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ATLANTIC

GULF
and
PACIFIC
COMPANY OF MANILA, INC. vs. CA
G.R. Nos. 114841-42, October 20, 1995
FACTS:
The
Castillos
owned
an
agricultural land. They filed before the
trial court a complaint for damages,
alleging that as a result of Atlantic Gulf &
Pacific Company’s dredging operations;
the soil of the Castillos property became
infertile,
salty,
unproductive,
and
unsuitable for agriculture. They further
averred that their land was used as a
depot or parking lot of said Company’s
heavy equipments and trucks. The RTC
found in favor of the Castillos and
awarded them damages for the “damage
to the land” and unpaid rentals for
unauthorized use of said land. This is a
Motion for Reconsideration of this Court’s
judgment dated August 23, 1995.
ISSUE: Whether or not the award is in
violation of Article 2177 of the Civil Code,
proscribing double recovery of damages
for the same act or omission?
HELD: The Court ruled in the negative.
The petitioner is guilty of two culpable
transgressions on the property rights of
private respondents.
WORCESTER vs. OCAMPO, ET AL
G.R. No. L-5932, February 27, 1912
FACTS: Dean Worcester is a member of
the Philippine Civil Commission and the
Secretary of the Interior in the Philippine
Government. Since the year 1906 until
October 30, 1908, herein 12 defendants,
who are the owners, directors, writers,
editors and administrators of a daily
newspaper known as “El Renacimiento”
and “Muling Pagsilang”, which was
published and circulated in Spanish and
Tagalog languages in the City of Manila;
had been maliciously persecuting and
attacking Worcester in said newspaper. In
the editorial entitled “Birds of Prey”, the
defendants charged Worcester with the
prostitution of his office for personal

ends. As a result, said article destroyed
public confidence in Worcester and it
incited
people
to
obstruct
the
performance of his official duties. On
January 23, 1909, Worcester filed before
the CFI of Manila, an action for damages
resulting from the libellous publication.
Defendants initially filed a Demurrer,
which was overruled; thus, in their
Answer, they raised the defenses that (1)
the editorial in question did not refer to
plaintiff, and (2) even if it did, they are
not responsible for the writing, printing,
or publication of the alleged libellous
article. The trial court found in favor of
the plaintiff and against defendants,
ordering the latter to pay “jointly and
severally” the amount of 60,000, and
allowed execution on their individual
property. Hence, this present petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not the trial court
erred in holding defendants jointly and
severally liable for damages?
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the
negative. Because the basis of the
present action for damages is a tort. And
the universal doctrine that each joint tort
feasor is not only individually liable for
the tort in which he participates, but is
also jointly liable with his tort feasors. As
a general rule, joint tort feasors are all
the persons who command, instigate,
promote,
encourage,
advise,
countenance, cooperate in, aid or abet
the commission of a tort, or who approve
of it after it is done, if done for their
benefit. They are each liable as
principals, to the same extent and in the
same manner as if they had performed
the wrongful act themselves. Joint tort
feasors are not liable pro rata; the
damages cannot be apportioned among
them except among themselves. A
payment in full of the damage done, by
one of the joint tort feasors, satisfies any
claim which might exist against the
others. Under Section 6 of Act 277 of the
Philippine Commission “Every author,
editor or proprietor...is chargeable with

the publication of any words in any
part...or number of each newspaper, as
fully as if he were the author of the
same”.
SPOUSES
AMADOR
ONG
vs.
METROPOLITAN WATER DISTRICT
G.R. No. L-7664, August 29, 9158
FACTS: Defendant MWD owns and
operates 3 recreational swimming pools
at Balara filters, Diliman, Quezon City;
charging an entrance fee. There were
appropriate marks to indicate the depths
of the water; safety tools such as a ring
buoy, toy roof, towing line, saving kit and
a resuscitator; and it employed a nurse, a
sanitary inspector and six trained
lifeguards, two of which are on duty at a
time; and a clinic. One of its rules and
regulations
prohibits
anyone
from
swimming in the pool alone or
unattended.
In the afternoon of July 5, 1952, a
high school student and boy scout,
Dominador Ong and his brothers Ruben
and Eusebio went to MWD’s swimming
pool (small pool). After telling his
brothers that he was going to the locker
room to get a drink of coke, Dominador
later ended up in the bottom of the
bigger pool. Some of the bathers called
the attention of the lifeguard on patrol,
Manuel Abano who immediately jumped
into the pool and thereafter applied
mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to the
victim. The male nurse Armando Rule,
and sanitary inspector, Iluminado Vicente
then came to render assistance. They
injected the boy with camphorated oil
and applied the resuscitator until the 2
oxygen tanks were exhausted. Meanwhile
Vicente went to fetch Dr. Ayuyao from UP.
But, despite such efforts, they failed to
revive the boy. Dominador Ong sustained
an abrasion on his right elbow and a
contusion on the head. Spouses Ong
sought to recover P50K as damages, P5K
as funeral expenses and P11K as
attorney’s fees. MWD interposed the
defense that it exercised due diligence in

the selection and supervision of its
employees and the cause was due to
victim’s
own
negligence
or
by
unavoidable accident. The trial court
dismissed the complaint, hence, this
appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the death of
deceased minor can be attributed to the
negligence of defendant and/or its
employees so as to entitle plaintiffs to
recover damages?
HELD: The Court ruled in the negative.
The present action is governed by Article
2176 (quasi-delict) in relation to Article
2080 of the new Civil Code. It is a wellsettled rule that the owners of resorts are
legally bound to exercise ordinary care
and prudence in the management and
maintenance of such resorts. But since
the action for damages is founded on
culpable negligence, the plaintiff has the
burden of proving that the damage is
caused by the fault and negligence of the
defendant, or of his employees. Nowhere
in the police statements of the witnesses
do they state that the lifeguard failed to
immediately respond to the call for help.
In fact Abano immediately jumped into
the big pool to retrieve Dominador and
immediately applied mouth-to-mouth.
Appellants next alleged the “doctrine of
last clear chance – a person who has the
last clear chance or opportunity of
avoiding an accident, notwithstanding
the negligent acts of his opponent or the
negligence of a third person which is
imputed to his opponent, is considered in
law
solely
responsible
for
the
consequences of the accident”. This
doctrine can never apply where the party
charged
is
required
to
act
instantaneously, and if the injury cannot
be avoided by the application of all
means at hand after the peril is or should
have been discovered. Since it is not
known how the deceased came into the
big pool and it being apparent that he
went there without any companion; and
that appellee has done what is humanly

possible under the circumstances to
restore life to the latter; it is unfair to
hold it liable for his death.