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DR. FILOTEO A.

ALANO, Petitioner,
vs.
ZENAIDA MAGUD-LOGMAO, Respondent.
DECISION
PERALTA, J.:
This deals with the Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the
Rules of Court praying that the Decision1of the Court of Appeals (CA), dated
March 31, 2006, adjudging petitioner liable for damages, and the
Resolution2dated November 22, 2006, denying petitioner's motion for
reconsideration thereof, be reversed and set aside.
The CA's narration of facts is accurate, to wit:
Plaintiff-appellee Zenaida Magud-Logmao is the mother of deceased
Arnelito Logmao. Defendant-appellant Dr. Filoteo Alano is the Executive
Director of the National Kidney Institute (NKI).
At around 9:50 in the evening of March 1, 1988, Arnelito Logmao, then
eighteen (18) years old, was brought to the East Avenue Medical Center
(EAMC) in Quezon City by two sidewalk vendors, who allegedly saw the
former fall from the overpass near the Farmers’ Market in Cubao, Quezon
City. The patient’s data sheet identified the patient as Angelito Lugmoso of
Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong. However, the clinical abstract prepared by Dr.
Paterno F. Cabrera, the surgical resident on-duty at the Emergency Room of
EAMC, stated that the patient is Angelito [Logmao].
Dr. Cabrera reported that [Logmao] was drowsy with alcoholic breath, was
conscious and coherent; that the skull x-ray showed no fracture; that at
around 4:00 o’clock in the morning of March 2, 1988, [Logmao] developed
generalized seizures and was managed by the neuro-surgery resident onduty; that the condition of [Logmao] progressively deteriorated and he was
intubated and ambu-bagging support was provided; that admission to the
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and mechanical ventilator support became
necessary, but there was no vacancy at the ICU and all the ventilator units
were being used by other patients; that a resident physician of NKI, who
was rotating at EAMC, suggested that [Logmao] be transferred to NKI; and

Mandaluyong. a neurologist.. and by Dr. from EAMC the identity of Lugmoso and. with address at Boni Avenue. ABS-CBN and GMA attesting that the request made by the NKI on March 2. Mandaluyong. 1988. On March 3. was asked to locate his family by enlisting police and media assistance. Enrique T. 1988. 1988. the organs thus donated could be detached and transplanted promptly to any compatible beneficiary. Aquino. As Lugmoso had no relatives around. Eastern Police District. whose area of jurisdiction includes Boni Avenue. Dr. Mandaluyong was accommodated. At the NKI. A Certification was likewise issued by Police Station No. for assistance in locating the relatives of Angelito Lugmoso. the name Angelito [Logmao] was recorded as Angelito Lugmoso. Transplant Coordinator. [Logmao] was transferred to NKI at 10:10 in the morning. at about 7:00 o’clock in the morning. Ona was informed that Lugmoso had been pronounced brain dead by Dr. a neurosurgeon and . Lugmoso was immediately attended to and given the necessary medical treatment. Jennifer B. Misa. Jennifer Misa requested for assistance to immediately locate the family and relatives of Angelito Lugmoso and that she followed up her request until March 9. 1988. Eastern Police District. Mandaluyong. as well as Police Station No. who was confined at NKI for severe head injury after allegedly falling from the Cubao overpass. Dr. 5. She then contacted several radio and television stations to request for air time for the purpose of locating the family of Angelito Lugmoso of Boni Avenue. she was furnished by EAMC a copy of the patient’s date sheet which bears the name Angelito Lugmoso. March 2. Certifications were issued by Channel 4. so that should Lugmoso expire despite the necessary medical care and management and he would be found to be a suitable organ donor and his family would consent to organ donation. Mandaluyong attesting to the fact that on March 2. Jennifer Misa verified on the same day. 1988 to air its appeal to locate the family and relatives of Angelito Lugmoso of Boni Avenue.m. Ona. Chairman of the Department of Surgery. He requested the Laboratory Section to conduct a tissue typing and tissue cross-matching examination. Antonio Rafael. 5.that after arrangements were made. at about 6:00 p. observed that the severity of the brain injury of Lugmoso manifested symptoms of brain death. upon her request. Abdias V.

Dr. which reads as follows: This is in connection with the use of the human organs or any portion or portions of the human body of the deceased patient.attending physician of Lugmoso. Dr. Ona was informed that the EEG recording exhibited a flat tracing. 1988 from the East Avenue Medical Center. and that a repeat electroencephalogram (EEG) was in progress to confirm the diagnosis of brain death. to authorize the removal of specific organs from the body of Lugmoso for transplantation purposes. pancreas. If all the above has been complied with.D. Ona likewise instructed Dr. Dr. Rose Marie Rosete-Liquete to secure permission for the planned organ retrieval and transplantation from the Medico-Legal Office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). 856. Dr. the said patient died on March 3. permission and/or authority is hereby given to the Department of Surgery to retrieve and remove the kidneys. Upon learning that Lugmoso was a suitable organ donor and that some NKI patients awaiting organ donation had blood and tissue types compatible with Lugmoso. Ona a Memorandum. Please make certain that your Department has exerted all reasonable efforts to locate the relatives or next of kin of the said deceased patient such as appeal through the radios and television as well as through police and other government agencies and that the NBI [Medico-Legal] Section has been notified and is aware of the case. Alano issued to Dr. liver and heart of the said deceased patient . As shown by the medical records. identified as a certain Mr. Filoteo A. 1988. on the assumption that the incident which lead to the brain injury and death of Lugmoso was a medico legal case. Executive Director of NKI. Ona inquired from Jennifer Misa whether the relatives of Lugmoso had been located so that the necessary consent for organ donation could be obtained. thereby confirming that Lugmoso was brain dead. As the extensive search for the relatives of Lugmoso yielded no positive result and time being of the essence in the success of organ transplantation. Two hours later. Ona requested Dr. in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. 1988 at 9:10 in the morning due to craniocerebral injury. 349 as amended and P. Angelito Lugmoso who was brought to the National Kidney Institute on March 2. On March 3. Dr. Alano.

made arrangements with La Funeraria Oro for the embalmment of the cadaver of Lugmoso good for a period of fifteen (15) days to afford NKI more time to continue searching for the relatives of the latter. Maximo Reyes. As the name of the donor sounded like Arnelito Logmao. On March 11. Dr. who was declared brain dead. Jaime Velasquez. Aurea Ambrosio. Head of the Cadaver Organ Retrieval Effort (CORE) program of NKI. removed the heart. a medical team. Rose Marie Rosete-Liquete. sent a request for autopsy to the NBI. A Certification dated March 10. Ludivino de Guzman. Antonio R. stating that he received a telephone call from Dr. no one responded. and Myrna Mendoza. The medical team then transplanted a kidney and the pancreas of Lugmoso to Lee Tan Hoc and the other kidney of Lugmoso to Alexis Ambustan. Roberto Ortega. Enrique Ona.. . On the same day. Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI. 1988. kidneys. On March 4.m. and that he verbally agreed to organ retrieval. regarding the case of Lugmoso. 1988. that Dr. 1988 at 9:15 a. composed of Dr. The Autopsy Report and Certification of Post-Mortem Examination issued by the NBI stated that the cause of death of Lugmoso was intracranial hemorrhage secondary to skull fracture. liver and spleen of Lugmoso.and to transplant the said organs to any compatible patient who maybe in need of said organs to live and survive. Liquete on March 3. Paraiso. Aida Doromal. The transplant operation was completed at around 11:00 o’clock in the evening of March 3. At 3:45 in the afternoon of March 3. a cousin of plaintiff. 1988 was issued by Dr. 1988. Aida informed plaintiff of the news report. Liquete sought from him a second opinion for organ retrieval for donation purposes even in the absence of consent from the family of the deceased. 1988. Mary Litonjua. the NKI issued a press release announcing its successful double organ transplantation. Manuel Chua-Chiaco. as principal surgeon. that despite efforts to locate the latter’s relatives. Ricardo Fernando. heard the news aired on television that the donor was an eighteen (18) year old boy whose remains were at La Funeraria Oro in Quezon City. Drs. Jr. Funeral Consultant of La Funeraria Oro. pancreas.

Dr. Dr. Dr.It appears that on March 3. Aurea Z. On March 31.740. Dr. Enrique T.00 as exemplary damages. represented by its Proprietor. who was then a resident of 17-C San Pedro Street. John Doe. P500. Roberto Ortega alias Bobby Ortega. Mandaluyong. Jaime Velasquez. the Decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. Rose Marie O. Rosete-Liquete. Upon receiving the news from Aida. Dr. a brother of Arnelito. and Alex Doe in connection with the death of her son Arnelito. 1988. Inc. Ona. P500. with MODIFICATION by DELETING the award ofP188. Ortega. plaintiff filed with the court a quo a complaint for damages against Dr. Ambrosio.000. Jennifer Misa. On January 17. La Funeraria Oro.000. 2006. Plaintiff alleged that defendants conspired to remove the organs of Arnelito while the latter was still alive and that they concealed his true identity.. Mary Litonjua. represented by its Director.00 as attorney's fees. Filoteo Alano liable for damages to plaintiff and dismissing the complaint against the other defendants for lack of legal basis.90 as actual damages. and that the relatives of Arnelito were likewise informed that the latter was missing. Dr. 2000. represented by its President. Maximo Reyes.. Cueva. Dr. Dr. Lee Tan Koc. Mariano B. German E. the court a quo rendered judgment finding only Dr.00 as moral damages.000. Myrna Mendoza. Jr. Dr. plaintiff and her other children went to La Funeraria Oro. and costs of suit. the dispositive portion of which reads as follows: WHEREFORE. Taurean Protectors Agency. Quezon City. Antonio R.90 as actual damages . Ludivino de Guzman. Dr.. Alano. Manuel Chua-Chiaco. Ricardo Fernando. Dr. Jr. Eastern Police District. where they saw Arnelito inside a cheap casket.3 After finding petitioner liable for a quasi-delict. the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City (RTC) ordered petitioner to pay respondent P188. Filoteo A. On April 29. as evidenced by a Certification issued by said Station. Dr.740. Petitioner appealed to the CA. 1988. Paraiso. the CA issued its Decision. Peter Doe. Arlen Logmao. Mandaluyong that the latter did not return home after seeing a movie in Cubao. Alexis Ambustan. National Kidney Institute. 5. P300. Dr. reported to Police Station No. Celso Santiago. Emmanuel Lenon.

C.00 and the award of attorney's fees to P100.00. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS DISREGARDED EXISTING JURISPRUDENCE PRONOUNCED BY THIS HONORABLE SUPREME COURT IN HOLDING PETITIONER DR.and REDUCING the award of moral damages to P250. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN REFUSING AND/OR FAILING TO DECLARE THAT PETITIONER DR.000.000. the award of exemplary damages to P200. B. ALANO ACTED IN GOOD FAITH AND PURSUANT TO LAW WHEN HE ISSUED THE AUTHORIZATION TO REMOVE AND RETRIEVE THE ORGANS OF ANGELITO LUGMOSO (LATER IDENTIFIED TO BE IN FACT ARNELITO LOGMAO) CONSIDERING THAT NO NEGLIGENCE CAN BE ATTRIBUTED OR IMPUTED ON HIM IN HIS PERFORMANCE OF AN ACT MANDATED BY LAW.4 Petitioner then elevated the matter to this Court via a petition for review on certiorari. FILOTEO ALANO LIABLE FOR MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY'S FEES DESPITE THE FACT THAT THE ACT OF THE PETITIONER IS NOT THE PROXIMATE CAUSE NOR IS THERE ANY FINDING THAT THE ACT OF THE PETITIONER WAS THE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE INJURY OR DAMAGE ALLEGEDLY SUSTAINED BY RESPONDENT ZENAIDA MAGUDLOGMAO.00. WHETHER THE COURT OF APPEALS GRAVELY ERRED IN AWARDING RESPONDENT ZENAIDA MAGUD-LOGMAO MORAL AND EXEMPLARY DAMAGES AND ATTORNEY'S FEES THAT ARE NOT IN ACCORDANCE WITH AND ARE CONTRARY TO ESTABLISHED JURISPRUDENCE.000. SO ORDERED.5 The first two issues boil down to the question of whether respondent's sufferings were brought about by petitioner's alleged negligence in granting authorization for the removal or retrieval of the internal organs of respondent's son who had been declared brain dead. . where the following issues are presented for resolution: A.

6 The Memorandum dated March 3. petitioner insists that he should not be held responsible for any damage allegedly suffered by respondent due to the death of her son and the removal of her son’s internal organs for transplant purposes. If all the above has been complied with.D. Please make certain that your Department has exerted all reasonable efforts to locate the relatives or next-of-kin of the said deceased patient. Thus.A. 349.) 856. when affirmed by the appellate court. Republic Act (R. such as appeal through the radios and television. liver and heart of the said deceased patient .) No. However. pancreas. permission and/or authority is hereby given to the Department of Surgery to retrieve and remove the kidneys. a close examination of the records of this case would reveal that this case falls under one of the exceptions to the general rule that factual findings of the trial court. 856. the assistance of police authorities was sought. There are some important circumstances that the lower courts failed to consider in ascertaining whether it was the actions of petitioner that brought about the sufferings of respondent. and the NBI Medico-Legal Section was notified.e. in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No. giving his subordinates instructions to exert all reasonable efforts to locate the relatives or next of kin of respondent's son. 1988 issued by petitioner.D. i. In fact. announcements were made through radio and television..Petitioner maintains that when he gave authorization for the removal of some of the internal organs to be transplanted to other patients. as amended by Presidential Decree (P. as well as through police and other government agencies and that the NBI [Medico-Legal] Section has been notified and is aware of the case. are binding on this Court. 349 as amended and P. he did so in accordance with the letter of the law. 1988 at 9:10 in the morning due to craniocerebral injury. stated thus: As shown by the medical records. the said patient died on March 3. The appellate court affirmed the trial court's finding that there was negligence on petitioner's part when he failed to ensure that reasonable time had elapsed to locate the relatives of the deceased before giving the authorization to remove said deceased's internal organs for transplant purposes.

Such instructions reveal that petitioner acted prudently by directing his subordinates to exhaust all reasonable means of locating the relatives of the deceased. obeying all his directives. as found by the lower courts from the records of the case. Prior to performing the procedure for retrieval of the deceased's internal organs. If respondent failed to immediately receive notice of her son's death because the notices did not properly state the name or identity of the deceased.7 A careful reading of the above shows that petitioner instructed his subordinates to "make certain" that "all reasonable efforts" are exerted to locate the patient's next of kin. petitioner could not have been faulted for having full confidence in the ability of the doctors in the Department of Surgery to comprehend the instructions. Thus. fault cannot be laid at petitioner's door. even before petitioner issued the Memorandum. He even specifically mentioned that permission is only being granted IF the Department of Surgery has complied with all the requirements of the law.and to transplant the said organs to any compatible patient who maybe in need of said organs to live and survive. He could not have made his directives any clearer. the doctors concerned also the sought the opinion and approval of the Medico-Legal Officer of the NBI. there can be no cavil that petitioner employed reasonable means to disseminate notifications intended to reach the relatives of the deceased. who had the opportunity to ascertain the name of the deceased. who recorded the wrong information regarding the deceased's identity to NKI. even enumerating ways in which to ensure that notices of the death of the patient would reach said relatives. Furthermore. The NKI could not have obtained the . the doctors and personnel of NKI disseminated notices of the death of respondent's son to the media and sought the assistance of the appropriate police authorities as early as March 2. The only question that remains pertains to the sufficiency of time allowed for notices to reach the relatives of the deceased. The trial and appellate courts found that it was the EAMC. It also clearly stated that permission or authorization to retrieve and remove the internal organs of the deceased was being given ONLY IF the provisions of the applicable law had been complied with. and acting only in accordance with the requirements of the law. Verily. 1988.

Verily. The complaint against petitioner is hereby DISMISSED."9 Here. the period of around 24 hours from the time notices were disseminated. the doctors could or should have waited longer before harvesting the internal organs for transplantation. It should be emphasized that the internal organs of the deceased were removed only after he had been declared brain dead. thus. it is a basic rule that the party making allegations has the burden of proving them by a preponderance of evidence. SO ORDERED. The parties must rely on the strength of their own evidence and not upon the weakness of the defense offered by their opponent. WHEREFORE. 2006. dated March 31. is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Tan. the Court cannot.information about his name from the patient.8 "[i]n civil cases. Neither can the Court find evidence on record to show that respondent's emotional suffering at the sight of the pitiful state in which she found her son's lifeless body be categorically attributed to petitioner's conduct. because as found by the lower courts. .1âwphi1 As stated in Otero v. agree with the lower court. in conscience. Finding petitioner liable for damages is improper. the emotional pain suffered by respondent due to the death of her son cannot in any way be attributed to petitioner. the petition is GRANTED. cannot be considered as reasonable under the circumstances. there is to proof that. the deceased was already unconscious by the time he was brought to the NKI. indeed. Ultimately. They failed to present any expert witness to prove that given the medical technology and knowledge at that time in the 1980's. The Decision of the Court of Appeals. it is respondent's failure to adduce adequate evidence that doomed this case.