—A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree from any other contractual relation. respondent TWA is still guilty of bad faith in not informing its passengers beforehand that it could breach the contract of carriage even if they have confirmed tickets if there was overbooking. and yet was denied accommodation in said flight. Same. in fact. included in the passenger manifest for said flight.—It is respondent TWA’s position that the practice of overbooking and the airline system of boarding priorities are reasonable policies. Same. Same.

Such conscious disregard of petitioners’ rights makes respondent TWA liable for moral damages. Hernandez.substance to show that petitioners were duly apprised of the overbooked condition of the flight or that there is a hierarchy of boarding priorities in booking passengers. New Civil Code. Evidently respondent TWA placed its self-interest over the rights of petitioners under their contracts of carriage. Salazar. we differ from the trial court’s ruling which ordered not only the reimbursement of the American Airlines tickets but also the refund of the unused TWA tickets. respondent TWA should.: . Quisumbing. thru its agent in Manila. J. In accordance with Article 2201. On this score. The purchase of the American Airlines tickets by petitioners Suthira and Liana was the consequence of respondent TWA’s unjustifiable breach of its contracts of carriage with petitioners. this Court explicitly held that a passenger is entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of the tickets he had to buy for a flight on another airline. therefore.—The respondent court erred. be responsible for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the nonperformance of its obligation. It is evident that petitioners had the right to rely upon the assurance of respondent TWA. In the previously cited case of Alitalia Airways v. instead of simply being refunded for the cost of the unused TWA tickets. that their tickets represented confirmed seats without any qualification. Court of Appeals. To require both prestations would have enabled petitioners to fly from New York to Los Angeles without any fare being paid. Contract. The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals. NOCON. The evidence shows that petitioners Suthira and Liana were constrained to take the American Airlines flight to Los Angeles not because they “opted not to use their TWA tickets on another TWA flight” but because respondent TWA could not accommodate them either on the next TWA flight which was also fully booked. Respondent airline is responsible for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the non-performance of its obligations. Civil Law. petitioners should be awarded the actual cost of their flight from New-York to Los Angeles. Gatmaitan for petitioners. The failure of respondent TWA to so inform them when it could easily have done so thereby enabling respondent to hold on to them as passengers up to the last minute amounts to bad faith. however. Thus. Torres & Evangelista for private-respondent. Sycip. then in New York. in not ordering the refund of the cost of the American Airlines tickets purchased and used by petitioners Suthira and Liana.

While in New York. the lower court ruled in favor of petitioners in its decision1 dated January 9. As it were. Inc. on the other hand.m. 1989 the dispositive portion of which states as follows: . an hour earlier than the scheduled flight at 11:00 a. were not able to fly. 1984. however. at No.m. Liana Zalamea. Zalamea. All three tickets represented confirmed reservations. the first 22 names were eventually allowed to board the flight to Los Angeles. 1984 despite possession of confirmed tickets. Upon their arrival in the Philippines. Metro Manila. showing a party of two. while his wife and daughter. Zalamea and Suthira Zalamea. including petitioner Cesar Zalamea. On the appointed date. petitioners tiled an action for damages based on breach of contract of air carriage before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. The factual backdrop of the case is as follows: Petitioners-spouses Cesar C. they were constrained to book in another flight and purchased two tickets from American Airlines at a cost of Nine Hundred Eighteen ($918. Branch 145. being ranked lower than 22. Inc. Metro Manila. purchased three (3) airline tickets from the Manila agent of respondent TransWorld Airlines. 34. petitioners checked in at 10:00 a. could not be accommodated because it was fully booked. petitioners filed an action for damages before the Regional Trial Court of Makati. those holding full-fare tickets were given first priority among the wait-listed passengers. Thus. Branch 145. who presented the discounted tickets were denied boarding. According to Mr. Even in the next TWA flight to Los Angeles Mrs. and their daughter.00) Dollars. was allowed to board the plane. on June 4. the appellate court found that while there was a breach of contract on respondent TWA’s part.’s refusal to accommodate them in TWA Flight 007 departing from New York to Los Angeles on June 6. however. 13 on the wait-list while the two other Zalameas were listed as “No. The tickets of petitioners-spouses were purchased at a discount of 75% while that of their daughter was a full fare ticket.” Out of the 42 names on the wait-list. but were placed on the wait-list because the number of passengers who had checked in before them had already taken all the seats available on the flight. Mr. Zalamea. who was holding the full-fare ticket of his daughter. As aforesaid. there was neither fraud nor bad faith because under the Code of Federal Regulations by the Civil Aeronautics Board of the United States of America it is allowed to overbook flights. it was only later when he discovered that he was holding his daughter’s full-fare ticket. 1984. petitioners received notice of the reconfirmation of their reservations for said flight.. The two others. 34. Liana Zalamea appeared as No. the trial court categorically ruled that respondent TransWorld Airlines (TWA) breached its contract of carriage with petitioners and that said breach was “characterized by bad faith. for a flight from New York to Los Angeles on June 6. Advocating petitioners’ position.Disgruntled over TransWorld Airlines. Zalamea and her daughter.” On appeal.

“(5) One Hundred Thousand Pesos (P100. representing the price of Liana Zalamea’s ticket for TWA Flight 007. as and for attorney’s fees. “(3) Eight Thousand Nine Hundred Thirty-Four Pesos and Fifty Centavos (P8. and “(6) The costs of suit. as moral damages for all the plaintiffs. Philippine Currency. it also held that there was no bad faith in placing petitioners in the wait-list along with forty-eight (48) other passengers where full-fare first class tickets were given priority over discounted tickets. “SO ORDERED. Since it is a matter of record that overbooking of flights is a common and accepted practice of airlines in the United States and is specifically allowed under the Code of Federal Regulations by the Civil Aeronautics Board. no fraud nor bad faith could be imputed on respondent TransWorld Airlines. or its peso equivalent at the time of payment.000. or its peso equivalent at the time of payment. Moreover. Philippine Currency. to enable them to fly to Los Angeles from New York City.00.000. while respondent TWA was remiss in not informing petitioners that the flight was overbooked and that even a person with a confirmed reservation may be denied accommodation on an overbooked flight. “(4) Two Hundred Fifty Thousand Pesos (P250.49. representing the price of Suthira Zalamea’s ticket for TWA Flight 007.“WHEREFORE. “(2) US $159.50).934. and the defendant-appellant is hereby ordered to pay the plaintiffs the following amounts: . the respondent Court of Appeals held that moral damages are recoverable in a damage suit predicated upon a breach of contract of carriage only where there is fraud or bad faith. representing the price of the tickets bought by Suthira and Liana Zalamea from American Airlines. Finally.00). judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendant to pay plaintiffs the following amounts: “(1) US $918. in view of all the foregoing the decision under review is hereby MODIFIED in that the award of moral and exemplary damages to the plaintiffs is eliminated. The dispositive portion of the decision of respondent Court of appeals3 dated October 25. nevertheless it ruled that such omission or negligence cannot under the circumstances be considered to be so gross as to amount to bad faith.”2 On appeal.00). Philippine Currency. 1991 states as follows: “WHEREFORE.

to wit: I “X X X IN HOLDING THAT THERE WAS NO FRAUD OR BAD FAITH ON THE PART OF RESPONDENT TWA BECAUSE IT HAS A RIGHT TO OVERBOOK FLIGHTS. consul general. representing the price of Suthira Zalamea’s ticket for TWA Flight 007. Like any other fact. in her deposition dated January 27. “(3) P50.6 Written law may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officers having the legal custody of the record.49. “SO ORDERED. or its peso equivalent at the time of payment. representing the price of Cesar Zalamea’s ticket for TWA flight 007. vice-consul. “(4) The costs of suit. law or regulation allegedly authorizing overbooking has never been proved. Foreign laws do not prove themselves nor can the courts take judicial notice of them.000.S. or its peso equivalent at the time of payment. .00 as and for attorney’s fees. no official publication of said code was presented as evidence.“(1) US$159. and accompanied with a certificate that such officer has custody. petitioners raised the case on petition for review on certiorari and alleged the following errors committed by the respondent Court of Appeals. they must be alleged and proved.49. The certificate may be made by a secretary of an embassy or legation. and authenticated by the seal of his office.”4 Not satisfied with the decision.7 Respondent TWA relied solely on the statement of Ms. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. “(2) US$159. Aside from said statement. The U. or by his deputy. II “X X X IN ELIMINATING THE AWARD OF EXEMPLARY DAMAGES III “X X X IN NOT ORDERING THE REFUND OF LIANA ZALAMEA’S TWA TICKET AND PAYMENT FOR THE AMERICAN AIRLINES TICKETS. Gwendolyn Lather its customer service agent. consul. 1986 that the Code of Federal Regulations of the Civil Aeronautics Board allows overbooking.”5 That there was fraud or bad faith on the part of respondent airline when it did not allow petitioners to board their flight for Los Angeles in spite of confirmed tickets cannot be disputed.

it was .Thus. in fact.10 where private respondent was not allowed to board the plane because her seat had already been given to another passenger even before the allowable period for passengers to check in had lapsed despite the fact that she had a confirmed ticket and she had arrived on time.. existing jurisprudence abounds with rulings where the breach of contract of carriage amounts to bad faith. for a contract of carriage generates a relation attended with public duty—a duty to provide public service and convenience to its passengers which must be paramount to self-interest or enrichment.S. this Court held that petitioner airline acted in bad faith in violating private respondent’s right under their contract of carriage and is therefore liable for the injuries she has sustained as a result. Ltd.8 Since the tickets were sold and issued in the Philippines. A contract to transport passengers is quite different in kind and degree from any other contractual relation. For the indignity and inconvenience of being refused a confirmed seat on the last minute. In Alitalia Airways v. Inc. it took the risk of having to deprive some passengers of their seats in case all of them would show up for check in. a contract of carriage arises. Court of Appeals. Intermediate Appellate Court. Thus. included in the passenger manifest for said flight. entitling the passengers concerned to an award of moral damages. on a certain date. respondent court’s finding that overbooking is specifically allowed by the US Code of Federal Regulations has no basis in fact. In fact. the same is not applicable to the case at bar in accordance with the principle of lex loci contractus which requires that the law of the place where the airline ticket was issued should be applied by the court where the passengers are residents and nationals of the forum and the ticket is issued in such State by the defendant airline. So ruled this Court in Zulueta v. Inc. Where an airline had deliberately overbooked. If he does not.11 where a would-be passenger had the necessary ticket. v. said passenger is entitled to an award of moral damages. and the passenger has every right to expect that he would fly on that flight and on that date. this Court held that when an airline issues a ticket to a passenger confirmed on a particular flight. Court of Appeals. the applicable law in this case would be Philippine law. Similarly. Even if the claimed U. then the carrier opens itself to a suit for breach of contract of carnage.12 This is so. this Court did not hesitate to affirm the lower court’s finding awarding her damages. baggage claim and clearance from immigration all clearly and unmistakably showing that she was indeed a confirmed passenger and that she was. v. Pan American World Airways. Code of Federal Regulations does exist. Existing jurisprudence explicitly states that overbooking amounts to bad faith.9 where passengers with confirmed booking were refused carriage on the last minute. in Korean Airlines Co. and yet was denied accommodation in said flight. In Pan American World Airways.

then in New York. respondent TWA is still guilty of bad faith in not informing its passengers beforehand that it could breach the contract of carriage even if they have confirmed tickets if there was overbooking. While the petitioners had checked in at the same time.13 Even on the assumption that overbooking is allowed. The failure of respondent TWA to so inform them when it could easily have done so thereby enabling respondent to hold on to them as passengers up to the last minute amounts to bad faith. At any rate. and held confirmed tickets. Such inattention and lack of care for the interest of its passengers who are entitled to its utmost consideration entitles the passenger to an award of moral damages. respondent TWA placed its self-interest over the rights of petitioners under their contracts of carriage. thru its agent in Manila. contained such a notice. Moreover. said exhibit was not offered for the purpose of showing the existence of a notice of overbooking but to show that Exhibit I was used for Flight 007 in first class of June 11. An examination of Exhibit I does not bear this out. Respondent TWA should have incorporated stipulations in overbooking on the tickets issued or to properly inform its passengers about these policies so that the latter would be prepared for such eventuality or would have the choice to ride with another airline. It is evident that petitioners had the right to rely upon the assurance of respondent TWA. Respondent TWA failed to show that there are provisions to that effect. that their tickets represented confirmed seats without any qualification. Such conscious disregard of petitioners’ rights makes respondent TWA liable for moral damages. amounts to bad faith. But the issue raised in this case is not the reasonableness of said policies but whether or not said policies were incorporated or deemed written on petitioner’s contracts of carriage. Neither did it present any argument of substance to show that petitioners were duly apprised of the overbooked condition of the flight or that there is a hierarchy of boarding priorities in booking passengers. only one of them was allowed to board the plane ten minutes before departure time because the full-fare ticket he was holding was given priority over discounted tickets. thereby sacrificing the comfort of its first class passengers for the sake of economy. 1984 from New York to Los Angeles. Respondent TWA contends that Exhibit I. It is respondent TWA’s position that the practice of overbooking and the airline system of boarding priorities are reasonable policies. yet. To deter breach of contracts by respondent TWA in similar . respondent TWA was also guilty of not informing its passengers of its alleged policy of giving less priority to discounted tickets. The other two petitioners were left behind. Evidently. which when implemented do not amount to bad faith. the detached flight coupon upon which were written the name of the passenger and the points of origin and destination.also held that the switch of planes from Lockheed 1011 to a smaller Boeing 707 because there were only 138 confirmed economy class passenger who could very well be accommodated in the smaller planes.

In the previously cited case of Alitalia Airways v. the award for moral and exemplary damages by the trial court is excessive in the light of the fact that only Suthira and Liana Zalamea were actually “bumped off. therefore. we uphold the respondent court. The evidence shows that petitioners Suthira and Liana were constrained to take the American Airlines flight to Los Angeles not because they “opted not to use their TWA tickets on another TWA flight” but because respondent TWA could not accommodate them either on the next TWA flight which was also fully booked.000. Petitioners had also failed to establish that they did not accede to said arrangement. the petition is hereby GRANTED and the decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is hereby MODIFIED to the extent of adjudging respondents TransWorld Airlines to pay damages to petitioners in the following amounts. Petitioners also assail the respondent court’s decision not to require the refund of Liana Zalamea’s ticket because the ticket was used by her father.00 moral damages and another P50. Zalamea to use the ticket of her daughter was due to inadvertence or deliberate act. Petitioners had not shown with certainty that the act of respondent TWA in allowing Mr.15 this Court explicitly held that a passenger is entitled to be reimbursed for the cost of the tickets he had to buy for a flight on another airline.” An award of P50. petitioners should be awarded the actual cost of their flight from New York to Los Angeles.00 exemplary damages would suffice under the circumstances obtaining in the instant case. Thus. On this score. is that both petitioners and respondent TWA agreed. respondent TWA should. albeit impliedly. be responsible for all damages which may be reasonably attributed to the nonperformance of its obligation. To require both prestations would have enabled petitioners to fly from New York to Los Angeles without any fare being paid. instead of simply being refunded for the cost of the unused TWA tickets. Court of Appeals. The respondent court erred. New Civil Code. The award to petitioners of attorney’s fees is also justified under Article 2208(2) of the Civil Code which allows recovery when the defendant’s act or omission has compelled plaintiff to litigate or to incur expenses to protect his interest. in not ordering the refund of the cost of the American Airlines tickets purchased and used by petitioners Suthira and Liana.14 The purchase of the American Airlines tickets by petitioners Suthira and Liana was the consequence of respondent TWA’s unjustifiable breach of its contracts of carriage with petitioners.000. However. In accordance with Article 2201. On this score. as well. to wit: . we adjudge respondent TWA liable for exemplary damages. however. to the course of action taken. therefore. WHEREFORE. The logical conclusion. we differ from the trial court’s ruling which ordered not only the reimbursement of the American Airlines tickets but also the refund of the unused TWA tickets.fashion in the future.

Chairman).000. Padilla. 228 SCRA 23(1993)] G. No. vs.R. [Zalamea vs. 2000. 205 SCRA 632). and (5) Costs of suit. COURT OF APPEALS and PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT LINES. (2) P50. Note. October 6.J.” the oral testimony of expert witnesses is admissible. petitioner. Where the foreign law sought to be proved is “unwritten. Evidence. LTD. as are printed and published books of reports of decisions of the courts of the country concerned if proved to be commonly admitted in such courts. Petition granted. International Law. INC. 119602.—Under the Civil Code.* WILDVALLEY SHIPPING CO. Regalado and Puno. as amended. A distinction must be made as to the manner of proving a written and an unwritten law.—A distinction is to be made as to the manner of proving a written and an unwritten law.00 or its peso equivalent at the time of payment representing the price of the tickets bought by Suthira and Liana Zalamea from American Airlines. The former falls under Section 24. they must be alleged and proved. (3) P50. Intermediate Apppellate Court.00 as exemplary damages.00 as attorney’s fees. Foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them.(1) US$918. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. Narvasa (C. . vs. Same. to enable them to fly to Los Angeles from New York City. respondents.000.00 as moral damages.—It is well-settled that foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. Court of Appeals. (4) P50. the person who fails in the performance of his obligations shall be subject to indemnify the aggrieved party for the losses and damages caused thereby. concur.. appealed decision modified.. the entire provision of which is quoted hereunder. (Famhwa Company Ltd. Same. JJ.000. SO ORDERED. Like any other fact.

a foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact.—The diligence of a good father of a family requires only that diligence which an ordinary prudent man would exercise with regard to his own property. the private respondent is obliged to give only the diligence required of a good father of a family. for the written law itself is the best evidence. Section 25 (now Section 24) interpreted to include competent evidence like the testimony of a witness to prove the existence of a written foreign law. will be presumed to be the same as our own local or domestic law and this is known as processual presumption. Under the rules of private international law. Damages. and (2) It must be accompanied by a certificate by a secretary of the embassy or legation. Same. Same. The diligence of a good father of a family requires only that diligence which an ordinary prudent man would exercise with regard to his own property. Same. machineries. the private respondent is obliged to give only the diligence required of a good father of a family in accordance with the provisions of Article 1173 of the New Civil Code. Same. —Petitioner alleges that there was negligence on the part of the private respondent that would warrant the award of damages. the officer on watch on the bridge with a pilot who is experienced in navigating the . Same. the best evidence rule requires that it be proved by a duly authenticated copy of the statute. Civil Law. when the master left a competent officer. the best evidence rule requires that it be proved by a duly authenticated copy of the statute. a foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact x x x otherwise it will be presumed to be the same as our own local or domestic law. and other auxiliaries” were checked and found to be in good running condition. when a foreign statute is involved. In the absence of pleading and proof. Same.— For a copy of a foreign public document to” be admissible. Requisites for a copy of a foreign public document to be admissible. Same.—The court has interpreted Section 25 (now Section 24) to include competent evidence like the testimony of a witness to prove the existence of a written foreign law. consul general. Same. the laws of a foreign country. There being no contractual obligation. vice consular or consular agent or foreign service officer. According to the weight of authority.—With respect to proof of written laws. or state. Negligence. and with the seal of his office. parol proof is objectionable.Same. the following requisites are mandatory: (1) It must be attested by the officer having legal custody of the records or by his deputy. Same.—We reiterate that under the rules of private international law. When a foreign statute is involved. consul. Same. There being no contractual obligation. The latter requirement is not a mere technicality but is intended to justify the giving of full faith and credit to the genuineness of a document in a foreign country. This we have found private respondent to have exercised when the vessel sailed only after the “main engine.

—The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur does not apply to the case at bar because the circumstances surrounding the injury do not clearly indicate negligence on the part of the private respondent. entitled “Wildvalley Shipping Co. the Philippine Roxas. CV No. private respondent herein.R. the vessel’s third mate (then the officer on watch). defendant-appellant. J. on February 12. was designated by the harbour authorities in Puerto Ordaz to navigate the Philippine Roxas through the Orinoco River. Venezuela. The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court. 1988. Mr. Inc. a vessel owned by Philippine President Lines.. Requisites for the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to apply. BUENA..m. when the master ordered the inspection of the vessel’s double bottom tanks when the vibrations occurred anew. Lim Law Office for private respondent.. Ltd.6 . Captain Nicandro Colon.5 Captain Colon left the bridge when the vessel was under way. versus Philippine President Lines. the following conditions must be met: (1) the accident was of such character as to warrant an inference that it would not have happened except for defendant’s negligence.: This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals which reversed the decision of the lower court in CA-G. plaintiff-appellant. (2) the accident must have been caused by an agency or instrumentality within the exclusive management or control of the person charged with the negligence complained of. Inc. Same. For the said doctrine to apply.Orinoco River. Upon the completion of the loading and when the vessel was ready to leave port.1 He was asked to pilot the said vessel on February 11. Arthur D. Same. to load iron ore. 19882 boarding it that night at 11:00 p.3 The master (captain) of the Philippine Roxas. arrived in Puerto Ordaz. and a helmsman when the vessel left the port4 at 1:40 a. Ezzar del Valle Solarzano Vasquez.. PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals. Del Rosario & Del Rosario for petitioner. was at the bridge together with the pilot (Vasquez). and (3) the accident must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured.” The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: Sometime in February 1988. 36821. an official pilot of Venezuela. Same.m.

That defendant Pioneer Insurance was the insurance underwriter for defendant PPL. Monis.13 He then went to confirm. or set down. the Malandrinon.9 These occurred at 4:12 a. the vessel. The complaint against Pioneer Insurance Company was dismissed in an Order dated November 7. Branch III against Philippine President Lines. Venezuela. Inc is the owner of the vessel Malandrinon. as specified in their respective pleadings. page 2 of the complaint. “5. That at the time of the incident..16 thus obstructing the ingress and egress of vessels. That on February 12. Philippine Roxas.15 At around 4:35 a.7 The vessel proceeded on its way. with the pilot assuring the watch officer that the vibration was a result of the shallowness of the channel. was under the command of the pilot Ezzar Solarzano. 4. Subsequently.11 The master (captain) checked the position of the vessel12 and verified that it was in the centre of the channel.000. “3. . as specified in par. 1988. a vessel owned by herein petitioner Wildvalley Shipping Company.The Philippine Roxas experienced some vibrations when it entered the San Roque Channel at mile 172. but plaintiff claims that it is under the command of the master. That the Orinoco River in Puerto Ordaz is a compulsory pilotage channel. costs. Chief Officer of the President Roxas. 1988. That defendant PPL was the owner of the vessel Philippine Roxas at the time of the incident. As a result of the blockage. and expenses of litigation. the parties agreed on the following facts: “1 The jurisdictional facts.. the Philippine Roxas ran aground in the Orinoco River.m. the position of the vessel on the chart. “6. the said vessel grounded and as a result. Wildvalley Shipping Company. “7. “2. whose passage was obstructed by the vessel Philippine Roxas at Puerto Ordaz. while the Philippine Roxas was navigating the channel at Puerto Ordaz.14 He ordered Simplicio A. “4. filed a suit with the Regional Trial Court of Manila. was unable to sail out of Puerto Ordaz on that day.17 At the pre-trial conference. and Pioneer Insurance Company (the underwriter/insurer of Philippine Roxas) for damages in the form of unearned profits. That plaintiff Wildvalley Shipping Co. Ltd. assigned by the government thereat.10 It was then that the watch officer called the master to the bridge.m.00 plus attorney’s fees. to check all the double bottom tanks..8 Between mile 158 and 157. the vessel again experienced some vibrations. and interest thereon amounting to US $400. obstructed navigation at the channel. Ltd. Inc.

as expenses incurred abroad for its foreign lawyers. The plaintiff filed a case in Middleburg. The Orinoco River is 150 miles long and it takes approximately 12 hours to navigate out of the said river. $162. 1995. The dispositive portion thereof reads as follows: ‘WHEREFORE.243. finding defendant-appellant’s appeal to be meritorious.53) as and for attorney’s fees plus cost of suit.031.042. and to pay the cost of this suit.S. Ltd.000. “10. Plaintiff-appellant’s appeal is DISMISSED. as actual and compensatory damages.”21 Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration22 but the same was denied for lack of merit in the resolution dated March 29. a vessel owned by the defendant PPL.20 the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: “WHEREFORE.”19 Both parties appealed: the petitioner appealing the non-award of interest with the private respondent questioning the decision on the merits of the case.00. . The plaintiff caused the arrest of the Philippine Collier. “11. “9. dated 12-May-88 was issued by the Steamship Mutual Underwriters Ltd. judgment is hereby rendered reversing the Decision of the lower court.53. $259. “SO ORDERED..43. ordering defendant Philippine President Lines.S. Holland which is related to the present case. That a letter of guarantee. plus additional sum of U.“8.S. and U. this petition. Wildvalley Shipping Co. the Court of Appeals came out with its questioned decision dated June 14. 1991 in favor of the petitioner. 1994.”18 The trial court rendered its decision on October 16. Inc. “Defendant’s counterclaim is dismissed for lack of merit.23 Hence. Forty-two Pesos and Fifty-three Centavos (P323. and “12. After the requisite pleadings had been filed. judgment is rendered for the plaintiff. $22. Plaintiff-appellant’s Complaint is dismissed and it is ordered to pay defendant-appellant the amount of Three Hundred Twenty-three Thousand. to pay to the plaintiff the sum of U. “SO ORDERED. as and for attorney’s fees of plaintiffs local lawyer. That no security for the plaintiffs claim was given until after the Philippine Collier was arrested.

may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record. or by his deputy. COSTS AND INTEREST. 3. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT UNDER PHILIPPINE LAW NO FAULT OR NEGLIGENCE CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO THE MASTER NOR THE OWNER OF THE “PHILIPPINE ROXAS” FOR THE GROUNDING OF SAID VESSEL RESULTING IN THE BLOCKAGE OF THE RIO ORINOCO. 6. The primary issue to be determined is whether or not Venezuelan law is applicable to the case at bar. 2. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN DISREGARDING VENEZUELAN LAW DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE SAME HAS BEEN SUBSTANTIALLY PROVED IN THE TRIAL COURT WITHOUT ANY OBJECTION FROM PRIVATE RESPONDENT. Like any other fact. Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.” the oral testimony of expert witnesses is admissible. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN REVERSING THE FINDINGS OF FACTS OF THE TRIAL COURT CONTRARY TO EVIDENCE. and accompanied. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN AWARDING ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS TO PRIVATE RESPONDENT WITHOUT ANY FAIR OR REASONABLE BASIS WHATSOEVER. the entire provision of which is quoted hereunder. provides: “Sec.24 A distinction is to be made as to the manner of proving a written and an unwritten law. Proof of official record.—The record of public documents referred to in paragraph (a) of Section 19. The petition is without merit.25 Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. they must be alleged and proved. 5. PETITIONER SHOULD BE ENTITLED TO ATTORNEY’S FEES. 4. The former falls under Section 24. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN FINDING THAT THE “PHILIPPINE ROXAS” IS SEAWORTHY. It is well-settled that foreign laws do not prove themselves in our jurisdiction and our courts are not authorized to take judicial notice of them. Where the foreign law sought to be proved is “unwritten.The petitioner assigns the following errors to the court a quo: 1. 24. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS SERIOUSLY ERRED IN NOT FINDING THAT PETITIONER’S CAUSE IS MERITORIOUS HENCE. as amended. as are printed and published books of reports of decisions of the courts of the country concerned if proved to be commonly admitted in such courts. when admissible for any purpose. as amended. AND WHOSE OBJECTION WAS INTERPOSED BELATEDLY ON APPEAL. if the record is not kept .

in the Philippines. Arthur W. consul general.” (Italics supplied) The court has interpreted Section 25 (now Section 24) to include competent evidence like the testimony of a witness to prove the existence of a written foreign law. . Oscar Leon Monzon. on November 5.28 to testify on the existence of the Reglamento General de la Ley de Pilotaje (pilotage law of Venezuela)29 and the Reglamento Para la Zona de Pilotaje No. “‘The foreign law is a matter of fact .” We do not dispute the competency of Capt. He is also in charge of the documents that come into the office of the harbour masters. he may. pages 3148-3152. an attorney-at-law of San Francisco. Bolton. though he referred to a book containing the decrees of the Council of Trent as controlling. the certificate may be made by a secretary of the embassy or legation.’ (Lord Campbell concurring in an opinion of Lord Chief Justice Denman in a well-known English case where a witness was called upon to prove the Roman laws of marriage and was permitted to testify. If the office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country. or on producing and referring to books. . Jones on Evidence. and authenticated by the seal of his office.26 In the noted case of Willamette Iron & Steel Works vs. . . the Assistant Harbor Master and Chief of Pilots at Puerto Ordaz. . with a certificate that such officer has the custody. This evidence sufficiently established the fact that the section in question was the law of the State of California on the above dates. Second Edition. 1928 and December 22. Venezuela. i. Mr. quoted verbatim section 322 of the California Civil Code and stated that said section was in force at the time the obligations of defendant to the plaintiff were incurred.30 As such he is in charge of designating the pilots for maneuvering and navigating the Orinoco River. You ask the witness what the law is.) x x x. A reading of sections 300 and 301 of our Code of Civil Procedure will convince one that these sections do not exclude the presentation of other competent evidence to prove the existence of a foreign law.31 Nevertheless. A photocopy of the Gaceta Oficial was presented in evidence as an official publication of the Republic of Venezuela. or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the record is kept. from his recollection.e. California. The Reglamento General de la Ley de Pilotaje was published in the Gaceta Oficial32 of the Republic of Venezuela. consul. Captain Monzon has held the aforementioned posts for eight years.27 it was held that: “. Muzzal. 1928. since the year 1918 under oath. we take note that these written laws were not proven in the manner provided by Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court. say what it is. 1 del Orinoco (rules governing the navigation of the Orinoco River). Volume 4. vice consul.

40 . vice consul or consular agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in Venezuela. Both of these documents are considered in Philippine jurisprudence to be public documents for they are the written official acts. the laws of a foreign country. In the absence of pleading and proof. consul.35 The latter requirement is not a mere technicality but is intended to justify the giving of full faith and credit to the genuineness of a document in a foreign country. According to the weight of authority.36 It is not enough that the Gaceta Oficial. the following requisites are mandatory: (1) It must be attested by the officer having legal custody of the records or by his deputy.34 For a copy of a foreign public document to be admissible. We reiterate that under the rules of private international law.38 A review of the Complaint39 revealed that it was never alleged or invoked despite the fact that the grounding of the M/V Philippine Roxas occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of Venezuela. its import and legal consequence on the event or transaction in issue. when a foreign statute is involved. who attested the documents.33 Only a photocopy of the said rules was likewise presented as evidence. consul general. was presented as evidence with Captain Monzon attesting it.The Reglamento Para la Zona de Pilotaje No. we have to point out that the Venezuelan law was not pleaded before the lower court. a foreign law must be properly pleaded and proved as a fact. and with the seal of his office. 1 del Orinoco is published in a book issued by the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela. is the officer who had legal custody of those records made by a secretary of the embassy or legation. No such certificate could be found in the records of the case. or records of the official acts of the sovereign authority. for the written law itself is the best evidence. will be presumed to be the same as our own local or domestic law and this is known as processual presumption. vice consular or consular agent or foreign service officer. or state. With respect to proof of written laws. A foreign law is considered to be pleaded if there is an allegation in the pleading about the existence of the foreign law. and public officers of Venezuela. and authenticated by the seal of his office accompanying the copy of the public document. It is also required by Section 24 of Rule 132 of the Rules of Court that a certificate that Captain Monzon. and (2) It must be accompanied by a certificate by a secretary of the embassy or legation. consul. or a book published by the Ministerio de Comunicaciones of Venezuela. the best evidence rule requires that it be proved by a duly authenticated copy of the statute.37 At this juncture. consul general. official bodies and tribunals. parol proof is objectionable.

otherwise known as the Rules and Regulations Governing Pilotage Services. There being no contractual obligation. When negligence shows bad faith. The pertinent provisions of the said administrative order governing these persons are quoted hereunder: “Sec. the provisions of articles 1171 and 2201. 11. of the time and of the place. paragraph 2. The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons. machineries.42 The Philippine rules on pilotage. thus: “Art.Having cleared this point. and other auxiliaries” were checked and found to be in good running condition. Control of Vessels and Liability for Damage. the Conduct of Pilots and Pilotage Fees in Philippine Ports enunciate the duties and responsibilities of a master of a vessel and its pilot. In such event. Petitioner alleges that there was negligence on the part of the private respondent that would warrant the award of damages.—On compulsory pilotage grounds. when the master ordered the inspection of the vessel’s double bottom tanks when the vibrations occurred anew. embodied in Philippine Ports Authority Administrative Order No. the officer on watch on the bridge with a pilot who is experienced in navigating the Orinoco River. This we have found private respondent to have exercised when the vessel sailed only after the “main engine. the Harbor Pilot providing the service to a vessel shall be responsible for the damage caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports due to his negligence or fault. the private respondent is obliged to give only the diligence required of a good father of a family in accordance with the provisions of Article 1173 of the New Civil Code. among other things. we now proceed to a thorough study of the errors assigned by the petitioner. 03-85. “If the law or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the performance.41 when the master left a competent officer. “The Master shall retain overall command of the vessel even on pilotage grounds whereby he can countermand or overrule the order or command of the Harbor Pilot on board. 1173. He can be absolved from liability if the accident is caused by force majeure or natural calamities provided he has exercised prudence and extra diligence to prevent or minimize the damage. any damage caused to a vessel or to life and property at ports by reason of the fault or negligence of the Master shall be the responsibility . shall apply.” The diligence of a good father of a family requires only that diligence which an ordinary prudent man would exercise with regard to his own property. that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required.

The following obligations shall be inherent in the office of captain: “x x x “7. To be on deck on reaching land and to take command on entering and leaving ports. 32. unless there is a pilot on board discharging his duties. “x x x “Sec. "Such liability of the owner or Master of the vessel or its pilots shall be determined by competent authority in appropriate proceedings in the light of the facts and circumstances of each particular case. and rivers. pilot Ezzar Solarzano Vasquez testified .” The Orinoco River being a compulsory pilotage channel necessitated the engaging of a pilot who was presumed to be knowledgeable of every shoal. as well as docking and undocking at any pier/wharf. deep and shallow ends of the river. Section 8 of PPA Administrative Order No. In his deposition. Provided. to wit: “Art. canals. It is not required of him to be on the bridge while the vessel is being navigated by a pilot. 8. or shifting from one berth or another. or passing through rivers or straits within a pilotage district. every vessel engaged in coastwise and foreign trade shall be under compulsory pilotage. bank. however. roadsteads. x x x.” The law is very explicit. “x x x. 03-85. He remains in control of the ship as he can still perform the duties conferred upon him by law43 despite the presence of a pilot who is temporarily in charge of the vessel.—The duties and responsibilities of the Harbor Pilot shall be as follows: “x x x “f) A pilot shall be held responsible for the direction of a vessel from the time he assumes his work as a pilot thereof until he leaves it anchored or berthed safely. Duties and Responsibilities of the Pilots or Pilots’ Association. However. The master remains the overall commander of the vessel even when there is a pilot on board. provides: “Sec. 612.” The Code of Commerce likewise provides for the obligations expected of a captain of a vessel. Compulsory Pilotage Service—For entering a harbor and anchoring thereat. that his responsibility shall cease at the moment the Master neglects or refuses to carry out his order.and liability of the registered owner of the vessel concerned without prejudice to recourse against said Master.

”51 Pilot Ezzar Solarzano Vasquez was assigned to pilot the vessel Philippine Roxas as well as other vessels on the Orinoco River due to his knowledge of the same. Admitting his limited knowledge of the Orinoco River. enjoying the emoluments of compulsory pilot age. In his experience as a pilot. or other dangers of the way. pilots are bound to use due diligence and reasonable care and skill.44 and that he had been a pilot for twelve (12) years. When the vibrations were first felt the watch officer asked him what was going on.46 The law does provide that the master can countermand or overrule the order or command of the harbor pilot on board.49 Based on these declarations. acquaintance with the waters piloted in their ordinary condition. are the main elements of a pilot’s knowledge and skill. “Licensed pilots. we hold him as negligent and liable for its grounding. Captain Colon relied on the knowledge and experience of pilot Vasquez to guide the vessel safely. On the ocean. The character of the skill and knowledge required of a pilot in charge of a vessel on the rivers of a country is very different from that which enables a navigator to carry a vessel safely in the ocean. . The master of the Philippine Roxas deemed it best not to order him (the pilot) to stop the vessel. and pilot Vasquez replied that “(they) were in the middle of the channel and that the vibration was a result of the shallowness of the channel. Thus. But the pilot of a river vessel.45 He also had experience in navigating the waters of the Orinoco River. he should have been aware of the portions which are shallow and which are not. because the latter had assured him that they were navigating normally before the grounding of the vessel. and implies a knowledge and observance of the usual rules of navigation. caused damage to the vessel. and that he does not even refer to river charts when navigating the Orinoco River. Venezuela. the pilot had admitted that on account of his experience he was very familiar with the configuration of the river as well as the course headings.47 mayhap. for they assume to have a skill and a knowledge of navigation in the particular waters over which their licenses extend superior to that of the master.48 Moreover.that he is an official pilot in the Harbour at Port Ordaz. and nautical skill in avoiding all known obstructions. a knowledge of the rules of navigation. like the harbor pilot. are in a different class from ordinary employees. with charts that disclose the places of hidden rocks.”50 We find that the grounding of the vessel is attributable to the pilot. in all probability. A pilot’s ordinary skill is in proportion to the pilot’s responsibilities. dangerous shores. His failure to determine the depth of the said river and his decision to plod on his set course. is selected for the individual’s personal knowledge of the topography through which the vessel is steered. it comes as no surprise to us that the master chose not to regain control of the ship.

56 As has already been held above. and the maxim Qui facit per alium facit per se does not apply. therefore. and (3) the accident must not have been due to any voluntary action or contribution on the part of the person injured.55 We. it was held that: “x x x The master of a ship. depth of the river. neither he nor the owner will be liable for injuries occasioned by the negligence of the pilot. if he is bound to do so under penalty. a fortiori. i. (2) the accident must have been caused by an agency or instrumentality within the exclusive management or control of the person charged with the negligence complained of. but is forced upon them. then. 406. to wit: contacting the radio marina via VHF for information regarding the channel. by a collision with another ship. if any is employed. and the owner also.52 the voyage has been sufficiently planned and monitored as shown by the following actions undertaken by the pilot. And it will make no difference in the case that the pilot. we hold that is not. 182 U. if it is compulsive upon the master to take a pilot. On the other hand.53 soundings of the river. Thus.. for example. there was a temporary shift of control over the ship from the master of the vessel to the pilot on a compulsory pilotage channel. As to the claim that the ship was unseaworthy.54 The officer on watch also monitored the voyage.e. For the said doctrine to apply. at his pleasure. Ezzar Solarzano Vasquez. La Compagnie Generate Transatlantique. do not find the absence of a river passage plan to be the cause for the grounding of the vessel. the following conditions must be met: (1) the accident was of such character as to warrant an inference that it would not have happened except for defendant’s negligence. negligence and control. is required to be a licensed pilot. bulletin on the buoys. two of the requisites necessary for the doctrine to apply. . is liable for any injury done by the negligence of the crew employed in the ship. for in such a case the pilot cannot be deemed properly the servant of the master or the owner. provided the master is at liberty to take a pilot. although he is necessarily required to select from a par ticular class.” (Italics supplied) Anent the river passage plan. river traffic. occasioned by his negligence. while there was none.S. The doctrine of res ipsa loquitur does not apply to the case at bar because the circumstances surrounding the injury do not clearly indicate negligence on the part of the private respondent. The same doctrine will apply to the case of a pilot employed by the master or owner. to render the respondent liable. and.In the case of Homer Ramsdell Transportation Company vs. or not. and in such case. are absent. for in such a case the master acts voluntarily. we find that. by whose negligence any injury happens to a third person or his property: as.

and it was given sufficient time to be repaired. MISA Before we proceed to other matter. a marine surveyor.The Lloyd’s Register of Shipping confirmed the vessel’s seaworthiness in a Confirmation of Class issued on February 16. The vessel is fit to travel even with defects? Is that what you mean? Explain. Nos. and she is fit to travel during that voyage. “WITNESS “A Yes. 1988 by finding that “the above named ship (Philippine Roxas) maintained the class “+100A1 Strengthened for Ore Cargoes. as a surveyor. “x x x “COURT . your Honor. the vessel was class or maintained. will you kindly tell us what is (sic) the ‘class +100A1 Strengthened for Ore Cargoes. 8 holds empty. “COURT What do you mean by that? You explain. Because the class society which register (sic) is the third party looking into the condition of the vessel and as far as their record states. but she is particularly capable of carrying Ore Cargoes with cNo. 2 and 8 Holds may be empty (CC) and +LMC from 31/12/87 up until the time of casualty on or about 12/2/88. it means that the vessel is fit to travel even with those defects on the ship. at Lloyd’s Register of Shipping testified thus: “Q Now. wherein recommendations were made on the top side tank.’ mean? “WITNESS “A Plus 100A1 means that the vessel was built according to Lloyd’s rules and she is capable of carrying ore bulk cargoes. did top side tank have any bearing at all to the seaworthiness of the vessel? “A Well.” “x x x “ATTY. judging on this particular vessel. and also basing on the class record of the vessel. Samuel Lim. 2 and No. in your opinion.”57 The same would not have been issued had not the vessel been built according to the standards set by Lloyd’s.

your Honor. The vessel was navigating normally. and to encounter the ordinary perils of the voyage. contemplated by the parties to the policy.62 Finally. 1988. other than judicial costs. 36821 is AFFIRMED. we find the award of attorney’s fee justified. except: xxx “(11) In any other case where the court deems it just and equitable that attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation should be recovered. CV No.59 As further evidence that the vessel was seaworthy. That same day the main engine. Second Engineer of the Philippine Roxas submitted an accident report wherein he stated that on February 11. or seaworthy. IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. Mata. thus the award of attorney’s fees was proper. machineries and all other auxiliaries and found them all to be in good running condition and ready for maneuvering. Was the vessel able to respond to all your commands and orders? “A. the petition is DENIED and the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G. attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation. bridge and engine telegraph and steering gear motor were also tested. Article 2208 of the New Civil Code provides that: “Art.R. Was there any instance when your orders or directions were not complied with because of the inability of the vessel to do so? “A. “Q.The vessel is classed. the private respondent was unjustifiably forced to litigate. . In the absence of stipulation. WHEREFORE. SO ORDERED. No. “x x x” Due to the unfounded filing of this case. To be seaworthy. cannot be recovered. he checked and prepared the main engine. a ship must be reasonably fit to perform the services.”60 Eduardo P.61 Engineer Mata also prepared the fuel for consumption for maneuvering and checked the engine generators.”58 It is not required that the vessel must be perfect. 2208. meaning? “A Meaning she is fit to travel. we quote the deposition of pilot Vasquez: “Q.

. concur. Jr.Bellosillo (Chairman). judgment affirmed. [Wildvalley Shipping Co. 342 SCRA 213(2000)] . JJ. Ltd. Quisumbing and De Leon. Mendoza... vs. Court of Appeals. Petition denied.