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Manalo vs Robles Transportation Company

Montemayor, J.

A taxicab owned by defendant Robles Transportation Company, driven by

Edgardo Hernandez collided with a passenger truck. As a result of the accident,
the cab ran over the eleven year-old Armando Manalo which caused his death.

The driver, Edgardo Hernandez, was prosecuted for homicide through reckless
imprudence and after trial was found guilty of the charge. He was also to
indemnify the heirs for Php 3000. He served out his sentence but was unable to
pay the indemnity. Two writs of execution issued against him were returned
unsatisfied because the sheriff cannot find properties in his name.

Plaintiffs spouses Manalo, the parents, filed the present action to enforce the
indemnity award against the Company who are subsidiary liability, pursuant to
Articles 102 and 103 of the Revised Penal Code.

The Company filed its appearance and answer and later an amended answer
with special defenses and counterclaim. It also filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint unless and until the convicted driver Hernandez was included as a
party defendant, the Company considering him an indispensable party.

Trial Court: denied motion to dismiss, driver is not an indispensable party (no
explanation given in the case). Pay damages of Php 3,000 with 12% pa interest, Attys
fees and costs of litigation.
CA: agreed with trial court (also no explanation given).
Issue: W/N Robles Transportation Company is liable. Yes.
(There is no mention of indispensable party in the SC decision. It only came up in the
RTC and CA decision. The court just held Robles primarily liable.)
The SC held that the judgment of conviction in the criminal proceeding, in the absence
of any collusion between the defendant and offended party, is binding upon the party
subsidiarily liable (Robles).
That Robles was not able to cross examine the Sherriff because only his writ was
presented in court and not the Sherriff himself is not fatal because the sheriff's return is
an official statement made by a public official in the performance of a duty specially
enjoined by the law and forming part of official records, and is prima facie evidence of
the facts stated therein.

The court also held that Article 2177 of the New Civil Code expressly recognizes civil
liabilities arising from negligence under the Penal Code.
ART. 2177. Responsibility for fault or negligence under the preceding article is
entirely separate and distinct from the civil liability arising from negligence under
the Penal Code. But the plaintiff cannot recover damages twice for the same act
of omission of the defendant.
Prescription hasnt also set in because the present action is based upon a judgement,
namely, that in the criminal case, finding Hernandez guilty of homicide through reckless
imprudence and sentencing him to indemnify the heirs. The prescriptive period is 10
years. This case was filed in 1953 while the cause of action arose between 1947 and